Archive for May, 2014

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Range Rover Sport Dash Non-Slip Mat fits under Sat Nav – No More Flying Keys!

This is the small rubber mat that sits under the navigation screen in Range Rover Sport models produced between 2005-2009 (and some Land Rover Discovery 3 models that had the same dashboard). This little mat puts an end to keys, phones and sunglasses flying off the little shelf.

About this item: This is a genuine Land Rover part. Please check the photos carefully (click them to enlarge them) to make sure the car you are ordering this part for has the same dash as pictured here.

NATO trains terrorists who destabilize situation in Ukraine

About 400 elite commandos from a notorious US private security firm, Academi, are involved in a punitive operation mounted by Ukraine’s new government against federalization supporters in eastern Ukraine, the German Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported on Sunday.

According to the newspaper, Academi mercenaries participate in attacks against federalization supporters near Slavyansk. So far, it’s unclear who hired them.

Media reports claiming that the Ukrainian leadership wants to recruit personnel from private foreign military companies “to maintain law and order” may suggest that the Kiev regime wants to suppress civil protest and discontent, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

“Anyway, one can state that in the absence of support from the Ukrainian population, the Maidan government has only one option if it wants to remain in power – to mobilize any support possible from foreign sponsors, including foreign mercenaries,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a commentary.

Contractors from private security companies are supposed to do what NATO cannot do openly, they train terrorists who destabilize situation in Ukraine, Michel Chossudovsky, Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization told RIA Novosti Tuesday.

“Those organizations (private security companies) will do what NATO cannot do openly. They can train people to be terrorists,” Chossudovsky said, adding that in Syria private contractors were training al-Qaeda.

“We are talking about the continuation of US policy of military intervention in Ukraine and a preparatory stage for a massacre in southeastern Ukraine,” Igor Korotchenko, editor-in-chief of the National Defense monthly Russian-language magazine said, adding that the deployment of mercenaries from a private company Greystone Ltd. may be financed by Ukrainian oligarchs and organized in coordination with the US State Department.

Michel Chossudovsky told RIA Novosti that mercenaries are normally hired by governments, but options are numerous as they operate covertly and do not identify themselves.

Does Mental Decay Start in Your 40’s?

Funny tale [well, I thought so anyway].

Years ago, I used to have a Merc van business [sales, service, repair, dismantling – the usual]. We closed it in 98 and moved on to other things. Since then we moved into Dyson vacuums. Identical business model in many respects [dismantling, parts, sales, service, repair], but smaller, lighter things one can work on indoors, by the fire, and use screwdrivers with instead of working outdoors using air tools in January [we are all in our 40’s now after all – all that spanner work at -5c should be long gone].

My top tech from the Merc job [who has been with me forever] came with me and years later he is now a Dyson guru. (He was a Mercedes guru before) All well and good up to now.

So recently we repaired a Dyson for a local van breakers. Our Merc Sprinter van needed an exhaust, so we fixed his Dyson and he gave us an “as new” exhaust for our van. Happy days. Mr. Green

The Sprinter exhaust isn’t held on by very much (after the downpipe – which doesn’t tend to rust), two bolts and some hanging rubbers. So rather than send it out to a garage, and as my top bloke once was that good he swapped a T1 Merc 308D engine in forty minutes (incentivised by a big bonus to get the van back on the road, and with air tools and a helper I might add), why should we send the van out to a garage and pay a bloke forty or fifty quid?

We had a slack afternoon yesterday, We had a socket set, so I suggested he might like to don the white gloves, and rekindle his Mercedes skills of olde and pop the new exhaust on. We parked the van on a nearby high kerb and off he went. I’d be surprised if it took more than 40 minutes.

He did mumble it had been ten years since he had laid a spanner on a Merc van, but it has been longer for me, but I still managed to do two running repairs in the last year on trips (out of necessity), one in the forests of south Estonia, and one recently in France (its never close to home). Both injector leak off pipes (always the back ones isn’t it?) – I since changed them all last weekend.

First he is complaining the sump cover wont come off to access the exhaust flange. Much chiselling and swearing ensued, and in the end a bolt sheared off. OK, it happens….

Next onto the exhaust bolts. The bottom one comes off with much creaking and much effort. The top one ended up sheared off, snapped bolt in a captive thread on the flange. Crying or Very sad

Knowing the bolt hadn’t been out for over a decade, a sensible person might have warmed it up, dowsed it in some WD40 or Plusgas, turned it a quarter turn tighter before carefully removing it. We used to dismantle very old vans. He knows this stuff.


My chap stuck a half inch socket drive on it, a foot long ratchet, and swung on it like his life depended on it. Then *snap*. Big Cry

So we are left with me with a van with a sump guard hanging off, sheared off exhaust bolts and an exhaust that growls like a bear. All done by a guy who was once the toast of the MB Club forums as a mega tech guru.

I said, “You have lost your Merc mojo haven’t you?”

He said, “I think I have. Give me a Dyson DC41 and a voltmeter now – I can fix those with my eyes closed” Rolling with laughter

So I trundled off to a local garage that does all my MOT’s (and did when I was in the trade too), told him the problem, he said “take that ramp, the toolbox is there, help yourself” (it was in the 90’s I last did that there!).

Ten minutes later, I had it up on the ramp, the old exhaust off, but was struggling to get the seized in stud out. At that point, I realised that I had probably lost my mojo too, I asked for help, a guy came along with a new fangled stud extractor (of a type I had never seen or used), he had it out in moments, two new bolts arrived, new exhaust was offered up, rubbers on, bolted up, and the new exhaust was in situ moments later. A self tapping bolt into a drilled hole took the place of the sheared off one on the sump guard. Nice and easy.

I offered him money, he shrugged and said it didn’t matter as I am an old trade customer who sends him punters, and he does all our tests there, and this was my own van – so free. When pushed, he said a tenner. I gave him twenty to be polite. I’d like to give him a shout here in case anyone is local. TAW Garage in Gorton, Manchester. They are not kitted up to do involved stuff with RRS, but for general stuff and tests, they are capable, honest and fair priced.

So I decided I have probably lost my mojo too. Laughing

How is it possible that two guys who used to be Merc gurus in the 90’s cant even fit an exhaust on a Sprinter van today without help from adults? Rolling with laughter

Like riding a bike some say. I say not. We used to do petrol to diesel conversions on T1 vans and 123/4 Mercs. Some of that took some proper thinking about, much rewiring, and electrical vacuum valve conversions to make the ignition shut off work correctly. We used to do power steering conversions and overnight engine swaps on vans that had to be at market at 6am the next day. Front axle swap? With a fork lift truck and air tools it was 30 minutes – watch this space……..

Do we lose it if we don’t use it? I am still mid 40’s so not for the funny farm just yet. I can now write html in notepad now that I couldn’t do then. I have forgot more about Dysons than Mr Dyson probably ever knew. But I seem to have forgotten much of what I spent a decade learning about Mercedes. Is that normal?

Ukraine: So What is Vladimir Putin Really Planning?

Unlike most westerners, I do not blindly believe western media, I do not subscribe to the “America good – Russia bad” media hysteria being shamelessly stage-managed by our governments. Perhaps having a Russian-born wife makes me take a more balanced view. I am not anti-Russian, I am not anti-Putin. Nor am I anti-American. I might […]

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