[Witty Title] '95 SJ413 rescue

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[Witty Title] '95 SJ413 rescue

Post by Tango91 » Tue Jan 02, 2024 9:41 pm

Hi, thanks for joining me on what I'm sure will become a descent into madness and poverty.

I'm going to paste in the content of my new member's introduction post for context:

Hi, Tommo from North Devon here.

I previously owned a '99 Jimny which could not be cured of a coolant drinking problem, and a Discovery 2 which ate my wallet followed by a few of my less-important organs.

Kicked off my 2024 New Years resolution to not waste money on crap cars by picking up this lovely little 1995 SJ413 for a grand, down in deepest darkest Cornwall. It's been sat for a few months feeling sorry for itself and was sold as spares and repairs with some MOT until the 19th of this month.


Plenty of patches and welding in evidence on the underside of the body, we shall see what horrors some poking around reveal. The outside of the body looks pretty good, although god only knows what's under the plastic sill trims.

The chassis seems ok in comparison though, and (hopefully) certainly better than my Discovery, which i had to saw in half shortly after purchasing.

Engine wise, she starts with gusto, but won't run for more than a couple of seconds before conking out. I'd assume a fuel issue. (These ones are early FI right? I'm used to either carbs or diesels so this will be a learning experience)

The OEM airbox has been replaced with a much cooler wireless bluetooth K&N style filter that's rolling around in the passenger footwell for some reason. Technology, eh? :S

The seats are really nice and must be from something else entirely, which is kind of nice, but I'm 6'1" and it's something of a magic trick to get behind the wheel.

Stevie Wonder and Helen Keller collaborated on the wiring, which is in equal parts amazing and terrifying.

I'm hoping to slowly bring it around, and with a bit of luck there might be a diamond in there somewhere.

Anyway, I'd love to go on but the mrs is angry at me for some reason. Can't think why. :brows:

I've been working today, but I went in early and stayed late for a couple of hours to have a dig.

The first order of business, after getting it into the nice dry workshop, was to wind up a particularly gormless coworker (Lisa is his mother's name, it's a long-running joke).


My sensible car also has a homage in her honour


I'd like to show you a photo of his response when he saw it, but this seems to be a family forum, so instead here's a photo of my dog dressed as a fisherman:


Next step was to throw a battery charger at it and let it gently cook all day, and then after work I had a poke to see If I could get to the bottom of why it wasn't running.

The ad said 'Not starting right, will need to be towed away'. You could bump the key and It would catch for a second and sometimes idle, but wouldn't rev or keep going at all. If you gave it a bit of starting fluid it fired right up, and sounds sweet, so I figured fuel might not be getting to the throttle body.

The first obstacle was figuring out which pipe was the fuel feed from the pump, because the absolute clusterf*** of pipes and hoses surrounding the throttle body and manifold, this must have had the EGR disconnected at some point because there's vacuum lines with bolts stuffed in them laying absolutely everywhere.

- A quick question for the gurus on here, does the G13BA have a mechanical pump in the side of the block as well as the electric one in the tank? I couldn't really make heads or tails of the mess of hoses.

The in-tank fuel pump ran as expected though and sounded good, and pulling the feed line off the throttle body and cycling the pump yielded some interesting results:


Yeah, I guess that'd probably cause the engine to not run.

The next line of thought was that there's probably water getting into the fuel tank somehow, perhaps it's got a hole rusted in the top or a bad sender unit gasket, etc.

I decided to drop the tank and pour it out in any case, to see what was inside and to start fresh with good fuel. This thing must have been talking to my other Suzuki, an early SV650, as just a few days ago I had the same problem with water in the fuel.

Tipping the tank out into a 20l container yielded this (the leaves are external) :


That's a lot of water, but at least there's no evidence of rust or other detritus swimming about in it. The fuel tank itself seems to be in pretty good nick, a few bare rusty bits on top and on the seams, but not bad for 28 years old.


The bottom half is covered, along with the rest of the chassis, the running gear and the rest of the underside of the car, with some sort of sticky black underseal stuff (the mark of an honest motor as i'm sure you all know). We'll see what horrors it's hiding in the future I'm sure.

I hit the bare bits of the tank with a wire brush and some red oxide primer just to give it a fighting chance. Before it goes back in I think I'm gong to wash it out a few times with fresh fuel as there's definitely some liquid in there that I couldn't tip out of the filler neck.

While I think about it, the advert also said that the car had just had new fuel lines, among other things. I've not seen any evidence of that on my travels under the car, but there were a lot of sad perished looking looking rubber hoses, cut and joined and joined again, and a LOT of jubilee clips.


The fuel neck breather hose seems to have been replaced with what I can only assume is the kind of gas hose you find on a portable BBQ, which apparently doesn't play nice with unleaded:


I'm hoping to pick up some decent hose after work tomorrow if I get time and plumb the tank back in properly after a good rinse out and a quick blow over with some black paint, and we might see if it'll start and run properly. Maybe even drive, who knows. This is how it's sat at the moment, looking sad for itself but out of the rain and cold at least:


I'd like to leave you some photos of the wiring situation that I'll need to address in the very near future, to whet your appetites:


That's the isolator switch from what I assume is some sort of heavy equipment, the original key switch is destroyed and there's a smaller one bodged into the dashboard so that if you crash the keys become part of your knee cartilage. I'm going out on a limb here and guessing that there's some kind of substantial parasitic drain on the battery without that, despite the car only having about 8 wires in it.

From under the bonnet, the headlights have been wired using large spade terminals for some reason and could very easily double as firestarters if those uninsulated terminals were to touch:


And some other random part of the loom that isn't wrapped up and is free to rub on the starter motor and the steering shaft, feat. electrical tape and badly crimped connectors.


I'd also like to point out the exhaust system, which is made of random bits interlaced with flexible pipe, hanging off the chassis with strips of conveyor belt, and about 6 inches too low. The hump that's supposed to clear the rear axle is about 6 inches behind the rear axle as well. I think this might be a complete new exhaust job but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.


I disocvered some other fairly horrific bodges which I'll share in the near future. The poor lass I bought this from seemed really genuine, I wonder if someone saw her coming when she bought it and ran off with her money. She did seem sad to see it go, though.

I'll catch you in the near future for more reasons why my mrs was probably right and I'm an idiot. ;)

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Re: [Witty Title] '95 SJ413 rescue

Post by d_r_1989 » Tue Jan 02, 2024 11:21 pm

Definitely not an idiot, the idiot would be the one who butchered that poor car! It will all be worth it when your driving her round. Looks a rather clean example considering the other bodges.
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Re: [Witty Title] '95 SJ413 rescue

Post by ScottieJ » Wed Jan 03, 2024 1:30 pm

Nice! Getting stuck in already.

😅 that’s a lot of water, no wonder she didn’t run.

Only the intank pump on the spi samurais. The mechanical pump on the head is only for models with carbs and they don’t have an intank pump.

Looks like you are gonna have fun with the wiring 😅
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Re: [Witty Title] '95 SJ413 rescue

Post by Tango91 » Wed Jan 03, 2024 10:53 pm

Thanks both :)

Anyone who wants to experience true self-inflicted misery should read my Disco forum thread:

https://www.landyzone.co.uk/land-rover/ ... me.381617/

Anyway, the SJ.

Finished work earlier than I'd anticipated and managed to pick up an oil filter for it at a local parts place. I'll go through all the fluids this weekend most likely. The oil, while it's not the worst I've seen, has definitely seen water at some point, it's more milk chocolate coloured than I'd like. Hopefully just the same as whatever happened to the fuel and not a sign of head gasket trouble...

I got a colleague to swing by a hose supplier earlier and grab a few offcuts of fuel line in various sizes, which they were nice enough to not charge for, so after work me and a friend rinsed out the dregs in the fuel tank through the level sender hole with some petrol, and inside it's spotless, I couldn't believe it. We refitted it, put in some clean (but still quite old) fuel, purged the last of the contaminated fuel from the system, then reconnected the line to the throttle body and it fired right up and ran pretty nicely after a minute or two of the odd hiccup. Bargain! :smokin:

There was a terrible rattling noise when you revved it but it turned out to be the fan shroud, which some genius had cut apart presumably to get over the fan without removing it, being sucked into the fan and buzzing. So that'll need putting back as it should be.


We thought we'd better refit the stupid cone air filter at this point, it's properly manky though and I'd really like to get a proper OEM airfilter housing for it.



We let it warm up for a while and everything seems to be doing what it should, the heater works, the rad isn't blowing bubbles, the alternator works.

I couldn't not take it for a spin around the yard, so we know that first and reverse work at least, and the brakes more or less cause a reduction in speed. No funny noises that I noticed, so I'm excited to get it insured and taxed and on the road.

I'm not quite sure how the poor lass I bought it from was driving it around, there was about an inch of slack in the throttle cable, and several layers of mats under the pedals that stopped it going all the way down. She must have been driving it around at 10mph!

Some digging through the paperwork confirms that the car did actually have a new clutch, starter and spark plugs fitted at a garage early last year, so she definitely spent some money on it.

Anyway, we were poking around the engine bay while it was idling and I noticed that the power steering pump seems to be a bit... less than original?


Answers on a postcard if you know where that came from?

I turned on the lights to have a check and the poor engine almost stalled, god only knows what's going on with the electrics. At some point someone's decided that it needs extra LED lights for some reason, and I look forward to un-f**king that particular job in future :S


I know at some point I'm going to have to dive into the electrics...


Oh boy. Can't wait.

I should have some tinkering time tomorrow and then probably Saturday, so I'd like to do a service and get it going up the road at least.

Peace! :salute:

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Re: [Witty Title] '95 SJ413 rescue

Post by ScottieJ » Wed Jan 03, 2024 11:12 pm

Nice! Glad to hear it’s running good!

So power steering wasn’t a factory option, looks like it might be a vitara pump and mount modified to fit with a different pulley. Chances are the steering box is either vitara with a wedge adapter or a Jimny box (Jimny box bolts straight on). Years ago people used to sometimes use Carlton boxes as well.

Oh and I’ve probably got a spare standard airbox I could sell you 👍 I’ll dig one out.
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Re: [Witty Title] '95 SJ413 rescue

Post by Rankine » Thu Jan 04, 2024 10:48 am

Making some good progress with this already. Was going to say same looks like a vitara pump. Looks like is been moved backwards to catch the factory pulley tho. Dunno if that's ideal for the rest of the pulleys tho? It's only ment to catch the crank, water pump and alternator? Could be issue with the power?
That's with a aftermarket pulley. Not sure if it would be to much load stretched round the ps to
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Re: [Witty Title] '95 SJ413 rescue

Post by Tango91 » Thu Jan 04, 2024 2:50 pm

Thanks both for the info.
ScottieJ wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2024 11:12 pm
Oh and I’ve probably got a spare standard airbox I could sell you 👍 I’ll dig one out.
That’d be great, thanks :D

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Re: [Witty Title] '95 SJ413 rescue

Post by Tango91 » Thu Jan 04, 2024 9:20 pm

Not many pictures today, but some progress.

Pulled the SJ into the workshop after work today and got it ready to venture onto the open road.

I repaired the radiator fan shroud and used ACTUAL M6 BOLTS to attach it to the radiator support instead of the zip ties it was previously attached with.

I reattached the lower coolant hose bracket to the radiator bracket using ACTUAL M6 BOLTS instead of the zip ties that it was previously attached with.

Starting to form the opinion that someone might have owned it who didn't know what they were doing... :screwy:

Dumped the oil out and treated her to some nice 10w40 synthetic and a filter. The stuff that came out wasn't quite as bad as I was expecting, but if anyone has any opinions please do tell:


Can you tell yet that I'm paranoid about head gaskets? :yuk:

While I was fooling about under there I had a good look at the special custom super motorsports exhaust.


There's tiger seal on the join between the header and the first bit of corrugated shite there. And at several other joins. It seems to be made up of about 15 different parts, none of which belong and all of which were welded together by Ray Charles.

After making sure it ran up fine I checked the coolant, which is suspiciously brand new looking... But the level was good so we'll see.

Then it was maiden voyage time... A few times around the industrial estate for good luck, into BP for 3/4 tank of premium unleaded, and about 8 miles home, the back way just in case. We got home with no major issues (yes the bar is low) and it's a riot to drive, but I can confirm that I really don't fit in it! The gearstick sticks into my left knee in 5th and I have to open the door to roll the window up or down :hmm:

@Rankine you're probably right about the auxiliary belt situation, as soon as you look at the throttle pedal the belt sings the song of it's people.

I'd like to return it to factory spec in that regard (and put the jack back where it should be) but shipping a new box from India will take some time. In the meantime, does anyone know any reason why I shouldn't just buy a proper OEM length belt and leave the pump out of the loop? Or even better, remove the pump and cap off the fittings on the steering box? :?:

Other things that don't work that we now know about: the temperature gauge, the tachometer, the gauge cluster lights, the hazard switch, and the 'fast' setting on the wiper stalk. The indicator switch is a bit crunchy and more than a bit burned looking, but does work.

I have a separate water temperature gauge that I never got round into fitting into the disco. Can anyone recommend a good spot to drill and tap for the probe? preferably from the 'hot' side of the thermostat? :?:

Roll on this weekend when we can have a decent dig and see what delightful bodges lay hidden beneath. :D

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Re: [Witty Title] '95 SJ413 rescue

Post by ScottieJ » Sun Jan 07, 2024 6:02 pm

That exhaust is a work of art🤣

I would recommend keeping and improving the PS set up, power steering is an essential mod on SJs in my opinion (as mentioned in my PM 😅)

Some inlet manifold have a space just to the left of the factory sender where you can fit another sender.

Also note factory sender threads are 1/8” BSPT and not NPT.

I’d check for broken wires in the engine bay and whip the cluster out to clean the connections and check wires etc. the wiring is pretty simple.

Just old so the end of the wires often corrode and break just before the existing connector in the engine bay.
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Re: [Witty Title] '95 SJ413 rescue

Post by Tango91 » Sun Jan 07, 2024 6:18 pm

Had a nice weekend working on and out and about with the SJ

I started on saturday morning by pulling that badly fitted power steering pump off and sticking it in the nearest skip. I'll get a proper manual steering box eventually, but for now I've adapted some fittings and looped a pipe filled with ATF between them. The steering is a bit heavier on the move than you'd expect of a manual box, but I guess the ratios are different.


Fitting a proper length auxiliary belt has made the car much nicer to drive as it doesn't squeal and judder when you give it some throttle or turn the wheels.

While I was poking about under there I decided to get shot of some of the redundant lights and wires that looked like the biggest fire hazards. Whoever added all this stuff to the car sure loved these screw-on terminal blocks.


I won't bore you with the details but I removed the driving spotlights that didn't work (and put them aside for later) and also the white marker lights from the front corners of the wings. I was expecting these to be LED but they were little incandescent bulbs of the kind you would usually find in an interior light.

Also, why drill three holes when 6 holes will do the job? :screwy:


The bodywork will have to wait until after the MOT, guess I'll be making little bits of sheet metal to go behind the holes and be plug welded in.

After tidying the loose wiring up, and a break for a refresing cuppa, I started my investigation on the interior.

This was under the seat. I don't know quite what the purpose of it is but I'm sure it was contributing to the smell. I hung it in my coworker's locker.


Pulling the carpets from the footwells required taking out about a hundred tek screws and the random lengths of aluminium angle that were holding it down. No idea what It's from, perhaps a jimny or something similar as it wasn't a million miles away from fitting. Underneath this was some thick insulation/underlay foam stuff that was marked with the VW logo in various places. Whatever it was, it was sopping wet and smelled terrible.


I didn't have any scales to hand but there must easily be ~15kg of wet stanky carpet and foam in that pile, which hitherto went into the bin.

I pulled the seats next, I don't know quite what they're from but a coworker suggested they look like a PSA design, perhaps a Berlingo van or something.

The driver's seat was professionally installed with some thin shelving angle stuff and tek roofing screws. They'd even left the washers with the butyl sealing ring on them, presumably to keep the rain out :er:


The passenger seat was far more custom, the craftsman must have gotten a MIG welder for christmas as the seat was held down with some bits of box section and some steel strips that were bolted through the thinnest section of floor. Perhaps he also did the exhaust.


The carpet under the seats was even wetter than in the footwells. It had been nailed down to a piece of wood that was attached to the bulkhead at the back of the cab.

No idea where the water could possibly have been getting in through... :er:


Both footwells and the floor behind the rear seats have sections that have obviously been replaced with sheet metal, and patches in various places, but there were no jagged rusty holes like I was expecting, so fairly happy with that. You can see the bits at the rear of the cab where they've plated over the rusty mess underneath where the body mounts are.

For some reason the footwells had been painted in what I can only describe as molasses, horrible brown sticky crap that needed thinners to get it off.


I took out the one working speaker, which was screwed to the bulkhead immediately behind the driver's right ear, and threw it in the bin. The wiring for this was something to behold, the wire ran out the back of the radio, along the transmission tunnel then across, up the corner of the cab and to the speaker.


You'd think that this would be achievable with one 5' bit of wire but apparently this went against our favourite craftsman's vision as instead he used this:


With most of the crap hoovered out I set to making a slightly less janky solution for mounting the driver's seat, something that would move the seat backwards as far as possible so that I might actually get my legs in under the wheel.

I found a bit of thick (8mm I think) aluminium plate in the scrap pile and fabricated this plate that bridges what's left of the seat mounting locations. The new seats have rails that are much further apart than the original seats, and the rails needed to be fixed much further back.

This is what I came up with after some trial-and-error fitting, you can see the four threaded holes for the seat runners. Those seats are a tight fit, there's only about 5mm of clearance between the side of the base and the cabin wall, and through this gap is where the seatbelt runs.


I don't know if this is what you would call a permanent fix, perhaps in future there might be some bucket seats or something, but for now it means i can actually comfortably drive the damn thing.

I fitted the seats in and had to down tools and run to pick the missus up from work in it. She'd not been in it before and me arriving extremely loudly outside her work due to the numerous exhaust blows probably wasn't the best first impression, but she did eventually get in.

She doesn't quite grasp WHY I'd want to drive it but I think she's trying to see the positive bits, bless her. :S

Then today (Sunday) we took it out for breakfast at a local cafe, then further afield to a local beach that's really only accessible to small 4x4s, which we haven't visited in a long while for that reason. I think the dog enjoyed riding in the back too, he used to ride around on the back of a petrol golf cart at my old job, which isn't entirely dissimilar. ;)


The missus actually suggested that we might try a green lane on the way back ( :shock: ) but because that damn exhaust hangs so low I had to give it a miss.

She's named the car 'Polly' because it reminds her of a toy car she had once from the 'Polly Pocket' range of girls toys in the late 90s/early 00s. You win some, you lose some, i guess. :roll: She named the Land Rover Dorothy, so maybe the SJ got off lightly...

I'm pleased to report that as of this afternoon the oil is nice and clear, the coolant is staying where it should. A bit of a leak from one of my steering box fittings but I hadn't any PTFE tape to hand at the time.

This week I'm hoping to replace the exhaust, if it shows up, and get to work on fixing the electrics and the rusty bits under the back of the cab.

Cheers! ;)

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