An Unexpected Gift

One of my best friends Facebook messaged me the other day. He was cleaning out boxes and organizing his life and found a pair of fog lamps off his Range Rover Classic and he wanted to give them to me. Eric K. is the reason I was called “Biff” by that circle of friends when I went to college. In that circle of friends there happened to be three “Eric’s”. Arric, Eric K., and Me. I did not like the impersonal manner of being called “Stephens”. I was called that by everyone in my unit in the Marine Corps and much preferred a more personal name. So one day I started a rant and asked my friends to call me anything but “Stephens”. I rattled off half a dozen names, some rude, some absurd. One of the absurd was “Biff”. The only Biff’s we had ever known were members of fraternities and we mostly made fun of them. So “Biff” stuck. Only a few friends still call me Biff. And I’m affectionately known as Uncle Biff by one set of my friend’s kids still to this day.

Eric did not have a good experience with his Range Rover….I’m guessing the problems he had with it were the result of it perhaps being a submarine before he got it. There was a lot of that going around when he picked it up. Dallas and Houston had flooded in recent years. There were a lot of disreputable people “drying” cars out and selling them in the used car market. His electrics began to give up at an alarming rate.

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He loved the Range Rover while it was running. There are a few pictures of his dad when they lived in Ethiopia using Land Rovers for hunting excursions.  Unfortunately the repair costs began to mount on that beast. He finally bailed on it. The good news was he picked up a Toyota Land Cruiser. He had many thousands of care free miles in the Land Cruiser. Unfortunately his former wife drove it pretty hard and it now has some rough miles on it. He is keen to get the Cruiser back on the road. We’ll be working on her in the coming months. Funny, the problems he is having with it are mostly electrical.

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So being the new recipient of a pair of Bosch (that’ll make the Evil German happy) head lamps I went to install them in place of my former pair of Hella 1000’s. I wrote about how one was broken in a shop by clumsy mechanic and my failed attempt to repair it. So Sunday I wired the new Bosch lamps in. Being lazy I installed them THEN tested them. Yep, you probably guessed it, one was not working.

Mr. Fisher was over and we enjoyed a laugh because of my laziness. I pulled it off and took the lens off and found a broken wire. I crimped a new female spade on to it and tested it on the battery. Success. I then proceeded to reinstall it. I tested it and thus victorious we each had a Belhaven Scottish Ale. It only seemed fitting. I will probably move the lone working Hella to the rear of the Range Rover and install it on the roof rack. I will wire with quick disconnects to the back up lamp circuit.

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Dirt road driving.

Saturday I drove down to Washington, Oklahoma to watch my grand-daughter play basketball. (We lost a close one.) I had to run by my friend Eric K.’s on the way home so I decided to take the rural roads. I turned north on Western Avenue off Hwy 74b. Just an 1/8 of the way up the road becomes a tree-lined track carved out of wind rows that were planted in the 1930’s to cut down on wind erosion.  In places this road could become very impassable if the road became rain-soaked. I didn’t capture the ruts but trust me when I say this might be a good test for the best 4x4xfar during the monsoon season.

It was down this road that I decided the dust that comes in from the road would make a dirt road crossing of Oklahoma a very unpleasant trip. I have posed a question on the Rangerovers.net forum about the problem. I think I know the answer already. The window seal on the upper lift gate is as Edd China says, “Past it.” I am researching my options at this point as new window rubbers are probably impossible or overly expensive to acquire.

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Old and new.

In order to upgrade my television options in my boudoir to digital a trip to a strip mall was required. When I pulled up there was this lovely new Range Rover. The fellow said it was his brother’s and that he had one in black. I loved the seats and the color of the leather they used. Perhaps some day I’ll pick one up when the depreciation curve begins to flatten out on them.

In honor of my friend Eric K. let’s have the Rolling Stones take us out with “Moonlight Mile“…

Thanks for reading and Happy Cruising Rovering.

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