Tune up time…Dammit (Post #90) 5/28/2008

The next person I hear say the reason for the high gas prices is high demand, gets a good ol’fashioned hole stomped in the middle of them, which I will then proceed to walk dry.

It’s not demand…it’s the F@#%ing speculators. Seriously, 90% of drivers are doing the same thing they do everyday, drive to work. Where’s the increased demand? It’s all bull shit.

As many of you Land Rover fans have discovered, 4$(US) per gallon gasoline and the SUV lifestyle do not have positive affects on your wallet. It’s been so bad that I have actually started to car pool again. Something I never thought I’d have to do again.

I car pooled back in the early 2000s when gasoline was a halcyon 1.65$(US) a gallon and we thought we were getting raped with those prices. When I changed jobs (and buildings) I stopped. But now I am back in that building and have two other guys in my car pool. With this car pooling I have had to give up my beloved books on tape and my quiet time each day. But it has saved us a lot of money so far.

So when the Atlantic British catalog came in the mail and the gas mileage on the Disco dropping below 14mpg and the price of petrol inching toward outrageous amounts the perfect storm of common sense and dammit I’ll do it have come together.

We are taking a vacation out to Huntington Beach to visit some friends this summer. And we have decided to drive. Mostly because the price of flying and renting a car is completely outrageous. And besides, who wants to be trapped in a plane, in coach, with a hundred other unhappy flyers for four hours plus airport lay-overs?

Answer: That would not be anyone one named OkieRover, nor any of his spawn.

We have two choices of transportation to Kalifornia.
A 2003 Land Rover Discovery SE or a 2002 Ford Taurus
Lets compare… Pros and Cons

Disco – roomy, not as roomy as a 1993 Range Rover LWB but I don’t have the money or time to convince my wife we should take the Rangie to Kali.
Taurus – not roomy, not at all
Disco – comfortable leather seats
Taurus – probably the most uncomfortable seats in any car known to man with the possible exception of the Mustang I ride in one out of three weeks to work
Disco – individual climate controlled environment and rear air
Taurus – two temperatures in the front, hot or cold, one temp in the back, hot
Disco – 14-15mpg on a good day on the highway
Taurus – 32-36mpg on the highway at 90+. We know that because we drove it to Denver one Thanksgiving and my son ratted my wife out for going 100mph while I was napping. We got really good mileage on that trip.

So as you can see it’s an easy choice and we have a clear winner. We are taking the Disco. Besides just think of all the great things we would miss if we flew on our way out to see Marty Moose:


Most of the New Mexican desert
Most of the Arizonan desert
The Grand Canyon
Las Vegas
29 Palms Military Reservation
Los Angeles traffic
San Diego
Padres baseball
Yuma, Arizona
Roswell, NM

And missing the chance to hear my son coin a new phrase describing Kalifornians and their driving abilities. Floridiots was his last entry from our 2005 vacation to Ft. Myers.

Yeah okay, I’ll give ya the fact it’s gonna be a long boring drive. But who wants to miss the Mother Road?

51ZK07AT8YLYeah, that’s what I thought you’d say…but we’re still gonna drive.

So nearly 500$(US) later and we have new sparky plugs, plug wires, and oxygen sensors on the way to get the Disco tuned up for the long drive. Now if I can just avoid ethanol on the way out there we should be able to get there in comfort. Making food into fuel is stupid. It’s made the cost of food go up and everyone that voted for it in congress needs a red hot poker up the tail pipe. Yeah I’m kinda passionate about that. Maybe I’ll blog about that in the future.
Hopefully we can get 16-18mpg while we enjoy each other’s close quarters company in a Land Rover heading west like so many of our relatives did 75 years ago.

But this time we are bringing cash and riding in style.
Go ahead call us Okies, we’ll just smile and yep, we sure are.
Thanks for reading and happy rovering.

Bulb died, Customer Service hasn’t (Post #88) 9/27/2007

In December 2006, I got tired of not being able to see when I drive in the dark. So I upgraded the Range Rover’s headlights to Hellas. I also upgraded the bulbs in the Discovery. Sylvania H7ST 12V55W Silver Star were the recommended bulb by many, many sites on the intarwebs.

So I contacted Atlantic British and ordered the bulbs and head lamps. I have had many happy days of driving with both sets. My daughter RovErica even commented that she really liked the way it lit up the road in front of the Rangie. Even her Boyfriend 1.0, commented on how great the light was.

I also noticed how great the light was from the Disco and recommended the bulbs to my friends.

But then last month, I got in the Disco and fired up the head lamps and pop! That was it. The left front bulb died. I was kinda bummed. I told my wife about it and she said, “is there a warranty?” Gosh…I hadn’t thought of that. 9 months is a pretty short time when it comes to head lamps. Seems like forever when you are expecting a baby, or even better your first grandchild, but for a head lamp that is a short time.

I commented on the OkieRover.com site and you have read on other sites, that Lucas didn’t intend for us to motor about after dark. I wrote somewhere also that in all the years I’ve owned cars I can only think of a few times where I lost a head lamp. Most of the time it was due to stones flying up while we were rat racing along back country gravel roads in Newcastle, Oklahoma in my youth.

So this week I called Atlantic British and asked them about the warranty of head lamps less than a year old. Les was my salesperson and he and I exchanged a couple of emails, which resulted in him saying, “normally NO they weren’t covered”, but he would check with a manager.

I thanked him for checking and he said they had already sent out the replacement.
How about that?!
Customer service is not dead. On the contrary its alive and well at Atlantic British.
Thanks goes out to Les and the good folks at Atlantic British for taking such good care of my Rovers all these years.

August 15th, 2005 (Post #62)

August 15th, 2005
More updates.
I fixed the Archive files. They were really screwed up.

Had trouble with the ignition this past week. With my back being in it’s current very screwed up state it has been difficult to get in and out of any car. The MRI says I have an L3 L4 compression with pressure on my nerve root. Very painful by the way, the pain feels like my right hip is dislocated. L4 L5 is torn and something is wrong with L5 S1 too. The biggest worry is the first one. With that said I finally figured out that if I put my head in first and then climb in I don’t have to bend my back as much. But this caused me to bump, with my knee, the steering column.

This caused the already troublesome connection on the back of the ignition switch to be in a mostly unconnected state. It would start if I held the key right and jiggled the column plastic. But I had no accessories, lights, or much else.

To fix it I took some time before one of RovErica’s softball games to take the column off and fix the ignition plug more snuggly to the switch. I used two zip ties and just tightened them up to snug the plug to the back. It worked better than I thought it would have. You no longer have to double turn the ignition switch to get the BWB started and the radio and all the accessories work without fault.

Loosing oil
I am loosing some oil past the pan. JagGuy warned me not to tighten and thus
crush the cork gasket too much. But I must have done that. I will need to schedule
a new gasket on my next oil change.

The past few mornings the low coolant light has been blinking when I start up. I haven’t had time to check the level but will need to do that tomorrow morning, if I’m not running late to work.

My wife complained the other day when I was driving her home that the heat on the passenger side floor board was unbareable. I will have to see what happened there. It has all the padding still, maybe it slipped down. Who knows? I may just get piece of heat pad for below the pad just for fun.

Air Conditioning
Well the AC is no longer working. I got a black light out and sure enough the compressor is toast. Lots of leaks. So I broke down and ordered one. I saw the prices at all the regular places. Atlantic British, Rovers North and British Pacific. None of them could come close to the price of
Oklahoma Auto Air. I bought a new compressor for $295. They had to order it from a supplier because it wasn’t in stock but they had it the next day. JagGuy has used them for years. I will probably have them make my new hoses too. The prices of which were cheaper than the online catalogs too.

They quoted me a price per foot and a price for each end. The exact numbers escape me as of this entry but I’ll give you the details when I’m done.

Tell Don Murphy Eric Stephens from OkieRover recommended you. There will be more
in my write up on the Tech Tips page.

July 8th, 2005 (Post #61)

July 8th, 2005

There is a huge update in the works. I have started on it now twice, once yesterday, and again today, having deleted several days work. Very frustrating.

JagGuy and I have the engine in. We started on it April and finished it after three long weekends. JagGuy has all the skill necessary for a successful transplant. And it showed. He had the heads off and the engine built before I could get in the shop each weekend. He has the luxury of Fridays being fun days and he used his “fun” day for my engine. What a great friend.

With the engine swap we found several other problems. I will start listing them and I will probably forget some as there were many.

It was indeed a head gasket problem but with that there was also a problem with the radiator. It was clogged again. We noticed that when we revved the engine the hoses would flex. Meaning there was a lot of pressure in the system. Frustrated I replaced the radiator with a new one from Atlantic British. Cooling problems vanished.

Heater Core
One of the final things to be blown by the old engine was the heater core. I have heard horror stories about getting the dash off to replace this part. I will wait for a weekend in September or October when it gets cooler to replace this. I bought the replacement core when it came up on British Pacific’s Steve’s Deal of the Day.

The wife
While I’m sure some of you were expecting me to say I was replacing my wife, I have not. She has been harrassing me lately about the costs of the BWB. Keeping a 12 year old car on the road in good working order is hard. It is harder when it was designed in a British Pub by 12 drunk engineers. But for my piece of mind and to reassure her that I was not spending the milk money for frivolous toys I pulled a report out of Quicken of all the auto repair expenses. I was surprised by the amount, surprised in a good way. She was surprised in a bad way. 2800 dollars (US) was the tally for the period since I made the final payment back in November 2004.

Not bad for all the things I’ve bought for the engine and including oil changes for both cars. She still believes with all her heart that a $450 a month car payment would be cheaper than putting parts on the paid off Rover. I have now classified the Rover as a restoration project. So the costs are easier to stomach as I am restoring a car, just like on TV!!!!

Steering seal
The morning after I got the BWB home with all the overheating problems we planned to return her to the shop in Edmond, it was a cool April morning so I figured the heating problems would be less if I went in the morning. After I pulled into the gas station to fill up I got out and noticed the long red stream of fluid leading from the street to underneath the Rover. Transmission fluid, but from where?

After a long look it was the steering box. Since ATF will burn and considering the blow back to the exhaust I drove her home defeated and disappointed. We put a seal on the next weekend.

Steering Shaft
Once again on sale at British Pacific. If you look at the steering shaft you will notice a rubber grommet there. Mine is hard as a rock and cracked. Obviously failed. Now the question begs why can’t we just replace the rubber bits. Well I bought a new shaft and will investigate if the old can be repaired when I get it off of there. Hammerin’ Dan observes that the heat from the headers is probably to blame in the rubber failing. Possibly some asbestos wrap might be in order.

Brake Switch
The ABS lights came on and with some investigation and a clever way to short the diagnostic plug I learned my brake light switch had failed. I got a replacement on sale from British Pacific’s Deal of the day. The installation was not any fun due to the location and the contortionist position you have to get in. Also my eyes don’t work that well up close and so most of the install was done while guessing on a blurry image.

The steam that escaped from the blown heater core filled the cab with nasty antifreeze steam. The radio immediately from that day forward would act like it lost power often loosing the code. Occassionaly it would not work at all. I thought sure the steam killed it. I was wrong. The ignition switch is failing. You may say, “what the hell?” Well it would be a good question.

The accessory function of the switch that powers many things like the windows and other stuff is apparently shorting out or not making connection. So among the other things the ignition switch is failing and needs some help.

Had to clean the carpets again due to the antifreeze leak inside the cab. Due to my previous planning I did not have to remove the center console. Sweet!

Having spent a good three hours under the BWB during the engine project I noticed that none of the hangers were replaced the last time I had the exhaust worked on at University Muffler. That is disappointing cause I like those guys their work is just not very good. I had it in there again recently to have a torn exhaust pipe fixed. Due to the hangers being unhooked the only place the exhaust was attached had stressed the pipe to the point that the silencer at the rear was about to break off. I had them cut it off and weld on a pipe. It changed the sound some but not too bad. Well the weld for that section broke. So I took it to Discount Muffler just up the road from the office and had them put a good weld on it. It cost me 25 bucks but it’s now welded. I will come back to them to have the new cats welded in as soon as I buy them.


I broke up the archive in to sections based on the year. I’ve been doing this
Rover Log for 3 years now. Wow.

So be patient with me as I get the new pages up. Thanks for reading and happy
rovering. Tell your friends about the site.

January 31st, 2005 (Post #57)

January 31st, 2005
New tires on
The Bridgestone Dueler A/T Revo II’s are on the Rover. And I have noticed a rougher ride than I expected. 8 ply tires are much stiffer than the Yokohamas I had before. I notice this most when the CD player skips on the concrete seems of the highways. To have that quality of tire, I am learning to live with it.

One of the heater supply hoses failed. So as you do you replace them all. Well all included just two this time. Check out the replacement on the Heater Supply Hose Page.

After I finished the repair I got a Check Engine Light. The corresponding code was a 14.
More on that at on the Error Code 14.

BWB’s air conditioning cooling fans have always run. I never really thought about it until this latest episode. Upon reflection I realized that I am probably wasting a bit of fuel economy running them when they are not necessary, like when the air temp is below 20 degrees and I’m going 70mph on the highway. I found the problem with the help of the guys at Atlantic British. I sent them a picture of the sensors I tested and new had failed and they told me which sensor had failed that caused the Error 14 I was having. Their tech helped me make sense of the many temperature sensors.

I had asked for help on several boards with no responses. Either everyone already knew this info and didn’t feel like sharing or no one really understands it. Now I have a good idea of the sensors what happens when they fail. My meager understanding of these is found on Temp Sensors Page.

September 18th, 2002 (Post #3)

September 18th, 2002
The brake wear indicator has been flickering for about 2 weeks. This last week it has been on more than off, so it’s time to order brake pads and get them installed. Ordered brake pads from Atlantic British. I asked a few people
their advice and I went with “Get the OEM pads.” Lifetime pads are not all they are cracked up to be.
I’m waiting now for their much anticipated arrival.