Broken Bits (Post #431) 1/6/2014

During my recent repairs of radiator cooling fans and power steering hoses I came across a couple of broken bits. While discussing the electric cooling fan project with the Evil German Dude we noticed the belt that drives the air conditioning compressor was very loose. So while I was under the bonnet for the hoses I thought I’d just sort that out. I didn’t have the replacement hose and it was New Year’s Day so there was no way to get the hose.

I got the pulley in place and began tightening the bolt on the belt tensioner. It never got tight. At some point I decided something was not right at all. At first I figured the bolt was stripped. That has been my experience in the past so my brain naturally went to that first.

I removed the bolt and the bracket and found…
it was broken. Wow. That is disappointing. As you can see in the picture above there are two of these on a Range Rover Classic 1987-1994. The 1995 model has a spring driven unit. This spring driven unit is common to most “modern” cars. This friction method is serious old school. I didn’t say better, I said old school.

I knew finding this part was going to be a nightmare. I immediately called Paul Grant. He is a master of parts and he told me he thought he had one in inventory. I ordered it. It should be sitting in my mail box when I get home today. According to Paul, these are threaded on opposite sides so the one that works for the AC belt will not work for the water pump belt. I’m guessing this is going to added to the list of parts I pull from Range Rovers I find in the breaker’s yards. If you are looking for parts I highly recommend Paul. Stop by his eBay Store and buy something.

The second wasn’t really visible until I had the belts out of the way. Some how the Oil Pressure Switch lost its spade connector. I had noticed a couple of wires loose but was unsure where they went. The spade end doesn’t look like any thing I’ve ever seen before.

The oil pressure switch is found on the side of the engine right where the oil filter is screwed on. I know I’ve changed my oil at least once recently and I should have noticed this but didn’t.

I did find an interesting thing when researching parts sites. Rover’s North lists this part with a really great diagram of it’s identification and location. It also lists for 54.95$(US). However on the Atlantic British site it lists for 7.95$(US). On the Rovers North site similar ones for Discovery II’s also list for 8.95$(US).

I find that a helluva difference in price. I’m almost afraid to ask why. I think I’ll order the 7.95$(US) one from Atlantic British. I’m running out of funds for this round of repairs and I still need to purchase some oxygen sensors.

In my quest for improving the gas mileage by swapping to electric fans I will need to only change one variable at a time. There are potentially four things I believe I can do to improve gas mileage:

  • Remove roof rack (this one is obvious)
  • Replace oxygen sensors (when they begin to fail you will notice fuel use go up)
  • Replace my mechanical fan to electric fans (increased torque and horsepower)
  • Reinstall the air dam (another obvious one)

For the sake of the scientific process I think I’ll change only one variable at a time. I can run a couple of tanks of fuel and get a few MPG readings. I’ll report them all back as soon as I get the data.

Thanks for reading,
You are driving a brick what do you expect your gas mileage to be?
and Happy Rovering.

New half shaft on the way (Post #194) 8/13/2010

I ordered a replacement half shaft from Paul Grant today. 50$(US) shipped to my house. That’s a great price.

Paul and I have chatted on message boards for the better part of a decade. During our most recent transaction, I was talking to Paul about all the parts he has and how he got started providing parts.

“It’s funny but I never really anticipated this parts thing turning into the full time job it has become! All I wanted was a way to feed my Rover addiction without my wife kicking me to the curb. Now I have a couple of guys working for me pulling parts while I spend the better part of everyday finding trucks to buy, packing orders, dealing with questions and listing items for sale.”

Don’t we all wish we had a way to feed our love of Land Rovers and keep our spouses happy? And for those of you that have spouses that love your addiction as much as you…keep it to yourself! Just kidding, you have a rare thing, a hobby you AND your wife enjoy, cherish it.

I didn’t see any half shafts on his eBay site for a Range Rover Classic, so I emailed him directly. I asked him if he would mind if I mentioned him and included a link.

“By all means you can include a link to my eBay Store. The sad thing is that it represents a fraction of what I actually have on hand.”

It turns out he doesn’t have a comprehensive site nor does he post everything on his eBay site.
The subject turned to the prices of used parts and Paul offered this,

“I am always amazed at what some of these places charge for used items. I always look at it this way, I never charge more than I would be happy having to refund should a part not work out. On top of that everything that leaves my shop comes with a 30 day replacement warranty AND that is a very flexible policy. To give you a quick example, I had a customer on Long Island buy a DII compressor from me back in early May. He contacted me about a problem with the part in late July. He had already replaced the faulty compressor and while, based on my warranty policy, I was not obligated to do anything for him, I decided to provide him with whatever part he might want as a replacement. So, yesterday an almost new DII alternator when out by UPS to him at no charge.

As a Rover owner for almost eighteen years, I know, I’ve been in that guys shoes and the only thing that keeps us keeping the faith is the knowledge that owning a Rover is as much about being part of the community as it is about anything else.”

Just when you thought that customer service was akin to driving across the Sahara, you top a sand dune and find an oasis. Paul Grant is old school. How do I know that? Just for you old timers, Paul taps the space bar twice after a period, just like I was taught when I was in typing class back in high school, a million years ago. I know this because I had to edit his quotes and there they were, double spaces after punctuation.

Customer service matters to Paul. I find that refreshing and I’m happy to do business with him. As I told him in my email conversation. “You have always treated me fair from the start, no dickering necessary. I think that is the way it should be.”

So if you are looking for parts check with Paul. Tell him OkieRover sent ya.
Maybe someday Paul will buy me a beer while we are at a Land Rover outing.

Contact info:

Paul Grant
paulgrant at mac dot com
classciroverparts at gmail dot com
or hell just pick up the phone and call him:

 Don’t look for the logo above in any of his stuff. It’s just something I threw up there for the ADD crowd who can’t read blog posts without pretty pictures. Okay that isn’t pretty but it was just for fun, jeeeez!

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.