She Was Rough (Post #559) 5/31/2016

I got word from JagGuy that LKQ OKC had a Classic on the lot. She was a 1993 as well. So I made my way down and was quite pleased with the site. The staff were friendly and efficient.

The check out process was fun. They struggled with the discount when it was time to check out. There was a Memorial Weekend discount and they wanted to give me a military discount too but the computer system wouldn’t allow it.

I was happy with the price 50$(US). The haul was not as significant as usual. I was able to pick:

  • Interior wood trim pieces
  • Plastic trim vents
  • Trailer light wiring kit
  • A door handle from each side
  • Mass Air Flow Sensor
  • Both Belt Pullies
  • And an oil sensor I’ve never seen in working condition

The Classic was well picked over. The ECUs were all gone. Two of the four door handles were broken or missing. The center console was trashed. The seats were well worn.

This classic had 212,000+ miles on her. She had fought the good fight. She was well used. Some one had tried to keep her on the road,  she had new belts. But her days of ferrying people are over.

In a world where these Classics get harder and harder to find its sad to see one go,  but when one keeps others on the road the sacrifice is just.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Wrecked (Post #553) 1/28/2016


An irresponsible and distracted driver decided to take their eye off the road and reach down for a bottle of spaghetti sauce that rolled off her seat. The result? She rammed the Big White Bus while it was parked on the street outside my Uncle’s retirement home. The financial damage? Of course they want to “total” my Range Rover.

The only consolation is she totaled her car as well. Her husband was pissed. Perhaps this will be a lesson to her to be more attentive when she is driving. After the cops came and took a report, the husband got in the Hyundai and drove it home. No coolant, airbags hanging, hood blocking 50% of the road in front of him.

It used to be a 2014 Hyundai something or other. She hit the BWB hard enough to deploy her airbags. My guess, 30+ miles per hour in a 25 mph zone. She said, “I didn’t expect a vehicle to be there.” Famous last words. Good thing it wasn’t someone out trying to get some exercise walking where my Range Rover was parked.

In the light of day the Range Rover doesn’t look too bad. The repair estimate was above 4900$(US). The Allstate insurance company doesn’t believe these classic Range Rovers are worth the money they are claiming off the internet. That’s just my luck.


The damage is the left rear fender, left light assembly, the bumper, and the lower tailgate. The driver’s side rear door will not open any longer. She got me hard enough to move the inner panel. I am taking her insides out this weekend to assess the damage and get her ready for repair.

I was able to get the exhaust repaired in time to go with the Oklahoma Land Rover Owner’s group “Osage Adventure”. More about that in another post. My good friend Jag Guy says we can sort this out. That didn’t stop me from looking at possibly getting another Land Rover Discovery.  The money is not there at this time. I’m still looking, maybe things will work out for me. The insurance is still not settled. I could sell some bits off the Range Rover and make up the difference. A Disco is still on the table…but I’ll have to see.

So what did we learn?

This is a major inconvenience. I have to take up several weekends of my friend’s time to help me and my own time. It cost me two days of vacation to get the BWB where I could continue to drive her. I can’t afford another car payment. The financial crisis finally came home to roost last year and we are tapped out.

Insurance companies are in this for them not you. I know that is an obvious statement. Insurance companies will always try to get out of paying you what the fair market value is for your older vehicle. You can claim your pristine classic Land Rover is worth 10,000$(US), but if the insurance company thinks it’s worth 2 thousand…guess what.

These Land Rovers are TOUGH. That is all the damage a car that passes for a modern crossover SUV did going 30+ mph. Plastic bumpers and Styrofoam were no match for the Range Rover.

I’ll post more about the wreck and the repair after the insurance is settled.

Oddly enough I found this quarter on the road after the wreck.


Arches National Park. I’m taking as a sign I need to plan a trip to Moab.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

SORRE, No Wine and Cheese… (Post #553) 1/20/2016


A new club is in the works, Southwest Off-Road Rover Excursions. Their website is up check it out here.

We are an off-road group in North Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas that is interested in camping and driving off-road.
No group officers, no dues, no restrictive rules, no wine and cheese tastings …..just good times camping and Rovers. If this sounds fun to you then join up.

I’m signed up. What’s stopping you? You can also check them out on their Facebook page.

I think it will be fun to bring wine and cheese to the first outing just for a giggle. Just kidding.


I have some bad news about the Big White Bus. She was rear-ended while parked on the street outside my uncle’s retirement home. When the dust settles I’ll let you know more. Suffice to say I can still drive her and plan to make the trip this weekend to drive a section of the Oklahoma Adventure Trail. We are going up to the Osage country. There is still time to meet up. Details are on the Oklahoma Land Rovers Owners Facebook page. Hope to see you there.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Bad Highway Planning and You (Post #508) 8/6/2014

Ever wonder why certain places on the highway? I know I do. My friend Dave showed us a place on the 405 in Los Angeles where the traffic just slows down or stops. Traffic engineers have studied it and can’t sort out why.

I-35 in south Oklahoma City has its spots too. But there are NO mysteries. It’s easy to see why the pile ups happen where they do. The N. 12th street on-ramp was once such spot. Before it was corrected the on-ramp was south of an off-ramp on the other side of the highway to Shields Blvd.

You can see it here in its current CORRECTED state.


The on-ramp to I-35 (red) was moved north of the off-ramp (blue). This stopped people from entering the highway and trying to cross three lanes to just immediately exit on the Shields off-ramp. Instead of just driving a mile north on city streets and then on to Shields the inconsiderate drivers caused several traffic jams for decades. Including the first time I was hit in my Range Rover. I was rear ended due to the traffic jam caused by this situation.

The state finally studied the highway there and moved the on-ramp so that drivers could not cause the problem. It was a long time coming. But today the slow down there is due to traffic two miles up at I-240.

There are a few other on ramps between Norman and Oklahoma City that were designed back in the 1960’s and were never intended to carry the amount of traffic they do today. Traffic backs up there every day.

I came up on another on-ramp that was not corrected when they widened I-35 ten years ago. The traffic piles up after the S.E. 15th Street on-ramp. INCONSIDERATE drivers enter I-35 and then attempt to cross four lanes of traffic to exit on to I-40 west bound.

You can see it here.



The pile up happens once traffic reaches critical mass just after 7:30am. I-35 and I-40 are called “The Crossroads of America”. I-40 is coast to coast and I-35 is Canada to Texas. This intersection needs a multi-million dollar over haul. The confluence also has a rail spur and a river to add to the fun of correcting the horrible traffic in this area.


I got to enjoy a lovely hour-long traffic jam the other morning. It was the perfect storm.

  • Poor highway planning.
  • Oklahoma rain.
  • Inconsiderate driver.

The road is poorly designed. Nearly anything can cause an issue. Any driver that doesn’t have good driving skills or as I often imagine doesn’t have the confidence they should to drive in the rush hour traffic.

Only God knows why Oklahoman’s can’t drive when it rains. They can’t drive when it snows either. I believe it is a confidence issue. That and most Oklahoma students do not understand enough Physics to know what their cars and tires can and cannot do.

An lastly an inconsiderate driver, who just pulls out on to the highway. Slows down and starts meandering their way to the far left lane on less than a mile of very congested roads. Add in a little testosterone and a kid who thinks they would make a good addition to the TV show Street Outlaws and you have a recipe for disaster.

You can see every lane is jammed. When I got up to the actual place the accident occurred two OKC fire engines has been dispatched and an ambulance.


I was only delayed 25 minutes. But the highway at one point was backed up all the way into north Moore causing more than an hour delay for many thousands of drivers.


You can see the pickup had obviously spun and hit the center wall. At least two other cars were also impacted. I don’t know who the ambulance was for, none of the cars were damaged enough to look like someone needed to be taken away by ambulance.

Unfortunately for me if they started TODAY this intersection, it would be completed just a few years before I am eligible to retire.

So what’s the take-away. Be a considerate driver. Find routes that don’t cause others to back up or cause them to stop while you futz your way across four lanes. It’s just bad manners.

Be safe out there, thanks for reading, take a driving course, and Happy Rovering.

What to tell a friend (Post #179) 5/18/2010

I got a twitter message today from my good friend Ferdiad. He was telling me about how his next car will be a Land Rover.

 His experience involves this wreck on the Broadway Extension.

That is one cracked up Classic. It looks like a 1995 Range Rover LWB. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen it before. My first thought is…I wish I had a place to store a parts car. My second was…
What kind of Land Rover does Ferdiad want?

That was answered in a tweet a few minutes later from his wife, the infamous puckchk whose drunken hockey tweets amuse me to no end.

So if I have that correct SHE is wanting a Discovery. To wit I responded that they needed a 2004 Discovery SE7. I have lots of reasons for that. Mainly the rear air conditioning for their little spuds. The extra seats will come in handy when their kids have friends stay the night and they have need for 5 or more seats.

If you have read my R.I.P post for my Disco, you may be asking, why are you recommending a Discovery? If you game for a Land Rover and you are game for a Discovery, you should get the newest model you can. Now if my friends have the connections I think they have puckchk may find herself behind the wheel of an LR3. After all her husband is the lord of all computers for a major auto dealership empire.

I can’t wait to see what they get.

What the hell? Two posts in one day?

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

R.I.P. 2003 Discovery (Post #138) 4/14/2009

As many of you have heard, the 2003 Discovery is no more. Okay, that’s not entirely true it will live on as a parts car or with a rebuilt title for some lucky or unlucky fellow. My daughter tapped rear ended a Dodge pickup and totaled it. I know what you are thinking, TOTALED? After the insurance company added up all the plastic crap bits on the front that had to be replaced and a very slight push back of the fenders it was more to repair the vehicle than the value of the vehicle.

I was none too pleased either. We still owed more than the value of the vehicle. Making me upside down in a vehicle I was about to give over to the insurance company. The good news is the bank, having no other choice, is going to let us pay out the remainder on a signature note. I got lots of offers to buy bits off and even Disco Mike called me offered a way to close the gap on the value to loan ratio.

I had wanted to put an ARB bumper on it the first few months after we had bought it. But my wife vetoed my purchase. Buying a 1000$(US) bumper to replace $1000(US) of plastic made sense to me. But sadly not to my wife. So the Campho-Phenique on the wound of the wreck was when Charlie Blankenship of Sports and Classics told me after looking at the damage, “if you had an ARB bumper on there, you wouldn’t have had any damage.” So my advice to all you Discovery owners, buy a better bumper FRONT and REAR. And my own advice is to attempt to never buy another vehicle that in a 10mph wreck, disintegrates on impact.

Have you ever thought about this? Look around, nearly every car has plastic crap bumpers. You can’t buy anything short of a truck that has metal bumpers. And even in those there are a lot of plastic bits.

Let’s move on to the ranting evaluation.

I did not like the following about the Discovery 2 design.

Getting in and out of the back seat. Doors did not open far enough and the portal was was too small. If the doors would have opened to 90 degrees or 6 inches were added to the wheel base they would have sold a hundred thousand more of these in the US.

The back door opened to the side. You could not haul any over length items due to the method in which the door opened. The lift gate on the Range Rover is more practical for “working vehicles”.

Integrated hub/wheel sensors. You have to replace the entire hub (400$ part, eight hours labor) to swap out a 25$ part. Very poor design. The famous Three Amigos began glowing one month out of warranty.

Placement of the coil packs. Placing the coil packs behind the engine under the cowling is stupid. You have to be a magician to reach the plug wires or disassemble the top of the engine to replace them. I have been told this can be done without this disassembling but with the addition of the next “stupid add-on” it is impossible.

Pre-heater pollution control crap. They fitted a heated air pump that failed twice in 95,000 miles of driving to the vehicle to reduce emissions. I’m pretty sure the idea, while probably a good one, was put in place to appease some jackass Kalifornia congressman or woman who is hell bent for leather to save the planet. About a year after that emission control standard was enacted another even more stupid standard was released making that feature totally unnecessary/out-dated.

Rear view too obstructed. This is a trend I’ve noticed lately with all cars. You just can’t see out the back to back up or change lanes. Thank God for mirrors and good bumpers…oh wait not that last part. I am very spoiled after driving my 1993 Range Rover. You can see very well out of every window.

Plastic bumpers. Seriously? W.T.F?

Black interior. I know it’s cosmetic, but I’ll never own another black interior automobile. It never looked clean, no matter how much cleaning you did.

18 inch wheels. Who came up with that? And why couldn’t you at least match the diameter of the wheels you intended to ship with the vehicle? With the factory 18 inch wheels the speedometer was five miles per hour off (slow). So when you were blazing down the highway at 75mph you were really only going 70mph. I’m pretty sure this was a miles per gallon cheat. Funny thing was I reported a problem to the dealer about a lag between 3rd gear and 4th gear. And they said it was due to OVER SIZED TIRES. That’s strange, because those are the exact size tire shipped on the S model of the Discovery.

CD changer location. On the Range Rover Classic the CD changer is located in the rear of the vehicle. On the Discovery it is located under the passenger seat. It is very difficult to eject the magazine, especially with a light wave sucking black interior.

Rear seats. They simply felt like they were an after thought. They sat up too far, meaning if they had reclined just another 10 degrees they would have been much, much better.

Added after contemplation and sorting of spares in the garage.

Wipers didn’t work when the temperature dropped below 30 degrees. I’m pretty sure this was the relay under the dash as I could hear it clicking when it did work. As the cab heated up the wipers would work as designed.

Headlights wouldn’t come on when the temperature dropped below 25 degrees. Again I think this was a relay. You could turn on the switch and about 20 seconds later the lights would come on.

Climate control center. When you started up the Disco you could just about be guaranteed that the air would not come out of the vents you had set upon exit. It was not uncommon that I would cycle through the settings to get the air coming out of the correct vents. Often I would cycle each option just to get back to the setting the system was set to. Heating up. I also didn’t like the way the cabin would heat up on those magical days when the outside temperature as perfect and you didn’t need the air conditioner. I would turn off the climate control and sure enough the cabin would feel like the heater was on just a few minutes later. In the later days I could hear the passenger side dampers slapping shut randomly. Dual climate control is a silly feature. You could have the heater blowing on one side of the car while the AC was blowing on the other. In my opinion a complicated system riddled with things that fail.

Unserviceable parts. The first thing you read about when buying a Discovery is replacing or rebuilding the center drive shaft. For a vehicle with roots in the Savannah crossing masterpieces of Africa, why would you build a DRIVE SHAFT that you couldn’t lubricate? Why would a dealership put ANOTHER unserviceable drive shaft on after it failed? Where was the thinking on that one design engineers? I’ll give you that it perhaps wasn’t the design engineers, so where was the thinking on that one, parts sourcing manager guy/girl?

Noisy transfer box differential. It is a common problem that Discovery’s have a high pitched whine come from the transfer case. After replacing the oil at the scheduled maintenance points you can reduce the noise but it never really quite goes away.

Now for the good things…

I liked the front seats. It was comfortable especially for a guy with a bad back. The back seats were nice but as I mentioned above if they had reclined a bit they would have been better.

The 4.6 engine. I liked the responsiveness and power. The gas mileage was totally crappy at an average of 12.5 miles per gallon. But this thing was just short of a hot rod. If there was a nice tuned diesel under the bonnet, I would have paid to have the wreck repaired.

Sound system. Only a few times did I wish the dial had “gone to eleven” as they say.

Every time I heard, “Cult of Personality” by Living Colour. The sound system responded well, it was loud and it sounded good, but it needed an eleven.

Off-road. I only had her off-road a few times. Even with the Three Amigos glowing at me it never gave me a reason to cuss her. Only one time did it fail me when one wheel came off the ground trying to park at Norman High’s soccer and softball facility. We had to adjust how we parked that day.

Roomy cargo area. The one gripe I have about my Range Rover Classic is the lack of space behind the rear seats. I have slept in the back of my Disco and my Classic and the Disco was better due to the height of the space. You can really pack in the gear and since you can’t see out the back even when it’s empty, you really don’t notice it too much when it’s full of reenacting gear.

The design looked good. I’ve seen all manner of this model decked out from full on expedition mode to plain Janes running soccer moms to their favorite latte watering holes and the Land Rover Discoverys always look good.

Will you ever buy another one?
As I learned from Sean Connery, “Never say never, again”. If I did buy one I would probably look for a 1999 Series 1. And the closer it was to simple workhorse the better. And if I could find a rare diesel import all the better. I would prefer to own a Series Landy for a toy. So who knows.

Well that’s about it. I don’t think anything else I could say would be terribly constructive or helpful for my readers. I’m gonna miss my Discovery even though I hated so much about it. It managed to grow on me. I guess the old saying, “it’s a Land Rover thing you wouldn’t understand” really fit for this Land Rover. I’ve never been so excited and at the same time disappointed by a vehicle.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.