February 13, 2003
Off road driving can some times be done ON ROAD. Near my home they are widening an intersection from the quaint two lane county section-linesque road to the behemoth 5 lane with traffic light.
There are several level changes between the old road and the new road beds. They are sharp and should not in a normal car be taken at more than 10 miles per hour. While driving home with my family from a school function the other night I learn that the Big White Bus can get it’s tires off the ground. Did I say we were going 30mph and decellerating.
The snow had fallen the day before and this day it had melted enough to flood the lower sections of the road construction zone. Fog had rolled in and obscured my vision to a few hundred feet. As normal we transitioned down a gentle slope. Great fun, the kids loved it. Then I saw the other transition point. A 15 foot wide puddle that we quickly learned was a foot deep. Water came up on the hood and then we hit the HOLE! and as we came out the other end the ramp up on to the new road had a nice lip on it and we all came out of our seats. My wife and kids screamed, RovErica hit her head on the roof and all the tools and equipment in the back reordered itself. Great fun!! We all settled down and had a big laugh.
For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Sir Issac Newton.
The opposite action is the creaky and growning the Big White Bus now makes when the suspension is tested. A simple turn into the driveway presented me with new sounds of creaking and growning. It seems the suspension will be the first thing this Spring I will need to look at. It has passed the radiator cooling problem by a few points to take the lead in requiring my attention.
February 4, 2003
Today my Rover rolled past 123456 on the odometer. I bought it when it had a mere 88,000 on the clicker. I had to make an extra trip today so I was unprepared to take a picture of the odometer. With that many miles on my Rover I have been considering another purchase. As many of you have read I want a Series truck real bad. I mention edit to my wife on an errand the other day and she asked the obvious questions.
Are you getting rid of this one to get that one?
Will you be working on it all the time?
Will it be more reliable?
None of these questions were actually answered by me. Better not to promise things I can’t control. I will probably have to wait until the finances look better to get a project like a Series truck. If I could get one now it would just rust in the driveway for lack of funds.
“Why don’t you buy an already restored one?”
That is an excellent question, you deserve a cookie. My answer is, I probably will. But I must wait just the same. The list below of repairs pending will be added to soon. I will be evaluating
my truck for off-road action. I want to make the Southwest Oklahoma trail ride so as not to be a burden to my fellow travelers I will need some repairs. More on that next week. For now wish for snow this week.
Happy Birthday my love…
Today is my wife’s birthday. I would like to wish her many, many more. She has made
my life so complete. Even though she hates my Rover I love her dearly.
January 27, 2003
It has finally happened…
It is bitter cold outside. (See below for details.) And the Big White Bus has finally left me at the side of the road. Actually it left me in front of a 7-Eleven but you get the point.
It was in the low teens Friday morning and I got in the Rover to go to work. I started it up and went to fill with petrol. I turned it off to open the gas door. Restarted to keep it warm while I filled the tank with the precious go-go juice. I pulled up to the front to go in and pay. When I returned the key would not turn in the ignition. No way. All the obvious things I tried. Multiple keys, turning the wheel to relieve the pressure of the steering lock, everything. Enough graphite to grease a battleship.
So in my desperate state I returned to the house to check my AllData subscription to see if I was missing anything. I returned to begin taking things apart to find the problem. The key lock mechanism is completely mechanical and free of the solenoids that prevent everything else on the Rover from working unless conditions are met. So with this bit of knowledge from my friend JagGuy I took the steering column cowling off. I messed with the lock some more but to no avail. I did manage to pull the electrics off the back of the tumbler mechanism and now know I can start my truck without the key.
Nothing worked, I had given up. Done. Call the tow truck. “Game over man, game over.” I started gathering the important things and put a couple of things back together. I was about to pull the key out and I thought one more try, what have I got to loose, twist and wow it turned. I have no idea why it turned, but it did. It did not start but it did turn. I had failed to secure the electric switch part of the mechanism back to the tumbler correctly. This is poorly manufactured and even more poorly designed. I managed to get it back together correctly and it started. It started consistantly at least 5 times.
Did I learn anything from the experience? Yes, I can take the silly thing apart in my sleep now. I know how the shifter mechanism works intimately. Could I replace a tumbler, probably but I’m not sure I would try it when the temperature was below 50 degrees farenheit.
I would like to thank Ryan at Rover Cannibal for his generous offer to bring my truck down for the guys to look at it, again. I will take him up on that soon. Thanks to JagGuy in helping me
return the Taurus to Janie so she could get home after work and for his invaluable knowledge of automobiles of the British Isles (do they still call them that?).
Have a good winter. Talk to you next week.
January 23, 2003
It is bitter cold outside. For all of you from other parts of the world that means it is in the teens outside with a wind chill in the minus ranges. I’m sure Rob can tell us of cold weatherup North near Canada. This is the cold that you all know and love. You all know it because nothing fails on your Rover until it gets this cold outside. The power steering pump is failing, I know it’s days are numbered. The fluid leak has exaserbated the problem and I will likely need to replace it. I am now angry that I squandered the 60 degree temperatures of last weekend with house silliness instead of Rover silliness. If the weather guys are correct we should warm up next week. I will be doing auto repair if I know what’s good for me.
Add to the list below….
The exhaust is in bad shape. I forgot to include this on the list with the rest last week.
Everyone I know has this problem. I need to find that rust stopping goo. If anyone knows what it is called email me so I can get some.
January 13, 2003
RovErica asked me while I was doing my duty of delivering her “taxi style” to another of her activities, “so, do you have any work to on the Rover?”
What a question. I knew I only had 5 minutes to tell her an answer before she got out
of the truck so I gave her a short list. To which she asked, “was any of that under the hood?”
Yes and told her which of the things would be under the hood. On the way home that got me thinking, that there is a lot to do on the Rover and I’m not doing any of it. You probably have a list of want-to-dos, have-to-dos, and should-dos, too. I encourage you to write it down and then let it eat a whole in you as you continue to ignore the work you have just made for yourself.
What follows is a list of the things I know about and should start work on when the days and funds allow.
In no particular order.
The cooling problem only raises it’s ugly head during the summer months in Oklahoma. I have done some work on this the last two years but have not found the problem yet.
Power Steering Leak, Part Duex
I had a hose fail in the past. Now I have another leak but it has been too cold to find it.
Broken fog lamp
The Big White Bus was driven by my daughter and the next day I had a broken lamp. Coincidence?
Want to add a trouble light I got off a 1995 GMC truck under my hood.
Heater never worked. A warm butt is a happy butt. Memory switches quit working. No biggy but annoying.
Air Conditioning Compressor
Has a leak. Actually the entire seal around the compressor is showing the tell tale green
ooze we put in to find the leak. Probably a new compressor sometime next year.
I know I should replace the shocks and the bushings. Ryan has suggested new springs too.
The exhaust is in bad shape. I forgot to include this on the list with the rest last week.
There is a mysterious leak that wets the carpet up front during the rainy months. Windshield is probably the culprit. I need to have it pulled and resealed.
So if you were wondering if you were the only one with a naggy list of Rover To-Dos, wonder no more you are among friends.
January 2, 2003
Happy New Year
The first real snow of the year was a big disappointment. Not a single challenging driving situation presented itself. Bummer. But on the other hand another muddy driving situation surprised me on the way to a friend’s New Years Party. The way to my friend’s is paved the whole way except for a seldom usedshort cut only known to residents of the neighborhood. In the interest of time I took the short cut that Saturday night. It has been wet a little and I did not expect the mud hole that I found as I exited the highway. I slowed as usual but an on coming car caused me to turn off the Hellas leaving me a bit short of light on the sides. I waited for the car and turned off the highway right into a very muddy bit of road.
I turned the Hellas back on to see the mud hole with the accompanying side tracks to drive around the water hole. I took the path in the middle. Half water hole and half roundabout.
My wife exclaimed, “are you sure you should drive in there?” I said, “No problem.” And I was right. We went in mud everywhere and came out the other side like nothing happened. My only concern was getting mud on our fancy party clothes as we exited the Rover. I told my friends about the short cut with the surprised host exclaiming, “You went in there?!?” On the way home I could not resist driving through it again. As I exited the other side to get back on the highway. The very satisfying sound of mud centrifically leaving the tires and thumping under the truck was priceless.
Just a thought here. I was thinking about my Range Rover the other day and wondered if when it came out Land Rover owners thought of it as a less capable vehicle. It occurred to me that maybe we think the new Range Rover is less capable off road than it’s older cousins. I have heard some grumblings as to that affect. So in 10 years when the off-road trails are clogged with the 2003 Range Rovers will we think they are still less capable?
As to the story below, it was not a G4. 🙁