SCARR – Day Four (Post #481) 4/9/2014

Sunday the sun came up as expected in the east and we realized it was time to go home. We started packing up the kit. The tent fit in the amazingly small bag with a little coaxing. The boxes were all loaded and I lashed everything down on the roof rack.

Jayden and John in their Discovery 1.
Jayden and John in their Discovery 1.

John and Jayden were keen to caravan with us home. It couldn’t hurt to have a support vehicle after what we had just put our Rovers through. We agreed to meet at the main pavilion.

The night before after I found my on-board air compressor, I had aired up my tires . When we got to the top it turns out they have an airing station right there on the site. What a great amenity to have for the off-roaders.

A very colorful visitor at the showers.
A very colorful visitor at the showers.

Mr. Fisher and I decided to wash our faces and stopped at the showers (another nice amenity).  We met John and Jayden and headed for the gate. It was an odd feeling driving on pavement for the first time in several days. It was then that our luck changed.

As we transitioned on to the pavement I veered slightly left and heard the squawk, squawk sound again. This time the spring retention cones were not a factor. We rolled through the gate, stopped and checked for oncoming traffic, turned left and the sound was unmistakable. CV JOINT.

I then directed Mr. Fisher to find the nearest auto parts store on his phone. I called JagGuy to get a confirmation of the viscosity of the one-shot grease that should typically be inside of the swivel housing. He told me what I already knew that the grease was special. He suggested I fill the reservoir with the heaviest gear oil I could buy.

To put aside any concerns I might have had, he then mentioned that he had popped one of his CV joints in Louisiana and drove it all the way home to Oklahoma. “As long as it isn’t grinding, it shouldn’t stop you from going down the road.” he said. The grinding would be bad for the swivel housing if it was tearing chunks off it. I said thanks and then pulled into the Autozone in Gilmer, Texas.

Autozone, the Burger King to O’Reilly’s McDonalds.
Getting the dirt off.
Getting the dirt off.

The heaviest gear oil they had turned out to be 90w140. I bought a quart and a drain pan and headed out to the Range Rover. I fetched my tool bag and got the wrenches out. I wiped off the mud and dirt the best I could and opened the fill plug. I then positioned the drain pan and took the drain plug out. The thought was to check for metal flaking and to get as much of the failed oil out before refilling with the temporary new oil.

Access is easier if you turn full left.
“anticip-a-a-tion is making me wait”
No metal chunks.

It drained slowly. The guys all went over to the Sonic and got drinks while we waited. After a long wait, I decided enough was enough. I replaced the drain plug and began filling. It took a half quart before it spilled out the fill hole. I replaced the plug and tested her. I turned the Range Rover full right and drove in a tight circle. I then turned hard left and drove in a tight circle. I got two minor squawks and then silence.

It would have to do. I stowed all the tools, tossed the drain pan, and we got on the road. I was very attentive to the sounds of the Range Rover as we progressed through town. I didn’t hear anything that concerned me.

We stopped for fuel and it is then that I learned what two days of low range will do to your miles per gallon. We filled up, entered the data and learned we made 4.99 miles per gallon inside the park. OUCH! but it was expected. That is going to seriously screw up my averages.

We planned a stop at the “Cluckingham Palace” in Pittsburgh, Texas. The home’s French influenced architecture and a goofy name originating from the sacrifices 36 million chickens a week giving their lives for our love of nuggets and tenders and who knows what else, made it famous. We also planned a stop at the giant Bo Pilgrim head on the way home. Bo Pilgrim founded the Pilgrim’s Pride Company. He is a colorful character in the history of Texas and big business and there is a life-size bronze of him you can sit next to in front of the plant.

Cluckingham Palace
Cluckingham Palace

The palace was nice, I would have thought it was bigger. I have friends with bigger houses than that. The grounds were nice as well.

Hi Bo!

We missed the UNMARKED exit for the giant Bo head, so we snapped a picture out the window and kept our noses pointing North. The drive was uneventful.

The Not-so-Eiffel Tower.

We also planned to stop at the not-so-Eiffel Tower in Paris, Texas. What would Paris be without the Eiffel Tower? So in the spirit of “cooperation” Paris, Texas erected their own tower. It is tucked into the south side of the city along with a Veterans Memorial next door and the Paris Junior College across the street. I was unimpressed.


We crossed the Red River into Oklahoma. I was able to navigate around Ada like a seasoned pro. We eventually turned in to the south side of Norman where John and Jayden turned toward their home. We rolled into our neighborhood, parked, and unloaded.


My to-do list has another item on it, buy one-shot grease and swap differential oil. I will of course buy an extra pair and add it to the on-board spares kit. I thought I had a spare at home but I was unable to find it. I don’t think the CV joint is damaged in any measurable way.

As a follow-up, I gassed up the very next day and as I pulled in to the station I received a Code 44 for a faulty or out of range oxygen sensor. I checked the wires and found no circuit fault. I then reset the code with a battery disconnect. It hasn’t come back yet.


In case you missed any of the other posts…

SCARR – Day One

SCARR – Day Two

SCARR – Day Three

What did we learn from the fourth day:

  • Sometimes your guess is the right one, the first time. (It was the CV joint.)
  • With 4.99 miles per gallon on trails it’s no wonder people carry so much fuel on their vehicles.
  • The fried pies at 3070 NE Loop 286 store in Paris were very tasty and the fired pie ladies from Davis, Oklahoma have really ventured out.
  • My oxygen sensors don’t like Texas fuel.

I hope you will consider coming along with us the next time we go to SCARR. The hospitality of our hosts and the comradery of the other Land Rover owners was pretty nice. They threw a first class event, now recognized as the largest in the United States that was full of learning and fun. I am strongly recommending you attend in the future.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

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