Monday, December 10, 2007

The Red Disco and Cleghorn with the SCLR

after a little more than a week, I had a chance to wheel the Red Disco.
It was a lot of fun, SCLR had a run up Cleghorn, but it turned out muddy and with snow, lots of fun and quite different from the usual SoCal trail.

Rob and Rodney from Dolphin, wheeled there too with Rodney's P38, he took it everywhere with pretty much street tires, it was his first time driving it offroad and he did great... now he is hooked on Land Rovers. Here at the end of the trail all happy and stuff:

The event started with some orientation and goodies (we got free LRL and Overland magazines, beautiful by the way), and we hit the trail, very soon some newer street worthy rides took the way back, too muddy and slippery for some.

I ended up being the last truck to hit the first big mud pool, traction was very bad and I got stucked for a while, which gave me the option to play with the rear ARB locker... nice toy to have. I got out after some spotting from Jim.

I followed the group lead by Marcus for a little bit (the more "extreme" group) and after doing a pretty steep uphill, I took it easier... the rear plastic end got out a little...

The hill (picture by Marcus):

The bumper:

Another shot when having lunch:

Overall was great to meet new people and say hello to a few I already knew from Pismo.

We had a lot of fun, at least, I sure did. I haven't done any snow offroad driving for 10 years or so...

Some pictures in Picasa here.

Thanks to Marcus and Rodney for sharing the pictures with me.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

RRC gone

the problem was the ignition coil, easy fix.
I replaced the ignition cables too.

Went for sale and Nick wants to buy it, so it looks like "Spikes" found a new home.

I hope he has as much fun as I had with it.


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Coming soon...

It happened. I got a new(er) Land Rover to take the family with me. A beautiful Discovery I, V8, 1998.

It belongs to my Land Rover buddy Ron, who always took good care of it.

Here you can get a sneak preview.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Pismo Beach SCLR meets NCLR

It was fun!

That 3 pictures in one, although pretty rough, gives an idea of what it is.

I finally joined SCLR, and I met Vinny to head to Pismo Saturday morning.

As always with old trucks, there is something going on, so it started to run rough, almost like missing some times. Instead of heading back home, as I didn't want to miss this event, I decided to go on and see if I could make my day trip to Pismo.

Well, we made it, met the guys from both SCLR and NCLR, did a little wheeling to find out that the truck was stalling all the time and running all weird.

So I guess I did make it but the poor old thing was tired... It used to live around there (previous owner) so maybe it was homesick...

Whatever, so, I let it cool for a while, no difference, some of the guys helped me to try to figure it out, we suspected fuel filter and then somebody had a new one (my hat to you), so we replaced it, no change... we tried all we could think of to no avail.


Interesting enough the 2006 RRS that Adam Spiker has, was doing something similar, although his was OK at high revs, not mine. We expend some time to see if we could figure something out in his too, but nope, nada. The idling was all weird. It was nice to see the guts of the RRS though.

So at around 4pm my trip back home started, and what a trip!.

I asked Max if he was kind enough to help me out of there, as I didn't even think getting out of camp was possible.

With a combination of double pedal, revving and trying several times, I got the RRC to the packed sand, from there Max towed me to the gate. He helped me air up and then I tried to head home.

It was stalling all the time, I am sorry for the people around me, as I was stalling and taking some time to go back ahead, they were nice, no honking or stuff, but with patience I made it to the 101.

On the freeway, it was rough but still running at reasonable speed... that is, until it dies on me 80 miles from home, forcing me to stop in a non too safe way out of the freeway (try to get a lifted RRC on the side of the road safely at around 40-50 MPH), but I was out of the main road in a safe place... in the Lompoc exit I think.

It took AAA a good couple of hours to find me.

Anyway, AAA came to the rescue and I got home well past 11pm.

The truck is not even starting now, so there you have it, my new project, figure out what the hell is wrong with this RRC now.

More details and some other pictures here.

More later.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Radiator tested OK

Finally had some time to repeat some testing with the "cleaned" radiator.
Never over 1/2 temp, so it looks like this particular problem is fixed.

Now let's get to the next thing

Monday, August 20, 2007


I am redoing my seats on the RRC.
Cleaning everything and replacing as needed. I decided to do a clean up of the switch box. Glad I did, as the little sparks in there, create a good layer of stuff that will prevent the switch to function 100%.
I heard so many stories about the switches that I was kind of scared to open it. Not too bad, fairly easy and if you don't loose any parts, very straightforward.
Worse part is to open and close, I think it is much easier if you leave it in a solid table and then either pull slowly the lid to open or close fast pressuring with 4 fingers down.
I got 2 donor seats with leather so I am mixing and matching leather and fabric, for maximum comfort, I don't care about looks on my RRC.

One side done and working, one to go.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Radiator? check

I am done installing the radiator back after they rodded it out.
I'll do some test drive around and see if I had any success or not...

Stay tuned...

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Shaver recovery

This week I've done the new alternator (checked tension on belts too, as the PS one was loose).
Replaced expansion bottle cap and sensor. Cleaned it up and fix a security belt and a seat bolt, that had issues.

Took for a test drive with uphill included and it got hot, not too hot, but over 3/4 as before. At least the new cap did not let the fluid out, which helps.

I'll try this week to have the cooling system checked out by a professional, it's about time. I fear a radiator work at least... we'll see.

We are over 52200 miles now.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Land Rover offroad @ Bald Mountain & Yosemite

we took the RRC all the way to Shaver Lake and back (almost).

I am getting a little on the hot side on long steep hills at freeway speeds, causing it to spill coolant all over the place. I am almost positive it is the fan clutch and I will replace. The pressure relief cap on the coolant bottle seems to be worn too, so I'll replace. And as the coolant sensor level failed on me and did a field repair, I cracked it so it will be replaced too.

Did I mentioned I almost made it home?

But, let me explained what happened:

Friday the 13th, we headed north to Shaver Lake, as mentioned we had to stop from time to time to let the RRC cool down and refill coolant or water. At the end I decided to go in Low range, as the final uphill to Shaver Lake is long and very steep (I remember 11% on a signal...)

We met Ron (from LRRF follow links to it, is worth it) when we were stopped for water half way up.

We reached destination a million hours after leaving the LA area (or so).

We met at Dorabella camping site and met the other guys: Tony, Frank, Dan and Mike with their families. Great bunch, I realize soon how nice it is to be able to mix family and Land Rover time. I was just hoping that my girls would have a great time...

I tried to find a new cap for the coolant bottle in the NAPA store... no luck.

We head there anyway, I was kind of expecting it to starting bleeding coolant any second, but to make it short, it didn't happen at all during the trail.

We reached trail head, aired down and the fun started.

Let me show you what I mean:

Unfortunately, Frank's D90 broke a joint and some more stuff, and forced him to return to camp. His brother Tony went with him to help. Here working on the truck:

Our families taking it easy on the shade. Nice day, by the way, almost hot, but nice up there...

Mike's DI and Tony's DII tried the same spot that took Frank's drive shaft.

it was sad to see them go back to camp, but the show must go on, so we went ahead. Uphill is the word.

My RRC (Spikes as my daugther calls it) showing some muscle:

Until we made it all the way to the top where we had lunch and played around...

Nice view by the way...

And down we went...

And after airing up (thanks Ron and Frank for the compressor and airing down tools...).

A happy family, they had a great time too!!!!!

Well, after all, Shaver Lake is a beautiful place:

We had some fun sharing mojitos, orujo, almonds, sweets, .... back at camp.

Monday we visited Yosemite... I know I'll go back there:

Our return trip was very easy, up to Fort Tejon, when the RRC was bleeding coolant again. After cooling off, refilling and turning the car on again, a rattle noise was coming from the Power Steering / Alternator area.

Well, after losing my Tachometer, I knew the Alternator was starting to do weird stuff. Sure enough it died 5 miles from home, I jump started again and it failed again 2 or 3 miles from home when I decided to call AAA and have it towed.

A new alternator is on its way.

Overall, one of the best long weekends of my life.


Monday, July 02, 2007

I had a chance to test drive off-road the Range Rover Supercharged (almost $100,000). It was a blast.
It is quite different from the classic (which I took there, of course), but anyway.

DO a google search for pics like these

I didn't take any, good food, great trucks.

Not bad, when these MKIII's go down in price who knows? Maybe I'll get one.


Saturday, June 16, 2007

A couple things more...

Done with the hoses, then replaced swivel housing grease and replaced the steering stabilizer. It seems to drive much better now.
Also greased the Driveshafts and a couple little things.

Another thing I worked on, is the shifter tape that was incorrectly placed at the bottom instead of between the plastic and the holder. Now it looks nicer and tight no gaps. And I can actually see what gear I am using ;)

Unless something breaks the truck is ready for this summer ;)

Monday, June 11, 2007

It was bleeding and is green!!!!

the hose from radiator to water pump broke.
So I decided to go ahead and replaced all the hoses.
Boy I am tired, and still need to finish it!, but I found out that one of the heater hoses was on its way to hell, so I think I did the right thing replacing them all.
This summer is getting close, I am going to do soon the steering stabilizer and change the housing grease (I got them from Cerrone's) and should be good to go to Shaver Lake this summer.


Saturday, May 12, 2007

Maintenance done (finally)

I had two pending issues, one oil & filter change and the other the transfer case.
Transfer case oil was low and black (as always), so I decided to change the oil for fresh ATF + some lucas.
Oil was dirty already and the pressure light was on when idling and hot, so I changed the oil (with Castrol 20w50 and lucas oil treatment too) and filter (now K&N 3001).
I used a little leftover seafoam to clean the engine before changing the oil.
I created a very nice mess all over the garage :)

I think now, I am done with the main issues and maintenance. Miles today 51133.

Getting ready for the summer trip to the North.

Also, got a free Brush Bar (thanks Joe!!) and I've been working on it to get rid of rust and whatnots. I'll install soon. Somehow I always wanted one, I know they are mostly useless, but what the ..., I'll install it for a while. The price was right ;)

Also, last week I patched a exhaust leak I had, we'll see how long it lasts.


Saturday, April 28, 2007

Fixing rear door

This weekend has been more about spending time with my family than working on the RRC.
Although, I managed to fix the annoying problem with one of the rear doors, which wouldn't open from outside unless you tried 3 or 5 times.
Wasn't too bad, but I had to take the whole thing out to clean and adjust the rod properly. Now works great.
I've been driving the truck around town and all the work I've done recently seems to hold very well.
Anyway, more later....

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Axle oil and lock actuator

I checked axle oil level and not only was low, but black, very black.
So I change the oil in both axles at 51045 Miles (not real total millage).
Swivel housings are OK, they have grease and are not dry. Good enough for me, for now. I'll replace the grease at one point soon.
Also, I took the actuator from the drivers door out and checked it, big capacitor was toasted, replaced it with something I had around, but not quite working properly, so I decided to fix my actuator with a $2 fix.
I bought a double circuit switch from Radio Shack, +V and GND get in there, and depending on the position it goes either nowhere (central pos) , +V GND , or GND +V. It works. You need to be careful not to leave it on too long or the actuators on the doors will fry, but it *does* work for now. Good enough.

I put the headliner back on the sunroof, without the guides, guess what? it works great, so now I have my headliner back there too.

I need to change the oil, I'll do that soon.

Temp still good never over 1/2 so far.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Thermostat and temp sensors

This weekend I did refill to the right amount the auto transmission. It was a little over a quarter low, added the Lucas treatment too now it drives very smooth.
Check the tires, 2 were kind of low, I am trying with 30ish front 38ish rear.

I did replace all the temp sensors (the one for the ECU and the one for the instruments) with the thermostat. I found out the thermostat there was upside down and probably the wrong type. Other than making a pretty mess with coolant, pretty straightforward and kind of fun.

Refilled coolant and now it seems to work just great. Temp works as intended so I believe it was not overheating just bad reading on the temp sensor.

We'll see how all this holds up.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Rowher trail

Finally off road.

I thought I was not going to make it, because the fuel pump relay died on me Friday but I was able to find one at NAPA on Saturday.

So off we went, lots of fun and as a sample here are some pictures:

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Big emergency the power steering box was leaking!
But then, it was just the adjustment screw/nut that got loose, I should have done them tighter, anyway, no big deal not much fluid out and back to business.
I've found the leak on the radiator, it is not a new one, I can see old coolant dry just there, is in one of the sides (the one that looks like they hit something with as there is a tiny bump on the cross member).
As it is not loosing enough to take the level down from full, I'll keep an eye on it, maybe I'll try adding some stop a leak kind of thing, but down the road I see a new radiator.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

sunroof? check

I fixed the sunroof!!!!!!
the usual ground is missing on #2 and #4 on the microswitch, soldered a good ground to #2 and attached it to one of the bolts of the motor and , TADAAAh ! sunroof works great.
Of course, after getting rid of the headliner there it goes very nicely I'll leave it this way, maybe I'll wrap the sunroof metal with the old headliner so it looks more like "interior roof" that bare metal. I'll think about it.
The thing that made me suspect this one is that #2 and #4 had continuity but there was no continuity for any ground spot, so I said let's see if it is the problem mentioned in or not.
I realized the stop points are out of place but who cares? I'll live with it unless I can figure it out easily.

Also, I've found some coolant leak under the radiator, but I can't find the leak source and it doesn't seem to be too much (expansion bottle is still full) so I'll keep an eye on it.

I had 3 bolts on the exhaust headers very loose, so I tight them up a little.

It never ends, does it? good thing I am having fun (still)

Monday, March 19, 2007

more body/electrical stuff

regarding the passenger seat, the motor that handles the reclining part is dead, it wouldn't move and will take the Volts down, probably too much crap in there. As removing it without removing the seat is hard, I plugged my drill into the cables to adjust the seat to a reasonable position and I am done for now.
After making the stereo work, I realized the speakers are pretty much useless: 2 dead ones on the back, 2 almost dead in the front doors and 2 way rusty although good in the lower end of the front doors. Oh well, I'll have to replace them all, I am wondering where could I get something cheap that works OK?
The sunroof on my RRC wasn't working for 2 reasons, the headliner and the roof. The roof itself had been beaten very badly, I tried to fix it, but there is always something that could touch the sliding mechanism. Also, the design is not too good, so the whole set headliner-sunroof is just too heavy, too easy to get stuck and not so easy to move. I decided to try without the headliner part and it flies now! I got no Voltage on the microswitch, so next day, I'll see what is going on, I suspect the ground because the fuse is intact and the motor worked before, plus I get no V on the cables so it is either the 12V or Gnd failing. Then again, I'll find out.
I tried to plan a little route to Ojai this Saturday but the offroad trails are closed. I really wanted to take my daughter wheeling in her birthday!
I'll see if I can get anything else around here not too extreme so she could come along and maybe even the little one.
ENOUGH said.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Finally I have a radio!
after playing around with the cables I figured it out, it works great now (well some speakers are gone).

The leak is gone too, no more coolant leak so far.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Nice day of work

I did again the steering backslash adjustment, and now it does make a big difference!
The steering feels just right, no extra tight spots just great and the vague steering is all gone. I love the handling now.
Also, I fixed the fiber optic that lights up the speedometer gauge, now I get my red needle!
Next is the passenger recliner, the cable is broken and the motor goes one way for now. Oh well, I'l'l work on that one day.
Now that I can see how fast I am going on the night and can actually steer properly there is no reason not to go offroading.
Also, I addressed a coolant leak, it looks like the bolts were too loose in the intake warmer thing, so far no leaks but they may be back, it is a Land Rover :)

Dirt, there I go!!!!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Road trip or something

I took this thing to work yesterday.
It went and came back!!!!
I guess it works (still), I need to play around with the steering adjustment a little bit more it is way too loose to feel responsive, but anyway...
Also, the coolant sensor (still works!!!!) reminded me that I have a tiny leak and that I needed a refill (well, the truck).
It also runs a little on the warm side, I'll have to keep an eye on the cooling system to avoid overheating it.
Other than that it can keep up 65-70 Mph when asked (well it says more like 60-65 but if you do the math with the tires...) and the only "but" I've found is the kickdown, it doesn't seem to work from 4th to 3rd.
I read it could be a seized valve on the tranny. Oh well, I hope it is not too bad. I'll check the kick down cable just in case.
I think next week I'll try Area 51 in Rowher flat and see what's up with this truck offroad. Is about time!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Trail ready, or as ready as it is going to be

another weekend of work on this RRC, I adjusted the steering wheel (what a pain to reach there) not much difference but at least it is more predictable when steering.
Did some painting and oiling of rusted spots and faded areas (black areas).
Also got rid of the disgusting sun shade film on the windows.

Anyway, it drives nice now and it is pretty much ready for the trails, so soon I'll head somewhere to give it a try off road.

I'll post a pic soon.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Electrical stuff

I did some more research and finally I solved the problem with the oil light.
I can't believe it, but it turned out to be a broken copper line in the instrument cluster PCB.
It is a tiny, invisible pretty much, crack. I found it with the tester because it didn't make sense I had the right stuff at the connectors but the light was not on *ever*.
Anyway, that is fixed.
The lights for the instrument cluster were all gone, all 6 of them!! talk about weird stuff.
Oh well, at least, now I have the oil light functional and it was easy enough.

More soon...

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Electrical assorted work

this weekend was the turn of the assorted bulbs. Replaced some, although I cannot find the side markers on the rear ones (12V/4W) or the whole bulb/holder (12V/1.2W) for the warning lights on the instrument cluster.
Good thing I did, because I discovered cables that lost the isolation completely on the left side flasher/parking light, I replaced the whole set of cables, just in case.
I did the whole installation to the radio/cassette I got with the RRC, but it doesn't work at all, I think the radio is broken, it won't do anything. Oh, well, I guess I may try to repair or I'll just try to get a cheap replacement.
The oil warning light and the lights (6) for the instrument cluster, won't work. I do suspect the multi-function thingy in there, but I'll have to dig deeper.
I found out that some previous owner "bridged" a cheapo flasher (F550) on top of the original unit, it works, it's just, "lame".
I tried to check the oil level on the swivel pins. I'll try later, that is some serious stuck bolt, no way I can move the bolts for now.
I did close the sunroof manually, for the time being, I won't use it, although, I'll attempt some repair later on.
Other than that, It seems to be OK, as soon as I fix the oil light/instruments light issue I'll be on my way to the trails.

Monday, February 12, 2007

First weekend

it happened!
After the first weekend, I know this truck much better.

Miles on the clock 50,658 (not real, of course)

This is what I did:
- Whole inside out (well, mostly) deep cleaning including headliner, plugging back lose cables, *lots* of dirt, but *lots*, probably hadn't been cleaned since 89 :)
- Fixed the coolant level sensor (the cable inside was corroded)
- Fixed driver door lock mechanism.
- Fixed read tailgate lock mechanism.
- Check levels.
- Knock the roof back up, it was badly bump, probably dancing on the roof kind of action ;)
- Replaced clock
- Replaced driver side security belt.
- Replaced driver side rubber seal around the door

Standing issues:
-Rust on driver's door, big hole in the floor, oh well, nothing too bad, but a hole is a hole, I'll have to fix it one day
- Lights on instrument cluster won't work
- Some bulbs not working
- Sunroof stuck again.
- I'll check the swivel pin housing levels.
- Install radio-cassette
- Central locking mechanism.

Well, it could be worse for a 1989 RRC.


Friday, February 02, 2007

OK, so what have I driven before?

I thought I should post some pictures of my previous Land Rover, the amazing Discovery Tdi300 pretty much stock, back in Spain.

These pictures in the heart of Quijote's Land:

This one in Alcaraz:

And these pictures in Cuenca, one of my Disco and another one from my Disco:

I drove a Ford Explorer 4WD (hated it) and a Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4x4, which was OK, but nothing like a Land Rover, the best 4x4 by Far.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

First things first, I just got my "new" Land Rover. I got a 1989 Range Rover Classic from Roverdude (John) , engine and the important stuff looks great, but it sure can use some love and cleaning, that would be my role in the next months (or years).

This is how it looks at John's place:

More to come shortly after I get it delivered...

Thursday, January 25, 2007

I'll be posting here my varied adventures and endeavors related to Land Rovers in my life.
Before moving to the US I was the happy owner of a Land Rover Discovery 300Tdi.
When I moved here I've tried several SUVs but nothing I liked as much.
So now I am in a quest to find the right Land Rover for my little offroad excursions.
I'll keep this site with pictures and posts about the various adventures and misadventures Land Rover related.