Sunday, October 05, 2008


Well, it was fun.

This time I was able to bring the family with me, so... extra fun, although for my little ones it's more about exploring and playing with rocks and sand than wheeling, but still worth it.

It was fun seeing everybody, chatting about Land Rovers and expeditions, and seeing some new products as well.

Food was very nice and overall a great day, we did Pronghorn trail which turns out to be a long easy trip, well for the most part, this one obstacle was fun to drive through, but that was it.

Some video here.

"I see Rovers"

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Pismo Revenge

after last year I really wanted to have some fun in the sand.
This time it was a great day for me. I could only expend Saturday, but hey, that is more than not going at all.

Weather was great, a little cool, which helps in the beach.

The Land Rover performed flawlessly all the time, I am very happy with the way this truck has turned out after some little adjustments, I am even getting 16.5 MPG on the freeway after cleaning the intake!!!

Showed up at around 9AM, after digging around Max's truck to try to get him stuck (see pictures from Max in LRRForum) we started to get introduced to the sand and the dunes (well, technically we already drove on the sand to get to camp). Camp:

As I always do, I managed to get stuck in the stupidest of places, as I was coming up a dune, I dig enough to make the axles and the body stand on sand, so no love for me. Of course, I could have backed up, but being my first dune, we weren't sure it was very smart, I am pretty sure now I could do it, thanks to the friends at , I was out in a second:

After that it was smooth sailing for me, I tried to figure the dunes thing out a few times, trying to do it smoothly, but at the end brute force is needed, after that, much better, although I have some gift to find the softest sand around.

Damn paparazzi were everywhere ;)

This one was specially fun, I think I tried 4 times, here is the video follow the red Disco :) and some pictures:
This one courtesy of Elliott:

Here, some close encounter of the third kind or so:

So, a great day in the sand, that took the bitter taste of last year after the RRC problems. Although this time we had some of them (Transmission gone, Axle broken, some popped beads) I think we managed to have a great time and hang out with a bunch of nice people.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Land Rover choice of experts tour at Malibu

This year I got invited again to a Land Rover event.

Although I knew what it was, I thought bringing my wife this time could be fun for both of us.

We drove the Range Rover 4.4 and we did have a lot of fun. The instructor was great, he is the person in charge of training the Land Rover Experience teachers and a very nice guy.
As last year we did the off-road circuit in Calamigos Ranch, very nice although too scripted, but still fun. Actually Paloma managed to drive very well the Range Rover despite her initial doubts.

The place isn't ugly either and we had a chance to meet great people as the very interesting Katherine Whiteside, very well known horticulturist and explorer and conservationist Nick Bougas, who convince me to go visit Belize one of this days.

Food was great and overall, a great way to expend the morning very close to home.

Some pictures:

This is as close to a G4 as I am going to get, probably:

Land Rover paradise? I don't think so, where is the mud?

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

More maintenance

I am done cleaning the intake system. This time the AIC or stepper motor.
Boy it was very dirty, the fault is the K&N air filter it used to have, I hate that and after all the time I've spent cleaning I don't plan to use the K&N air filter anymore (want it ? make me an offer).
I checked the brakes too and they seem almost new.
Also, whoever did the radio CD replacement on my Disco, didn't know this model has 2 antennas one for some FM band and the other for AM and the rest of FM frequencies. No wonder I couldn't listen to AM, they only plugged one and it was the FM only one.

More some other day.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Intake clean up

as I was getting some P1179 codes, and I had fixed all the vacuum lines, it was time to attempt a clean up of the MAF.
The Mass Air Flow sensor was dirty as it was the whole intake system.
Got it apart did the clean up using the proper cleaning tools (Used CRC for MAF and some carb cleaner for the rest).
And now the Disco purrs like a cat, it seems to be smoother at no gas or little gas and gutsier when asking for power.
Of course, this all could be an illusion, but time will tell, maybe I won't see the damn code again, for a while anyway...

Also, just before the desert trip I changed oil and filter (Castrol/K&N3001) at +/-107K

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Panamint Valley

Recently, some of the SCLR members went up Panamint Valley to help deliver the materials needed to fix a bridge to allow the loop with Pleasant Cyn. to stay open.

It was a very hot day, easily in the 108-110 degrees out there (even hotter around 118, I think).

We gathered 4 Land Rovers and 3 Jeeps to try to deliver all the materials up there. meeting point in Johannesburg, CA

We then headed to Ballarat and all the way to the trail head.

We loaded as much stuff as possible in the trucks and headed up the mountain.

After a little stop for a flat and another little stop to let the trucks cool down, we reached our destination.

the flat

We are done (kind of, some big iron pieces were waiting for us down the trail...)

Can you spot the bridge we brought the materials to fix?

We had to go back home, so we headed down, it's funny how different an obstacle looks from inside or outside of the truck...



When I stopped to air up, the Disco wouldn't idle properly, it was like the fuel regulator was not working right, maybe the vacuum hoses had some leak or it was the heat or the dust.

Anyway, after some tries I was able to rev it up and start on the road, we were in the middle of nowhere so a good thing, it started going properly... The rest of the trip was great and the truck arrived safely with us and it is idling fine now after the trip... whatever.

It was a pretty hard day, but I love to help to keep the trails open, I think after visiting this, it was worth it and I'll be back there..., if you like offroading go there and tread lightly.


Saturday, February 23, 2008

Front Bumper trimming

Today I could spend some time fixing some things around the house, including working on the Disco.
I got rid of the front valance and trimmed the side bumpers, now it looks more off road friendly.

I also, replaced the hose clamp on the power steering reservoir, as it was not holding at all.

Also, I tighten another hose clamp, this time the one that goes to the water pump, it was pretty loose (and hard to reach) as from time to time, I will see a single drop of coolant right there.

Next time, I'll see if I can grease the sunroofs.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Shaver Lake, Snow Run, NCLR

it was time to do a snow run and what a trip!

I recently joined NCLR too, so I could hang with the Land Rover buddies up north too. It was great meeting all of them, it's a nice warm team feeling you get out of this kind of adventure and this was, definitively, an ADVENTURE.

So anyway, we stayed at the hotel, camping in the freezing cold might be too much for my family, and to get just an idea of what kind of snow we are talking about look at this:

We started the big snow trip to Bald Mountain at around 10 am, we stopped by Camp Edison where most of the NCLR members were staying. Then again, here is what it looked like, yes, that is a pick nick table:

We headed to the road that goes to the trail head (in theory asphalt road), when regrouping the trucks I actually managed to get stuck in the very first snow I was on... oh boy.

Aired down to 20(ish) psi, got unstuck thanks to JHMover and hit the road (there is a road down there, I saw it in the summer trip, check the pictures on this blog).

We started very smooth, we had to stop to assist (Brandon did) a big Chevy with a vacuum problem (they were on 2wd and didn't engage the 4wd).

Brandon fixed that with a ad-hoc vacuum line and we finally reached the trail head. Here still on the "road"

Funny enough, we were able to keep on moving until, of course, I got stuck again, and this time on the side of the trail, very scary moment there. Eric with his truck and winch and Brandon with his advice and assistance helped me get out of there, as seen here:

Some pictures from the other side, thanks to Dan for these 3, here you can see the winch you only guess on the video:

When we got to the highest point, it got complicated there was a group of Toyotas playing around and Brandon got stuck there even the Camel Trophy D110 got stuck:

This is us driving (not getting stuck for once) one of the hard spots up there:

Heading down it was getting late, dark and cold, and there was a stretch of road, now known as the "Big Stuck" where only a few got through without assistance. To make things worse, some guys driving Toyotas decided to ruin the area with their big tires and got stuck very close to the path, despite the fact that we asked them to not do it until the other 10 trucks went down, they headed up and made it worse.

We got to the hotel at around 1am, but we all kept our cool, some even had time to take a nap while waiting. Eric and JP came back with food and goodies that helped at that late hour. Enrique was the last one going through it all and he was still at 2am on the snow... a very long day, this is right after the big stuck:

What can I say?

It was hard? sure it was, having the family around made it extra complicated, as I could not help as much as I would have wanted, but overall, this is the experience of a life time (for me anyway) and most likely I'll do it again.

The next day we had a brunch as we couldn't do the nice dinner we had planned, we brought some Tortilla de patatas (one plain, one with peppers and onion), Atascaburras (typical in Albacete, Spain) and fried Almonds, it was great being part of this.

Here is Ron, with his previous Disco (now mine) and his current D110, he organized this event, great job man!! :

After all this, little damage happened, nobody got hurt and no incidents to report. I managed to hit the snow very hard on the driver side, so I cracked my bumper plastic, big deal, I'll remove it for now. And one of the low pressure hoses on the PS reservoir got a little loose leaking a bit, which should be fine by now.

Some of the pictures are Eric's and here are some more of his: