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:

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Maintenance pre-snow trip

At 105562 miles, I checked the Disco, some stuff I've done:
- Check vacuum lines, and connection to sensors, to see if that improves the erratic idle I was experiencing, so far, it works fine, so I guess, one of the lines was loose.
- Check differentials, oil seems OK, a little overfilled, I'll check back this summer for a big maintenance day.
- Greased drive shafts, checked under the truck for problems: little oil leak, seems to come from the oil filter area, I'll check when I change oil this summer. I saw a drop (only one) of coolant on the big hose under the engine, it seems OK.
- ATF and Oil seem clean and at the right level, the oil leak must be tiny as it doesn't affect level so far.
- Tires checked (including spare)
- Subwoofer installed.

Stay tuned for the Winter trip coming soon...