Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Give Me A Break!

Well, in the words of Roseanne Rosannadanna "if it isn't one thing it's another".

Grover's carb problem got fixed on Easter Sunday. I will come back to this post and add commentary about this later.

Anyway, I got to enjoy driving Grover for a few hours Monday morning, then, all of a sudden - PING!

I pulled out from a stop sign and Grover lost his forward momentum. He wouldn't move.... I had to coast to the side of the road. No matter what I tried nothing happened. For once the engine was purring beautifully, but the 'ol boy just wasn't moving. Luckily I was only a couple of blocks from home so I walked.

A few minutes later I was back at the scene to make sure I hadn't had another 'numbnut' moment. The red knob was in the proper position. Then I tried 4WD HI and 4WD LOW - nothing happened (later I find out it was indeed a 'numbnut' moment). Got out, told Grover it would be okay and walked home.

Oh, BTW, did I mention I forgot to lock the free wheeling hubs! See I told you there was at least one 'numbnut' moment! DOHH!

About an hour latter my father helped me tow him back to the garage.

After a few hours of diagnostic bantering with the gang on the Land Rover Owners Mailing List, it was decided that the rear half shafts where knackered.

Before I continue, let me tell you about another one of my "numbnut" moments during this whole ordeal. One of the gents on the LRO mailing list suggested I open the inspection ports and make sure everything looked normal and was working in the gear boxes. Well, while looking down into the transfer case, I slipped Grover into 1st gear and gave him some gas. Next thing I knew, I had a face full of gear oil! DOHH!!

Anyway, as you can see from the pictures, they were right!

As I tackle the swap out I will take better pictures to replace these.

I just removed the remains of the half shaft. Took about 5 minutes, a depth gauge for a skill saw and a 10# hammer. They came out in three pieces, a big one and two little ones as you can see.

Now I need to start cleaning the diff!

Well, till next time...

Larry ~

Saturday, April 8, 2006

Swivel Ball Seal Replacement

Another item that got fixed, before the carburetor problem got resolved, was the leaking swivel ball seals.

Not long after being able to legally drive my Landy I noticed tiny puddles of oil next to the tires as well as on the sides. These were under the vehicle and not on the outside. I wasn't sure where they were coming from; all I could tell is that it was coming from the area where the hub assembly was. So, I hit the shop manuals and determined that the leak was coming from either the hub seals or the swivel ball seals.

Once again, with the help of the Land Rover Owners Mailing List it was determined that the oil had to be coming from the swivel ball seals.

There are only two of these suckers; one on each front hub.

Thanks to TeriAnn Wakeman I was shown how to replace these seals
without having to take the hub assembly apart.

Once the seal repair kits arrived I started work. Unfortunately, when I went to cut the replacement seals I noticed a tiny spring that went all the way around the inside lip of each one. Since I am not that good of a mechanic, and had never done this before, I decided not to cut the seals. Instead I replaced them the hard way.

I was actually surprised at how easily the assemblies came apart and went back together. The real luck was in the swivel balls themselves. From what I have read, and been told, a lot of the older swivel balls are corroded and/or pitted. Those on Grover were virtually perfect. I only found about three pin head sized pits.

I repaired the pits and then reassembled the hubs.

The repair appears to have worked, but I have noticed that the leaks are starting up again, just not as bad.

Now for the funny part. Remember, I had finished putting in the new break fluid reservoir and lines in a couple of days before the seal replacement. At this point the tires and wings were still off.

Well, my father helped me put the hub assemblies back together. As I started to replace the driver's side tire my father noticed the new reservoir and lines. He asked if the breaks were working better and I said yes. Keep in mind, the passenger side drum and tire have not been put on yet. Only the driver side had the drum on and I was putting the tire on at that moment.

The next thing I knew there was a fountain of break fluid spewing from the passenger side hub! My father had stuck his head in the cab and started pumping the breaks to see how tight they were. Before I could yell at him to stop he said "these breaks are still spongy - you need to re-check them"!


If it isn't my father-n-law it's my father! Each time one of them 'helps' me, SOMETHING like this happens. At least they supply interesting stories.

So, I went over to have a look. The seals of the break cylinder had blown - if only I would have put the drum back on! Actually, the picture at the top is me looking at the blown cylinder, I can't find the photos of the seal replacement.

Anyway, I got the cylinder fixed and re-did the break fluid. Oh well...now I have breaks.

While we were at it we also replaced the tie rod ends; all the radiator hoses; and the fan belt.

My brother was really concerned the possibility of the radiator over heating so we decided to install an el cheapo temp gauge and, just to play it safe, replace the thermostat. When we took the top housing for the thermostat off there was nothing there!! NO THERMOSTAT at all - not even the remains of one!

So, I ordered the appropriate thermostat from Rovers North. When it arrived I tried to install it - it wouldn't fit.

No matter what I did it-just-would-not-fit!!! So I called up the tech guys at Rovers North and asked for help. They walked me through it and, thanks to them, we found out that the top housing was the wrong one for my engine. I was then told they are no longer made. However, they asked if I could give them a little bit of time to find me one. The next day I get a call from them - the found one! So they offered it to me at a very fair rate and express shipped it to at no additional cost!

Rovers North guys - if you read this - THANKS!

Well, till next time...

Larry ~

Friday, April 7, 2006

Clutch and Brakes Part Deux

Here are two views of the shinny, clean bell housing and gear box. The housing plug has already been installed.

Here is big brother and I breaking apart the housing.

There it is!!

We are discussing how we are going to separate the two parts.

Will it ever end?!?!

Trouble with a dowel.....

Dad offering advice...

After it was all put back together I could tell a major difference in shifting. Big brother said that there would be a break-in period, but to let him know if anything unusual happened.

Well, for some reason it started getting harder and harder to shift again. We were beginning to think we had done something wrong. So, we crawled back under and started to go over everything again.

Turns out it was the cross shaft connecting tube. The original had become so warped and warn that it just wouldn't work with a new clutch. Rover's North saved the day and rushed me a new connecting tube. Went on easily and now shifting is a breeze!

Well, till next time...

Larry ~

Thursday, April 6, 2006

Clutch and Brakes

Okay, so I have never driven a Land Rover until Grover came along. I had been told that shifting can be difficult, especially in the earlier models (since only 3rd and 4th are synchronized). However, I was use to driving a '73 Porsche along with older vehicles that has stick shifts. But Grover just kept grinding worse and worse. No mater what I did it wouldn't get any better.

So, after many e-mails with the good folks on the Land Rover Owners Mailing List, and a lot of discussion with my brother, it was decided that I needed a new clutch assembly including the master cylinder and fluid reservoir.

I sat down with my brother to make out a list of the items I would need. Rovers North and British Pacific became my best buds that week!

Here is a quick list of what I got:

9" clutch disk & cover;
clutch bushing;
flywheel dowels;
clutch pedal return spring;
bell housing plug for shaft (this was missing);
pedal assembly bushings (so warn they might as well of been missing);
clutch alignment tool;
clutch master cylinder;
hardline to clutch master cylinder;
rubber engine mounts (again, so warn they might as well of been missing);
anti rattle spring (missing).

There were a few extra items as well. Since we were going to replace the fluid reservoir and hardline to clutch, we decided to replace the brake hardline as well.

With all the orders placed I set to taking the wings off and getting ready to replace all those parts. It still amazes me at how many small sea shells, snail shells and pine needles I found in the engine. Once the wings were off the engine got power washed. I was afraid I might cause more damage by doing this, but everyone suggested I should. One even said "It's a Land Rover! If it can go through water it can handle a power wash."

The bell housing and gear box was so covered with grease and crud that it took my best friend and I several hours to get the stuff off.

Following are some of the pics.

The power washer did remove the paint off the bottom part of the oil bath housing.

Also, you can see the battery tray. This is the spot with the worst rust. I will have to come up with some way to replace it.

Here you can see the new fluid reservoir and hard lines. You can also see the new coil.

Well, till next time...

Larry ~

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Exterior Additions

Here are a couple of pictures showing a few changes I made to the outside.

I added fixed wing mirrors along with a rear-view mirror from D.A.P.Enterprises.

The old bumper with the towing assembly has been replaced with a new one that has overrides. These I also purchased from D.A.P.

The spare has been added and the paint has been removed from 80% of the galvanized cappings.

More to come.....

Well, till next time...

Larry ~

The Great Explosion

As promised, here is the story of the "Great Explosion of '04".

It was the 4th of July. My family, along with my Wife's, was spending the day at our house.

My father-n-law's brother was also visiting for the day. He owns a Honda dealership and repair shop.

Well, Grover was having a timing problem and back-fire problem. A friend of mine said Grover had the farts.

Anyway, my father-n-law and his brother are both great mechanics, but had never worked on a British vehicle. Together, the three of us started working on the timing problem. It didn't seem to be going well and I tried to get them to read the shop manual. That didn't go over well at all. Basically, they shot me the "evil eye" and said they didn't need no stinking manual. They had been working on engines longer than I had been alive.

I just sat there and knew it was going to get worse...

Each time they dickered with it they had me get in and start Grover. He would back-fire, they would grumble, curse the British, curse me for getting such a vehicle, and get back to it.

Right about noon they said they had it finished and told me to start ol' Grover up.

I got in and started him up.


Oh - did I forget to tell you we were in my tiny, two car garage?

It was so loud! I lost my hearing for a few minutes due to ringing ears. I also checked my pants - no surprises.

My father-n-law and his brother were sitting on the car-port with stunned looks on their faces as the whole family came running! Even the neighbors came to check it out.

After everyone checked out as being okay, I shooed them away and told them to go eat.

I then looked under Grover to see what happened. Well, there it was, the gaping hole of destruction.

After that I walked up to Grover's attackers and gave them the manual. All I said was "now will you read it?".

About an hour latter they sheepishly told me that they had reversed the down stroke.

So, I now have the muffler hanging in the garage and a new stainless steel one hanging on Grover. When ever my father-n-law wants to work on Grover I point to the muffler and ask him if he wants the manual.

I ended up replacing the muffler with a Stainless Steel one from Atlantic British.

Well, till next time...

Larry ~

The Rat's Nest

Well, here is my electrical system. Also known as the "Rat's Nest".

As you can see, it is a mess!


This is part of what's left of the head-light pig-tails.


This is the part of the rat's nest under the bonnet.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Hey! Since I am on the electrical system right now, let me ask. I'm missing the little handle and screw for the right hand wiper motor. Anyone out there have a spare or know where to get one?

Well, till next time...

Larry ~