Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Animal Attraction

Have you ever noticed how animals just seem to be natural drawn to Land Rovers? Or could it be the other way around?

Whichever the case may be, I thought some of you might enjoy these pics. The first three are a little fuzzy because I used my camera phone.

The 'Pride' - actually the wife's cats.

If the Rover is outside then there will inevitably be a cat on it or in it.

This is Shalimar's favorite spot.

~ In Memoriam ~

Last, but not least, is a picture of Piper and Lacey. We lost Piper 2 weeks before Christmas of '05 due to an accident. Lacey died of Liver Cancer about 3 weeks after this picture was taken (about two and a half weeks after the car show). The two dogs loved Grover!! They liked being in the Rover even if it was just parked in the drive way.

I first knew they were 'Rover Dogs' the day Grover was parked next to the wife's car in front of the garage. I needed to run a quick errand so I asked the dogs if they wanted to go. They both bounded past the car and sat next to the Rover's driver side door waiting for me to put them in.

We miss them both a lot. However, we now have a new little puppy that is turning out to be a 'Rover Dog' as well. She is a Papillon, as Piper and Lacey were, and is the spitting image of Lacey.

This is Piper. She joined our family when her previous owner's decided they just could not take care of her.

And here is Lacey. She moved in with us about 10 years ago when her owner's decided they just didn't want her any more.

And this, of course, is Izzy. She already loves to ride in the Rover and thinks she should be allowed to drive!

Well, till next time...

Larry ~

Collecting Rover Items

Once I purchased Grover, I was surprised to see just how many Land Rover type things popped up in various places. So naturally, collecting Rover items has become a side hobby to the restoration of Grover.

Aside from hats and T-shirts, I thought I would share some pics of some of my collection. There isn't much to it right now - so if you have anything you want to part with let me know!

Land Rover mud / snow boots. I have never seen anything like this before so I HAD to have them. Besides, they are in my size!

I didn't think $3.00 was too much for a pair of boots.

A Rover sign and various toy Rovers.

The smallest one I had when I was 9 or 10 years old. For some reason I painted it white.

Here's a close up of the D90.

This one is my favorite. It is actually a tin shaped like a 109". It contains about 12 wooden African animals.

I found it at the Sedgwick County Zoo last year.

I was hoping to get a couple more Rover type things a couple weeks ago when we went, but there wasn't a single Rover anything! They were all Jeeps or Land Cruisers.

Here's a close up of the tin.

Other than Grover himself, this is by far THE crown jewel of my collection so far.

It is an original packet of instructional literature from 1962 (part #4487 English Version). So it is contemporary to Grover.

The cool part about this set is that it wasn't an item that went with every new Land Rover. The ONLY way you could get one was by visiting the main show room / factory in the U.K.

If you purchased your Rover at that location they would give you one of these.

Here's the packet.

Series IIA Owner's Manual and a guide book to all the distributors and dealers around the world at that time.

Service Guide and Warranty. The guide part is a general overview. The green book is a more detailed version of the white service guide. Each page contains three cards detailing what needs to be serviced and when. I would assume that when the maintenance was finished one of the 'cards' is ripped out and filed away at the shop. Not sure what was done with the second one. The third one is more like a check register stub where the date, time, location, and signatures are stored.

Only one of the pages is missing. The first one (it was for a free 'check-up'). The date, time, location and signatures were not jotted down though. I figure non of the other pages are missing because the owner figured out how easy it was to maintain the Rover!

Here is a detailed look at one of the pages.

An application and benefits booklet to the R.A.C. ("Britain's premier motoring organisation" as the booklet states). The self-addressed envelop is even included!

Here is a way cool Dial-Map. The instructions are on the back. Just goes to show that no matter where you are in the world it is always "Rover Time"!!

Well, till next time...

Larry !

Monday, June 4, 2007

The Nifty 50s & Psychedelic 60s Car Show

As I mentioned in my last post, about this time last year I attended a new car show that was being started by the Kansas Oil Museum in El Dorado Kansas. It is called the "Nifty 50s & Psychedelic 60s Car Show". When they found out I had a '63 Land Rover they just had to have it in the show - so I got invited.

There were over 40 vehicles present along with several that were from the '10s, '20s, '30s, & '40s. They were there because the event organizers were afraid not enough cars would show up.

Anyway, that day would mark the first time I'd take on a longer than normal trip. It ended up being around 120+ miles round trip. My wife, Annette, followed me in her car just in case I had a breakdown or something and so we could also go to lunch later.

We were both impressed with how well Grover did. At one point I decided to see if Grover could keep up with the rest of the traffic. Couldn't believe it - we were able to do it! I cruised along at about 65 MPH for a few minutes and then took him back down to a reasonable speed. We were amazed that the temp stayed right at around 168!

As soon as we arrived at the show site I pulled up to my assigned spot and started to dust Grover down. When I got to the back side it looked like someone had taken a spray bottle filled with oil and sprayed the back end. From the X-member to the sun shield - not a spot was without the oily spray.

Great, Grover had sprung a leak. So, I crawled underneath and saw that the rear differential oil seal had blown. Oh well, there was nothing that could be done about it at the moment, so the wife and I decided to enjoy the show.

Grover had someone looking at him all the time. It was very difficult to get any pictures with just the Rover and the cars around him. Within the first hour several guys ask me about the oil spray. We talked about it and came up with an easy solution - extra heavy weight gear oil! So, during our lunch break we went to the nearby O'Reilly's and bought the oil.

After the show, I drove Grover next door to the park, found a safe place, and replaced the gear oil. Needless to say, Grover & I went home a lot slower than we did to get there. I guess pushing the envelope at 65 MPH caused the seal to blow. It was probably Grover's way of telling me to take it easy too!

All-in-all, it was a great day and the Rover was a HUGE hit. I received my invitation to this year's show last Friday, but I doubt we'll be going - I still have a house to paint!

Anyway, following are some pics of the show - enjoy!

Annette with my father at the motorcycle tent.

My mother even turned out!

Ain't he handsome.

The Corvette won 'Best of Show'.

However, the best story involves the black car on the other side. There was kind of a 'hush' over the crowd as it pulled in. It was completely shrouded in a black, gauzy, material to protect it from dirt & dust while it was being driven. The part covering the windows was a weird, clear gauze. When they pulled up and parked, an elderly couple (yes - I said elderly - in their 70s at least) got out and removed the covering.

I had never seen anything like it.

And here we are - Grover & I.

Well, till next time...

Larry ~

Grover Gets Gussied Up

About this time last year I was invited to attend a new car show that was being started by the Kansas Oil Museum in El Dorado Kansas (http://www.kansasoilmuseum.org/index.cfm). It is called the "Nifty 50s & Psychedelic 60s Car Show". When they found out I had a '63 Land Rover they just had to have it in the show - so I got invited.

Well, to get Grover ready, I decided to get him "gussied up" a bit. Following are some photos I took a couple of days before the event.

Quasi new paint job - actually just a coat of primer.

New indicator lights as well. Not original (those are in storage for now), but they look better than what was on Grover when he arrived.

Added an horse shoe - he needs all the luck he can get!

This is as close to the "Wild Kingdom" I can get right now.

Decals have been added - I like decals!

Ready for the big show!

Here you can see some of the 'extras' I have added.

The large wooden trunk is ex-military. I keep tools, spare parts, cover-alls and other such sundries in here. There are also two, European style military jerry cans. The dark line on top of the trunk is my Hi-Lift jack.

As you can see, there is even an old First-Aid Kit.

Well, till next time...

Larry ~

Friday, June 1, 2007

The Carb and Differential

WOW! It has been quite a while since I have posted to this blog. You know how it is though - things, like life, get in the way. It doesn't help that the wife and I are also in the process of restoring an historic home!

Anyway, I promise that I will do better at posting......

I last left off with removing the knackered parts of the rear half shaft. I purchased the replacement parts from Atlantic British. While waiting for the parts to arrive, I decided it would be a good time to dismantle and inspect the differential and rear axle. Here are some pics.

The differential housing.

The only problem encountered was that the bolt at the very top, and at the 5 O'clock position, broke and had to be replace. You can see the new bolts here. It was interesting getting the broken ones out! Other than the bolts, the only hard part was getting the diff in and out.

Here are some close-ups of the differential. As you can see, it doesn't look too bad for being 44 years old.

As some of you may know, Grover was having a hard time starting and staying running. For the life of me I couldn't figure out why this was happening. My brother (the engine Guru); father; and father-n-law couldn't figure out what was causing the engine to die most of the time either. All we knew was that it had to do with the carb.

My brother, Randy, likes carbs. He likes them to the point that tearing apart and re-building them is a hobby. So, he has taken apart, cleaned, refurbished and rebuilt Grover's carb three times! Each time it would work perfectly for about a week or so and then it would start sputtering and dying just like before.

Grover's engine is the original 2.25L that was put in back in '63. As far as I know the original carburetor would have been a Solex. After 1967, the Zenith 36IV would become the 'stock' carb for Land Rovers. So, it is assumed that sometime around '67, the Solex was replaced by the Zenith model.

Unfortunately, the Zenith carbs had a flaw that would come to be known as "Zenith Warp". Here is a description of the problem written by the talented Alan Richer.

"As we all know, the poor heat treatment and insecure design of Zenith carburetors often causes the body halves to warp and twist - leading to air leaks, poor mileage and even worse running characteristics.

The classic symptom of the warped-body problem is an inability to adjust a rich idle mixture using the mixture adjust screw on the side of the carburetor base. If the engine won't stall with the screw wound all the way in, likely it's siphoning fuel past a bad gasket and seal between the halves."

Throughout the entire carburetor ordeal the members of the Land Rover Owners Mailing List, walked me through it. Two of the members who virtually held my hand through this mess were TeriAnn Wakeman, and Alan Richer - THANKS you two! They supplied me with lots of information and tech help. If it wasn't for TeriAnn I would never of known about the "...redundant vacuum port, blocked on the top housing side, that opens when the warp occurs".

Here are some pics.

At this time I also started the process of replacing some of the other seals and gaskets such as the oil pan gasket, hub seal gaskets on the rear axle and the front & rear output seals/gaskets.

Well, till next time...

Larry ~