Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Little Things

Sometimes it's the little things that can make a person happy. This is one of those times.

Last Summer a cyber friend (also a Land Rover nut) stopped by 'Simpson's Folly' with his wife on their way to the UK.

We had a chance to talk and give Grover a good going over.

At this time he notice that Grover was missing his interior door handles and that the red & black dash plugs were broken.

After their return to the US I got an e-mail from him. He offered me a set of handles and plugs! Now how AWESOME is that?! Land Rover people are good people.

Anyway, the handles went on immediately but I procrastinated on the plugs. Grover's electrical system is in bad shape and when I touch it it seems to get worse. So I decided to hold off until the wiring harness is replaced.

After talking to a few of the members of the Land Rover Owners Mailing List as well as thinking about 'Shipfitter's Disease' I decided to take the plunge and replace the plugs.

Here are some photos of the new additions.

Here's the handle on the passenger side.

It's hard to believe just how easy something so simple, as this handle, can make life easier.

These are the screws I used.

Not sure where they came from but I like them. They have a rubber grommet attached to a slightly concave washer. Not sure what they are used for but after removing the washer they did the trick.

These are the dash plugs that needed replacing.

They are very fragile and over a year ago I tried to clean the paint off of them and they crumbled. This is one of the few parts that aren't really hard to replace, just pricey.

Here you can see why I didn't want to mess with installing them.

I call this mess the 'Rat's Nest'. If you look close you can see how I have labels attached to everything. I had to do this because each time I open the dash up something comes un-plugged. The labels make it easier to re-attach.

Funny thing that the wires are labeled they are not coming un-plugged.

Here are the new plugs.

I hadn't noticed until inspected of my handiwork but the plastic rings of the new plugs are thinner than the originals. I wonder if these are from a SIII or something? I'll have to ask George (the guy I got them from).

Here's another view of the plugs.

This time you can get an idea of how tall they are.

BTW - I guess I should tell you; these plugs were used in the same manner that a cigarette lighter plug is used for auxiliary items that need to be plug-in.

Well, till next time...

Larry ~

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Why I got an old Series Land Rover

Currently there is an interesting thread going on over on the Land Rover Owners Mailing List called "What keeps you in Rovers". It deals with why a person got into Series Land Rovers in the first place. I thought I would share some of my response here as well.

“I don't consider myself an old-timer, but I ‘found’ Rovers while watching Hatari / Daktari as a young sprout”. For me it was ‘The Wild Kingdom’ and various safari themed type shows. Let’s not forget the mystic that oozes from them either.

Living here in one of the US’s armpits I don’t see many Series Rovers. Make that nil unless you count the odd one at Pendy Import being fixed and two on blocks at a town about 10 miles away. What everyone around here drives are the Discos and the odd Range Rover. Of these I have seen one of each that looked like they were taken off-road. For the most part they are status symbol vehicles you see in the hoity toity strip malls and private school parking lots.

To me, and the rest of the extended family, Grover is family. Many, many times I feel like I’m doing a disservice to Grover though. TeriAnn alluded to it when she gave reasons for a person to loose interest - “…likely breaks something from lack of maintenance…”. In my case I just don’t seem to have the technical knack an savvy to do all the cool thing you all have accomplished with yours. Heck, I have a hard time just keeping Grover maintained.

I can not fathom being without Grover. The ultimate goal is to get Grover to the point I could make some of those trips and expeditions I hear you all talk about and read about on the net. Also, I’ve joked about being buried with Grover, but in reality I know what will happen with Grover when I’m gone. We are willing... ...and Grover to the youngest one. Kelsey (the youngest one) loves Grover as much as I do. Kelsey is working towards being a country vet and I can’t think of a better vehicle for a country vet than a Series Land Rover!

Oh, one last thing… I enjoy driving in city traffic with Grover. I learn all sorts of new hand gestures from other drivers!

Well, till next time...

Larry ~

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Hippie Wagon

Hello Everyone!

Well, as of this morning a long time dream has come true. I finally got a trailer to go with Grover!!

It isn't the prettiest trailer but the bones are good. With research and planning it should make an excellent expedition trailer.

I bought it yesterday from a friend of the family who is moving and can't take it with him. He sold it to me dirt! He bought it last spring at an auction with the though of making it a transport trailer for his woodworking shop and never did anything with it.

Since our car doesn't have a hitch I went and picked it up with Grover this morning. This was a bugger in itself. We have had tons of rain this year and Bill has a very low spot at the back of his property - the trailer was on the other side. I am having trouble with one of my locking-hubs going in and out of 'lock' so I couldn't put Grover in 4wheel drive. The ground was real wet, with spots of standing water, but we didn't think it would be too bad - WRONG!! That spot of ground had become a bog. Grover started sinking right away. Luckily it wasn't too bad and I got Grover out of there, but we had to manhandle the trailer over the bog to a spot I could get to.

Anyway, like I said, the trailer isn't the prettiest, but the bones are good. There is a lot of surface rust, but no rot. The guy who owned it before Bill did put linoleum in the bed of it. Even with a topper (which I will be getting rid of) rain still got in and got trapped between the bed and the linoleum. So, there is a chance the bed good be bad but if it is I have yet to find it. I will probably put a new bed in it anyway - just to play it safe.

I am also looking at switching the current axle with a heavier one for larger tires - I don't like those little ones.

Also, I have no idea who made it, what type of trailer it is, or when it was made (I'm thinking the 60s or 70s). If anyone has any info on this I'd appreciate hearing about it.

Anyway, here are some pics. You should be able to figure out why we call it the 'Hippie Wagon'.

I won't be doing too much work on the trailer yet though because I have a lot that still needs to be done on Grover.

So, if any of you have thoughts or ideas let me know.

Well, till next time...

Larry ~