Friday, July 16, 2010

A Look Inside the Engine

Hello Everyone!

The front seal modification is finished.

Have a look.

The Blue stuff you see around the screw heads is Hylomar Universal Blue Sealant.

Perhaps I went a little overboard with the stuff but I'd rather have too much than not enough.

There is also a bead of the stuff under the mudshield.

Now I'm just waiting for the seal to arrive.

I thought I ordered it quit a while back but I guess I didn't. I ended up grabbing the wrong seal and ruined it.

As the good people at British Pacific said "Help is on the way." The new seal, plus a replacement for the ruined one, should be here next week.

I also opened up the engine in preparation of replacing the crankshaft rear oil seal.

My brother helped me flip the engine upside-down so it would be easier to remove the oil pan cover and the rear main bearing cap.

Now one would think that having sat for almost a year all the fluids would have drained out. Unfortunately that wasn't the case. As soon as we flipped it a lot of radiator fluid gushed out as well as the last of the oil. At least I had a lot of kitty litter!

There's the guts. Not too bad if I say so myself. Even my brother was surprised at how good the condition was.

We also checked for any slop in the connecting rod assemblies but found none.

The crank shaft next to the timing chain mechanism.

The section next to the the rear oil seal.

To the extreme left you can just see part of the rear main bearing cap.

Not sure what the numbers are for but I think they look to be '4 0 9'.

And here's the oil pump. This doesn't look too bad either and there wasn't anything stuck in the wire mesh.

Well, that's about it for now.

Till next time...

Larry ~

Friday, July 9, 2010

Bob IS my Uncle

Hello Everyone!

Well, as the title states - Bob IS my Uncle!!

In other words - today has been a great day!

Let's get to the Land Rover part of the day - I finished the front seal modification.


How about some pictures...

The first few were taken a few days ago.

This is the inside of the timing chain cover showing where the outside mud shield is riveted to the cover.

The tail ends of the rivets are drilled off.

Outside view of the mud shield and rivets almost all the way off.

Just another view of the rivets before I pulled them out.

Note how grungy the shield and cover are.

Now I can start the clean-up process and get ready for the 'modification'.

The rest of the pictures are from today.

Nice and pretty ain't it.

It took about an hour and a half to clean the gunk off but it was worth it.

I was a bit surprised the mud shield turned out so well.

The cover is so clean you can just about make out the numbers stamped in it. I don't think the stamp was hammered hard enough to leave a clean stamp though. I wanted to get a picture but it just wouldn't show up.

The first screw is in and the second tap is underway.

Before I forget; for the record I'm using a 6-32 NC tap.

And there you have it - all the screws are in and they work great.

I really don't know what I was worried about in regard to tapping the rivet holes. I had heard that the taps can bind and break off and I'd heard that you can screw the tap up by not getting it straight, but none of this happened.

It turned out that this was one of the easiest tasks I've done so far! I was expecting to use a lot of elbow grease with a few grunts thrown in but it wasn't necessary. It was fast and easy with very little effort. Each whole took less than 45 seconds to tap - I timed it!!

Man I can't believe I was sweating this project.

Now all I have to do is reassemble the sucker.

Hopefully Bob will be my uncle then as well.

Till next time...

Larry ~

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Finally - an Update

Hello Everyone!

Yes - believe it or - here is an update!

Even though the house scraping and painting MUST come first, I've been able to do a few small projects in regard to Grover.

First item up isn't really a part of Grover but something for Grover.

For about as long as I've owned my Rover I've wanted a vintage Auto Association badge for the front grill. They always seem to go higher than I'd like to bid though.

Fortunately, a few weeks ago I found one that went cheap. It went cheap due to it's condition.

Not in the best shape is it?

The years for this one are from 1966-1967 so I'd still like to get one for 1963. I just found out they're readily available on eBay UK - perhaps I'll have to get one of my UK friends to bid on one for me.

Here I'm prepping it for restoration.

It wasn't all that hard to do. The worst part was waiting for the paint to dry due to the high humidity.

And here's the finished product.

Not too bad if I say so myself.

Okay, on to Grover.

Since the most I've been able to do is piddle with Grover I decided to start cleaning up a few nuts and bolts as well as a few small parts.

Here are a few pieces sitting in a vinegar bath.

I had never heard of using vinegar to clean off the rust, but several on the LRO mailing list swear by it so I tried it.

Here are the results.

The parts soaked for about three days and when finished I gave them a once over with steel wool. I was really surprised how well they cleaned up.

This is the next batch to soak.

This time, instead of using vinegar I used a commercial product called Evapo-Rust.

This stuff seemed rather interesting as well.

Here they are soaking.

This batch had to sit and soak a lot longer than expected. I injured some of the fingers on my left hand and didn't want to chance getting the chemical on cuts and abrasions.

Here are the parts after sitting for three days in the Evapo-Rust.

They are a bit darker than those soaked in vinegar but then again I didn't scrub them with steel wool either.

I had another Rover suggest a Molasses & water bath to remove rust; I'll try this method next.

Moving on to bigger items.

The next thing I wanted to tackle was replacing the front main oil seal. This required the removal of the timing chain cover on the front of the engine.

BTW - the next few photos were actually taken a couple weeks ago.

This isn't the best picture, but it's the only one I have showing how I secured the crankshaft flange (the one the flywheel attaches to) so I could remove the starter dog.

All I did was screw in two large bolts to catch on the engine mount.

I've had people tell me I'd need either an impact driver or large break-over bar with a large socket.

With the large socket and break-over bar I set off to remove the starter dog.

SWMBO, as well as my father, followed me out to the garage to watch while expressing their beliefs that I wouldn't be able to remove it.

With the break-over bar in hand and my feet braced I gave a massive yank; with that I about fell over backwards!!! The starter dog was not on near as tight as expected. I could probably of removed it with just a large socket wrench.

Anyway, here is the started dog and it's washer.

Now with the starter dog gone the next step would be removing the pulley behind it.

This wouldn't be as easy as the started dog either.

The only pulley pullers I had at the time were not big enough. In fact, one of them even bent under the pressure. This meant I'd have to buy a heftier pulley puller before I could continue.

Last Thursday I went out and bought an 8", 3-arm, 1 ton pulley puller.

With a few turns of the ratchet wrench the pulley popped out lickity split and Bob was my uncle.

Unfortunately I found a groove worn into the shaft. I knew it was a possibility that this would happen, due to a failed oil seal, but I was hoping it wouldn't be there.

So now I need to make a decision - repair the groove, use a speedi-sleeve to cover the area, or replace the pulley.

On the bright side I was happy to see that the timing chain innards appear to be in great shape.

See, not bad looking at all, at least to my untrained eye anyway.

Just another view.

Before I replace the cover I do want to make sure that nothing is broken or needs to be replaced. I'd also like to make sure it's in proper working order. This work I will NOT attempt to do myself; I'll enlist the help of someone who actually knows what they are doing.

The next step I'm planning on doing is a front seal modification as suggested by Alan Richer.

This is the the outward facing side of the timing chain cover.

The round, metal, doughnut thing is what will be modified.

Here is the inside of the cover with a better view of the round section to be modified.

Basically, those little rivets need to be drilled out. Once they're gone the holes need to be tapped from the front side. Doing this will enable the mud shield, that holds the oil seal in place, to be held in place by screws. This will make it easier to replace the oil seal in the future. In other words, I will not have to remove the cover from the engine, exposing the timing chain system, to replace an oil seal. Now why didn't they do this from the inception?!

I'm throwing this last picture in for the fun of it.

What I'm wanting you to see is just how thick the crud build up inside the water system is. First thing I thought of was the build up of plaque in blood arteries.

I would like to figure out how to clean this stuff out of the areas I can't reach.

Well, that's about it for now, time to go the my parents' house for our 4th of July get together.

Till next time...

Larry ~

Monday, March 22, 2010

Through The Looking Glasses - London to Singapore Overland 2010

Just heard from a couple of those involved in the London to Singapore Overland 2010 trip - Michael & Rhian.

The group of intrepid travelers have created a blog, called
'Through The Looking Glasses' so we can follow their progress.

Lets wish them luck!!


Monday, January 4, 2010

Water Pump & Sender Unit

Hello Everyone!

Guess it's time for an actual update on Grover's condition.

If you recall, the last update post ended with a look at the engine part of the water pump.

The engine part of the pump is clean and the replacement pump was purchased from British Pacific. Once all the Christmas crap gets put away I hope to install the new water pump and then have the old one refurbished.

This picture isn't the best but you can see that the metal is shiny now.

Just another view.

Before installing the new pump the facing will get a good cleaning as will the bolt holes.

Way back in June of '09 the fuel sender unit was removed from the gas tank. Since owning Grover the unit has never worked and I've been left on the roadside more than once without gas because of it. Funny - this always seemed to happen when the jerry cans needed to be left home for some reason.

Anyway, if you don't remember this you can see it here.

When the sender unit came out I also removed the draw tube.

Here's the draw tube somewhat cleaned up.

The wire mesh that covered the bottom of the tube (the part that would be inside the tank) is missing. It deteriorated and parts of it were found in the gas tank. A replacement will get attached before it goes back.

I now understand why there is so much crud and rust in the fuel filter - there was no primary filter on the draw tube!

Here's the tube next to the sender unit.

I think they both cleaned up nicely.

Part of the float arm is heavily rusted but not to the point it'll break; but I'd like to do something with it to keep it from rusting further.

Speaking of the float arm...

Unfortunately the float arm had seized up and would not move. Upon consulting the Land Rover Owner's Group it was determined that a good, long soaking of the pivot point with 3-n-1 oil might loosen it up. The tricky part was keeping the oil of the electrical coil on the inside of the sender.

Since the sender was out anyway I figured the housing could use some cleaning.

Doesn't look too bad at all if you consider what it looked like when it first came out!

You can even read all the numbers and letters now.

A couple curious things I found stamped on the housing were the letters 'T' & 'W'. You can barely see the furthest tips of these letters on the housing in the picture. The 'T' is on the left, above the brass tab. The 'W' is right across from it on the right side. I have no idea what they stand for but am going to try and find out.

Just another view.

The old gasket is in place but will be replaced before it's installed.

Now, remember when I said the float arm had seized up and wouldn't budge?

well, the 3-n-1 oil, and some gentle manipulation, did the trick. The float arm is now as loose and floppy as a wet noodle!

The video quality isn't the best (you try holding the camera and floppy the thing at the same time) but you can see how well it moves now.

Now all I need to do is test the unit to see if it works electrically. If it does I should have a working fuel gauge once it's installed!!

Well, I guess that's enough for now. I need to go start dealing with the Christmas junk - OY!

Till next time...


Sunday, January 3, 2010

London to Singapore Overland 2010

As all of you know one of my biggest dreams is to ship Grover to Africa and go on a nice long trek.

Late in 1955 a group of 6 undergraduates from Oxford and Cambridge Universities did something similar but far more spectacular - they drove 32,000 miles from the UK to Singapore overland.

This was the first time something like this had ever been accomplished.

Now, 55 years later, another intrepid team of explorers have decided to follow those same tire tracks.

In their own words:

Our aim is to re-trace the original route to Singapore, in two original Land Rover series 1 Station Wagons, faithfully prepared as replicas of the original vehicles.

We propose to film and produce a series for the BBC of our epic trip, just as the 1955 team did for Sir David Attenborough and show it in contrast to the original, still watched by thousands today, thanks to Graeme Aldous, of Teeafit Sound & Vision who edited the original footage onto DVD.

In 1950’s style we intend to camp by the roadside and prepare all our own meals on petrol stoves, using locally sourced produce.

To learn more pay a visit to the London to Singapore Overland 2010 site.

This is the original team and their SI Land Rovers.

These are the recreated SI Land Rovers that are going on the trip.

Original rout from 1955

If you go to the 2010 Overland site you will find a detailed 'out bound rout' there.

The original Rovers hard at work...

...and the recreated Rovers on the trail.

The Rovers to be used are SI Rovers that were meticulously restored to recreate the original Rovers that went the distance.

Here's wishing them the best of luck!!

I wish I were going with you.

Thanks Tom R. for telling me about this!

Till next time...

Larry ~

A Gift from DeWalt

Hello Everyone!

First off - sorry about not posting for such a long time. I’ve been extremely busy around the house finishing up the kitchen and getting ready for the holidays. On top of this I was sick for 3 weeks. The Doc wasn't sure what it was but it hit unexpectedly, without warning, and had me down for the count within three hours. The first night I had uncontrollable chills as well as a fever. SWMBO said it was like having a vibrating heat blanket!

The Doc had me tested for N1H1 (that wasn't pleasant in itself) and it turned out to be negative. But I do have most of the symptoms for the flu and common cold.

Okay - let's get to the meat of this post.

A couple months ago an e-mail arrived in my mail box from a guy named Andrew. Without posting the whole message here the gist of what it said:

"I am contacting you on behalf of DEWALT about its new line of IMPACT READY™ Accessories... I am just wondering if you will be able to help us spread the word about this new line of accessories. You can do this by informing your readers about the tools and writing a blurb or article about the accessories."

My first thought was "Yeah...right".

You see, I get all sorts of e-mails from people/companies wanting me to 'feature' their product or service on my house blog and most have nothing to do with house restoration. Some have been down right pornographic!! Why would I want to advertise the 'little blue pill' on my house blog?

However, Andrew and I did pass a few e-mails back and forth and he turned out to be legit (yes - I check on things before I associate them with this this site). So I told him I'd be happy to help them out.

Unfortunately, somewhere between e-mails he and I dropped the ball and I eventually forgot all about it. Then, a few weeks ago I was reading a post by another house restoration blogger named Benny over at DC Rowhouse. It appears she had been made a similar offer. From the looks of it she was offered more than the IMPACT READY™ Accessories.

This jiggled the gray mush between my ears and I hunted down the e-mails Andrew had sent me and thought I'd see if they were still wanting me to participate.

Honestly, after seeing Benny's post I figured they had already sent out all the test items they intended to and I'd be SOL. Like I said - I'm not the luckiest person out there.

'Lo and behold' I got a response from Andrew! He apologized for not following up with me which was not necessary - I really think 'I' dropped the ball somehow.

Anyway, here is the important part that came in the e-mail:

"We’re interested in sending you the impact driver along with the impact accessories. We’d like to have you review the accessories as the focus of the article, but you can talk about the driver too. Also, we are running a different campaign focused on the compact battery (that comes with the impact driver) and its comparison to the original (heavier) NiCad battery. We’d like to send you out the extra battery to compare it to the newer Compact battery and review the Compact battery’s performance."

I jumped all over it!!!

I sent him the info he requested and sat back expecting a long wait - at least two weeks anyway - before it arrived.

In appreciation for getting to try out these tools I told Andrew I would be doing several 'reviews' of the products (just like I do with the Fein Multimaster - wish they would send some toys) and would also post this to my Land Rover blog. I also told him I would give just about every detail I could about these items.

Boy was I surprised! Less than 4 days later the toys arrived for me to try out!!!

SWMBO checked the mail Saturday the 5th and the package was at the post office. Yes - I've had these all this time but, honestly, this is the first chance I've had to post about it!!

SWMBO did grumbled about the weight though...

It was like Christmas came early when I opened the box.

You could smell that 'new tool' smell - man I love it (insert simian, manly "grunt" here)!!!

Thankfully everything seemed to arrive safely with no dents or dings.

First thing I wanted to do was go have coffee with my parents and the in-laws - I just HAD to share!! SWMBO said no - they would be by later that day.

So, I went ahead and unpacked all the treasures.

WOW!! What a treasure.

Look at all those new toys!!

Just think of the possibilities!!

Now, as I promised Andrew, here is the first of several reviews of the DeWALT Impact Ready items he sent me. I will be supplying my thoughts throughout but I'm also going to post 'Specs & Features' for each item.

Before we get to the tools themselves, you might also want to go here and check out the info DeWALT has put out about the Impact Ready Accessories - it's worth the time!

First up is the DeWALT DCK265L 18V Compact Li-Ion Drill/Impact Combo Kit.

I really like this kit. It comes in a durable case with metal latches to keep it closed. There is even a place so you can add a lock. Each item that comes in the kit has it's own little cubby hole inside that it fits in.

Beside the aspect of getting an impact driver and drill with this set you also get a charger station and 2 - yes TWO - batteries. Each battery even has a cover for the business end - those are the two little red things in the picture.

The tools feel great in the hand and the batteries charge quickly. A major plus is that the charger allows you to leave the batter in it even after it's been charged without damaging the batter or charger.

There are so many features on both of the tools for me to talk about. The manual that came with them appear to do a good job describing them. As I learn to use them better I will report back on them.

Following is some of the official info on this kit.

DeWALT DCK265L 18V Compact Li-Ion Drill/Impact Combo Kit

  • DCD760 compact 1/2" 18V drill/driver
  • DCF826 18V impact driver
  • DC9310 7.2V-18V NiCd/NiMH/Li-Ion 1 Hour Charger
  • (2) 18V compact li-ion batteries
  • Kit Box
  • DCD760 18V 1/2" compact drill/driver delivers 350 unit watts out of maximum power
  • DCF826 18V Impact Driver delivers 1,330 in-lbs of torque and 0-2,400 rpms offering power and speed to perform a wide range of fastening applications at faster speeds
  • Compact li-ion batteries (DC9181) charge in 30 minutes and are compatible with the existing system of DEWALT 18V power tools produced since 1996

Next we have the DeWALT DC9096 XRP 18-Volt 2.4 Amp Hour NiCad Pod Style Battery

I have yet to use this puppy so haven't even charged it.

I do have a specific project I plan to use this battery with though. Be expecting a post on 'Battery Comparison' within the near future.

Here's the official info for you though.

DeWalt DC9096 XRP 18-Volt 2.4 Amp Hour NiCad Pod Style Battery

High-capacity 2.4 Amp hour battery delivers 40% more run time than XR Pack® batteries. Powers entire line of Dewalt 18 Volt tools and can run multiple tools off the same battery pack.


  • Fits all 18 volts DeWALT tools except univolt
  • High-capacity battery with 40 percent more run-time than standard batteries
  • Rugged plastic casing
  • Dimensions: 7" x 3.5" x 7"; 2.5 lbs
  • Replaces the DW9095 and DW9096 series
  • Full charge in 1 hour or less

I've always been leery of using cordless tools due to the drop in power and consistency in power, so I'm really looking forward to this!

Not many of you out there know this, but I'm pretty 'Old School' when it comes to power tools and cordless has never really been there for me. I do have one cordless drill I've used periodically, but haven't been happy with the battery.

With these DeWALT tools I plan to wreck these puppies and see how the batteries hold up!!!

Let's get to the DeWALT DW2169 38 Pc. Impact Ready Special Accessory Set.

I really like this little set!

There are actually two little containers within this one. One container holds all the little bits and accessories and the other one holds the Drive Deep Sockets with room for more to be added. Both containers also lock so the pieces don't fall out.

They are also small enough to fit well in my tool box.

Another nice touch is the system that holds the bits in. The little tabs are pliable and appear to stand up to the bits being pulled out and placed back it. They also look like they wont snap off after a few weeks of doing this.

Here are the specs:

DeWALT DW2169 38 Pc. Impact Ready Special Accessory Set

The set comes in a plastic case and all the kit’s bits are rated up to 2,000 in/lbs of torque – perfect for use with impact drivers.

Kit Includes:
  • (8) #2 Phillips 1" Insert Bits
  • (8) #2 Phillips Drywall Insert Bits
  • (5) #2 Phillips 2" Power Bits
  • (8) #2 Phillips 1" Double Ended Insert Bits
  • (2) Nutdrivers: 1/4", 5/16", (1)3/8" Socket Adapter
  • (1) Pivot Holder (bends to simplify driving screws in tight spaces)
  • (1) Magnetic Bit Holder. Rated up to 2000 in-lbs of torque
  • (4) 3/8" Drive Deep Sockets: 3/8", 7/16", 1/2", 9/16"
Qualified for Cordless Impact Drivers

The following picture is so you can better see the best part of the above set.

The Pivot Holder!

Cool isn't it?!

This little device will really make getting in small, tight, areas easy (at least I hope it does).

As the spec say 'bends to simplify driving screws in tight spaces', we'll see how well it works.

There is one thing I want to try with this and I have to wonder if DeWALT has tried it. As you all know, there have been several times I've needed to get to tight spaces to removes screws and such, but the same goes with drilling holes. I wonder if the drill bits would fit on this (they look like they would)? If so, I wonder if a person could drill a hole in a tight place using this. It should... I'll test it out sometime and let you all know.

Let's mosey over and have a look at the DeWALT DD5057 7 Piece Impact Ready Drilling Set.

I really like the design of these drill bits. I have even used some of them already and they work great!

The only drawback I've seen, if you can call it a drawback, is the lack of a small case to hold them. Like I said 'if' you call it a drawback; I can see why they wouldn't make one for these since you'll probably add more to it anyway, but, getting the little cases for the others spoiled me!

Here are the specs:

DeWALT DD5057 7 Piece Impact Ready Drilling Set

  • Ground from solid one piece design is up to 5 times more durable than the current 2 piece conventional product.
  • Patented web taper increases the rigidity of the bit to decrease the potential for bit breakage.
  • Patented Pilot Point® tip (3/16” -1/2”) allows users to drill holes faster than the conventional split point product and offers clean burr free holes with reduced bit walking.
Kit Includes:
  • (2) 1/8 Drill Bits
  • (1) 5/32 Drill Bit
  • (1) 3/16 Drill Bit
  • (1) 7/32 Drill Bit
  • (1) ¼ Drill Bit
  • (1) 5/16 Drill Bit
Qualified for Cordless Impact Drivers

I found this picture and thought it gave a good visual for the drill bits with some of the highlights.

Next we have the DeWALT Impact Rated Bi-Metal Hole Saw.

I know these things don't look all that special, but take a closer look - I'll wait....

Did you notice it? It is hard to see, but follow along the drill bit down to the cutter.

Do you see it now?



You might be asking why I would be so excited about a spring. Simple, it makes it a HELL of a lot easier to remove the wood plug from the hole saw!!!

There are so many companies that leave this little luxury off. DeWALT has done a major service, IMHO, by adding these.

These will come in handy for so many projects!!

Well, let me climb down from cloud 9 for a minute and give you the specs. NOTE - they don't mention the SPRINGS!!! Andrew - if you see this you might want to suggest to DeWALT to add this to the spec/features.

DeWALT Impact Rated Bi-Metal Hole Saw have a double tooth design which strengthens each and every tooth. Great for those entrance holes into junction boxes and through drilling for pipe and conduit.

  • Optimized tooth design allows for quick cuts and long tooth life
  • Improved tooth geometry cuts through material faster
  • Hardened backing plate prevents stripping
  • Cuts twice the amount of material in one pass
  • Highest high-speed-steel height in the industry improves durability
  • Designed with Commercial Contractors in mind
  • (1) ¾” (19.1mm) Hole Saw
  • (1) 7/8” (22.2mm) Hole Saw
  • (1) 1” (25.4mm) Hole Saw
  • (1) 1-1/8” (28.6mm) Hole Saw
  • (1) 1-¼” (31.7mm) Hole Saw
  • (1) 1-3/8” (34.9mm) Hole Saw
  • (1) 1-½” (38.1mm) Hole Saw
All with ¼” (6.4mm) shank

This picture is just like the drill bit one; it gives a good look, and over view of the hole saws.

This time the spring is mentioned!!!!



Moving on.

With a project in mind I plugged in the DC9310 battery charger and charged up one of the DC9181 batteries that came with the main set.

Like I said, this was just a little Christmas repair, but, if your interested you can see it on my house blog here. It is the last part of the post.

I'm hoping that soon there’ll be a chance to test these toys out on Grover.

Till next time…

Larry ~