Friday, July 31, 2009

First Rain in the Rover....

Ok, I knew going in to purchasing the Rover that they are not know as the most waterproof car out there. Land Rover even printed and released an official "Water Ingress Manual" for the Defender! The previous owner did say that it leaked a little but did not mention where. Well, I drove the Rover to a tennis match last night and it ended up storming quite hard. Walking back to the truck after the match I was fearing water everywhere inside. I get in and and welcomed by a nice splash when my feet hit the floor mat. Great, inside of the car is swamped. Turn the lights on and grab my flashlight to take stock of the situation. Turns out that the only water that got in the car pooled on top of the rubber floor mat on the drivers side. Pull the floor mat our carefully and dump the water, feel the carpet that was underneath and it is bone dry! Look around and try to find the leak but the dripping has stopped. The ingress manual mentions water leaks around the clutch pedal box, this would explain why there was only water on the floor mat. Figure I'll hit the areas described in the repair manual with some clear RTV and see if that takes care of the problem!

Great news is that the Rover started up and ran great on the way home. The high-beams and the aux lights really light the road up, glad I got those wired up correctly.

This weekend I plan on continuing to try to get the rear work light functioning. Going to try to determine where the rear wiring harness leaves the frame to enter the cab so taht I can continue to trace the power and ground wires. Also hoping to trace the extra wires coming off the spare dash switches.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Starting Work on the Rover

Dived right into the electrical issues on the Rover this past weekend. Turns out that the highbeams where not connected to the correct circuit and the driving lights where wired directly to the higbeam circuit. Switched this around and got the high beams working. I then installed a new 12v 30amp relay to power the driving lights. Had it hooked up and found out that both the bulbs where bad so I need to pick up replacements some time this week.

The rear flasher issue ended up just being a slightly loose connection in the rear wiring harness.

The last two things to get working are the rear work light (I have another relay that I am going to power this with, I was also thinking of maybe trying to wire it up to use as a reverse light) and the fuel gauge. Work light should be pretty straight forward but the fuel gauge is going to be a bit more difficult. Figure I will start from the gauge and work my way back towards the tank with that one.

That is it for now. I am going to hit everything with the grease gun this week and try to find someplace locally to source gear oil.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Introducing the Purple People Eater....

Here it is. The new-to-me 1973 Series III Land Rover 109" Station Wagon (say that three times fast). Kel and I drove to Nashville, TN and picked it up this last Sunday. It drove surprisingly well on the interstate. With the overdrive and up-rated engine (2.5L 4 cyl out of a mid 80's Defender) it was able to cruise right around 70 at 3100 rpm.

I'll be kicking the tires and sorting a few electrical issues out for the next few weeks (left rear turn signal, fuel gauge, aux lights) but it is a blast to drive. Now I just need to find a little dirt to play in!

As for the name, the offical color it is painted is actually a '75-'76 Jaguar color called Ocean Blue. Some angles it looks Royal Blue while others it looks dark purple. Thus Kelly dubbed it "The Purple People Eater". It seats 12 so that works for me! A few more pics below.

Roof rack is coming off for now so that I can fit the truck in the garage.

Monday, July 13, 2009

New Ride: A Preview of the Land Rover

Well I think I have officially sourced the replacement ride for the TR6. Found a nice 1973 Series III Land Rover that I have agreed in principle to purchase. NOw all I have to do is find a day to go pick it up. Looking forward to getting to know the Rover. I have been wanting a classic off-roader for a bit and having twins somewhat accelerated the process. As longtime readers may remember, I flirted with a project 1969 Nissan Patrol for a bit when I sold the TR4a. After that my attention turned to a Short Wheelbase Series Land Rover, an 88". I looked at a few and was hooked. I also almost picked up a 1970 AMC Jeepster Commando. A very sweet ride that looks like is up for sale finnaly but alas the timing is all wrong and the Jeepster is just not quite what I am looking for in a classic truck. Upon learning my wife and I where having twins, my attention turned to something I could fit the whole family in and have room to spare in the back. That dropped my choices down the the Long Wheel Base Series Rover, a 109". I guess I could have picked an old Jeep Wagoneer or maybe Bronco or an IH Scout. But with my twisted love of all things British I went with the Rover. Right now it looks like I might be able to pick it up next weekend. I'll have some more pictures as well as a trip report next week.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

5 Years with the MINI

Well, the 5th anniversary of my owner ship of my '04 MINI Cooper S came and passed last month. Why am I just getting around to writing about this? Well life happens, but better late than never. I picked up my first MINI in October 2003. This one was lost under odd circumstances that I won't go into. My second and current MINI is a May 2004 build. I picked it up sometime in the middle of June. In the 5 years that I have owned it I have put just over 75k on the clock. In that 75k I have done some thing I would have never guessed I would get a chance to do in my life, I have also met some great people. I have somewhat lived out one of my childhood dreams of being a race car driver (Autocrossing), I was paid the ultimate complement at a driving school when my instructor asked me to slow up a bit so the guys in the Dodge Vipers behind me can catch up! I have driven all over the Southeast US looking for and finding countless great driving roads. I have carved up the dragon too many times to count and hand motorcycle riders complement my driving ability. I have helped out my fellow motorist, helping with flat tires or overheating cars. Overall, I have had an amazing time in an amazing car and I look forward to the next 5 years and 75k in it as I have no plans to replace the MINI any time soon.

I do have a few maintenance things to clear up, I need to get the drive belt replaced and I think the belt tensioner is going bad. I also need new tires and to get the coolant flushed. Other than that she is still driving like a dream!