Road Test

The Rover gets its first real road test today when Mr. Wolf drives it down to San Jose (40 miles). Doubt he’ll be on the freeway but doubt traffic on secondary roads is much slower. Eagerly await his report. A brief summary of latest fixes:

  • The front leaf spring shackles were assembled incorrectly, and without any grease. This was allowing the front springs to shift laterally, making the steering sloppy and causing an occasional clunk. Greased and reassembled.
  • Britpart steering damper that came on the truck was faulty, at times not damping at all, at other times binding. The truck is driving great without it right now, but I should probably put a new one on there.
  • The filler neck. (long story)
  • The odometer rolled over 600 km yesterday, so I gave it an oil change. Note: it holds 9 quarts, not 7 like the manual says. I think it has an extra large filter housing.
  • I think I finally solved all of the brake issues. The final piece of the puzzle was pulling the master cylinder and shortening the booster pushrod. It was adjusted much too long, not allowing fluid to come back into the master cylinder.

If you’ve been following this story you might be wondering about the quality of the restoration. And rightly so. I was warned from the beginning that a nuts-and-bolts, frame-off restoration isn’t the end of the process. There will be problems that just can’t be spotted until you put some kilometers on the truck. That said, Mr. Wolf has found a lot of careless mistakes. And he’s fixed them. He’s still fixing them.

Buying a restored vintage vehicle is risky business. Even more so if you have zero experience. My salvation has been having someone who can spot and fix the problems. By the time my truck is done I’m confident it will be as close to perfect as a 40 year old truck can be.

Would I do this again, knowing all that I know now? I would. If you are in a hurry and easily pissed off… this isn’t the route for you. And if my new/old Land Rover stops running a week after I get it, I’ll sit in it and drink beer in the back yard.

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