Tuesday, January 16, 2007


OK, I'm over that whole "I can't do this" thing (for now... :-) ). Would be a bit silly to have a Landy sitting outside and be too scared to touch it, so I really have no choice but to just move forward.


Got a couple of things I want to do in the next few weeks, time and cash permitting.

* Still haven't done a complete oil change - I merely topped up what was there. So I've got to get around to doing that, and change the oil filter in the engine bay too.

* I've changed 3 out of 6 spark plugs. Doing the rest requires removing the bonnet, a task for which I haven't had the wherewithall up to now. Will pick a good day and get the darn things finished.

* The last trip back from our Mall Experience had me worried about a slight jerkiness - don't know if the oil change and spark plug completion will help, but I suspect the timing needs sorting asap. My regular mechanic may or may not still be around - if he isn't I'm going to need to find someone else to help me with that one. Then again, would be good to have a knowledgeable Series bloke handy anyway!

* If I had complete and utter confidence in my abilities (as well as a tall covered space to work in), I'd probably get around to taking the entire engine apart and putting it back together again - but not just yet.. :-) However, there are a few things I still want to check up on. And for that I need to use the engine cleaner I bought, and scrub everything clean. That will probably show up all sorts of lovely oil leaks and give me endless fun on the weekends attempting to minimize them. (The thing about owning a Landy is that you're never bored - there's always something new to do)

* I still have to find a place that will replace the tube in that tyre that deflated. I don't have an option to go over to tubeless (cost!), nor do I want to. Tubes seem the better option generally speaking - unless someone can tell me otherwise.

* I have yet to open the rooftop tent. That should be a day's adventure all it's own!

So my list of to-do's is still lengthy, and bit by bit I'm getting around to it. Although I'd love to be bowling along in the Landy each week, I'd rather know I've sorted out the niggles first. After all, my previous rescuer is no longer available, and it's a long walk home! :-)

Monday, January 08, 2007


There are days when owning an old Landy is very intimidating. I put on a good show, but sometimes I wonder just what the heck I'm doing! (I'm pretty sure Olivia's previous owner does too... :-) )

It's great when I get things right - basics like the oil changes, greasing up bits, sorting out fuel filters and tanks and such. But sometimes hanging around Landy guys scares me - they start chatting about stuff I haven't even heard of, and which is apparently really important to keep an eye on. When I have time I tend to head over to the Land Rover UK forums, and all too often an entire paragraph will just be way over my head - though everyone else seems to know what's going on.

The lastest episode with tyre-changing was an up/down one. I realized I could do it at a pinch - but at the same time noted how little I know. There's still a lot of knowledge that needs hammering into the head, but it doesn't want to absorb fast enough.

Landy-intimidation + post-lunch dip = not a good thing at all! :-) Only solution is to grit the teeth and soldier on, trying not to break anything.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Learning Curve - Wheels and Tyres

1. Always take the high-lift jack (and know how the heck it works, including getting it down).

2. Before you leave home make sure that you:
a) know what size your wheel-nuts are
b) have a wheel spanner that fits
c) know where to locate bricks for front tyres (and can send your kid to find them)

3. Ensure that your circle of friends includes Landy people (local) who may be able to drop by and help change the tyre that the idiot(s) (cursed be their offspring for generations to come) damaged by deflating this week, and who may also possess high-lift jacks and/or appropriate wheel spanner sizes.

4. If all else fails, make sure you let your home-based rescuer know they have to get the jack AND the wheel spanner - so that multiple trips from mall to home are not needed. Also ensure that the wheel spanner you went to get on trip 2 actually fits any/all of the wheel nuts.

5. Always carry gifts for strangers willing to spend 3 hours attempting to help you, but failing that make sure you get their names, phone numbers and addresses (done!). Thank profusely any 4x4 fitment centre that attempts to phone anyone who may be able to help (unsuccessfully).

6. Never assume the wheel-nut size will be the same both outside and inside that big metal thing on the back wheel.

7. If all else fails, sockets & wrenches work. Except that you will need VERY large sockets fittings... (note to self - go buy very large ones) and a good deal of muscle power for the wrench. Count your blessings that you always carry the tool box.

8. Finally, find a tyre supply shop that actually works with tube tyres, isn't push-off-unfriendly when asked for help, and is willing to go the extra mile. Oh - and find out why the usual 30-odd Landies around the mall simply weren't there this week! :-)

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


When I bought Olivia, I joined up with the Land Rover Owners Club of Southern Africa. I never got around to joining the local Cape Landy Club though - mainly because for some reason I can't access their website at all, so never really did much about attempting to get info another way. (I have since received info by email, but still can't access their site)

Well, being quite far from the epicentre of activities has had me looking a bit green with envy as they plan outings and go places and do interesting offroad stuff. I guess the local guys are also doing interesting stuff here, but with no access to their site and no membership, I simply don't hear about it.

Anyway, a mailing tube of goodies just arrived from the LROC - their magazine, renewal notice (eish... can I afford it now?), newsletter, and a HUGE 2007 calendar. I've stuck the latter up near my desk. Yup, that should do it - no missing out on what date it may be now! :-)

As much as I love goodies and enjoy the monthly newsletter etc, I'm still debating whether I should renew membership or not. There are benefits to having a LROC sticker on the vehicle, carrying a membership card etc - mostly in the form of discounts (where, I have yet to ascertain) and special treatement (which I've experienced already, sticker or not!). It's a good chunk of cash to renew the membership, which I could instead spend on a local club.

Still thinking.

In the meantime, I ain't complaining about a tubefull of goodies. I've always liked getting stuff in the post! :-)