Monday, February 25, 2008


On Friday night Favourite Man and I headed off in Olivia to take the kid to the church youth group. Barely out of the gate we both smelt petrol, and the kid stated "we've sprung a leak!". Oh dear...

We pulled off the road very quickly to find petrol gushing out of the engine bay - way too close to the engine block for comfort - emptying out in a river from the fuel filter. Well we organized a quick lift for the kid and limped home to do things we hadn't planned on doing on a Friday night.

Worklight in hand, spanners at the ready, I got my fuel-dousing and took the filter out to find problems. Favourite Man took all the bits off the bulkhead too and we had a good look at the thing.

The screw was stripped. The only screw that holds the filter into its lid and keeps the whole thing together! I have no idea how that happened - the inside is just completely smooth, no thread available to grip.

Much scratching of heads resulted - and the upshot of it was a trip to Autozone to get a different kind of filter, which we then plumbed inline to the system - leaving the old one to be repaired one day and used as a spare. The new one is easier to get to - and is working well so far.

It never rains, but it pours with this truck. And sometimes it pours petrol.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Going like stink

Well there's good news and bad news.

The bad news - the carb came out for the FIFTH time this weekend. I was so not lus to take it out, but it had to be done. This time I set it by the book. Unfortunately I also got badly munched when the driver's door slammed on my finger in the wind... which put an end to car work for the day.

But she's starting better and running smoother.

The good news - today Favourite Man and I sorted out spark plugs, HT leads and the distributor. She goes like STINK now - loads of power, no more hassles at low revvs or lack of getting up the smallest hill.

OK, so there's still other things needing attention. The radiator needs removal, professional check-through and cleaning. The valve clearances need sorting to sort out the tappety noise in the engine. The back diff needs a look-at and possible overhaul or replacement.

But I'm happier with how she's running today than I have been in a very long time.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Cool Truck

This weekend's trip to Cape Town reminded me again what a very cool truck I'm driving.

If I'm in the Disco 2, it's just another vehicle on the road. No-one waves at you, no-one notices you go by.

Completely different story in Olivia!

She potters along, so traffic tends to build up behind her on narrow roads. You'd think this would irritate the masses, but we found the opposite. Those falling-apart cars full of locals? They came past hooting and waving and smiling. We got lifted-hand acknowledgement (and respec' !) from other Landy drivers. While parked up at Big Bay one woman walking by commented "when I grow up I want to drive a Landy".

DAMN, this truck is awesome.

Just this morning I was trundling along the commute route when a Pajero-driver in the next lane rolled down his window and shouted "check that clutch leg! I used to have two of those trucks" (in Afrikaans.. approximate translation). I have to admit, you do build leg muscles on the clutch. :-)

The security guards at the complex know my truck - boom gates open while you're still on the approach stretch. They told Favourite Man earlier this week "we like this truck".

Think about it - do you get the same happy reaction driving your Toyota bakkie, or a little Mazda 323, your run-of-the-mill LR Defender, or even a classig MG? Nope.

This truck's seen as fun, as cool, as something folk might dream of owning one day. They may have no idea about the engine struggles, the parts difficulties, the endless turning of the damn carb behind the scenes - but they see Olivia and go "wow".

Who wouldn't. She's awesome!

Monday, February 11, 2008


Well, duning in a very small way. Here's what Olivia got up to this weekend:

Friday, February 08, 2008

Wish I knew

There are so many things I wish I knew when it comes to working on Olivia:

* I wish I knew exactly how to set that carb. I'm fiddling in the dark (sometimes literally), going by feel and ear - but if I've actually got it right? Dunno.

* I wish I knew something about ignition timing. Or that bottom-of-the-flywheel timing. I read, I watched - but I still don't get it.

* I wish I knew how every single part in that 2.6 engine worked and how to tweak it to optimum performance.

* I wish I knew exactly what is going on with the clutch.

There's only one thing to it. Time to up the learning.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The "secret weapons"

Remember I mentioned a while back that Olivia's sills/rocksliders had "secret weapons" - a little surprise in them that you don't usually find in such things?

Check this out! LED bolts that shine when the running lights and roofrack LEDs are on too! Yet another of Favourite Man's awesome innovations.

If you can't see us coming now, you're VERY blind! :-)