Monday, February 07, 2011

Carbed up

Olivia's been giving a few rather serious problems lately.  She started jerking occasionally a week ago, and it simply went downhill from there.

I did a once-over early in the week, but couldn't see anything wrong.

Thursday was the final straw.  She wouldn't go with any power in a straight line without excessive revving, and that caused jerks and jumps to the point where she'd randomly stall.  I made it through most of a day driving around, some of it with a trailer full of computer screens for recycling, and a 4m pole plus wireless antenna plus double 4m ladder strapped to the roofrack.  But on my final leg home, dragging the roof goodies and an empty trailer, she stalled completely and utterly.  On a blind corner under a bridge... just as a surprise hurricane storm started!

It was mere miracle that no-one hit into the back of me, and an absolute life-saver that a good samaritan and his assistant stopped in their Kia bakkie to tow me off the road to the shoulder.  At which point the hurricane/storm struck in earnest.  Gigantic gusts of wind were soon joined by stinging hail and rain, and we were completely drenched in seconds.  The gentleman asked if I could get the truck going again - when I couldn't and he heard I was trying to get him just around the corner, he hauled out a tow bar and chains, hooked me up with great difficulty, and off we went.

Back home, once I'd stripped off soaked jeans, shirt and takkies and let the rain subside, we got the truck into the yard.  Early next morning, with great difficulty she was started on full choke and I drove her gingerly down to our nearest Landy mechanic.

His expert eye revealed the shaft on the carburetor was worn and wiggling, drawing in too much air randomly, burning the points (with a cutoff rotor that does things when over-revved) and showing up as running lean on the back three plugs.  He filed off the points to give a decent new surface, sent me off to find the spare carb that had come with Olivia's current engine, and drop it off for examination.

This morning I had a call that it looked good - when could I come in?  Well, this afternoon was it!

With a little hard work, the replacement carb was put in, and proved to be tuned to perfection on firing it up.  The points are still good, she sounds like a new beast!  Goes brilliantly too.  The jerk and misfire is gone.

There's been one other issue though... for months now the engine's been squealing around the water-pump area.  We've been frantically trying to source a replacement, but they don't come cheap or easily available.

Today the Landy expert grabbed his oil can as soon as I started the engine, dropped a drop or two on the fanbelt.. and that expensive headache noise disappeared! :-)  Yup, it was the fanbelt, not the water pump.

This evening Favourite Man educated me as to the application of good old Sunlight Soap in a block to the inside of a fan belt.  Olivia is now running quiet and non-squeaky, growling her "V8" engine growl.  An absolute pleasure to drive.


Of course, this is a Land Rover.  Our work is never done.  I'm now on the lookout for a new brake fluid container - Olivia's has been perished and cracking for years, held together with duct tape that today started to give way.  It's got a new layer now - but won't last forever.

Then there's the apparent leak on the back hub seal that needs looking at.  A drip on the gearbox / transfer box of more oil than is normal.  And the heater system to reconnect before winter strikes. 

When you own a Landy there's never a shortage of things to keep you busy!

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