LAND ROVER EXPERIENCE OWNER’S DAY

Super excited that I was able to get into this event.  It was fully booked, sadly someones truck was not able to make it.  It turned out to be a great opportunity 😀 for me, sad that a Rover was not on the road, but it happens.  Looking forward to getting out on the LR experience trails.  My Rover is not 100% but it will – LOVE – the chance to get out on the trail.

Had this glimpse of the trail sent to me, by the staff

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The ‘hard’ trail on the LR experience trail system.

Took the chance today to go for a afternoon drive with the wife, it was nice to get out and see the sights and lake.  The Rover was ‘posin’ for some snaps too… lol

I look forwar to sharing photos / videos of the expience… 🙂 bring on Sunday!!

Mosquito Pass

One of my favorite things to get out and do is to ‘experience’ the history here in Colorado while off-roading, and taking photos. There are so many ghost towns and abandoned mines, I won’t be able to see them all. But I have a couple that are big enough to go to multiple time, London Mines is one of those places.

With the winter snow melting, there was time and the weather was on my side :). Once again set off early (0530 hrs) for the road trip to the Trail Head 2 hrs away.  I was joined by some a friend and his son, always nice to have a trail buddy – right?  The drive to the Trail Head was ‘uneventful’ but long.

Once on the trail, we set out to get to London Mines… well that was eventful 🙂

After the fun… we explored the site and set off to summit Mosquito Pass. Well lets say that Mother Nature had other plans for us… LOL! We were not able to make it up the pass due to snow covered sheets of ice – we decided to call it a day. Always smart to call a trip and save you and your vehicle the chance of damage or worse – right?

Never the less a wonderful day with friends on the trail exploring.

Project – Overland mod of 2003 LR Discovery 2

OK… so Disco bought 😉 now what.  Well there are a plethera of mods, upgrades that can be done.  BUT which ones do I want, which ones do I need and which ones are just cool? There are so many and the only limiting factor is $$. My limiting factor on this project is 8000.00, which is reasonable (I believe).

So to start what will I do with the Land Rover Discovery 2?  Here is how I envision using the Disco:

  • Exploring the area – old trails, railways, etc
  • Overlanding  – reaching destinations (ghost towns, BLM, out of the way lakes)
  • Adventure seeking – hard to reach trail heads for hikes, MTB trips

So there it is…  WHAT it won’t be used for is:

  • Rock crawling
  • Extreme off-roading

Knowing how I want to used the Disco will allow me to make an informed decision on what to put the limited funds towards.  Here is what I’m planning on doing to the 2003 Land Rover Discovery in order of priority 🙂

  1. Engine repair (Pikes Peak Rovers) – more than I expected but necessary (obviously).  2200.00
  2. Differential upgrade (GBR Utah) – this is from experience, the LR diffs are a weak spot.  3200.00
  3. Center Diff Lock (CDL) – this too is from experience, without this you could end up stranded on the trail.  400.00
  4. Front sway bar disconnect (Slick Rock Fab) – this is to get better off road handling and flex.  200.00
  5. Armor (Tactical Rovers)- this only makes sense to protect all of the above 😀  1000.00

GRAND TOTAL: $6600.00

Once this is all done, the Discovery will be un-stoppable (for my purposes) and will get me to all those amazing / awe inspiring places… you know the ones

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Colorado Springs – Grand Junction – Moab (Day 1)

So… the day arrived, 22 April – day 1 of the Moab trip.  I started off with an early wake up – 0515 hrs and finished packing the truck and said my goodbyes to the family for the next 3 days.  Off we went, well not so fast 😦

The Toyota Land Cruiser that was being towed by the Rover… well the brakes were just done and guess what.  They were smoking 😦 guessing that they were not adjusted right.  

 So off with the wheels and drums… adjust the brakes and back together.  AND now off we go.. well not so fast, literally :).  The Rover towing a Land Cruiser can only do 55 mph… so we were not going anywhere fast LOL!

Approximately 5 hrs later and 1.5 tanks of gas we made it to Grand Junction.  Unload the Cruiser, set the brakes and off to the grocery store for food and supplies. 😀 BUT wait.. nope the brakes on the Cruiser are now not working… too soft :(. So the plan turns to divide and conquer.  1 person for supplies and the other 2 for repairs.  

Those thing are done and NOW we are ready to start the Kokopelli trail… but it is now 1700 hrs and we are running out of light.  The initial plan was to hit the trail at 1200 hrs and make Tope of the World – but that is not possible now.  So we got to Bitter Creek and set up camp for the night.   

    
 Looking forward to an amazing day 2..more adventures to follow.

The journey begins… an introduction to Land Rovers

So, I’m no stranger to vehicles and maintenance but I don’t think I was really ready for the ‘commitment’ to the Land Rover ;). Since a young boy I have had a soft spot for Land Rovers, you know the ones – the Defender.  These iconic little expedition vehicles are tough!

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My dream Rove

I was not able to find a affordable version of this model, but the Land Rover Discovery is the next model in line.  Similar under the facade to the Range Rover Classic and the Defender, but with some of the ‘creature comforts’ :D.  These are things like AC, power windows, locks etc…

Now I imagine that there are a few people out there that know about the British cars and their ‘issues’ with wiring and maybe quality control 😉 Yes – I can whole heartedly verify that the British electrical systems are quirky.  Same can be said about some of the other items, fit and finish (body) and quality of drivetrain.

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The new Rover – couple wks after I bought it.

As part of my initiation to the world of Land Rover maintenance I was introduced to electrical troubleshooting as well as the plethora of maintenance needs :).  All of which are not for the faint of heart – BUT you know what it only endeared me to the Rover even more.

The journey began when I wanted to ‘enhance’ the expedition pedigree of the Rover.  Living in Colorado Springs, there are many opportunities to get out into the great Rockies.  My plan was to make these modifications:

  • 2″ lift for better clearance on the trail
  • armour the underside (differentials, transmission, and transfer case)
  • add better bumpers (front and rear) to improve approach and departure angle
  • add recovery gear – like a winch
  • add better carrying capacity via roof rack (Safety Devices)
  • extra fuel carrying capacity via jerry cans

These were just some, but in the end there were other items that needed.  As you may recall, these vehicles need TLC and maintenance – The Land Rover Discovery / Range Rover  Classic engines have a need to NOT get too hot.  Being the engine block is aluminum, they are not particularly tolerant of the heat.  My particular rover had 140,000 mi and it must have gotten too hot – it needed a head gasket job.  As well as full regime of basic maintenance:

  1. oil change
  2. transmission flush
  3. differential fluid change
  4. coolant flush

Here is some of the of the history of my Rover these are from the last year and half or so.

Here is what the Rover looks like now:

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My love for this little Rover has grown and I use it every day for my daily driver and weekend adventures.  There was a saying that I have read and it sums up my relationship with my Rover – “Land Rovers turning drivers into mechanics for over 50 yrs” :D.  YUP!!

There are some great projects that I have done and plan to do – look for those to come shortly, and if I find a better guide I will link you to it… hope that the Rover lovers out there can find something useful.  AND if you are not – well maybe you won’t understand, but I hope you can appreciate the love.

A little truck, big mountains and a sense of adventure

Well, I have spent the last year and a half in Colorado, and I have to say – WOW what a great experience!  But I guess I should start at the beginning, I have enjoyed the outdoors and all it has to offer since I can remember – also I have enjoyed working on vehicles.  These 2 passions have came together when I arrived in Colorado Springs.  I bought my Land Rover D2, for its heritage as a great off road vehicle.  Although fully stock, it was capable, but the Rover did need some TLC (as do most 12 yr old Land Rovers). It served as a good daily driver… but I wanted it to be more ;).  So the journey down the path of Overlanding Expeditions started.

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Over the last year or so, I have been slowly building the Rover up for off road adventures… it is almost there.  For more on the Rover, see Land Rover Projects.  To date is has taken me to many hard to reach mountain passes and back country areas… allowing me to find stunning views of the Rockies.

The adventure that the Rover gets me out to are hikes, mountain biking, mountain passes, and outdoors excursions (in general).  To see some of these great adventures have a look at the Adventures section.  One may be off roading, others will be snow shoeing and other could be epic mountain passes… all of which lend themselves to my photography hobby.

There is a fantastic community of Land Rover owners, Expedition Adventurers and Outdoors enthusiasts which have inspired me to share my experiences in the Colorado outdoors.  Also I want to share some of the Trials and Tribulations of Land Rover ownership :D.  I hope that my passion and enthusiasm will encourage others to get out and find what they love. I know that there are inspiring stories out there… as I have stumble upon several of them. The one that inspired me to the point of getting out and publishing my own stories was The road choose me A great story about a guy and his adventures navigating throughout North America and soon his adventure of navigating around Africa. If you have a chance I highly recommend you take a few minutes and read his some of his story (it may inspire you too).