So what do you do after a trail run??

On Sunday 3rd November, had an amazing time with the Land Rover Experience team at Montebello and fellow enthusiasts!  Did the obstacle track, a trail run etc… check out the last blog entry


On return to Montebello, the Rover started to ‘howl’ a bit, figured nothing big… just water and dirt – normal.  BUT it persisted and got louder.

Now the worry starts to set in… did I do something wrong?  Is there a major issue with the truck?  Is it going to be expensive 😉 etc. etc.  Once I did the 340 km home with the noise getting worse – I am concerned now.

Could not sleep that night… woke up at 0600 hrs and started in on the investigation, hoping it was not something like the transfer case or driveline issues.  Got it all apart – narrowed it down to the transfer case end of the front driveshaft.

Of note, Adam Chappell of Diesel Rovers had suggested that it was the driveshaft… and you guessed it.  IT WAS.  Thank you to Adam for helping find the issues and helping me sleep better 😉

To all those Rover owners out there… ensure you do daily / regular maintenance, that will help your trucks go for a very long time!  I know that sometime after trail runs, I will neglect the ‘basic’ stuff – grease / inspect fluids and driveline…etc.  Well I am paying for it now… thankfully it is simple (ish).

Remember ROVER ON!! have adventures, share them… and meet and share some time with fellow enthusiasts, its good for the soul 😉 OH and it’s fun.

BEEN A While, so update…

I have had the typical rover issues… and they never really have gotten out of hand.  BUT over the last six or seven months, MAN the Rover gods must be mad at me.  The list:

  1. Ontario’s safety inspection
    • unecessary bushing replacement
    • unecessary tire replacement (x5)
  2. steering knuckle issues
  3. pinion seal on rear differential
  4. rear main seal
  5. water ingress driver side
  6. MULTIPLE bad experiences with local body shop / mechanics (sad about this, because it caused more issues than fixed and COST $$$)
    • if in Kingston DON’T EVER GO TO M.A.R.S. Autobody
  7. RECENTLY – significant oil leak

I have waffled on replacing my beloved Discovery for an upgrade to my ‘dream’ Land Rover – the Defender 110.  Actually found a really nice one in Germany.  BUT there are several factors that have come into play – first and most prohibitive is the cost.  To get a nice Defender here in Canada will cost at least $25 – 30 K and that is a 15 – 20 year old vehicle. Other things that were considered – I love my Discovery.  It is nice, clean and comfy.  Despite the recent issues, I still enjoy it A LOT!

So with some prodding from the boss (aka wife), The decision was made to keep the Disco.  Now this is not as simple as just continue to drive it till something goes wrong.  I REALLY want to have that unicorn – a nice clean Discovery 2 with no issues, oil leaks etc…

OFF i go, to See the guys at Diesel Rovers:  where it may cost some $$ but not the amount of the Defender and certainly not Screen Shot 2019-02-24 at 08.20.03enough to discourage me from doing this.  I have had good experience with Adam and his shop. Hoping that this will launch my Discovery 2 into years of trouble (ish) free enjoyment 😀

The Disco was dropped off this weekend (21 Feb, 2019) and I look forward to letting everyone know how the process is going.  Stay tuned…

In the end, once the Rover is healthy again… it will be time to explore, on the books this summer are several adventures.

Plus whatever else I can find in the great Canadian Shield ;).

2003 Discovery up and running

So, now we have a running Disco, time to add the mods :D.  Let the fun begin…  oh and the spending $$$$.  So as we talked about last time, the mods that I’m going to add are:

  • D1 CDL locking modification
  • Great Basin Rovers, Utah TrueTrac front and rear along with HD rear driveshaft
  • Sway bar disconnects from Slick Rock Fabrication
  • Tactical Rovers rear bumper and tire carrier

This should be all the Rover really needs to be a more solid platform for Overlanding and exploring the mountains.  So I was in such a hurry to get my rig going… I had Pikes Peak Rovers do the install on the diffs and D1 CDL mod – bit expensive, but done right and quickly.

So, now we can get into some of the details and then hopefully to the fun stuff… TRAIL RUNS out to the spectacular locations around Colorado and the surrounding states.  I’ll talk to each project and what it cost, why I chose to do it and what the difficulties were.  😀

Rover on… and keep the shiny side up.

The Decision

Ok, here it is… I have been in Colorado for the last 3 years.  It has been a great experience, but it does have to come to an end.  I am a Canadian working here and have to go back shortly.  The Land Rover has added to the experience AND frankly it is the embodiment of all the things that I love about Colorade!  AND it also has facilitated the experience – it has take me to the mountain tops of the Rockies, to the historic towns tucked over a mountain pass and in those hard to get to places.  It has taken me to the treasures of Utah… every awesome experience, there it is close by 😀

SO my delema, I want to keep the 2002 that I have, but it is long in the tooth and needs some TLC.  Also, there are some rules about what I can bring back to Canada.  So I embarked on a hunt for information – what do I need in order for the Land Rover to be imported to Canada.  Let me tell you… this is not an easy task.  BUT after some time (3 months) I had the major details.

The next step is to decide on fix the old or find a newer one.  I flip flopped for a bit, trying to decide on:

  • how much money to spend
  • what options I would like
  • what mods I wanted
  • FINALLY – what would the budget be

Eventually I came to the decision to buy a new one.  Now to find one that is in good shape (preferrably from Colorado, Utah, New Mexico.. someplace with no rust) and low miles.  Easy right??  NOPE.  There are a lot of these trucks around, but that met the criteria – not many.  In the end I found this one:

A lonely 2003 SD Land Rover Discovery 2, bare bones with no options.  No sunroofs to leak, no heated seats etc…  BUT a new OME 2″ lift, cleaned up and looking for a home.  The story was – driving and lots of noise, rattles etc.  My thought – bad oil pump, maybe get lucky.

BUT not the case… failed main baring 😦

oh, crap… this is what a failed baring looks like

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!

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.

2014-10-26 16.23.05.jpg
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:


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.