Landrover Motor with radiator removed

Mechanical Mysteries – a Late Night Comedy

The Topes (speed bumps) in Mexico had proven a bit too much for the tired old shocks and springs especially after running over a few at full speed…. So, we planned a maintenance stop in Oaxaca at Overland Oasis. We ordered a complete new set of Terra Firma shocks and new front Springs for the Landy and decided that we had better order a new Temperature sensor as well since the temp gauge, with every long climb, headed towards the red. It had all started as we left the colder areas of the USA for warmer climes.

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Spring in Southern California

(9th – 26th February, 2016)

With blue skies and a spring like 20 °C we left Las Vegas behind us and headed for the second time in the direction of California. We took the US 95 in southern Nevada heading first for the infamous area 51.  Curious, we tried very hard to see anything interesting but alas there was absolutely nothing to see except endless desert – no Aliens, UFOs, experimental Aircraft, or other strange things from all the conspiracy theories – all a big disappointment really! The only thing that even suggested at something out of the ordinary was the Alien Shop at a nearby gas station, other than that there wasn’t anything of interest to see.  Since it was close to dusk we drove a bit off the road in search of an out-of-the-way spot to camp for the night in the hope of at least seeing a UFO… though sadly we saw nothing but the twinkling of the night sky above us.

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Utah, Arizona – More Life Elevated

(17th – 30th January, 2016)

Utah didn’t fit in a single article as we originally thought.  We had so many amazing experiences that we couldn’t possibly do it justice trying to pack it all into a single article, not to mention its length would challenge even our most devote readers’ attention span. So the planned one article turned into two…

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Dawson City – “Not the worst place to be stuck”

(21st August – 09th September, 2015)

“You’re in Dawson. It’s not the worst place to be stuck”, is what we heard from just about everyone. Apparently we aren’t the first to end up spending more time in Dawson than planned, whether by choice or not. “Some people planned just to travel through and they are still here.” We also hear. The town is full of such stories; and now we get to experience our own little Dawson City story. Read more

Edmonton – “Pit Stop”

July 18th – 30th, 2015

We knew going into this trip that a big challenge for us, should something on the Land Rover break, would be finding parts. It’s not that Land Rovers aren’t sold in North America; it’s more that the Defender line was never sold so parts aren’t found just anywhere. You have to order them from specialty shops, and then wait patiently for the Post to deliver. Read more

Addons Galore

Our landrover got some much needed addons, ok they have been planned for some time it had just taken some time for our roof rack from Qualan to arrive, now that it was here we could add our Howling Moon and Foxwing after which we would be ready to test them out during our August vacation.

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New Tires and a Check-up

It was that time again the TÜV (Department of Vehichles) saftey inspection is due at the end of July, so I wanted to make sure at least the base floor in the landrover was finished. I also wanted to fix a couple rust bubbles that were forming on the rear cross member before bringing it to our Mechanic.  The best way to pop rust bubbles on steel is with a hammer, the rust falls off relatively fast and then you can sand it down, prime it and repaint it relatively easy. The only problem was the bubbles weren’t simply surface rust as I expected them to be, but the rather shoddy body filler patches from the previous owner.  As soon as my hammer connected with the body filler patches, well as you see from the picture, the holes in the cross member made themselves known.

Such a patch job on a Defender cross member isn’t exactly uncommon, since its the most common spot where spray water, dirt and grime collect, which results in rust through from inside to the outside. It is also exactly where the main frame ends join the cross member this often means that the frame starts to rot at that spot and eat its way inwards.  Luckily the frame is still solid (so my mechanic says) and the holes can easily be welded without issue, which is exactly what we did.  Of course I wasn’t sure that the cross member was going to be in good enough condition to repair again so I went out and bought a replacement cross member to be on the safe side prior to taking it for service.  I didn’t want to run the risk that after inspecting the condition of the cross member that we would have to wait 3-4 days for a cross member to be delivered.  Thankfully it didn’t have to be installed that saved us quite a bit of work as replacing would take up to 3 days labor!

Four new tires, a complete service and a general check-up later and our Mechanic was praising our Landrover. According to him our Defender was a huge bargain for the price we paid.  Thats a huge weight off our shoulders considering what we are planning a good feeling about the vehicle from our Mechanic is peace of mind.

interior insulation and headline

Insulation and Headlining Complete

Although we hadn’t planned on working the entire weekend on the Land Rover it ended up being one of our most visibly productive weekends in a long time.  We have spent months tinkering on the car most of the work thus far has been disassembly work, but this weekend saw our first major steps forward. Both the insulation as well as the Headlining are complete.

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Double Battery System

It took almost four days but I have finally managed to get the double battery system that I bought from Trip-Tec installed.  A double battery system is rather important if you are going to be running accessories like a fridge/cooler or heater or even if you want to listen to the stereo for long periods of time.  If you do all those things on your main battery you will end up with a empty starter battery and will be stuck where you are.

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