Wednesday, November 17, 2010

End of the road

Yesterday was Katie's last day with us.  This morning we drove the long road back to her owner to drop her off.  And she's for sale.

Yup, poor Katie not only had to spend the last few months as a step-child, now she's being chucked out of her regular home too!  As we say in Afrikaans, "arme ding...."  (that's the trouble with naming your Landies and buying into their personalities)

She had her fair share of adventures as part of our household.  She went to some interesting places:

She gave us some big frights - the latest being a true near-death experience thanks to a sudden lack of brakes.

She caused us headaches - repairs, repairs, repairs... But when she went, she went well, with power, at a decent speed - and with carpets! (quite the Landy novelty, that)

We had hoped to buy her, but circumstances simply didn't play along.

We'll miss having her around.  It's been quite the ride.

Friday, November 12, 2010


So there you are, toodling down the road, when there's a BANG and suddenly you have no brakes.  Oh dear...

Yup, Katie decided to throw one more curveball our way.  We eventually traced the problem to brake fluid p'sing out a corroded brake pipe in front of the radiator - the one that was corroded more than the others, that is.

So off we went to Ferrobrake, who took her in and did what was needed - fortunately in a pretty short time, unlike a previous experience with another of the Landies.  Brand new shiny brake pipe running along the front now - not held in place with cable ties, or paint, or glue of any variety.  New bits on the ends to connect it to the other bits - though I honestly can't say how long the other bits will last.  The brakes are already doubtful at the best of times, and not knowing whether you'll have them when you hit the peddle makes for stressed out trips with a constant eye on the idiots ducking in front of you vs estimated stopping distance (plus extra in case).  Doesn't exactly instill confidence when driving along! 

But oh look.  There goes another grand in repairs....

Friday, July 16, 2010


Land Rovers are funny beasts.  They're a lot like Minis.

My first car was a Mini.  There was much that was cool about it - there was more that "only a mother could love".  Suffice it to say that there came a point where no mechanic would work on the thing, and that's where my hands first got greasy.  One thing I did learn though - if something small broke, leave it.  If you fixed it something big would break!

Back to Land Rovers.  It appears that only a certain number of things can work at any one time on our trucks - just like on Minis.

When I first pulled away from her registered abode, I noticed right away that the speedo/odo guage in Katie wasn't working.  Nothing new, used to the same thing on my Olivia so of no huge concern.  I tend to drive by engine sound and find a vehicle's sweet spot anyway.

Well last week Katie proved my things-functional theory.  After randomly seeming to gain a few extra notes and a bit of volume, the hooter suddenly stopped working - upon which the odo kicked in!  Speedo still doesn't register anything more than about 25km/hr, but there you go, the kms are happily ticking along on the rest of the dials...

I wonder - if the odo gets stuck again, will I be able to hoot once more?

Monday, May 24, 2010

All work and no play?

With Katie finally back on the road and attempting to earn her keep, we decided it was high time she had a bit of play and a leg-stretch.

So on Sunday we took her off on a mini-road-trip to Rooiels before winter closes in right and proper. Other than signs that the hole in the exhaust is opening up again (one of the "and many other things" fixed...), she went pretty well. She has a decent amount of power and cruised the coast like she should. 

Monday, May 17, 2010

On the road again

It's been months. And MONTHS. It's taken a lot of time, effort, and unfortunately about R3K in unbudgeted-for parts and labour, but Katie is finally back on the road today.

She has new HT leads, new dizzy cap and points, new accelorator cable, new coil (the RIGHT one this time), new spacer between carb and inlet manifold, carb's been redone and tuned, and the list goes on and on. Basically, she was not particularly a well truck - we've fixed what we can under the circumstances. If she was mine there would have been a lot of other stuff done.

There's still a lot wrong with her. The battery is too small for the engine and so far away from it that there's a voltage drop by the time power gets where it needs to go - either way. The carb is too small for the engine. The K&N filter is too small too. There were quite a few "make-do" things being held together with cable ties, modified items and half-stretched springs, some of which have been fixed. And she goes very well as a result. She did what she was supposed to do with proper power and no kak today.

I'm just not entirely sure I would have agreed to babysit her if I'd known it would be more an expensive fix-it than keeping her ticking over. The only option now is to get some sort of retun on investment, so she's going to be well used in weeks to come.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Stand in the place where you were...

Katie's been standing quite still for over a month.

I decided to take the man out for a quick pre-Valentine's coffee/cake and watch-the-sun-set on the 13th of Feb. Well once the sun had set, I turned Katie's key - and got nothing. Stuck at the beach wiht no spark getting through! Eish.

Many hours and calls and a neighbour later, we towed her to overnight in a safe place nearby, then towed her home next day - and there she has sat ever since. I've tried to find the problem but come up short. It could be anything from the battery being so far from the engine (which makes starting difficult to begin with), to the distributor cap connectors being worn, to the HT leads being of many and varied types/ages, to and earthing issue, to... well it could be anything.

She started once since then, but no spark when I switched her off and tried again. I suspect something's worn down or gotten old.

I'm not very good at electrics, so am having to call in an expert on this one - and it may get expensive. Eish again.

Monday, February 8, 2010

What a jerk!

Katie spent a good deal of today running around town on a large number of errands. Although it was hot and muggy, she did pretty well. Except...

She's developed a jerk. It's probably timing, but it's not good - especially in town driving traffic at low revvs. I need to call in expert help to sort it out, as timing is one thing I'm not very good at setting.

She's got a full day of driving up tomorrow. Let's hope it's going to be a bit smoother than today. And a little more fuel efficient or I'll be pushing the beast home.