Thursday, January 21, 2010


E & I swapped vehicles today. His first shot at driving Katie (and being a Landy expert, I was waiting for his comment...). He needed a truck that could transport a long ladder, and Katie has a roofrack, so there we had it. Me, I was staying at base camp so would use the Disco2 if I needed to go anywhere.

Now E is very tall, and any Series truck is a bit of a squeeze. Granted, Katie has much more comfortable seating arrangements than Olivia, but he was still having trouble with foot and leg room within minutes, compared to the roomy D2. He soldiered on and come afternoon was going to give her a real test of what she could and couldn't do.

We have a high site on the slopes of a mountain. Some of our fellow high-site dwellers brave the roads in Unos and Toyota Ventures, but we like our Landys. Conditions were not too bad, albeit a bit hot, when E & J loaded up Katie for her first expedition up the slopes.

An hour or so later I got a call - oh dear, I could hear things had not gone well. Katie had stalled twice going up the mountain, had overheated, and E was swearing never to get into her again (except, of course, to come back down). Actually, he was swearing about a good few things at the same time, and Katie featured prominently in them.

Yes, she made it up the mountain as any 4x4 should - but not as well as expected. I know she's sat for a while and probably isn't used to being driven around over all sorts of terrain, but this was pretty scary. What was wrong?

Katie's dad received a couple of very panicked messages on his cellphone, and when he got back to me we tried to figure this out. At the same time I was all over the Landy forums to find some wisdom.

And it was during all this I found out she does not, in fact, have an R6 engine. Instead it's a Chev 4.1! Hmmm... whole different kettle of fish, but now I know where to start looking.

A bit of investigation revealed the likely culprit to be timing. Between the jerking and the overheating, those two fingers pointed pretty squarely in one direction.

It was after sunset before they made it back, exhausted, hot, hungry and stressed out. The work there had been terrible - and Katie's contribution to the bad day had been duly noted.. :-)

At least now we had a bit of direction though with knowing how to manage her engine. And we know someone who has one...

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