29 Jan 2013

Diary of a Range Rover restoration - Part 2

Phil Wall is restoring a 1989 Range Rover Classic.  We'll be bringing you regular updates on progress.   To find the rest of the restoration diary use the label 'RR Restoration'

Basic Tuning

In order to get going, I've not really made use of the various online LR parts websites as the post over Christmas and New Year would have been unlikely to deliver in time.  Instead, I have used Halfords and a local Land Rover specialist.

There are 2 clear priorities on The List
  1. Get the engine running right - (emissions are currently so visibly bad, the MOT was abandoned before it got started)
  2. Sort the play in the O/S/F swivel hub
For the engine: simple stuff first - new oil, new plugs new leads. Went for the OE spec Champion plugs - which seem to divide the online forums as to whether they are a good choice or not, but as they were the only plugs at Halfords, it made it an easy decision for me.

No major issues with the plugs, I changed the plugs and leads one-by-one so shouldn't have managed to get them in the wrong order!

The oil change was slightly more entertaining.  There's a little emulsion inside the oil filler cap but, as there was not residue in the main oil, I'm assuming this is due to condensate from it being left standing for a few years.  I've cleaned it out thoroughly though, so time will tell.

Warmed the engine for the oil and filter change.  I bought an oil drain can from Halfords and positioned  it under the sump - undid and then DROPPED the plug, realised the tin was nowhere near the 'landing site' of the oil, but quick reactions meant only a small amount of oil hit the floor. Until, I realised the oil drain can could not cope with the flow of oil, and at least 2 litres of oil overflowed before I could collect and re-insert the sump plug. 

I then had to hold the plug in the threads to control the flow to a level which the drain tin could cope with and immediately started regretting warming the engine quite so much as, although not burning, it was uncomfortably hot. The filter change and re-fill went without incident and I can't see any new signs of emulsification.

However, the engine is now starting and running alot more smoothly.  Although I have noticed that it idles OK at first from a cold start, the idle speed rises as the engine warms, from 900rpm up to 1300rpm which I'll need to get to the bottom of.  Still, there are significantly less emissions from the tailpipes!

This probably warrants gratuitous shots of the engine with rather unnoticeable new plugs and leads.

So, to the O/S/F Swivel hub. I dropped into Town and Country 4x4 centre in Cubbington, near Leamington Spa, to ask about cost of replacements.  Full swivel hub replacements are circa £65.  Not outrageous, but the guys were surprised that a full replacement might be necessary - and instead sold me a £9 top bearing as they felt this would be the only item needed. 

Nice to be talked down from a major purchase to what I might need instead. They seemed far more concerned with me getting what I need, and the project itself, rather than the most they could sell me in one go. 

I am now hoping to get a set of wheels and off-road tyres from them as well as dropping off all the corroded brake pipes to have them make me some copper replacements. 

I'll hopefully get the time to replace the bearing this weekend, which will also mean I'll have the caliper off to have a go at freeing up the the front brakes on one side of the axle.