Seriously, it just followed me home. All the way from Savannah, Georgia back to Charleston. In actuality, it began its trip in Jacksonville, Florida, but I met the owner half way in Savannah. This served multiple purposes – it cut my trip to get it in half, it proved to me that the seller had enough confidence in the vehicle to travel over a hundred mile in it, and it brought me within spitting range of the 100-mile towing I have with AAA. You know, just in case anything did happen to go wrong.
But nothing did. Not exactly anyway. I knew there was some noise coming from down under, but driving back I became increasingly concerned about the grinding and rattling of chains. Convinced that it was the front driveshaft, I ordered a new one with appropriate serviceable joints and made arrangements to have my friends over a Charleston Import Automotive put it in. Normally I would do a job like that myself, but I wanted them to give the vehicle the once over anyway, and I it was cold and I didn’t relish spending a lot of time on my back on the cold driveway.
Good thing I turned the job over to them. As the Land Rover was rolling off the flatbed at the show, the rear driveshaft became detached from the differential and fell out. Turns out that the bolt holding the rear flange in had sheered off and the shaft itself was only holding on to the flange in question by three loose bolts. Unknown whether someone had been messing with the shaft and done a piss-poor job of putting it back together, or it had been literally tearing itself apart. Either way, it is amazing that the Rover made it all the way up from Florida in one piece. Beyond amazing, it is a miracle.
Beyond that fist miracle, a further miracle was performed by Darryl Beech and his crew when they were able to extract the end of the sheared off bolt, find replacement parts for the missing bolts out of their parts stash, and get it all reassembled for me the same day. There wasn’t even any damage done to the shaft splines or oil seal.
And wow, the rumbling grinding noise is gone. Imagine that. Oh, needless to say, the replacement bolt is a higher grade than the common hardware store bolt that came out. Who does these things?
They also bled the breaks, although things are still a bit squishy that I wish them to be.
I still have a very long laundry list of tasks to do on the Land Rover. From windows and A/C to the stereo and ball-joints, there are a host of systems that need repair. But it is mine. And it is home. And I am driving it almost daily. What is life anyway, other that one big shakedown cruise?