Again With The Brakes?!

Well, something just isn’t right. Now there is a scraping sound and when I step on the brakes something clunks. Nope, it shouldn’t do that. It is not quite subtle, but not horrible either. I thought about just nursing her on home, but then again, I don’t want it to become horrible or for anything to break.

So, I have pulled over and called AAA. Again. I wonder if they keep track of this and are going to say something in the near future?

I will tell you this though, if you are going to have to sit around and wait for a tow truck, you could do worse than to be stopped across the street from one of the best barbecue restaurants in Charleston. Yup, sitting here at Rodneys Scott’s BBQ waiting for the tow truck. Darn, I just had to get a snack.

And then tomorrow I will take the wheels off. And tear the brakes apart. Again. At least the 4-year-old neighbor boy will get a charge out of seeing the tow truck visit again.

I am getting tired of saying, “again.”

UPDATE: Luckily just a loose bolt. Quickly remedied once I got it home.  While I was in fixing that however, I did a few other jobs like adding anti-squeal compound behind the brake pads and replace the missing dust-shield / backing plate that was destroyed in the last mishap.  So, here is your reminder – check those torque specs and go back over your work. In never hurts to double check, especially after a few days or a few hundred miles.

Road Trip to First Show

The British Classics XI car show was yesterday, and the Land Rover attended. This show is hosted by the British Car Club Midlands Centre and is held in conjunction with Tartan Day South Highland Games and Celtic. Wow, that was a mouthful.

The show is just over a hundred mikes up the interstate, and the Rover was happy cruising at 65 miles per hour, give or take 5 mph, the entire way there and back. I hit the road at 7 am, got back home around 5:30, and covered 240 miles.   We also took a short side trip after the show to visit a local self-service junkyard in search of parts.

On the road again - Highway 26 for the Land Rover's first road trip.

The funniest part of the day was pulling up to the show’s registration table and having the woman manning it look at me and then look quizzically at my ride. I told her I was there for the show and had pre-registered. She cocked her head, looked at my ride again, and then said, “OK, but what is it?” Ha!

Now I am used to that kind of reaction when I drive Catherine, my 1966 Vanden Plas Princess 1100, but I never expected that in a modern era Land Rover with the words “LAND ROVER” spelled out across the front of the hood. Guess she was just far more used to seeing MGs, Jaguars, Triumphs, and Healeys at the show. Ya gotta laugh!

Anyway, it is a great show and they had about 120 cars in attendance. I was in the “All Other” class with an MG Magnette sedan, a Turner, and an MGB modified into a 4×4. Strange bedfellows, especially when realizing Catherine would have been in the same class.

One of the attractive things about this show, besides the beautiful weather and it being held in a town where a fantastic lifelong friend is mayor, is that it is held in conjunction with the Scottish games. That makes for mouth-watering food, energetic music, unique shopping opportunities, entertaining demonstrations, and happy crowds. The cross-pollination between the car show and the games is wonderful and gives both groups more to do and exposes them to new things. Converts are made in both directions.

The trip to the junkyard didn’t yield much more than a few trim bits and another radio to play with, but it was successful none-the-less and I will be back if they get more Land Rovers.

All in all a fun day, a trouble-free outing for the Rover, and a few more miles under the belt.


Yup, I like the stickers on my Land Rover. They all mean something of one sort or another – not just random stickers.

So, what we have is … from left to right …

Neverwhere – The title of my favorite Neil Gaiman book and perhaps favorite book period. Obviously done in the style of the London Underground.

Just British – The greatest online motoring magazine ever – devoted to just British cars. Yes, I am a bit partial. Why do you ask?

Camel Trophy – Slogan sticker from the old Camel Trophy competitions. The Camel Trophy was a vehicle-oriented competition that was held annually between 1980 and 2000, and it was best known for its use of Land Rover vehicles over challenging terrain.

Vermont VT with Moose – I went to Vermont last year and had a blast. It is home to a lot of Land Rovers, though I never did see a moose.

Bloody Knuckles Brotherhood – These come from the at Series-Defender Outfitters. No, mine is neither a Series or a Defender, but I know the feeling of bloody knuckles.

British Car Club of Charleston, SC – My home club and just coincidentally, the club I helped to form over thirty years ago. Oh, and did I mention that my mother designed the logo way back then?

SEWE (Duck) – Kind of the odd man out. SEWE is the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition which is held annually here in Charleston. I am not a hunter by any means, but I enjoy going and hanging out and messing with the Dock Dogs. I have been going to this since it first came to Charleston in 1985.

That is all the stickers for now. Stay tuned, I am sure there will be more.

Land Rover History Videos

Land Rover History Videos - National Geographic

The history of Land Rover from National Geographic.

The story of Land Rover from its inception as a way to save the Rover company to its becoming the SUV of choice for the landed gentry.

The design for the original Land Rover vehicle was started in 1947 by Maurice Wilks, chief designer at the Rover Company, on his farm in Newborough, Anglesey. It is said that he was inspired by an American World War II Jeep that he used one summer at his holiday home in Wales. The first Land Rover prototype, later nicknamed ‘Centre Steer’, was built on a Jeep chassis and axles.

The early choice of color was dictated by military surplus supplies of aircraft cockpit paint, so early vehicles only came in various shades of light green; all models until recently feature sturdy box section ladder-frame chassis.

CentreSteer Podcast and Stickers

CentreSteer Sticker on Discovery

If you are a Land Rover fan you owe it to yourself to listen to the CentreSteer podcast.  Here is how the makers of the show describe the podcast…

To the best of our knowledge, there is not currently a podcast dedicated to the Land Rover marque.

A group of Land Rover enthusiasts in the United States decided to change that.

Between us we have owned nearly every model Land Rover has to offer, including Series trucks, imported Defenders, Freelanders, Range Rovers and, certainly, Discovery I and IIs.

Guest from three continents – Europe, America and Africa – have joined us to discuss every model, offoarding, repair, adventure, restoration, overlanding and heritage.

Every month a new episode is posted and hope you enjoy listening.

The shows cover news of new Land Rover developments as well as stories of historical beasts. There has also been a good amount of coverage given to the entire overland adventure. Lifestyle? Hobby? Ethos? Whatever it is, a lot of attention is given to overlanding.

They also have a Patreon campaign set up where you can donate a small amount of money per episode to help keep the show going. Additionally, if you donate to the Patreon campaign the fine folks at CentreSteer will send you a sticker. As anybody who followed Just British knows, I love stickers. (Still need a Just British Online Motoring Magazine sticker? Subscribe to the newsletter to find out how to get one.)

It’s Time to DIsco

2002 Land Rover Discovery - Profile Pic

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.

Drive shaft hanging down
You can see the driveshaft hanging down as it is up on the lift in the shop

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.

Sheared off driveshaft bot
You can see the sheared off bolt in the center there, and amazingly no damage to splines.

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?

Get the bolt out!
No damage to shaft, splines, or oil seal. And the miracle workers were able to get the bolt out!

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?