HOME IN THE RANGE
Elecktrickery has bedevilled the restored Range Rover, but rust-proofing is well underway
1992 RANGE ROVER VOGUE SE
Iam not a great fan of this time of the year. It’s cold, it’s wet, and it’s dark – certainly not the time to get to grips with a newly returned and restored classic car.
Nevertheless, that is precisely what has happened. Regular readers will know something about the saga of my wife’s Range Rover, two and half years under restoration and frequently delayed by my struggles to pay the bills that kept on appearing. We finally got it back at the beginning of November. No, I’ll say that again – we finally got it back at the beginning of December, because a few electrical gremlins showed themselves and so back it went to have them sorted.
All seemed fine for the first couple of days back in November. I had picked up our elder son from school and was driving him home. We were about 150 yards from our front door when the engine died. It was, of course, pitch dark and raining hard. Oh, and cold, too. There was plenty of life in the battery, which was turning the starter over with great gusto, but nothing else really seemed to be happening.
After a fruitless inspection of the obvious, I called the AA and sent our lad home. While the AA was on the way, I also nipped home and grabbed a cup of coffee to to try to improve my spirits. Back at the Range Rover, the man with the flashing yellow lights did a few quick checks, then had a moment of inspiration. ‘Try that,’ he said. I did. It fired first time. So what was the problem? Simple – there was no battery clamp ( because the inner wings had been replaced – it’s a long story), so the battery had moved when we’d gone over a bump and one of the smaller leads had become dislodged. I used some bad language before thanking our man, who dutifully followed me all the way home. We now have a battery clamp. There were other problems,
’It was pitch black and raining hard when the engine died’
although the effects were less dramatic. The fuel gauge wasn’t working and one of the dashboard warning lights refused to go out. The central locking sometimes worked from both front doors and sometimes didn’t. But then, you expect things like this in a newlyrestored car. It just takes a while to work your way round them all.
Deterred from doing very much in the garage (cold) or outside (wet and dark), I did manage to make some progress. Removing the rear floor meant that the top face of the chassis was readily accessible and had been wisely cleaned up and treated. A Range Rover I had many years ago rotted along the top of the chassis where you can’t see it because the body is in the way. So I decided to clean up the other areas of the chassis and give them the appropriate treatment.
Wire brush, rust converter, special primer, black Hammerite, then Waxoyl black spray – that should do the trick. Well, I’ve done the back end of the chassis so far; the rest will follow when I can get underneath the car properly. That at least is extremely pleasing.
But wait – I haven’t mentioned the most important bit in this tale of doom, gloom and frustration – what’s it like to drive? Fantastic, actually. It drives really well, and I love it to bits. I should have mentioned that I’ve been going round the vehicle cleaning and polishing things, too, and it’s coming up rather nicely. It won’t be concours, but as long as it’s ‘everyday respectable’, then that will be more than good enough for us.
All I need to do now is to get Mrs T to make its acquaintance. She hasn’t yet, because it’s cold, wet and dark…
OWNED SINCE July 2014 MILEAGE SINCE LAST REPORT 150 TOTAL MILEAGE 99,000 LATEST COSTS £0
A quick polish before dinner – James’s Rangie really is a part of the family.
New headlining went in back in May – not a fun job, apparently.
There’s still work to do on the Range Rover, but it’s looking good.