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Thread: Introducing . . . Grendel.

  1. #1
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    Default Introducing . . . Grendel.

    Well, reintroducing, actually. some of you might have met Louis's Series III 88-inch Land Rover in the past, and a few of you were aware that I bought it from him while Roseann was in Africa, but we kept it a secret until the first morning she was home. After showing off the remodeling I'd done on the cottage and bathroom, I said, "Um, I have one more surprise. I need to go get it." She was obviously intrigued as I disappeared down the road to our well and fired up the Land Rover. She was waiting, open-mouthed, as I came around the corner to the house, then simply walked up and said, "Move over!" Of course, having just spent two months driving right-hand-drive Land Cruisers in Tanzania and Kenya, this right-hand-drive Rover was no problem for her. And, being who she is, the fact that I'd raided our money market account to buy it while she was gone was no problem. I'm a lucky man.

    So, here's the new member of the family:



    When I bought my FJ40, 25 years ago, the Land Cruiser and Land Rover were the two final choices. I bought the Toyota on the strength of Toyota's reputation (and my experience with my first car, a Corolla), and I've never been sorry. But I always wanted a Land Rover too. Thanks to Louis's military transfer out of Tucson, I got the chance.

    Now comes the fun part - repair, partial restoration, and modification, on a leisurely freelance budget.

    The first issue was a horrid driveline vibration I noticed immediately. It felt like a U-joint, and sure enough, simply lifting the center seat bottom while underway revealed a driveshaft oscillating wildly. But we made it the 50 miles home, and the next day I pulled the rear driveshaft, to find this:



    Yikes. Worse than bad, the buggered U-joint had actually worn into the front yoke, necessitating replacement of that part. Here's the joint (no needle bearings left in it!):



    With this repaired, Grendel starts and runs very well. The 2.25 Rover four-cylinder motor is incredibly smooth and quiet at idle.

    There are more issues, as one would expect for the price! Chiefly the normal Land Rover frame rot in the rear. Notice the rusted-through section in front of the spring hanger:



    So a replacement frame, possibly a new galvanized unit if finances allow, is in order eventually, although I've seen mobile Series vehicles with worse rot than this. I'm not sure how long this vehicle stayed in England before immigrating to the U.S., but it's likely that's where most of the damage accrued.

    Upholstery could use a little TLC too:



    Fortunately Series seats are so rudimentary that new replacements are cheap.

    So - goals? I don't plan to do any cosmetic work on the body, which has nary a straight panel and loads of character. I want to fix the frame and various leaks I was shocked, shocked to find staining the spot where the FJ40 never leaked a drop! Then a roll cage, head restraints, and three-point belts, because I won't compromise on safety. I want to find a used canvas top and door tops. After that, who knows? Stay tuned.

    Oh, and, regarding the name: In the original text of Beowulf, Grendel was described as being a "member of the cursed race of Cain." Since I've owned a Land Cruiser for so long, and now added a Land Rover, the name just seemed right.

    Plus, it could prove to be a monster to work on . . .

    1973 FJ40, 1974 Series III 88, 1982 911SC, 1970 Triumph Trophy, 1985 300D, JATAC, Thorn Nomad.

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  2. #2
    flyingwil's Avatar
    flyingwil is offline Overland Training Alumni Supporting Sponsor - Sierra Expeditions
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    That's Uber Cool!

    Hope all goes well with your project and at least Luis Knows his Rover is in good hands!

    This one will be a fun one to follow!
    Wil Kuhns KF7CDH
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  3. #3
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    I love the looks of the classic rovers! Very nice! Very nice!
    Jason
    2003 Element

  4. #4
    DaktariEd's Avatar
    DaktariEd is offline Expedition Portal Team 2005, 2006 Tech Course Champion: Expedition Trophy
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    Finally I can breathe!!!
    Glad the cat's out of the bag so to speak.
    Can't wait to see the transformation...or will it be a transmutation?

    Ed
    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
    1982 Land Cruiser FJ40 w/Horizon Adventure Trailer
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  5. #5
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    You guys are always full of wonderful and fun surprises!! Looks like a lot of FUN to drive and cruise around in
    Kristina
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  6. #6
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    Fantastic! Congratulations, what a great addition to the family. Looking forward to watching the progress.

    David

    '04 4.0L 4x4 Grand Cherokee - 4" spring/spacer lift, Bilstein 5150's, 255/70/16 BFG AT's, OME SD40, disco's, skids, hooks, sliders...and a new ECTED locker

  7. #7
    kcowyo's Avatar
    kcowyo is offline Expedition Portal Moderator ExPo Original
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    So you dub it Grendel and then find it bleeding out in your driveway? Talk about a self fulfilling prophecy.... And wasn't Cain a nomad, a wanderer?

    Jonthan, I can't believe you picked up a Series III and named it Grendel!
    You two are from some other world of enlightenment and cool.

    I can't believe I'm fortunate enough to know people like this....
    '97 Toyota T100 - some stuff and some stories....
    '89 Toyota FJ62 - fractal cruising

    currently listening to - Michael Kiwanuka "Home Again"
    recommended reading - Dead Run by Dan Schultz

  8. #8
    DaktariEd's Avatar
    DaktariEd is offline Expedition Portal Team 2005, 2006 Tech Course Champion: Expedition Trophy
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    I love the photo.
    Looks like the Cruiser is telling this upstart newcomer just WHO the boss is...
    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
    1982 Land Cruiser FJ40 w/Horizon Adventure Trailer
    K7EDB


    Hold fast to your dreams.
    For if your dreams die,
    then life is like a broken winged bird
    that cannot fly.

  9. #9
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    Very cool!

  10. #10
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    Yeah, the Land Cruiser is thinking, "Every time I go near that thing it pees on the floor."

    One priority is to get a proper spare on the bonnet!
    1973 FJ40, 1974 Series III 88, 1982 911SC, 1970 Triumph Trophy, 1985 300D, JATAC, Thorn Nomad.

    Overland Expo


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