OK, so I dropped the truck off at Ship's for him to just drive for a few days. I hope I'm being paranoid, but the fact is that between the bad luck I've had with this project, and the dead engines on the Series over the past 6 years, I jump at every little sound I hear. Since having the Tdi, I've never felt comfortable about what I'm experiencing, but I've never known enough about the Tdi to know if what I know is bad.
The way it seems to run really well for a day or two, then run rough and loud, the back to nice, has been making it hard to track down what is really happening, or to commit to getting it to a professional. Not to mention that two other Rovers can't be driven in the rain, and the Range Rover leaves me stranded in traffic every other time I drive it.... I needed the Defender just to get me to work!
Anyway, my PTRRS (Post Traumatic Rover Restoration Syndrome) is finally being addressed by a professional. And I've accepted the idea that a rebuild will just mean I have to put the thing away for awhile; or I'm just being paranoid, and I can start focusing on the fun parts of the project.
Update on the sliders: They are going to look just right. Taking a while cause I made him stop to do homework instead. But once he finishes the ends and gets the tapers angle o. The front right, they will be done. I?m going to paint with Por15.
I let Doug Shipman here in Portland drive the truck for a few days. I just needed someone with experience to tell me it was OK. His assessment is what I thought it would be, not what I feared, not what I hoped.
Basically, it is loud. There is some kind of knock, but it's too indistinct to make out, and he thinks it's just because the engine probably has high miles, and that's the way it is. So I'm going to go ahead and drive it.
I had purposefully left the valves too loose to see if the knock I was hearing would go away, so this evening I tightened them to what I think is probably about right. I feel like I still need practice in actually getting all eight valves consistent, but I think I have them within some kind of imaginary parameter now.
Tomorrow morning, I will check the valves again, then I'm going to replace the one injector that is not a matched set. I had the four that were in the engine inspected, two came back as bad, so I had two that were now clean, in used condition. I ordered four from Davis, but one seemed odd to me, so he took it back. I used one of my cleaned set in it's place; meaning that I have three from Davis, and one that is tested and cleaned in the truck right now. I am imagining that even if all of these injectors are OK, maybe the different make/date/age/whatever of the one odd one is just far enough different from the other three, that it is causing this pre-ignition type of knock I'm hearing.
One way or another, I'm going to move ahead with the other projects as if it is all normal, and keep my fingers crossed that the engine will get me through some fun this summer!
Given that I was really putting him to the test, and understanding that he is a senior, today being his last day, and he didn't really have the best grades over the past few months, I think he did a pretty good job. I'm very gentle with my vehicles when I go off road, and have never really come close to ever using the sliders I had on the XD. I like to tell myself not to outfit it too much, because it's all just an excuse to get into more trouble.
I think his welds and finish work on the seams are really pretty good. He also had a good design sense for what I was telling him I would like, etc... But his execution on making it perfect is a little like Land Rover's own factory, if I'm honest! However, I have a nice looking set of light duty sliders for a good price, and I hope it helped him a bit too! Maybe a life lesson in personal business, ....and a little cash in hand to leave high school with.
When I say his execution in the manufacture might have been a bit off, I mean that he was fitting it in the parking lot at school, then cutting and welding in the shop 100 feet away. Experience would have taught him a few tricks to solve these issues, but in the end I have a bit of gap in the aft section. And the forward mounting brackets have bolt slots that are way too big, that I assume he needed in order to make up for his measurements never really fitting the reality of a Defender, after walking back and forth 100 feet to do the work.
Anyway, considering all, I'm pretty happy with the results! And I'll find a local or a friend to fix/finish the bits that he couldn't do. In the mean time, they are perfectly usable, I just wouldn't want to put them to the test!
I'm keeping them bare metal for a bit in order to do the finish welding, but also so I can evaluate whether or not I want to add side bars/steps, or maybe a tab along the bottom to accommodate a high-lift, etc... I plan on using Por-15 and UV resistant paint to match the rear bumper, wheels, and front bumper. I did this before with a few other items I had, and I can't say enough about how well the finish lasted.
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