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MG
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone!

First, let me introduce myself, as this is my first message on this board:

I'm a transplanted Badger (UW Madison, BS Engineering '92; read: lots of beer drinking - profs out to fellow cheeseheads!), former US Navy helicopter pilot (Enlisted '91, AOCS '92, LT, separated honorably '98, UH-3H Sea King; read: even more drinking), and currently do business consulting for small businesses - you can see the clear connection between my various professional activities, I'm sure.

Now the important part: 1995 Disco I, 123 000 km, 5-speed, 3.9L, avalon blue (huh?), brush guard, roof rack, 215 80 R16 Wrangler AT/S, mostly factory.

I say mostly factory parts because I live in Bolivia, South America, where the stealership is particularly bad and the previous owners were too tight to pay for OEM but not involved enough to keep the quality, thus most of the vehicle has been rebuilt by hacks and picked over by unscrupulous mechanics.

I've been forced to have others (until now, I didn't take the time to attend to this properly) rebuild the following: fuel pump, power steering pump, starter, alternator (twice), transmission, A/C compressor, all of the hoses several times chasing a hidden leak in the engine cooling system and most lately, the engine.

I've been happily driving this ride for the last 3 years (added 40,000 km in that period, with about 8 months of shop downtime) and though until now have not been much of an off road enthusiast, Bolivia's roads force me to face up to moderate difficulty situations quite regularly.

Recently, on 1,200 km dirt road (mostly bull dust) trip to Sucre from Santa Cruz, I burst a tire and found that in addition to 5 overtight bolts, someone had "switched out" my tire iron by one of lower quality - I bent it like a wet noodle and spent 5 hours in the Bolivian hinterland (only one vehicle passed our spot during that time, underlining the fact that we were in the middle of nowhere and that LRs are DIFFERENT than other modes of transportation, down to the lug nut size!)

During my 5-hour forced rest in the wilderness I resolved that I needed to become better-acquainted with my Disco and immediately got on the internet and found this site (great find, thanks Serge!). I'll see if I have any decent shots of the trip and post them later.

Ok, so I'm travelling to the US (Wisconsin!) this winter (summer here) to visit with my parents and will be bringing back a bunch of parts for The Beast, including an OEM alternator (the rebuild only lasts about 18 months and my mechanic says that replacements on other LRs he's done last even less).

That's where I need you folk's knowledge and experience: what other parts equipment should I include in my buying spree? I plan on including many of the items suggested in the "toolbox" thread (thanks Disco for the knowledge!), but want to take advantage of the trip to pick up sensors, some trimming that's been stolen over time, and other small parts that are likely to need replacing in the next couple of years. I've resolved that I need to be better prepared to go 4x4, thus am seriously considering upgrading. Where should I start?

Bolivia is has a wildly diverse topography. On my recent trip, we went the lush Amazon jungle at about 800 ft MSL, up over the Andean ridge at about 15,000 ft MSL - The Beast handles this kind of change without a hiccup (though I overheated the brakes on the way down). During the rainy season, it can pour a couple of inches of water in a matter of an hour, making most of the roads outside of the cities one big mud pit, while in the dry season, the bull dust is a couple inches thick. You can find snow/ice covered passages and overgrown jungle trails in the same day.

Also, I had my engine recently overhauled because of a horrible idle, bad leaking, burning oil, even worse fuel consumption (250 km per tank) - the mechanic found that the rings were bad, so it was a good call, but the bad mileage and emisions persist. I suspect the stepper motor (the mechanic confirms this), but the stealership wants US$450 to replace it! I understand that there's an AC Delco part (#217-437) that goes for ~US$45. Given the amount of cash I'm throwing away on bad mileage, it's worth it to have it shipped, if it's highly probable that it'll fix the problem. Any suggestions?

I've gone on too long now, so I'll sign off for now.

I look forward to sharing the experiences from the upsidedown part of the continent... :wave:


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MG
Discoverying Bolivia...
 

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Welcome my friend, I will spare you the obligatory sheep stuff. Considering the stealership in your neck of the woods and the difficulty in finding the right parts, how much are you looking to spend? I would get in contact with two of our sponsors - John at 4x4ag and Jason at Red Rhino. I am sure both of them would be willing to assist you in putting together a nice selection of parts. That said, I am sure either of them would be willing to assist you in the future as far as shipping to your geographical region.

Another guy to call is Nathan at discount rovers - (502) 876-8377. He is a good guy too.

As far as the exact parts...it seems as though you need some pretty heavy duty stuff! How is your suspension?

OK I can't resist, got any good looking sisters or sheep here in the States? :D
 

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MG,
Welcome aboard from a fellow Sikorsky guy (-53E's). Bolivia sounds like a great use for a Disco. You probably don't need me to tell you this, but I'd consider trying to pick up larger parts that might be a pain to have shipped. Sounds like you already have a lot of them taken care of, but a good alternator sounds like something worthwhile picking up. I try to replace my 'high-time components' before they leave me stranded (~130k miles). Next up is will probably be the fuel pump, alternator, and starter. I'm pretty ignorant of diesels, unfortunately for me, so I don't know what other diesel specific needs you may have. I believe there is a member of one of the clubs I'm in that is living in Bolivia. I think he uses RoversNorth quite a bit for parts. Of course, he has a Series, so that makes a difference.
Anyway, welcome to the forum.
Stephen
 

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Disco said:
RoverX, your not originally from New Zealand? :D

Nope. The Netherlands. The most liberal country in the world. :wave:

Me.guevara - you might want to think about a good fuel injector cleaner. I saw you had a 3.9 in your truck and I am assuming it is petrol. Not sure about the quality of fuel you have available in your area. I would suggest B&G 44K. But then I am sure that any one of us on this forum would be happy to pick up anything you need and ship it to you if you arrange for everything.
 

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First get the right documentation for your plight..........Pearls of wisdom

Hello from Adam in the urban jungle of New York City

Working In The Wild, Land Rover's Manual For Africa

Get that manual and look at all the stuff you will find important and relavent.

In it, there are some very good points mentioned inside that manual. One is you will need a good place to work on your LR.

Second is to make your cache of important automotive parts. In my opinion, get the largest alternator (120a or 150a) you can find in your area and make a electrical wiring harness so you can drop it in without cutting up the factory wiring. For the next time.

I would tell you that you try to get all LED lights for the dash and the running lights. Sure they are expensive, but they will run for about 50 years and it will the last time you will be doing that swapout. Look on eBay for those. They make them with the same receptacles now.

Third is if you have the space and see other LRs for sale or abandoned, get your hands on them and use them for the parts. When I was part of my old computer club, I heard a proverb that is still ringing in my ears.

"Computers are like drugs. You can't have just one. If you are addicted, then become a drug pusher."

That guy was right. The most addicted computer users became the pushers.
 

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MG
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Roverx: you're a sick man. You should know by now that llamas are much better tha sheep. Bolivia is a llama haven. Sorry no sisters and my daughter is only 14 (don't go there). Thanks for the tips on John, Jason and Nathan. Once I get a wish list together, I'll start the budgeting process. If you're ever in the neighborhood, I could introduce you to a couple cuties (only if you mule some parts and help me with my Disco)...

Stephen: from what I heard from your community, I hope that your LR runs more often that the 53! BTW, my Disco runs on petrol (or gas, depending on your accent).

Disco: I'll look into injectors.

LRR: Thanks!

Adam: it's going to be tough to push LRs here - they're extremely expensive. I think that once I get more familiar, though, I might take to pedling parts (I love the idea of undermining the stealership).

Thank you all for the welcome and advice.

Saludos,

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MG
Discoverying Bolivia...
 

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me.guevara said:
Adam: it's going to be tough to push LRs here - they're extremely expensive. I think that once I get more familiar, though, I might take to pedling parts (I love the idea of undermining the stealership).

Thank you all for the welcome and advice.

Saludos,

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MG
Discoverying Bolivia...
Why not?

By the way, the old parts work on the new parts (now the secrets out). How about some photos over there (like the ride and the surroundings, huh?)

Adam in New Yuck
 

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MG
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
only shot

Here's the only picture from the entire trip to Sucre that shows the Beast.

The foreground includes one of the other vehicles in our 3-car convoy, my mother, my wife, and yours truly.

On our next outing, I'll get some better shots of the rig and its terrain. I'll try to include some livestock for RoverX...

Cheers,

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MG
Discoverying Bolivia...

 
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