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paul_s0 New Reader
1/16/19 11:17 a.m.

Out with the old.....


In with the new....

paul_s0 New Reader
1/22/19 7:09 a.m.

Well Customs/DHL really did a number on me this time.   Alternator plus shipping $300, duties, handling fees etc another $150.  angry  This is why I always try to keep any imports under $200, the amount where it becomes notifiable to customs.

Having said that, sourcing one here would be around $1k, so still 'cheap' in comparison.   If I'd that would be the cost in duties etc I would have just ordered the diode pack and the difference in price could have paid for all the taxis for my other half!

Well, I spent last night installing the alternator, and it works.    Next job for the landy is to change the bearing in the idler pulley.  At least I can get common bearing sizes easily, it's a 6203 2RS, S/17 ( about $5) with same day delivery.  I'm not sure when I'll get to do that though, I imagine in a couple of weeks - I believe the beach house is beckoning us again this coming weekend.


I spent a couple of hours last Sunday spring swapping, we now have Mazda 5 rears installed too.  Damping isn't too bad, ever so slightly underdamped on rebound, mostly if you hit several bumps in succession.  I can live with it for now, although it's annoying to think what I spent on duties for the alternator could have been used for new B4s or Gas-a-justs:



paul_s0 New Reader
2/12/19 8:52 a.m.

Photographic evidence still to come, but the costs keep on mounting at the moment.  Following my wife out in the Disco, and I can see the right rear tyre oscillating horribly, tell her to U turn and head for home.   Get it up in the air and find the tyre has suffered a structural failure -similar to the first set of tyres on the first page of this thread, only worseangry.  This set are well over half worn, so I'm going to have find the cash for another set of 4.  This time we'll be going for a bigger name tyre with a higher load rating (whilst in theory both of the previous sets were adequately rated, I wonder if the 2.5 tons of the Disco plus the state of the roads has contributed to the failure).

My current options are either Continental Cross Contact ATR for S/2,500, or BFG T/A KO2 for S/3,300.  I always liked my Continentals in the UK, but I recall a soft sidewall which may not hold up well here.  Several good friends with Defenders always swore by BFG A/Ts, and they are certainly a strong tyre,  but they cost 30% more, and I still need to give the Disco a full service plus brake pads, I'm also worried that it's got a front diff bearing on it's way out.  All this just after the $450 alternator debacle, and having just committed to send my youngest to the same private school this year as my eldest which is going to be a stretch.sad

paul_s0 New Reader
2/21/19 9:29 a.m.

Well, in a couple of weeks we'll be heading up North again for a few days, it's work's 25th anniversary and I've been told I'm going, even though I've got holiday booked.   As that's the case, it'll be the whole family again, so the Landy has to make the trip.  Whilst we have 4 lovely new Contis fitted (I couldn't get the BFGs in the end), I need to bring forward some maintenance, although it''ll probably be another week before I can get to it :

1)Engine oil and filter

2)Front diff oil (mostly to check the state of the diff, I'm worried the output bearings are starting to go)

3)Coolant flush and change

4)Rebuild front calipers (an intermittent issue with this thing, seems like the pistons keep sticking in the bores), I've had new pistons and seals in stock for some time.

5)New front pads - this time I'm going to try the Akebono Euro Ultra Premium Ceramic to see if they help with the fade.  Whilst the front are only 50% worn currently, I'd be worried about the descent on the return trip, the Disco3 is seriously underbraked on the V6 versions, and it needs the brakes to be absolutely perfect to not be dangerously bad.

6)Rebush the lower rear wishbones

7)Change the rear AR bar bushes

8)Rewire the section of the rear loom that has been occupied by gremlins

paul_s0 New Reader
3/20/19 12:52 p.m.

So, that lumpy tyre from the Disco:


The start of March saw me with 2 weeks of alleged holidays.  As it had been decided to go up North, it was time to get on with the Disco 3.  First day of my hols saw me down at the taxi workshop by 08:30, the plan being oil and filter change, front diff oil change, new front pads, change pistons and seals in the dodgy caliper, brake bleed, re-bush the lower rear arms, and fix that darn electro-mechanical parking brake.  It didn't go to plan.

By lunchtime everything at the front end was done, however what came out of the front diff had me worried.   Magnetic drain plug full of swarf, and sparkly dark grey oil-this oil has been in 2 yrs/20k kms.  Front diff bearings are known for premature failure in these (like a great many other things angry).

Then we started on the rear lower arms.  Everything went wrong, seized drop links (had to chisel off the nut without damaging the link), exhaust in the way of bolts (exhaust has been welded together all the way up to the manifold/downpipe joint), etc etc.  Having eventually got the arm out, it was too big/awkwardly shaped to fit in the press properly, so then we had 2 hours of cutting, hammering, and swearing to get one bush out.

Checking new nut threads onto the drop link:


By the time I got it back together, it was 6pm, and the family were waiting, so the other side would have to wait - I jumped in and headed off, and a couple of hundred yards out of the door the damn parking brake seized on.   So I then dragged it back to the workshop in first gear (that area is not a place to be caught outside with a relatively expensive vehicle after dark) and messed about with it until I finally managed to get the emergency release to release, completely disabling the EPB.  Finally got home at nearly 8pm, exhausted. 

A couple of days later, with only 1 day to go until the trip, I got back down to the workshop again, and got the bush on the other side changed, which put up even more of a fight, however I was getting increasingly concerned about the front diff.

We were due to leave at 5am on a Thursday morning from the inlaws place- at 8pm Weds night en route to the in-laws I finally took the decision that the Landy wasn't going - the diff whine hadn't quietened at all with fresh fluid, and I did not want to wreck it in the middle of nowhere.   So, a quick diversion back to our house and grab the poor old Mazda, up at 4am Thursday to at least check fluids and tyres in the Mazda and off we set.  We had a few issues en route (see https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/grm/mazda-3-misfire-at-altitude/151839/page1/) but otherwise the Mazda performed admirably - in fact both of them did, as we were joined by other family members too:

The trip home was uneventful, apart from some prat in a Yaris - I was in convoy behind the in-laws SUV, when I heard screaching tyres and then saw an oncoming Yaris slide from our lane, across the road and into a field, luckily for him not ending on his roof.  This was a stretch of road that was dead straight for around 2 miles...

With those 19 or so hours worth of driving done, the Mazda got some care and attention - engine oil&filter, box oil, and front top mounts for the struts, and installed the LED light bar I had sitting around - the standard Halogens were rather lacking in lighting for the pre-dawn starts. 

I was quite pleased to have found on Amazon an offer for around $50 shipped to Peru for the pair of mounts and bearings, SKF branded and when looking at the top mounts they're the OEM FoMoCo with the logo scrubbed off.  I also replaced the missing clamp for the front caliper hose - it was attached to the strut with zip ties with the brake flexi twisted...

The next instalment should be Disco3 front diff removal and bearing change....Not looking forward to that one!

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
3/20/19 1:40 p.m.

I just want to say Alleged Holidays is a great band name. 

Keep on keepin' on. Still enjoying this every time it pops up. 

rustybuckets Reader
3/20/19 1:58 p.m.

Yup, I'm enjoying this too! And hit us with some more pictures! Such a beautiful place.

paul_s0 New Reader
3/20/19 2:25 p.m.

Cheers gents - you'll note most of the pictures are from outside Lima cheeky

paul_s0 New Reader
3/20/19 2:41 p.m.

Here you go, a picture from Lima, with it's clear blue skies at the moment (before 6 months of winter cloud hit us).  I've got this to hand as I've decided to sell up, I just have no time to get in the water, and I'd rather use the money on something to play with the kids, I'm thinking an R/C car:


The sunsets are one of my favourite things here, not the best pic, but:


...and the reason for the trip up North, the festival called Cortamonte (a variation of Carnaval), basically drink, dance, take all afternoon/evening to cut down a tree with an axe (said tree is one that is grown each year).  I'm the one with the axe at this moment:


paul_s0 New Reader
4/25/19 12:53 p.m.

Copying from my other thread..

This week saw me heading up North again (in the Mazda).  As I got up around 8000 - 9000 fasl, I was a bit down on power but no real misfires, and I wasn't sure if it was just the altitude.  I stopped to use nature's bathroom and stretch my legs, I also opened the fuel cap just to see, and whilst there was a slight pressure difference, it was very little, and as I jumped back in and fired her up, I got my high coolant temp alarm, dash gauges showed fine, but Torque showed 105 deg C (in Lima it's between 85 and 90 C normally).  I got moving and it dropped to 101 deg C, and downstream O2 sensor was showing a lean condition, as was the AFR measurement (although only ever so slightly).  I stopped again for a minute, had a look over everything, found nothing, and carried on, rather nervously, but wondering if it was all altitude related.   Temps finally started dropping to around 95 deg C, with downstream O2 showing 0.4-0.5V (I can't access the upstream O2 data).  During this period, sum of LTFT and STFT varied from -28% to +46% (!)

Things seemed to stabilise until an hour or 2 later, getting close to my destination, a good few thousand feet lower in altitude, I had to pull up for an hour waiting for the road to reopen (roadworks where they close the road for hours at a time...), as we set off I didn't notice anything, as it was only 20-30 mph in a queue.  As it opened up, I went to pass a truck, and had to abort - over 3000rpm / 50% throttle it was like hitting a brick wall.  As soon as I could I pulled over and popped the fuel cap again, but there was no noticeable pressure differential at all, so it doesn't appear to be a fuel vacuum issue.  I turned it all off and on again, and set off.  Power seemed normal (for the altitude) below 3000 rpm and less than 50% throttle, but above that it was struggling.  I limped it the last few km, and parked it outside the accommodation for an hour or so.  I again had a very cursory look but I had to get down to the facility ASAP, so headed off again (only 2 miles, mostly downhill).  Power seemed a bit down but it would just about rev past 3000 rpm and take more than 50% throttle, however still with a slight miss.  The next morning before heading to work, I popped plugs on 1 & 3 out, they looked ok, possibly slightly lean, gap looked a bit big.  The plugs are 5 months/4000 miles old.

I went to get my feeler gauge and...realised it was in my other toolbox in Lima.  So they went back in as is.  I also checked the coil pack resistances, all within factory specs.  I then did a hard reset of the electrickery, and went to work.  On the way it all felt mostly fine, just a slight miss passing 3000rpm.  I also found something in Torque I hadn't found before - the misfire counters.  I found it had registered 3 misfires on cylinder 3.  On the way back from work, 2 on cyl 1, 2 on cyl 2, and 1 on cyl 4.  So whatever the misfire is, it's across all cylinders.

Reading up that evening, on MS3s, there is something called the spring-stretch mod.  These are coil on plug, with a spring for the contact.   Several MS3 owners had random misfires around 3000 rpm, and it was basically that the spring wasn't making good enough contact with the plug, especially with Denso plugs (which I have), so they stretch the spring slightly to improve the contact.   So I gave it a try.   The entire drive back I didn't have any noticeable issues, apart from at one moment - there is a stretch of the road which never got resurfaced after the landslides of 2016, it's a few hundred feet of gravel.  I can never resist having a play, and after that I had a slight hesitation for 30 seconds or so, which went away again, which was rather peculiar.

The rest of the trip back was ok (well ignoring the terrible driving standards and awful traffic), but still logging 1 or 2 (or 4 in one case) misfires across various cylinders every drive cycle, but hardly noticeable, if at all, whilst driving.  Today, back in Lima, doing the normal run to school and work, the sum of LTFT and STFT are slight less, but still far too big a range : -16% - +32%.  Also logging a couple of misfire (cyl 1 and cyl 4 this time).  There doesn't seem to be any consistent correlation between fuel trims, vacuum, load, rpm, etc.  About the only generalisation would be that the LTFT is more often than not at the lowest negative at idle, and the highest positive at higher rpm, but not always - say 70% of the time.

The first thing I'm going to do is gap the plugs, possibly followed by a plug change - I'm running Denso ITV16, which are supposedly equivalent to the factory NGKs, however some MS3s have reported issues with Densos (different plug, but still).   I've now found a place with the factory NGKs in stock, at a reasonable price, so I may swing by there.  The lean condition at altitude had me worried though, although the entire drive back was normal.  I was wondering if the fuel pump was getting warm after 8 hours on the road and starting to fail, but it would do so on the drive back too, and it didn't.  With regard to general stuff, no coolant consumption (nor oil), no evidence of HG issues (I will try and do a comp test at some point though), and as it's intermittent I think it's electrical/fuel related anyway.

I'm all ears to any suggestions or similar experiences...

paul_s0 New Reader
4/25/19 1:06 p.m.

Oh yes, I also got around to doing this:


Replacing some rather worn bearings in the front diff.  Grumble on overrun has now gone...and been replaced by a slight whine under load angry  People do seem to have varied luck with the rebuild on these, checked and measured everything, but that's how it's ended up.  Some people have had luck with the 85W 140 specced for the LSD diffs on these, especially in warmer climes, I think I shall give it a go.

paul_s0 New Reader
5/20/19 8:03 a.m.

So, the Discovery got it's 85W140,, and to be honest it hasn't changed anything.   Diff is slightly quieter now, but I reckon that's just getting some miles on it.  We shall see how it goes.  I also have a nasty suspicion the brake master may be starting to go, first things first I need to bleed the brakes again, (it's had a long pedal since changing caliper piston seals), there must still be some air somewhere.  To be honest I'm looking at ways of getting the Disco gone, it's just a money pit where it wasn't maintained properly in it's first 100k.   I reckon, forgetting routine maintenance (fluids, filters, pads) we're into this for around $6-7000 in parts at the moment, and it's only going to worse (big items that still need/ are likely to need replacement: front and rear props, another auto box oil flush with the ZF/LandRover Unobtanium oil, torque converter/auto box, rear dampers, air compressor, brake master cylinder, the good 'ole Ford SOHC timing chains, random electrickery black magic).


With the Mazda things are still ticking over.   I managed to get hold of a set of OE Mazda plugs (NGK Iridiums) for less than I could get importing them, so they've gone in.  I clouted a big hole the other week with the right front, and instead of the usual thunk noise, this was a big hit with thraaaack noise (good descriptions?).   Upon inspection I found play in the bottom ball joint.  So last Monday I got onto Rockauto, and amazingly by Friday I had some shiny new Moog balljoints in my hands.  Saturday afternoon the family went off shoe shopping, so I nipped off down to the workshop.  I'm pleased to say all went smoothly, and in 2 hours I had 2 new balljoints pressed in.  After all the Landy faffing previously, it was nice to do a straightforward job.



Whilst I was in there, I also tweaked the timing a bit, a recommended 'mod' on the 2.0 MZR.  I've only done a few miles so far, but it certainly feels a bit better.  We shall see how it goes.   I was still getting an occasional misfire registered even after changing to the OE plugs - since advancing the timing a bit (and resetting the ECU), I've not had any...Time will tell on this I guess.

Something new I learnt a few weeks ago - blushwhilst EU and US spec Mazda 3s don't have an external fuel filter, Latam and Australian models do.  The filter on there looks original, so I've got a new one waiting to go on, but I need to get hold of a tool for the poxy quick disconnect connections on the fuel lines - that'll be fun....

paul_s0 New Reader
6/6/19 1:02 p.m.


I’m pleased to report that the timing tweak has yielded slightly better response throughout the rev range, and after the 1st tank of fuel 1.5mpg better economy (possibly more considering I was doing a fair bit of low speed 1st gear crawling along muddy tracks).


Those who have seen my other thread asking about tyres will have seen I had a bit of bad luck yesterday, 2 nails and chunk of metal in one tyre.   Thankfully it was in one of the tyres that I was looking to replace in the not-too-distant-future.   I got on the phone to my favourite supplier (ahhh Sr Paul, how good to hear from you again) and he rushed out a pair of Continental ECSs to me by18:00. So this morning, after dropping the kids at school, I dropped into the tyre place I frequent on the way to the office.  An hour later (they had a devil of a job balancing both ECSs), and we we fully mobile again and not limited to 80kph (darn space-savers).


My car needs a wash






This is the best of the unsurfaced tracks I've been on this week, the picture makes it looker smoother than it is - the surface is full of rocks, and just where the 2nd junction is, is badly cut up, in the recent rains that hill has been a river, that section is impassable in a car, big holes either side....:


ValourUnbound New Reader
6/6/19 3:25 p.m.

I don't have anything meaningful to add, I just wanted to say thanks for posting. It's really interesting to get an insight into daily life in other countries and all the challenges that come with it, such as importing parts and altitude issues. Most of us here seem to be based in the US and are likely unaware of the car culture in other countries. 

Thanks :)

paul_s0 New Reader
6/10/19 10:04 a.m.

Nothing car related, but a nice view of dawn over the Pacific as I was on the way to drop the kids at school, sea and sky blending into one:

paul_s0 New Reader
7/8/19 1:35 p.m.

If anyone would like to have an idea of some of my daily commute in this paradise, here's a dashcam excerpt- with regards to my driving standards, I've had to adapt, and there are things here I wouldn't necessarily do in other countries...devil  The road near the start, around 1:46, runs through marshland, and subsides terribly, it's a great test for dampers, as you can see with the Santa-Fe..




CyberEric HalfDork
7/11/19 12:08 p.m.

Close call at 9:23! 

Is that Lima? I had no idea it was like that. I've only spent time in Argentina and Chile, that looks considerably less "developed."

The driving situation reminds me more of Turkey or parts of Asia. 

paul_s0 New Reader
7/11/19 1:45 p.m.

That is Lima, although to be fair not one of the better areas, just unfortunately what I have to drive through to get to the warehouse at the moment.  9:23?  Ufff that doesn't even register as a close call here, I should try and get round to loading up some more video, there's lots of more hairy stuff on a day-to-day basis..  In 18 years driving in the UK, I was run off the road once, in 6 years here I've lost count of how many times it's happened.

CyberEric HalfDork
7/11/19 4:21 p.m.

In reply to paul_s0 :

I can imagine based on what I saw in your video. Crazy stuff. I guess you don't need coffee in the morning with that commute!

paul_s0 New Reader
8/6/19 8:47 a.m.


So, July saw me with 2 more weeks of Seth’s band, the Alleged Holidays..   This time our kids were on their winter break, and we’d given the nanny two weeks holidays too, so it was Daddy DayCare time..

So what else does a responsible Dad do, but take the kids down to the workshop?!

So, the first trip down there was just to change the (original) in-line fuel filter that Australian and South American models come with, fairly quick and straight forward, once I'd fabricated a disconnect adapter... try getting one of those here..:



Then a few days later down there with the Discovery, front upper arms were due a service, the bushes were totally shot, and I discovered why the bushes on one side was squeaking - it had previously been filled with rubber before we took over maintenance of the thing, the guys in the workshop remembered it being donefrown  Whilst the arms were out I also took the opportunity to change the upper ball joints, especially having found an old receipt for "maintenance" of said ball joints... Of course everything was a complete pig, as I've come to expect on this thing...

paul_s0 New Reader
8/6/19 8:56 a.m.

The final trip down there was to take up the local painter on his offer - S/80 to paint the bonnet (laquer and paint peeling off) and the rear quarter (a run-in with a mototaxi before my ownership)... There has to be at least some benefit to being here right?  Obviously not perfect, but for a guy painting in open air with no safety gear in-between rain showers, I was rather impressed with his workmanship (at least the rain dampened down the dust....).  I also took the opportunity to lop half a coil of the rear springs, as it really did have rather too much rake..



Shiny bonnet (sorry I don't seem to have a reasonable before picture showing how bad it was, imagine this but missing laquer and paint! cheeky)

paul_s0 New Reader
8/10/19 8:24 a.m.

Sometimes the small things make a big difference right?  For a while now the driver's seat in the Mazda has been squeaking going over bumps (of which there are a lot).  I kept on meaning to have a look at it, and finally yesterday I did.   Rather worryingly I found that one of the mounting bolts was backing out surprise  I tweaked that up and no more squeaking, and I couldn't be happier (now, why didn't I do it sooner?!)smiley

Now just to sort out everything else!  Next most-annoying thing is that the passenger side headlamp is noticeably dimmer than the the driver's side (low and high beam, more noticeable on low beam).  These are all halogens with projectors on the low beam.  Voltage is within 0.1 volts both sides, I can't find any dodgy wiring, I've checked the earths, if anything the lens on the passenger side is better than driver's side (less yellowing as I did hit it with some wet and dry and polishing paste a little while ago).   I'm confused.  I'm wondering if it's an issue on the inner surface of the lens, both sides look a bit odd, and the passenger side lamp has been 'repaired', 2 broken mounts.



paul_s0 New Reader
8/15/19 9:17 a.m.

So, that high altitude misfire... has reoccured at sealevel...

2 days ago, I went to overtake a truck, 2nd gear at it seemed to fall flat at 3000rpm, I aborted, went again and everything ok, so I put it down to my imagination.

Until today.  On the way to drop the kids at school, stopped to fill up with fuel (same fuel station I always use).  Exit from the fuel station is straight onto the PanAm highway, so it's a quick 0-60 test to get out safely.  Pulled fine in 1st, up to 6000rpm, then into 2nd, and it feels rather flat.  I trundle the rest of the way to school, hook up torque and nothing jumps out at me.  Leave car 15 mins at school, then onwards to work, and again it's lacking power, throughout the rev range.  I log the entire drive, around 80% of the drive is substantially down on power (worst over 3000rpm), but it twice recovers all power before reverting to it's down-on-power state. 

I've gone through the log file, but nothing is jumping out at me as a consistent problem, I grew up on SU carbs, I'm still learning all this modern electrickery.   Is there a way to post an Excel file on here?

ValourUnbound New Reader
8/15/19 1:20 p.m.

Either screenshot it or share a google drive link.

paul_s0 New Reader
8/15/19 3:08 p.m.

Ok thanks


Here we go, if anyone fancies a shot at it.

Having just been out again to get my daughter, on the way there (15/20 mins on the highway) no problems at all.  Parked in school 10 mins, and noticeable constant power loss until the last 5/10 mins of the trip when we're back to normal (return trip was 35mins through 'town' as the highway was solid), so it almost looks like a heat soak issue somewhere, but we're in the depths of winter here, ambient temps aren't high, although coolant temps are getting up to 100deg C occasionally before dropping back down to 95 deg C (stop / start traffic)

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