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I bought my 91 RRC then flew from Portland, OR -----> San Diego with the plan to drive back on CA Hwy 395 through the Sierra Nevada Mountains. 99% of the people I told this to thought I was a little nuts. I was a first time Range Rover owner, I was buying an RRC I'd only seen in pictures and a few videos, then driving it 1200 miles... Here is what happened:


After months of looking all over the web and asking all the RRC owners I ran into I spotted the car on craigslist, the ad was two sentences long and included two not so great pictures (see below), and the bold headline ***REDUCED PRICE FOR QUICK SALE*** I was skeptical but hopeful. After a lot of emailing with the owner I was getting pretty stoked on what I was hearing... Two owners, regular maintenance, records since new, no rust but typical wear and tear for a rig with close to 150K, plus it had always lived in the dry San Diego climate. The worst part that I could see in the pictures and video was that the hood and roof were pretty faded from the sun and the drivers seat had begun to separate on a bottom middle panel. Other than that all the electrics worked, it had a fresh oil service and clean recent inspection...I agreed to buy it sight unseen and without a PPI. The price was right so I knew if it turned out to need some major work it would still pencil out. I booked my flight and I started mapping out my route.

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Needless to say I started researching the hell out of what tools and parts I might need if I encountered any issues on my trip back. I spoke with a mechanic at a local Land Rover shop to get his perspective and he told me to bring a set of metric wrenches, radiator hoses, a couple of screwdrivers and then when I got to SD head to a local parts store and grab coolant, oil, hose clamps and some duct tape. I hopped an early flight out of PDX with a connection in Boise, I was due to arrive in SD at noon. During my layover in Boise I got a call from the owner. He had got the Rover detailed for me and decided he wanted to drive it one last time to work...the water pump failed on the way but it was at the shop getting a new one put in. Needless to say I was left wondering and worrying that this was a sign of what was to come. The owner picked me up at the airport, and we went straight to the shop to see my new RRC. It looked good and I was actually grateful that the pump went out on him rather than during the first 10 miles of my trip back. We split the cost of the new water pump and I was on the road a little later than expected.


Consider it love at first sight.

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For the first hour of my drive in California rush hour traffic I think I was watching the coolant temp more than I was actually watching the road. When I made it to Escondido I was feeling pretty confident that things were working out great... then a light on my dash started flashing. FML did the water pump fail? Did a hose blow? WTF is going on? I pulled over, grabbed the owners manual and sure enough it was the coolant level light. I popped the hood and checked the coolant it, was still full, then I checked over the wiring and that's all it was. One of the wires to the sensor had broken off at the plug. A quick stop at AutoZone and a cheap, quick fix electrical kit, a burgar and fries at In-Out Burger and all was well in the world. On the road again.


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I'm now heading to my first over night stop in Mojave. I chose to stay the night in the middle of nowhere so I could wake up and start my accent into the Sierra Nevada's in the daylight. This was the part of the the road trip I didn't want to miss. Going from sea level to 8,000+ft elevation was going to the next test of my new RRC. This is what my first morning looked like in Red Rocks Canyon State Park


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On to the next stop. Just outside of a little town called Olancha (elevation '3658, population 192) there is a couple of famous sites within a few miles of each other. First was Gus's Fresh Jerky. I'm pretty sure this is just an old service station but now it's a sticker covered building full of, you guessed it, some **** good jerky. After trying a few different samples I bought a bag and snapped a few pictures. Next was the Lemon House, there isn't a lot to see here just a house that looks like a lemon and the dinosaur.

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I'm a quarter of my way through the road trip home and at this point and the RRC is running like a champ with just a couple of small drops of oil underneath. From what I can tell it's seeping from around the oil pan and maybe a bit from the transmission pan. I've also noticed that after its warmed up and been driven for a while shifting into reverse cause a noticeable clunk. Nothing crazy and it's not an issue at this point but its been added to my short list of diag upon my return. Next stop the Alabama Hills and the steady climb into the Sierra's. Part two coming Shortly.
 

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Congratulations on what seems to be a great buy and a fabulous trip home. Loved the pictures.

Good luck with it. Let us know how it progresses

Alan
 

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LOL.. I did the same thing, albeit not as far. We flew from Columbus, Ohio into Atlanta, GA and drove our '88 RRC back. At to that point we had only seen the vehicle in pictures.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks everyone, I'm happy to share...here is Part 2:


After stopping at Gus's and admiring a house built to look like a lemon in the middle of the desert it was time to check out the Alabama Hills. I was a little bit sketched out since most of this part of my trip I was without cell reception. Granted the last owner installed a CB radio so worst case scenario I could figure out how to use that. haha

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Along the way there are these awesome charcoal kilns (Cottenwood Charcoal Kilns) that are just about a mile off the freeway. They were used to make charcoal to supply some of the local gold mines back in the 1800's. There are only two left but they are pretty impressive...worth the little 1 mile diversion on my way into the hills. After snapping some shots of these giants I decided to spend the next 25 miles or so off road and in the dust, dirt and sand. Worth it!

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I definitely missed some noteworthy spots on this part of my trip...Mobius Arch, Mt Whitney, the fish hatchery. But I did make it a point to stop into the Manzanar Internment Camp and I have to say it was a little sobering to realize we were rounding up Japanese-American Citizens and shipping them to this desolate location during WWII. Despite that surreal stop I was pretty distracted with all that was going on and feeling pretty impressed with the performance of the Rover. I really expected a slower, louder ride add in the fact that the freeway driving was nearly as comfortable as my Bimmer kept me cruising along at 70+ mph and focused on my next big stop, Bishop, CA. Oh, but since Independence, CA was right along the way I took a moment to stop and snap a shot in front of the famous courthouse. If you were there you'd be impressed. It doesn't seem like this tiny town in the middle of nowhere should have such a grand courthouse.

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Bishop, CA is probably the most sizable town along this leg of CA395. It gave me a chance to fuel up (I've been averaging almost 16mpg) and talk with some locals about where I might want to visit next. I took a short detour up to Convict Lake and it was so **** cold and windy I didn't even bother getting out. If you're taking this route...I'd skip it. I did spot a narrow little boulder covered road cutting through a small canyon just outside of town and I decided I would give it a go. Creeping my way up was a bit sketchy but once I got to the plateau the views were well worth it.

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After that my focus was making it to the June Lake Loop. A guy I follow on Instagram had recently taken some pretty epic pictures while passing through and I wanted to see if it was just Instagram or if it really was that rad... The loop isn't all that long but it tucks you back into a little valley with what I would call a "village". Fortunately for me this village had one of the best breweries I've ever been to. June Lake Brewing Co. The views weren't bad either.

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Next part will be from June Lake to Reno. I was pushing daylight and feeling a bit tired at this point but the constant views of the Sierra's were pretty motivating.

 

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I knew I had seen this on Instagram, I am one of the few apparently that LOVE Trocadero Red. I think I actually sent you a DM asking if you'd sell!

Anyways yes you have some serious nerve to straight up buy one and hit the road like that. I only dream of those adventures. I also have a '91 in Aspen Silver that I recently acquired and want to do a road trip so bad.

The clunk in reverse is normal, all three RRC's I have owned did it, it's slop in the transfer case chain most likely not the transmission like most panic, and I am told it's about common on every RRC unless you swap a LT230 transfer case in with cross drilled input gears (sans chain). No need to do that until your Borg Warner one gives out.

Pics are awesome! Keep your adventures rolling, I will be watching. My name is ridgerovers on instagram.

Congrats on the purchase!
 

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The clunk in reverse is normal, all three RRC's I have owned did it, it's slop in the transfer case chain most likely not the transmission like most panic, and I am told it's about common on every RRC unless you swap a LT230 transfer case in with cross drilled input gears (sans chain). No need to do that until your Borg Warner one gives out.
It's common in the LT230 too.
 

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This is such a great Rover story! I'm happy to see it here on rangerovers.net.

The 1991 Trocadero SWB begs adventure: I traveled by Greyhound Bus to buy mine (sight-unseen); then drove it over the mountains back to Denver.

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Great story. I LOVE road trips in old cars. It is all about the journey!. When I bought me RRC (84) I had to trailer it home. Still working on the the niggly bits to get the car even remotely reliable. I seem to have sorted the cooling through, bleeding the air is tricky business on these cars.

But then I suppose mine had been sitting for 20 years....
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Haha yeah that's was me!

Thanks for the feedback. Pretty sure an upgrade to the LT230 will be happening shortly but more on that later ;-) You should definitely hit the road....er uh trail. We are already planning a 2800 mile road trip starting at the end of next month!

I knew I had seen this on Instagram, I am one of the few apparently that LOVE Trocadero Red. I think I actually sent you a DM asking if you'd sell!

Anyways yes you have some serious nerve to straight up buy one and hit the road like that. I only dream of those adventures. I also have a '91 in Aspen Silver that I recently acquired and want to do a road trip so bad.

The clunk in reverse is normal, all three RRC's I have owned did it, it's slop in the transfer case chain most likely not the transmission like most panic, and I am told it's about common on every RRC unless you swap a LT230 transfer case in with cross drilled input gears (sans chain). No need to do that until your Borg Warner one gives out.

Pics are awesome! Keep your adventures rolling, I will be watching. My name is ridgerovers on instagram.

Congrats on the purchase!
 

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Thanks and it looks like we have twins on just about every level. Great Rig!!

This is such a great Rover story! I'm happy to see it here on rangerovers.net.

The 1991 Trocadero SWB begs adventure: I traveled by Greyhound Bus to buy mine (sight-unseen); then drove it over the mountains back to Denver.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Part 3/4:


After leaving June Lake there were just a couple of other notable places I wanted to check on my list. There were very, VERY few other vehicles on this trip which emphasized the expanse of the landscape. On my way into Mono Lake I had a couple opportunities to snap some open road shots. Also along the way I noticed an abandoned homestead that needed investigating.

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This leg of my trip was pretty uneventful I wanted to make the detour through Lake Tahoe but the sun was setting and I didn't really feel like setting up camp in the dark. I made a couple of other short stops but now it was onto Reno. I arrived in Reno at night which was a good thing. (It's rather boring during the daylight). I made my way down the main strip, grabbed a bite to eat and decided to call it a night.

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I woke up the next morning and started climbing in elevation out of Reno. I do have to admit I wish this beast had more power. The long steady climbs up make me a bit nuts watching my speedo go from 70mph to 55 in a matter of seconds. I was tempted many times to put the pedal to the floor and drop it a gear but I didn't want to risk something happening. How do you guys drive your RRC's? Is it hard on them to run them under load at 3 grand plus? On a positive note I got into some snow and some total whiteout conditions once I got into Lassen National Forest. I love how this rig feels in the snow and ice. There were multiple semi's that had slide off the road and a couple of pretty serious accidents that I passed during this leg and needless to say I loved how planted the Rover felt.

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I have to admit I was pretty **** tired at this point. So my motivation to stop and take pictures had started to taper off. I was also back in my home state and everything was starting to look familiar. Once I got into Klamath Falls the roads were turning to sheets of ice. No matter how great the RRC was in the snow, I was being ultra cautious. From here it was a straight shot up HWY 97 to my next big stop and my favorite town. Bend, OR. This warranted a stop a couple of my favorite spots. One in particular is the Pancake Wagon. HIGHLY recommended if you're ever in town for breakfast. Nothing better than a Pancake wrapped breakfast burrito. Trust me.

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See the next post for the last part of this Road Trip.
 

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Ok...sorry about that, almost no more pictures without the RRC in them...


On my way out of town I stopped in at one of our favorite mountain/lake vacations spots, The Suttle Lodge, to say hello. I highly recommend either getting a room or cabin there for a few snowy days.

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After I got though some of the wet snow on the Santiam Pass I started my decent into the the Willamette Valley. Growing up Detroit Dam was always one of my favorite stops as a kid. I loved walking or driving our on the the Dam and looking at the insane drop down to the river on the low side of the Dam.

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Home Sweet Home. Just a few miles away from the RRC's new home and new life in the Pacific North West.

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One of my first stops after getting back to Portland was to my friends place. A few weeks before me he bought a '93 LWB. We'll now be comparing note on a regular basis I'm sure!

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And here is the number 1 reason we got the RRC. By no means the only reason, but Lucy here wasn't going to fit so well in our other vehicles once she is full grown. No we can take our regular camping trips up another notch and start really getting off the beaten path.

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To wrap it up I have to say it was an epic road trip home. The only issue I had the entire was was the broken coolant level sensor wire and a few drips of oil hitting the exhaust. I would definitely call this a major success and hopefully the beginning of many more road trips in the RRC.
I plan to continue to post my experience with the Rover and I'm sure there will be plenty of questions along the way. Below you can see a general route I took on my way back. Thanks for following along.

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With your big tires you will have to run in third gear uphills. I don't mind running third; I like2800; I'll go to 3200-3400 if required; once in a great while a forced second,but I don't like it. Rev your engine inpark. How happy is it to spin up to 5000. Run it on the flat to 4 or 45; is it happy there? get the tuning right until it is good upthere. if you don't know what happyfeels like or sounds like,don't do it.

More familiarity and trust will come with time. I have 165,000 on my 95LWB. Good luck geneo

 
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