The car projects just keep rumbling along

Published 8:00 am Sunday, September 18, 2022

By Steve Stricker

Humble, Thank You to car guys (male, female) for stopping me in stores, elsewhere, to ask how my projects are coming along!  Well – cold, wet, spring, stuff now and then, keeping me from getting going, weird, major computer issues, and honestly, my attitude toward working on anything was rubbish…but – past performance predicts future performance, I’ve always rallied to get work done, did accomplish stuff…and although now September…can still pull off a swell year!

Starting with my 1964 Land Rover Series IIA – I’ve gone completely through this cherished Brit bonnet to boot, lots of parts on from literally all over the world, others adjusted by me these past many years, the last thing needed (so very much done already) to actually drive since purchasing as a “rolling restoration” (grrrr!) from that snake oil dealer in Birmingham, AL, August 2014, is to rebuild the dreaded front swivel ball assemblies (not a small project) have all the parts, but was stuck on whether to leave the after-market Dualmatic lock-in, lock-out hubs on or take off.  

Email newsletter signup

Rovers North, Vermont, major Land Rover parts source in the north-east since purchasing, knowledgeable, respected tech, said take them off – yes, locked-out allows front differential to turn freely – but doesn’t let grease lubricate the seals, drying them out, causing leaks, petrol saved is minuscule, and destroys the bearings!  

Parts guy for years in the northwest, Land Rover expert so knowledgeable about all this, saving me hours of time, suddenly not answering my calls or texts for over a month, very frustrating, bought all parts from them, perhaps not much compared to others, but a lot for me as loyalty is important, however, ignoring my repeated requests for help, set me way back, but as good weather and my positive attitude is still ahead, friends at Rovers North, world, are there to help, waiting for the energy to get stuff done amongst my other 7 dozen million projects…but – I will do it!!

Meanwhile, 1971 MGB-GT, bought new, all original, one-owner MG meticulously maintained by me, had a leaking rear passenger wheel cylinder that I didn’t want to deal with, so just topped up brake reservoir before driving, but forgot recently, drove around Oxford, Ole Miss campus, and when a drive-challenged student pulled out in front of me, had to slam on brakes, blew out the cylinder and drive home with zero brakes, transmission as brake – was a wee bit traumatic!

So, rebuilt that brake with all new parts, shoes, cylinder, springs, bled, then to driver side and as always, bunch of issues, stopped in my tracks, where I am now – have parts, just waiting for the inspiration to rebuild.

Then after practically rebuilding my old LT133 John Deere riding lawn mower, began having issues to the point that it would start, but not go forward or back – now what?!  With hood open, started and in amazement watched the engine slide all over the place – two, three, or all four engine 8×1.25mm bolts had dropped out – normal, I discovered on the internet – but while trying to install said bolts, jacked up front of mower, major issues putting bolts in by myself, frustrated, with hood open, let jack down and the flamin, bloody hell, crap hood fell off and broke into a hundred pieces!!!!  Now – I can say, heck, dang, oh gosh – but choose then Scottish fiancé’s favorite saying – BLOODY HELL!!  

Now what…new John Deere hood will cost north of $1000and still have to get the blooming engine reattached, new belt on…buy another mower? No, too much invested in this one and will Missouri, Mississippi, German, French, Scottish, Steve strong, figure it out…now or next spring…like all else, laid back and am no hurry about anything….

This past Wednesday, with LT133 needing a new belt, worked on it for several hours because if you don’t do this stuff regularly (experience) it can take (me) forever – ran into a block, had to mow dreaded south non-royal mile long south hill with cordless Black & Decker, done, but good progress and as always, will figure it out.

Before winter sets in, I’ll rebuild the MG driver rear brake stuff, IIA front swivel ball assemblies, John Deere issues, all stuff in house, yard, and you know…with all the work I have to do at church as sacristan…help God, y’all, I’m really tired…but I’ll do it because, well, I’m Steve, will persevere like every other bloody thing in my life.  GO REBELS – crash the Rambling Wreck of Georgia Tech today! Sorry, Tech graduates, niece Julie, husband David, and nephew Greg who played football for them…but, in love and war…well, I’ve been to war and because of our Lord, thankfully survived…GO REBELS!

Steve is an Oxford resident, worked on Campus, received his Ph.D. in Counseling from Ole Miss, is an LPC, NCC, and can be reached at