Thoughts? Portland to Chicago (almost) - Defender Source
Defender Source  

Go Back   Defender Source > Non-Technical Discussions > Trips, Trails and Events

Join the Defender Source Community Today

Thread Tools
Old November 10th, 2009, 09:40 PM
nycjdp's Avatar
Status: Offline
1995 D90
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Chicago
Posts: 30
Thoughts? Portland to Chicago (almost)

So this is a quick story about being stranded and how things can in fact always get a little worse before getting better.

After my Arctic trip earlier in the summer I left my 1995 D-90 in Portland Oregon. I planned on picking it up in late winter for the next leg of the trip down to Belize en route to the southern tip of South America. After a trip to Manhattan to meet with my good friend and fellow D-90'er (who shall remain nameless but is considering selling his rig!!!)I decided then and there that the Defender was definitely not the rig to continue in. Instead I'll be getting a Discovery at some point in the coming months but that's a separate post for DiscoWeb.

So, having decided that the Defender was not going on to Central America and having a free week I decided to head to Portland last minute to see some friends and enjoy a leisurely drive back to Chicago. Ahhh how naive I was. The rig had been dialed in by Northwest Rovers in Portland so i knew it was ready to roll. I spent three days enjoying Portland and headed out Monday mid day. The plan was to roll through Salt Lake City, then on to Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa and back to Chicago in about 4 relaxing days.

Day one was a 12 hour pain in the a$$. It was beautiful through the Columbia River Gorge but by the time I hit Idaho it was rainy and windy and of course dark. the next 6 hours were just plain uncomfortable.

Day two it was snowing like crazy in SLC and in the hills so I decided to use some Hilton points and just hang out and relax. Well in my relaxed state I forgot that weather travels East. Therefor, when I headed out on......

Day three...I did not check to note that i was driving into the worst blizzard and snow storm Eastern Wyoming had seen in a looonnngg time. Had I taken 30 seconds to check the weather I would have noted that 80 was closed from Laramie to central Nebraska. Instead i hopped in the rig and hit the road...great drive until about 50 miles into Wyoming. The wind was INSANE, the fine powdery blowing snow found its way into every opening of the vehicle. I had towels stuffed everywhere but to no avail. It was so cold I could hardly move. Suddenly i started smelling that point I knew I was either hallucinating or having a stroke. I scratched my head pondering this smell and realized that my hair was soaking wet from all the snow coming into the car and that in fact I was smelling my wet hair which had been washed with some coconut smelling shampoo earlier that morning!! I was miserable. i powered on witnessing at least 30 accidents and cars stuck in the ditch. Black Ice was everywhere and the snow was coming down HARD. By the time I reached Laramie it was a full on blizzard. Checked into horrible hotel and promptly dropped my iPhone into a sink of water rendering it broken for 5 hours before coming back to life.

Day four...could not sleep...woke up watching the Wyoming DOT site for road openings. All day long it was closed and I burned a full day. It was miserable

Day five....had to get out. called United, bought a ticket from Laramie to Chicago for an ungodly amount of money. But I was getting out. Figured I'd leave the rig there for a few months and come pick up in the spring. Decided to celebrate by going to breakfast. started the truck..ran for about 30 seconds and then died. tried to start again and nothing! I didn't care since i was getting out and planned on leaving it anyway...called AAA they picked it up and dropped off at local shop. No sooner did the rig hit the pavement did I get a call from United informing that flights were locked down for at least three day! Now i have no truck and no plane ticket. Mechanic tells me the engine has no compression and is likely the timing chain....perfect...things can in fact get worse.

tow truck driver takes me back to hotel. lobby full of truckers and stranded drivers. Then in comes my hero...guy was livid and asking anyone how he could get out of Laramie since he was stranded too. Some truckers told him about a crazy deadly road down to ft collins. I asked the guy if he was going to go for it, he said yes and 15 minutes later we were on the road in his huge brand new diesel pick up. i was in heaven. kind of...before we took off he said "two things; I smoke cigarettes in my truck and i smoke weed when i'm driving; I'm carrying enough for both of us to go to jail if we get pulled over" I weighed my options for about 1 second and said let's go. He promptly pulled out his pipe and smoked out like he was a frat boy with nothing to do for the next three days. Turns out that he drove like shit stoned as was terrifying but he did get me to denver for a flight back to Chicago.

It was a miserable trip but all things happen for a reason. Had my timing chain broke in the middle of the night in the middle of no where I would have been stranded in an even worse way so breaking on start up seems a better option.

So the questions:

1. No compression? Timing Chain? Other thoughts?
2. How invasive is the timing chain replacement on a 95 D-90? Any thoughts on reasonable cost?
3. Any concern about a stranger to these vehicles doing this operation?

Thanks guys!

Reply With Quote
Old November 10th, 2009, 11:24 PM
Status: Offline
Dave Lucas
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: CO USA
Posts: 2,875
Originally Posted by nycjdp
Some truckers told him about a crazy deadly road down to ft collins.

Truckers hate that road due to the wind flipping their trucks.

Take a deep breath, relax and enjoy the ride...

Reply With Quote
Old November 28th, 2009, 01:14 PM
Status: Offline
Nando Zorrilla
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Ridgewood, NJ
Posts: 37

Sounds like the perfect storm. You should re-post in the "help" section to get some answers.

Any updates since?

Reply With Quote
Old November 28th, 2009, 02:41 PM
JSBriggs's Avatar
Status: Offline
Jeff Briggs
Antarctic Blue Super Sports Wagon
Site Team
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Auburn CA
Posts: 12,174
1.The cam gear is nylon fiber gear and they can strip the teeth on them. If you pull a valve cover and crank the engine you can tell if the cam gear is stripped.

2.The Timing chain is fairly simple, but you may have bent a valve or two.

3.No, as long as he realizes that he needs to reprime the oil pump.

Reply With Quote
Old November 29th, 2009, 01:36 PM
Status: Offline
Todd Miller
Land Rover
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Fairburn, GA USA
Posts: 1,029
Laramie is a great little town. you should have stayed a few days, gotten your D90 repaired and driven on in good weather!
Reply With Quote

Lower Navigation
Go Back   Defender Source > Non-Technical Discussions > Trips, Trails and Events


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
new mexico to chicago?? steved90 Defender Technical Discussions 2 February 15th, 2006 02:57 PM
FJ Cruiser shown at 2005 Chicago Auto Show RFA Misc. Chit-Chat 17 November 3rd, 2005 06:14 PM
The Great Chicago Oil Slick.... Eric Siepmann Misc. Chit-Chat 30 October 28th, 2005 07:02 AM
RDS Fans...Keep N.O. in your thoughts Ragland Misc. Chit-Chat 1 August 28th, 2005 03:00 PM
Thoughts on galvy chassis? dmarchand Misc. Chit-Chat 2 October 17th, 2003 01:09 PM

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:30 AM.