After much tinkering with a worn-out Zenith 36 IV carburetor, I got the Rover's engine running pretty good, and decided to declare the great Land Rover Restoration Project of summer 2012 finished.
I celebrated with a Facebook photo album of the project, which you can find here:
The original goal, which was to replace the functionality of the 1997 Ford Escort Wagon and the 1999 Nissan pick-em-up truck, can be partly met with this vehicle.
The main barrier to completely meeting the goal is the poor fuel efficiency of the Rover. The Escort gets about 35 mpg minimum, while the Land Rover currently gets less than 20. The Ford will have to keep running for now, since we can save money by using it for me to get to and from work and for non-load carrying trips. I'm hoping to increase the fuel efficiency eventually with a new carburetor.
But with the addition of a solid farm trailer, we'll be able to do everything we do with the Nissan, when that vehicle finally poops out as it must in a year or two, at the most three. I think we'll eventually scrap both Nissan and Ford and replace them with a fuel-efficient sedan or hatchback of some kind, possibly a second-hand Prius for Aimee to drive, while I take her Camry into its second 100,000 miles.
There are a few things we can do with the Rover that we couldn't do before. One is to carry dogs very easily. In fact, the dogs really like it in the back of the Rover. They have their own rug on the floor and their own windows to look out of. We can also install a section of fence back there, pull out the rug, and carry sheep and piglets without the need for a livestock trailer, which will be very convenient.
And, as long as the Nissan keeps running, when the snow flies Aimee can drive the Nissan, while I drive the Landy, allowing us to keep different schedules even when the weather is bad.
The total cost of the Land Rover, including parts, registration and new tires, was somewhere between five and six thousand dollars, which I think is not bad for a four-wheel drive truck that can last for many years. We spent about that much on Aimee's Camry a couple years back.