by Alain Hoffmann
Noises - general
We Land Rover guys live and die by noises our rustbuckets produce. From one sound we come up with a marvellous rationale about the rear left wheel bearing, another one indicates without doubt an almost failing con rod bearing on #3 cylinder. Noises are a wonderful thing to exercise our small brains on. Creativity runs amok!
But somehow you often get deceived. Let's develop an noise signature and work forward from it
The slowest, best audible noise is generated by tyres. Have a stone stick in your rubber and listen to the very distinctive ticking sound. It's strictly speed related. So the first thing we do is smash that clutch pedal at speed. If it's engine related it will change or fade. Wheel and bearing noises will stay. Right? Naw! Some noises require torque to be applied as those from gearbox and transfer box. But we may be able to catch that sucker that way.
Now while you do this clutch test drive up to your local friendly parts store. For a tenner or so buy an mechanics sthethoscope with a metal tip. Or if you're Uncle Scrooge cut off a piece of garden hose. Before you start make yourself familiar with noises heard through it. Believe me: The first time you listen to your engine with this one you'll be sure that mill is wrecked, totally wrecked and beyond reasonable repair. But wait. Those are probably just the standard running noises of a perfectly good engine or at least as perfect one as Rover intended us to have. So play a bit around, listen to all sorts of rock and rattle and get accustomed to it.
Now for a common test: Your water pump's still ok? Or is there an noise like rickey-tickey-tickey, a bit like an swatch watch on fast self-destruct idle? Take your stethoscope and hold the metal tip at the water pump. Do this from the side and TAKE OFF THAT SILLY TIE! Or it may well be the last time you ever want to wear something. Do you hear now an very loud ticking noise? Well, if so prepare for a new pump.