The first piece, removed.

Project ReSpenny: Day 1

Now that I’ve introduced Project ReSpenny, it’s time to begin the accountability blog. This is a large-scale project, and to keep it on pace requires doing a little something every day.

The advantage this project has over my Discovery 1 rebuild before the Mother Country Trail trip is that the Range Rover Classic is very clearly not my daily driver. Things can come apart and sit for a bit without worrying about getting to work. Jobs can be done properly and thoroughly with serious attention to detail.

The other advantage to this is that I can really pace the entire project around my life. Preparing for the cross-country trip was difficult, as I tried to balance work and an impending to-do list. But this project can go at a more relaxed pace. Since I know that I can get home late from work a lot, often very stressed, I’ve decided that the goal is that I have to do one task — only one task — a night. The first step of the project is to disassemble the dashboard assembly.

The dashboard on a Range Rover Classic is notoriously delicate. A bunch of hard plastic and wood pieces held together by screws, it’s part of the gloriously primitive nature of the RRC. However, a quarter of a century later, a lot of these hard plastic pieces have a tendency to crack as you try to take them apart. A few cracked tabs and the whole dash will never fit together quite right ever again.

The first piece to take off is the wood fascia that holds the air conditioning vents — a glorious slab of “Mediterranean Poplar” veneer, unique to the 1993 Range Rover Classic County LWB. Some things on the truck are not in great shape, but this veneer actually is pretty nice all things considered. It’s held on by 15 screws between two sections, but somehow when I got everything out of there I only had about half as many — and none of them matched. Needless to say, I’ll be replacing hardware as part of the project.

The rest of the fascia panel looks decent. There are brackets that hold it to the plastic, and they do have some surface rust. But I can definitely tidy that a bit and paint them up again to prevent further moisture damage. They’re screwed on to the back of the fascia with little tiny screws, which are probably best left undisturbed.

Do Not Poke the Bear...
Do Not Poke the Bear…

Removing these two panels took about ten minutes, and then about fifteen more to package up the screws, tidy the fascias a bit, and put them in the back of the truck for storage. But sub-half-hour tasks are perfect for this endeavor. They’re the kinds of things I can do even if it was a really long, stressful day at work.

Tomorrow’s goal is to take off the dash top — nothing more. The goal is to post here to maintain accountability, in addition to reporting to some fellow Range Rover Classic fan friends on progress. The posts are going to be titled with “Day X,” but those days need not be consecutive. Every time I do just a little bit, it counts as one of the #SpennyDaysandNights that make up this project.

Day 1 Result.
Day 1 Beginning.
Day 1 Result. Yes, I know the steering wheel is more than a bit mildew-y…but it’s been flaking in my hands for years, and I’m hoping to put an 80s 4-spoke on there!
Organizational tactics.