Top Off-Road Trails In America [Survey]

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Clint Henderson from PartCatalog.com asked me to pass along a survey on their site. They are compiling the best off-road trails in America. It takes less than a minute of your time. You could even possibly win something.

The embed code didn’t work so click the link.Take the survey here.

So if you’ve got a few minutes take the survey and then check out the results. You may see a new place to take your Land Rover.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Awesome Rig

I’ve talked about JagGuy’s nasty hobby of bobbing deuce and a halfs. The picture is of his personal rig. It is simply awesome. The stance, the color, the massive 5 ply tires, it has “that look”.

While I waited for him to get back from lunch on Saturday I checked out his truck. I drove M54 the  5 ton version of this vehicle when I served in the Marine Corps Reserve. The summer of 1984′s Combined Arms Exercise found us driving the Wisconsin National Guard’s M35′s aka the deuce and a half. So I have a slight fondness for them.

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Everyone he builds he puts a different sign on. That’s his website, XM381.com. You can go there and see other examples of the trucks he has built.

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He has sources to vendors where he can get the replacement stickers. Ah….NBC…nuclear, chemical, and biologic warfare. Three of my absolute favorites!

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Kaiser Jeep built these trucks.

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Some views of the cab.

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Always a good idea no matter what you are driving.

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Danger! a slightly modified instrument cluster.

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Modified spring seats.

20140726_131300Waterproof radio with waterproof Mil-Spec speakers. That just looks bad ass.

I know you all are thinking how much? I actually have no idea. If you are interested give him an email. In our chat today we got to talking about his camper project. It’s still in the planning phase but I know its going to be awesome too.

Check out his page to see more about his trucks.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

 

Garage Day – July 26, 2014

It was another hot Saturday in Central Oklahoma. The temperature made it to 102 F in Norman. Even with the temps as nasty as that we don’t stop work because we might get a little sticky and sweaty. We just turned on the fans and opened up the doors.

The Evil German Dude had us all over for some electrical fun. I know you’re thinking, Land Rover…Electric…sweet! Well not this weekend. The modifications were for Magnum Mike and Paparazzi Ford. Both of them had some seriously unimpressive factory wiring.

First was Magnum Mike’s Dodge Magnum. The work was to upgrade the ground. On this model of Magnum the battery is located in the trunk. That’s Mike sitting and sweating in the back of the very impressively modified Magnum. It is a true hot rod. He drove us to lunch one day. I’ve never been so scared and excited since Eric Kammerlocher took me for a spin in his Corvette back in the 1980′s.

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The standard from the factory ground wire was a very small wire maybe 8 AWG. Compared to a normal battery cable the ground is about a fourth of the size it should be. The battery terminals are a simple flat metal. Not nearly the beefy terminals EGD uses normally.

You can see the flat metal and small wire in this image.

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So the plan was to swap out the cables. EGD doesn’t do anything “half-assed”. The new cables were 2/0. Yes…two aught.

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This wire chart should give you a great comparison.

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We tease EGD but he knows his electrics. He has all the tools and always has the fittings, connectors, and heat shrink  wire just about anything. The hydraulic crimping tool is pretty impressive too. So when you hear me talking about upgrading my battery cables you know why I am taking the Range Rover over to the evil lair.

The crimping dies had to be modified. Here EGD makes another minor correction to the tool’s die.

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You can see in the next picture that they got the  cables in place and the battery strapped back in.

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Paparazzi Ford brought his Jeep Commander over with a very persnickety start problem. Basically something was wrong with the battery cables that would disable the vehicle. He would futz with it, the Jeep would start for a few days then quit him again.

He drove to EGD’s evil lair but when his turn came up the truck would not start. He popped the bonnet and I simply twisted the positive battery cable just a bit and the Commander started. Being as Jeep is now owned by Chrysler/Dodge the same type of battery terminals are being used.

Upon further inspection it turned out to be a very corroded connector. Swapping the terminals out had to be done. Here the crimping tool is used to marry the cables to the terminal.

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Heat shrink is moved into place.

 

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And here the heat gun heats the shrink wrap.

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I couldn’t stay longer. JagGuy promised to take a look at my air conditioning. As you have no doubt read or have seen in my video blog my A/C is out. I’ve been chasing fully functional air conditioning in my Range Rover for years.

So JagGuy mentioned at lunch on Friday that he had a freon sniffer. Such a handy device.

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He was keen on my idea to swap the AC compressor for a more common unit from a Chevy. The hoses would need to be custom-made. Before making all the effort to reinvent the system he said we should find out what has failed. Is the hoses? Is it the compressor? Is the radiator leaking? The only way to find out was to test for leaks.

I didn’t take a picture of the sniffer in action its sensor is an audio one. We sniffed the system and found that the front seal on the compressor had failed.

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Freon going in.

JagGuy suggested I go to the company that bought out Oklahoma Auto Air. They do all manner of compressors and hoses. The compressor on the Range Rover is basically a Sanden 709. So next week I’m going to drop by their shop and get the details. Hopefully I’ll have some air conditioning the week after I get back from my 25th wedding anniversary trip.

The weather is going to cool off this next week so my daily commute won’t be the 35 minute drive in an oven. Mrs. JagGuy has told JagGuy that she wants to drive a Land Rover Discovery II. They are looking for a good one. I can’t wait for them to go with us on a jaunt.

EGD is working with a company that has some pretty cool lighting solutions. I’m looking at them for some possible trail lighting. I’ll get back to that when I investigate further.

And in other news…he was only kidding about buying a Dodge.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

 

 

Video Blog #2

Here is my second attempt at a video blog. Its probably a tad long at 7:20. And I haven’t figured out how to close yet. I did make notes so I wouldn’t ramble. Let’s go with 88% non-rambling.

I hope you enjoy it.

Thanks for reading, watching, and Happy Rovering.

Happy Independence Day America, No Hard Feelings England

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Our countries have had a long history. It didn’t start out so wonderful. But I can assure you since 1914 we’ve been the best of friends. Everyone knows the United States and Great are two countries separated by a common language. With all that said, we all love and drive our Land Rovers with pride. Its not about country any more.

We didn’t get along so well until the last of the 19th century. Our two countries began to align their global interests during the Great Rapprochement. In my opinion the last big dust up with Great Britain had to be the second war of independence also known as the War of 1812.

This year is the 200th anniversary (September 14th) of the poem that Frances Scott Key penned that became our National Anthem. Today is the day we celebrate our Independence from a tyrannical rule that undermined the liberty of men.

Many Americans don’t know there are two additional verses of the poem. This is the last…

“Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!”

Brave and free.

Happy Independence Day Everyone.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

CV Joint and Front Axle Seal

Here is what will pass for a how-to video on the CV Joint and axle seal replacement. I had trouble videoing it with greasy hands. I also had trouble because the phone ran out of disk space.

That let to some choppy video and you didn’t get to see the assembly. What I do hope you get from this is that it is not as complicated or difficult as it may appear. Take it one step at a time and it will become really easy to understand.

On the Okierover Difficulty Scale this is a solid 3. You’ll need more than your average tool kit. You’ll need some help with the brake bleeding. It is a technical job but relatively straight forward.

I hope you can get something from the video. It was not what I wanted to present. But I also didn’t want to waste all the video and effort.

Thanks for watching and thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Working on a new How-to Video

I worked on a new video today. I swapped a CV joint and some seals. I’ll get it up as soon as I have it done.

Here’s a teaser.

Otherwise not much is going on. I have the gas mileage up to 13.5 mpg on average. I did learn today from the manager of the AutoZone store that Castrol 20w50 is being discontinued. I’m not sure if this is true or not true, but he had the 5 quart jugs on sale for 8$(US). That’s really cheap. I bought a jug in addition to some new 80w90 for my differentials.

If it is indeed true I’ll have to swap back to 10w40. No harm in that. I wonder if it will affect my gas mileage?

Well that’s all for now. Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Back to the Future

Happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there.

My son, Diet Mountain Drew, works at the OnCue on Flood in Norman. When he was leaving the other day a special treat rolled up.

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Yes, that is a replica Delorean outfitted like the famous auto from the Back to the Future franchise.

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An obvious crowd pleaser.

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Mr. Fusion

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Rich Corinthian Leather, its not really Corinthian.

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Fuel tank up front? Safety first.

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Diet Mountain Drew said the guy hung out and let people take pictures for almost an hour. That’s great. Sharing your toys with others.

I am a little surprised he stopped for petrol when he clearly has a Mr. Fusion Home Energy Reactor installed. Hmmmmm…..

Thanks for reading and Happy Time Travel.

Looking Good from the 6th Floor

 

 

 

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I snapped a couple of pictures from my new office. In the picture from left to right on the horizon…

The Capitol, Downtown OKC, right next to the “Eye of Sauron” is the steeple of the church we laid my friend Whit Edwards to rest in, Crown Heights neighborhood in the forested area with Bishop Guinness High School on the far right with I-44 in the foreground.

Its a great view. My Range Rover Classic is just below us. It’s the only Land Rover in the entire parking lot. The building houses nearly 500 people, only one Land Rover.

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I usually park in the open space directly behind me but someone snuck in it while I was out at lunch that day. Shade from the giant cottonwood tree is much appreciated as it starts to turn warmer.

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Zoom in…

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Video Blog #1, Humor me, wave why don’t ya?

This is my first attempt at a video blog. My friend Walt in PA video blogs all the time. I think his readers like it.

We shall see if my readers like it.

Caveats /kavēˌät,ˈkäv-/,

  • This video will not change your life.
  • This video was filmed in a controlled environment by a professional Land Rover Driver. (Don’t try this at home kids.)
  • The thoughts within are random, and mine, and hopefully entertaining. (I will not refund the four minutes you are sure to waste watching it.)
  • It was awesome.
  • The city was “The Village”.

Thanks for watching and Happy Rovering.