RovErica Got Married

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The good people at Lucky 8 are always asking, “”What did you do Roverish today?” Well this weekend I didn’t do anything “Roverish”. I did however watch my little RovErica get married to Brian Trowman. Brian is 6’4″ a former Ball State offensive lineman and Erica is wearing 4 inch heals so I guess she isn’t my little RovErica any more.

Yes the little girl you have watched grow up on this blog is now all grown up and married. If it is a surprise to you, imagine how I feel.

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She was the first kid in the family to say she loved our Land Rovers. She even drove the BWB for 2 years while in high school. While she was hard on the old bus she could break her more than I could fix her.

If you haven’t priced a wedding lately take my word for it they are expensive. So it will be a while before I do very much with the Land Rover. It might be a while before I do anything “Roverish”. We had a lovely wedding and it was a truly great time with friends and family.

The good news, Brian, our new son-in-law, is a car guy and hopefully will soon be working as a manager for a tire shoppe! Yes!

Welcome to the family Brian.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

 

1964 A Good Year for Land Rover a Good Year for Me

50 years
50 years.

This weekend I turned half a century old. In today’s United States of America that is no great fete. We have peace, security, great medical care, and a thriving economy (well…sorta). So turning 50 years old is pretty easy. I have always tried to take pretty good care of myself. So today at 50 years I still feel like I did at 40 years.

In 1964 Land Rover offered the iconic Series II. Imagine a configuration of a Series II and it was offered that year. It was the farmer’s friend. It was a reliable workhorse. With a Dormobile kit it was a camper. And it was a staple of overland travel in the third world. And…I want one.

1964 Land Rover

Who in their right mind wants a 50-year-old Land Rover? Me.

These Land Rovers are dirt simple. They are sturdy, mechanically simple. If you have a diesel model there are about three wires under the bonnet. Electrically easy to sort out. Keep the rust off of her and you are golden.

Ideally, I’d love to own a totally restored version. You can only imagine that those go for northward of 50,000$(US). I am not a car collector. I could not possible afford to have a 50,000$ toy sitting in my garage. I would want to use that Land Rover. I would need to drive it….often, perhaps even as my daily driver. I imagine in a more romantic version of my life this mythical 1964 Series II would be my “Rocinante”. That was the name Steinbeck gave to his camper truck which he used to travel across the United States in 1960 with his dog Charley. (If you haven’t read the book, Travels with Charley, you need to.)

I know that driving a 50-year-old car on a daily basis is not practical. This is Oklahoma. It has a range of weather that includes -30’s of Southern Canada all the way to Sub-Saharan Africa 120F. My commute at this time is 50 miles a day in stop and go traffic. Finding parts is easy. Rovers North takes care of that for most Series models. Sadly I am in the farthest shipping zone from them. Getting parts quickly is impossible. This alone makes owning a Land Rover let alone a 50-year-old model “problematic”.

So for now I will just drive my 21-year-old daily driver. Perhaps when I am retired or semi-retired I’ll buy a 1964 Series II. I want to do some overland traveling and I can’t imagine doing it in a modern automobile.

50 years happy

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Video Blog #3

Video Blog.

As I mentioned in the Okierover Video Blog #3, I recently got a Service Engine light.
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I don’t see Check Engine or Service Engine lights very often. I forgot that this was not the CHECK ENGINE light. So I rambled on a bit on the video. Here’s how to reset the SERVICE ENGINE light on a Range Rover Classic.

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Find the SERVICE Module under the passenger seat. Just remove frustration, move the seat all the way forward and lift it up too.

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Turn the ignition on. With a paper clip or other metal bar pierce the paper sticker on the top (it has probably already been pierced) and insert the rod. You will feel the pins and if you look at the instrument cluster the SERVICE ENGINE light will go off when you have satisfied the reset.

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Now if I could only find something to short out to fix the ABS / Traction Control problem…oh well.

Thanks for reading/watching and Happy Rovering.

Lonely in the Parking Lot

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I went to a training class today. There weren’t very many people in the class. It’s lonely in the parking lot.

The last time I was in the part of North Oklahoma City it was all pasture and cultivated fields. Northwest 150th and May Ave. All the buildings look just a few years old. Growth is good I guess.

Thanks for reading and Happy Parking.

Now That’s a D Ring

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I ran up to O’Reilly’s to get oil and a Wix filter for an oil change. In the parking lot I saw this D ring on a Dodge Cummings truck. Silly I know, but fun.

I am switching to 10w40. I know, I know,  you always used Castrol 20w50. 20 50 is probably too heavy. Winter is coming so I’m gonna add run lighter oil and see how that goes.

Richard our Web programmer for RedDirtRovers.com recently had to part with his Range Rover. He just happened to find an original set of carpets in his garage. There was even a set of rubber mats.

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The mats are much nicer than my old set. Thanks so much Richard.

I picked up a Taurus from a friend. It needs some work but will make a good daily driver for someone. I’ll be sorting out the parts I need this week.

It looks like Charlie Blankenship’s Sports and Classics will get the transmission rebuild. He gave me a good price for the total job. I need to get the funds together. The Taurus will be my transport while the Big White Bus is in the shoppe.

Thanks for reading and Happy  Rovering

International Yeah, We Got That

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So my copy of Land Rover Owner International arrived in the post this week. And right there on page 3,621, actually it is page 252, is the Big White Bus. My mug is there too standing next to one of my idols Bill Burke.

Russ Brown contacted the good folks at SCARR and they in turn pointed him to me for a write up of the 2014 event. Russ and the editors of the magazine adeptly pared my 4 part series to the svelte 300 words you see there.

If I had studied Journalism in college I’m sure I could have crafted a lighter version of my behemoth posts. I’ll work on that for next time and maybe I’ll get a byline.

There is not much going on repair wise.  We are getting some rain this weekend and the wiper motor seems to be struggling to cross the windshield.  That’s going to be a fun project. /sarcasm. The cowl is not going to be fun to remove. And the transmission is definitely slipping.  That is going to be an expensive repair. I’ll be vetting the repair shoppes these next few weeks.

Have a good weekend.
Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Bigfoot Talisman

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I saw this fused glass Bigfoot at the Midsummer’s Night Fair a couple of weeks ago.  I was there to see the Oh! Johnny Girls.

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They were as awesome as I expected them to be. But the Bigfoot Talisman haunted me on the bicycle ride home. I told Mr. Fisher that it was imparitive that I get one for the Big White Bus.

So I checked with Mrs. Fisher who had very adepty stalked them and hooked me up with them on Facebook. I found out they were setting up at the Oklahoma City Arts Festival. I dragged Mrs. Okierover to the festival to pick up a fused glass Oklahoma necklace for her and my talisman.

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They both look great and now when go down to Southeast Oklahoma to cruise the back roads like outlaws, we won’t have any trouble with Bigfoot due to the supreme mojo of the talisman.

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I urge you to check out Jim Shelley’s work. I know you will see something you like. And if you want protection from Bigfoot while in the bush, this is the only place you can get a fused glass Bigfoot Talisman.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Drum Room

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I haven’t been around this many drums since high school.

Fried chicken, too many fries, and waffles? Yes please.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Bad Highway Planning and You

Ever wonder why certain places on the highway? I know I do. My friend Dave showed us a place on the 405 in Los Angeles where the traffic just slows down or stops. Traffic engineers have studied it and can’t sort out why.

I-35 in south Oklahoma City has its spots too. But there are NO mysteries. It’s easy to see why the pile ups happen where they do. The N. 12th street on-ramp was once such spot. Before it was corrected the on-ramp was south of an off-ramp on the other side of the highway to Shields Blvd.

You can see it here in its current CORRECTED state.

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The on-ramp to I-35 (red) was moved north of the off-ramp (blue). This stopped people from entering the highway and trying to cross three lanes to just immediately exit on the Shields off-ramp. Instead of just driving a mile north on city streets and then on to Shields the inconsiderate drivers caused several traffic jams for decades. Including the first time I was hit in my Range Rover. I was rear ended due to the traffic jam caused by this situation.

The state finally studied the highway there and moved the on-ramp so that drivers could not cause the problem. It was a long time coming. But today the slow down there is due to traffic two miles up at I-240.

There are a few other on ramps between Norman and Oklahoma City that were designed back in the 1960’s and were never intended to carry the amount of traffic they do today. Traffic backs up there every day.

I came up on another on-ramp that was not corrected when they widened I-35 ten years ago. The traffic piles up after the S.E. 15th Street on-ramp. INCONSIDERATE drivers enter I-35 and then attempt to cross four lanes of traffic to exit on to I-40 west bound.

You can see it here.

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The pile up happens once traffic reaches critical mass just after 7:30am. I-35 and I-40 are called “The Crossroads of America”. I-40 is coast to coast and I-35 is Canada to Texas. This intersection needs a multi-million dollar over haul. The confluence also has a rail spur and a river to add to the fun of correcting the horrible traffic in this area.

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I got to enjoy a lovely hour-long traffic jam the other morning. It was the perfect storm.

  • Poor highway planning.
  • Oklahoma rain.
  • Inconsiderate driver.

The road is poorly designed. Nearly anything can cause an issue. Any driver that doesn’t have good driving skills or as I often imagine doesn’t have the confidence they should to drive in the rush hour traffic.

Only God knows why Oklahoman’s can’t drive when it rains. They can’t drive when it snows either. I believe it is a confidence issue. That and most Oklahoma students do not understand enough Physics to know what their cars and tires can and cannot do.

An lastly an inconsiderate driver, who just pulls out on to the highway. Slows down and starts meandering their way to the far left lane on less than a mile of very congested roads. Add in a little testosterone and a kid who thinks they would make a good addition to the TV show Street Outlaws and you have a recipe for disaster.

You can see every lane is jammed. When I got up to the actual place the accident occurred two OKC fire engines has been dispatched and an ambulance.

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I was only delayed 25 minutes. But the highway at one point was backed up all the way into north Moore causing more than an hour delay for many thousands of drivers.

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You can see the pickup had obviously spun and hit the center wall. At least two other cars were also impacted. I don’t know who the ambulance was for, none of the cars were damaged enough to look like someone needed to be taken away by ambulance.

Unfortunately for me if they started TODAY this intersection, it would be completed just a few years before I am eligible to retire.

So what’s the take-away. Be a considerate driver. Find routes that don’t cause others to back up or cause them to stop while you futz your way across four lanes. It’s just bad manners.

Be safe out there, thanks for reading, take a driving course, and Happy Rovering.

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.