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.

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.