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.

battery cable

 

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.

cables

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.

sniffer

 

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.

 

 

4 thoughts on “Garage Day – July 26, 2014

  • I’ve been doing a lot of research on the RRC A/C system. If you’re OK with converting to R134a the sanden 4646 should work. It would need a slight wiring modification, but that should be too hard (one wire instead of two). The base compressor is the same, the only differences are the clutch and the head (where the hoses connect). If you look on your current compressor you’ll see what head type it is, and can go from there. All the V-belt clutches are the same. A proper flush, a few bolts and you’re set. No need for new hoses.

    Disclosure: I haven’t installed the 4646 yet (plan to in the fall), but my research and the sanden website give it as the replacement.

    Hope that helps!

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