30 Years of Sun Have Destroyed My Dash Vents (Post #610) 5/30/2023

Rocky Mountain Rover Printed Parts
Rocky Mountain Printed Rover Parts Find them on Facebook

The sun is very hard on your plastic parts. Oklahoma City (the nearest metropolis) receives an average of 235 days of sunlight every year. That means about 68% of the time the sun is shining down on our British rust buckets providing something like 3,089 hours of sun in an average year. And all that sun with its ultraviolet rays really does a number of certain kinds of plastics. This is an excerpt from “UV and its effect on plastics: an overview” [www.essentracomponents.com].

But what about plastic – how is it affected by the varying types of UV?

If plastic has been affected by ultraviolet rays, you may notice:a

  • a chalky appearance
  • the component surface becoming brittle
  • a color change on the surface of the material

In terms of the components more likely to be at risk of UV damage, automotive parts are high on the list. The effects will predominantly result in a change of the material’s surface layer – and some plastics, if damaged by UV, will ultimately lead to the component failing altogether – not good news when a project is near completion or has been finalized.

If you need to know more about the sun’s effect on plastic head over there for details.

So what did I do to slow the inevitable? I’ve painted my surfaces and given them a coat of matte finish sealer. Will it work, probably not! But at least I tried something. Only time will tell.

As you will see in the video below, my dash vents are knackered. I reached out to some vehicle-parters and wasn’t happy with the parts they offered. I mean, I’m going to buy 30 year old vents that haven’t had quite as many hours of sun on them than mine? Nah. Then I stumbled on Rocky Mountain Printed Rover Parts [Facebook]. I messaged Jordan and asked if he had the vents. He said he would need to make them and sure enough he did. I ordered 4. I painted two of them to match the new dash color and as you will see in the video got them installed.

Two things need to be adapted, no holes in the sides for the vent hose adapter and the pins for the restrictor plate were not defined enough for the plate to stay in place. So I drilled the holes and glued the plate on. I used 1/8th pop rivets so I drilled a 9/64th hole and popped them in.

Pro Tip: Drill the holes where it will be easiest to use the pop rivet tool to install the rivets. Think about it and lay it out first.

I’m super happy I found him. I mentioned the vents in the D pillar would probably be another great item to 3d print. He agreed.

I bought these, they weren’t given to me for any publicity. I like supporting innovation and small businesses. I hope he does well in this venture. So if you are interested, give Jordan a message or email at RMRPrintedParts@gmail.com.

Thanks for visiting and Happy Rovering.

You can support this content and this website on Patreon.

Osage Adventure (Post #554) 1/30/2016


I got together with some fellow Oklahoma Land Rovers Owner members and went on a tour of the Oklahoma Adventure Trail. If you haven’t looked this up on the internet yet, you should. It will be the source of several trips for the Big White Bus in the coming year.

Oklahoma Adventure Trail Facebook.

Oklahoma Adventure Trail Website.

Nathan brought his “new” Range Rover. I was in my Range Rover Classic. John and Jayden were in their Discovery. And Erik and David were in the Defender.

John planned our trip and did a great job of mapping out some fun places to see and giving us a great tour of the back roads of Logan, Lincoln, Creek, Payne, and Osage counties. You will find the links to the map used to guide us. There were deviations from these maps but once you are out there you’ll realize why. Fair warning this is a picture heavy post.

One of many trestle bridges we encountered.

We drove along the Cimarron River for a good stretch.

Supports for a bridge that is no longer present.
Supports for a bridge that is no longer present.

Along the Cimarron River

This is where we learned Erik lost his gas cap on his Defender. He made a “field expedient” cap out of some duct tape.

We detoured as suggest up to the town of Ingalls, Oklahoma. The town was the scene of what is called the “Battle of Ingalls”. The fight was between U.S. Marshalls and the Doolin-Dalton gang. You can read more about it on Wikipedia or on Legends of America. We stopped and took pictures of some seemingly old buildings, one of which seemed original to the time. We went down the street and to the site of the fight. None of the original buildings exist today.

We headed down the road and eventually turned North toward Osage County. The Oklahoma Adventure Trail lists the roads and the detours. Those detours were often buried in posts and therefore sometimes we didn’t know of a bridge out. Of course when you are driving a Land Rover a detour is not always a detour. In this case it was, the bridge was out over a very deep creek.

There were no shortage of bridges to cross. This one was a Works Project Administration job from 1940. They provide a nice break water that had a waterfall.


We stopped in Cleveland for lunch and fuel. We pulled into town on Hwy 64 and stopped at the Dollar General next to the McDonald’s. There was no way I was eating McDonald’s unless there was nothing else. Thankfully we saw Rosie’s Tacos when we crossed the lake south of town on Hwy 64. Yes, that’s a car port. Yes, that’s a trailer parked under it. Trust us. Erik made the first suggestion that he was going to take the gastronomic adventure and get some chow there.

That was all the suggestion I needed. I didn’t have tacos. I had tamales. Delicious. Their verde’ sauce was just the right amount of hot with flavor. I’d drive back there again just to eat the tamales.

Rosie's Tacos
Rosie’s Tacos. Yummo.

My odometer rounded out to 237,000 as we pulled up for petrol.

My plastic needs a clean and a new coat of paint.

So with both our tanks and our bellies full of goodness we headed for the Osage Tallgrass.

We got to Barnsdall, Oklahoma where we encountered the only oil well in the world located on a city street. You can see it if you navigate here. 36°33′41.93″N96°9′56.57″W

I was a little surprised it didn’t get rammed by cars more often.

We knocked around a few more locations. Coming out of the Hulah Wildlife Refuge, at least I think it was the Hulah WR, John and his Discovery started having death wobble. We limped along until we got back to the highway going into Bartlesville.

Once stopped, we tried to sort out the issue. At one point John explained how we could deviate our path and call it a night.

John, “We can stay on the black top roads.”

David, the single gentleman of color in our group, interjected, “Why do they have to be ‘black’?”

I couldn’t help myself and had to add, “Because black top roads matter.”

Everyone laughed. It was the levity the trip needed after a long day on the dusty back roads and an unfortunate break down.

Death wobble west of Bartlesville
Death wobble west of Bartlesville

We tried swapping John’s spare when I noticed that one of the balancing weights was missing from the last stop. Getting the tires balanced is the first thing done to solve an issue with death wobble. Unfortunately that didn’t work.

With the daylight quickly waning, we decided to get the Disco into town. John knew of a grocery store at the bottom of the last hill going into Bartlesville. Once he hit the hill he put the Disco in neutral and coasted her down. We did some additional investigating which did not result in a solution to the problem.

Field repair in a grocery parking lot
Field repair in a grocery parking lot

We decided to head for the camp site as it began to get dark. When John was planning the trip he remembered a Boy Scout camp and lined us up with one of the cabins. Camp McClintock BSA.

Camp McClintock "Cubs" Cabin. They even provide cots for those of who didn't bring one.
Camp McClintock “Cubs” Cabin. They even provide cots for those of who didn’t bring one.

Once we got the fireplace glowing it took the edge off the night and made for a very tolerable sleeping experience. David was the man when it came to getting the fire going, well done sir. Each person was responsible for their dinner and those who were cooking got started and we had a great discussion.

We spent the evening discussing cars we’ve owned, some sea stories from serving the Marine Corps, and even politics. That may have been the most civil political discussion I’ve ever been a part of. I pretty sure both ends of the political spectrum were represented. One theme emerged, no one was happy with how the country is being governed by the legislative and executive branches.

The next morning we cleaned up the cabin and went for a short hike to the suspended cable bridge. Very interesting.

We went across the creek to a pond on the other side. It was partially frozen. It didn’t take us long to start skipping rocks and sticks across. The ice and the debris we tossed across it made one of the coolest sounds you’ll ever hear in nature. You can read about it here and see a video about why you get that sound.

We hiked back to the cabin where we decided to part company. Erik and Nathan would take off for OKC and I would take John back to his Disco and get it up on the trailer his dad had left that morning to assist in recovery. After we got her up on the trailer we decided to take in a bit more of the OAT on our way home. we weren’t to adventurous being as we were alone and had no hope of a timely recovery if we got stuck.

We took a detour off the OAT to see “Frog Rock”. It over looks a nice valley and was in a very remote location. When I climbed up behind the rock to take a picture of the valley I accidentally found a Geocache. We left a note that we were there for the next person to find. We didn’t take anything and we didn’t leave anything either.

I’ll leave you with a gallery of the better shots. Click for full size.

If you are interested in driving where we drove John provided the following maps. We must say we didn’t follow them “exactly”. We took the roads that interested us the most and if there was water crossing we took it.

Osage County Eastern Loop 1

Osage County Eastern Loop 2

Osage County Eastern Loop 3

Osage County Eastern Loop 4

Once again and as always, thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

So This Happened This Morning (Post #526) 2/20/2015


So this has happened on the way to work. I noticed the hood bouncing and thought, “that’s not normal”. Thankfully, it looks like it just vibrated out of its nut.

I pulled over and sorted it out in the dark as I had donated my flashlight to my son and have until now, failed to replace it. The quick fix required me to ratchet strap the bonnet down. I also retrieved the parts before they were lost on the road.

I’ll have to clear some space in the garage to get out of the weather. It’s supposed to turn ugly Sunday. Ah…the joys of 20 year old cars.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Holy Crap on a Cracker (Post #385) 8/29/2013

Yes, that is a broken water pump pulley.
How does a water pump pulley get broken you might ask?
That’s a good question.

As you know the two pulleys you see here are nested and bolted to the water pump shaft. You don’t expect that to EVER fail.

When I saw that today and said the very words titling this post. I asked Mickey of Mickey’s Garage had he ever seen one broken before. His answer was a resounding, “No.”

I have blogged before that my truck came to me after a front end wreck restoration. The first thing I replaced on my Range Rover was a failed water pump. It had failed because during the wreck the shaft had been pushed back toward the motor. Actually slipping in its sleeve from the impact.

That impact must have broken or weakened that pulley. Mickey pointed out some older rust and the fresh (silver colored) break. It had probably been wobbling there for 125,000 miles, give or take a mile or so. It’s amazing to me that it lasted as long as it did.

Mickey called me and told me the news and asked me if I could stop by Rover Cannibal to pick up the replacements. I said sure and drove over there right after work.

Ryan was helping a customer with his Discovery. He described a whining sound which is common to Land Rover Discovery’s. I told him he needed to change the transaxle fluid. It will quiet, but will not go away.

I got caught up with Ryan as he hurried back through the shop. The engine shop looked awesome. I too was in a hurry as five o’clock traffic starts about five minutes after four. Turned out the traffic had already started backing up. I need to get my list together and get back down there.

I have a quick note here. You may have noticed I’ve had a lot of work done lately at Mickey’s. The AC pump that had just been put on failed. Mickey was going to swap it when the pulley left me chained to the back of a wrecker. I had the BWB at Mickey’s already and since it wasn’t going anywhere with a broken water pump. I had him fix it. I trust him with my truck so it’s all good.

If you aren’t already a fan of The Big Bang Theory, you should be.
Penny and her signature catch phrase…

Thanks for reading, do business locally, and Happy Rovering.

Articles From Around the Internet (Post #376) 8/12/2013

Whilst doing some random browsing I found a few articles around the internet.
The first and second are from Jalopnik writer Doug DeMuro who quit his job at Porsche to be a writer.
The articles are about his brief ownership of a 1995 Range Rover Classic. He had the car 3 months. He is not a mechanic. The Range Rover violated his 3 tow policy and he had to part with it. The first two are not tow-able offences. Drained battery and a piece of misplaced plastic. To fix the auto locks is a challenge. I have mine currently disabled because of the “bouncing” lock problem. Unlocking the Range Rover with a key reminds me of EVERY CAR I owned prior to a Range Rover. The Range Rover is the first car Mrs. OkieRover and I owned that had a central locking feature.

Read and enjoy. Doug is a pretty creative writer.

The third is about finding a Range Rover in a junk yard on The “Truth About Cars” website.
My first observation is…where is this sucker? I can see about 8 things I’d pull off it immediately. IF we had a junk yard with Range Rovers sitting in it in central Oklahoma, I can assure you they would look more picked over than this one is.

These articles cast a mostly negative light on my beloved Range Rovers. But part of owning one is working and playing with it. If you don’t want to work on your car buy a Toyota or Nissan or Honda. But when your soul is gone because you drive a boring car such as these…don’t come back to me crying.

We need some lovely pictures to take the taste of those articles out of our mouth. Check out this post I found on the Central Overland website. It’s a very pretty and short (5 minutes) video of a few fellows who took a Defender through the South American continent.
Enjoy…I did.

In South America – 2012 from Vincent Urban on Vimeo.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Busted Tools (Post #207) 10/11/2010

I have already blogged about tools that are being sacrificed for this project. The viscous coupling has claimed three more. All were extensions for my 3/8th inch socket set.

Each was used as designed for the most part. I used long extension as a lever several times during this project. I had no idea it was made of such soft material. These were supposed to be for an impact wrench. I would have believed this made them “stronger” than a regular extension.

In any event it died. I may keep it around as beefy piece of metal in which I can used to pry or bang on. All three of the extensions I bought are now dead. The others demonstrated a softness that I did not expect. The shortest extension had the same fate as the middle extension. The ends twisted off.

To finish the project I borrowed an extension from my biker neighbor Kramer. It worked superbly. So now I am on the hunt for a new set of extensions.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.