Fender Swap (Post #556) 3/6/2016

If you are a regular reader you will remember some late unpleasantness when a distracted driver smacked into the Big White Bus while she was parked on a city street. I was determined to get the BWB back on the road. After all we already have one car payment and my budget would not allow for a second. Besides that, I love this Range Rover. We have a lot of miles together and I know her inside and out. I didn’t really relish going through learning another automobile.

So the day was set aside for “mechanic-ing”, but before we managed to get started some friends of Rogers showed up with a lovely 1932 Buick. I don’t remember all the specs on this car but it was a Buick and nicely done. The trunk was a dealer option and still had the original leather clad luggage inside. A time capsule to another time.

1932 Buick. You never know what will show up at the shoppe.

To get the fender straightened was the first thing. We got the Range Rover lined up with our pull point. We did not believe the under structure was damaged but we needed to pull the fender out to make sure. JagGuy got the “come along” out and hooked it to a M54 military truck parked in front of the shoppe and on to the bent fender.

That worked nicely. “The panel “wants” to go back the way it started.” he said admiring the job. So pulling it straight will help with a lot of the work. We did learn the bumper was a loss. I couldn’t see any reason to try and straighten it. I’ll have to get a new bumper. I’ve got my eyes on some aftermarket ones.

We took a break after that and went over to Back Door BBQ. The “Beastwich” sounded appetizing so I indulged. This might have been the best sandwich I’ve ever eaten. No, really. It was amazing.

Beastwich. Something different each day.
Beastwich. Something different each day.

Satisfied we decided to attempt to put a coat of paint on the new fender I had salvaged from the Pull-A-Part yard a few weeks back. We got it on to the table and I was instructed to rough it up and wash it down with a solution that removed all the grit and oils. These are basically all the same, sorry I didn’t remember the product name.

After JagGuy applied a layer of paint he wasn’t terribly happy with the results. Knowing we weren’t going to be able to install the same day as paint, he told me he would put another coat on during the week and it would be ready for the next weekend to install.

The results were mixed. I should have probably bought medium drying instead of the fast I wound up buying from English Color and Supply. Good folks there, and they have the expertise and a nice disposition. I didn’t pretend to know what I was doing and asked for help all the way. Highly recommended.

English Color and Supply
English Color and Supply

So I retrieved the fender and a couple of weeks later I installed it. I had already disassembled the fender on the donor Range Rover so this was old hat to me. There really isn’t anything special about removing the fender. Remember these are built to be worked on.

Remove the lights.

Remove the pozi-drive (The Garage Journal) screws (use a number 1 or 2 Phillips) from the inside.


You will need to remove the plastic box on the seat release. The push button unscrews.

You need to remove the two bolts on the inside of the fender above the tire.

What she looks like without the fender.

Fender off.
Fender off.

Reattached the lens cover rubber to the fender BEFORE you put the new fender on. You can do it after…its just harder. I ground down the rust spots as well as I could and gave everything with rust a coat of self-etching primer.

I reattached the fender. The rear inside is attached with pop rivets. So you’ll need to put some elbow grease on the fender to get the holes lined up.

Pop rivets
Pop rivets

I think there were 4 or 5 needed. That’s it except for putting the light assembly back on. I used the new one I salvaged from the wreck. In the end, it looks great.

It is now the third different painting she has had. I really should get an orbital buffer to her this summer and get the oxidation off and get the panels shining and perhaps closer to the same color.

That’s about it. The removal and reassembly of the fender is a 1(one) on the Okierover Difficulty Scale. The painting however is another thing. If you REALLY, REALLY care about the paint matching and there being a nice coat of paint this might be a 3(three) on the Difficulty Scale. You would need to apply bondo and sand a great deal more than we did. Every minor imperfection on the panel will be magnified by ten once you start to apply paint. I didn’t care all that much about perfection.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

CAN IT GET ANY LOUDER IN HERE? (Post #284) 2/17/2012

I’ve reported a rattle coming from beneath the Range Rover before. This rattle seemed to get worse every time I drove her the past couple of weeks. We had what will qualify for “potential bad weather” early this week. Depending on the weather channel you watched we were either going to “all die from ice, freezing rain, and snow” OR “we would get a possible couple of inches of snow”. I chose to believe the latter and that’s exactly what we got.

To make sure I made it to AND from work that day I filled up the Range Rover with petrol on Sunday. Monday morning I drove her to work on the snow day that wasn’t. It started snowing before midnight on Sunday and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t hoping for a snow day on Monday. The University of Oklahoma announced they were opening at 10:00am so there was a slight chance of work interruption.

The weather was no challenge until Tuesday gave us some lovely freezing fog for the morning drive in.

I couldn’t find video for this image of the freezing fog. This is basically a picture of downtown OKC. It is of the top 15 floors or so of the 50 story Devon Tower extending above frozen fog bank engulfing the city.

Back to the muffler…I planned to drive the Range Rover in on Monday. If the weather hit us unexpectedly as it is known to do here in the central plains, I was confident I could get home. By Monday at lunch the rattling had become mostly unbearable. And by the time I got the Range Rover headed back to the office after lunch it was down right critically bad. So when I got back to the office, I knelt down on the wet pavement and snapped this picture of the failed muffler.

She was cracked nearly completely in half. The outer skin was very thin and the inner skin was also failing. The flaps of light steel were vibrating constantly and was making at least 110 decibels in the cab. Mrs. OkieRover was not happy at having to ride in her on the Sunday when it was just loud at certain RPMs.

This had to be fixed. When work ended Monday I turned north to N.E. 50th and Lincoln Boulevard and stopped at Discount Muffler. They have been in this neighborhood for as long as I can remember. I told them the problem they had me pull her in and quoted me 157$(US) for a new muffler and to fix the broken hanger in the rear. I said, “Do it.”

Driving her home after that was like driving a different vehicle. Unbelievable how much quieter she was with a new muffler. I could even hear the ABS pump running.

I drove her on Tuesday as well for good measure. I even snapped this picture from the inside of Neptune’s Submarine Sandwiches on North Classen Boulevard (this is the only location left of the once proud chain).

Their bread is to die for. The ladies behind the counter were kidding me during my visit. Before I arrived one of them must have exclaimed, “He always gets the special.” And when I ordered, she turned to the other and said, “See, I told you.” They then asked if I always get the special. I said, “No, I don’t get the tuna fish, I can’t afford the calories from the mayonnaise.” The owner then stopped and said, “So do you want the mayo on your turkey sandwich?” Their mayo is actually salad dressing. Like the salad dressing you would get in an old style school cafeteria. It really works with their bread. I told him, “Oh yeah, I love that stuff.” They laughed. I added, “My double standards go both ways.”

The number of wrecks Tuesday morning was ridiculous. My morning commute was doubled to 55 minutes. Tuesday night I found myself sitting in the Grand Reading Room in the Bizzel Memorial Library at the University of Oklahoma, studying for my Leadership class. It is still my favorite room in the entire university.

Next up for the Range Rover is getting the windshield seal sorted out. I’d like to get floor mats and sound deaden-er installed. After that I can start sorting out a new sound system. I love the sound of the Range Rover humming down the highway…but I’d love to have some tunes too. Perhaps a Bluetooth unit so I can have some Reverend Horton Heat Radio from Pandora blasting as I roll down the lonesome highway.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.