Door Handles: The Trapeze of Opening (Post #342) 5/24/2013

I have not been a fan of Land Rover’s complicated system of levers and bars and cams and rods and hooks and flappy paddles made of Play-doh (Play-doh website, such a catchy tune!). I have now replaced my third exterior door lever. The levers get torn because of the ridiculous way the interior bits are put together, making it almost certain that something is going to fail.

I’ve had lots of trouble with the passenger side (Mrs. OkieRover’s side) door of the Range Rover. To say there was “a trick” to open it would be a gross understatement. There was a process of tricks required for it to open.

I decided on Sunday I would fix it. All it needed was a little adjustment.

I took the door card off and managed not to break the locking plastics as I have done on the driver’s side door.

I got the levers all disconnected and refreshed my memory on how “I believe” all the cams and levers and paddles and pivot points and hooks and rods work. Turns out to adjust the pull all you need to manipulate is one rod. I’ll discuss that later.

So I get it all back together. I tested it several times. Then I tested it several more from inside the vehicle. My neighbor Mr. Fisher came over to chat and drink Boddington’s with me and I went to demonstrate the successful repair.

It’s only hubris if I fail, ~ Julius Caesar

More after the jump…

Hubris is amazing. I was very proud of myself that I was able to fix this problem. Mr. Fisher had experienced the inconvenience of the flappy paddle failing to open the door. So he would definitely know how good this was.

I went over to the door…and nothing. I tried again. Nothing. I cursed…loudly…tried again. Nothing.

I got INSIDE and tried the handle and nothing. I tried again. Nothing. I cursed…loudly…tried again. Nothing.

So last night I had to figure out how to remove the door card while the door was closed. It required me to remove the passenger seat. With that done, I removed all the screws. Removed the speaker.

External “flappy paddle” door rod. Adjust by turning.

Using my big flat screwdriver (2 parts OJ, 1 part vodka) I popped the door card loose. With a slight turn up from the rear on the card and a pull it came out. Thankfully nothing broke.

Lying in a very awkward position I slipped my hand in the door. I then tried every lever and rod and paddle and it would not budge. I was about to give up when I decided to remove the electric door lock. It doesn’t work anyway so I figured at the least I’d have a better look.

I fiddled with it some more and presto it opened. I did not know what caused it to release but it did. I turned the rod that controls the outside flappy paddle a few turns back to reverse the possible over adjustment.

The flappy paddle and the interior lever worked 12 times each. Slamming the door and trying it and closing it partially and closing it fully and properly.

I even had Mrs. OkieRover try it. All attempts were successful. I buttoned it up and breathed a sigh of relief.

Still lots to do before the big trip, springs, air conditioning, vibration proofing.
I reached out to two forums looking for suggestions about preparing the vehicle for exceptionally rough roads. I’ll share the results.

Dan Cefalo checked on us via email in light of the recent storms. Thanks, that meant a lot.
Brad Johnson sent a nice email thanking me for help with his fan resistor. Always glad to help where I can.

Pray for those in Oklahoma recovering from tornadoes. Newcastle, Moore, Carney, Bethel Acres and Shawnee are just some of the cities affected by our recent storm outbreak. If you can help financially, please contact the Red Cross or one of the many local relief funds.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Christmas Snow, No Pudding For You (Post #309) 12/27/2012

Merry Christmas everyone.

I had thoughts of posting another series of posts on the 12 days of OkieRover Christmas and the Festivus holiday tradition of the Airing of Grievances but was just not motivated to do so this year. School was hard on me this semester and my writing energy was hammered by the class.

Also, one of our four-legged children has been down all week and her injuries have me mostly depressed. We are treating her with drugs and hope she can heal. I hate it when we have an injured pet.

After a lovely Christmas dinner at the children’s aunt and uncles house. We took my Father-in-law home (that’s him in the A-Driver position). The roads were no where near as bad as previous years. The most trouble we had was getting the doors on the Range Rover to open with the handles. UGGGH! That is not going to be a fun job to fix. I also heard some suspension noise from the left front. I’m guessing springs will be coming sooner rather than later. And that shock mount I found that was busted will need some welding.

My wife’s sister Aunt SuSu (Susan) and brother-in-law John cook a mean turkey and SuSu’s dressing rivals only that of my wife. SuSu’s banana pudding was pretty good too. My oldest daughter Fireball still has the market cornered on banana pudding. But with the weather such as it was and her with a bun in the oven with only 5 minutes left on the timer, J-man with a wonky back and single digit wind chills they wisely stayed home with my favorite holiday banana pudding. Insert unhappy face here.

The Ford Exploder they drive is 4×4 but has the wrong tires on it for any prayer of staying un-stuck. If you remember the infamous Snowpocalypse of 2009 I had to extracted them from a snow drift in our neighborhood with the then front-wheel drive Range Rover. If you recall, I had a then unknown broken rear axle shaft. The Best 4x4xfar even when limping on a single axle.

It has been a long time since the four of us were in the Range Rover together. I asked RovErica to take some action pictures. The three of them then began mocking me with every turn, exaggerating the effect of the minimal G-forces being exerted on us at 15-20 mph. Good times, good times.

RovErica then got everyone in the back to ham it up for some snaps. It seems like we see the kids only when they need something these days. I guess I was the same way when I was their age. Now I understand the looks on my father’s face and the tone of his voice when I called home “just to say hi” and to let them know “I was still alive”. His tone to me when I hadn’t called home in three weeks pushed all the Catholic guilt buttons on the console. I’d be a basket case if we didn’t have cell phones.

Thanks for reading, Merry Christmas, and Happy Rovering to you all.

Why Children Should Not Drive Your Toys, Part 2 (Post #283) 1/21/2012

If you have read this blog for any length of time, you know that Part 1 of “Why you should not allow your children to drive your toys” was the two years RovErica drove the Range Rover Classic and the four hours I let her borrow the Discovery 2 one fateful April afternoon her Senior year. Two years of RovErica driving the Range Rover resulted in an entire summer up on jack stands and dozens of hours of restoration. Four hours of her driving the Discovery resulted in a totaled vehicle.

Part two of this story is why you should not let your son drive your Range Rover to eat lunch while his Scion is in the BODY SHOP. “BODY SHOP” should have been my first clue why DietMtnDrew should have his wings clipped. This image of my door handle will suffice as the second clue.

Yes that is a cast aluminium door handle torn in half. I blame myself. I should have taught him the trick to opening the door. Instead he just “pulled a little harder”. When it failed to open the door he just crawled over from the passenger side.

The doors on the left side have a nasty problem I have yet to solve. They are not set correctly and require you to push on the door to cause the latch to trip. All this while you are pulling the latch. Its tricky to say the least.

Finding door handles to replace the broken units is getting very difficult as well. The last time I was at Rover Cannibal he only had three total in the entire warehouse. At some point one of us enthusiasts will need to send a functioning unit to a machine shop for them to make out of steel or aircraft aluminum. I can’t imagine what that would cost.

Last Sunday we were experiencing some more of the “I can’t believe this is January in Oklahoma weather”. Temps around the state got up to 72 F degrees. Our normal is closer to 45 F. I took advantage of the beautiful day and swapped out my driver’s side front door handle.

This is a relatively easy job. The good news is both the left side and right side door handles are inter-changeable. The fronts obviously have locks built in to the handle assembly, while the backs do not. The handle fits in either. I had two rear door handles. So using a punch I freed the hinge pin and the handle just slips out.

You must remove the door cards first. I purposefully bought some of the plastic friction pins just in case I break some in the removal process. On the last Wheeler DealerEdd China had a lovely tool I haven’t found yet, to assist in the removal. I used a big screw driver with a nice large flat head. After the door cards are off and the plastic is out of the way you can see what you are up against.

You can now remove the handle assembly from the door. It requires an 8mm socket for the nuts.

Simply remove the nuts and the bracket and the lock comes away from the door. This is fairly simple. I don’t recommend you dropping any of the nuts. You might not find them again.

Once the handle assembly is out of the door, use a common punch to remove the hinge pin and swap the handles. This model has heated door locks so you will have to work with the assembly hanging from the door, unless you want to cut the wires and splice them back later. I opted not to do that and just worked on it from the door.

Here’s a look at the assembly. The new handle is in place. Not pictured and sitting on my bonnet is the actuating rod and spring. It is held in place with a pin and clip. Nothing to worry about. You can see the retaining bolts and you can imagine how badly I wanted to brush off the rust.

I marked the “C” clip because the trickiest part of this job is getting the rod clips loose. They are held in place with a friction spring clip. The one located secured to the unit with the “C” clip was difficult to remove in the door. So I removed it by loosing the “C” clip. You may find your self more dexterous. The last trick to loosen the rod clips is to just use a screw drive and flick (for lack of a better term) them off the rods.

Reverse the dis-assembly and you are back in business. The system of rods and loose fitting wobbly clips is really a poor way to do things in my opinion. There is a lot of room for wear and failure of parts that are probably impossible to find. Once you learn how the door locks are actuated with the electric units, if this doesn’t disappoint you nothing will. Its not elegant or even very clever. Its a nightmare waiting to happen. Again this is my opinion. Its hard to believe the same race that put the brilliant Spitfire in to the air to win the Battle of Britain designed that.

On the OkieRover Difficulty Scale this job is a one. Edd China would call the internals fiddly bits and that is a perfect description. They look intimidating but they are not.

The passenger side front handle is also tearing and I’ll be using my last spare to fix it. I’m still trying to figure out what to do about the doors not functioning correctly. Most of the internal door parts were made by GM. I’m wondering if I can buy new door latches and solve my problem. Another solution is to just take it down to a body shop and have them “adjust” the doors. If I knew what to do, I’d do it myself, but I don’t and haven’t seen anything on the interwebs to tell me.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Garage clean up, moving spare parts, adjusting the door (Post #149) 5/31/2009

The garage is in an awful state. The Spring’s projects are over and it was time to get the garage in a sorted state. I went through the shelves and with 20$ worth of bins I got the nails, screws, and bolts all put right and organized. I moved the chairs to the space I just cleared and now they are nearer the door for loading.

I gathered up all the parts I had on the shelves of the former Discovery 2. I found all kinds of things on the shelves. There was…

  • a full set of tires on Hurricane wheels
  • a package cover (black)
  • a front drive shaft
  • a set of head lamps
  • an owner’s manual
  • a set of interior carpets
  • a spare CD disc cassette

I pretty sure I have the tires and wheels and the carpets sold. Some friends of mine are joining the Land Rover community in a big way. They recently bought TWO Land Rover Discovery’s. They made great deals on them and are getting in very cheaply. When the price of Land Rovers drops to below 4000$(US) for 10 year old models, it makes it easy to get in to the hobby.

I also got the door sorted out on the Range Rover. The classic problem of the door handles not working the latch had raised it’s ugly head on driver’s side door. With the help of 57loboy of the LandRoversOnly forums, I was able to adjust the pull and get it door working perfectly. I wrote a Tech Tip for my website if any one is interested.

It may not look like I did much to sort out the garage. But I can now work on my autos by moving just a few work benches and boxes. before I couldn’t find anything on the shelves and I had to creep around things just to walk from one side to the next.

I am getting closer to driving my Rangie. When I get some money in for the spare parts I will get the viscous coupling fixed (and a write up for that) and the air conditioning fixed. The AC will be a swap on the expansion valve and a recharge. Hopefully that will bring me cold air and summer time comfort. I’m hoping there will be enough money left to tint the windows.