Footwell Repair Part 3: Investi-Disassembly (Post #651) 4/12/2024

thumbnail Footwell Part 3

UGGGGGH!!!!!!
Will this ever end?

I think I know the answer to that. But I have to show my exasperation. This rust find is possibly the worst thing ever. It’s in the most terrible of locations.

Mrs. Okierover said, “Maybe you should call it Rusty Rover instead of Okierover.”
She’s not wrong.

Every where there’s red its rusted through.

It’s as bad as you can imagine. There are at least four different panels converge in this area to form the firewall, fender well, and the foot well.

There are a LOT of peripherals that run through there too. Including the fuel lines which I may have nicked when I was air chiseling the panels out. If you’ve followed the blog for very long (at least since 2010) you’ve seen The Evil German Dude and I attempt to fix the floor pan when it rusted out.

We had fun, but we failed to keep the water out and our work finally failed. I had an ongoing issue with water getting in and wetting the fargin’ OPEN CELL floor pads under the carpets. The carpets too we constantly wet. I found the place where water was getting in making the carpet wet. It was through the firewall at the corner where it married up to the side wall.

As you will see in the video, this rust is bad. Real bad. The repair is going to be really difficult and probably beyond my skill set. That being said, I have to fix it myself. There is no money to send it off. The body work itself would likely cost more than the entire vehicle is worth.

I’ve still got a LOT of work to do. I need to find a solution. It will probably be welding several panels together. I’ll need to study it more to make my mind up.

I stared at it at least an hour while I shot the video. Still struggled to sort out a concrete idea.

I am going back out the weekend this is published as OkieF150. We are going to the 200th Celebration of Fort Gibson. Fort Gibson is the oldest town in Oklahoma. Way back when it was still Indian Territory the United States needed a fort to protect the trade from this area.

We are going to make a weekend out of it and I’m hoping we can get some fishing in while we are at it. This will be the last overlanding trip for this year as I will be spending every weekend for the rest of the year trying to sort out all these issues.

Like and subscribe on the videos and the blog.

Thanks for reading, and Happy Rovering.

Fender Repair Part 5, MORE Crappy Welding of the Large Fender Patch (Post #622) September 2-3, 2023

Super happy

In this installment I finish the left rear fender panel. And by finish I mean I had to completed replace the outer fender I had previously welded up. I added a strap to attach the inner fender to the outer fender.

The outer fender’s welds were compromised because I ran out of shielding gas halfway through. The panel was 16 gauge and I swapped it with an 18 gauge. The right thing to do was replace it and “do it right”.

Now, I’m no body man and right to me is probably not right to someone who actually knows what they are doing. As I mentioned in the video I need another 10 or 20 years of welding experience to be “competent”. Over all I’m a lot happier with this replaced panel. The 16 gauge panel would not have worked. It would not have been watertight no matter what I did.

I covered everything with yet another coating of primer. I also put seam sealer in the appropriate places. This only seemed prudent as I am almost certain this will rust again. My hope is it will take at least 20 years to rust out.

I thought some of the welding went a lot better than the previous attempts. I want to say, “I’m getting better.” but I’m pretty sure I’m fooling myself. Most people could probably weld if shown how and a little practice. Welding WELL however is really hard.

So add to the fact I’m saying welding is hard…and welding UPSIDE DOWN is another level. We did not go over this scenario in my class. I’m half tempted to take the class again and do the entire class upside down. I finally figured out the I could weld sideways that worked pretty good. Even with my new sideways technique it didn’t stop me from getting some new holes in my PPE and my skin from hot slag dripping down. My grandson Grady was horrified by the scab in the crook of my elbow. The chunk that got me on the chest made a similar hole there.

I also did quite a bit of cutting and the sparks flying back on me warmed me up a bit. Thankfully my Round House Overalls1 deflected the sparks and only “warmed” my family package. If you remember this post from December 2010, “The one where I catch myself on fire in the furtherance of Land Rovering” [Okierover] I caught myself on fire cutting the passenger side floor panel. What I learned from that was:

  • Blue jeans are not safety gear and are a sad substitute for PPE.
  • Longjohns [IBC] (aka long handles [Collins], thermal underwear, etc…) will keep the flame off you for a brief time.
  • Your best friends don’t want you harmed, but also want to take videos of you when you are on fire so they can tease you later.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering

1This is my unsponsored review of Round House Brown Duck Overalls. It is a solid 10 out of 10. They are made in Shawnee Oklahoma (Home of Brad Pitt) and at $60.00 a pair (on sale at the time of this posting) a real bargain. 

Fender Repair Part 2, Welding Patches (Post #618) August 5, 2023

Welding the corner

Today started out “cool”. At least it was cool for an August on the southern plains. The temp was lower than I thought and clouds covered the northern sky and looked to be moving south. This usually says we are going to get a break in the hot temps. We’ve been 24 days without rain. But with all things weather in Oklahoma, a full cloud cover did not offer any relief from the heat.

Regardless I need to make some progress on the Big White Bus if I’m ever going to drive her again. So after a little bit of trimming of the hedgerow between my neighbor and our house I got to work. Sticking with the theme of welding for this summer, repairing the rust in the fender seemed like a great idea.

I had four places in the fender that needed repair before I started today. I am now down to two. I repaired a small rust spot and repaired the corner of the fender.

I fixed one spot with a simple rectangle and welded it up in short order.

The corner was a complicated piece to fix. The patch for the corner was somewhat shaped like a trough? I don’t have the tools to make that happen. I tried hammering a piece of 16 gauge into a trough but really didn’t have any luck.

I got a bit of inspiration and decided that if I put the patch in and shaped it like one of the complex sides I could perhaps hammer it to fit the other complex shape. So with a bunch of vise-grips I got the patch in place and went to work with the hammer. I worked from the back of the piece to the front and continued until it was in the right shape. To say I was surprised it worked that well was an understatement.

I tacked it into place and began attempting to weld it in place. While not a perfect job, I think it will work and will keep the water out of the truck. I welded both the inside and outside of the patch. This was mostly in a vain attempt to make it a water proof solution. I know I’m fooling myself that it is.

So the final step in the fender repair well will be to give the entire underside a healthy coat of bedliner. I will do this on all four corners once I am done with the repairs.

I am still trying to source the bed panel. There are some in England, but I haven’t found one on this side of the pond yet. I have a Facebook contact that might do a bulk purchase and have some shipped over. I am hoping this works out. I am pretty sure I could order the panel and the support pieces but the shipping is ridiculous. Like, more expensive than the parts.

There were some issues with the video. The sound decided not to record on two sections. No camera changes were made…just no sound. I did a voice over for those sections. Also the shop was too hot for the GoPro to work and after two segments it shut down. I stuck it on the portable air conditioner to get it back to operating temp twice.

There are the last two sections for this fender, the “big hole” and “the strap” as I am referring to them now. Once those are done this fender is COMPLETED! Progress will have been made!

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Death Wobble Garage Day (Post #549) 11/8/2015

If you’ve been following for any time you’ll have read about my problems with the suspension on the Big White Bus. Mr. Fisher helped me swap out all the tie-rod ends. I thought I blogged about that but I guess I didn’t. In any event, I swapped out the tie-rod ends in an effort to find my death wobble problem.

You’ve never heard of death wobble? Check out this definition from High Sierra 4×4’s Glossary page.

Death Wobble: \ˈdeth\ \ˈwä-bəl\ noun. Death wobble is an exaggerated slang term for extreme steering vibration. This typically occurs when driving your vehicle and due to loose steering components or alignment issues the front end vibrates excessively. In extreme cases this has caused the driver to lose control of the vehicle.

Continue reading “Death Wobble Garage Day (Post #549) 11/8/2015”

Upgrade Your Battery Cables (Post #521) 12/26/2014

Electrical problems have punctuated the winter this year with the Big White Bus. I’ve had a lot of trouble electrically speaking. The engine has run rough for a few months now. The tachometer has been exhibiting the bouncing needle problem indicative of a failing alternator. A glowing battery charge light when the headlights are on. And of course as you read in the last post my ignition switch has been acting up.

I got the ignition switch problem sorted out and now it was time to upgrade the battery cables. And there is only one man you go to when it comes to electricity, The Evil German Dude. His evil liar has all the tools and he has a supreme understanding of the dark art of electricity.

Other than “replace the cables” there really wasn’t a clear and concise plan when we started to swap the original OEM battery cables for an upgraded set hand-crafted by the Evil German Dude. The plan is pretty simple:

  • Remove the old cables.
  • Build new comparable cables.
  • Install the new cables.

There are four battery cables of concern on this project. One goes from the positive battery post to the starter. One goes from the positive battery post to the alternator. One goes from the negative battery post to the frame. And the last is a fresh ground connection to the fender from the negative battery post.

We also upgraded the battery post connections to industrial grade. The ones they sell at the auto parts store are just…INADEQUATE.

EGD was able to salvage some heavy-duty battery cables from a private contact he has and we re-purposed them for use on the Range Rover. Continue reading “Upgrade Your Battery Cables (Post #521) 12/26/2014”

Electrical System Nightmares (Post #520) 12/22/2014

This has not been a very fun couple of weeks for Big White Bus. My all time favorite thing on an automobile to work on is the electrical system. /end sarcasm.

I live by five simple rules.

  • I don’t play with electricity.
  • I won’t live any place I’m not the tertiary member of the food chain.
  • I never get less than twelve hours sleep.
  • I never play cards with guys who have the same first name as a city.
  • I’ve never gotten involved with a woman with a tattoo of a dagger on her body.*

The twelve hours of sleep has long since become merely a guideline and no so much a rule. And playing with electricity is also sometimes necessary. This week especially.  Continue reading “Electrical System Nightmares (Post #520) 12/22/2014”