Current Progress (Post #594) 12/14/2021

In the latest installment, I chat about my current progress on getting the Big White Bus back on the road. I had to take a week off for family coming in for the holiday, and Mrs. Okierover and I both got bronchitis that decided to hang on for 3 weeks (you can hear the Stevie Nicks in my voice). That slowed work on the to-do list. This weekend I’ll probably need the new heater in the shop as it should start getting colder here on the Southern Plains.

In the video, I show the closed cell neoprene installed. I talk about a small missed part on the heater box install. Also talk about getting a new seat controller ECU and getting the seats out. A few words about adjusting the door handle for the driver’s side rear door.

Then instead of shutting up, I drone on more about my desire to have a new bumper, a storage box/bed, and installing D-rings.

I know the video work needs improvement and as I torture you as you watch them make more and more they should improve. When I’m a big interwebs video star you can say, “I remember when that bum first got started. Man those early videos sucked.”

Your feedback is always appreciated.

Thanks for reading/watching, click and subscribe, and Happy Rovering.

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”

The Millennium Falcon made by Land Rover (Post #458) 3/5/2014

Millennium FalconI was grounded this weekend with what is probably bronchial pneumonia. Lots of coughing, a very high heart rate from the medications, and an overall very tired feeling. Being relegated to the couch and bed all weekend, I watched a lot of television. I watched an entire afternoon of Star Wars movies. Episode 4 and Episode 5 mostly. I’m not a fan of The Muppet Show Episode 6 due to the ridiculous effort to cutesy-fy the franchise and merchandise the crap out of it. Okay back to the main point I came here to write.

The Millennium Falcon is obviously a Land Rover.

By now you must be saying “What.the.hell?” So hear me out…. Continue reading “The Millennium Falcon made by Land Rover (Post #458) 3/5/2014”

Victory Beer (Post #349) 6/9/2013

Nothing tastes better than Victory Beer.

vic·to·ry beer noun \ˈvik-t(ə-)rē\ \ˈbir\

This is the beverage you get to consume after you solve a particularly difficult problem on your Land Rover. The beverage is most often one from the British Isles but not necessarily so. See also “victory rum and coke”.

We get proclaim victory and drink beer because we solved the mystery of the electrical gremlin that had invaded the Big White Bus. As you may, or may not recall, I had some trouble with the sun roof, clock, driver’s seat, map lights on the rear view mirror, and the interior and door lights.

Originally I had planned to have the amazing JagGuy help me sort out the problem. He is a genius and pretty much my go to guy for electrical problems of all kinds that don’t involve attempting to electrocute giant monsters. I usually call The Evil German Dude  for that kind of power. Well JagGuy’s grand children were in town and visiting and his lovely wife was celebrating her birthday, therefore No Garage Day routine for him, and incidentally me as well.

So after I drove to the shop in Oklahoma City I turned around and headed back south. Spontaneously I decided to stop by my friend Butch (formerly known as Titanium Hitch)’s house. He was just a few blocks from the complete devastation in Moore, Oklahoma of the May 20th tornado you saw in yesterday’s Newcastle Police Dash Cam post. Southwest 134th street leads straight to his house and was the path of the EF5 tornado. The destruction was hard to drive past. So many lives changed. You can see how the people of England and Germany during World War II felt when their homes were destroyed.

An aerial of the destruction at Briarwood and more after the jump….

He was home and talking to the insurance adjuster about his roof. He had 150mph winds at his house and the roof is trashed. His home was in the “debris ball” of that tornado and the dirt and insulation from hundreds of homes was on everything in his neighborhood. I talked with his wife about her feelings during the event. Their son was in Briarwood Elementary School when the tornado hit. I visited with he and one of his high school buddies who is a roofing contractor. After a great chat, they headed off to lunch and I headed to the Okierover de hacienda.

I started by looking at the fuse block. With a suggestion by JagGuy to measure the voltage at the fuse block I found nothing there. He suggested jumpering the fuse next door to the bad fuse port. B5 had no voltage, B4 had the correct amount. I made a jumper out of a paper clip and tested the electrical bits. Sure enough it worked with a jumper.

So with that bit of knowledge I decided to look at the wiring loom. I started at the battery and traced the loom back to the fuse block. The wiring loom runs from the battery through a cable to an odd octopus of connections to the fuse block along the right (passenger) fender and on into the cab and to the fuse block.

If anything had failed I figured it was outside the cab. Mostly I figured that because I was too lazy to pull the dash off and walk the loom  from the fuse block back to the battery. Laziness, what a comfort.

So I pulled back the “protective” cover. There I saw one wire not connected. As you can see from the picture the green is a lovely bit of corrosion that had eaten through the wire. Believe me when I say the first thing I thought was, “This cannot be this easy.”

I’m guessing these two should be connected…

A lovely color or green.

I tested the solution by jumpering the two wires with a make shift jumper with a fuse in line, as JagGuy said, “just in case.” I was very surprised at how easy this was. I was also pleased to see the circuit light the map light on the bottom of the rear view mirror, signaling my success.

I wonder why I continue to use this camera. Blurry.

A quick call to confirm my thoughts with JagGuy and I was moving toward repairing the line by soldering a jumper. I cut away all the corroded wire and made the connection. I soldered the jumper in place and put some heat-shrink on the bare wire. I then tested all the electrical bits I could find that were affected by the bad wire. Victory

I buttoned everything back up and declared V-WL day. (Victroy Wire-Loom). I bought a round of beers for all those present in my garage. I was sadly all alone but I thanked myself for the drink and went to my office to type up this blog post. I am on my second Victory Beer and this blog post is done.

P.S. Some random thoughts. The whole octopus connected to the bolt/connector is, well…poorly done. I would have much preferred a lovely power block with power on one side and the individual wires on the other…and as we are say what we REALLY preferred, those wires labeled with their destinations. Eh, whatever.

With every turn of the wrench solder of wire we get closer to the Circumnavigation of Oklahoma.

The face of patience as Mrs. Okierover snaps pictures.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Electrical Gremlins (Post #331) 4/20/2013

I’ve resolved that this weekend will be mostly electrical in nature on the Range Rover. This is not my favorite thing  to fix. I took electronics at Mid-America Vo-tech school when I was still in high school. I was only mildly interested in it. My dad was an electronic technician for the Federal Aeronautics Administration (FAA). He learned it in the Navy and wanted me to have the same life. That was not to be. I didn’t fall far from that tree, I went into the computer industry.

I have quite a list to address this weekend:

  • Sunroof
  • ABS Sensors
  • Utility light
  • Clock

Those are the electrical issues. This is not to mention my radio is still not working. But that is another post. I decided to start with the sunroof tonight. Mrs. OkieRover was going out to a Pampered Chef party which left me at home to drink beer work on my Range Rover.

I opened up the PDF of my workshop manual and found the location of the sunroof’s relay. I have already tested for power at the switch. The fuse is good and I’m pretty sure now it is the motor. I think I have a few more things to test but I’m mostly convinced either the controller is dead or the motor.

Next up was the ABS sensors. I mentioned in an earlier post that I wanted to test each one for conductivity. I did that tonight. I required me finding the ABS sensor plugs. The fronts are located inside the engine bay on the fenders. A quick pull and measure, done. The rear are located on the bottom of the bed just above the rear axle. I pulled those and measured, done. All four have the same value when run through the ohm meter. As does the other end when checked toward the computer.

That’s mostly disappointing. As I was hoping for a Sesame Street easy, this one is not like the others and I could swap it and my life would be ABS complete again. The second thing to test is that the sensors are fully seated against the ABS rings. This requires a dowel rod and hammer to knock the rear sensors back into place. When you start rolling the sensors are set at the correct distance and should start functioning correctly.

I haven’t got her rolling yet so I’m not sure if this made any difference. Hopefully I’ll find its all good. I said hopefully, I’m not insane, I know it won’t, but until tomorrow there’s still hope.

Not excited about the blue plastic dust shield.

Having had so much success with my projects so far, I thought I should do something I knew would be completed. I decided to fit the new Terrafirma steering damper. That was pretty easy. The old Bilstein I bought in 2000 was probably ready for a swap. If you are thinking of this job, its a One on the Difficulty Scale.

Tired Bilstein

I then looked into the Utility light under bonnet. I went to a breakers yard in 2001 and parted a light off of a Chevy Suburban. It’s a low watt light with a long extension cord. For some odd reason this “amazing piece of American technology” (end sarcasm) had stopped working. I checked all the wires back to the battery and everything was in order.

Mounted near the radiator overflow tank.

From the driver’s side across the top of the engine.

 This left just the light itself as the problem. I tested the bulb and concluded either the cord or the switch had failed on the light. The cord was the less likely so I pulled the light off and decided to fix the switch. The switch it used was a simple friction switch. Turn the switch 90 degrees and the a wedge presses a tab against another tab for contact.

I cut the plastic casing away and found a very gunked up contact point. I cut away more and then fitted a proper toggle switch. I soldered it all up and now have a working light again.

Tomorrow I’m out to Newcastle to see a T-ball game and then back in the garage.

Take a minute and visit this clever fellow’s site ( He has several funny jokes about Lucas, The Prince of Darkness.

Thanks for reading, and Happy Rovering.

A diamond in the rough (Post #275) 11/25/2011

Last weekend I dragged my neighbor Fish4OSU up to JagGuy’s shoppe to see if I had a spare starter on my spare engine. Unfortunately I did not. On a whim and a suggestion we went by the local “pull-a-part” which I learned today is not part of the national chain. It is U-Pull-It, whatever.

Fish4OSU needed a fan motor for his daughter’s Saturn LS-1 and a mirror. I needed a starter. I’ve been to this breakers yard many times, they seldom have any Land Rovers. But I thought what am I out, a buck…what the hell.

We found lots of Saturns and the mirrors were not in that great a condition. Fish4OSU commented it must be a thing with these cars. Bad or missing passenger side mirrors. Nearly everyone had either swapped paint with something or been driven behind a truck pulling a sand blaster down I-35. While he sourced the fan I went in search of a diamond in the rough.

I walked the 200 yards to the “import” section. I stopped to admire a Mercedes Benz 300SD with a diesel motor. As I walked on, I dreamed about dropping that into my Range Rover. I looked right and what did I see?

YES! that was the tell-tale roof line of a Range Rover Classic. When I got up to her there was a gentleman attempting to extract the transaxle or transfer case or transmission. I’m not sure he was sure. As I looked her over I mumbled, “1993 or 1994, I wonder if there are any others”. He heard me and replied, “1994. This is the only one.” I politely told him I was going to be in the front and that I’d be right back.
I went back to tell Fish4OSU I found one. He was finished and we returned to the Range Rover. The gentleman was gone and the drive train was still intact. I started on the top end retrieving parts. I got the fuel temperature sensor, the water temperature sensor, the cap from the overflow tank and the throttle position sensor (fingers crossed, say goodbye to my error 14). I went into the cab and found the EFI computer and the window ECU. I pulled them too. I was pretty happy with myself and we returned to the counter to pay.
Just as I put my receipt in my wallet I looked down and noticed a starter sitting on the counter. I forgot to get the one thing I had gone there to get! I had already paid, so I told Fish4OSU to wait for me, “this will only take a second.” I got back to the Range Rover and started to work on removing the starter.
The bottom bolt came off easily enough. I got lined up for the top bolt. No matter how hard I tried I could not get it out. I worked on it for at least 30 minutes before I gave up bruised, battered and covered in oily dirt. The tools we borrowed from JagGuy just weren’t quite up to snuff or I sucked using them…the jury is still deliberating.
They had Sunday hours and I said I’d just grab my tools and come back tomorrow. Saturday was beautiful, middle 70’s and truly pleasant outside. Sunday was the opposite of that. It was 37 degrees and a 10-15mph wind from the North blowing in low clouds. If it had been 10 degrees colder it would have been snowing. That figures doesn’t it? But it is the OkieRover way, never easy.
So I got back to her and got to work. I could not break that bolt free. I’m pretty sure I tore the head up as I was unable to get any satisfaction. Frustrated I looked at the top of the motor. There was an original alternator there and an original air conditioning compressor. I thought I could use both of those things. So I went about removing them. 
As I cut the lines for the air conditioning compressor, they still had pressure in them! Bonus, this compressor was still working when this Rover met her demise. I grabbed a rear lens from the passenger side and both of the door handles still in the doors. My second day injuries were minimal, some light bruising and a partially crunched pinky finger. Funny thing is, I don’t bruise. I’ve fallen off the back of a van going nearly 30mph through a field and I didn’t bruise. Yeah, that’s a story for another time.
How this Classic wound up in the yard I do not know. The panels were all straight. It was not a wrecked truck. It even had a cigarette lighter in it (I grabbed it too). The inside was in rough condition. Not as bad as mine but you could tell it was not well cared for by the driver. The headliner was still original. It lead me to believe the transmission or some electrics may have been its undoing. I would have liked to have had the whole body but that was not possible. You cannot buy a Salvaged Title vehicle “intact” in Oklahoma. She was probably still Dealership maintained, looking at the parts I saw inside.
All in all I made a killing. The first days parts cost me roughly 26$(US). If even one of the parts is in working condition I scored big.

The second day’s parts were more pricey, 87$(US). But the air conditioning compressor costs twice that so I’m still “standing in tall cotton” as we say in Oklahoma.

I am really happy I found her and was able to get some parts off her. I was sad to see her in the breaker’s yard. It just makes me realize that Classics are getting harder to come by and getting parts for them will be getting harder and harder. I guess when I can no longer get the important parts, I’ll just have to buy a Series 2a or Series 3. You can still get most of the parts for one of those from Rovers North.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.