Radiator Repair Part Duex or is it Troi (Post #397) 10/6/2013

Why am I counting in French?
In Cherokee it is tsoi (pronounced “joey”).
In German it is “Dieses mal war zu viel”.

And in any language it is “one too many times”. I went back to Osborn Radiator for the repair. It is also the only place in Oklahoma City who still repairs radiators. As they have told me before, everyone else just wants to replace them.

Radiators are fairly inexpensive on modern cars. A radiator for a 2010 Ford F-150 XLT 4WD with a 4.6L SFI 8 cylinder is just 270.00$(US). That’s less than half a radiator for a Range Rover Classic.

Click through to read the rest…

I get that its from England and all that but wow. I have thought about replacing the Range Rover Classic radiator with one from another model of automobile preferably one with electric fans.

But this time  it was just a leak, so off to Osborn. This leak surprised me with it’s location on the driver’s side. I was fully expecting it to leak on the passenger side where it has been weeping on and off for a year.

I had a problem with where the shroud and the big mechanical fan happen to come into contact. This as you can well imagine is NO BUENO. The fans on the Classic are prone to explode when they become damaged or start to crack. The “fan explosion” is legendary in the damage it causes. Think replacement hood, replace radiator, replace fan shroud, replace hoses, etc… Needless to say it is bad.

I have a clearance issue I have shown before. I had wedged a piece of wood under the radiator to prop the radiator up away from frame piece the lower hose had been coming in contact with. So this came to mind when I decided to fix it with a rubber spacer. i was kicking myself for tossing the bushings from the old shocks. They would have been perfect.

I shaved them down a bit as I thought the original rubber bits I found at O’reilly’s were too tall. It was a total guess but it turned out to be correct. I slipped them over the guidance pins on the bottom of the radiator.

I fitted the radiator and the fan and holy crap! it fitted perfectly. I didn’t have to wire the radiator back or fiddle with the fan shroud. Perfect fit.

Here is the radiator in place with the proper gap.

This moved the radiator up away from the mount you see there. And when I’m bouncing down the back roads of Oklahoma I can be assured that the radiator will not be banging the fan shroud and fan together and the radiator on the bracket. I am very pleased.

So…one more item down that I don’t have to deal with. The coolant is replaced too. I did have a bit of trouble getting the air bubble out. After a couple of runs to work, I got it all sorted out.

I also have started thinking about electric fans again. I even went so fart as to find a set of dual electric fans from a 1999 Ford Contour at Dollar Auto Salvage. As I pulled up I didn’t have much hope for this yard. It was tucked off the road in Choctaw, Oklahoma. But they had the majority of a large school bus filled with fans that had been pulled off various cars. And a HUGE amount of rat poop. The yard man said it had gotten cold so the snakes had probably moved out. I had boots on so I wasn’t worried too much having a Copperhead chomp on my leg. But it was interesting the yard man made mention of it.

I’ll be checking the fitting and sorting out the electrics in the coming weeks and months. I’m sure the Evil German Dude, who provided the above German translation, will be happy to help me get the electrics done the way they should be. I’m thinking separately wired fans with dual speeds.

That way one fan can fail and I wouldn’t lose all my cooling. And when the AC is on the fans would go at half speed to assist the front fans. There is a lot to research first. But that’s the current thinking.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Shocking (Post #311) 1/11/2013

If you are a regular reader you will remember, or perhaps you will not, that I found the broken shock mount back in July 2012 when I was working on the steering box. At the time I did nothing about it.

As you can well imagine that would come back to haunt me. While driving the Range Rover during the latest little bit of snowy weather I heard some new clunking from below. I was pretty sure of the location and source.

I knew this would require welding so I called up my buddy JagGuy. His superior shoppe and skills to go with it were just the ticket for this project.

I drove up to the shoppe on Saturday morning. We never really do any work before lunch. We spent that time chatting and catching up on the latest news on our children and grandchildren’s progress to and through adulthood.

We share stories and generally solve all the world’s problems and as the Grinch so eloquently puts it in How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000), “Solve world hunger, tell no one.”

When Paul and his son arrives it is time to get on the road and get some food. We headed off for lunch at Earl’s Rib Palace (I know classy name, right?) It’s hard to beat their chow. The owner was Elvis’s personal chef at the time of The King’s death. With yesterday (January 8th) being the King’s birthday I thought this tidbit was appropriate to this story. After reading the history of Earl, it’s not too far a stretch to say, “Earl killed Elvis.”

Due to the conversation we had at lunch, I almost put black bars across everyone’s eyes to mask their identities.

After we put on a couple of pounds and drank a half gallon of tea we returned to the shop. We cleared the rack and ran the Range Rover up on it and lifted her up for an inspection.

The steering damper is showing some wear. I have a post prepping for that. The rear differential is showing a leak on the drive shaft seal. After I pointed that out, JagGuy quipped, “That’s not a leak, when you have to put a receptical under it to catch the fluid, then it’s a leak. I’ll keep an eye on it just the same.

We lowered the Classic so we could get the work done on her. I removed the left front wheel and wired the shock up out of the way. I took the busted piece off and we examined what would need to be done to fix it.

The shock mount is welded to the axle and is thus not a part you can readily buy and bolt on a new one. It requires a repair.

JagGuy took the mount off to the sandblasting cabinet for clean up. I got the angle grinder and wire wheel out and cleaned up the remaining part of the mount. I wiped the bits off with some degreaser and was ready for the welding to begin.

JagGuy cleaned up a large “military grade” washer. The plan was to use the washer to splint the broken bits back together. His work with the “Ma Dueces” he bobs provides lots of left over bits such as washers. The fact that the splint came from a vehicle our military used to keep Mr. I Hate America at bay makes me proud.

JagGuy started by “tacking” the broken bits in place. A few bursts of light and some sparks meant the TIG welds were in place. I learned a lot about TIG and MIG welding between coolings. This makes me wish I had taken that night class at the Vo-Tech when I worked there. Oh well, as long as I have Evil German Dudes and JagGuys willing to ply their skill I don’t have to learn it.

JagGuy then set the washer in place and used a “C” clamp to hold it in position for the first tack. This caused some issues with the bits of the original part. It moved and caused him to start over. I was happy to fetch the tools while he sorted out where it went wrong.

He got it all back in place and proceeded to weld her all up.

JagGuy finished up the welding. He was quite funny about the job. He said don’t show this to the Evil German Dude. “He wouldn’t like it, but it’ll work.”

I got some rust resistant paint and put a coat on it. After it dried…more or less…I started bolting everything back up. That’s when the slight difference in thickness of the washer caused me some problems.

The added thickness caused me to have trouble getting the nut started. JagGuy produced a different nut an after some effort I got it started and tightened up. The alignment of the bottom cup of the shock bushing is slightly skewed but shouldn’t cause any trouble.

The good news is, the weld made it all the way home and is working out well. I don’t anticipate any more trouble. If it does fail, JagGuy said we would just cut out the old one and weld in a new one. If that happens maybe I’ll invite the Evil German Dude and put his welding skills to the test.

Thanks go out to JagGuy for helping me out.
Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Seriously? Wow. (Post #310) 12/28/2012

 Seriously, how did this person not get a ticket? That’s just totally unsafe. The weight alone on the van had to make that classic Ford Econoline virtually undrivable at highway speeds.

It was basically scrap metal strapped all over this rig. The interior was also loaded with trash. Looked like it had Mexico plates. What, they don’t have scrap metal in Mexico?

You have to know this was probably loaded down with meth or something else that probably shouldn’t be in the state. Would you as a state trooper ask them to unload it to inspect the load? Not a chance.

I had to snap a pic and make a comment. We haven’t had vehicle inspections in Oklahoma since 2002. Nearly everyday I see a vehicle on our roadways that is completely unsafe. Add that to the problem of Oklahoma drivers failing to purchase AND maintain car insurance, you’d think they’d do a better job of policing the streets.

As my dad would say, “If I loaded down my van like that, I’d get a ticket for sure.” It’s a fact. I would however like to have their Ford pickup bed trailer. The Evil German Dude remarked some years ago about how you would be taken straight to jail if you sawed a pick-up in half and tried to use the back half as a trailer in Germany. Don’t be that guy. Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Somedays Google is your friend (Post #103) 9/2/2008

What a wonderful thing Google is. I thought this was a really funny picture.

My friend the Evil German Dude (EGD) came over on Sunday and wanted to scout some new places to ride his evil ATVs.

He owns one of these, a Suzuki King Quad 700.
And in true German fashion he has already modified it to meet his own evil standards.

Back to the plan, which was once again, for us to take MY LAND ROVER down to the river. And by river I mean the South Canadian river south of Norman, Oklahoma. We didn’t take HIS JEEP CJ7, we took MY LAND ROVER Discovery.

This is an excellent example of the river from the Central Oklahoma ATV Club.

It should not be misconstrued that you can ski on the river. The water this guy is skiing in is less than a foot deep.

This is a much better example of the river.

So you can get the picture that it is mostly sand bars and very little water. This type of ATV riding is very popular in Oklahoma City area.

So EGD wanting new places to ride should be expected. The North Fork of the Canadian river, AKA North Canadian river is just a mile from his home. And as you all know it gets old just riding the same old spots. So he wanted to scout some new ones.

He was all prepared with Google satellite pictures.

View Larger Map

Our first tack was to head south on 24th Avenue SW. We came to the end of the pavement and met a very imposing pipe gate. No go. So we went to exit and met a very muddy pickup coming down the road. They went straight into the church parking lot next to the closed road. We turned around an found they had disappeared into the back of the lot. We followed their grass tracks. The pipe fence was down and heavily trodden on some 100 feet off the parking lot. I wasn’t comfortable going back there but we figured what the hell.

We found a rutted path we traversed easily. We finally caught up to the pickup who was traversing a dangerous bit underneath the highway bridge. I didn’t want to test my mostly malfunctioning ABS/Traction Control that hard so I turned us back. We were looking for a way to get a trailer down to the river so that path was not going to work for us anyway.

We were off to the south side of the river to see what approaches were available. We saw the well traveled road that crossed under the I-35 bridge but the signs were serious about NO TRESPASSING. So we wandered down some of the other roads and found little to nothing.

At this point I said there was another path on the North side near the “trailer park”. We crossed again over the bridge and found ourselves entering “State Property”.

View Larger Map

Right at the trail head we stopped to talk to a couple of locals in a Jeep CJ to ask about access. It is bad form to motor by the locals in your Land Rover without stopping to be friendly with the locals. You never know when you might be asking them for assistance after a bad bit of driving on the trail.

The younger one was burning a cancer stick and was f@#%ing excited to see a f@#%ing map from the Google. He asked if it was in f@#%ing color. We showed him the f@#%ing map and asked about access to the river. He said we could f@#%ing go up the end of the fence and when we got closer to the f@#%ing river we would see the f@#%ing culvert and the trail right f@#%ing there. No f@#%ing problem man.

The older fellow was telling us through badly needed dental work, loudly over his friend, that the trail was along the fence. Right down there, etc… The younger guy was very impressed with the f@#%ing map and asked if he could f@#%ing have it. EGD responded with, “he didn’t f@#%ing care, sure.” “Winning of the hearts and minds,” I thought as we headed on down the trail with the fresh stench of cigarettes in the cab.

We got down to the concrete tank trap/gate. It was probably a gate at one time. The recent rains had made it a very narrow track with a ditch 18 inches to 2 feet deep on one side right through the former road. We skirted that with no trouble, just missing the concrete on the left side. We took the trail on in and toward the river bridge. We saw the path of the pickup truck and then took the only path left to us. It was very narrow and edged on both sides with the tall river grasses. I honked the horn a couple of times to notify any potential on coming riders of our approach.

We got to the river where another ATV’er was packing up. We talked to him a bit about trails and riding down there. He was helpful. We smelled a fuel leak on one of his rigs and looked in vain for it’s source. “he’d get to it later”, he informed us. So we headed out the same way we came in and stopped a serious looking Jeep Cherokee with snorkle and roof rack and warned him of the fellow coming out with the trailer.

All in it was a nice afternoon putzing about with my friends. We only rubbed the trailer hitch once on a steep incline. We got muddy sand on the tires and all in all the Discovery did not disappoint.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

November 4, 2005 (Post #63)

November 4, 2005
Gas mileage down, Disco search halted
EGD stated that the BWB has a nasty odor coming from her. Coincidentally the gas mileage has dropped to 13.5 from the 14.5 and 15 mpg I was getting. I expect she is running rich and will need the oxygen sensors replaced, again!

Discovering a Discovery
My dear wife, oh how I love her so. After she watched me work on the BWB for 3 straight weekends, said we needed a new car. I told her I wanted to get another Rover. Her concerns were all valid. You recite them with me being as you are probably a Rover Owner too. Reliability, warranty, etc…

She did have a few guidelines.

  • little or no maintenance: She doesn’t want me working on it “all the time”.
  • So that eliminates an older Disco I and another Range Rover Classic
  • she wanted 7 seats: Sweet! I’m thinking Series 109inch. Man how good would I look
    driving around a 109 or an early Defender 110?!?! Damn good that’s how good.
  • air conditioning: Okay so no Series, Discovery has a seven seat option.

What did that leave me. Discovery SE7. Our price range is mid 20s and lower. That would mean a $500 plus car payment and more insurance. But RovErica will be driving this time next year. And Drewster Rooster will be needing an auto in just under 4 years. He is happy to drive the Taurus and RovErica likes the novelty of the Rover as I do. So I’m thinking she can drive the BWB and I’ll have a Disco II.

All sound arguements. Except for these facts:

  • I DON’T WANT ANOTHER CAR PAYMENT. We just got both cars paid off.
  • SE7s just don’t grow on trees apparently. They are out there, but as of this
    writing there are zero, zilch, nada, AKA none in Oklahoma. Not a single one.

I got cold feet not getting to look at the vehicle, in person, prior to purchase. Also some of these vehicles are quite a haul from our location in Central Oklahoma. One nice one was in Jonesboro, Arkansas, it had the built in DVD for somewhere around $23,500. There were a couple of nice ones in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area too. And at least 10 in Denver. But those are long drives for nothing if I don’t buy.

But alas, I digress.
So we said, let’s wait. So I’m guessing in Spring I’ll be looking for a 2003 or 2004 Discovery II SE7. Good news is those 2003’s and 04’s will be another year older and another year depriciated.

October 14th, 2005 (Post #62)

October 14th, 2005
Charging problems
All of a sudden I have a charging problem. Everything was working fine. I leave my lights on one time at work and drain the battery to zero. So I get it jumped and it manages to get me home and such. So a week later I don’t drive the BWB for an entire weekend. That was nice. Anyway, Monday morning she is dead again. So I jump her and drive her to work. Battery drains over the day and I have to have a jump again.

I get home and have to jump the next morning again. So I take it to the O’Reilly’s they test the battery and the alternator. Thumbs up on the alternator according to the guy holding the tester. So I go in and get another battery, prorated and it costs me $15.05(US). Sweet what a deal.

So a couple of days later it’s dead again. I can’t figure that out. So with a suggestion from EGD I begin pulling fuses while measuring the amps at the battery. That was a tricky deal, because the measurement changes as the devices draw. I’m averaging 1.4 to 1.7 draw. I notice how ever that on a couple of fuses when they are out I’m drawing 4.3 to 5.2. With them out I draw more?

Also depending on how long I kept the leads connected the voltage would eventually drop to .3. I’m guessing that was something to do with the meter. Meters don’t like to be conductive paths and I figure that was a safety feature to protect the meter. That is a guess of course.

Well as I’m testing I notice a very high frequency hum coming from my right. Over near the alternator. So I listen closer and the alternator is humming. That can’t be right I think. Also the 4.3 to 5.2 is on the meter when I hear it. Remove the leads it goes away. Reconnect it is back. Well a few times anyway. I am unable to make the hum start on my own accord. So I am convinced the alternator is toast. All that charging on a dead battery could wear out an old under powered alternator anyway.

Lots of web pages mention the alternator being too wimpy anyway. This is supported by the fact that when you order a rebuilt one, they are 100 amp and not 80 amp like the original.

So I order the alternator from NAPA with a lifetime warranty, five year free towing to a NAPA service center. If the alternator is the reason for the tow a new alternator and the tow are free. What the hell, I say, $290 bucks. Whatever I want the damn thing fixed. The teasing from EGD, Titanium Hitch, and my boss is becoming unbearable.

So I swap the alternator. Two big bolts, remove the air filter assembly, loosen the belt tightener. Swap. Bolt it back up, done. Poof like 30 minutes I’m done. I cleaned off the terminals and the battery cables and even grease them for fun.

I go to start it and nothing. Turns over does not start.

First I’m thinking WTF? Those two things aren’t related, well not much anyway. So I get RovErica to fire her up while I check for spark. No spark.

With a suggestion from JagGuy who informs me I must have busted a wire when I was working near the ignition relocation module. Okay so I go back and every wire I touch breaks. Makes me wonder how it was running in the first place. So I wire it all back up with some difficulty. Not completely understanding where all the wires go makes the logic hard to follow. But wired back up it was. Still nothing.

I give up and my wife says it might be good to look for another Rover. “If this one is going to be down three days a week. You’ll need to get to work.” That was bad. I don’t want another car payment right now. And I’m beginning to doubt why I am obsessed with these Rovers. I printed up the testing procedures and got to Test 2 before I find the problem, dead coil. I give up at 11:15pm, send the emails to work telling them to cancel my appointment and telling them I’m dead in the water.

In the morning I call JagGuy again. He says Eric that doesn’t make any sense if you are wired up and don’t have any voltage at the coil, it’s not the coil. It must be something else. I tell him how frustrated I am and that I’m well over my head at this point. He says casually as he signs off, telling me to call him later and to check your fuses and your connections again.

I have half the wiring harness disassembled and am wondering how all this works. I think okay check the fuses. Why didn’t I check them earlier? Well guess what dead 20 amp ignition fuse. Feeling like a complete horse’s ass I fire her up and everything worked. Fun thing happens while I’m reassembling the wire harness…the NEW alternator makes the hum sound.

What is wrong with me? I’m a smart guy, well sorta. I’m no slouch anyway. Why can’t I understand all the concepts related to ignition systems? It’s rhetorical, so don’t email me on that.

It’s a few day later and all seems well and the alternator is working well. The battery is not discharged. I own a new trickle charger. And I can now get to work.