Slow Days of Summer (Post #497) 5/31/2014


Coke and a Smile, well a Coke anyway.
Coke and a Smile, well a Coke anyway.

Sorry for the post drought lately. I finally have a new job and haven’t had much time to do much of anything Land Rover. I ordered a CV joint and some other bits to sort out the axle problem that I referred to in Front Half Shaft Oil-Seal Failure. I thought they’d be in this weekend. Rovers North told me the CV joint was on a container ship last week. I thought for sure I’d have it by this week. By Saturday morning it had not arrived.

So Saturday I took the long drive up to Jones, Oklahoma to help the Evil German Dude. The sunroof was open and the windows down and I had a Mexi-Coke. Life is good. EGD has had some trouble with his swimming pool of late. The original liner failed after a few years and a new liner that was installed a couple of weeks ago required yet another new liner. Many hands make light work. Porsche Mike and his sweet wife Mel came out to help as well. Mel is keen to do some “off-roading” with us and very much enjoyed the comfort of the Big White Bus when trying out the seats. I hope to see more of Porsche Mike in the future…like maybe at a Garage Day, hint, hint.

We were thinking of Paparazzi Ford who was unable to attend due to the loss of his father this past week. My buddy Mr. Fisher lost his sister this weekend too. She succumbed to a long battle with cancer. Our thoughts are with both of their families in this difficult time.

209,000 miles
209,000 miles

We finished everything we could do and all that was left was to watch the water fill the pool at 6-8 gallons a minute. I drove home and stopped on the way home for some petrol and the BWB’s odometer was sitting on 209,000. The now twenty-one year old Range Rover has shown us some great miles. I managed to get 15 miles per gallon out of this last tank full. That really surprises me because my new commute has a lot more stop and go traffic due to the new hours I have at my new employment. I am stuck in “five o’clock traffic” on the way home and that is usually terrible for gas mileage ratings.

I guess I’ll schedule next Saturday for an axle tear down. I’m almost reluctant to swap the CV joint. The sound I’m hearing is not there very often. The  noise could also be explained by the wrong fluid being in the reservoir. If I do swap it, the old CV would be an excellent shelf spare if it should ever be needed.

That’s all I have for now. I’ll be videoing the axle tear down and will post it all up when I have the time.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Gearing Up for SCARR, Part Four, More Maintenance (Post #465) 3/14/2014

8150025_cst_06812_pri_largI can’t be the only person who gets that special warm feeling inside when all the tick boxes are filled in on maintenance. I love it when I’ve gone over my Land Rover and done all the maintenance.

Fluid and filter swap for the transmission. Also a fluid swap for the transaxle and viscous coupling this weekend. I bought 20 quarts of Castrol® Transmax™ High Mileage – Automatic Transmission Fluid. I had never heard of it until I went to research my options.

It was cheaper than the first fluid I was considering. Royal Purple MAX ATF® was 14.99$(US) a quart. Royal Purple got rave reviews online but at twice the cost I don’t believe it will be 100% better than Castrol. I’ve never been let down by Castrol and I will continue to use it until someone can give me a solid reason to stop. The Transmax was just 6.39$(US) a quart from Advanced Auto Parts. O’Reilly’s did not carry it even though the Castrol’s website said they did.

My new oxygen sensors should also be in today so I will be putting those in as well. As near as my crappy record keeping can determine the last time I swapped O2 sensors was 6 years ago. So with 205,000 miles on the clock it’s time.

I am also installing the new power steering pump this weekend. This is going to be a very busy weekend. I should have probably scheduled a Garage Day with The Evil German Dude and Paparazzi Ford. Paparazzi Ford’s dad is not well and this was EGD’s “on weekend” at work. I don’t have any more time before S.C.A.R.R. so I’m going for it.

This is part four(-ish) of my Mega-Maintenance Month. I’ll pop some pictures up on the individual jobs as I have time to complete blog posts.

Gearing Up for SCARR, Part One
Gearing Up for SCARR, Part Two
Gearing Up for SCARR, Part Three

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Radiator Cooling Fan Cracked Again (Post #426) 12/30/2013

I was under the hood looking for my power steering leak and noticed my cooling fan was cracked. This is the third failed fan. So annoying.

As you know or may have read, if the cooling fan fails while you are driving down the highway catastrophe ensues. My understanding is it destroys most everything under the hood. I’ve even heard of a bonnet damaged so much it had to be replaced.

My options are… Continue reading “Radiator Cooling Fan Cracked Again (Post #426) 12/30/2013”

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.