Garage Day – July 26, 2014 (Post #507) 7/26/2014

It was another hot Saturday in Central Oklahoma. The temperature made it to 102 F in Norman. Even with the temps as nasty as that we don’t stop work because we might get a little sticky and sweaty. We just turned on the fans and opened up the doors.

The Evil German Dude had us all over for some electrical fun. I know you’re thinking, Land Rover…Electric…sweet! Well not this weekend. The modifications were for Magnum Mike and Paparazzi Ford. Both of them had some seriously unimpressive factory wiring.

First was Magnum Mike’s Dodge Magnum. The work was to upgrade the ground. On this model of Magnum the battery is located in the trunk. That’s Mike sitting and sweating in the back of the very impressively modified Magnum. It is a true hot rod. He drove us to lunch one day. I’ve never been so scared and excited since Eric Kammerlocher took me for a spin in his Corvette back in the 1980’s.



The standard from the factory ground wire was a very small wire maybe 8 AWG. Compared to a normal battery cable the ground is about a fourth of the size it should be. The battery terminals are a simple flat metal. Not nearly the beefy terminals EGD uses normally.

You can see the flat metal and small wire in this image.

battery cable


So the plan was to swap out the cables. EGD doesn’t do anything “half-assed”. The new cables were 2/0. Yes…two aught.


This wire chart should give you a great comparison.


We tease EGD but he knows his electrics. He has all the tools and always has the fittings, connectors, and heat shrink  wire just about anything. The hydraulic crimping tool is pretty impressive too. So when you hear me talking about upgrading my battery cables you know why I am taking the Range Rover over to the evil lair.

The crimping dies had to be modified. Here EGD makes another minor correction to the tool’s die.


You can see in the next picture that they got the  cables in place and the battery strapped back in.



Paparazzi Ford brought his Jeep Commander over with a very persnickety start problem. Basically something was wrong with the battery cables that would disable the vehicle. He would futz with it, the Jeep would start for a few days then quit him again.

He drove to EGD’s evil lair but when his turn came up the truck would not start. He popped the bonnet and I simply twisted the positive battery cable just a bit and the Commander started. Being as Jeep is now owned by Chrysler/Dodge the same type of battery terminals are being used.

Upon further inspection it turned out to be a very corroded connector. Swapping the terminals out had to be done. Here the crimping tool is used to marry the cables to the terminal.



Heat shrink is moved into place.



And here the heat gun heats the shrink wrap.



I couldn’t stay longer. JagGuy promised to take a look at my air conditioning. As you have no doubt read or have seen in my video blog my A/C is out. I’ve been chasing fully functional air conditioning in my Range Rover for years.

So JagGuy mentioned at lunch on Friday that he had a freon sniffer. Such a handy device.



He was keen on my idea to swap the AC compressor for a more common unit from a Chevy. The hoses would need to be custom-made. Before making all the effort to reinvent the system he said we should find out what has failed. Is the hoses? Is it the compressor? Is the radiator leaking? The only way to find out was to test for leaks.

I didn’t take a picture of the sniffer in action its sensor is an audio one. We sniffed the system and found that the front seal on the compressor had failed.

Freon going in.

JagGuy suggested I go to the company that bought out Oklahoma Auto Air. They do all manner of compressors and hoses. The compressor on the Range Rover is basically a Sanden 709. So next week I’m going to drop by their shop and get the details. Hopefully I’ll have some air conditioning the week after I get back from my 25th wedding anniversary trip.

The weather is going to cool off this next week so my daily commute won’t be the 35 minute drive in an oven. Mrs. JagGuy has told JagGuy that she wants to drive a Land Rover Discovery II. They are looking for a good one. I can’t wait for them to go with us on a jaunt.

EGD is working with a company that has some pretty cool lighting solutions. I’m looking at them for some possible trail lighting. I’ll get back to that when I investigate further.

And in other news…he was only kidding about buying a Dodge.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.



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.

Land Rover at Lowe’s and a New Muffler (Post #461) 3/11/2014

20140308_155449Over the past weekend I stopped at Lowe’s to pick up paint for my Coleman Stove Project which was part of my gearing up for S.C.A.R.R. When I came out this Discovery was sitting next to me. With the parking lot nearly empty parking directly next to me meant this guy must be an enthusiast. So I scribbled a note inviting the driver to check out my blog and to keep in touch as we were forming a Land Rover Club, Red Dirt Rovers, and invited them to check out our Google Community.

Later that day I got an email from John Joyce the owner of the Discovery. He has reached out to me with a couple of emails and I look forward to meeting him at S.C.A.R.R.

His rig looks well used. Seeing this Discovery next to me in the lot has told me I’m pretty sure if I ever get another Land Rover it will be a Discovery I. So much awesome in such a little package. Like anyone I’d love to have a classic Series 2a but for a daily driver that is probably not a realistic nor practical option. There’s more after the jump…

Red Dirt Rovers (Post #357) 6/20/2013

Red Dirt Rovers, I’m kinda excited about this. Around two years ago Richard and I started talking about starting up a Central Oklahoma Land Rover Group. Turns out Richard reserved a URL and developed the totally kick-ass logo you see above.

I’m sure like the other auto clubs we’ll have get togethers, trail rides, garage days, and general Land Rover-i-goodness and comradeship. We would be remiss if we didn’t invite the folks from Tulsa to come down and hang out with us as well.

So get the word out, and watch the Red Dirt Rovers website for more information.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Family and Finally a Garage Day! (Post #328) 4/13/2013

Finally I have a Garage Day! The weather is cooperating and my schedule is clear. I am asking no sympathy for my schedule I do it to myself.

I took the Range Rover to Dibble, Oklahoma to watch my grand daughter play T-ball. I love the two lane highways in Oklahoma and this was an opportunity to drive on them. Specifically highways 39, 76, 74b, and 24. 74b between Goldsby and the intersection with 76 just past Cole, Oklahoma has those great “lose-your-stomach” peaks on the hills.

I rolled into Dibble and they had blocked the parking lot at one end forcing me to either drive a few blocks around to the other lot or just go off the road and turn around. Of course, I picked option two. When I turned in to the lot it was a steep ditch, the approach angle was fine, no worries there, but when I tested the departure angle I contacted the ground. No damage that I can tell, but it was enough to make a furrow in the ground as evidenced by the dirt on my hitch.

I got a picture of our number 9 on third. The weather had just turned with a cold front passing through. Amazing how many Okies attending the game were totally unprepared for a serious change in temperature. Think 81 F to 61 F in three minutes with a 15-20 mph north wind. Making windchill something like 55 F.

We had family pictures this week. We went over to the University of Oklahoma campus and took pictures of my wife’s family. We spotted this Mediterranean House Gecko on one of the columns in front of Evan’s Hall.

Unfortunately for the gecko a Mockingbird had also spotted him and as soon as we were done, the Mockingbird swooped in and had a snack. Much to the chagrin of the grand kids. As we reminded them of the circle of life. They then told us of watching a hawk destroy a squirrel. They thought it was cool.

After this year, I may attempt to see how many different species of reptiles I can see in the wild, instead of birds. I’ve also thought of a quest of mammals.

Mrs. OkieRover with RovErica. That’s her dad Grady on her right. Although he was a Navy man he’s alright with me. His sense of humor is top-notch. He served on the USS Essex back in the day. He started out with a stint with the Oklahoma National Guard at age 15. He told them he was 18. Funny how times have changed.

This is my son-in-law Justin and my oldest Lecia whom you’ve heard referred to on this site as Fireball for her propensity to throw softballs hard enough to register on the Richter scale when you catch them.

Justin you have seen in my historical pictures. Although his people are Pottawatomie and mostly “uncivilized”, he has not totally shunned me teaching Cherokee words to the grandchildren.

Here we have the grand children and my son Diet Mountain Drew. Just out of frame is the princess Prestyn in her baby bucket.

I am greatly blessed by these people and proud of each and every one of them. I couldn’t ask for better people if I made them myself…

The love of family and the admiration of friends is much more important than wealth and privilege.
Charles Kuralt

I couldn’t agree more Chuck. If you need me I’ll be in the garage.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

A Lazy Sunday (Post #258) 5/23/2011

Ah…a lazy Sunday in Oklahoma. Spring is upon us and each day we wonder if we will get some our famous southern plains weather. Saturday night Mrs. OkieRover and I enjoyed a steak, asparagus, and an adult beverage for me and watched as the thunderheads anvil out as they trekked across the state. I tried to capture a panoramic picture of the storm. Eh…I’m obviously not a photographer.

Panoramic due east to SSE

Sunset reflecting on the clouds

Fortunately for us they stayed to the south and east of us. We had 5 inches of rain this week, more on that later. We got more on Sunday tonight but again they are east and south of us.

Sunday morning I played hookie from church and wanted to work on my Range Rover. I went out to the garage with a cup of tea in my Rover’s North Coveted Mug, 1 each, and The Cars Greatest Hits.

First, the garage is a WRECK. Several factors have contributed to this fact. We bought a new couch and loveseat and that meant that the old couch went to the garage.

Also the city of Norman gave away rain barrels to the first 90 people to show up at Forest Lumber. Forest Lumber is my new hardware store. I won’t need to go all the way to Lowe’s now. That place was awesome. My pal Larry and I took the Range Rover down there and hauled the barrels back. When we were looking around Forest Lumber we were discussing America’s First Sergeant’s Zombie Apocalypse Preparation Post. We found a wrecking bar that would make a great zombie deterrent weapon. You can see how impressive it is. It has an awesome name too, the FuBar III. FUBAR is a familiar acronym to all Marines. After a few applications of this tool most things it touches will be FUBAR.

Also currently located in the garage is a TV, a dead TV. It previously graced the entertainment center until it unceremoniously fell due to the affects of gravity on a shelf. I’m not happy. The budget took a big hit this week. The rest is the normal condition of the garage…cluttered.

Sunday’s Range Rover project was the sun roof. As you may have read, it was working when I went to Fort Washita. When I came home from Fort Washita, it wasn’t. So I started by taking the headliner out. I’ve taken the headliner out so many times it takes only a few minutes using a powered drill with Phillip’s bit.

Once out I started by unbolting the sunroof. The sunroof system is kinda heavy so if you can get help you should. Again I’ve done this a few times so it’s no biggy. You can use the head rests as supports and leave the front bolts that hold the motor connected to the roof structure as one point and the head rests as the other.

Once I got it lowered I started trying to figure out what was causing the problem. I futzed with it for at least an hour. Once I got it working I bolted it back up only to find it was not working again. When you pressed the button to retract it would stop as if something was blocking it.

I could not figure it out. Finally I decided I should lube up the tracks. They looked pretty dry. So off to the chemical shelf and out with the silicone spray lube. I hosed it down and the window moved better but not great.

You can see in the above photo the red spray hose, it is important to control the spray as not to hose the interior with silicone lube. After a couple of trial refits and more and more silicone spray the sunroof works. It still has a little catch but it slides back and forth on its own. In the process I ran the battery down and had to jump the Range Rover with the Honda Civic. It was shameful but necessary.

Now, back to the rain. We had five inches of rain over night on Thursday and Friday this week. That is enough rain to tell me if there is a water problem with the windshield. There is. The pads were wet…as usual. I pulled them out to dry. I will probably throw them out. The windshield is obviously the problem. I’m not sure if it is the seal or rust.

I’m going to start with the windshield seal. The good folks at Binswanger Glass told me I should test it with a garden hose. It wasn’t necessary as I didn’t drive the Range Rover in the rain so it had to be from the seal. With the pads up, the rust is back on the floor pans.

Its probably surface rust or staining from the bottom of the pads. Either way it is annoying. Considering the trouble I went through to remove the rust and cover the panels with layers and layers of paint. I’m now thinking bedlining spray and more sound deadening material like I originally planned.

I buttoned up the Range Rover and went on to the other duties requiring my attention. With that much rain the grass went nuts. With the drought we’ve had this year, I’ve only had the mower out twice. I think we are still behind overall for the year on rainfall, but the grass hasn’t noticed.

I tried to organize the hardware and parts shelves but I ran out of steam. I need a budget infusion to do anything else on the Range Rover this year. The first money I’m going to use will be to sort out the windshield seal issue. I can’t move forward on the interior until that is all sorted out.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.