April 11th, 2005 (Post #60)

April 11th, 2005
What a week I’m having.
It all starts back two weeks ago. Okay I know a week that lasts three weeks is really not possible. Okay three weeks ago…

I am coming back from lunch on a beautiful Friday and I pop the top radiator hose. Just a small split but a well aimed split. Located in the temperature sensor graft about a millimeter wide. And as you can probably guess aimed right at the distributor. Not only loosing coolant but it was also disabling the BWB by wetting the distributor.

I managed to get a buddy from work to haul me down to Rover Cannibal where Ryan helped me out with a replacement hose. Back to the Rover and I get it fitted all is well.

Then the following Monday I am cruising on I-235 at 70mph in morning bumper to bumper
traffic when I blow the heater hose behind the dash. Steam filled the cab so quickly I could not see for a good 20 seconds. Steam on everything. My first thought was, “I’ve never seen that before.” The second one was if my wife would bury me in the BWB as I requested or out of spite have me cremated on the top of the Rover.

In any event I rolled the window down and Ace Ventura style manage to get her to the side of the highway. The next movie parallel was as I am sitting there on the side of the highway with steam rolling out it must have looked like the van in Fast Times at Ridgemont High when the stoners roll out for school.

Finally all the coolant is out of the system and I rolled her on down the road to the 36th street exit. Where again I call the Evil German Dude to come and get me. We go to O’Reilly’s and get some coolant and 5 foot of hose. The hose is to bypass the the heater system inside the Rover. I pulled the hoses on the return and feed sides of the heater system and wrapped the hose around and closed the system.

With all these hoses popping leaks and such only one thing can do that. That’s right, the head gasket. Your intrepid adventurer has been waiting for this moment for a few years. The gasket has been a perrenial problem and it is finally done.

JagGuy and I found a line on another motor off of a burned Classic LWB in Moore, Oklahoma. He picked it up last week and stripped it down. We cleaned it up and although the top looked pretty nasty the bottom end looks really good. No wear in the cylinders. We took the heads off and are having them “worked”. Reassembly is next Saturday. I will let you know more with pictures and everything.

The steam under the dash I hope has not screwed anything up. The radio is misbehaving and the carpets are soaked with coolant. So for sure I will be pulling them again.

The hose behind the dash will need to be replaced as well. I’m not looking forward to this project. But I will write it up with lots of pictures.

November 9th, 2004 (Post #54)

November 9th, 2004
Head liner, oil change, noisy lifters, head gasket failure, leaking seal, console back in

The hur-rah for good weather seems to have been this weekend. It was perfect weather on Sunday so I took advantage to wrap up a few jobs.

The head liner on the moon roof/sun roof cover came off today. I decided to close it before I got to work and it fell right off. I managed this summer to get it wet when I forgot to close the sun roof. As usual one of the very frequent rain showers broke out and got it really wet. That was it I guess and it decided to come off today. So I guess it’s time to revisit the liner project and try to match with the liner I replace sometime ago. Which means taking it all out AGAIN!

Lifters noisy, change oil
I have been noticing for a few thousand miles that I have a very noisy engine sound. I couldn’t decide whether it was an exhaust leak again or if a valve was sticking or if I was having some other engine related problem. It is time to change the oil and I have noticed since using the Castrol Extended Life oil sometime ago that the oil seems to fail a little faster than before. Unfortunately I can’t seem to find that flavor of oil any longer. Either they don’t stock it any more or Castrol quit making it. Either way the good ole fashioned Castrol 20w50 I use seems a little too thin at the end of it’s 3000 mile life in my engine. To kill one bird with two
stones I bought a bottle of Chevron TECHRON® Concentrate Fuel System Cleaner and put it in and I changed the oil.

The noise is, I am glad to say, no longer there. I’m not sure which of the solutions solved the problem. But my engine is nice and quiet again. Well relatively quiet.

Head gasket leak
As I have been reporting for I don’t know how many years the head gasket has been pushing fluid out of the system. In a desperate attempt to put off the obvious top end engine repair I tried some “horse pills” which sadly have failed to stem the tide. Good news is another engine is in the works. But it will be after Christmas before we get started. So I’m hoping I’ll make it through the winter like last with not too many problems. The price of coolant/antifreeze is too high to pour it on the ground like this.

Leaky seal
My swivel joint seal on the right side had a nice big blob of grease on it this weekend. So I will eventually have to replace it. I have the seal in the garage, but not the place to work on it right now. I’m not really looking foward to removing the CV joint again. But it will give me a chance to document in pictures the procedure again. This time hopefully everyone will heed my advice and replace EVERYTHING that could fail when you tear something down.

Console back in
I have the center console back in. It was more challenging getting it back in than it was to take out. I’m guessing they assemble it in two parts and attach the two pieces afterwards. I had to loosen the emergency brake bracket, pull the big screws and hold my mouth just right for an extended time to get it back in, in one piece.

But I have it all hooked back up and it looks great. I got a little to carried away with the dremel and had to correct with a couple of washers. Which made the window switch panel screws a close fit. I’ll write it up when I get the pictures off the camera tonight probably.

June 26th, 2003 (Post #31)

June 26, 2003
Sorry everyone, for my absence. I have been too busy with other things to update here. I have scheduled some surgery which will make my repairs go a bit slowly as I will be down to one arm for a few months starting here in July. Also this will make my cash situation also suffer pushing some repairs and modifications to the back burners.
So with that I can update you on what I have done.

Random stuff
I took the air dam off the front of the Rover. Primarily to see what it looked like with it removed and to install quick/water resistant disconnects for the fog lamps which are attached to the air dam. That went well for the most part. I used two quick disconnects from a Chevy truck. I also removed the step sides from my truck. Also in an attempt to see what it looked like with out them. I think I like them better on the truck rather than off. Although the truck now looks “higher” off the ground and with no other way to describe it, it has a simpler look.

Still haven’t done the exhaust. I have a date with a lift a Rogers place but not sure if I can keep it yet. I need to get her up on the rack soon as many problems have begun that need urgent attention.

Bought a shock removal socket hopefully making the removal an easier task. I’ll add a pic to the tools page soon. It seems my wife bought us a digital camera.

Head gasket update
My truck no longer is pushing coolant out the overflow bottle. But I now have a nice ticking sound that could be just about anything related to the head. Yes, you guessed correctly this is bad news. More investigation coming soon. Deep, deep down I’m hoping it’s just a silly exhaust leak. Although I have 129,000 miles on it.

Cupholder Goodness Update
I am working on the bracket mechanism at the moment. A search for materials is in the works and then comes the welding!! The obsessive need of mine to make it look manufactured and “clean” is holding me back a bit.

April 17th, 2003 (Post #28)

April 17, 2003
Need a Lift?
“Your gonna need a lift.” Kurt said, when I picked up my new exhaust at Rover Cannibal. As you probably remember my current exhaust has a bad case of rust and corrosion. Maybe just rust as there is not enough of it left to notice any corrosion. I was inspired by Mr. Fat Jack in the 1984 movie Splash in which he states to Tom Hanks while waving a hammer, “I can fix it, I’m mechanical.”

Well I got it home and after a thorough investigation at a minimum I am going to have to jack up the body a bit. Maybe more like lift the body up. Okay so I call my buddy JagGuy and he says why don’t you take it over to Roger’s. I’m thinking great, I can litter Roger’s driveway with my burden and maybe if I buy enough beer he’ll do the work too.
So I say, “Why should I take it to Roger’s?”
“He has a lift.”
“Really, you don’t say?”
He is my hero truly. He doesn’t know it yet, but he is. I haven’t asked him yet but I am assured by JagGuy he will say no problem.

Head gasket update
I still haven’t acquired the funds to purchase the gasket kit and the price of having my heads at the shop yet. JagGuy assures me that I can get another 100,000 out of the motor if I do the heads when I get them off truck. I’m all about maximizing my vehicle value so I will have the
heads re-done when they are off the truck. It makes a weekend project into a multi-weekend project.

But what am I if I am not made out of money? I have time, for I am young. Now what am I gonna drive that week? Maybe JagGuy has a spare Jaguar for me, or maybe even his Rover. Yet another thing to ask of him while he is assisting me with my heads. I have already determined this job will be a 4.5 difficulty on the Difficulty Scale.

Cupholder Goodness Update
I have unboxed my new wood lathe. I have gotten out all the tools and actually turned a piece of wood. It is harder than it looks. I have gotten some tips from Ford Stepsides and the next attempt will be better. I have a friend that felled some red cedars at his ranch and I can have as much of it as I want. I think I will try turning some bowls with that this weekend maybe.

April 2nd, 2003 (Post #26)

April 2, 2003
Head Gasket
Well my worst fears were confirmed at Rover Cannibal today. The head gasket is leaking. This leak is charging my cooling system causing the coolant to leak out of the expansion bottle. Not a lot of fluid but enough to cause a tri-weekly annoyance. My options:

  • Complete Head Job. Pull the heads and have them planed and replace the gaskets.
  • Head gasket replacement. Pull it apart, replace the gaskets.
  • Retorque the heads. The leak is small maybe if lucky it will fix it.
    I’m sure there are 100 schools of thought on this subject. I have gotten a lot of advise from many trusted sources. The real bottom line is how much does it cost? I will be getting prices back this week.

    What are some of the hidden problems?

    The head could be cracked. This is not so bad as the worst problems, I could get a replacement
    and use the replacement. The worst thing that could happen is the block is cracked. I know a
    replacement engine will be about $1800 plus all the labor to put it in. That would be horrible.
    I will keep you apprise you of my decision soon.

    Exhaust update. I bought a replacement exhaust today. I will pick it up tomorrow.