A Long List of Repairs (Post #592) 3/30/2021

I’ve been sidelined by a knee surgery. I’ve had an issue for a while (over a year) and I decided it was finally time to get it sorted out. So while I convalesce, I thought I’d put up a post detailing what I believe to be a mostly concise list of repairs that are required on the Big White Bus. We are getting another round of stimulus money from the O’Biden administration. And why not spend it on my Land Rover? Let’s get started:


You’ve read my mis-adventures with my ignition system (Okierover). I mostly attempted to replace the entire system with GM off the shelf parts. In the end I could not stop the ignition modules from overheating. This leads to them failing basically every two weeks. With “lifetime warranty” I only bought the part twice. And when I was completely convinced I would either have to drive in the right lane, everywhere, or doing something else, I had trained myself to change the module in less than two minutes. Standing on the side of I-35 during rush hour traffic every two weeks for 4 months is not among the smartest things I’ve ever done.

At this point I’ve decided that I will replace the entire ignition system with an after-market version. I haven’t picked that version yet, but know it will be my first repair. This means the distributor, ignition coil, modules, all of it will be replaced. I currently have a “Lucas”1 setup. I don’t believe it is reliable. I have driven her with this setup, but I’m not convinced it is safe.


Once again I am faced with a failed alternator. I have written many times about the alternator issues (Okierover). I bought the NAPA alternator back in 2005. I have replaced it under warranty 6 times (with 7 coming). Sometimes you can’t beat a NAPA warranty, even if the part only lasts about 2-3 years before it fails. It still surprises me that an OEM alternator from the factory lasted 15 years but a replacement part would not give me 2 years of service.

The BWB has a slow battery drain, I suspect it is the diode pack as it was three times before. Once a diode fails, it’s over. The alternator will still charge, but it will also discharge the battery when the engine is off. If you still have any of your hearing left, you can hear tell-tale ultra high pitch sound coming from the back of the alternator when the engine is off.

Heater Fan Blower Motor

This repair is in progress, you’ve seen the posts (Okierover). All that is left is to source the new hoses and the foam gasket sets and such. I broke a couple of plastic bits and found a great source for spares in Matt Gaum (Roadside Werx) Some of these plastic bits are starting to become unobtainium. 

This leads me to contemplate 3D printing of these parts. I’ll look for a 3d printer and do some research into the types of plastics that might work best. I’m a little surprised I haven’t seen someone doing this already. If you have, leave us a link in the comments.

Clunky Steering

At some point the bushing on the steering shaft has slipped. I need to pull it all out and get it corrected. It is not dangerous, it’s just annoying.

Rear Compartment Tie-Downs

I can’t believe I’ve driven around with a hundred plus pounds of tools and spares NOT tied down in the back of my rig. I have only avoided an epic stupid mistake because I’m a hell-of-a-driver and have avoided serious accidents.

Nice to Have

Now let me talk about what we in the Project Management game call, “Nice to Have’s”. 


I have researched a replacement system that I think will be great. When I buy it I’ll do a full write up. Bluetooth…backup camera… Van Halen “Eruption” or Wagner’s “Die Walküre” at 120dB depends on your situation.

Air Conditioning

This probably shouldn’t be a nice to have. I live in the southern plains and I promise it gets hot here. This is more than likely going to be a must have/critical. This system is a total loss. I will have to replace EVERYTHING including hoses. The testing for leaks will need to be epic if this is going to be a long term solution.

Power Steering Leak

I STILL have a power steering leak. After all my issues with leaking steering boxes you’d think this wouldn’t plague me. You’ve seen where I bought a rebuilt steering box (Facebook) from Carsteeringwholesale.com (NOT RECOMMENDED, DO NOT TRUST). I received the steering box from them and it was leaking out of the box. I fussed and yelled at them to no avail and they sent me a replacement (that I had to pay shipping on) that leaked EVEN WORSE than the shitty one they sent me to start with. Buyer beware.

I have another slow leak and will at some point need to replace this pump too.

Mystery Leak

My left front hub assembly is leaking. I’m not sure which part has the leak. I’ll have to find it eventually and replace the seal or brake caliper, or whatever it is.

Gas Gauge Uncertainty

When I replaced my last fuel pump (Okierover) I managed to get the float out of sorts and its basically a mystery as to how much fuel I have in the tank at any time except when I fill it. I need to get in there and futz with the level and see if I can fix that.



I would LOVE to have new rugs. Maybe a proper steam cleaning would do the job, I don’t know.

Seat Covers

I have looked at a lot of seat covers. I think I’m leaning toward a NON-Leather cover. Leather covers are readily available and modestly priced. I just think I can get a more durable, no maintenance option sourced that wouldn’t make me cry a little bit inside each time I slide into the BWB with mud all over me or soaking wet. Oklahoma summers are not kind to old leather.


I don’t need gangster dark tint. I think a tint one these plethora of windows would go a long way toward keeping me cool in the summer.


The BWB is losing her clearcoat. And the vinyl D pillars are quite knackered. In a perfect world with everything else repaired, I’d probably throw some paint on her.


I have a mouse somewhere in the truck. I noticed some evidence of a mouse making its home inside. I couldn’t blame them with -14F this winter. Car spiders (Okierover) are one thing, I can’t have mice.

1: The name Lucas can be licensed by just about anyone wanting to use their name. The last set of “Lucas” parts I got were made in China….CHINA. You should not associate quality replacement parts to anything made in China.

Never fear… I have not let my wrenching skills go to waste. I helped my dear friend Eric and his son Vallie change the plugs and coils on their 2000 Jaguar S-type. We had a great afternoon. And it was a fine example of no matter what you think a job will entail…something will go wrong and will require a part no one has in stock.

Pro Tip: Jaguar (Ford) coolant hose “T”s are made out of some form of plastic-mache and hope.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering

Power Steering Hose Trouble Part Duex (Post #430) 1/3/2014

I went out to find my power steering leak on New Year’s Day. It required me to remove the power steering fluid reservoir and several of the hoses. If you’ve ever swapped these hoses you know they come with a factory installed friction protector. It’s a simple piece of coiled plastic.

It is good for the accidental rubbing of the hoses. It will not protect you from any of the high speed rotating objects under the hood for any length of time. They are only plastic.

What they are also good for is HIDING where a leak has sprung in your hoses. Once the magical fluid in the hose escapes it is quickly held against the hose and spreads down (gravity) the hose fairly evenly. This also coats everything near the hose in fluid as well.

I noticed that the wetness of power steering fluid extended nearly to the top of the low pressure hose. This had me worried that the reservoir might have a crack or break. The amount of fluid I’ve been loosing is actually puddling up on the drive at night. So this on the surface seemed pretty bad.

I pulled the reservoir and it was undamaged. I cleaned it up with an old wash cloth and set it aside.

I then went to inspecting the hoses. The high pressure hoses all looked dry. I’d replaced these in the past and I had purchased new ones from Atlantic British thinking the worst. I took the low pressure reservoir to pump hose off from the bottom. In the removal process I noticed the hose was not tightened very well at the pump.

I remember installing this hose and what an absolute joy pain in the ass it was to reach up and tighten the hose clamp on the hose at the pump end. It came off the bottom of the pump without me even getting to the hose clamp. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say some of the fluid leaking could be due to the looseness of the hose clamp. I know it’s a stretch, but I’m just going to put that out there.

The reservoir end was very wet and I am not entirely sure the hose clamp was functioning within design specifications on that end either. I took the hose and cleaned it up. I did a visual inspection and found what you see in the picture above. A rub spot and a couple of holes.

I couldn’t determine if any fluid escapes from that area. There is no reason to put that hose back in there. If you recall that hose is by my reckoning the cheapest replacement part available for a Range Rover Classic. I will stop by the John Deere dealer on the way home and get a replacement length of hose. I will also stop and get some NEW hose clamps. You’d think I’d learn not to re-use hose clamps but apparently I’m hard-headed that way.

I’ve got a few more items to get and then I’m back on the road. Like other projects when you start one you find another to sort out.

Thanks for reading, don’t re-use hose clamps, and Happy Rovering.

What the heck? (Post #264) 8/18/2011

Saturday started out pretty good. I had talked my son in to doing some lifting for me. Okay I offered to pay him. He thought he had the last laugh when I said I’d pay him 20$(US). He said, “I would have done it for 10$(US). Ha.” I responded with, “You would have done it for free…”

Diet Mt. Drew

Anyway, we were driving and I noticed the radiator coolant light blinking at me. I didn’t think much of it as it turns out I have a slight leak in the radiator fill plug. It mostly weeps out when I get the engine hot. I haven’t filled the bottle in a while and thought it was just telling me I was low.

So we continued on to the auto parts store to get some oil for the Honda Civic. When I got out, I smelled it. That sugary sweet smell of coolant. “What the heck!” I exclaimed. Okay I didn’t really say “what the heck” I’m cleaning it up for a wider audience appeal.

So I popped the bonnet and low and behold….

So as you all know, the top radiator hose is not supposed to do that. Well its a pretty stupid idea to put a sensor right there in the first place. I mean seriously, who came up with that?

What is disappointing is I barely drive the BWB. Only about every other weekend at best. I don’t have air conditioning in her at the moment and if you have followed my tweets its been above 100F for nearly 50 days here in Oklahoma. Setting records for hottest month of July, consecutive days above 100F (37C) and most days without measurable rain (a lot, like 3 months).

We hit 115F that day in the shade.

Why would a hose fail that isn’t even being used? I’m guessing age at this point. I have probably had that hose on for at least 5 years. Is replacing the radiator hoses part of the PM (preventative maintenance)? You bet your Aunt Petunia it is. But why fix what ain’t broke? I’ve got spares on the shelf from PM that I have no idea how long they have been sitting up there. Will I use them, in this case probably as I need the Range Rover on Friday.

So tomorrow I will try to find my spare, install it, and test it for leaks in the vain hope it will get me to work and home one time. I’ll order a new one this weekend.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Fluid Guidance (Post #224) 11/29/2010

As most of you are aware, your Range Rover has a power steering system. How are you aware? You are aware because of the puddle of power steering fluid you have under the front of your Range Rover. If you don’t have a leak in the power steering system, YOU WILL.

I have had one kind of leak or another in the power steering system since I purchased her in Summer of 2000. I have replaced a hose or two in the vain hope I was finding the problem. Eventually you give up mostly because your daily driver can’t go without having hoses up there. And what’s a little fluid leak if you can keep up with it with the occasional refilling of the reservoir.

Well eventually you will move into a new house and that leak staining the driveway will upset your spouse. Mrs. OkieRover asked me what that dark spot was under the Range Rover. I was embarrassed to tell her, “that was there when we bought the place. Damn that builder!” So was not amused at my quip.

This brings me to this round of restoration and my mission to fix ALL the leaks this time. I was sure I had a bad hose or failed hose. When you look at most of the hoses in this system you are likely to see some protective wrap. That wrap is all fine and good and I’m sure it has a good purpose. I’m not sure what the purpose is…but it is excellent at hiding the location of a leak.

I started the project by removing the power steering reservoir and the air filter assembly. They are in the way for the most part when you are trying to get to the hose connections. They are easy to remove and will make your life easier on this job.

You are going to remove four hoses. Two connect to the power steering pump. And two additional hoses that are connected to each other and labeled pump to box. Why they needed two hoses to connect to each other instead of just one hose is a question perhaps only an engineer could answer. But since they all died from liver failure from the booze they drank while designing this vehicle we may never know.

There are two low pressure hoses. They are low pressure because they are held in place by a hose clamp. If they had metal fittings on each ends you would know they were high pressure hoses.

I’m going to replace both of these hoses. The one with out any pressure fittings is just a rubber hose. Rubber hoses are prone to failure as you already know. Rubber hoses have been failing ever since they were put on the first cars in the 20th century. Land Rovers are no different.

This is a picture of the top of the power steering box. It shows where the hoses connect to the box.

It lower hose is the one I have a crack in. This crack was hidden by the protective wrap I talked about before. With the wrap in place the leaking fluid covered the entire hose and dripped from every separation. This made the entire area underneath wet with power steering fluid which contributed to the mystery of the leak. I have to note here that a pressure fitting on the side of the pump was also loose. I’m not sure how it got that way or if any fluid was leaking from it. But it was interesting to mention.

When the hose was in its installed relaxed position the crack was closed which led to weeping of fluid and not an active dripping. With the hose covered with protective material, it would not have dripped anyway.

So I got online and ordered one from Atlantic British. I also ordered a few other items but did not get to the free shipping special. I couldn’t justify buying 60$(US) more stuff to save 12$(US) in shipping.
On the list was…

  • dome light covers
  • tailgate handle finisher – lower
  • dust caps for the front axle
  • some seemingly hard to find bulbs
  • a pair of mud flaps
  • windshield seal
  • the bad power steering hose

There may have been one or two more items but I couldn’t remember them. When the get it all in I’ll reassemble the steering system and take the Range Rover down for a hot wash of the area that was formerly wet with power steering fluid and then another check for leaks. I’m confident I have found all the leaks but you can never really know for sure. When you have a British automobile you either have a leak or you are out of fluid. There is no in between.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

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.