September 26th, 2003 (Post #34)

September 26, 2003
CV Joint Woes
Well the knocking in the front of the Big White Bus had gotten to the point I was afraid to drive it. With the insistance of my buddy JagGuy I endeavored to persevere. [I miss Chief Dan George] Anyway I went to Rover Cannibal after seeing the prices of a new CV joint on the internet. They had a lovely one in the color I wanted too, just kidding.

So I got that and the premeasured tube of grease and the inside seal. I actually did not replace it but I have it just in case. I went over on Sunday afternoon. It was not as horrible an ordeal as I expected. JagGuy had done his when it exploded and described a nasty job. When they explode or come apart they leave lots of schrapnel all inside the housing. This schrapnel has to be removed and is not a pleasant job. So when he was being insistant that I change it, he was speaking from the experience of a lengthly procedure, and he and I wanted to avoid that.

I (and he) could not get over how easy it was to change this vital part. In our experience
with the countless cars we had owned before this would have been a good reason to get rid of the vehicle. But this thing was amazingly simple and functional all in the same design. These trucks are tough and easy to work on. That is something you don’t see in most vehicles. I have a write up for this but need some pictures which JagGuy is going to provide from his project. My camera died two shots in to the job, dead batteries. So look for it later next month. On the
Difficulty Scale
I would rate this job a Level Three. A few tricks are important to know
but nothing the manual probably doesn’t say.

Error 34
I track my gas mileage with a Palm Pilot. So each fill up is lottery of how great or terrible
my gas mileage is. I average 14.9 miles per gallon most fill ups. This last two weeks it has risen to 15.9 mpg and even a 16.1 mpg. Well with all good things there is some bad. The Check Engine light illuminated and a quick check under the passenger seat of the OBD readout shows Error 34. As you are or are not aware that is Injector Bank A, Left Side, still no help with the description.

I do not know which side that is but I will find out soon. I don’t have any idea
what the message means either. I will be doing some investigating of the fuel system and how it works this week I guess. I’m guessing with the gas mileage going up the truck is running leaner than it should. I also have a tappet rattle when I accelerate hard which might be fuel starvation. But again these are guesses. More as I get it.

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.

January 27th, 2003 (Post #20)

January 27, 2003
It has finally happened…
It is bitter cold outside. (See below for details.) And the Big White Bus has finally left me at the side of the road. Actually it left me in front of a 7-Eleven but you get the point.

It was in the low teens Friday morning and I got in the Rover to go to work. I started it up and went to fill with petrol. I turned it off to open the gas door. Restarted to keep it warm while I filled the tank with the precious go-go juice. I pulled up to the front to go in and pay. When I returned the key would not turn in the ignition. No way. All the obvious things I tried. Multiple keys, turning the wheel to relieve the pressure of the steering lock, everything. Enough graphite to grease a battleship.

So in my desperate state I returned to the house to check my AllData subscription to see if I was missing anything. I returned to begin taking things apart to find the problem. The key lock mechanism is completely mechanical and free of the solenoids that prevent everything else on the Rover from working unless conditions are met. So with this bit of knowledge from my friend JagGuy I took the steering column cowling off. I messed with the lock some more but to no avail. I did manage to pull the electrics off the back of the tumbler mechanism and now know I can start my truck without the key.

Nothing worked, I had given up. Done. Call the tow truck. “Game over man, game over.” I started gathering the important things and put a couple of things back together. I was about to pull the key out and I thought one more try, what have I got to loose, twist and wow it turned. I have no idea why it turned, but it did. It did not start but it did turn. I had failed to secure the electric switch part of the mechanism back to the tumbler correctly. This is poorly manufactured and even more poorly designed. I managed to get it back together correctly and it started. It started consistantly at least 5 times.

Did I learn anything from the experience? Yes, I can take the silly thing apart in my sleep now. I know how the shifter mechanism works intimately. Could I replace a tumbler, probably but I’m not sure I would try it when the temperature was below 50 degrees farenheit.

I would like to thank Ryan at Rover Cannibal for his generous offer to bring my truck down for the guys to look at it, again. I will take him up on that soon. Thanks to JagGuy in helping me
return the Taurus to Janie so she could get home after work and for his invaluable knowledge of automobiles of the British Isles (do they still call them that?).

Have a good winter. Talk to you next week.

December 3rd, 2002 (Post #14)

December 3, 2002
The Joys of Urban Living and Good Thing He was at the Garage
Garage Day is Saturday. With that in mind Friday after Thanksgiving was a crummy day. I went out to the curb to return the trash cans to the side of the house and there on the ground was my right rear lens protector and some red plastic. I looked at it an thought that’s strange. Then I looked at the truck, long scratch, and a torn quarter panel (with hole). Seems the City of Norman trashman put the retrieval arm of his large trash truck down the side of the Range Rover. Boy was I steamed. I called the City and they came out and assumed full responsibility and the driver returned and apologized.
Monday I went to get estimates for repair. Surprisingly the damage was anywhere from $1200-1400(US). Good grief! In the good ole days my Dad would have said lets pound it out and fill it with Bond-O. Well on a steel car maybe, aluminum who knows. We would have been out $200 with paint. I will have it repaired but the process to be paid by the city is tenuous so I will have to wait until they approve the repair at the City Council meeting someday in the future.
My arrival at work was greeted by several jokes. A sign with pictures of trash trucks and dumpsters from FordShortBed (a new evil woodworking superhero) that says “Stay away from these!!! They are dangerous!!!” stubbornly taped to my monitor. Also Titanium Hitch came in and said excitedly “come on, quick we gotta move the Rover there’s a trash truck in the parking lot!!” I almost got up and went out there. Ha Ha. I will keep you apprised and I will post some pics when I can get them back.

Almost a recovery…
JagGuy drove his Range Rover to Cajun Country (Baton Rouge) over the long weekend and back home. 1500 miles round trip. And after stopping at the Garage to pick up some stuff he came out put his truck in gear and a lound “BINK” came from under the truck. He had a CV joint fail. Wow, what luck that he was at the Garage when it happened. He called me on Monday and told me he had already taken it apart and was heading to Rover Cannibal to pick up a spare. He promised pictures and a write up for all of us. I will post it when he finishes it. It will give him a good reason to buy a digital camera if he didn’t already have one.