Footwell Repair Part 8: Finishing an “L” for the Bulkhead (Post #655) 5/26/2024

I have some good news and I have some bad news….

The good news…I have the swimming pool setup and I’ve been in it twice this weekend.

The bad news…I still suck at welding. In my defense this part of the Range Rover Classic is a mish-mash of panels converging into a very small space. There are no less that three different pieces in this area that are plug welded and the gaps filled with seam sealer. In a future video when I build the rest of of the upper wheel well, I will point out the three layers of panels that go into building the wheel well. It’s so convoluted that screws were even used to hold the parts together. SCREWS!

Anyway. I build my replacement parts and attempted to get them married together. Ironically I have three pieces of metal to get this done. Well four if you count the patch of the side bulkhead.

Did I say it was hard to weld under there? NO? Well it’s damn hard to weld under there. You have basically two positions. Mashed up against the wheel hub and laying on the ground with welding slag (molten metal) falling on you. Both, super awesome as you can well imagine.

I said I was swimming earlier in this post. While sitting on the patio drying off Mrs. Okierover noted the weird red scratches on my right arm. I told her they were from being mashed up against the hub.

Manufacturing the repair pieces was a bit of folly too. I had to make the “L” three times. First time was an experiment to see if I could make a bended L. The second was because I measured the piece without the floor panel in the right place. The third time was a charm or I decided that was going to be the last time I made it and I made it work.

Don’t get me wrong, careful thought was expended. A LOT of thought. And in the end I was still wrong but not by much.

With a lot of clamping and grinding and grunting I have the pieces welded together. The welds are ugly. A lot of seam sealer will be used to discourage water from coming in these seams. Probably about as much as was used by the factor but the difference is my metal is covered with primer. Theirs was not. To protect this section I will rely on primer, at least three coats. Rust encapsulator will also be liberally applied. And over that, rhino/bed liner. Inside the cab will also be a layer of Fat Mat.

Will all this work and product prevent rust? Probably not. Who are we kidding? The Range Rover Classic was built to rust. The goal was that it rusted out on the second or third owner. I had the added bad luck that my Range Rover was a victim of a front end wreck before I owned it. Sports and Classics did the best they could to weld a donor front end on to the rear half. And I’m doing my best to keep rust at bay the best I can.

There were 19 segments filmed over two days. I left a lot of the welding out of the video. Mostly because it was difficult enough for me to get into place to weld, there really wasn’t any room for a camera.

It was hot in the shoppe too. Temps at or above 100F (37.8 C for those of you living in countries that have never had a man on the moon). The camera overheats when I’m filming in these temps. So the camera sat on the air conditioner when I wasn’t filming. I wonder if anyone makes a camera that can do warmer temps? My next camera will be evaluated for temps.

This weekend was Memorial Day.
Freedom is not free. So many have given everything they had to keep you free.
Remember those and their great sacrifice.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

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Surface Rust Under the Passenger Side Fender (Post #635) 12/18/2023

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In this short video I take care of the surface rust I found under the passenger side fender. There were some unpainted surfaces notably under the rubber washers at the top of the quarter panel. There were also some pin hole spots of rust.

They look like dirty spots until you put the wire wheel on them. Is that primer? this stuff Land Rover used under the panel just flaked off in spots. In the video there is a segment that has some leopard spots…that’s where the paint just came off.

The two rust spots in the arch will be ground down again. I don’t think I need to fix them, just stop the rust. The holes are on the outside of the vehicle so water getting in won’t be from these two spots.

I wire wheel all the rust I could see. Then I washed the panel with acetone. This was to remove any lingering dust, dirt, oil, whatever.

I then coated the panel with primer in a green color I really like. I could see myself driving a vehicle painted like that. I’ll watch the weather and give it all a second coat when it warms up a bit. The temp in the shoppe was 54F when I started the work and 52F when I started painting. That’s just barely above the paint range listed on the side of the can.

A big shout out to my fans in Norway. 31 views from that country on 12/12! Tusen takk!

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Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Reviewing the Painting of the Interior Trim (Post #628) October 16, 2023

I painted the interior trim last year. I didn’t publish it…not sure why. Anyway, I cover some of the details of painting the interior trim while looking like Kip from Kip’s Big Boy fame. We had a Kip’s in OKC 40+ years ago…I remember eating there once.

Anyway…I guess I hadn’t looked in the mirror that day and my hair is doing it’s own thing. And apparently I can’t dress myself either. I’m slowly moving toward “crazy old man who don’t give a damn” mode.

In this installment I talk about my work on the interior and what might be next. Like stripping the shellac off the wood trim and re-staining it a darker color to match the dark chocolate interior.

I added two USB charging ports that show the voltage from the battery. I don’t smoke in the Big White Bus so I really didn’t need the cigarette lighters. These are way more functional for all the USB powered “everythings” that we all need to carry. I’m fooling myself that I only need four of these. When I wire up the rest of the battery system for the back I’ll have quite a few more that will be pulling from the auxiliary battery I’m planning to have onboard.

It’s a short video shot back in November of 2022.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Door Card Refurbishing (Post #605) 3/21/2023

Door cards

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness. – Oscar Wilde.

I’ve put together a video of me assembling the refurbished door cards for the Range Rover Classic. I didn’t record an intro nor did I record an outro. It’s just me assembling the cards. If you watch the Working Axle YouTube channel [YouTube.com] you will see some of the prettiest videos. If you aren’t watching him, you are missing out. His videos are simple, cinematic, and yet informative, and he doesn’t say a lot. So this is my homage to his brilliant work. Unfortunately for you, my videos aren’t as pretty or well shot, suck to be you, never-the-less I appreciate you visiting me and sincerely hope this content assists you.

So there’s no pithy commentary. I had to stop at one point and run to the hardware store to get more nuts and bolts. Just some assembling of door cards.

Brown is back!!! I think these door cards look great now with a new coat of paint. The dark brown is very similar to some of the interiors of modern cars today. I seriously looked at getting dark brown seat covers. But in the end I went with the Knightsbridge seat covers so they ain’t going to be brown.

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Thanks for visiting and Happy Rovering.

Painting My Dash (Post #600) 9/19/2022

6 minutes of rambling about painting and rust.

My dash looks like hell. The sun has really taken it’s toll on the plastic. Several places are starting to turn into dust. It also is no longer uniform in color and some pieces aren’t even close to the original color. That color was/is Bokhara Green. Named from the color often found in oriental rugs from the Bokhara district of Turkestan. Traditionally made by the Turkmen tribes, the rugs were made almost entirely from locally obtained materials. Using wool from the herds and vegetable dyes, or other natural dyes from the land to create the Bokhara green color.

In my extensive research (30 minutes of distracted Google searching), I could not find a paint code I could take to a paint store. Nor could I find a can of paint on my side of the big pond (the Atlantic Ocean). You can’t ship paint, believe it or not, its flammable (the more you know…).

Before we get too far into this post…a disclaimer:

I have no idea if painting the plastic parts of my dash is going to work. I did not do any extensive research on best practices or if the products I had available would even bond properly with my very sun damaged dash. Undertake this at your own risk.

With OEM Bokhara Green unavailable, I started looking for colors and stumbled across Rust-Oleum Specialty Flat Earth Brown Camouflage Spray Paint [Ace Hardware]. I originally found the green color but once I saw the brown…I knew that was it.

I painted the dash pieces and have decided that the “flat” and “powdery” nature of this paint is going to be difficult to clean up later. Dust and whatever that will inevitably find its way on to these parts is going to be hard to wipe off. So I decided to experiment with coating the paint with a matte clear. It will also help with keeping the sun off the plastic. UV protection is right there on the label.

I stopped at the store on the way home and picked up the Matte Clear. I tested it on a piece of trim. It dried to a matte finish. This is a second wet coat in the picture.

Un-coated above, Matte finish below

I’ve got a bunch more work to do. I found some more rust on the floorboard in the cargo area. To get this fixed I’m going to need to cut the floorboard out and patch it. The floorboard is supported by a piece of steel that is very rusted and failing in several places. To do this right, I need to replace the steel that is failing. I don’t know what that will entail at this time.

Rusty hole in the floorboard in the cargo area.

I also popped for this ridiculously expensive rust paint.

Hopefully this will magically do what it says it will do.

This paint was insanely expensive. Like 160$(US) for this gallon. I’m not going to lie, I’ve got high hopes for this stuff. Everything I’ve painted on this Range Rover has already begun to have surface rust. I see these types of products used on the YouTubes and TV shows and I’m hoping it works as well as it appears to in the magic of television and the interwebs.

To replace the rusted bits, I’m going to check with Mickey at Mickey’s Garage [Mickey’s Garage] as he indicated on the Facebook that he may have a donor vehicle that I could perhaps get some parts from.

Every one of these “new discoveries” just postpone the day I will get to drive the Big White Bus for pleasure again. It’s frustrating, but it is what it is. I need to fix this rust. The things I want to use this vehicle for will require the flooring to be fixed. No reason to spend a few hundred dollars on building a bed and drawer solution if its just going to get ruined when water gets inside. It’s fun to fix stuff…right? Am I having fun? I’m not sure yet.

My friend the Evil German Dude gave me some excellent advise recently. “You’ve got to leave work at work, and put things behind you so you can go out to the shop and do things you WANT to do.” He’s right, I’ve been very distracted by home repair, nursing our dog back to health again, and I have neglected myself and my wants and needs.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

D Pillar Vinyl Replacement, Part 1 (Post #596) 3/24/2022

D Pillar Vinyl Replacement

In this video post I investigate my cracking vinyl on the D pillar of the Big White Bus. The Southern Plains is very unforgiving to fabric, even plastic fabric. Mine is cracking and looking pretty terrible. Time to pull it off and get it replaced.

I’m going to need to refresh the black paint on all the pillars and the door frames. I found the part number for a rattle can of Beluga Black. Lots of cleaning, light sanding, cleaning, taping, priming, sanding, and painting, and more painting coming this summer.

And…the headliner is going to need either regluing or replacing…..again. I might go with a fabric that I can stick my souvenir event patches can stick to, just.like.a.real.overlander.

I also find a lovely whole rusted in the passenger side D pillar that will need some repair. Lots of grinding away the rust (rust abatement), welding in a new piece of metal, priming and painting. Good thing I took a welding class last year.

This is part one of possibly two or three videos.

Thanks for watching and Happy Rovering.