Fender Repair Part 5, MORE Crappy Welding of the Large Fender Patch (Post #622) September 2-3, 2023

Super happy

In this installment I finish the left rear fender panel. And by finish I mean I had to completed replace the outer fender I had previously welded up. I added a strap to attach the inner fender to the outer fender.

The outer fender’s welds were compromised because I ran out of shielding gas halfway through. The panel was 16 gauge and I swapped it with an 18 gauge. The right thing to do was replace it and “do it right”.

Now, I’m no body man and right to me is probably not right to someone who actually knows what they are doing. As I mentioned in the video I need another 10 or 20 years of welding experience to be “competent”. Over all I’m a lot happier with this replaced panel. The 16 gauge panel would not have worked. It would not have been watertight no matter what I did.

I covered everything with yet another coating of primer. I also put seam sealer in the appropriate places. This only seemed prudent as I am almost certain this will rust again. My hope is it will take at least 20 years to rust out.

I thought some of the welding went a lot better than the previous attempts. I want to say, “I’m getting better.” but I’m pretty sure I’m fooling myself. Most people could probably weld if shown how and a little practice. Welding WELL however is really hard.

So add to the fact I’m saying welding is hard…and welding UPSIDE DOWN is another level. We did not go over this scenario in my class. I’m half tempted to take the class again and do the entire class upside down. I finally figured out the I could weld sideways that worked pretty good. Even with my new sideways technique it didn’t stop me from getting some new holes in my PPE and my skin from hot slag dripping down. My grandson Grady was horrified by the scab in the crook of my elbow. The chunk that got me on the chest made a similar hole there.

I also did quite a bit of cutting and the sparks flying back on me warmed me up a bit. Thankfully my Round House Overalls1 deflected the sparks and only “warmed” my family package. If you remember this post from December 2010, “The one where I catch myself on fire in the furtherance of Land Rovering” [Okierover] I caught myself on fire cutting the passenger side floor panel. What I learned from that was:

  • Blue jeans are not safety gear and are a sad substitute for PPE.
  • Longjohns [IBC] (aka long handles [Collins], thermal underwear, etc…) will keep the flame off you for a brief time.
  • Your best friends don’t want you harmed, but also want to take videos of you when you are on fire so they can tease you later.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering

1This is my unsponsored review of Round House Brown Duck Overalls. It is a solid 10 out of 10. They are made in Shawnee Oklahoma (Home of Brad Pitt) and at $60.00 a pair (on sale at the time of this posting) a real bargain. 

Fender Repair Part 4, Fixing My Crappy Welding of the Large Fender Patch (Post #621) August 27, 2023

The weather cooperated, but my back didn’t so much. The temperature was mostly pleasant compared to the scorchers we’ve had lately. My back however was not very cooperative. I’m pretty sore after just a few hours of work.

The work on the fender from the last post was, pretty terrible. I had trouble shaping the 16 gauge steel. The patch after shaping was also the wrong size. Couple that with running out of shielding gas and my welds being pretty terrible, I needed to start over. Without shielding gas protection you have a brittle weak welds. Not to mention holes in your weld called porosity.

I cut the patch out with a cutting wheel. Some of the welds were actually pretty good, so I must have run out part way through the welding. I made a patch with a piece of paper and cut out a new patch out of 20 gauge steel. When I was getting the shielding gas at Chickasha Industrial I noticed they had a lot of steel in the shop area. Turns out they sell steel. So I picked up a few “cutoff” pieces for a good price.

The new patch with some help from a ingenious use of a 2×4 and a bottle jack fit nicely. I welded it in and it worked out pretty well. I struggled with one spot when the welding blew through a thin patch of original fender. With some creative welding I got the holes patched.

I still have to weld up the underside. Welding upside down is difficult. I’m going to have to figure out how to do that. Maybe watch some Youtube videos or something.

I will use the 16 gauge steel to reinforce the 20 gauge and weld in the seat belt mount. I don’t plan on having seat belts in the rear again but if I did, I’d need a place to mount them.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

http://Patreon.com/Okierover

Fender Repair Part 2, Welding Patches (Post #618) August 5, 2023

Welding the corner

Today started out “cool”. At least it was cool for an August on the southern plains. The temp was lower than I thought and clouds covered the northern sky and looked to be moving south. This usually says we are going to get a break in the hot temps. We’ve been 24 days without rain. But with all things weather in Oklahoma, a full cloud cover did not offer any relief from the heat.

Regardless I need to make some progress on the Big White Bus if I’m ever going to drive her again. So after a little bit of trimming of the hedgerow between my neighbor and our house I got to work. Sticking with the theme of welding for this summer, repairing the rust in the fender seemed like a great idea.

I had four places in the fender that needed repair before I started today. I am now down to two. I repaired a small rust spot and repaired the corner of the fender.

I fixed one spot with a simple rectangle and welded it up in short order.

The corner was a complicated piece to fix. The patch for the corner was somewhat shaped like a trough? I don’t have the tools to make that happen. I tried hammering a piece of 16 gauge into a trough but really didn’t have any luck.

I got a bit of inspiration and decided that if I put the patch in and shaped it like one of the complex sides I could perhaps hammer it to fit the other complex shape. So with a bunch of vise-grips I got the patch in place and went to work with the hammer. I worked from the back of the piece to the front and continued until it was in the right shape. To say I was surprised it worked that well was an understatement.

I tacked it into place and began attempting to weld it in place. While not a perfect job, I think it will work and will keep the water out of the truck. I welded both the inside and outside of the patch. This was mostly in a vain attempt to make it a water proof solution. I know I’m fooling myself that it is.

So the final step in the fender repair well will be to give the entire underside a healthy coat of bedliner. I will do this on all four corners once I am done with the repairs.

I am still trying to source the bed panel. There are some in England, but I haven’t found one on this side of the pond yet. I have a Facebook contact that might do a bulk purchase and have some shipped over. I am hoping this works out. I am pretty sure I could order the panel and the support pieces but the shipping is ridiculous. Like, more expensive than the parts.

There were some issues with the video. The sound decided not to record on two sections. No camera changes were made…just no sound. I did a voice over for those sections. Also the shop was too hot for the GoPro to work and after two segments it shut down. I stuck it on the portable air conditioner to get it back to operating temp twice.

There are the last two sections for this fender, the “big hole” and “the strap” as I am referring to them now. Once those are done this fender is COMPLETED! Progress will have been made!

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

https://youtu.be/1l3uGyghxcA

Fender Repair Part 1, Welding Patches (Post #616) July 25, 2023

Welding a patch for the body mount

I finally broke down and welded something on my Range Rover. While I will admit freely, I am NOT a welder, but I did enjoy getting the patches welded on. I took a few hours the day before this video was shot to “practice” welding with some scraps I had cut off the Big White Bus.

One of the difficulties is the metal on the Range Rover and the metal I am patching with are different thicknesses. I believe the OEM body panels are 18 gauge whereas my patching material is 16 gauge. I watched a YouTube video where a young man from Weld.com showed how he setup his welder to weld different thicknesses. It’s pretty good stuff and I recommend it if you are still wondering how to setup your welder and what settings you might want to start with. His settings for 18 and 16 weren’t different so I just need to find the same settings he suggested and convert those values to the letter equivalent on my Lincoln MIG Pro 180.

I also watched a fellow from Make It Kustom that has some great tips on welding and patch making. Good stuff there too. This guy is obviously an artist and I imagine has, “done this a time or two.”

In my video there is a lot of grinding and sparks flying and hopefully some good tips to help you weld your patches on your Range Rover Classic. I sped a lot of it up so I’m not consuming a lot of your life watching my low grade videos.

The camera overheated at the end for the second time that day. The temp inside the shoppe was above 110°F (which is 43.3°C for you metric system types). Yeah that’s pretty hot for this old man. I’m seriously going to investigate getting an exhaust fan installed to pull the hot air out.

Overall I’m pretty excited that I can weld stuff. I did fix a yard swing that one of our trees landed on and crushed. I’m looking forward to finishing the welding on the rust and turn my attention to making stuff like a 270 degree awning, a rear bumper, and lots of other stuff.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering

Fender Prep the Mud Flap Post (Post #614) July 9, 2023

Mudflap Removal

In this installment of me removing rust I work on the mud flaps. They were in the way of me grinding the rust spots in the wheel well. So I removed them, and good thing I did. The driver’s side (port side) mud flap steel was nearly rusted through under the flap.

The pitting was impressive and the amount of rust stuck on the flap was amusing too. So instead of welding my rust holes in the wheel well I had to take a day to fix the mud flaps. I went ahead and did both sides. The passenger side (starboard side) did not exhibit the same amount of rust as the other.

I got them cleaned off and applied the Duplicolor Rust Preventative to them. This is the stuff that is supposed to take surface rust and transform it into “not rust”. Through the magic of chemistry this “paint” converts the rust to I’m guessing zinc? hell I don’t know I got a “D” in Chemstry 1 and Chemistry 2 at the University of Oklahoma. In my defense, I drank more than I studied, and I had a nearly full-time job, and served a weekend a month as a Field Artilleryman in the USMCR.

Whatever, it’s magic and I’m not likely to do that job again on this Range Rover. Once I’m ready to reinstall them they will also receive a coating of rattle-can bedliner/rhino lining/stone seal or whatever they call this stuff in other countries.

The week had a lot more work done and filmed but I’ve run out of time as it is now Sunday. I’ll post another video this week of the rust cutting and removal under the fender well.

As we say here in Oklahoma, my hands and knees and back hurt “something fierce” [Merriam-Webster]. I haven’t done this much wrenching/grinding/hammering in at least a year. I ain’t gettin’ any younger so I gotta play through the pain.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

https://youtu.be/XD7j-UGb3eU
Grinding makes me happy.

30 Years of Sun Have Destroyed My Dash Vents (Post #610) 5/30/2023

Rocky Mountain Rover Printed Parts
Rocky Mountain Printed Rover Parts Find them on Facebook

The sun is very hard on your plastic parts. Oklahoma City (the nearest metropolis) receives an average of 235 days of sunlight every year. That means about 68% of the time the sun is shining down on our British rust buckets providing something like 3,089 hours of sun in an average year. And all that sun with its ultraviolet rays really does a number of certain kinds of plastics. This is an excerpt from “UV and its effect on plastics: an overview” [www.essentracomponents.com].

But what about plastic – how is it affected by the varying types of UV?

If plastic has been affected by ultraviolet rays, you may notice:a

  • a chalky appearance
  • the component surface becoming brittle
  • a color change on the surface of the material

In terms of the components more likely to be at risk of UV damage, automotive parts are high on the list. The effects will predominantly result in a change of the material’s surface layer – and some plastics, if damaged by UV, will ultimately lead to the component failing altogether – not good news when a project is near completion or has been finalized.

If you need to know more about the sun’s effect on plastic head over there for details.

So what did I do to slow the inevitable? I’ve painted my surfaces and given them a coat of matte finish sealer. Will it work, probably not! But at least I tried something. Only time will tell.

As you will see in the video below, my dash vents are knackered. I reached out to some vehicle-parters and wasn’t happy with the parts they offered. I mean, I’m going to buy 30 year old vents that haven’t had quite as many hours of sun on them than mine? Nah. Then I stumbled on Rocky Mountain Printed Rover Parts [Facebook]. I messaged Jordan and asked if he had the vents. He said he would need to make them and sure enough he did. I ordered 4. I painted two of them to match the new dash color and as you will see in the video got them installed.

Two things need to be adapted, no holes in the sides for the vent hose adapter and the pins for the restrictor plate were not defined enough for the plate to stay in place. So I drilled the holes and glued the plate on. I used 1/8th pop rivets so I drilled a 9/64th hole and popped them in.

Pro Tip: Drill the holes where it will be easiest to use the pop rivet tool to install the rivets. Think about it and lay it out first.

I’m super happy I found him. I mentioned the vents in the D pillar would probably be another great item to 3d print. He agreed.

I bought these, they weren’t given to me for any publicity. I like supporting innovation and small businesses. I hope he does well in this venture. So if you are interested, give Jordan a message or email at RMRPrintedParts@gmail.com.

Thanks for visiting and Happy Rovering.

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