Footwell Repair Part 3: Investi-Disassembly (Post #651) 4/12/2024

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Will this ever end?

I think I know the answer to that. But I have to show my exasperation. This rust find is possibly the worst thing ever. It’s in the most terrible of locations.

Mrs. Okierover said, “Maybe you should call it Rusty Rover instead of Okierover.”
She’s not wrong.

Every where there’s red its rusted through.

It’s as bad as you can imagine. There are at least four different panels converge in this area to form the firewall, fender well, and the foot well.

There are a LOT of peripherals that run through there too. Including the fuel lines which I may have nicked when I was air chiseling the panels out. If you’ve followed the blog for very long (at least since 2010) you’ve seen The Evil German Dude and I attempt to fix the floor pan when it rusted out.

We had fun, but we failed to keep the water out and our work finally failed. I had an ongoing issue with water getting in and wetting the fargin’ OPEN CELL floor pads under the carpets. The carpets too we constantly wet. I found the place where water was getting in making the carpet wet. It was through the firewall at the corner where it married up to the side wall.

As you will see in the video, this rust is bad. Real bad. The repair is going to be really difficult and probably beyond my skill set. That being said, I have to fix it myself. There is no money to send it off. The body work itself would likely cost more than the entire vehicle is worth.

I’ve still got a LOT of work to do. I need to find a solution. It will probably be welding several panels together. I’ll need to study it more to make my mind up.

I stared at it at least an hour while I shot the video. Still struggled to sort out a concrete idea.

I am going back out the weekend this is published as OkieF150. We are going to the 200th Celebration of Fort Gibson. Fort Gibson is the oldest town in Oklahoma. Way back when it was still Indian Territory the United States needed a fort to protect the trade from this area.

We are going to make a weekend out of it and I’m hoping we can get some fishing in while we are at it. This will be the last overlanding trip for this year as I will be spending every weekend for the rest of the year trying to sort out all these issues.

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Footwell Repair Part 2: Disassembly (Post #649) 3/24/2024

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In this installment I begin the disassembly of the front fender to expose more rust. And I was NOT disappointed. I found just about what I expected. A rusted through footwell. On a positive note…I think I found where the water was getting in to soak my carpets. I have no idea how to correct it, but at least I found it.

In order to get to all the rust the front fender had to come off. I encountered a bunch of rusted screws and bolts. I had to cut several of them off. I even used an air chisel to remove some spring type U nuts (yeah I had to look that name up, I had no idea what they were called). I can tell you they were a bitch to remove. But after you deconstruct them a bit they came right off. I’ll likely replace the U nuts with stainless steel bolts and nuts.

The fender didn’t put up much resistance after I got the U nuts off. I then had to remove a plastic fender piece. You can probably guess that the plastic clips weren’t going to survive being taken off.

Underneath I found a lot of surface rust. I put the angle grinder with a wire wheel to work. I cleaned up some of the rust and found a bunch of really bad metal.

In the seem between the wheel well and the footwell I found what I think is the source of my wet carpets. This spot is going to be hard to fix. I don’t know what needs to be cut away and what needs to be welded on.

Inside where this failed bulkhead is is covered with Fat Mat. That will need to be removed. Heat gun and patience I hope will assist me in getting it removed. There is a nice cluster of wires and relays right there too. So joy of joys I’ll get to relocated all that too!!! Woot!

I also took the lug nuts and cleaned all the rust off them. I have the first coat of paint on them. They’ll get a second before I put them back on.

That’s about it for this week. I got to watch some severe weather out in western Oklahoma on Sunday. It all petered out before it got to the Okierover Base Camp.

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Footwell Repair Part 1 (Post #648) 3/17/2024

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“Just When I Thought I Was Out, They Pull Me Back In!”

– Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) in Godfather: Part 3 (1990)

That’s how I feel every time I find a new rust patch that is going to require a major repair. I have already repaired the passenger side footwell. You can check that post out here…

Good times….

Investigating the rusted panel has revealed the patch rusted out. This is going to be a complicated repair this time. This time, I have to figure out how to connect the new panel to the side wall of the footwell.

I’m not sure I have the tools or the talent frankly to bend the steel and to shape one side at a 90 degree angle. Sorta like this image but with more curve in the panel.

Or that’s what my pea-sized caveman brain thinks I need. I haven’t found any videos on line demonstrating how to do this complicated piece. Even Church House Classics [YouTube] didn’t have it in his latest video. I’ve got a couple of ideas how this is going to go. None of those ideas seem easy at this point. They make a replacement footwell but there are none in America. It’s a $60.00(US) part that costs $86.00(US) to ship.

Once I get all the rust removed this project may reveal itself. At least that’s what I’m telling myself. Once I complete this I have to up to the front wheel well and get the surface rust under control. It never stops, and I keep getting pulled back in!

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Footwell Repair

B Pillar Post Repair Part 2 (Post #647) 3/10/2024

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Part 2 of a 2 part video series for repair of the B Pillar. In this video I cut (poorly) and weld (even more poorly) the premanufactured B pillar end cap on to the Big White Bus.

All the measuring in the world could not have prevented me from screwing up the B pillar end cap. Not having the right tool, I should have used a bandsaw for the cut, led to me making a bad cut. Probably didn’t help that my measurement was off by 1/8 of an inch. Leading me to attempt to bridge that gap with welds. I had…mixed results.

I was careful, real careful, measured more than once. None of that kept me from cutting this wrong. What’s worse cutting too long and then cutting too much off trying to fix it OR cutting it too short on the first try???!!!?

Thankfully this entire section will be reinforced and protected with a rock slider at some point in the future. My worst fear is this rusting out again. Or maybe its not… at some point this entire vehicle may become scrap. Only the Fates know.

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Thanks for reading and as always Happy Rovering.

Getting close to finishing this side.

Hyperlink to the video

B Pillar Post Repair Part 1 (Post #646) 3/3/2024

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In this video I start the repairs on the B Pillar. As you have seen it rusted out. I was able to find a replacement part from YRM. It cost the equivalent to a really nice bottle of rum to ship it over from England. The shipping was as much as the part. Such is the world of British vehicles and getting parts from the motherland I guess.

This repair involved removing the passenger side rear door. The workshop manual was very helpful. I actually read the instructions. Three C clips and some liquid persuasion (Liquid Wrench).

I got the bottom of the post cut off. I should have scribed a straight line and cut along it. But I’m a moron. I got to use my new air chisel, that was kinda cool. That coupled with my new air compressor worked quite well.

I got the bottom of the B pillar off and made a template for the sill where I had to patch it. The really terrible lines I cut made the repair patch pretty hard to work with. A better way would have been to make a template, place the template on the sill and cut around it. Live and learn I guess.

But I finally got it made. I think it looks pretty good. I mean, I’m not a professional auto body guy. I put primer on everything. The entire sill should probably be sprayed with bedliner/stonechip/whatever. There will be rock sliders built and installed so I’m not worried about the structural quality of my welds. The entire weight of the sill will be distributed across the sill in the end.

Off camera I also cleaned off some of the rubberized underbody and wire wheeled a bunch of rust off. The welds of the floor repair the Evil German and I completed a while back were rusting. I got the rust removed and got primer on it. It’s now ready for some stonechip seal/bedliner stuff.

Also off camera I found that the floor repair we fixed has completely failed. The rust was really bad. I have another repair to sort out now. This one was a gut punch because I was hoping to wrap up all the rust except for the rear floor panel. Heavy sigh…..

As my son said, “Rut row Shaggy.”

If you were wondering why I jumped from Post #642 to #645, I posted two videos without accompanying blog posts. You can check them out here on these two links.

OKC Overland Meetup February 2024 (Post #643) 2/18/2024

More Rust (Short) (Post #644) 2/19/2024 (which you see above)

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Mmmm templates…..

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Part 6: Welding Patches in the Rear Wheel Well (Post #642) February 3, 2024

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I’m getting real close to finishing the C pillar repairs. I had one final repair to finish. The patch over the rust at the bottom of the C pillar. If you know Range Rover Classics this is where the sunroof drain comes out and runs down the back of the wheel well. This is a popular place for rust to setup shop and eat your precious Range Rover Classic.

So instead of “fixing it” just like it was designed, which was poorly executed. Poorly because they didn’t protect any of the inside surfaces. Poorly because, seriously, holes in a wheel well where water, salt, sand, dirt, animal parts, and just about anything else you can imagine can hide? Super stupid. That sounds harsh, but you shouldn’t design an offroad vehicle that descended from the amazing history of Land Rovers in such a way that you can’t use it in the environments it was designed to live in.

I spent a lot of effort to shape the patch. I also devised a way to hold it in place so I could weld it there. A strategically placed bottle jack and a length of pipe. I called it the trapeze of stupidity in the video. I’ve done dumber things. This one actually worked really well.

After turning up the welder a tad, and increasing the wire speed to compensate the upside downed-ness of this welding. I saw a couple of videos where guys were welding some structural steel and they suggested uping the wire speed and voltage. That seemed to work. My problems were with the primer I painted on the fender and the patch. And at some point I think my ground was not very good. This lead to some very poor welds which I had to grind off…. several times. Eventually I got everything sorted out and the welds started holding.

Once I had the patch in place and covered in primer I took a look at the rest of the rear quarter panel. I cleaned up some surface rust and coated it with primer. I know this is only to slow the rust down but it felt good to do it.

I got all the patches on the quarter panel covered in seam sealer. Everything also got a final coat of primer. Over the primer, under the wheel well, I put on two coats of rattle can bedliner. It is my sincere hope that this will keep some rust at bay for at least a few years.

I have all the wrap up to do now including reassembling the quarter panel and reinstalling the mud flap assembly. That will be the next video. After that, I will be working on the passenger side B pillar.

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