So much information, so little blog posts (Post #188) 7/19/2010

I am progressing at a leisurely pace on the Range Rover Restoration Part Duex. I have run out of funds for now and have changed gears a bit. I am now working on stuff that doesn’t require any supplies. Its also kinda hard to be motivated to “bust it out” when the temperature is 100+F in the garage. As RovErica said to me the other day when she came home after a long drive around town in her unairconditioned Ford Taurus, “I’m sweating balls out there.” As she said that, I remembered the good old days when I didn’t have air conditioning. Ahhh memories. Nothing motivates a kid more than suffering.

I have started to organize the pictures so the tasks can be broken down in to manageable pieces. This hopefully will prevent me from having novel sized posts about rust removal. I know WTH! I know how you all love to read about grinding rust but I’m sorry you will have to get your War and Peace sized fix of minutia of rust removal from some Jaguar or Jeep website. 

With some new tools, I have decided I could proceed with the rust portion of the project and pull the carpets in the front of the Rover and see what kind of damage is up there. I was NOT surprised to find rust. I was surprised to find holes. The good news is it was only two holes. The bad news is they are not in easy places to work. I also believe before long another seam will begin producing holes.

This is a picture underneath the passenger side seat. You can see the hole in the floor and the rust along the seam there. There is a bit of rust a little further back that is even worse than this. Therefore the entire passenger side seat and electrics will need to be removed to get to the problem spots. If I don’t, its only a matter of time before my passenger is ejected through the floor board. I only allow people I ACTUALLY LIKE to ride with me in the Range Rover so I should really try to fix this correctly. While I’m at it, I think moving the engine management computer to place higher up would be prudent. We’ll see how that all pans out when I get closer to reassembly.

I pulled the carpets and mats and to my surprise they were still wet two weeks after the last rain. We have had 90 plus degree heat for over a month and except for a drive during the flash flooding on July 4th she has just sat in the driveway. We did have quite a bit of rain during the early part of the month so I have to assume this rain is coming from somewhere above the rust. My first guess is the windshield seal. So add to the list of things to do, pulling the windshield and replacing the seam. More expense and more time. This will have to be professionally done for I have no way to pull the windshield. The guys across the pond on the TV show Wheeler Dealer hire this out and I will take their lead and do the same. If it’s good enough for Edd China, its good enough for me.

So with wet carpet and very, very wet sound pads coming out, are we at all surprised there is rust on the floor boards? Rhetorical question! Lets get a look at it.

In these pictures there is a pre and a post picture. The PRE pictures are before any grinding was done. There were some pads glued to the floor and they were very rusted underneath. The goal was to get to bare metal and remove the rust. I will probably hit all this one more time before the acid etching primer goes down and the entire area is covered in new sound deadening material.

Driver’s side

Passenger’s side

I mentioned two holes. It was somewhat comforting to find the stainless steel screw that holds the seat facia firmly embedded in the rusty metal. Here are the pre and post pics for each hole.

I think perhaps it looks worse than it really is. I stopped by JagGuy’s shop on Saturday to show him the pictures of all this rust. He said, “That ain’t rust.” He proceeded to show me a Jaguar with rust so bad entire sections of the body were gone. The surface rust I had was not even to be concerned about in his eyes. He says a liberal application of Rustoleum paint will slow down the rust. Even better would be some Waxoyl or the like. I’m still investigating which one I will go with.

So overall I felt pretty good about that. But he had not seen the footwell pictures yet. He had only seen the pictures from the rear of the Range Rover. And those my friends, will be in the next blog post.

Stay warm and Happy Rovering.

Garage preparation complete (Post #187) 7/14/2010

I set out on Saturday to get started on the now infamous Range Rover Restoration Part Duex. Hopefully it will be slightly more popular at the box office than the first restoration. Sometimes sequels don’t have near the success of the first episode.

I can site a few examples…

  • Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo
  • Caddyshack 2
  • Highlander 2: The Quickening
  • Grease 2

So with those stinkers out of the way, I’m hoping this sequel will be very successful, much like these sequels, that were better than their respective originals.

  • Christmas Vacation
  • Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior
  • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
  • Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
  • The Godfather: Part II
  • Aliens

So to get a production like this off the ground and guarantee success we have to hire great actors, we have to have a really great script, we have to prepare the garage for the beloved Range Rover.

I needed to move a lot of items to make room. I took the giant rocking chair back to mom’s house. I moved the historical reenacting stuff back up to the attic. And I basically just organized all the rest.

Now I know you are looking at that picture and saying, “You call that organized?” Here’s the deal, I couldn’t afford a “garage system” when we moved in. I wasn’t even sure what I needed and wasn’t about to drop a few grand for the fancy cabinet systems and have them under utilized. So I got some shelves and made due. I don’t even have a work bench. That is definitely one thing I miss. So with that said, there is a method to the madness, lets just hope I don’t have a stroke and forget where I put stuff.

In my neighborhood people use their garages as second living rooms, especially during the football season. I started to add some furniture so I could “entertain”. But me, being me, I just couldn’t have any furniture. So I made a chair out of an old Range Rover seat.
I also added the bench and driver’s chair from an M35. I have many fond memories of driving trucks in the Marine Corps and therefore I snagged these from one of my buddy’s M35 projects.

I couldn’t just toss these or bury them when the project started so I moved them to strategic places so they would still serve some function in the garage.

After I got the major items sorted and moved, I checked my supplies to make sure I have enough to get started on a project like this.

Beer? check. Soft drinks? check. Mustard? check. Giant jar of pickles? check. Music?

What kind of music do you listen to when you restore / work on your Rover? I prefer the classics. So I broke out a couple of my favorite greatest hits albums (she how I went old school there with the terminology?). The Essential Clash and The Cars Complete Greatest Hits.

How can anyone work on a British auto and not have some Clash on hand?

London’s burning! London’s burning!
All across the town, all across the night
Everybody’s driving with full headlights

Great stuff, good times, good times.

Okay back to the project at hand, getting the Range Rover into the garage. I moved the parking lot of cars from the driveway and lined the Range Rover up and moved her into her new birth for the next few months. Just like the last time, she fits.

She’s snug. I’ll have to work around the mower location and many items will need to be stored on top when I start stripping the interior out. But she’s in there.

I’m still considering a storage shed for some of the items I store in the garage. All the camping gear, the table saw, the furniture items, the wood scraps, the mower and trimmer, the fuels, the weight bench my son never used but we had to have (rolls eyes), all that could go into a storage shed and free up a “shit ton” of space.

Immediately I know I need to rethink how I am lighting the garage. More light is almost always a good idea. I need to look into some lighting options.

Well that’s it for now. I have already begun work and assessed the problems and have a couple of new ones to add to the list.

  • Sound deadening in the rear and under the bonnet (hood)
  • Rust removal and rust proofing

I’ve already discovered those two problems that I hadn’t thought of previously. I’ve always wondered why it takes people 2 or 3 years of work to restore a classic car. When you start on one you quickly learn about the huge amounts of time that “the little things” take up. Every little thing has to be addressed. And you can never estimate all the rust you will find. All of it has to be removed with extreme prejudice or you will just be back in there again removing what you probably should have taken care of the first time.

I will probably be a Waxoyl and Rustoleum expert when all this is done. There are a great many other new skills I’m going to have to master as well. Welding, body work and painting being three that immediately come to mind.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Not much going on (Post #143) 5/6/2009

Just a post to let my readers know,

  • I’m not dead
  • Not much is going on
  • Still have stuff to sell from my Discovery
  • My beloved Big White Bus is nearly mine again

We have one more payment on the now wrecked-totalled-dead Discovery 2 and it’s off to the auto lots to buy my wife and possibly my son cars. I also have the rims and some other bits I need to sell from the Discovery. And, I get to begin driving my beloved Range Rover Classic again.

A few projects wait for me.

  1. The sunroof is malfunctioning.
  2. Rust on the lower tail gate.
  3. Headliner will need to be replaced again.
  4. Viscous coupler needs to be replaced/rebuilt.
  5. The fluid in the passenger side floor board needs to be sorted.
  6. New radio.
  7. Tint the windows.
  8. Air condition needs to be repaired/recharged.

The sunroof will be a chore I’m afraid. It drops down to slide and then slides about an inch and then stops. I’m sure it is fixable, I’m not sure what it is causing the problem. This will be easily accessible when I pull the headliner for a replacement.

The rust on the tailgate is another of the normal problems with Range Rover Classics. I have all the stickers to repair and repaint and rebadge the lower gate. I’ve watched Edd China do this type of job on Wheeler Dealers so many times I’m sure with a little guidance from JagGuy I should be able to sort this out in a single Saturday in his shop. I need to protect my upper lift gate while I’m back there and will learn what he did to prevent his from rusting out. I will post the procedure when I have it done.

A new one at Atlantic British
The viscous coupler failure is a very annoying problem. And could be the most difficult of this list to fix. I’m thinking the repair will be a used replacement. I will then have one on the shelf to rebuild in case the used replacement fails me.

The wet floor boards is most likely a leaking wind screen seal. There are some small holes in the floor pan that need filling as well. I will pay a auto glass company to replace the seal and refit the window. It’s not worth it to mess with this when doing it wrong could cost me a wind screen and more wet floor boards. I will pull the carpets and seal the holes most likely with welding.

Tinting the windows is a necessity of driving in Oklahoma. The afternoon sun can bake you like a cake. The air conditioning since it was converted to R134a does not cool like the R12 did before. I will replace the expansion valve and get the system recharged. Hopefully it won’t be a continuing problem.

A new radio will be a nice addition. The stock unit has a famously failed display. A used replacement unit is a couple of hundred dollars. There is a fellow in Arkansas, Roverville Radio that refurbishes your unit for less than 200$(US).

If I can’t find a good unit on eBay, I think I’ll just buy a new “modern unit”. That way I can get Sirius OR an iPod OR a memory stick OR Bluetooth my phone OR whatever is available right now to get tunes in my Classic. I’m sure what ever I buy the next technology will be release a week after I have it installed. So get your money together this summer for your own sound system upgrade.

Undercoating? We don’t need no stinking undercoating (Post #142) 4/30/2009

Some Toyota Tundra owners are reportedly experiencing inordinately heavy amounts of premature rust, and they want the Japanese automaker to take action to address the problem. WCVB TV in Boston has been investigating the Toyota rust situation for about a year, and they’re reporting that at least two dozen 2000-2001 Tundra owners have complained to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Owners of 1995-2001 Toyota pickups say their vehicles had inadequate corrosion protection, and many feel that the automaker should recall the vehicles.

Wow! I thought Land Rovers were rust buckets. I’ve never seen any Land Rover that badly rusted. I will say though, that I live in a nearly perfect climate for Land Rovers.

Click the pic for the story.

And of course the original…

I’ve discussed on a number of occasions a couple of place you should check your Land Rovers for rust. Namely everywhere…wait, no, mostly the floor pans and rear gates of the Range Rover Classics and the cross support on the Land Rover Discovery.

I’ve had floor pans rust out on a Dodge Ram pickup. And I used to ride around in a JagGuy’s Ford Falcon that had liberated speed limit signs for floor boards due to the rust on that body.

JagGuy's Falcon didn't look anything like this one

Rust is not any fun on a classic automobile, let alone on a new model. So if you haven’t made a point of taking up the carpets in your Land Rover I highly recommend it. You need to nip that rust in the bud as soon as you find it. Otherwise you will be doing the difficult and unpleasant work of replacing panels and other parts lost to this silent killer. (almost sounds like an infomercial doesn’t it)

There are lots of solutions for your rust problems. I urge you to research them before you are buying a complete frame or worse, scraping a beloved Land Rover.

Happy Rovering and thanks for reading.

Rust! (Post #85) 8/20/2007

When I went to change the transaxle oil I had to remove the support beam that runs across the frame just below the transaxle.
And I was shocked to find some really nasty rust.This is not good. And it was badly coroded. I ran the wire brush and a wire wheel on a drill across it as much as I could. I then sprayed it with brake cleaner on the under side. On the beam I washed the brushed part with alcohol and then on both I used the air to dry them.
I then put some self etching primer on it. Mostly to annoy the rust until I can get under there and grind off the rust and repaint the parts.
I’m not sure a set of washers between the bracket and the frame wouldn’t be a bad idea. At least then it would mostly dry after it gets wet. Instead of that water sitting in between and rusting.
I would highly recommend any one with a Discovery with such a support beam get under there and take care of the rust IMMEDIATELY.
Thanks for reading and happy rovering.

August 2nd, 2004 (Post #49)

August 2nd, 2004
Rust the bain of all autos
Tomorrow my lovely wife and I will celebrate 15 years married. That is an accomplishment here in the middle lands of America. With a 50% divorce rate it seems to be harder for some than for others. Thank you for staying with me all these years. You are the best accessory a guy could have to make the Rover worth riding in.

Rust. Rust is popping up on the rear door. It seems to stay wet back there. I will probably look at replacing the rubber back there soon and to look at stripping the rust off and ending that problem for the time being. My buddy the Titanium Hitch has used some POR-15. He is in the process of using it on his old Ford pickup’s roof to stop the rust which is all over it. He doesn’t have anything to report yet.

Ozzie at Ozzie’s Offroad has recently used some POR-15 also. He promises some pictures and that always means some writing too. Anyway the rear lid needs some work and I will take the opportunity to fix the lock back there too. I don’t think it works like it’s supposed to. I’ll do a write up on it as I start on it look for it in the Tech Tips section. The rain has stopped for a while so it would be a good time to start on it.

I’m gonna pull up the carpet in the front and try to clean it as I did in the back. This will also give me an opportunity to check out the rust I fear is under my feet as I motor about.

I’m gonna add an avatar for any medical things that happen to me when I work on the truck. Maybe I’ll add pictures of the injuries too! The last one was the wrench slipping out of my hand and hitting me in the nose. Right on the bridge and now I have a lovely popping sound when I fiddle with my nose. On the CV joint repair I described the ginsu bracket and the new scar I got from that. So look for the red cross somewhere on the new articles.