I’ve always wanted to do this (Post #268) 10/7/2011

I’ve always wanted to do this.

TULSA, Oklahoma — People driving westbound on I-44 near the Lewis exit were warned to be on the lookout for zombies Thursday.

So far no zombies have been reported in the area. Nice touch on the end of that report.

That’s classic. Well played.

Thursday night I pulled the radiator out of the Range Rover Classic. As I reported to you last, the radiator has developed a leak. I knew it was leaking a bit around the fill port but it has since developed a crack to the inside of that and was leaking a decent amount of coolant. Also I was completely unable to remove the fill plug. My attempts jacked it up pretty good too. Brass just doesn’t hold up well. Perhaps some copper lube when it is reinstalled.

I reported also that there were no radiator repair shoppes in Norman, Oklahoma. So far to my knowledge I am correct. Jennings Garage advertises that they are a “radiator shop”. When I called them they said they stopped working on radiators and now only “swap them out”.

This lead me to speculate about the reasons these shops have gotten more scarce. I am betting a dollar on some sort of regulation, either the E.P.A. or some other. I’m sure the vat of acid and associated chemicals must be a nightmare of paper work for a small shop. I will ask Osborn’s Radiator Shop today when I stop by and drop off my radiator.

The removal reminded me that I wanted to swap my mechanical fan for a set of electric ones. My research has found that a late 1990’s model Ford Crown Victoria’s fan assembly works. Now I need to find one. I will first get some measurements and then go shopping at the Pull-A-Part or the Ford “breakers” (salvage) yards in Oklahoma City.

Apparently I can buy a new one in the range of 95 – 150$(US) plus shipping. I’m hoping the breakers yard will part with one for less than 50$(US).

I’m glad I found this detailed measurement drawing. I am skeptical that it will fit. But I’m willing to try anything once. The associated fuel savings is reported at 2-3 miles per gallon. Even if it is one mile per gallon I think it is worth it.

I’ll post some pictures of the damage next week along with some detailed measurements.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering. Oh…and BOOMER SOONER! Beat Texas!

Ever had one of those a-ha moments? (Post #267) 10/2/2011

Saturday was a beautiful day in America’s heartland. I finished my homework early this week and my wife has a new book and bible study to prepare and the Oklahoma Sooners had a late start. All that meant I got some garage time. I went out to the garage and fired up the TV for some regional college football matchups.

I still have a lot of things in the garage from our last garage sale. So my plan was to get the garage organized. At present I couldn’t reach anything on my shelves and getting to the tool chest was only possible due to my training in the Marine Corps at avoiding booby traps.

I got to what I call the heavy tool shelves and noticed my small chain saw was down. I forgot that I loaned it to my neighbor and he reported that the chain was too dull to use. It turns out that all my chains are dull. They needed to be sharpened and I only know one place locally that does that. Dave’s Small Engine Repair in Noble, Oklahoma. My wife graduated from Noble High School. My best friend Master Guns Jason gets his chains sharpened there so…ROAD TRIP!

I grabbed the keys and was excited to get the Range Rover out on the road. It had been a while since I had driven her. I expected I would drive her or at least fire her up to charge the battery this weekend.

I grabbed the keys and my chains, jumped in and turned the key…rattle, rattle, rattle. I didn’t have enough battery to get her turned over. I pulled the Civic up and jumped her. Varooom.

I still have an air bubble in the cooling system so the low coolant light still comes on in cycles. The excessive heat this summer has cause the glue to fail on the rear view mirror. I also noticed the metallic rattle sound had gotten WORSE. Worse? how on earth could it get worse? I haven’t driven her in a month. I went about two blocks and decided I could drive no further with this sound it had to be found.

I originally thought it was either the trailer I was pulling or something in the exhaust. The pitch of the metal rattling sound is how you know what to look for. I thought for sure it was the muffler. I dropped down under the rear of the truck and looked around. And then I saw it.

I remembered the sound and thought perhaps it could be the mud guard? It sounded a little like the mud guard scraping sound from the front axle. So I looked at the axle hub area and sure enough there was the mud flap for the left rear dangling and dragging on the rim. Each time I hit a bump it would jump up and land on the rim causing a clanking.

I hadĀ horrificĀ ideas of what might have gone wrong under there. Everything from I did something wrong on the bushing replacement project, to needing an entire new exhaust, to something I haven’t worked on yet. And in the end it turned out to be something silly simple. A couple of bolts I had improperly tightened on the last brake job project.

I thought I could fix it right there. I looked in the back and low and behold no tool bag. So I had to go back to the house and get the tool bag and exact a repair.

I got it tightened down and examined the scrape wound I got from reacting to a burn on the exhaust. Not too bad. I’ve had worse, much worse. I tossed the tool bag in the rear and as I was getting everything sorted I think I have an inadequate tool kit. More on that in a later entry.

I climbed behind the wheel and took off for Noble. Oh.my.gawd! It was like driving a new Rover! No rattling, no odd noises when I turned, no clangs when I hit the speed humps. It was great!

I got to the shoppe and standing there in the parking lot was the former State Senator Cal Hobson. Cal told me the shoppe was closed on weekends. That figures. I should have known better. He asked me if I knew where another place to get sharpening done was, I replied, “no but if you do I’ll follow you over there.” It turned out we were both out of luck for today.

I figure I’ll drop by there next week. I have a sharpening tool for chainsaws. But I have too many to mess with and thought perhaps I could learn something from them sharpening them. It seems when I sharpen I only get a couple of uses out of the saw before it is in effective and I’m wishing for a good sharp ax.

I’ll leave you with an A-Ha moment and thank you for reading and wish you Happy Rovering.