The Big White Bus Will Not Start (Post #625) September 25, 2023

spark plugs

In this post I am sort of after the fact prepping the motor for it’s first start in several years (at least 3 years). I was given some advise that I should lubricate the cylinders prior to starting for the first time. The reason is obvious. The cylinders are dry.

I’ve already tried to crank the engine. That was evident in the last video. So perhaps doing this NOW is a bit superfluous. Meaning I’ve probably already damaged something. But maybe not, I’ll know when I get the engine started.

I’ve pulled plugs and I’ve squirted some WD-40 inside each cylinder. How much you say? That’s a great question. I was told at least a couple of seconds of spray. The WD-40 fluid is going to adhere to the cylinder walls and if the rings were stuck, would have acted on them hopefully freeing them. They make a special “foggy spray” for this application but I was told just to use WD-40. I highly recommend you do your own research on this. I’m damaging my own stuff. I don’t want you to damage your stuff if I’m wrong.

The fuel pump is on the way and might arrive today 9/25. That would make it 8 days since I ordered it. They don’t work on Saturday or Sunday so Monday was the first time they started to “fullfill” the order. I am also in the farthest away region from their shipping hub. So a minimum of 5 days of transit. Looking at their location, I could have driven up there, picked up the part in person, and arrived back at base camp before the shipped part arrived.

Next step is to get a fuel pump installed and the Big White Bus started. Drive it to the top of the driveway. Hose off the parts so I can coat them with rust conversion paint. I will then turn her around and have the starboard side on the same side of the shoppe as the welder. I have some rust under the starboard rear wheel well the might need some patching. I also have the repairs to the existing rust spots identified in other videos. B pillar, D pillar.

You can support me on Patreon if this content is appealing. I would be greatly appreciated. Like and subscribe to the video channel.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Touching Base (Post #523) 1/23/2015

I felt like I should touch base with my readers.

The Big White Bus has been idling a little rough lately. I will look in to that a little more as we get closer to S.C.A.R.R. This year I plan to swap my spark plugs, wires, and my distributor cap. Getting the correct cap is 99% of the maintenance. Some of the pattern parts are not very well made.

I also still have the torque converter issue. I’m not sure what I’m going to do about that yet. It will be a very expensive repair.

I need to correct the oil leaking from the engine. I will order a gasket set for the oil sump (pan) and for the tappet covers in the coming week. I bought a set of ramps so I can clean off the bottom of the BWB at a car wash.

I also have what is possibly a bad tie rod end. I hit a seam on the highway and the shaking from the front tires was very, very bad. I had to slow down and get off the highway to get the truck back under control. I will be looking in to that this weekend for sure. I’ll need to get Mr. Fisher to assist while I investigate under the Rover.

I’ve gotten a lot of emails and messages this and last week. I really love to help when I can. Unfortunately sometimes I don’t have the answer. That really bothers me because I like to know as much as I can. So if you’ve contacted me, and I couldn’t help, please send me an email back so I can learn how you got it fixed.

I want you to plan on going to SCARR if you are able. I promise you will have fun.

That’s all I got for now.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Garage Day: Titanium Hitch and His New to Him Ford (Post #383) 8/27/2013

Another Saturday, another Garage Day. Wrenching on a old truck with your best friends in the middle of rural farm country is as American as America gets. This time the patient was Titanium Hitch’s 1998 F-150. According to TH the truck had been running pretty rough. It was in bad need of a tune up.

What started out to be an oil change, a brake job, and to investigate the rough running, became an all day ordeal. When we talk about project creep, this project not only crept, it grew as it did. What finally happened was a plug change, oil change, brake fluid change, two O2 sensors replaced, air filter change, and a final sorting out of the sound system problems from the last garage day.

First, the good news, the truck did not need brakes. The pads were deemed to be in satisfactory condition. So TH is going to shelf the pads he bought for another time. The brake fluid was sucked out with a syringe, fresh oil replaced. Then the nipples all got a turn as the bad fluid was evacuated from the lines.

This went exceedingly well with three pseudo-mechanics working on it. +EGD was at the wheels while I filled the reservoir. TH was relegated to pumping. The instructions were pretty tough to follow. Pump the pedal and say when he was pumping. This took a few tries to get perfected. But as with most things TH finally became an expert peddle pusher.

On to the O2 sensors. A lively debate was had betwixt the three of us regarding how many O2 sensors an F150 had. We quickly found what we later learned were the upstream sensors. Only through a parts search did we find out that it had a set for downstream as well. Well hoity-toity for them! We all were surprised and our theories of why it could only have two, like a Land Rover were dashed on the rocks of our hubris.

The codes that were being thrown were thought to be related to the downstream sensors. I’m still a little fuzzy on this but I went with it. Besides the down stream sensors looked to be the easiest to remove. Yeah right!

The driver’s side came out with out much of a problem.
The passenger side was…welded …frozen …rusted WELDFROZTED in.

A great many attempts were made with a great many tool configurations.

We first cut the lead so we could use a deep socket,

We then attempted to sawz-all the sensor,
Then a propane torch was tried,

Then the sensor was cut into pieces with a large bolt cutter,
Finally a socket with a large cheater bar was used to tear the threads off. To get the cheater bar in to play the truck had to be lifted up to the maximum height of 5 ton jack stands. I was quite worried about this, as one mistake and the state’s insurance agencies would be writing a bunch of checks to happy sad widows.

I’m surprised I don’t have a picture of the end result of the sensor. But suffice to say brute force won the day. You can well imagine that the threads were trashed. EGD remembered to grab a tap in the correct size when we went to the parts store to spend some more of TH’s beer money hard earned pay on auto parts. EGD managed to get a few threads cut back into the sensor port and the second was installed. The front sensors were looking pretty bad as well. They were probably WELDFROZTED in as well. None of us wanted to find out. Another problem for another day.
Next was plugs. We should have guessed we’d have problems. The first plug fell apart as the lead was being pulled from it. You can see the center conductor out of its plug in the following picture a long with what was left of the O2 sensor on the right side.
Half the plugs we pulled came apart in one manner or other. After examination of the plugs it was easy to say they were the originals. This was evident by checking what was left of the anodes for spark gap. The plugs were so badly eaten away and the gaps so large I was surprised the truck ran at all. One of the gaps measured .1000. Yes… point 1 thousands. The actual factory plug gap should have been .0560. Two of the plugs measured .0900. I didn’t measure the rest. I hope you can see the ends and how badly eaten away they were in the picture.

I gapped all the plugs with a feeler gauge and they were installed. At some point here a lively debate broke out about the parts we had just picked up. The replacement O2 sensors did not have the correct key on them. It looked to me what little key was there was half-heartedly cut off/ground down.

We looked at the existing up and down stream plugs for comparison. Then we compared them with the one upstream sensor which we could actually reach with out being a contortionist, the passenger side. Sure enough the replacements didn’t match any of the OEM ends. We installed them anyway, trusting that the AutoZone guy gave us the right parts and they were labeled correctly in the boxes.

The oil change was completed in short order. The truck was two quarts low on oil as well. The black stuff that was serving as oil didn’t even fill the five quart jug of the replacement oil.

I had to bail out before the speakers were addressed. I waited long enough until I got to hear the engine with all the new bits. They gave me the honor of firing her up. She roared into life and idled like she was meant to. I’m going to guess she gets 3-4 miles more per gallon of petrol.

About an hour after I got home I got a panicked call from TH asking if there was something I could think of that might have made her run poorly. Seems when TH tried to drive home although idle was good, any application of throttle caused coughing and choking and a poor running motor. It was probably dropping to “limp mode”.

I remembered I had pulled the passenger side O2 lead, but I hadn’t reconnected it. I relayed that and he was off to check it and indeed it was still disconnected. It was reconnected and he made it home.

I talked to TH the following Monday and he told me she was still running rough. During the Garage Day festivities we had had a lively discussion about the Air Idler Valve. If it was half as bad as the other parts, it most likely really needed a good cleaning if not an out right replacement.

It was fun to hang out with my old mates and swap stories and wrench a little in the sub-Saharan African hot Saturday in Oklahoma. I wouldn’t have rather been anywhere else, well perhaps in my pool with Mrs. Okierover, but I got that too so I was a winner all the way around.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Figured out the Codes Problem (Post #98) 6/26/2008

I hate it when problems like this occur. Well I got the wiring diagram off the Rave CD and started looking at it. The Engine Management fuse in the fuse box under the hood was blowing. That made some sense as I read through the Engine Management section of the workshop manual. Everything listed in the codes was on each of the subsequent pages under Engine management. So I went to the wiring diagram and the first thing the fuse went to was the mass airflow circuit.
I remembered all the wires under the intake and decided to investigate and found a wire mashed between the secondary air input and the intake.

I diagrammed it in this picture. If you put the intake back in the middle of the picture. That bracket had the wire under it.
I am so relieved that I found the problem. We just couldn’t afford to send the Disco to the repair shop right now.
It must be noted also that I swapped the plugs and wires on my Range Rover Classic tonight. It took less than an hour. Total time on the Disco…9 hours plus.
I’m pretty sure Satan himself designed that engine bay.
Read about the wire replacement here.

GAHHHHH!!!! (Post #96) 6/25/2008

Yeah me. So I just finished the plug wires and spark plug replacement. It was just as bad as everyone said it would be.
I have pictures and a write up coming. But first…
I have to list for you the codes my Rover threw when I started her up.
One of those is the wheel sensor. I knew it was broken.
But the rest are the preheater, a position sensor for the cam shaft, one I have no idea what it meant by the code, and well, you get the picture. So now I will have to try to figure out what I screwed up doing this shitty job myself. I could have paid someone to do it, but I didn’t. So as I attempt to figure out each of these codes I’ll be posting more up later.

December 31st, 2003 (Post #39)

December 31, 2003
Missing, Oil Change, Awesome Truck, New Logo
The winter weather has been amazing and all is well with the world when in December, in Oklahoma, you can work on your vehicle without fear of frostbite. One pretty day found me cleaning and reattaching the air dam to the front of the Big White Bus. As usual when I do something “fun” or cosmetic to the truck, the engine wants attention and intermittent engine problems began for the last two weeks. One day all is well, runs great. Next day, 7 of 8 cylinders are working. It was getting very frustrating. I checked each boot and applied some di-electric
grease. It is actually silicone based lube. That way hopefully I will not break another ignition wire with a stuck boot. All of the ignition wires seemed plugged in properly and I found nothing out of the ordinary.

Started her up and she ran fine Sunday afternoon. I started her up on Monday to go to work and again she was missing.

So yesterday I bought a new set of plugs. Champion Truck Plug 4404. I am not recommending them or endorsing them yet. I don’t have any imperical data to share. Quite frankly it’s what the guy behind the counter recommended. They are reasonably priced at $2.49 each. His sales pitch was pretty good and he shared some customer comments along with the pitch so I said what the heck. I installed them that night. There is something about working on an engine when it is still warm, it took the edge off of the light wind blowing and 50 degree (F) evening as it was settling in.

So now the plugs are in and she seems to be running pretty good. Two plugs show some strange characteristics. I will show them to JagGuy New Year’s Eve before he has too many glasses of wine for an informed decision. Six were a gray color, which being that there were 6 that way I am guessing that they are fine. Number 2 was strangely black in a single spot and Number 8 was flat black. I’m guessing that Number 2 was busted and the spark is coming through the insolator instead of the proper path. But more on that if I confirm my hypothesis.

I bought some Castrol GTX High Mileage for this last oil change. My truck has 135,000 on the odometer and I consider that high mileage. The sales pitch says, “helps older cars feel young again”. I’m pretty sure my Rover has absolutely no “feelings” or she wouldn’t treat me the way she does. But I’m coming into my own “high mileage” period and that line spoke to me. Besides I drove my 1993 Ford Ranger 187,000 miles with Castrol and the woman that bought it from me, drove it another 20,000 and sold it to yet another person. As far as I know it is still running.

So I’m figuring that as long as I’m using Castrol how can I go wrong. Besides I got a free Washington Redskins sports jersey for buying the oil. All in all it’s probably a gimmick but I can always put the regular GTX in at the next change and I have a new shirt to wear.

I’ve been considering a dual battery setup. I have most of the parts and my good friend The Ditchfinder just finished his dual battery install and it has it’s benefits. Our good friend Alan Bates doubts the importance of a dual battery, but I promised him margaritas at my next trail ride powered by my second battery so he is all good with it now.

I had some great email with Ozzie at Ozzie’s Offroad this week. Alan sent me his site in a link in the forum. He has a great rig and I highly recommend you check out his site. If I hit the lottery I may have to get me one of those roof rack tents. They are expensive but they are really cool looking. Go check out his site.

I have to give props to my good friend Tom in Chicago for creating a new animated logo for the Rover Defender’s Rover Log. If you didn’t notice it when you came here go back to the main page and check it out. I’m gonna send him a nice beer gift soon.

Three references to drinking in this update. Can anyone tell it’s New Year’s Eve? I hope everyone has a safe new year and thanks for reading the log.