A Long List of Repairs (Post #592) 3/30/2021

I’ve been sidelined by a knee surgery. I’ve had an issue for a while (over a year) and I decided it was finally time to get it sorted out. So while I convalesce, I thought I’d put up a post detailing what I believe to be a mostly concise list of repairs that are required on the Big White Bus. We are getting another round of stimulus money from the O’Biden administration. And why not spend it on my Land Rover? Let’s get started:


You’ve read my mis-adventures with my ignition system (Okierover). I mostly attempted to replace the entire system with GM off the shelf parts. In the end I could not stop the ignition modules from overheating. This leads to them failing basically every two weeks. With “lifetime warranty” I only bought the part twice. And when I was completely convinced I would either have to drive in the right lane, everywhere, or doing something else, I had trained myself to change the module in less than two minutes. Standing on the side of I-35 during rush hour traffic every two weeks for 4 months is not among the smartest things I’ve ever done.

At this point I’ve decided that I will replace the entire ignition system with an after-market version. I haven’t picked that version yet, but know it will be my first repair. This means the distributor, ignition coil, modules, all of it will be replaced. I currently have a “Lucas”1 setup. I don’t believe it is reliable. I have driven her with this setup, but I’m not convinced it is safe.


Once again I am faced with a failed alternator. I have written many times about the alternator issues (Okierover). I bought the NAPA alternator back in 2005. I have replaced it under warranty 6 times (with 7 coming). Sometimes you can’t beat a NAPA warranty, even if the part only lasts about 2-3 years before it fails. It still surprises me that an OEM alternator from the factory lasted 15 years but a replacement part would not give me 2 years of service.

The BWB has a slow battery drain, I suspect it is the diode pack as it was three times before. Once a diode fails, it’s over. The alternator will still charge, but it will also discharge the battery when the engine is off. If you still have any of your hearing left, you can hear tell-tale ultra high pitch sound coming from the back of the alternator when the engine is off.

Heater Fan Blower Motor

This repair is in progress, you’ve seen the posts (Okierover). All that is left is to source the new hoses and the foam gasket sets and such. I broke a couple of plastic bits and found a great source for spares in Matt Gaum (Roadside Werx) Some of these plastic bits are starting to become unobtainium. 

This leads me to contemplate 3D printing of these parts. I’ll look for a 3d printer and do some research into the types of plastics that might work best. I’m a little surprised I haven’t seen someone doing this already. If you have, leave us a link in the comments.

Clunky Steering

At some point the bushing on the steering shaft has slipped. I need to pull it all out and get it corrected. It is not dangerous, it’s just annoying.

Rear Compartment Tie-Downs

I can’t believe I’ve driven around with a hundred plus pounds of tools and spares NOT tied down in the back of my rig. I have only avoided an epic stupid mistake because I’m a hell-of-a-driver and have avoided serious accidents.

Nice to Have

Now let me talk about what we in the Project Management game call, “Nice to Have’s”. 


I have researched a replacement system that I think will be great. When I buy it I’ll do a full write up. Bluetooth…backup camera… Van Halen “Eruption” or Wagner’s “Die Walküre” at 120dB depends on your situation.

Air Conditioning

This probably shouldn’t be a nice to have. I live in the southern plains and I promise it gets hot here. This is more than likely going to be a must have/critical. This system is a total loss. I will have to replace EVERYTHING including hoses. The testing for leaks will need to be epic if this is going to be a long term solution.

Power Steering Leak

I STILL have a power steering leak. After all my issues with leaking steering boxes you’d think this wouldn’t plague me. You’ve seen where I bought a rebuilt steering box (Facebook) from Carsteeringwholesale.com (NOT RECOMMENDED, DO NOT TRUST). I received the steering box from them and it was leaking out of the box. I fussed and yelled at them to no avail and they sent me a replacement (that I had to pay shipping on) that leaked EVEN WORSE than the shitty one they sent me to start with. Buyer beware.

I have another slow leak and will at some point need to replace this pump too.

Mystery Leak

My left front hub assembly is leaking. I’m not sure which part has the leak. I’ll have to find it eventually and replace the seal or brake caliper, or whatever it is.

Gas Gauge Uncertainty

When I replaced my last fuel pump (Okierover) I managed to get the float out of sorts and its basically a mystery as to how much fuel I have in the tank at any time except when I fill it. I need to get in there and futz with the level and see if I can fix that.



I would LOVE to have new rugs. Maybe a proper steam cleaning would do the job, I don’t know.

Seat Covers

I have looked at a lot of seat covers. I think I’m leaning toward a NON-Leather cover. Leather covers are readily available and modestly priced. I just think I can get a more durable, no maintenance option sourced that wouldn’t make me cry a little bit inside each time I slide into the BWB with mud all over me or soaking wet. Oklahoma summers are not kind to old leather.


I don’t need gangster dark tint. I think a tint one these plethora of windows would go a long way toward keeping me cool in the summer.


The BWB is losing her clearcoat. And the vinyl D pillars are quite knackered. In a perfect world with everything else repaired, I’d probably throw some paint on her.


I have a mouse somewhere in the truck. I noticed some evidence of a mouse making its home inside. I couldn’t blame them with -14F this winter. Car spiders (Okierover) are one thing, I can’t have mice.

1: The name Lucas can be licensed by just about anyone wanting to use their name. The last set of “Lucas” parts I got were made in China….CHINA. You should not associate quality replacement parts to anything made in China.

Never fear… I have not let my wrenching skills go to waste. I helped my dear friend Eric and his son Vallie change the plugs and coils on their 2000 Jaguar S-type. We had a great afternoon. And it was a fine example of no matter what you think a job will entail…something will go wrong and will require a part no one has in stock.

Pro Tip: Jaguar (Ford) coolant hose “T”s are made out of some form of plastic-mache and hope.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering

Capulin Volcano and the Northwest Passage 2016, Part One (Post #564) 1/17/2017

Load Out

I really wanted to get out on the trail this fall and I felt like it was my turn to plan and lead a trip. I looked for a non-OU-Football weekend and found two one in September and one in November. The initial inspiration for the Capulin Volcano trip was seeing a similar trip in OutdoorX4 magazine. We had some interest in the trip from several people in the Oklahoma Land Rover Owners group but in the end only two of us made the commitment to the overland adventure.

Day One

Mr. Fisher and I got the Big White Bus loaded and started out on a pleasant Saturday morning and headed to our rendezvous with Erik O’Neal and his Discovery 2 in Okarche, Oklahoma. Continue reading “Capulin Volcano and the Northwest Passage 2016, Part One (Post #564) 1/17/2017”

Time to Prepare for S.C.A.R.R. 2015 (Post #524) 2/16/2015

Doesn’t the Big White Bus look good all washed up parked in the drive. Well she looks better with a little mud on the tires and traipsing up and down the hills of Barnwell Offroad Park in East Texas. Yes, it’s close to that time of year again. Its time to prepare the Range Rover for the South Central Area Rover Rendezvous aka SCARR.

Once again there is lots to do. A short list…

  • Transmission Rebuild
  • Plugs, wires, and cap
  • Tie-rod ends
  • Oil Pan Gasket
  • Power Steering Leak

Its a short list but an expensive one. Getting the transmission done will be somewhere in the 2000$(US). I’ve known this was a problem for a while now. I’ve turned 220,000 miles and I think it’s time for a rebuild on the transmission. I have a plan for this. Continue reading “Time to Prepare for S.C.A.R.R. 2015 (Post #524) 2/16/2015”

Power Steering Hose Trouble Part Duex (Post #430) 1/3/2014

I went out to find my power steering leak on New Year’s Day. It required me to remove the power steering fluid reservoir and several of the hoses. If you’ve ever swapped these hoses you know they come with a factory installed friction protector. It’s a simple piece of coiled plastic.

It is good for the accidental rubbing of the hoses. It will not protect you from any of the high speed rotating objects under the hood for any length of time. They are only plastic.

What they are also good for is HIDING where a leak has sprung in your hoses. Once the magical fluid in the hose escapes it is quickly held against the hose and spreads down (gravity) the hose fairly evenly. This also coats everything near the hose in fluid as well.

I noticed that the wetness of power steering fluid extended nearly to the top of the low pressure hose. This had me worried that the reservoir might have a crack or break. The amount of fluid I’ve been loosing is actually puddling up on the drive at night. So this on the surface seemed pretty bad.

I pulled the reservoir and it was undamaged. I cleaned it up with an old wash cloth and set it aside.

I then went to inspecting the hoses. The high pressure hoses all looked dry. I’d replaced these in the past and I had purchased new ones from Atlantic British thinking the worst. I took the low pressure reservoir to pump hose off from the bottom. In the removal process I noticed the hose was not tightened very well at the pump.

I remember installing this hose and what an absolute joy pain in the ass it was to reach up and tighten the hose clamp on the hose at the pump end. It came off the bottom of the pump without me even getting to the hose clamp. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say some of the fluid leaking could be due to the looseness of the hose clamp. I know it’s a stretch, but I’m just going to put that out there.

The reservoir end was very wet and I am not entirely sure the hose clamp was functioning within design specifications on that end either. I took the hose and cleaned it up. I did a visual inspection and found what you see in the picture above. A rub spot and a couple of holes.

I couldn’t determine if any fluid escapes from that area. There is no reason to put that hose back in there. If you recall that hose is by my reckoning the cheapest replacement part available for a Range Rover Classic. I will stop by the John Deere dealer on the way home and get a replacement length of hose. I will also stop and get some NEW hose clamps. You’d think I’d learn not to re-use hose clamps but apparently I’m hard-headed that way.

I’ve got a few more items to get and then I’m back on the road. Like other projects when you start one you find another to sort out.

Thanks for reading, don’t re-use hose clamps, and Happy Rovering.

Steering Issues Solved…For the Most Part (Post #297) 8/19/2012

 If you recall, I left off with the last post with a cross-threaded power steering hose. Sorting it out would take a few phone calls and a lot of hope.

First thing I needed to do was find a tap to correct the threads I managed to mangle. There are LOTS of types of taps. And there are lots of names for those taps. It seems everyone has their own name for each type of tap. I’m sure it varies by region too. I did not know that before this project. I also did not know the name of the tap I needed. JagGuy told me I might need a bottoming tap.

Bottoming tap: 1-2 lead threads ground. Used for continuing to thread a blind hole close to the bottom of the hole. It’s difficult to start threading a hole with this tap.

Looking at the taps its easy to see the bottoming plug was best. Why? Well that is a good question. There are only 5 or 6 threads in the hole. If you use a taper tap you might not have enough threads make contact. Same issue with a plug tap. I needed the bottoming tap.

As it turns out, that was pretty easy. I just visited the amazing J&E Supply and Fasteners. I have sung their praises before. Finding the bolts and nuts for this project required me to visit them twice. Twice because I didn’t have a list of all the nuts the first time. The tap had to be a blunt or

In any event I took the “test fitting” with me and we matched it up to a tap. I was shocked they had it, but they did. I was so stoked or chuffed or happy, maybe all three at once. This tool saved me several hundred dollars American in replacing the steering box.

Having NEVER successfully tapped anything in my life…I chose to call JagGuy and ask for some sage advice. he was full of all kinds of advice for this. First bit of advice, pull the steering box. It turns out I probably would have been able to tap it in place. But, pulling it made it easier and I was able to clean it up while it was out. Second bit of advice, keep the shavings out of the unit.

To do this he suggested dipping the tap in grease. The grease captures the shavings and you just have to wipe it off to eliminate the shavings. This was easy enough.

With the advice in mind, I lined up the tap, and started it and gave it a turn. I backed it out and turned it again, like I had seen on countless TV shows. I turned it all the way to the stop and backed it out. I took the sample fitting and screwed it in. My awesome neighbor Mr. Fisher had walked over and was witness to the successful tapping. I have never been so excited. This was really awesome.

I took the new hose and threaded that as well. I was convinced now that it would not leak and I was ready to clean it up and give it a coat of paint.

Following my habit of painting everything I pull off the Range Rover and replace I gave the steering bits a couple of coats of primer gray.

I managed to get her all together. I filled her with power steering fluid. I turned the steering wheel to the bump stops in each direction three or four times to clear out all the bubbles. I saw that on the TV as well, in fact Mr. Edd China from television show “Wheeler Dealer showed me that.

Okay, now that the steering box is all back together. Where am I on all this? As it turns out the steering box probably has some damage from running with low fluid. There are “spots” when I turn the wheel where I get some negative feedback from the steering. It is either this or an in accurately aligned steering shaft. The shaft has two universal joints and if you don’t have it “just right” it binds a bit. I might be having this. To sort this out I will have to get back under the hood and see if I can adjust the bind out.

On the OkieRover Difficulty Scale, this job is a three. I say three because the job is actually removing the steering box. So if you are going to swap your steering box this is a difficult job and there are lots of things to get back in place correctly.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Steering Nightmare (Post #296) 7/8/2012

I recently purchased new power steering hoses. The pressure side of the steering assembly is plumbed by two hoses that form a “U”. The hoses allow for the flex between the steering box which is mounted to the frame and the power steering pump which is mounted to the motor.

It’s usually an easy job. I’ve replaced the hoses once before. You get a little oily but over all it is not that bad. This time was different.

I got the old leaky hose off and was ready to put the new hose on. I lined it up and wrenched it down, or so I thought. I filled the reservoir and watched the power steering fluid pour out and thankfully into a pan I had down. I was pretty upset about this. First it was messy and second that fluid ain’t cheap. I took the hose off and began to investigate.

I looked at the fitting and as sure as rust will find you Land Rover, it was cross threaded. I tried to thread it again but it was a no go. I tried filing the fitting’s thread so they would turn with out cross threading but it wasn’t going to work.

I figured I would need to tap the hole and to do that the steering box would have to come out. I was not excited about that, but JagGuy confirmed it. I would have to pull the steering box.

There are a few things that need to come out before you can pull the steering box. You have to pull the shock tower and the steering shaft off.

To pull the steering box off you have four bolts that mount the shock tower to the frame. I removed the shock and then pulled the bolts for the shock tower. I should have left them in place because the steering shaft was difficult to remove with the steering box moving all around.

I pulled the rest of the low pressure setting hoses because they were in the way. You have to also pull the pitman arm. This takes a wheel puller.

Looking from the wheel well.

Looking from the front to the back.

This is a brutal tool and it releases a lot of energy when the pressed in wheel comes free. With everything disconnected I wrestled the steering box out.

I have it out and on the work bench. I attempted to thread the spare hose in the jacked up hole. It is really jacked up. It will have to be tapped out or (audible gasp) replaced. It costs 549.95$(US) from Atlantic British.com. Maybe after 193,000 miles I might need a new steering box. But I’m hoping this steering box will be able to be sorted out.

Like all things Land Rover…if you start working on something and things go wrong. You will experience more things that go wrong. This time I have a broken shock mount on the frame. How does this kind of thing break?

That is gonna have to be patched. I’m not sure if welding it as it is will fix it sufficiently. I’m thinking a rather large washer welded in place. Perhaps I’ll have the crack welded and a washer added and welded in place as well.

So I need to find a set of taps. Perhaps I should take the steering box to a machine shop and ask them to tap it for me. This might be the most expedient way to get it fixed.

I was surprised a how little rust there was. If you think about how much steering fluid has been leaking under there it would be nearly impossible for rust to form. There was some rust on the shocks but they seem to be working still. I’m pretty sure they could be replaced by now, they’ve been on the truck for 10 years. I need springs too but that will have to wait until I can steer again.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

UPDATE: I’ve done some Googling and found a rebuilt steering box for 265$(US) from Car Steering Wholesale.