Reduce, Recycle, Reuse, Roof Rack (Post #601) 9/25/2022

While visiting my buddy JagGuy at his awesome shop, I saw something in his metal trash trailer. It was a mesh like material. I went over to check it out and it was a door off a server rack. You’ve seen these before or maybe you haven’t been in a server room where physical access the servers is secured by a keyed door of some kind or other.

I asked him if I could save it from the recyclers. He said, “Sure.” I told him I was going to see if it would work as a floor for my roof rack. We ate barbeque, chatted for a while, and I tossed the door in the truck and drove home.

The door was about 74 inches in length and 23.5 inches in width. My roof rack is 4 foot by 4 foot. So this door, cut in half, fit perfectly across and left about a foot of space uncovered along the length.

I think that will work.

I cut the door in half with my angle grinder and a cutoff wheel. I dry fitted the halves on the roof rack and was happy with the results. I went to the hardware store (twice, or was it three times, maybe twice to one store and once to another) to get stainless steel bolts, washers, and nyloc nuts.

I wiped the door with some grease and dust remover. I then painted it with some black spray paint I had left over from another project. I removed the roof rack from the roof and drilled my holes (lots of holes some in the wrong places) and got the hardware installed and tightened up. Several of the bolts failed catastrophically when I was tightening them up. Each one that failed, failed about the same as the others about midway up the bolt. My dad used to complain about the cheap Japanese products that began flooding the country in the 1970s. Today we complain about the cheap CHINESE parts that flood our country. I didn’t check the country of origin on these bolts, but let’s go with China for arguments sake. Bring back American made hardware. I promise not to complain too much when they fail. At least if they fail, an American had a job making them and we aren’t sending money to a country determined to destroy us. (stepping off soap box)

I recorded several videos of my cutting and narrative about what I was going to do only to have my phone camera fail in the heat of my shop.

“Blazing Saddles” (1974) Pure genius.

The temperature in the shoppe was 110F that day. I would have this trouble again later when recording video for several other projects. I really need to upgrade my camera equipment to a GoPro or something. Maybe my wife will buy me one for my birthday in two weeks….hint, hint. (who are we kidding, she doesn’t read my blog, she’ll never see this)

So I have the upgraded roof rack installed and I’m pretty happy with it. I feel pretty good about myself too. I recycled and reused something that would have just been thrown away, eventually bought by a Chinese scrapper, and made into some cheap crap and sent back to America for someone to buy and then either throw away, or be stacked in a garage packed full of crap.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Shipwright’s Disease (Post #598) 8/23/2022

I need to add a “Mad Max Edition” badge.
Take a moment to consider the tragic condition known as Shipwrights Disease:

Sailor owns boat.

Boat has burned out light in galley.

Sailor decides to replace bulb.

Sailor notices socket is corroded, decides to change socket.

While changing the socket, sailor notices wiring is frayed.

Sailor decides to change wiring.

While replacing the wiring, sailor finds galley ceiling slats are rotted.

While replacing the galley ceiling slats, sailor notices …

… And so on, and pretty soon, the boat is in dry dock undergoing a major restoration because of a burned out light bulb.

Source: Robert Couse-Baker, flickr.


Wait, no I’m not, maybe I’m guilty. My best friend JagGuy diagnosed me. He’s probably right.

So let me defend myself. Why did I pull the Range Rover into my shoppe and park it four years ago? I had two major problems when she was parked:

  • Ignition system became entirely unreliable
  • The heater blower motor let some of the magic smoke out of its wires

Were there other things that needed some attention when I parked her. Yes, yes there were. I’ve listed them in another post. We can add rusted panels to that list.

In my defense, I believe it was time for the Big White Bus to get another restoration. She has 280,000 miles on her clock.

Do I want her to be a show queen? Not by a long shot. I’ve never owned a car I was afraid to drive through a barbed wire fence. But the interior is looking pretty rough. The condition of the interior and exterior directly affected the insurance pay out I received when that idiot was reaching for the jar of spasgetti (that’s how my grand kids say it) and slammed into the left rear. If you missed that post from 2016, you can read about that here [].

So I’d like to fix some things on the dash that failed after 30 years (she shipped out of Solihull in October of 1992) of sun and cold and sun and poor application of paint at the factory and the sun. You know what I’m talking about. Plastic will eventually break down if exposed to the unforgiving southern plains sun.

Air conditioning…does it make sense to fix the AC? Well hell’s bells I have the bloody dash off why not?!? Have you ever sat in bumper to bumper traffic on I-35 with 110F August heat? I can tell you it will make a man of you, well what’s left of you when you get home anyway.

Rust, I took a welding class just so I could fix the panels…

The paint on the outside is losing it’s clear coat and is badly oxidized….

Seat covers…definitely should be replaced…

Those D pillar vents are looking pretty bad…

Okay. I admit it, it is likely Shipwright’s Disease.

In all honesty, I don’t have the money lined up right now to fix everything and make the Big White Bus my daily driver again. Makin he my daily again makes moderately economical sense because I could drop the 2014 F-150 off my insurance, sell it for what I’m being told is north of 20,000(US)$. (The used auto market at the time of this post is incomprehensibly over blown.) That’s more than half what I paid for her 5 years ago. She’s been a good truck. The reason for her was to pull a camper we bought that my wife later decided was not going to be in our future plans for weekends. Cash out, spend some of that on the BWB, am I right?

Probably won’t happen. More likely the BWB will be my weekend overlanding vehicle. That works too. I miss driving her. I digress.

I’ve said this many times. Every job on the Range Rover becomes three projects. Every bolt you touch either needs to be replaced with stainless, or de-rusted, painted, and the panel you pulled it from rust abated.

Is this Shipwright’s Disease, probably. Am I going to change anything to cure myself? Nope.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

The Current State of the Big White Bus (Post #589) 1/20/2021

Overlanding in my F150, nice, but not my Range Rover

It’s been a long time since I have posted. I don’t have to tell you what a weird world this has been the last year. It’s still not “normal”. Maybe it will never be again. Who knows….

Let me catch you up. The house is still being remodeled. That has consumed quite a bit of my personal time. We’ve lost some cherished loved ones this last year. We’ve added a new grandson. Mrs. Okierover and I have been blessed that we still have jobs. There is something about being an “essential” employee that has its blessings. Banking and nursing have been good career paths for us.

The Big White Bus is in a state of disassembly.

Heater Fan Replacement

In January of 2020, I started on the heater box. Then my funding dried up. We have had to replace the heat pump and the roof on this house all in 2020. We’ve tried to be careful with our money too with possible job uncertainty lurking around every corner.

I’ve been taking stock of all the things I need to repair at this stage. I’m probably leaving something off but here’s a list of what I can come up with off the top of my head:

  • Heater Fan. I have the fan installed. I need all the ancillary gaskets.
  • New heater hoses. I’ve got it apart, might as well do them now.
  • Air conditioning hoses. There’s a leak somewhere and these hoses are original OEM from the factory. No way they are still good.
  • AC compressor, dryer, everything. Tired old components need to be replaced.
  • Clunky steering column. The bearing is shot I guess but it needs to be pulled and sorted.
  • Battery drain. I suspect it is the alternator again. I get replacements free for life from NAPA. I’m not sure I won’t go with something else more “sturdy”.
  • Ignition system. I need this system to be bullet proof. I’m going to replace the distributor and all the components again. I haven’t decided on which one yet.
  • Power steering leak. Still having issues with this. At least its a slow leak.
  • Left front brake caliper. There was wetness on the inside when I parked her in the shoppe. Investigation is needed.
  • Gas gauge uncertainty. The new fuel pump install has the gas gauge reporting varying levels of petrol. I can drive 150 miles on the second half of the tank. The float needs to be adjusted.
  • Radio and sound system. I’ve sourced a unit that I will be able to tie my phone to that won’t break the bank.
  • Seat covers. The leather is toast. This could be expensive. I’m thinking a waterproof replacement like what Ford is delivering with the new Broncos.
  • The D pillars need to be stripped and repainted. The vinyl is toast, too much Oklahoma sun.

I could probably list half a dozen “upgrades” like skid plates, lockers, new carpets, refurbishing the plastic bits. I still haven’t replaced my rear bumper from the last time a jackass distracted driver hit me. I’m sure I could list a dozen more. The Big White Bus is really showing her 250,000+ miles and she needs a facelift.

I’d like to say 2021 will be better than 2020. But honestly, I don’t have a lot of hope for any sector. Funding will improve this year I’m sure of it. We have major repairs required in the guest bathroom. The drain line under the tub has to be replaced. The master bath still has not been remodeled.

First world problems right?

Thanks for Reading and Happy Rovering.

Popular in Finland (Post #588) 11/16/2019

Looks like I’m pretty popular in Finland today. Hopefully it’s not a hacker trying to highjack my page.

My genetic profile tells me some part of me is Northern European. So thank you to my distant cousins for visiting.
Kiitos lukemisesta ja onnellisesta kuljettamisesta.

Oxygen Sensor Replacement (Post #587) 9/16/2019


I’ve had some issues with the idling on the Big White Bus. Once she is warmed up when I come to a stop sign the idle drops to something like 300 rpms. And eventually she drops lower and finally dies.

I read online that the O2 sensors could be the culprit. I couldn’t remember the last time replaced the O2 sensors. I am not getting Code 43 or 44. As I am not driving her daily I don’t have a good idea what the gas mileage had dropped to. So I decided I’d spend the money and replace. Continue reading “Oxygen Sensor Replacement (Post #587) 9/16/2019”

Why Not Spend the Extra $12? (Post #585) 9/13/2019

We’ve all been there. If you haven’t, you will. You’ve been stopped dead by a failed part. In this case my friend JagGuy’s wife. JagGuy was absent from one of our weekly lunches, this time he missed out on a greasy cheeseburger from Tucker’s. He was waiting with his wife on the tow truck to arrive to haul one of their Discovery’s to his shoppe for a repair.

Continue reading “Why Not Spend the Extra $12? (Post #585) 9/13/2019”