Footwell Repair Part 4: Floor Panel Repair, Failing Spectacularly at Metal Working (Post #663) 7/20/2024

I started the day with glorious visions of finishing the welding on the Floor Panel. All I managed to accomplish was spectacular failure.

Things that worked:

  • I had some luck with my homemade plug weld drill bit. It worked well at removing the layers of primer and seam sealer I had foolishly laid down.
  • Welding. Some of my welds actually held pretty well. I managed to get a good ground and the welds stuck until I stressed them too far. On second thought, maybe that means the welds sucked.
  • My home made air hammer … hammer bit stretched the metal a lot. But the shape I needed and the one the I got weren’t going to work.

Things that didn’t work:

  • Welds. As before, they popped when put under a lot of stress.
  • My understanding of metal working,
  • My spinal cord did not like the constant bending over.

After I had the panel welded in place I tried to apply my air hammer on the panel to get the metal to stick. I also tried using self tapping screws to get the panel to stay in place. This may have worked better if I had shaped the panel better.

All in all, it was a waste of wire and gas. I’ve since cut the panel down smaller. I cut all the plug welds off. I’ll try edge welding when I start return to make the fix. Changed the way the transmission tunnel weld was fixed. It’s now straighter less “bowl shaped”. I’m pretty sure I’ll need help holding the panel in place while I make the first few welds.

Range Rover 1

Okierover 0

That’s it for this week. Like and subscribe.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Footwell Repair Part 3: Floor Panel Repair, Welding (Post #662) 7/13/2024

We got a big break in the weather. A cold front hit and we got a lovely lightning show along with the fireworks. And we got some cooler weather. The shop wasn’t crazy hot today and won’t be all weekend. So I’m going to take advantage of it and get some work done.

In this post my goal was to get the floor pan welded up. I first had to fix a small patch to the bottom corner. I made a template and got the steel cut. It welded up pretty well. I was pretty happy with the results.

Then I started on the floor panel. I first drilled some holes for the plug welds. This reinforced my need for a drill press. I really want a drill press.

Due to the odd shape of the floor. My panel does not fit very well. Off camera I tried several things to get the panel to line up and contour to the floor. I didn’t have much success. And getting the panel to stay put while I welded, well, I was trying to hold it and weld it. I struggled greatly.

So I decided to put a few self-tapping screws in the panel. These held the panel as expected. I put my hand-made plug weld bit to good use and started welding. I had some success all across the bottom. I didn’t have much luck with the welds near the transmission tunnel but I did finally get some welds to stick.

At this point I realized my welding helmet stopped darkening. This could have gone really badly for me. I did weld two plugs without darkening. I’m glad I noticed, because that kind of eye damage is the real deal.

At this point I’m going to used the self tapping screws to pull the two panels together. I’ll make the plug welds in the holes and then pull the self tapping screws and fill those with welds. At least I have a plan and I am relatively confident this will work.

I’ll then fill the gap on the bottom side with seal sealer. Paint everything with a couple more coats and then I’ll seal it all up with rattle can truck bed liner.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Footwell Repair Part 11: Wheel Well Panel (Post #658) 6/19/2024

In this post I talk about making my replacement panel for the front passenger side wheel well. I went to Chickasha Industrial and bought a piece of scrap 20 gauge. It will be just the right amount for the fender and the floor panel. Happy I didn’t have to buy a giant sheet.

I started by making my measurements and then checking them again. After I finished that I checked the measurements again. In the video I show how I needed to have a trapezoid shape. And after typing trapezoid in this post I realize I have spelled it wrong in this post, which is being exported as I type up this post. Oh well…..

I referenced “Mephisto’s Trapezoid” from the 1981 Pee Wee Herman – Live at the Roxy show which was on HBO. It’s one of my favorite shows to watch and was the inspiration for Pee Wee’s Playhouse. Captain Carl, played by the amazing Phil Hartman, tells his story to Pee Wee about getting lost in Mephisto’s Trapezoid. Comedic genius.

I cut the steel and then measured again. I made some bends to get the inner edge and the back lip right. After getting the panel made I could tell I needed to make some adjustments to the fender well too. So I did some hammer and dolly work and got everything sorted. I also had to adjust my panel after I got everything sorted. No biggy.

I dry fitted the panel at least six times. I’m pretty sure I can get it into place with just a few plug welds. I’m going to try my hand tomorrow at modifying a broken drill bit to make a plug weld bit. If that doesn’t produce results I’ll probably run to a welding shop and see what I can find. The gist of this is you can paint everything and seal it with whatever then remove just the part of the paint you need to weld.

This is a giant experiment because the entire floor pan in the back is going to be done this way. The holes are there and all I’ll need to do is get the Z bar in place and make a crap ton of plug welds. Then I can get the entire seam sealed with bedliner and or whatever.

That’s pretty much it for now.

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Footwell Repair Part 10: Fender Prep (Post #657) 6/10/2024

In this post I intended to patch the fender with a new panel. I only have a smallĀ  section of the steel sheet I bought. Before the work I started today I needed a 10″x8″ piece. My patch area was about 7 inches with a 9 and a half panel with a half inch bend on one side.

From last week we found 4 sheets of steel sandwiched on the one side. Two of those are seemingly superfluous. In between each sheet was a nice rust stuffing. So its pretty obvious all that needs to be remediated.

I got the air chisel out and went to town. I split all the steel and cut away the rusted parts. I wire wheeled as much of the rust away and in the end covered everything with the rust mitigation paint I bought.

I will need to get a new sheet of steel to finish this piece. The patch I need to make is now going to need to be a inch after the bend perhaps more. I’ll cover every piece of steel with the rust paint. I think the way they screwed the panels together might work. I can also see how I could spot weld the panels together. This would also be good experience for welding the bed back into place. I will also be covering everything in seal sealer and several liberal applications of bedliner/rhino-liner or whatever it is called.

Thanks for watching, like and subscribe, and Happy Rovering.

Footwell Repair Part 8: Finishing an “L” for the Bulkhead (Post #655) 5/26/2024

I have some good news and I have some bad news….

The good news…I have the swimming pool setup and I’ve been in it twice this weekend.

The bad news…I still suck at welding. In my defense this part of the Range Rover Classic is a mish-mash of panels converging into a very small space. There are no less that three different pieces in this area that are plug welded and the gaps filled with seam sealer. In a future video when I build the rest of of the upper wheel well, I will point out the three layers of panels that go into building the wheel well. It’s so convoluted that screws were even used to hold the parts together. SCREWS!

Anyway. I build my replacement parts and attempted to get them married together. Ironically I have three pieces of metal to get this done. Well four if you count the patch of the side bulkhead.

Did I say it was hard to weld under there? NO? Well it’s damn hard to weld under there. You have basically two positions. Mashed up against the wheel hub and laying on the ground with welding slag (molten metal) falling on you. Both, super awesome as you can well imagine.

I said I was swimming earlier in this post. While sitting on the patio drying off Mrs. Okierover noted the weird red scratches on my right arm. I told her they were from being mashed up against the hub.

Manufacturing the repair pieces was a bit of folly too. I had to make the “L” three times. First time was an experiment to see if I could make a bended L. The second was because I measured the piece without the floor panel in the right place. The third time was a charm or I decided that was going to be the last time I made it and I made it work.

Don’t get me wrong, careful thought was expended. A LOT of thought. And in the end I was still wrong but not by much.

With a lot of clamping and grinding and grunting I have the pieces welded together. The welds are ugly. A lot of seam sealer will be used to discourage water from coming in these seams. Probably about as much as was used by the factor but the difference is my metal is covered with primer. Theirs was not. To protect this section I will rely on primer, at least three coats. Rust encapsulator will also be liberally applied. And over that, rhino/bed liner. Inside the cab will also be a layer of Fat Mat.

Will all this work and product prevent rust? Probably not. Who are we kidding? The Range Rover Classic was built to rust. The goal was that it rusted out on the second or third owner. I had the added bad luck that my Range Rover was a victim of a front end wreck before I owned it. Sports and Classics did the best they could to weld a donor front end on to the rear half. And I’m doing my best to keep rust at bay the best I can.

There were 19 segments filmed over two days. I left a lot of the welding out of the video. Mostly because it was difficult enough for me to get into place to weld, there really wasn’t any room for a camera.

It was hot in the shoppe too. Temps at or above 100F (37.8 C for those of you living in countries that have never had a man on the moon). The camera overheats when I’m filming in these temps. So the camera sat on the air conditioner when I wasn’t filming. I wonder if anyone makes a camera that can do warmer temps? My next camera will be evaluated for temps.

This weekend was Memorial Day.
Freedom is not free. So many have given everything they had to keep you free.
Remember those and their great sacrifice.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

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Footwell Repair Part 7: Building an “L” for the Bulkhead (Post #654) 5/19/2024

Part 7 should have been titled, “How the hell are we going to make an L that has a big bend in it?!?” I have been thinking about this solution for two weeks on and off in my spare brain idling time.

Today’s video is me actually experimenting with bending the metal and making a sample piece. I’m pretty sure I know what I’m going to and how I’m going to put this thing together. The next step is to cut the strip I’m going to use for the L piece and hammer it into shape. I’ll need to do some additional measuring and mental gymnastics to sort out how I’m going to weld all this up so it doesn’t leak and dare I say it, “it doesn’t rust” or “rust much”.

1820’s Cherokee

I also mention that I went to the 200th Anniversary of Fort Towson. You can google about Fort Towson that was once known as the Chateau on the Prairie. It must have been a wonderful sight to behold with it’s limestone walled buildings and it’s blue roofs.

Life on the prairie in this time was hard. Like real hard. Death was ever present and it was not uncommon for a soldier to arrive and be dead within a year. They grew much of their own food and getting supplies from the east was inconsistent.

As a living historian, I portray a Cherokee for this period in Oklahoma history. This was the time when the creator of the Cherokee syllabary Sequoyah lived. The fur trade in “Indian Territory” pre-dates the mountain man era of the fur trade popularized in several movies like Jeremiah Johnson (1972) and The Mountain Men (1980).

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Next week will be more metal bending and welding of the support into place to get ready for putting in the floor.