March 22nd, 2004

March 22nd, 2004
Lots of little things

I tried to get to the little projects this weekend. Among them were:

  • Tailgate rusting and lock not functioning
  • Replacement rearview mirror installed
  • Oil change
  • Carpets cleaned

    Tailgate

    The tailgate rust has been increasing. It is now rusting through the frame on the upper tail gate.
    This is a common problem with Range Rovers. There are several approaches to fixing this but I haven’t decided which one to do. I will probably order a new tail gate and before it is installed have it rust protected so it doesn’t fail as quickly. The screws that hold the handle in place looked terrible and I replaced one of them with a stainless steel screw. The other would not come out due to the head failing and the phillips screwdriver would not turn the stripped head. So off it will need to come and drilled out or some other way used to remove it from the handle. The locking actuator has never worked correctly and will also need to be replaced. These are pricey little items so off to Rover Cannibal for that part. I’ll post more later.

    Rearview Mirror Goodness
    As posted in the forums I sent off for a replacement mirror. The options were limited so I chose a suitable one. There are these types available based on what you have now…

  • Prism with map lights
  • Auto dimming
  • Auto dimming with compass and outside temp

    I had an OEM auto dimming with map lights. So if you look at the list there is no such thing available. I ordered the one with the map lights. This was my favorite feature of the mirror and I cannot do without them. So that is what I got and installed (finally) this weekend. I have driven about 2.5 months without a rearview mirror and I only miss it when the police are tailing me whilest I am attempting to recall my driver training and all the pertinent traffic laws of our state. Otherwise I’ve learned I don’t care what’s behind me.

    I installed the mirror per the directions. This is an easy procedure. On the
    Difficulty Scale it’s a 1. I made it a 1.5 with a couple of changes. The instructions call for you to run the wiring harness under the headliner and down the driver’s side front post to the wheel well. Hook on to a wire with the provided vampire connector and hook up ground. The harness has a 1 amp fuse built in. I made it more difficult by keeping the original harness by tucking it up under the headliner and saving the unnessary mirror hardware. You never know when you might aquire another OEM mirror. I used a Dremel with cutting wheel (always wear protective goggles) to cut the existing OEM wiring harness out of the plastic channel. Worked great, although it was more like melting the harness than cutting it.

    I have only the lights to worry with and I wanted them to work when the engine was off. If you have the auto-dimming feature you do not want this “hot” when the engine is off. As the instructions say it will run your battery down. So I used my trusty volt-ohm meter to find a wire from the existing harness that had 12 volts while the key was turned off. This was easily done. You just put the black lead on the screw that holds the door open switch on to the frame, unplug a harness and start Easter egging for 12 volts. I found it on the first pin I looked at. So I applied the vampire connector and bolted the ground on to a ground post that was somewhat difficult to get to but otherwise a perfect ground. Viola, map lights. The instructions might be intimidating to someone not accustom to such technical details but don’t fret it.

    Oil Change
    Nothing really to report. I went back to regular Castrol 20w-50. I didnt’ see the “High Mileage”
    oil on the shelf. No biggy on this job, add a Wix filter and your done. I took the old oil I had collected and took it to my local O’Reilly where I bought my filter and they have a collector in
    the back. Eventually someone comes and picks it up for them. I don’t have a gravel driveway to pour it on so I take back to be recycled.

    Carpets Cleaned
    I asked in the forums if anyone knew where to get new carpet. I was worried about the expense but thought new carpet would be nice. I noticed some of my items in the back had gotten wet. The jug of coolant I carry around had knocked over and leaked about a half gallon on to the carpet and everything else back there. I pulled the carpet up and resolved to clean it. It was an easy remove with just a few plastic holders holding it in place. I though while I’m at it why don’t I just pull up the back seat carpet and clean it as well. If I screw it up I’m gonna replace it anyway so what the heck.

    This carpet was easy to remove and soon I had the two on the way to the car wash. I put them up on the provided clamps and proceeded to hose them off. Worked great. The dirtiness of the rear seat carpet was disgusting. I believe at least twenty cans of coke had been spilled on it by
    the previous owner. RovErica was extremely grossed out. Here’s the short and long of it.
    The carpet is designed to get wet. I believe it is designed to be hosed off too. For the backing
    on the rear seat carpet was a hardened material and took to being pressure wash quite nicely.

    It was an easy job and I would recommend it for very dirty carpet. I am sufficiently happy
    with the results that I will not be replacing my carpet any time soon, except maybe for some
    three inch orange shag carpet if it comes back in style. The only warning would be
    to keep the pressure wand away from the carpet. I will cut it and even cause a hole if used
    too closely to the carpet. Work in strokes and rinse the soap out after you have decided it
    is clean enough.

    Coming up
    My next project is to organize the back of the Rover. I have read some solutions to this and the
    one I’m going to employ will be adding a rear shelf. I have entirely too much crap back there and
    I am going to reduce the size of the tool box. With the creative use of some Coca-Cola trays I’m
    going to put in a rear deck. I will post more as I start it. It will hide some items I’m worried
    about displaying and offer a rear deck free of debris to put the groceries. If I engineer the legs
    properly it could double as a table when camping!

    I am purchasing one more set of dome lights for my Rover. This will make the 12th set of lamps I have bought. I am contemplating an LED solution that would not burn out, ever. As the project
    comes along I’ll post more.

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