July 15th, 2004 (Post #48)

July 15th, 2004
Shocks On, Radiator Woes, Work and Weather
Over the Fourth of July weekend I finally got all four shocks on. I took some pics
and will have an update with that when I can get around to it.

As I had just finished the last shock, I was collecting tools and getting everything gathered up and noticed a puddle under the front left side. Antifreeze was dripping out. What? I didn’t even
touch the radiator. I wasn’t even up there for anything. Being as it was a million degrees outside I took the Rover down to Sooner Radiator on Porter Street in Norman. Sports and Classics uses them a lot and I have had them work on the Rover before. This was July 5th and I was hoping they were open considering the government holiday. They got it done and told me it was a bad tube and the tank had started leaking too. Both due to pressure most likely. Pressure, as we all know is coming from the head gasket most likely. $100(US) later I’m back on the road. So I take my wife to the Target store and when I come out there is a huge puddle of antifreeze under the truck. I was none to happy about it I can assure you. I got under bonnet and sure enough a hose clamp not properly secured. It dawned on me that they did that last time I had it in there too. No big loss but you would expect that if I had been out on a trip and I lost that much coolant I would have been in trouble.

I’ve been really busy with work lately and have not been working on the site or the Rover. It is now summer here and you can’t really comfortably work on anything without suffering.

I’ve got a great idea for a camper but I’m not ready to tell you about it. But I think it would be a one of a kind and be a lot of fun to make.

June 26th, 2004 (Post #47)

June 26th, 2004
New Site, New Shocks
I decided that I needed a site for the online display of my Big White Bus. So as you read this
OkieRover.com is up and running. It contains the same old stuff I had before just in a different format and with a different look.

I was finally able to get some money together to replace the shocks. The control of the dead shocks is starting to scare me on bumps. It’s adventure to go from I-235 on to I-40 west bound. That’s what I call “real driving”. Anyway…I bought Old Man Emu shocks from Ryan at Rover Cannibal. They should be in any day now. Hopefully I can put them on this long weekend. I’ll post the models and maybe some links when they arrive.

June 6th, 2004 (Post #46)

June 6th, 2004
Air Conditioning
JagGuy’s daughter had complained that there was no A/C in the Black Rangie so
he endeavored to repair it. So being as I wanted my A/C to work as well, mostly because
the wifey complained that it wasn’t working. I decided to prod him a bit and we worked
on the trucks one past Sunday. Thinking I was in for an expensive repair and I expected to
spend at least $300(US) I was amazed when I had cold air coming out of my vents just $40 later. Read about it HERE

The cats are back to rattling but I am mostly ignoring them.

The Big White Bus has not been idling as of late and a fellow at the Pirate 4×4 board reminded
me about the idler control valve, which gets sooty after awhile and must be cleaned. I had forgotten about that. As I posted, this happens every year and I seem to forget, every year, how I fixed it the last time I had the problem.

How about them gas prices? Wow who would’ve figured that kind of price hike. Funny when things happen in other states to production facilities our prices go up. It’s strange because our gas plants here were not affected. You can go down and look at where your gas is made in Wynnewood Oklahoma. Very strange indeed. The only good news in all of this is tax revenues are up. I wonder what they’ll blow it on this year?

It is a time of mourning in our nation as The Great Communicator, Ronald Reagan has passed away. Prayers go out to the family for their comfort. Thank you sir for giving us back the pride we have as Americans.

May 17th, 2004 (Post #45)

May 17th, 2004
A Big Pause
Well ROVErica has had a great month. She competed and won a position on the Longfellow
Middle School Cheer Team for next year. We are very happy about this as her grades have gotten better too. But with this honor my money has been leaving the house at an unpresidented rate.

So I put a couple of projects on hold and have been bracing for the cost of Cheer Camp and all the clothes that go with it. In the midst of this my oldest daughter announced that she will wed her boyfriend in June 2005. We are very happy for her. With this more monies are exiting the domicile now and not even asking “by your leave sir” as they fly past me. Janie’s back surgery went excellently and her recovery is very good. She is not working and thus the funding has also gotten hit on that end. I didn’t really want to get new bushings and shocks anyway.

I desperately need them as The Big White Bus sounds like a creaky old man while traversing the
parking lots and gutters of our hometown.

I did start on the trailer lights and had to stop. I wanted to disassemble the deck lid and get
the rust stopped. I quit on this too. If a day or two come up in June I’ll get back on it hopefully.

Good News.
The catalytic converters on the Big White Bus are no longer rattling. I guess all the driving has ground them down and they haven’t rattled in month. I wish all my issues fixed themselves like this.

Funny story. My friend recently got a Jaguar XJ6. Nice car, very pretty. She was getting a message from the car that her “boot” was open. She had no idea what that meant. She drove around for a few days and it quit. During recent dinner at her house and JagGuy gave her a lesson on British car terminology just in case she had any more error messages she didn’t understand.

I have started working on graphics for a web page featuring my truck. I need a new name for the Big White Bus. Many people name their trucks but I have yet to find one I really, really liked. If you have a suggestion, email me at rover dot eric at cox dot net. Thanks.

March 26th, 2004 (Post #44)

March 26th, 2004
Cats are rattlin’
The catalytic converters on the Big White Bus are rattling something fierce! I could have swore I had only 3 quarts of oil and dropped a rod on the way home from RovErica’s softball game. Go Lions! Anyway, it sounds terrible. I will again look for a solution this week and report back faithfully as always. I think I saw a “Y” pipe and “cat” for the same price as my local shop wanted to charge me for cats alone…

where did I put that link….

March 22nd, 2004 (Post #43)

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.