In my last post I told you it was hot outside. That’s a no brainer to 1/3 of the country right now living under the heat dome. I didn’t take a picture of the thermostat on August 19th but Oklahoma City set a new highest temperature for the date. At the weather station in the neighborhood behind the house, it measured 107.7°F (42°C) around 1:00pm on Saturday the 19th and a similar 107.6 for the following Sunday the 20th.
If you’ve never been in this kind of hot outside, its hard to describe. Dangerous is a good word. Dangerous like, if you screw around and exert yourself too much you could die. Heat Stroke and Heat Exhaustion is hovering nearby. I’ve had both, my Yelp review, 1 star, would not recommend.
So when I got home from the Evil German Dude’s house, I went out to the shoppe and the needle on the thermostat was about where I indicate on the pic below. Let’s just call that about 125°F (51.7°C) so I decided it was going to be a “make and mend” day [Wikipedia]. And it was going to be spent in the cool air conditioning.
The good news for this weekend is it looks like the heat bubble popped and the temps will come down significantly this weekend. Back to a range this old fat man can manage.
I’ll try to bust out another welding video Monday or Tuesday. I’m disappoint I couldn’t keep up the momentum of publishing a weekly video. If I had worked in the shoppe last week you wouldn’t have gotten a video anyway, because I would have likely been in the hospital.
It is not uncommon for Oklahoma to have temps over 100°F for extended periods of time. Even when I was a kid this happened some summers. The hottest temp I ever remembered experiencing was 125°F during the Combined Arms Exercise (CAX) in August of 1985 while I was serving in the US Marine Corps Reserve. We spent 14 lovely days (without a shower) in the high desert of the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, also known as 29 Palms [Marines.mil] or “the stumps” as many Marines sometimes fondly remember it.
I recently got to catch up with one of my friends that I had not seen since February of 1986. We talked for hours and brought up that summer and our exploits in the desert several times.
I know we are supposedly experiencing “never before” (not since records have been kept anyway) high temps across the entire earth. I heard a guy offer an alternative theory to the climate warming crisis. He said, “What if we have been living during a historically cold temperature all this time?” That does make you think a bit…
I work in the shoppe as long as I can during these hot days. The GoPro camera usually signals that I’m done when it over heats. The last few videos I have taken the GoPro it has prematurely quit and had to be set on the portable air condition to get it back to operating temperature.
After I’ve had enough with the heat, leaving the shop on these days in July and August on the Southern plains with triple digit temperatures has me feeling a bit like Sir Alec Guinness when he emerged from “the oven” in Bridge Over the River Kwai (1957).
I’ve shown the shoppe temp in previous videos. When the outside temp is 100°F plus. The shoppe temp can easily be 110° to 120°F inside. It’s basically a giant tin oven. It desperately needs an exhaust fan to pull the hot air out. I will be sourcing one and getting it wired in as soon as my budget allows.
I’ve learned four very important lessons in my 58 years of life, that the wisdom of which needs to be passed on to others:
Communism doesn’t work.
Never get involved in a land war in Asia.
Never cook bacon naked.
And not the least of which is, don’t use an angle grinder with a cut off wheel to cut steel plate while wearing shorts and a short-sleeved t-shirt after you’ve had a couple of Cuba Libre’s.
While taking care to follow the “Safety Second” mantra, I cut the steel the night before after a crappy day at work. At least I wore my protective face shield and moved the steel stock away from flammables and the Big White Bus while I showered the entire area including my arms and legs with blistering hot sparks precisely cut the two patches.
I remembered to pack a pair of gloves and to place the fender patches in the Ford F-150 after I cut them Friday night. I was worried that in my haste to get to OKC to eat BBQ and see Mike (who is perhaps my oldest friend), I would miss out on my opportunity to manipulate steel plate using tonnes of pressure with the English Wheel because I left the steel at the Okierover Base Camp. Its happened before.
Thankfully I have awesome friends that have skills and tools I have yet to acquire. JagGuy has an English Wheel in his shop.
An English Wheel [TheShed.NZ] which if you know anything about its function makes flat stock, curved. For the left rear fender, the last two pieces to weld up are two large arches. The first of which is the big hole in the wheel well, which is where one of the seat belt mounts (which I will have in place but will not use) go. The other is the outer wheel well arch against the outer wall.
I’m going to use his English Wheel to give my patches some curve (parabola) so they are easier to manipulate and weld into place. I’ve never used an English Wheel but am not afraid to try.
I know using the English Wheel is an “art” and people who can produce panels this way charge premium prices due to this highly skilled and labour-intensive production method. I’m not highly skilled and I don’t plan on doing anything that might pass for “labour-intensive”. Just a few tugs and pulls to get a curve. The wheeling will hopefully make my welding and fitting of the panels easier.
The temp actually cooled off for Saturday, apparently the “heat-bubble” popped. We had rain and temps in the 80s. You can watch the video of the wheeling process and the welding of the fenders.
Today started out “cool”. At least it was cool for an August on the southern plains. The temp was lower than I thought and clouds covered the northern sky and looked to be moving south. This usually says we are going to get a break in the hot temps. We’ve been 24 days without rain. But with all things weather in Oklahoma, a full cloud cover did not offer any relief from the heat.
Regardless I need to make some progress on the Big White Bus if I’m ever going to drive her again. So after a little bit of trimming of the hedgerow between my neighbor and our house I got to work. Sticking with the theme of welding for this summer, repairing the rust in the fender seemed like a great idea.
I had four places in the fender that needed repair before I started today. I am now down to two. I repaired a small rust spot and repaired the corner of the fender.
I fixed one spot with a simple rectangle and welded it up in short order.
The corner was a complicated piece to fix. The patch for the corner was somewhat shaped like a trough? I don’t have the tools to make that happen. I tried hammering a piece of 16 gauge into a trough but really didn’t have any luck.
I got a bit of inspiration and decided that if I put the patch in and shaped it like one of the complex sides I could perhaps hammer it to fit the other complex shape. So with a bunch of vise-grips I got the patch in place and went to work with the hammer. I worked from the back of the piece to the front and continued until it was in the right shape. To say I was surprised it worked that well was an understatement.
I tacked it into place and began attempting to weld it in place. While not a perfect job, I think it will work and will keep the water out of the truck. I welded both the inside and outside of the patch. This was mostly in a vain attempt to make it a water proof solution. I know I’m fooling myself that it is.
So the final step in the fender repair well will be to give the entire underside a healthy coat of bedliner. I will do this on all four corners once I am done with the repairs.
I am still trying to source the bed panel. There are some in England, but I haven’t found one on this side of the pond yet. I have a Facebook contact that might do a bulk purchase and have some shipped over. I am hoping this works out. I am pretty sure I could order the panel and the support pieces but the shipping is ridiculous. Like, more expensive than the parts.
There were some issues with the video. The sound decided not to record on two sections. No camera changes were made…just no sound. I did a voice over for those sections. Also the shop was too hot for the GoPro to work and after two segments it shut down. I stuck it on the portable air conditioner to get it back to operating temp twice.
There are the last two sections for this fender, the “big hole” and “the strap” as I am referring to them now. Once those are done this fender is COMPLETED! Progress will have been made!
No Land Rover content this week. I started the weekend trying to get the chores done first. Mowing the grass which grows at a ridiculous rate due the the wet July we’ve had. I’m cutting grass every week now.
I got on the mower and got my book on tape going [Extreme Measures by Vince Flynn the eleventh book in the series]. I kept hearing some odd noises, vibrating parts, and the engine was running like crap. Just last week I was evaluating how many more summers I might get from this mower while I was patching the holes in the tires with plugs.
I have been impressed at how trouble free this mower (Husqvarna 1842) had been with this being the sixth summer. I’ve only had one other serious repair. It was also a mandrel. I have also replaced one battery and before the summer is up, I really should replace all the tires.
After an inspection I saw the shaft on the mandrel wiggling like crazy. The upper bearing failed on the mandrel. So it wasn’t going to be grass cutting for the weekend, it would be mower repair. I looked the part up and found it had a John Deere part cross referenced. I went down to P&K Tractor on Highway 9. The parts guy was SUPER helpful. He looked up the part on several sites and found a part number at O’Reilly’s. Turns out in his words this was the most common bearing in the world. I was surprised how many different parts numbers were associated with it. I ran down to O’Reilly’s grabbed two.
The bolts (steel) were really stuck in the mandrel housing (cast aluminum). You don’t have to be a chemist to know this is a recipe for disaster. And that’s exactly what happened.
I wound up having to attempt to drill and easy-out what was left of the bolts. Broke two drill bits and eventually the mandrel. Four hours lost. I’ve ordered a replacement, it comes in this week. So I spent the rest of the day cleaning and organizing the shoppe.
I’m going to visit an old Marine friend of mine this week. Jeff was one of my closest friends in the Marine Corps. We went to boot camp together and artillery school. I haven’t seen or heard from him since perhaps 1988. Gonna be great catching up. RovErica’s kids are coming to stay with us this week too. With all this happening I don’t think there will be any video next week. But we’ll see.
I finally broke down and welded something on my Range Rover. While I will admit freely, I am NOT a welder, but I did enjoy getting the patches welded on. I took a few hours the day before this video was shot to “practice” welding with some scraps I had cut off the Big White Bus.
One of the difficulties is the metal on the Range Rover and the metal I am patching with are different thicknesses. I believe the OEM body panels are 18 gauge whereas my patching material is 16 gauge. I watched a YouTube video where a young man from Weld.com showed how he setup his welder to weld different thicknesses. It’s pretty good stuff and I recommend it if you are still wondering how to setup your welder and what settings you might want to start with. His settings for 18 and 16 weren’t different so I just need to find the same settings he suggested and convert those values to the letter equivalent on my Lincoln MIG Pro 180.
I also watched a fellow from Make It Kustom that has some great tips on welding and patch making. Good stuff there too. This guy is obviously an artist and I imagine has, “done this a time or two.”
In my video there is a lot of grinding and sparks flying and hopefully some good tips to help you weld your patches on your Range Rover Classic. I sped a lot of it up so I’m not consuming a lot of your life watching my low grade videos.
The camera overheated at the end for the second time that day. The temp inside the shoppe was above 110°F (which is 43.3°C for you metric system types). Yeah that’s pretty hot for this old man. I’m seriously going to investigate getting an exhaust fan installed to pull the hot air out.
Overall I’m pretty excited that I can weld stuff. I did fix a yard swing that one of our trees landed on and crushed. I’m looking forward to finishing the welding on the rust and turn my attention to making stuff like a 270 degree awning, a rear bumper, and lots of other stuff.
In this installment I spent two days preparing the fender well for welding in the patches. Two days (4 to 5 hours each) of wire-wheeling and grinding and cutting. It was a dirty job with lots of rust dust and rubber flying all over.
My spinal cord didn’t enjoy sitting on the hard shoppe floor for so long. And, it was hot. Deep in the Congo humid Africa hot in the shoppe. It would rain in the morning, then the sun would come out and crank up the air temp along with the humidity. Temps from 95F to 100F plus 90% humidity, AND I’m in the metal hot box of the shoppe where the temp is 105F to 115F. Brutal. I need an exhaust fan for the heat.
My shooting of video was mostly terrible. It also was extremely long. I’m not sure what I should have done differently to make this more consumable. Watching other Youtubers I see they sometimes have longer videos. I would have most likely had to skip some of the work. How much grinding does one need to watch? I sped those parts up to cut time.
I’m prepping the first of the welding videos now and should have it out this week.