Shhhh! (Post #199) 9/1/2010

What to do? What to do?
We are at one of those awesome spots in a project where you have a decision branch. Do we go direction A or direction B. Each direction has pros and cons. Neither direction is “the right way” as opposed to the other direction which could also be “the right way”. It is truly subjective.

The dilemma is just this, what do I line the floor boards with after I have repaired the rust holes and get the floor painted?

I have done a little research. My friends here at work say the auto audio places have the stuff you want. I looked into Dynamat (endorsed by none other than Chip Foose) and Stinger Road Kill endorsed by Carl at AutoImage USA in Norman Oklahoma. Carl was very helpful and showed me the product and said it was superior to Dynamat due to its greater thickness and cheaper price. One of my mates here at work also said, “there were cheaper and better products out there.” This must be it. Unfortunately for Carl his price for the Stinger Road Kill kits were about double that of the sellers on Google Shopping. Carl did say I could get my entire under body sealed for 300$(US). This gave me an idea that perhaps I might give him a shot at the undercoating once the repairs were done. This is going to be a nasty dirty job and I don’t relish it especially lying on my back in the garage.

The first decision has already been made. I will not put it back the same way it came out in regards to the carpet the sound pads underneath. As you read in an earlier blog post the factory sound pad is a giant water retaining sponge. You already know the Range Rover and apparently every other Land Rover automobile is a basically a petri dish for rust. Add water and watch the rust grow! In my opinion I think this is the biggest disappointment in Land Rover history. Purpose built vehicles that have absolutely not been protected from rust.

I just finished reading a post on the Lucky 8 blog that describes the restoration of a 1997 Defender. If you flip through the 166 photos you will see rust on that vehicle that is totally inexcusable. This was a New York vehicle that was about to succumb to the rust monster. The D90 was rescued from Billy Joel by an owner who intended, as the post goes on to say, to become his beach cruiser at his North Carolina residence.

Look at that transformation! That is a totally new vehicle. Everything that could rust has been refurbished or replaced or coated to never be a problem again. WHY WASN’T THIS DONE AT THE FACTORY? It boggles the mind.

I wish I had the resources to do this to my beloved 1993 Range Rover LWB. A total body off restoration. How awesome would that be? It would only cost 15 or 20 thousand, why not!? Well, man cannot live with out dreams, so I will continue to dream about that.

So back to the decision…
Course A – might be something like this.
Install a Dynamat or Stinger Road Kill like product to the floor pans of the Range Rover. This would be to protect them from water and further rust. On top one might also add a new carpet pad from one of these manufacturers.

Course B – might be something like this.
Install a Dynamat or Stinger Road Kill like product to the floor pans of the Range Rover. Dry the existing OEM carpet pad and reinstall.

Course A would be more expensive but all new products would be water resistant or water proof thusly eliminating the rust problem.

Course B would be a bit cheaper. The floor and windshield in both scenarios will be sealed to prevent the water that was the problem in the first place. So using the old pad would not present EXACTLY the same problems as before.

Course A is perhaps the best choice. If only for this one reason, if the OEM pad were to get wet again, it would be setting there WET, breeding rust. That pad took forever to dry out (if if ever did) and is in my mind inferior. The trick would be to replace it with a superior product that didn’t break the bank.

So the real decision tree is Dynamat or Stinger Road Kill or some other unnamed product. The prices are comparable on Google Shopping. Finally we come to the final and last real question,
Which product do I use?

Plato would be proud of us if he were here to jury this thought experiment. We eliminated the questions that gave us undesirable results and boiled it down (to mix a metaphor) to a win-win scenario. The guys restoring the D90 used Dynamat. Auto Image USA uses Stinger Road Kill. I think either will work exceedingly well.

Have any of you ever used any of these products? drop me a line and let me know what you think.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.