Among the Gourds and Gravel (Post #574) 7/3/2017

In all my 50+ plus years of living in Oklahoma I have never been to the top of Mount Scott. So this past weekend, I took off to see it. Mount Scott is located in the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge near Lawton, Oklahoma. It rises to 2,464 feet above sea level and towers over the surrounding area. There is a three-mile long road that takes you to the top.

Continue reading “Among the Gourds and Gravel (Post #574) 7/3/2017”

Osage Adventure (Post #554) 1/30/2016

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I got together with some fellow Oklahoma Land Rovers Owner members and went on a tour of the Oklahoma Adventure Trail. If you haven’t looked this up on the internet yet, you should. It will be the source of several trips for the Big White Bus in the coming year.

Oklahoma Adventure Trail Facebook.

Oklahoma Adventure Trail Website.

Nathan brought his “new” Range Rover. I was in my Range Rover Classic. John and Jayden were in their Discovery. And Erik and David were in the Defender.

John planned our trip and did a great job of mapping out some fun places to see and giving us a great tour of the back roads of Logan, Lincoln, Creek, Payne, and Osage counties. You will find the links to the map used to guide us. There were deviations from these maps but once you are out there you’ll realize why. Fair warning this is a picture heavy post.

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One of many trestle bridges we encountered.

We drove along the Cimarron River for a good stretch.

Supports for a bridge that is no longer present.
Supports for a bridge that is no longer present.
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Along the Cimarron River

This is where we learned Erik lost his gas cap on his Defender. He made a “field expedient” cap out of some duct tape.

We detoured as suggest up to the town of Ingalls, Oklahoma. The town was the scene of what is called the “Battle of Ingalls”. The fight was between U.S. Marshalls and the Doolin-Dalton gang. You can read more about it on Wikipedia or on Legends of America. We stopped and took pictures of some seemingly old buildings, one of which seemed original to the time. We went down the street and to the site of the fight. None of the original buildings exist today.

We headed down the road and eventually turned North toward Osage County. The Oklahoma Adventure Trail lists the roads and the detours. Those detours were often buried in posts and therefore sometimes we didn’t know of a bridge out. Of course when you are driving a Land Rover a detour is not always a detour. In this case it was, the bridge was out over a very deep creek.

There were no shortage of bridges to cross. This one was a Works Project Administration job from 1940. They provide a nice break water that had a waterfall.

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We stopped in Cleveland for lunch and fuel. We pulled into town on Hwy 64 and stopped at the Dollar General next to the McDonald’s. There was no way I was eating McDonald’s unless there was nothing else. Thankfully we saw Rosie’s Tacos when we crossed the lake south of town on Hwy 64. Yes, that’s a car port. Yes, that’s a trailer parked under it. Trust us. Erik made the first suggestion that he was going to take the gastronomic adventure and get some chow there.

That was all the suggestion I needed. I didn’t have tacos. I had tamales. Delicious. Their verde’ sauce was just the right amount of hot with flavor. I’d drive back there again just to eat the tamales.

Rosie's Tacos
Rosie’s Tacos. Yummo.

My odometer rounded out to 237,000 as we pulled up for petrol.

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My plastic needs a clean and a new coat of paint.

So with both our tanks and our bellies full of goodness we headed for the Osage Tallgrass.

We got to Barnsdall, Oklahoma where we encountered the only oil well in the world located on a city street. You can see it if you navigate here. 36°33′41.93″N96°9′56.57″W

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I was a little surprised it didn’t get rammed by cars more often.

We knocked around a few more locations. Coming out of the Hulah Wildlife Refuge, at least I think it was the Hulah WR, John and his Discovery started having death wobble. We limped along until we got back to the highway going into Bartlesville.

Once stopped, we tried to sort out the issue. At one point John explained how we could deviate our path and call it a night.

John, “We can stay on the black top roads.”

David, the single gentleman of color in our group, interjected, “Why do they have to be ‘black’?”

I couldn’t help myself and had to add, “Because black top roads matter.”

Everyone laughed. It was the levity the trip needed after a long day on the dusty back roads and an unfortunate break down.

Death wobble west of Bartlesville
Death wobble west of Bartlesville

We tried swapping John’s spare when I noticed that one of the balancing weights was missing from the last stop. Getting the tires balanced is the first thing done to solve an issue with death wobble. Unfortunately that didn’t work.

With the daylight quickly waning, we decided to get the Disco into town. John knew of a grocery store at the bottom of the last hill going into Bartlesville. Once he hit the hill he put the Disco in neutral and coasted her down. We did some additional investigating which did not result in a solution to the problem.

Field repair in a grocery parking lot
Field repair in a grocery parking lot

We decided to head for the camp site as it began to get dark. When John was planning the trip he remembered a Boy Scout camp and lined us up with one of the cabins. Camp McClintock BSA.

Camp McClintock "Cubs" Cabin. They even provide cots for those of who didn't bring one.
Camp McClintock “Cubs” Cabin. They even provide cots for those of who didn’t bring one.

Once we got the fireplace glowing it took the edge off the night and made for a very tolerable sleeping experience. David was the man when it came to getting the fire going, well done sir. Each person was responsible for their dinner and those who were cooking got started and we had a great discussion.

We spent the evening discussing cars we’ve owned, some sea stories from serving the Marine Corps, and even politics. That may have been the most civil political discussion I’ve ever been a part of. I pretty sure both ends of the political spectrum were represented. One theme emerged, no one was happy with how the country is being governed by the legislative and executive branches.

The next morning we cleaned up the cabin and went for a short hike to the suspended cable bridge. Very interesting.

We went across the creek to a pond on the other side. It was partially frozen. It didn’t take us long to start skipping rocks and sticks across. The ice and the debris we tossed across it made one of the coolest sounds you’ll ever hear in nature. You can read about it here and see a video about why you get that sound.

We hiked back to the cabin where we decided to part company. Erik and Nathan would take off for OKC and I would take John back to his Disco and get it up on the trailer his dad had left that morning to assist in recovery. After we got her up on the trailer we decided to take in a bit more of the OAT on our way home. we weren’t to adventurous being as we were alone and had no hope of a timely recovery if we got stuck.

We took a detour off the OAT to see “Frog Rock”. It over looks a nice valley and was in a very remote location. When I climbed up behind the rock to take a picture of the valley I accidentally found a Geocache. We left a note that we were there for the next person to find. We didn’t take anything and we didn’t leave anything either.

I’ll leave you with a gallery of the better shots. Click for full size.

If you are interested in driving where we drove John provided the following maps. We must say we didn’t follow them “exactly”. We took the roads that interested us the most and if there was water crossing we took it.

Osage County Eastern Loop 1

Osage County Eastern Loop 2

Osage County Eastern Loop 3

Osage County Eastern Loop 4

Once again and as always, thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

SORRE, No Wine and Cheese… (Post #553) 1/20/2016

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A new club is in the works, Southwest Off-Road Rover Excursions. Their website is up check it out here.

We are an off-road group in North Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas that is interested in camping and driving off-road.
No group officers, no dues, no restrictive rules, no wine and cheese tastings …..just good times camping and Rovers. If this sounds fun to you then join up.

I’m signed up. What’s stopping you? You can also check them out on their Facebook page.

I think it will be fun to bring wine and cheese to the first outing just for a giggle. Just kidding.

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I have some bad news about the Big White Bus. She was rear-ended while parked on the street outside my uncle’s retirement home. When the dust settles I’ll let you know more. Suffice to say I can still drive her and plan to make the trip this weekend to drive a section of the Oklahoma Adventure Trail. We are going up to the Osage country. There is still time to meet up. Details are on the Oklahoma Land Rovers Owners Facebook page. Hope to see you there.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Oil Sump Gasket Replaced (Post #552) 1/10/2016

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If you follow me on the Okierover Facebook Page you read that I needed to replace my oil sump gasket. And as I predicted the weather did NOT cooperate. It stopped snowing at 1030 that morning but the wind was blowing 20-30 mph all day. It was very chilly in the garage.

If you are from Oklahoma or drive a domestic automobile (Chevy, Ford, Dodge, just kidding no one drives a Dodge) you can translate oil sump to oil pan.
I had trouble with the term too. Try Googling “oil pan gasket” when your British motor car has all their parts listed as “oil sump”. The same thing happens when you are searching the RAVE manual looking for an oil pan. Thankfully when I ordered the part from Rovah Farm it was easy to find.

Back to the leak, the Big White Bus has recently been leaving a nice puddle of oil when she comes to a stop. I know all the jokes about British cars and leaks. If you don’t see a leak, it’s probably dry. Well, I don’t care for leaks. I do my best to find the leaks and eliminate them. Like the steering box, it leaks like a sieve. I should have a rebuilt unit next week. And I will have it installed by the end of that Saturday. That will be the last of the petroleum based fluid leaks. It only took me 3 (three) years!

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The sump dropped away from the block. Labeled for your reference.

The source of the leak? the oil sump gasket or to be more specific, the LACK of a gasket. I am the second owner of this motor. As you can see below, someone used Permatex Ultra Gray for a gasket. First, Ultra Black should be used, not Gray, and there should be a cork gasket completing the seal. If you have done this I’m not criticizing, I’m just pointing out now you probably know why it’s leaking.

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That is a bit too porous to hold oil back.

My oil pan sump had to be removed and serviced. There was rust and chipped paint and what was left of the “gasket” had to be removed prior to putting a new one in. I was surprised that something that has had so much leaked oil on it could rust, but it did.

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The oil sump with a bit of the rust removed (on the right).

I got the trusty angle grinder out and hooked up a wire wheel and scraped off the rust and the factory paint (black). The challenge was getting the oil and grime off. I used brake cleaner, a lot of rags, and in the final stage before painting I used some pre-paint grease remover.

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Ready for paint.

While I had it off I cleaned some of the grime and muck out of the sump. I used a flat razor scraper. I was careful to make sure I left no “chunks” in there. Short of a sand blaster there was no way to get all the baked on muck out of there. My sand blaster cabinet is not big enough.

The sump was ready to be painted. I got the Mar-Hyde Self Etching Primer from inside the house where it was being stored at a temperature that allowed it to be used. I painted the pan with the first coat and then brought the pan into the house and into my office to dry. I gave it an hour to dray and when back out to clean up the underside of the motor. I also swapped out the last poly bushings on the radius arms.

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I don’t know why WordPress won’t let me rotate this picture. Fresh paint looks good.

I put the second coat of paint on and after some waiting I started to put it all back together. The first thing that is required is getting the Permatex Ultra Black gasket maker on and letting it set up. I did this in my office. I wasn’t even sure if it would setup in my garage at 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Once it set up I put the cork gasket on and lined it up. The Permatex acts like an adhesive at least enough to secure the gasket from moving during install.

The next challenge is to get the sump back in place and bolted up to the block. Take your time and don’t rush. The cork gasket can slip and if you break it, you are done. After it is in place you bring the bolts up to snug. The manual calls for you to tighten it to specific torque settings. The idea here is that you don’t crush the gasket.

torque

From the manual you can see that is not a lot of torque needed. I don’t have a torque wrench that I could get my 13mm sockets on. You have to use narrow walled sockets, etc… in short my tool chest is inadequate for this. So I was careful when I was tightening them. A note here, the rear bolts are not labeled but I assumed it was the ones on the row nearest the transmission tunnel.

I finished up the oil change and and then the moment of truth came. I got the oil up to temperature and watched for leaks. None were found. I drove the Big White Bus to church the next day and still no leaks. I’m going to mark that down as a success. I will of course be watching it for the next week.

On the Okierover Difficulty Scale this job is a 2 (two). You will have the oil sump off, you will get oily and dirty (and not the good kind). You also have to remove the sway bar to get the sump out. If you aren’t going to clean it up you can skip the removal and just clean it up while under the engine.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

PS the Oklahoma Land Rover Group is still on track to #Hibernot and take on a section of the Oklahoma Adventure Trail. If you are interested check out the details on the Oklahoma Land Rover Group on Facebook.

Too Hot to Land Rover (Post #542) 8/12/2015

Blasphemy! you might say. So I’ll qualify that to it’s too hot to wrench. It is the height of summer here in Oklahoma. Temperatures while they haven’t been anywhere near the lovely year of 100’s, they have been close. Our exiting of the drought in such a dramatic way this year (2015) has the humidity up to the levels I remember it from before the drought.

So your greasy fingered blogger has not put much effort into much of anything Land Rover. That is not to say I don’t have a handful of project to do, I do.

Continue reading “Too Hot to Land Rover (Post #542) 8/12/2015”

Working On It Yourself (Post #472) 3/20/2014

I was reading the Roadtrippers blog and saw a post on “The Greasy Hands Preachers”. The Greasy Hands Preachers is a feature film documentary shot in 16mm in June August and October 2013. To be completed early 2014. The film explores the values and the benefits of manual work amongst motorcycle enthusiasts. They have a nice teaser video.

http://vimeo.com/88659057

I totally get what he’s saying at 2:05 in the video.

“There is a great satisfaction when you know how to work on your motorcycle even a little bit….I find some paper clip and some gum and I’ll get home.”

Continue reading “Working On It Yourself (Post #472) 3/20/2014”