Part 4: Welding Patches in the Rear Wheel Well (Post #640) January 28, 2024

This was the first weekend in a while that we were healthy. My son brought home Flu A from a basketball tournament at the school and then Mrs. Okierover brought home Covid. I tried to avoid both of them while still making them food and making sure they were taking their medicines. I also tried sleeping in the living room all weekend to minimize contact. It was all for naught. I got Covid on MLK Jr. Day. I missed a week of work too.

In this episode I tackle some of the rust holes in the passenger side wheel well. Turned out it was too cold to paint so I couldn’t get any primer on them.

I put a patch over the bad spot in the front side of the wheel well. This spot is where three panels come together. It was “protected” from the factory with hope and a lot of seam sealer. My original goal was to just fill the split but the steel was too thin and the MIG welds just blew through.

I got the patch welded in place without too much trouble. I think I did a decent job with this patch. I mean, I don’t have that much experience welding so every time weld I’m trying to get better. If I’m getting better, it would be considered “slowly getting better”.

While cutting out a bad seam I inadvertently sliced the wheel well in two places. These needed filling. They went as I would have expected.

Finally, I fixed the cut I made in the rear support beam. If you remember I cut through this while attempting to remove the rear floor pan. This was dumb. Thankfully it wasn’t damaged too much. I welded the entire cut closed. I think this went well too.

I had some trouble with being able to see through my hood towards the end. I adjusted the settings on my helmet and realize I need to replace my batteries. I need a few more hours under the helmet. I wish I could have tried out several helmets to see how they work. I limited myself to American Made welding helmets so there weren’t a lot of affordable options.

That’s all for this week. If you enjoy the videos Like and Subscribe.

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Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

https://youtu.be/dvfHz-CrfTo

https://youtu.be/dvfHz-CrfTo

Prep for Welding, Part 2(Post #637) 1/1/2024

B pillar rust

Happy New Year everyone!!!

The plan this weekend was to do some welding. Unfortunately the welding supply store was closed. So I was unable to source the shielding gas I needed. That…was frustrating. I instead knocked out a project my wife has asked for “she claims” for 18 months. I’ll admit it was a while…but maybe only a year. In any event, the pantry portion of the former laundry room now has fancy shelves.

So today I did some more investigating of the rust, primarily on the A and B pillars at the sill. The B pillar is mostly rusted out. It is as bad as it looks and I’ll need to source the ready made B pillar lower portion. I’ve seen them online…but don’t remember if they are available in the US of A. I’ve found at least three businesses in the UK. Part is only about $33.00(US) the shipping to the US is the same amount. More research is needed, or I weld up my own version.

YRM B Pillar Replacement Part
YRM B Pillar for Range Rover Classics and Disco 1

The A pillar has a hole next to it in the sill. I think it would be an easy patch to fix.

So this week I’ll get some more shielding gas and I’ll be ready to do some repairing next weekend.

Once again thanks for stopping by and for watching the videos.

Like and subscribe… Patreon if you like this content and want to help me keep this site up.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering….

https://youtu.be/WX3yTOSc6zo

Fixing the D Pillar Rust (Post #634) 12/11/2023

I can see my breath!

If you follow the blog you have seen the rust damage from open cell foam in the upper D Pillar. The foam got wet and over time ate through the pillar and caused a hole that allowed water into the rear. It wasn’t likely a “stream” of water as the pillar had a cover and the foam also blocked the hole.

In any event, it had to be repaired. I went to some effort to research the removal of the rear quarter panel windows. Damaging the seal is a non-starter. Replacement seals cost in the neighborhood of $500.00(US). And there is also a chance of breaking a window.

I had the Evil German Dude over for Thanksgiving and showed him the damage. He was pretty certain that I could weld a patch there WITHOUT removing the seal and window. Using caution and allowing time for the welds to cool, he was sure that the welding would not be a problem.

Trusting he was right, I proceeded to build a patch and weld it in. The patch was pretty easy to make. You’ll need a bench vise or a metal brake to bend the steel. Well…if you have to bend steel for your patch. I got the patch in place, wire wheeled the paint and primer away and started welding.

My first welds didn’t stick. I had to work through that. Some of the issue was a crappy ground point. The other could be paint I hadn’t removed. I finally sorted that out and made the weld around the piece. I will come back with some seam sealer and make sure there are no holes by sealing them with a bead of sealant.

I was a bit surprised at how well this went. I was expecting a much more complicated repair. I’m not in love with the welds. But such is the way you have to weld thin steel. They also are not in sight so they didn’t have to be pretty…and they aren’t pretty.

The temp cooled off this week. It was 40F degrees when I finished up. Funny how two and a half months ago the temp was three times that in the shop. We got a little reprieve on Sunday and it got above 50F degrees.

I’ve been kicking around an idea if the window had broken. Building in wing window storage boxes. I could use them to pass through power to solar panels, shore power, a heating tube for a propane heater, and the most exciting, water for showers and cooking/washing hands and such. I’ve got the bug so I may build a mockup with cardboard to see if it would work the way I’m thinking. It’s maybe a project for another day. You can check out this video which served as a good portion of the inspiration. Dirt Lifestyle has two videos on gullwing windows for his Discovery II. This is the latest [YouTube], and is an improvement of the original, enjoy.

I hope you enjoy the video of my work. Like and subscribe and if you want to help through a recurring contribution, Patreon is helpful way to do that.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Fender Repair Part 5, MORE Crappy Welding of the Large Fender Patch (Post #622) September 2-3, 2023

Super happy

In this installment I finish the left rear fender panel. And by finish I mean I had to completed replace the outer fender I had previously welded up. I added a strap to attach the inner fender to the outer fender.

The outer fender’s welds were compromised because I ran out of shielding gas halfway through. The panel was 16 gauge and I swapped it with an 18 gauge. The right thing to do was replace it and “do it right”.

Now, I’m no body man and right to me is probably not right to someone who actually knows what they are doing. As I mentioned in the video I need another 10 or 20 years of welding experience to be “competent”. Over all I’m a lot happier with this replaced panel. The 16 gauge panel would not have worked. It would not have been watertight no matter what I did.

I covered everything with yet another coating of primer. I also put seam sealer in the appropriate places. This only seemed prudent as I am almost certain this will rust again. My hope is it will take at least 20 years to rust out.

I thought some of the welding went a lot better than the previous attempts. I want to say, “I’m getting better.” but I’m pretty sure I’m fooling myself. Most people could probably weld if shown how and a little practice. Welding WELL however is really hard.

So add to the fact I’m saying welding is hard…and welding UPSIDE DOWN is another level. We did not go over this scenario in my class. I’m half tempted to take the class again and do the entire class upside down. I finally figured out the I could weld sideways that worked pretty good. Even with my new sideways technique it didn’t stop me from getting some new holes in my PPE and my skin from hot slag dripping down. My grandson Grady was horrified by the scab in the crook of my elbow. The chunk that got me on the chest made a similar hole there.

I also did quite a bit of cutting and the sparks flying back on me warmed me up a bit. Thankfully my Round House Overalls1 deflected the sparks and only “warmed” my family package. If you remember this post from December 2010, “The one where I catch myself on fire in the furtherance of Land Rovering” [Okierover] I caught myself on fire cutting the passenger side floor panel. What I learned from that was:

  • Blue jeans are not safety gear and are a sad substitute for PPE.
  • Longjohns [IBC] (aka long handles [Collins], thermal underwear, etc…) will keep the flame off you for a brief time.
  • Your best friends don’t want you harmed, but also want to take videos of you when you are on fire so they can tease you later.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering

1This is my unsponsored review of Round House Brown Duck Overalls. It is a solid 10 out of 10. They are made in Shawnee Oklahoma (Home of Brad Pitt) and at $60.00 a pair (on sale at the time of this posting) a real bargain. 

Fender Repair Part 3, Welding of the Large Patches (Post #619) August 12, 2023

Big Hole Welding

Folks…its hot outside.

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).

https://youtube.com/clip/Ugkxpvg6PJsI2cItxKk5YIs2Qaf_1TQReYl5

For some stupid reason that video will not embed.

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.

Image from TheShed.NZ How to Build Your Own English Wheel

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.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Mmmm welding

Fender Repair Part 1, Welding Patches (Post #616) July 25, 2023

Welding a patch for the body mount

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.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering