I made it home. I’ll start with that because between Chickasha and Blanchard Oklahoma I wasn’t sure I’d be home tonight.
The drive down was totally uneventful. The temperature today was supposed to be nearly 100 degrees (F). Clouds were out and the temps weren’t bad. The winds however were brutal as they were blowing into a storm in the north part of the state. The BWB (Big White Bus) does highway like no other car I’ve ever owned. She cruises at 85mph with little or no effort. The fun part of that is the suspension and how she dances all over the road. She didn’t used to behave like that. But after today I have decided that the springs and shocks all have to be replaced. Something isn’t right with the suspension and how she bounces all over the road has to be the combination of the springs and shocks and the bushings being worn out.
I will apologize for not taking pictures before I describe the next part of the trip. Taking pictures on a military base makes people nervous. I was nervous doing it and I didn’t want anyone nervous watching me do it. So with that I took one picture while on base.
I arrived at Key Gate well ahead of schedule. I was a little concerned about time but then again I’ve never driven to the Key Gate exit at 85mph. When I used to drive down there while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve we never went over 40 mph.
I was warned that at the gate I would need my vehicle registration, which in Oklahoma is the equivalent to the vehicle title. I was told to have my insurance verification, no problem that is required by Oklahoma law. When I got to the gate the security guard scanned my driver’s license with a hand held scanner and said, “drive safely”. That was it. I was a bit disappointed. I went through the gate.
I was given excellent directions by Joe the night before. So I ignored the directions I had looked up on the internet. I called the number I was told to and they gave me the same directions they did on the phone. I was nervous until I started seeing the street signs. Sure enough, Seawright was the correct road. Cathy told me to go in the gate marked military vehicles only and wait.
I pulled up right in front of the trailers and waited. My trailer as it turned out was just out of the picture to the left.
Cheryl arrived with another customer and got them hooked up with an M105. I dropped Joe’s name right off but it wasn’t necessary. She said, “Joe buys all kids of stuff and was a great guy.” She was great to talk to and the deal was done with just a signature on her paper. She didn’t even ask to see my copy.
My hook-up required me to off road it back behind the trailers over busted up concrete and weeds. “Matt” helped me get the trailer hooked up and they said thanks.
I made sure the safety chains were hooked up. It took a little bit of wrapping to get the chain length just right. I checked the emergency brakes but I don’t think they work. I pulled out of the yard and stopped to make sure the tarps were all tied down. That was smart as several of them were not tied down. It doesn’t take long flapping in the wind for the tarp to be torn up.
I headed out and back to Sheridan to get off base. I thought for sure there would be someone there to verify that I had purchased the military property I had attached to my Rover. But again, I was disappointed and surprised when I drove straight out the gate. When the budget our government’s budget was really low back in the early 1980s Fort Sill didn’t even staff Key Gate. I’d have to say it was only just staffed today.
I decided to skip the turnpike on the way home and took the state highways. I wasn’t sure how fast I would be able to travel and thought if I broke down or had trouble I’d rather not be on the turnpike. Besides I’m sure there is an additional charge for the extra axle on the turnpike and because I have a PikePass I didn’t really know how that would all work. State highways have more to see anyway.
I stopped at the first intersection with a gas station
A) to wash my hands which were covered with oil from the chain, and
B) to get something cold to drink, 90 degree water is not very refreshing.
Here she is. That is the Porter Hill intersection in the background. I think I can live with that. When I get upgraded springs I think the ride will be perfect.
You can see the monster HMMWV tires. That is possibly a good place to start to lighten up the trailer. I’m hoping I can shave a few pounds off the trailer weight.
I got a cold drink and got back on the highway. I didn’t choose a very scenic drive home but I did snap some pics along the way. These are not in order.
Bluffs outside Verden
Fire truck in Anadarko
Indian City, USA
A plateau outside Cyril
One of the first tourist attractions my parents took us to after we returned to Oklahoma from Guam, was Indian City, USA. It was supposed to mean a lot to me because as my adoptive parents said, “I was a Cherokee Indian”. My parents didn’t know anything about being an indian, and at that age neither did I. Well as I was to learn, Cherokees didn’t live anywhere near this place. This was a place for the Southern Plains tribes. In fact, some Tonkawas were massacred on or near this site. There is no good link for the Indian City site that I could find. This is to be expected, as the museum is now owned by the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma. And they are notorious for a poor web presence.
I faced some serious head winds when I got outside Chickasha. At least 20 mph+ and there were gusts above 30 mph. This took its toll on my transmission. I was not able to go faster than 60mph in fourth gear. I could kick it down to third and get up to 65 mph, but as soon as I got back to fourth gear my speed would drop back down.
I’m guessing the transmission was not performing as it should. I will be investigating that further when I take the Rover down for another round of restoration, real soon. At a minimum I’m going to add some additional transmission cooling. It’s always a good idea in this climate. I will need to get the transmission in for a fluid change and possible service too.
After a what seemed to be a long drive I finally got the trailer home. There it is behind the house. I will be constructing a gate soon. I was able to drop a panel and park it on the side yard in the back. My neighborhood would not tolerate the trailer parked out front for very long.
Rooster was excited and wanted to pose on the tongue for some strange reason.
There is Rooster macking it for the ladies. I’m not sure what that means. He has a girlfriend too so I’m not sure what “ladies” he is macking. And there is my dear patient wife, with her monagramed MiMi t-shirt on. Who as you can probably tell, looks mostly disappointed. Rooster noticed it too. Her comments were not approving.
“Where are you going to park it?”
“How are you going to get it through the fence?”
“I thought it would be smaller.”
And with that, she was back in the house. It was only a concept to her and now that it is a reality she will have to warm up to it. So I have a gate to put in the fence. No biggy.
After my inspection of the trailer there is some surface rust and some missing paint. My buddy JagGuy called me while I was typing this blog entry. He buys an automotive paint that is real close in shade and superior in its appearance and said he always has some left over. I’m sure I could get the rust off and the spots primed and the next time he is spraying one of his M35s I’m sure we could spray my trailer. Check out his site. As he said, when his Range Rover busted a drive shaft and took out the casing on the transmission, he pulled it to the shop with a “real 4×4”. I told him with a former 6×6 and we each had a chuckle. We are such nerds.
The tires are huge! Well 37 inch anyway. They are mounted on split rims, which is pretty cool. So if I were to carry a spare, I would only need to carry a tire and not a rim. These tires can be swapped without even unloading the trailer. JagGuy said used tires could be had for around 85$(US). That is going to make me think long and hard about swapping them out. I will have to pack a deep well socket for the new nuts on the rims.
I’m not sure what the item in the next picture is, but it is obviously damaged. It seems still functional so I’m not how important it will be to replace. Perhaps a post on one of the militaria web sites will answer what it is. I will also be looking for the manual for this trailer which I’m sure is available online.
The transmission issue seems more important now after talking with JagGuy. My thoughts were the fluid needed to be cooled more. His thoughts were more that the fluid is either burned or there is something wrong with the transmission. So it seems I’ll be having a shop check that out. I can check to see if the fluid is burned. If it is, that’s not good news. There is a slight chance that replacing the fluid will make it better, but a transmission service would probably tell me more. It is time for it as I think it was at least 60,000 miles ago that I had trouble with the torque converter. It might even have been 80,000 miles ago. Which in my mind would be time for a fluid change.
Over all it was excited to be back on the base. All that militaria and being back on the base I spent most of my USMCR hitch on was great. I passed the old chow hall that we were able to eat Sunday morning breakfasts at. I wrote about that in my military biography. Western omelettes are still my favorite.
So today was exciting and fun and a learning experience. More later, thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.