Great weather, thank God Free clothes, younger engine Ozzie's truck is awesome New logo courtesy of a buddy

2002 to 2003


December 31, 2003

Missing, Oil Change, Awesome Truck, New Logo
The winter weather has been amazing and all is well with the world when in December, in Oklahoma, you can work on your vehicle without fear of frostbite. One pretty day found me cleaning and reattaching the air dam to the front of the Big White Bus. As usual when I do something "fun" or cosmetic to the truck, the engine wants attention and intermittent engine problems began for the last two weeks. One day all is well, runs great. Next day, 7 of 8 cylinders are working. It was getting very frustrating. I checked each boot and applied some di-electric grease. It is actually silicone based lube. That way hopefully I will not break another ignition wire with a stuck boot. All of the ignition wires seemed plugged in properly and I found nothing out of the ordinary. Started her up and she ran fine Sunday afternoon. I started her up on Monday to go to work and again she was missing.

So yesterday I bought a new set of plugs. Champion Truck Plug 4404. I am not recommending them or endorsing them yet. I don't have any imperical data to share. Quite frankly it's what the guy behind the counter recommended. They are reasonably priced at $2.49 each. His sales pitch was pretty good and he shared some customer comments along with the pitch so I said what the heck. I installed them that night. There is something about working on an engine when it is still warm, it took the edge off of the light wind blowing and 50 degree (F) evening as it was settling in.

So now the plugs are in and she seems to be running pretty good. Two plugs show some strange characteristics. I will show them to JagGuy New Year's Eve before he has too many glasses of wine for an informed descision. Six were a gray color, which being that there were 6 that way I am guessing that they are fine. Number 2 was strangely black in a single spot and Number 8 was flat black. I'm guessing that Number 2 was busted and the spark is coming through the insolator instead of the proper path. But more on that if I confirm my hypothesis.

I bought some Castrol GTX High Mileage for this last oil change. My truck has 135,000 on the odometer and I consider that high mileage. The sales pitch says, "helps older cars feel young again". I'm pretty sure my Rover has absolutely no "feelings" or she wouldn't treat me the way she does. But I'm coming into my own "high mileage" period and that line spoke to me. Besides I drove my 1993 Ford Ranger 187,000 miles with Castrol and the woman that bought it from me, drove it another 20,000 and sold it to yet another person. As far as I know it is still running. So I'm figuring that as long as I'm using Castrol how can I go wrong. Besides I got a free Washington Redskins sports jersey for buying the oil. All in all it's probably a gimmick but I can always put the regular GTX in at the next change and I have a new shirt to wear.

I've been considering a dual battery setup. I have most of the parts and my good friend The Ditchfinder just finished his dual battery install and it has it's benefits. Our good friend Alan Bates doubts the importance of a dual battery, but I promised him margaritas at my next trail ride powered by my second battery so he is all good with it now.

I had some great email with Ozzie at Ozzie's Offroad this week. Alan sent me his site in a link in the forum. He has a great rig and I highly recommend you check out his site. If I hit the lottery I may have to get me one of those roof rack tents. They are expensive but they are really cool looking. Go check out his site.

I have to give props to my good friend Tom in Chicago for creating a new animated logo for the Rover Defender's Rover Log. If you didn't notice it when you came here go back to the main page and check it out. I'm gonna send him a nice beer gift soon.

Three references to drinking in this update. Can anyone tell it's New Year's Eve? I hope everyone has a safe new year and thanks for reading the log.

Engage brain before you engage your wrench or your crimper

December 15, 2003

O2 Sensors Solved
O2 sensor problem is solved. I replaced the Left side (driver's side O2 sensor) sensor and cleared the error 44 code with little or no effort. It was a snap. Really it was. Then as you should I replaced the right-side O2 sensor. After I was done the truck ran terribly. It missed, backfired, and stumbled and generally ran poorly. Eventually a code 45 showed up. What on earth could be the problem? Error 45 is the right side (passenger) sensor.
Well it turned out I did a bit of wiring wrong and swapped a pair of wires. The truck was running extremely rich. The sensor was covered in carbon when I pulled it confirming this theory. And there it was a swapped set of wires. I am guessing that I swapped the pair in my haste to put heat shrink on the wire and dropped the pairs several times. I have some tips. I posted them in the forum but I will post them here also.

Lesson one: Part A: Don't settle for second rate stuff. If the slug type of crimps are what you need, wait and get them. If you need good heat shrink get it before the job and don't settle for "what they had".

Lesson one: Part B: Get more than you need of the repair items. Don't buy six crimps if you need six. Buy a full additional set. What if you wire it wrong? You only have enough to do the job once and seldom, in my experience, do you do it right the first time. My dad always took four nails up the ladder for a two nail job. I asked him once why he took 4 when you only used 2? He said, "What if you hit your thumb and drop your nails?" Of course this is the same man that broke off the eraser end of the pencil and threw it at me saying, "I don't make mistakes." So it's better to be safe than sorry.

Lesson two: Check your work. Once your done, check it again. I failed to do this. It was cold, I was cold, and I was in a hurry and it was getting dark.

Lesson three: Don't get in a hurry.

Lesson four: Do your work in a hospitable environment when able (i.e. indoors with heat in the winter and a cool breeze in the summer.)

So as I close this episode I have learned a good many things about my truck.
Closed loop and open loop sensors. There is not really a lot to the oxygen sensors when you think about what they actually do. You can reset all the error codes with just disconnecting the battery.

On the Difficulty Scale this project was a 1. Maybe a 1.5 considering the crimping and heat shrink.

The next big project is a suspension overhall. I hope to replace my springs, shocks, tie-rod ends, and put a set of poly bushings on in one day. I have everything but the poly bushings but in a couple of weeks I should have them. I'm hoping for a couple of weeks after the new year is in to begin. Rogers has offered his lift and his garage for me to work on all this so I'm thinking of something nice to buy him. Any suggestions? If the camera has good batteries that day I'll take lots of pictures.

Lots to do, no money to do it

November 26, 2003

Reply from John Brabyn
Further investigating the O2 sensors Eric -- I am wondering if their part number search is dependent on model year entered or something. I entered 89 (the year of my old Classic) and did the 13021 part number search and sure enough the part came up. Let me know if you figure this out!!
Cheers, John
That never occured to me that all the Oxygen Sensors could be functionally the same. I wonder if anyone wiser and more knowledgeable than I knows this?

Lots to do, no money to do it

November 25, 2003

Ordered the parts
Wow two updates in two days. Well I decided to order the parts after all. I ordered the tie-rod ends and the oxygen sensors.
Oxygen sensors. I looked at the rangerovers.net site and could not get any hits on the parts or part numbers they recommended there. I attempted to email one of the people there and I got a bounce so I went out on my own. I ended up on OXYGENSENSORS.COM It is actually automedicsupply.com. After seeing prices greater than $150US for the part I found it here for $79.90. Part number was 250-23880 it's an NTK and I chose the universal one. I bought two. The online order process was good.

Then I went in search of tie-rod ends. I used the brand that was listed on Rangerovers.net. I looked for Lemforder parts on a Google search. The search lead to this site Auto Parts OEM. I looked for my truck's parts through a sort of confusing menu system. The jist of it is this, after each selection it grays out until you click the "Search" button. With this discovery I continued to refine the search. I found the parts and that you need two of each for a complete replacement.
left hand thread M3010-43959 for 31.09 each. That's 25 dollars off the list price.
right hand thread M3010-50620 for 30.21 each. That's 26 dollars off the list price.
Those prices compared with the discounted prices that were on the Rangerovers.net site. Well I was "pleased as Punch" to put it mildly with those prices. Then I actually tried to order them. Well that didn't seem to be as easy as it looked. I tried a couple of different ways to register and gave up and called their help line (800) 661-8335. The young man registered me right on the phone asking the same questions as the form. I then went back to the site and "logged in" and completed my order.

Epilogue
What is up with the Rangerovers.net site. Well it's been there quite a while and the information is hard to keep up to date. I will send them an email and let them know what I found. It's the least I can do for relying on the site for so long.
Could I have gotten the parts cheaper?
Probably. I am kicking myself for not ordering the Oxygen Sensors when I first saw them listed for twenty something dollars a couple of years ago. It is supposedly the same part as a Nissan part with a bit of modification. There is still some modification but it seems to me that everyone got wise to the cheap price and adjusted their stocks. If you find them cheaper don't gloat, but do send me an email and let me know. I would like to still know if those parts can be found cheaper and where. A very good friend of mine had a wise saying recently when we were discussing the price of things. He is a doctor and works a crazy 60 plus hours a week. He has plenty of money but is still frugal which is a pleasant change from many and reflects well on his upbringing. The saying is this, "Whenever you can trade time for money, it is a good trade." We are getting on to our 40s now and time is the only thing I can't get more of. If I had researched a while longer and looked around a good bit better I may have found a cheaper part. But as you see I didn't spend that much time on this and I still beat the "Dealer" price by a margin I am pleased with.
The next installment will be the installation of these parts. I'll let you know how it goes.

Lots to do no money to do it

November 24, 2003

Updates
I could have told you cold weather was coming. As you will see the list of repairs for the Big White Bus has only grown right here before Christmas and the weather was beautiful the last two weeks. But alas no money in the pocket of this hapless Rover owner for repairs.
Well lots of things have been going on lets get them listed. I have reported the Error 34 and it's cause, I am sure, is the oxygen sensors. So I consulted the site Rangerovers.net and am going to buy the sensors fairly soon. I am going to try the NGK equivilent parts at the reduced cost. I'll let you know how that goes.
I also have to have new tie-rod ends. Those are obviously getting critical due some noticable variations in my steering. This is a less exciting repair but again very important. As I don't wish to pay for two alignments I will probably order a bushing set also. With the addition of installing my new springs and shocks this will make for a very interesting Saturday I am sure.
I have a catalytic converter with a nasty rattle also. I will probably wait to do this as I am not sure I can afford to put that much out all at once. This is not so critical and I can stand the noise for a bit more.
A new leak in the power steering hoses near the steering box is going to be yet another adventure. I have learned a lot from the last time and will be more careful this time. I hope they will be able to be recrimped and if not I will have a new set made. This is a tiring annoyance and I don't want to do this project again.
This morning I noticed a bit of anti-freeze on the drive way on the driver's side of the truck. I was running late and not dressed for auto maintenance this morning so that will also wait til later. I can't think of any good reason for the leak over there so I am a bit concerned.

As you can see dear friends the Big White Bus is showing it's age. We intended to take her on a trip this fall to Denver but with all these things I decided not to risk the long drive. Sad as she would have been a more comfortable alternative to our Taurus. I have been contemplating a big rebuild but I don't have a third car so that will also have to wait. My laziness and my financial situation have crept up on me and it shows due to the list above.

Fuel economy decreased

October 13, 2003

Error 34
I have received some excellent advice regarding my Error 34. My fuel economy was 13.7 on my last fill up and that is unacceptable! I will first try to clean my injectors with a chemical fuel additive. I will add the additive this week and clear the code after I fill up. It is time for an oil change anyway and I will do that this weekend. I checked out the link from Kevin in the forums about getting my injectors cleaned instead of replacing them. Cruzin Performance is the link and that looks really cool. A new set of injectors will cost around $600. Where as Cruzin Performance will clean each injector for around $15 plus shipping. I need to check turnaround times and get my carpool buddy to drive until they return, if I choose that route. I wish I could go up there and watch them do the work.

Fuel economy increased JagGuy is hero again

September 26, 2003
CV Joint Woes
Well the knocking in the front of the Big White Bus had gotten to the point I was afraid to drive it. With the insistance of my buddy JagGuy I endevored to persevere. [I miss Chief Dan George] Anyway I went to Rover Cannibal after seeing the prices of a new CV joint on the internet. They had a lovely one in the color I wanted too, just kidding. So I got that and the premeasured tube of grease and the inside seal. I actually did not replace it but I have it just in case. I went over on Sunday afternoon. It was not as horrible an ordeal as I expected. JagGuy had done his when it exploded and described a nasty job. When they explode or come apart they leave lots of schrapnel all inside the housing. This schrapnel has to be removed and is not a pleasant job. So when he was being insistant that I change it, he was speaking from the experience of a lengthly procedure, and he and I wanted to avoid that.

I (and he) could not get over how easy it was to change this vital part. In our experience with the countless cars we had owned before this would have been a good reason to get rid of the vehicle. But this thing was amazingly simple and functional all in the same design. These trucks are tough and easy to work on. That is something you don't see in most vehicles. I have a write up for this but need some pictures which JagGuy is going to provide from his project. My camera died two shots in to the job, dead batteries. So look for it later next month. On the Difficulty Scale I would rate this job a Level Three. A few tricks are important to know but nothing the manual probably doesn't say.

Error 34
I track my gas mileage with a Palm Pilot. So each fill up is lottery of how great or terrible my gas mileage is. I average 14.9 miles per gallon most fill ups. This last two weeks it has risen to 15.9 mpg and even a 16.1 mpg. Well with all good things there is some bad. The Check Engine light illuminated and a quick check under the passenger seat of the OBD readout shows Error 34. As you are or are not aware that is Injector Bank A, Left Side, still no help with the description. I do not know which side that is but I will find out soon. I don't have any idea what the message means either. I will be doing some investigating of the fuel system and how it works this week I guess. I'm guessing with the gas mileage going up the truck is running leaner than it should. I also have a tappet rattle when I accelerate hard which might be fuel starvation. But again these are guesses. More as I get it.

May the force be with you

February 18th, 2004

Tie Rod Ends Replaced
I spent my President's Day holiday working on my Rover. Specifically I replaced the badly worn tie rod ends. It was an adventure in difficult. The badly corroded ends were very difficult to remove. I broke a tool and had to build a brace out of a 2x6 to complete the job.

I still have the power steering leak to find, the new rear view mirror to install, and the door locks bouncing is due to a problem with the driver's side actuator. These are not critical repairs as so far as I can continue to add steering fluid and the others I have learned to work around for now.

I did learn that Hibdon's Tire Plus will not align my Rover. At least the one in Norman, anyway. I had to employ the knowledgebase of JagGuy to find a shop that would so as to avoid the local dealer at all costs. Kennedy Tire and Auto Repair took care of the alignment. They were nice to deal with and everyone was very friendly.

You can read about the Tie Rod adventure in my latest installment "The one where I fix the Tie Rod Ends".

Now maybe I can get back on the Cup Holder project this Spring.

May the force be with you

February 10th, 2004

CV Joint repaired
It is now a couple of weekends since the CV joint repair. Everything is hunky-dory. It was a major job and I rated it as such in my write up about it. "The one where I fix the CV joint" My confidence grows in my ability to tear this truck down and fix the problems that have come up. I would say now I have little doubt that I could work on most of the items on this truck. Leaving transmissions and engines to their respective experts. No need to learn something they have spent a life time learning. My wife was proud of me and justifiably so as I only damaged a small part of my hand and saved us a great deal of money doing the work myself. She is coming to realize that I like working on the truck it is rewarding. My wound is nearly completely healed and did not require any further medical care. I wrote this with quotes from "Star Wars". It was fun to use them. It is amazing how many one liners in that movie apply to repairing a Rover.

The tie rod ends as you will see if you read the latest article are in really bad shape. I should not have waited this long to fix them. I am really lucky they have not broken. Knock on wood, I will make it until Saturday when I will fix them. I attempted to fix them in the process but was not strong enough to do the work while they were still under the truck.

Mirror update. I have my "replacement" mirror. The replacement for my mirror did not include the very handy map lights under the mirror. This is one of my most beloved features. So I sent it back for a prismatic style that has the map lights and does not auto-darken. Since I have never had an auto-darkening mirror I don't feel I am missing anything. I would have liked to have the compass, temperature, map light model but felt it dishonest to get those upgrades when I didn't have them before.

The door lock issue is completely annoying now. I have it on good authority that my driver's side door actuator is either failed or gummed up or rusted. Brett of Brett's Import told me that was common. So I need to take the panels off and see what I can do with it. Saturday is going to be real busy at this point with so much to fix.

The wheels on the Rover go round and crunch, round and crunch Repair manual on CD, what will they think of next?

January 20th, 2004

CV Joint Again!
This week was a great week. We were on our way to visit the Orchid Society and I was nearing the Northern Transavaal Region in South Africa when the CV joint went bust on me again. It was a terrible bit of bad luck what with the wild animals running about and us with out our normal guide. The funny thing is I wasn't trapsing around in the Transavaal at all. I was on Porter Street in Norman, Oklahoma. I would expect this thing to fail again if I were on the Transavaal ripping it up with my buds. But I'm just tooling along on paved streets. It seems the frustrations never end. By the time the year is over I'll have a nearly new 1993 Range Rover sitting in the driveway. This is due to the fact I will have replaced nearly every part known to fail. Really, nearly everyone. So my New Year's resolution to, "get out on the trail" imparted to me by Mark will be put off another month as I struggle to pay for this latest repair.

I ordered a repair manual from an Ebay seller last night. It's on CD. I worry about the legality of it, but in the end it's cheaper than the printed version at about $100(US) less. I also bought a new Bayco Work light from O'Reilly's so I should be able to see in my dark garage. Price was $20 plus tax. My good old fashioned "trouble light" as my dad used to call it, eats light bulbs, especially when it is cold outside. It is more "trouble" than "light" most of the time. JagGuy has one and I liked it when I used it at his shop last month.

The CV Joint will arrive Friday and I guess I'll tear it down Friday night in the garage. I ordered it from Motorcars, LTD. Ken was very pleasant to deal with. I believe the price at $189(US) was the best I could find on the internet. There was one place cheaper but they only sold wholesale to "Actual Repair Shops". I didn't feel like faking my way through that for thirty dollars, it just wasn't worth the time. Thank you Motorcars for your support of our club and the great prices.

Great weather, thank God Free clothes, younger engine Ozzie's truck is awesome New logo courtesy of a buddy

December 31, 2003

Missing, Oil Change, Awesome Truck, New Logo
The winter weather has been amazing and all is well with the world when in December, in Oklahoma, you can work on your vehicle without fear of frostbite. One pretty day found me cleaning and reattaching the air dam to the front of the Big White Bus. As usual when I do something "fun" or cosmetic to the truck, the engine wants attention and intermittent engine problems began for the last two weeks. One day all is well, runs great. Next day, 7 of 8 cylinders are working. It was getting very frustrating. I checked each boot and applied some di-electric grease. It is actually silicone based lube. That way hopefully I will not break another ignition wire with a stuck boot. All of the ignition wires seemed plugged in properly and I found nothing out of the ordinary. Started her up and she ran fine Sunday afternoon. I started her up on Monday to go to work and again she was missing.

So yesterday I bought a new set of plugs. Champion Truck Plug 4404. I am not recommending them or endorsing them yet. I don't have any imperical data to share. Quite frankly it's what the guy behind the counter recommended. They are reasonably priced at $2.49 each. His sales pitch was pretty good and he shared some customer comments along with the pitch so I said what the heck. I installed them that night. There is something about working on an engine when it is still warm, it took the edge off of the light wind blowing and 50 degree (F) evening as it was settling in.

So now the plugs are in and she seems to be running pretty good. Two plugs show some strange characteristics. I will show them to JagGuy New Year's Eve before he has too many glasses of wine for an informed descision. Six were a gray color, which being that there were 6 that way I am guessing that they are fine. Number 2 was strangely black in a single spot and Number 8 was flat black. I'm guessing that Number 2 was busted and the spark is coming through the insolator instead of the proper path. But more on that if I confirm my hypothesis.

I bought some Castrol GTX High Mileage for this last oil change. My truck has 135,000 on the odometer and I consider that high mileage. The sales pitch says, "helps older cars feel young again". I'm pretty sure my Rover has absolutely no "feelings" or she wouldn't treat me the way she does. But I'm coming into my own "high mileage" period and that line spoke to me. Besides I drove my 1993 Ford Ranger 187,000 miles with Castrol and the woman that bought it from me, drove it another 20,000 and sold it to yet another person. As far as I know it is still running. So I'm figuring that as long as I'm using Castrol how can I go wrong. Besides I got a free Washington Redskins sports jersey for buying the oil. All in all it's probably a gimmick but I can always put the regular GTX in at the next change and I have a new shirt to wear.

I've been considering a dual battery setup. I have most of the parts and my good friend The Ditchfinder just finished his dual battery install and it has it's benefits. Our good friend Alan Bates doubts the importance of a dual battery, but I promised him margaritas at my next trail ride powered by my second battery so he is all good with it now.

I had some great email with Ozzie at Ozzie's Offroad this week. Alan sent me his site in a link in the forum. He has a great rig and I highly recommend you check out his site. If I hit the lottery I may have to get me one of those roof rack tents. They are expensive but they are really cool looking. Go check out his site.

I have to give props to my good friend Tom in Chicago for creating a new animated logo for the Rover Defender's Rover Log. If you didn't notice it when you came here go back to the main page and check it out. I'm gonna send him a nice beer gift soon.

Three references to drinking in this update. Can anyone tell it's New Year's Eve? I hope everyone has a safe new year and thanks for reading the log.

Engage brain before you engage your wrench or your crimper

December 15, 2003

O2 Sensors Solved
O2 sensor problem is solved. I replaced the Left side (driver's side O2 sensor) sensor and cleared the error 44 code with little or no effort. It was a snap. Really it was. Then as you should I replaced the right-side O2 sensor. After I was done the truck ran terribly. It missed, backfired, and stumbled and generally ran poorly. Eventually a code 45 showed up. What on earth could be the problem? Error 45 is the right side (passenger) sensor.
Well it turned out I did a bit of wiring wrong and swapped a pair of wires. The truck was running extremely rich. The sensor was covered in carbon when I pulled it confirming this theory. And there it was a swapped set of wires. I am guessing that I swapped the pair in my haste to put heat shrink on the wire and dropped the pairs several times. I have some tips. I posted them in the forum but I will post them here also.

Lesson one: Part A: Don't settle for second rate stuff. If the slug type of crimps are what you need, wait and get them. If you need good heat shrink get it before the job and don't settle for "what they had".

Lesson one: Part B: Get more than you need of the repair items. Don't buy six crimps if you need six. Buy a full additional set. What if you wire it wrong? You only have enough to do the job once and seldom, in my experience, do you do it right the first time. My dad always took four nails up the ladder for a two nail job. I asked him once why he took 4 when you only used 2? He said, "What if you hit your thumb and drop your nails?" Of course this is the same man that broke off the eraser end of the pencil and threw it at me saying, "I don't make mistakes." So it's better to be safe than sorry.

Lesson two: Check your work. Once your done, check it again. I failed to do this. It was cold, I was cold, and I was in a hurry and it was getting dark.

Lesson three: Don't get in a hurry.

Lesson four: Do your work in a hospitable environment when able (i.e. indoors with heat in the winter and a cool breeze in the summer.)

So as I close this episode I have learned a good many things about my truck.
Closed loop and open loop sensors. There is not really a lot to the oxygen sensors when you think about what they actually do. You can reset all the error codes with just disconnecting the battery.

On the Difficulty Scale this project was a 1. Maybe a 1.5 considering the crimping and heat shrink.

The next big project is a suspension overhall. I hope to replace my springs, shocks, tie-rod ends, and put a set of poly bushings on in one day. I have everything but the poly bushings but in a couple of weeks I should have them. I'm hoping for a couple of weeks after the new year is in to begin. Rogers has offered his lift and his garage for me to work on all this so I'm thinking of something nice to buy him. Any suggestions? If the camera has good batteries that day I'll take lots of pictures.

Lots to do, no money to do it

November 26, 2003

Reply from John Brabyn
Further investigating the O2 sensors Eric -- I am wondering if their part number search is dependent on model year entered or something. I entered 89 (the year of my old Classic) and did the 13021 part number search and sure enough the part came up. Let me know if you figure this out!!
Cheers, John
That never occured to me that all the Oxygen Sensors could be functionally the same. I wonder if anyone wiser and more knowledgeable than I knows this?

Lots to do, no money to do it

November 25, 2003

Ordered the parts
Wow two updates in two days. Well I decided to order the parts after all. I ordered the tie-rod ends and the oxygen sensors.
Oxygen sensors. I looked at the rangerovers.net site and could not get any hits on the parts or part numbers they recommended there. I attempted to email one of the people there and I got a bounce so I went out on my own. I ended up on OXYGENSENSORS.COM It is actually automedicsupply.com. After seeing prices greater than $150US for the part I found it here for $79.90. Part number was 250-23880 it's an NTK and I chose the universal one. I bought two. The online order process was good.

Then I went in search of tie-rod ends. I used the brand that was listed on Rangerovers.net. I looked for Lemforder parts on a Google search. The search lead to this site Auto Parts OEM. I looked for my truck's parts through a sort of confusing menu system. The jist of it is this, after each selection it grays out until you click the "Search" button. With this discovery I continued to refine the search. I found the parts and that you need two of each for a complete replacement.
left hand thread M3010-43959 for 31.09 each. That's 25 dollars off the list price.
right hand thread M3010-50620 for 30.21 each. That's 26 dollars off the list price.
Those prices compared with the discounted prices that were on the Rangerovers.net site. Well I was "pleased as Punch" to put it mildly with those prices. Then I actually tried to order them. Well that didn't seem to be as easy as it looked. I tried a couple of different ways to register and gave up and called their help line (800) 661-8335. The young man registered me right on the phone asking the same questions as the form. I then went back to the site and "logged in" and completed my order.

Epilogue
What is up with the Rangerovers.net site. Well it's been there quite a while and the information is hard to keep up to date. I will send them an email and let them know what I found. It's the least I can do for relying on the site for so long.
Could I have gotten the parts cheaper?
Probably. I am kicking myself for not ordering the Oxygen Sensors when I first saw them listed for twenty something dollars a couple of years ago. It is supposedly the same part as a Nissan part with a bit of modification. There is still some modification but it seems to me that everyone got wise to the cheap price and adjusted their stocks. If you find them cheaper don't gloat, but do send me an email and let me know. I would like to still know if those parts can be found cheaper and where. A very good friend of mine had a wise saying recently when we were discussing the price of things. He is a doctor and works a crazy 60 plus hours a week. He has plenty of money but is still frugal which is a pleasant change from many and reflects well on his upbringing. The saying is this, "Whenever you can trade time for money, it is a good trade." We are getting on to our 40s now and time is the only thing I can't get more of. If I had researched a while longer and looked around a good bit better I may have found a cheaper part. But as you see I didn't spend that much time on this and I still beat the "Dealer" price by a margin I am pleased with.
The next installment will be the installation of these parts. I'll let you know how it goes.

Lots to do no money to do it

November 24, 2003

Updates
I could have told you cold weather was coming. As you will see the list of repairs for the Big White Bus has only grown right here before Christmas and the weather was beautiful the last two weeks. But alas no money in the pocket of this hapless Rover owner for repairs.
Well lots of things have been going on lets get them listed. I have reported the Error 34 and it's cause, I am sure, is the oxygen sensors. So I consulted the site Rangerovers.net and am going to buy the sensors fairly soon. I am going to try the NGK equivilent parts at the reduced cost. I'll let you know how that goes.
I also have to have new tie-rod ends. Those are obviously getting critical due some noticable variations in my steering. This is a less exciting repair but again very important. As I don't wish to pay for two alignments I will probably order a bushing set also. With the addition of installing my new springs and shocks this will make for a very interesting Saturday I am sure.
I have a catalytic converter with a nasty rattle also. I will probably wait to do this as I am not sure I can afford to put that much out all at once. This is not so critical and I can stand the noise for a bit more.
A new leak in the power steering hoses near the steering box is going to be yet another adventure. I have learned a lot from the last time and will be more careful this time. I hope they will be able to be recrimped and if not I will have a new set made. This is a tiring annoyance and I don't want to do this project again.
This morning I noticed a bit of anti-freeze on the drive way on the driver's side of the truck. I was running late and not dressed for auto maintenance this morning so that will also wait til later. I can't think of any good reason for the leak over there so I am a bit concerned.

As you can see dear friends the Big White Bus is showing it's age. We intended to take her on a trip this fall to Denver but with all these things I decided not to risk the long drive. Sad as she would have been a more comfortable alternative to our Taurus. I have been contemplating a big rebuild but I don't have a third car so that will also have to wait. My laziness and my financial situation have crept up on me and it shows due to the list above.

Fuel economy decreased

October 13, 2003

Error 34
I have received some excellent advice regarding my Error 34. My fuel economy was 13.7 on my last fill up and that is unacceptable! I will first try to clean my injectors with a chemical fuel additive. I will add the additive this week and clear the code after I fill up. It is time for an oil change anyway and I will do that this weekend. I checked out the link from Kevin in the forums about getting my injectors cleaned instead of replacing them. Cruzin Performance is the link and that looks really cool. A new set of injectors will cost around $600. Where as Cruzin Performance will clean each injector for around $15 plus shipping. I need to check turnaround times and get my carpool buddy to drive until they return, if I choose that route. I wish I could go up there and watch them do the work.

Fuel economy increased JagGuy is hero again

September 26, 2003
CV Joint Woes
Well the knocking in the front of the Big White Bus had gotten to the point I was afraid to drive it. With the insistance of my buddy JagGuy I endevored to persevere. [I miss Chief Dan George] Anyway I went to Rover Cannibal after seeing the prices of a new CV joint on the internet. They had a lovely one in the color I wanted too, just kidding. So I got that and the premeasured tube of grease and the inside seal. I actually did not replace it but I have it just in case. I went over on Sunday afternoon. It was not as horrible an ordeal as I expected. JagGuy had done his when it exploded and described a nasty job. When they explode or come apart they leave lots of schrapnel all inside the housing. This schrapnel has to be removed and is not a pleasant job. So when he was being insistant that I change it, he was speaking from the experience of a lengthly procedure, and he and I wanted to avoid that.

I (and he) could not get over how easy it was to change this vital part. In our experience with the countless cars we had owned before this would have been a good reason to get rid of the vehicle. But this thing was amazingly simple and functional all in the same design. These trucks are tough and easy to work on. That is something you don't see in most vehicles. I have a write up for this but need some pictures which JagGuy is going to provide from his project. My camera died two shots in to the job, dead batteries. So look for it later next month. On the Difficulty Scale I would rate this job a Level Three. A few tricks are important to know but nothing the manual probably doesn't say.

Error 34
I track my gas mileage with a Palm Pilot. So each fill up is lottery of how great or terrible my gas mileage is. I average 14.9 miles per gallon most fill ups. This last two weeks it has risen to 15.9 mpg and even a 16.1 mpg. Well with all good things there is some bad. The Check Engine light illuminated and a quick check under the passenger seat of the OBD readout shows Error 34. As you are or are not aware that is Injector Bank A, Left Side, still no help with the description. I do not know which side that is but I will find out soon. I don't have any idea what the message means either. I will be doing some investigating of the fuel system and how it works this week I guess. I'm guessing with the gas mileage going up the truck is running leaner than it should. I also have a tappet rattle when I accelerate hard which might be fuel starvation. But again these are guesses. More as I get it.

Quieter with a new rattle. I'm a girly-man cause I can't take the heat. Fuel makes the tires go round.
August 26, 2003
As I mentioned some time ago I picked up an exhaust from Rover Cannibal and had intended on installing it. To do this you may remember I would need a lift which I learned later a friend of mine has and was willing to be present to operate it and assist me with the exhaust. Since then I had surgery on my arm to remove a six inch plate and 12 screws that over the years had begun to give me some pain in the elbow when I used wrenches and picked up grocery sacks. But it is gone and life is good. There seems to be a rattle in one of the mufflers but I can live with it I think.

Cupholder Update The heat of August was not conducive to me turning wood in the garage so the cup hold project is on hold. I have the cupholder in the truck and it works great. I have determined some ways to adjust the holder with small changes and am now working on the cellular phone holder. I find my cellular phone in the holder more often than a drink and believe a phone holder would be a good addition. I hope to turn some cups this Saturday before the football game (Go Sooners!).

Fuel Filter Change I also swapped my fuel filter this last week. I was hoping to fix a starting issue that leaves me holding the key a little longer than I should to start the truck. You are supposed to remove a fuse that supposedly "depressurizes" the fuel line but had no luck learning which one you pull. I couldn't remember from last time. So with the advice I got from Paul Davis on our Tech Board I just changed it. I would say about a cup of fuel came out when I disconnected it. As I suggested to Michael73 on the board with that much fuel coming out and getting on me make sure you change the filter when your neighbor that chain smokes and thinks it's cool that you "Do your own work" is away fishing or eating at the "All you can eat catfish" place down the street. You don't want him to cause you to burst into flames while trapped under your truck. Imagine what it will cost to have it repainted. Maybe that's just what happens in my neighborhood, anyway change your filter, it can't hurt unless you bang your knuckles using the wrench.

Repairs? Are you still holding thank you for your patience. Maybe another leak? Hopefully so.
July 8, 2003
As I stated in my last entry I had a nasty tick, tick, tick sound coming from under the hood. Well I finally snuck out of my housework on Sunday to look at it. In between a load of laundry and a messy bathroom I ventured out the laundry room door into the garage and out to the truck. I was not spotted in my slippery move to investigate the ticky sound. I crawled under the truck dragging my pony tail in some lovely filth and oil to find that I was 2 missing nuts on my driver's side exhaust. So I got two more and tightened it back up and the noise is no more. I checked the passenger side of the engine and there was one missing over there. So I replaced the missing nut over there too. If I had not been so lazy I could have gotten that fixed much sooner. I was so happy with myself that when a friend came down to borrow a wrench just as I was finishing I went four doors down and helped him replace his waterpump on his GM Suburban. It was pretty easy after we got the fan off. This is his second waterpump in two years. My neighbor next door replaced his second water pump in two years also this last month. What is it with GM vehicles and bad water pumps? Technical note. The Ditchfinder recommended that I get copper nuts for the exhaust instead of steel. Apparently Volkswagon uses copper to secure their exhaust and the copper nuts do not rust or corode (as much?). I asked him where I would find such things as I have never seen them in my lifetime. He is convinced they are readily available and very low cost. I think I will keep an eye out for them.
Repairs? Are you still holding thank you for your patience. A welder, I am not Maybe another leak? Hopefully so.
June 26, 2003
Sorry everyone, for my absence. I have been too busy with other things to update here. I have scheduled some surgery which will make my repairs go a bit slowly as I will be down to one arm for a few months starting here in July. Also this will make my cash situation also suffer pushing some repairs and modifications to the back burners. So with that I can update you on what I have done.

Random stuff

I took the air dam off the front of the Rover. Primarily to see what it looked like with it removed and to install quick/water resistant disconnects for the fog lamps which are attached to the air dam. That went well for the most part. I used two quick disconnects from a Chevy truck. I also removed the step sides from my truck. Also in an attempt to see what it looked like with out them. I think I like them better on the truck rather than off. Although the truck now looks "higher" off the ground and with no other way to describe it, it has a simpler look.

Exhaust

Still haven't done the exhaust. I have a date with a lift a Rogers place but not sure if I can keep it yet. I need to get her up on the rack soon as many problems have begun that need urgent attention.

Shocks

Bought a shock removal socket hopefully making the removal an easier task. I'll add a pic to the tools page soon. It seems my wife bought us a digital camera.

Head gasket update

My truck no longer is pushing coolant out the overflow bottle. But I now have a nice ticking sound that could be just about anything related to the head. Yes, you guessed correctly this is bad news. More investigation coming soon. Deep, deep down I'm hoping it's just a silly exhaust leak. Although I have 129,000 miles on it.

Cupholder Goodness Update

I am working on the bracket mechanism at the moment. A search for materials is in the works and then comes the welding!! The obsessive need of mine to make it look manufactured and "clean" is holding me back a bit.

Slowly but surely
May 12, 2003

Cupholder Goodness Project

I have turned some wood and have the first working wooden cup holder. I turned it out of Red Cedar, which is very common to Oklahoma. The wood was soft and difficult to turn due to my lack of knowledge in such areas. But it is done. I am investigating many other woods including, burled walnut, mediteranean poplar which is the wood in my Rover and of course more cedar. Something about the cedar appeals to me but it may not work out in the long run.

Where do I buy an aluminum magnet?
April 8, 2003

Under Hood Light Project

I have completed the under the hood light project. I told you about this in a previous post. To refresh your memory I purchased a light that is normal equipment on a 1995 Chevy 2500 pickup truck. This is a handy lamp that has a long extension cord that you can take as far away as the rear tires. After you are finished with the illumination you simply reel it back in. I thought this was spiffy so I bought one for about $10 from a local pickup grave yard. Read about the install here --> The one where I add the light under the hood.

Where do I dump the old one? Fix me, please. I can see the grail!!
April 17, 2003

Need a Lift?

"Your gonna need a lift." Kurt said, when I picked up my new exhaust at Rover Cannibal. As you probably remember my current exhaust has a bad case of rust and corrosion. Maybe just rust as there is not enough of it left to notice any corrosion. I was inspired by Mr. Fat Jack in the 1984 movie Splash in which he states to Tom Hanks while waving a hammer, "I can fix it, I'm mechanical." Well I got it home and after a thorough investigation at a minimum I am going to have to jack up the body a bit. Maybe more like lift the body up. Okay so I call my buddy JagGuy and he says why don't you take it over to Roger's. I'm thinking great, I can litter Roger's driveway with my burden and maybe if I buy enough beer he'll do the work too. So I say, "Why should I take it to Roger's?" "He has a lift." Really, you don't say? He is my hero truly. He doesn't know it yet, but he is. I haven't asked him yet but I am assured by JagGuy he will say no problem.

Head gasket update

I still haven't acquired the funds to purchase the gasket kit and the price of having my heads at the shop yet. JagGuy assures me that I can get another 100,000 out of the motor if I do the heads when I get them off truck. I'm all about maximizing my vehicle value so I will have the heads re-done when they are off the truck. It makes a weekend project into a multi-weekend project. But what am I if I am not made out of money? I have time, for I am young. Now what am I gonna drive that week? Maybe JagGuy has a spare Jaguar for me, or maybe even his Rover. Yet another thing to ask of him while he is assisting me with my heads. I have already determined this job will be a 4.5 difficulty on the Difficulty Scale.

Cupholder Goodness Update

I have unboxed my new wood lathe. I have gotten out all the tools and actually turned a piece of wood. It is harder than it looks. I have gotten some tips from Ford Stepsides and the next attempt will be better. I have a friend that felled some red cedars at his ranch and I can have as much of it as I want. I think I will try turning some bowls with that this weekend maybe.

Where do I buy an aluminum magnet?
April 8, 2003

Under Hood Light Project

I have completed the under the hood light project. I told you about this in a previous post. To refresh your memory I purchased a light that is normal equipment on a 1995 Chevy 2500 pickup truck. This is a handy lamp that has a long extension cord that you can take as far away as the rear tires. After you are finished with the illumination you simply reel it back in. I thought this was spiffy so I bought one for about $10 from a local pickup grave yard. Read about the install here --> The one where I add the light under the hood.

Oh yeah it's yellow.
April 2, 2003

Head Gasket

Well my worst fears were confirmed at Rover Cannibal today. The head gasket is leaking. This leak is charging my cooling system causing the coolant to leak out of the expansion bottle. Not a lot of fluid but enough to cause a tri-weekly annoyance. My options:

  • Complete Head Job. Pull the heads and have them planed and replace the gaskets.
  • Head gasket replacement. Pull it apart, replace the gaskets.
  • Retorque the heads. The leak is small maybe if lucky it will fix it. I'm sure there are 100 schools of thought on this subject. I have gotten a lot of advise from many trusted sources. The real bottom line is how much does it cost? I will be getting prices back this week.

    What are some of the hidden problems?
    The head could be cracked. This is not so bad as the worst problems, I could get a replacement and use the replacement. The worst thing that could happen is the block is cracked. I know a replacement engine will be about $1800 plus all the labor to put it in. That would be horrible. I will keep you apprise you of my decision soon.

    Exhaust update. I bought a replacement exhaust today. I will pick it up tomorrow.

  • Did that just fall off your truck?
    March 20, 2003

    Rust and Rovers

    Rust. What else can you say? Everyone knows about rust and Rovers. When we lived on Guam there was this stuff they called "creeping crud". It was basically rust on your car. A small rust spot would start and it would creep up your car. Rust was due to the salt air and all the tropical conditions that foster rust.

    But today I wonder about rust. Why so much of it on Rovers? What make them so special? I have owned many cars not one of them had any rust. Not one of them has had the exhaust rust out. My last vehicle was a 1993 Ford Ranger pickup truck. I drove it 189,000 miles in 7 years. Not one bit of rust. Exhaust was pristine. But in the 10 years my Rover has been in existance it has developed several rust issues. They are too numerous to mention but everytime I climb under it I see more rust.

    Well this week while crossing a busy intersection in town in five o'clock traffic my silencer falls off my truck. My carpool buddy said, "Did that just fall off your truck?" I replied I don't think so as it was only 2 years ago that I had replaced it and there is no way it could have rusted out by now. I was wrong, it was mine. And trashed it was by the time I got back to pick it up.

    I reported a month ago that the exhaust would need to be replaced. I thought I would be able to replace it at my leisure. I guess I was wrong again.

    With the need to replace it looming I have several questions that I will have to research or ask the good people of several Rover Message Boards for explainations.

  • What is the silencer for?
  • Do I need a silencer?
  • Do I replace my exhaust with stainless steel?
  • What is the best value for my money?
  • What are fair prices for the components of the exhaust?

    The obvious, "Hey he's in a Land Rover, he must be rich." look on mechanics and others faces is almost a bad cliche in Oklahoma. I can't tell you the number of times I walked out of a shop or store when I was about to be fleeced. So I hope to have my homework done first and not be taken advantage of when getting my exhaust replaced.


  • Stop? What do you mean stop? My brakes aren't working
    March 12, 2003

    The brake pedal is the one on the left

    Ah better weather is upon us. And just in the nick of time too. Brake problems are now haunting the beloved Big White Bus. The brakewear indicator began lighting up last week. I got home walked around the truck and the telltale smells of a very hot brake were eminating from the right rear wheel. I went in and change and proceeded to remove the wheel and inspect the brakes.

    Now this light tells you when the pads are worn thin. These pads have been on the Big White Bus since September. I didn't think I had been stopping a great deal in the last 6 months. But never the less the light was on. The pad is in very good shape. But it did smell burnt. So I took the pads out and inspected them further. No excessive wear was found.

    Basically the way the indicator works is when the pad is worn down there are two wires in a channel near the metal backing plate of the pad. When the wires are exposed and you hit your brakes they "short" against the brake disc. This tells something else to illuminate the light. Anyway that's how I understand it works. When you pull a worn brake pad you will see the channel very well and the wires too.

    I can't see the wires or any reason other than this that the light should be alight. I noticed a black burned substance on the top of the pad where the wires enter the channel. My hypothesis (21 point Scrabble word, impressive) is that the brake pad was heated up, due to what I am not sure. But this heating has caused the filler substance to "boil" out and the wires inside now are touching.

    Is this verifiable? Am I insane? What business do I have making these types of hypothesis in the first place? Who invented aerosol cheese products and why? These are all valid questions but unless someone can tell me differently I'm gonna stick with my hypothesis. The solution is to unplug the sensor plug. But aren't you disabling an important sensor? Yes and no. Yes it is no longer part of the diagnosis system. But the front pads will wear much faster than the back and they still have sensors on them. Besides, I'm not some Rover Noob. I check my brakes when I rotate my tires once a year or so. And my Dad was a television repair man, I have an awesome set of tools, I can fix it. (Fast Times at Ridgemont High, 1982)

    Stop? What do you mean stop? I haven't gotten all the way up the ramp yet!
    February 24, 2003

    Great Stuffage

    This weekend we had an Ramp Travel Index get together at Rover Cannibal. I got to meet a few members and future members I haven't seen before and chat with some I have. I was surprised to see how many of our trucks are white. It looked like an Extreme UNSCOM Convention was going on. As we pulled our trucks up to the RTI ramp I saw a few other colors.

    As I was being measured on the ramp Alan Bates came around to my side of the Big White Bus and said, "You've got some great stuffage going on there." Seems my right rear tire was way up in the wheel well. We ran the trucks on the ramp inside, because of the weather, and then as we were not entirely pleased with the results we ran them up outside off of the concrete. Alan has a very awesome 1992 Range Rover. A really great looking truck check out his pics on the Member's Page.

    With the shifting of the transfer case I found another annoyance that had slipped from my memory since the last time it occurred. The microswitch that activates a bell that noisily informs you that you are in neutral would not go off. Finally after a few minutes it did finally go off. It has been chirping on bumps ever since. With every day that goes by I feel like it would be a worthy project to park the Rover and take it mostly apart and fix all the little problems. I do not have another vehicle to drive and no place to do this maintenance close to home. So it will have to wait for later when the average daily driveway temperature to climbs into the 60s fahrenheit.

    Airborne
    February 13, 2003

    Whooo Hooooo

    Off road driving can some times be done ON ROAD. Near my home they are widening an intersection from the quaint two lane county section-linesque road to the behemoth 5 lane with traffic light. There are several level changes between the old road and the new road beds. They are sharp and should not in a normal car be taken at more than 10 miles per hour. While driving home with my family from a school function the other night I learn that the Big White Bus can get it's tires off the ground. Did I say we were going 30mph and decellerating.

    The snow had fallen the day before and this day it had melted enough to flood the lower sections of the road construction zone. Fog had rolled in and obscured my vision to a few hundred feet. As normal we transitioned down a gentle slope. Great fun kids loved it. Then I saw the other transition point. A 15 foot wide puddle that we quickly learned was a foot deep. Water came up on the hood and then we hit the HOLE! and as we came out the other end the ramp up on to the new road had a nice lip on it and we all came out of our seats. My wife and kids screamed, RovErica hit her head on the roof and all the tools and equipment in the back reordered itself. Great fun!! We all settled down and had a big laugh.

    For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Sir Issac Newton. The opposite action is the creaky and growning the Big White Bus now makes when the suspension is tested. A simple turn into the driveway presented me with new sounds of creaking and growning. It seems the suspension will be the first thing this Spring I will need to look at. It has passed the radiator cooling problem by a few points to take the lead in requiring my attention.

    Assess the unassessable
    February 4, 2003

    123456

    Today my Rover rolled past 123456 on the odometer. I bought it when it had a mere 88,000 on the clicker. I had to make an extra trip today so I was unprepared to take a picture of the odometer. With that many miles on my Rover I have been considering another purchase. As many of you have read I want a Series truck real bad. I mentioned it to my wife on an errand the other day and she asked the obvious questions. Are you getting rid of this one to get that one? Will you be working on it all the time? Will it be more reliable? None of these questions were actually answered by me. Better not to promise things I can't control. I will probably have to wait until the finances look better to get a project like a Series truck. If I could get one now it would just rust in the driveway for lack of funds.
    "Why don't you buy an already restored one?"
    That is an excellent question, you deserve a cookie. My answer is, I probably will. But I must wait just the same. The list below of repairs pending will be added to soon. I will be evaluating my truck for off-road action. I want to make the Southwest Oklahoma trail ride so as not to be a burden to my fellow travelers I will need some repairs. More on that next week. For now wish for snow this week.

    Happy Birthday my love...

    Today is my wife's birthday. I would like to wish her many, many more. She has made my life so complete. Even though she hates my Rover I love her dearly.

    Why me...
    January 27, 2003

    It has finally happened...

    It is bitter cold outside. (See below for details.) And the Big White Bus has finally left me at the side of the road. Actually it left me in front of a 7-Eleven but you get the point. It was in the low teens Friday morning and I got in the Rover to go to work. I started it up and went to fill with petrol. I turned it off to open the gas door. Restarted to keep it warm while I filled the tank with the precious go-go juice. I pulled up to the front to go in and pay. When I returned the key would not turn in the ignition. No way. All the obvious things I tried. Multiple keys, turning the wheel to relieve the pressure of the steering lock, everything. Enough graphite to grease a battleship. So in my desperate state I returned to the house to check my AllData subscription to see if I was missing anything. I returned to begin taking things apart to find the problem. The key lock mechanism is completely mechanical and free of the solenoids that prevent everything else on the Rover from working unless conditions are met. So with this bit of knowledge from my friend JagGuy I took the steering column cowling off. I messed with the lock some more but to no avail. I did manage to pull the electrics off the back of the tumbler mechanism and now know I can start my truck without the key.

    Nothing worked, I had given up. Done. Call the tow truck. "Game over man, game over." I started gathering the important things and put a couple of things back together. I was about to pull the key out and I thought one more try, what have I got to loose, twist and wow it turned. I have no idea why it turned, but it did. It did not start but it did turn. I had failed to secure the electric switch part of the mechanism back to the tumbler correctly. This is poorly manufactured and even more poorly designed. I managed to get it back together correctly and it started. It started consistantly at least 5 times. Did I learn anything from the experience? Yes, I can take the silly thing apart in my sleep now. I know how the shifter mechanism works intimately. Could I replace a tumbler, probably but I'm not sure I would try it when the temperature was below 50 degrees farenheit.

    I would like to thank Ryan at Rover Cannibal for his generous offer to bring my truck down for the guys to look at it, again. I will take him up on that soon. Thanks to JagGuy in helping me return the Taurus to Janie so she could get home after work and for his invaluable knowledge of automobiles of the British Isles (do they still call them that?). Have a good winter. Talk to you next week.

    Burrrr, it's sure cold here. -Pee Wee, Herman HBO Special
    January 23, 2003

    It is bitter cold outside. For all of you from other parts of the world that means it is in the teens outside with a wind chill in the minus ranges. I'm sure Rob can tell us of cold weather up North near Canada. This is the cold that you all know and love. You all know it because nothing fails on your Rover until it gets this cold outside. The power steering pump is failing, I know it's days are numbered. The fluid leak has exaserbated the problem and I will likely need to replace it. I am now angry that I squandered the 60 degree temperatures of last weekend with house silliness instead of Rover silliness. If the weather guys are correct we should warm up next week. I will be doing auto repair if I know what's good for me.

    Add to the list below....

  • Exhaust.

  • The exhaust is in bad shape. I forgot to include this on the list with the rest last week.

  • Rusty Tailgate.

  • Everyone I know has this problem. I need to find that rust stopping goo. If anyone knows what it is called email me so I can get some.
    Daddycon I choose you, Nag Attack!
    January 13, 2003

    RovErica asked me while I was doing my duty of delivering her "taxi style" to another of her activities, "so, do you have any work to on the Rover?"

    What a question. I knew I only had 5 minutes to tell her an answer before she got out of the truck so I gave her a short list. To which she asked, "was any of that under the hood?" Yes and told her which of the things would be under the hood. On the way home that got me thinking, that there is a lot to do on the Rover and I'm not doing any of it. You probably have a list of want-to-dos, have-to-dos, and should-dos, too. I encourage you to write it down and then let it eat a whole in you as you continue to ignore the work you have just made for yourself. What follows is a list of the things I know about and should start work on when the days and funds allow.

    In no particular order.

  • Cooling Problem.

  • The cooling problem only raises it's ugly head during the summer months in Oklahoma. I have done some work on this the last two years but have not found the problem yet.

  • Power Steering Leak, Part Duex

  • I had a hose fail in the past. Now I have another leak but it has been too cold to find it.

  • Broken fog lamp

  • The Big White Bus was driven by my daughter and the next day I had a broken lamp. Coincidence?

  • Trouble Light

  • Want to add a trouble light I got off a 1995 GMC truck under my hood.

  • Driver's Seat

  • Heater never worked. A warm butt is a happy butt. Memory switches quit working. No biggy but annoying.

  • Air Conditioning Compressor

  • Has a leak. Actually the entire seal around the compressor is showing the tell tale green ooze we put in to find the leak. Probably a new compressor sometime next year.

  • Suspension

  • I know I should replace the shocks and the bushings. Ryan has suggested new springs too.

  • Exhaust.

  • The exhaust is in bad shape. I forgot to include this on the list with the rest last week.

  • Mysterious leak

  • There is a mysterious leak that wets the carpet up front during the rainy months. Windshield is probably the culprit. I need to have it pulled and resealed.

    So if you were wondering if you were the only one with a naggy list of Rover To-Dos, wonder no more you are among friends.

    Drive like you just stole it
    January 2, 2003
    Happy New Year

    The first real snow of the year was a big disappointment. Not a single challenging driving situation presented itself. Bummer. But on the other hand another muddy driving situation surprised me on the way to a friend's New Years Party. The way to my friend's is paved the whole way except for a seldom used short cut only known to residents of the neighborhood. In the interest of time I took the short cut that Saturday night. It has been wet a little and I did not expect the mud hole that I found as I exited the highway. I slowed as usual but an on coming car caused me to turn off the Hellas leaving me a bit short of light on the sides. I waited for the car and turned off the highway right into a very muddy bit of road. I turned the Hellas back on to see the mud hole with the accompanying side tracks to drive around the water hole. I took the path in the middle. Half water hole and half roundabout. My wife exclaimed, "are you sure you should drive in there?" I said, "No problem." And I was right. We went in mud everywhere and came out the other side like nothing happened. My only concern was getting mud on our fancy party clothes as we exited the Rover. I told my friends about the short cut with the surprised host exclaiming, "You went in there?!?" On the way home I could not resist driving through it again. As I exited the other side to get back on the highway. The very satisfying sound of mud centrifically leaving the tires and thumping under the truck was priceless.

    Just a thought here. I was thinking about my Range Rover the other day and wondered if when it came out Land Rover owners thought of it as a less capable vehicle. It occurred to me that maybe we think the new Range Rover is less capable off road than it's older cousins. I have heard some grumblings as to that affect. So in 10 years when the off-road trails are clogged with the 2003 Range Rovers will we think they are still less capable?

    As to the story below, it was not a G4. :(

    Ho, Ho, Ho, driving in the snow 2002
    December 23, 2002
    First Real Snow of the Year

    The first real snow has fallen. I am not sure how much but it is there tempting me to drive in it. The Ditchfinder is "going wheeling" tonight. So a recovery call is probably inevitable. Inappropriate Matt gave me one of the funniest Rover stories today. He also has fueled a rumor that there is a G4 in town. I hope to see it to confirm, but I will have to take his word for it for now. He said, "that's the truck" when I showed him a picture.

    Silverado Taunted, By Silverado Matt
    I drive a 2001 Chevy Silverado. The rear tires were a little wore but I didn't think anything of it. Driving along I-44 by MLK in Oklahoma City I started to move to the right most lane where the on ramp is for I-35. While changing lanes my truck started sliding. I turned into the slide but ended up doing a 180 across the middle of I-44 to the left side of the road. Luckily everyone was able to safely avoid me and keep on going. I ended up in a ditch on the highway's median "Stuck". I tried unsuccessfully to get out but had no luck. There was no traction whatsoever. So I started to walk across the highway and noticed a Progressive insurance vehicle had stopped for me. The girl that stopped let me use her phone. I called my dad to pull me out.

    While waiting a Land Rover pulled up, about 100 ft in front of my truck. It drove forward and backwards in the median as if to taunt me by showing "see what I can do". I thought it was just messing with me and would soon leave. Eventually he drove to my window and asked "Do you want out?" Of course I said yes. When we were hooking up his winch (Silverado Matt actually typed "wench" here which makes this an entirely different type of story) to my truck I told him I have a friend that I give a hard time about his Land Rover that breaks down all the time. I also told him I would never give my friend a hard time about his Rover again. Needless to say he pulled me most of the way out as my dad arrived to finish the job.

    Another convert is born. Silverado Matt said, if he had the money he would, "buy one of those, no question."

    Press pedal to stop
    December 10, 2002
    Garage Day Success
    Garage Day was a success.

    The Land Rover Bomber Jackets were a big hit.

    Got the bad brake fluid changed. There were a great many bits floating in the recovery bottle. The fluid is translucent now as opposed to the tea colored fluid we removed. There will be a right up soon. Look for it.
    See you at the next one.

    To All Who Wrench I Salute You Crash Bang Scratch
    December 3, 2002
    The Joys of Urban Living and Good Thing He was at the Garage
    Garage Day is Saturday. With that in mind Friday after Thanksgiving was a crummy day. I went out to the curb to return the trash cans to the side of the house and there on the ground was my right rear lens protector and some red plastic. I looked at it an thought that's strange. Then I looked at the truck, long scratch, and a torn quarter panel (with hole). Seems the City of Norman trashman put the retrieval arm of his large trash truck down the side of the Range Rover. Boy was I steamed. I called the City and they came out and assumed full responsibility and the driver returned and apologized.

    Monday I went to get estimates for repair. Surprisingly the damage was anywhere from $1200-1400(US). Good grief! In the good ole days my Dad would have said lets pound it out and fill it with Bond-O. Well on a steel car maybe, aluminum who knows. We would have been out $200 with paint. I will have it repaired but the process to be paid by the city is tenuous so I will have to wait until they approve the repair at the City Council meeting someday in the future. My arrival at work was greeted by several jokes. A sign with pictures of trash trucks and dumpsters from FordShortBed (a new evil woodworking superhero) that says "Stay away from these!!! They are dangerous!!!" stubbornly taped to my monitor. Also Titanium Hitch came in and said excitedly "come on, quick we gotta move the Rover there's a trash truck in the parking lot!!" I almost got up and went out there. Ha Ha. I will keep you apprised and I will post some pics when I can get them back.

    Almost a recovery...
    JagGuy drove his Range Rover to Cajun Country (Baton Rouge) over the long weekend and back home. 1500 miles round trip. And after stopping at the Garage to pick up some stuff he came out put his truck in gear and a lound "BINK" came from under the truck. He had a CV joint fail. Wow, what luck that he was at the Garage when it happened. He called me on Monday and told me he had already taken it apart and was heading to Rover Cannibal to pick up a spare. He promised pictures and a write up for all of us. I will post it when he finishes it. It will give him a good reason to buy a digital camera if he didn't already have one.

    Garage Day, Whooo Hooooo More, better, faster, brighter, less dark The Quest for the Holy Grail Holder
    November 15, 2002
    Garage Day is coming (see below). I will work on one of two projects at Garage Day. Either the "Great Brake Fluid Replacement" or the "Gosh, a light here would be really cool" project. The brake fluid swap is no big deal. Replace the brake fluid whoopee. But the light project is better, more nerdy. The Ditchfinder has a light under the hood of his Chevy that has a real long cord and can be used as far away as the back tires. I went to a junk yard and got one for $10. I plan to install it under the hood. Thusly providing a very nice light for those dark nights on the side of the road.

    On the board I have been inquiring about a dual battery setup. In the coming months I will be investigating that possibility. I have a concern about my alternator at this point and it's ability to charge the batteries. But I will find out more and as always I will let you know what is found.

    I am coming around to the final design for the Rover Cupholder (what no reverb). I am pricing lathes and will be to turn some samples out of pine or other cheap wood to work out the bracket to holder relationships. JagGuy had some great input as we blazed along in Edmond to the garage last week and with that advice I think I am ready to "Turn some wood baby". I have never used a lathe so I may have to have another friend give me a primer first.

    Garage Day, Whooo Hooooo November 14, 2002
    Garage Day details.
    'Hey you figure it out, I'm dead.' Lucas, Prince of Frustration
    November 8, 2002
    Okay the very frustrating "bouncing lock" problem has gone away.
    What did you do to fix it, you might ask?
    This is complicated so try to stay with me. I took my son to skating last night when I got out of the truck, I hit the key fob with a confident "lock you sorry, @#$%%#" and it did! So I was thinking what have I changed?

    Okay yesterday on the way home the sensor for fluid level in the expansion tank blinked that I was low once again on coolant. I had determined last Saturday that the coolant measured 10 degrees farenheit on the "how cold can you go" antifreeze checker. That is not good enough for the climate that is coming with the Oklahoma winter so I must add more antifreeze. I stopped and got more antifreeze and added it. There is obviously a relation to the antifreeze level in the tank and it's ability to withstand temperatures below 10 degrees farenheit and the bouncing lock problem.

    Not many mechanics have the expertise to find such an obscure relationship. I now consider myself a member of the Rover mechanic elite. It's either the fluid level/temperature tolerance OR it has been dry, as in no rain, for 4 days now. I'm pretty sure it's one of those two things or that Rover uses antifreeze as electric locking fluid and I was just low. There is an outside chance it could be pixies or perhaps gremlins too.
    In any event I think I'm getting closer.

    'Gentlemen also do not lock their motors with key fobs.' Lucas, Prince of Locklessness
    November 5, 2002
    Yea sun. The "bouncing lock" problem is still there. But this is just in (teletype sound here), I have been locking the truck from the driver's side. But when I lock the doors with the key, just as before, from the passenger side they bounce! So I am going to look at the passenger side first in hopes I will see an obvious problem. More to come....
    'Gentlemen don't motor about after dark.' Lucas, Prince of Darkness
    November 1, 2002
    I am still hoping to see the sun soon. The "bouncing lock" problem is still there. I can lock the truck with the key and then activate the alarm, no problem. But if I hit the key fob the locks lock and then unlock. I was reading on All Data Do It Yourself about the door locks and how they work. I have learned two things since I purchased this Land Rover. Mayotte's chief export is ylang-ylang, and Land Rover's have notoriously poor ground connections. So in reading when I come across a reference to "ground" it's a safe bet that is your problem. You should fix that first. If it doesn't fix the problem, it's probably a component at that point. So how to fix the ground? I have not indentified the location of all the components of the locking system. So until I do I am probably on the two step procedure to lock my truck.
    I know it's a Series steering wheel, not a Rangie wheel. Change that slippery stuff
    October 21, 2002
    After the rain and dreariness of Saturday gave way to sun and pleasant temperatures I declared Sunday as "Auto Maintenance Day" (echo reverb). I cleaned up the wife's minivan and put some air in her low tire and an oil change. I also took the opportunity to change the Rover's oil and check the fluids.

    Oil change went off without any problems. The Rover was a pint low on transmission fluid. Bought a really cool fluid funnel and hose for that. But while I was under I noticed the tell-tale signs of another failing fitting on the power steering hoses. I have more of the red juice leaking under the steering box and several hoses are wet and dripping. The last time I saw this it was a split hose. When the Rover was just sitting there no major leak but when you turned the wheel, Niagara Falls. I buggered the fittings up pretty bad getting the offending hose off and had to get a new/used one from Rover Cannibal. My original plan was to remove the hose and have the fittings recrimped. JagGuy and someone else told me that was the way to go. But as it was really messed up getting another was the only option. After I butchered the fittings I attempted to have one made. This was a nightmare. In most cases this is the cheap and convienient way to get a new hose. You can also get the groovy braided lines which I am way keen on. Well the Britishness of the fittings left me with no option but to put an original Rover part back on. Braided hose disappointment.

    I didn't look too much further as my time and funds this month are limited (new carpet and tile). But probably tonight I will have RovErica turn the wheel as I watch the life blood of the power steering system leak out on to the driveway.

    Clean up tip of the week (echo reverb)
    I used some laundry detergent to clean up my oil spills after the oil change. Just spread some out and let it set for a little bit. Then with a broom brush it around. Sweep up the majority and wash the rest "harmlessly" down the gutter.

    Sorry for the echo reverb it's a new special effect and I am gonna use it until I wear it out.


    October 10, 2002
    Well, leave it to Lucas to give you fits when you least expect it. I was at the Home Depot (no I don't live there) last night and when I pressed the key fob to lock the doors I heard the locks lock, the single honk, the lights flashed and then I heard the lock, unlock. I said "What the..." and pressed it again. I got the double honk unlock sound but no lock sound. So I walked back over to the truck and pressed it again. Again it unlocked after it locked. It did this again today at lunch. You can engage the locks manually with the key, so I did. If you are not aware of it, your truck will unlock the locks if you press your key fob when one of the doors is open. Thus preventing you from locking your keys in the car. So I'm guessing one of the sensors for this is failing. But with the Seattle-like mist wet of the past three days I am guessing this is a "wet somewhere problem". Where to look I don't know. More on this if I find the culprit.

    October 4, 2002
    One of my fog lamps has a broken bracket. I noticed it just siting in the cowling not attached. I cut it loose and will have to get a new bracket to hold it in the cowling. I am going to get new head lights too. The stock lamps that are there now are terrible. My Hella 500s are awesome and when you compare the great light they cast and the light from the head lamps there is much room for improvement. I may try to get my Germany connection to send me some Hella Vision Plus head lamps. They are usually quite a bit less than the catalog prices.

    I had a great discussion with The Ditchfinder about brake fluid yesterday. He said it should be changed every two years. I have never in my life changed brake fluid in any car or truck. My dad had some great rules to life when he was alive. "If it works don't fix it.", is one I know many of you have heard. My brakes work, but I know my truck with 116k miles has never had fresh brake fluid. So I may have him come over for some Pernod and have him help me change the fluid. He claims it is a 20 minute two man job. We shall see.


    October 1-2, 2002
    Updated some pages on this Weblog. My new Land Rover moccasins arrived. Boy did I get it from the guys. I only paid $25 for them off of Ebay, so that eased the teasing a bit. Getting them broke it is next. Right now they are not very comfortable, but when are new shoes.

    September 21-22, 2002
    Time to swap the nasty old pads with the new. Not too many tools necessary for this project. Needle nose pliars, flat head screwdriver, wheel chock (two each), jack stand, crate (milk, metal, one each) jack (hydraulic, one each), assistant (female, young, one each). For the assistant I employed my handy-dandy super-bestest daughter RovErica (11 years). She knows just enough to fetch stuff if I tell her where it is. She will primarily fetch drinks for dear ole dad and turn the water on and off between each wheel for this project.

    Erica fetched the jack stand and the milk crate. The milk crate is an often under appreciated item when working in the wheel area of the Rangie. I sit on it so I don't have to stoop. Got the jack stand under the truck and put the wheel chocks in place. I broke the lug nuts loose with the tire still down. I proceeded to jack the truck up and set the stand in place for safety purposes. With the wheel off I used the garden hose to knock some of the brake dust loose. Maybe a power washer would have been very usable right now. Use number three for a power washer. (#1 clean paint off house, #2 clean cars)

    I noticed that there is not a pad wear sensor on the left front. So I will for go putting that on for that side. I will have to look again to make sure the wiring is not really there. I removed the cotter pins from the keeper shafts (names may vary). Pulled out shafts and inspected the pads. Yes quite worn. I took the cap off of the brake fluid reservoir. This is to allow the fluid in the cylinders to flow back up. I checked this with a few before. I got two major responses, bleed fluid and push fluid back. I don't like opening my brake system at all so I went with the push fluid back method.

    I inserted the flat head screwdriver into a convienient place to push the pad away from the disk to make way for the new very much thicker pads. You have to becareful here. There are two cylinders and I was careful to press them back together a little at a time. I took out the old pads and inserted the new pads. I put the new keeper shafts and retainer coil springs back in and secured them with the new cotter pins. Simple. Wash, rinse, repeat.

    The back pads are slightly different. They are held in place with a very large cotter pin instead of a keeper shaft like in front and the anti-rattle spring is different. The back took only 15 minutes to complete both sides. It took longer to jack up the vehicle.

    I rate this job a 1 on the 5 point difficulty scale.


    September 19th, 2002
    I just finished the entire diary (took me 3 days reading) for the ihana.com guys and their trek around the Americas in their Ex-British Marine 109. If you haven't checked them out, do. They are on the adventure of a lifetime. They have been on the continent for over a year, touring in their truck. I don't know if I could do that trip but it looks like fun. Their Ex-British 109 is very interesting and oh man do I want one. My next vehicle will be one of these trucks. Maybe a four door. I know I can't afford the Defender 110 NAS. Their owners are very proud of them. But I could get one of the more spartan vehicles the are EX-MOD. There are a few importers out there.
    Dude, your getting a Series.

    Badges we don't need no stinking badges....
    Actually I think having badges would be cool. I have been poking around the internet and found some links to badges. There are just about a million different badges. Everything type of design you could think of is out there. What would we have on our badges? It's Oklahoma, maybe a representation of Oklahoma. I was thinking of a cartoon characature of a Scissor-tail Flycatcher behind the wheel of a Rover like the South Carolina Rover Club, they have a Gator. We could go more "high brow" and have a badge like some of the MG clubs. Maybe the shield from the Oklahoma State flag as the background with some lettering. Think about it. Your input will certainly be required.
    Here's a link with some examples.
    Car Badges from Around the World


    September 18th, 2002
    The brake wear indicator has been flickering for about 2 weeks. This last week it has been on more than off, so it's time to order brake pads and get them installed. Ordered brake pads from Atlantic British. I asked a few people their advice and I went with "Get the OEM pads." Lifetime pads are not all they are cracked up to be. I'm waiting now for their much anticipated arrival.


    September 17th, 2002
    The Ditchfinder has once again at lunch lead me to Home Depot. But this time I am thinking about Cupholders! I have pondered the cupholder problem my years now. Many thoughts have come up. Where do you place them? How do you mount them? What are they to be made of? Why doesn't Magic Shell setup when applied to human skin?

    The obvious answers always escape us when we need them. With this in mind I ask the infinitely wise Ditchfinder, "What do you think?" Ten minutes later and ten Rover cutdowns endured, he suggests mounting them to the seat. To the seat? Is he insane?

    Humm, does the crazy Ditchfinder have the perfect solution? Look at your Rover. Not many places to mount a cup holder with the current design of the cockpit. The area near the shifters is the only logical place. But my leg rests there when I drive. Adjust the leg placement? No way.

    As much as I hate to admit it I think he has something in this crazy thought. I purchased two 3 inch end caps for a pvc pipe. I went home and showed my wife the crazy German Superhero's idea. She said, "...just weld it on there." I told her if this was a Series truck that would be in the true spirit of adapting the vehicle to my needs. "No, they must be Burled Mediteranean Poplar and look great! That's leather your sitting don't ya know." I climbed down from my soap box and thought about it more. I took my lovely naive wife to Home Depot and bought one 3 foot long piece of flat iron. I shall shape it and mount the cap on it in the perfect place.

    I bent the bar and experimented with the location. I think I have the perfect location. Now how to mount it? The seat position switch has two well place and reasonably accessable screws. I shall mount it there. The next day I was back at the hardware store to match the bolts used with longer ones to accomodate my iron bar. Back at the house and some more bending and drilling and there it is. Wow, That's the perfect location. It's not in the way of the shifters. Wow, I can still use the parking brake. Wow, the seat can move still be in all the positions. Wow, I think I've got it. Hummm. That looks like crap. I told myself it is only an experiment. I will test the location for a week or so as I contemplate how I will change it to fit the interior and make it more asthetically pleasing.



    September 16th, 2002
    The brake wear indicator has been flickering for about 1 week. I was just under the truck a couple of months ago and didn't remember the pads being that worn. I remembered the sensor on the rear was cut. Maybe it is shorting. So I endevoured to check it. I got out the tire jacking stuff and set it up. I used the official Range Rover lug nut remover tool to attempt to remove the lug nuts. When I last put the lug nuts back I must have had the strength of The Ditchfinder or the Titanium Hitch because they wouldn't budge. Finally standing on the shaft they broke free. All but one. I noticed the shaft twisting as I moved around the truck removing the wheels. The final nut was quite obstinate. After I virtually straightened the Official lug nut removal tool I went to Home Depot to get a 1 1/8th inch socket and a big breakover bar. Basically $20.

    Back to the wheels and this time off they came. So I have a new tool to remove my lug nuts. The brakes are worn down and the wire is not shorting. So I leave you now to order brake pads.

    Archive End of Archive, Or beginning depending on which way you read it. Either way thanks for spending so much time on it. Hope you enjoyed it and it was helpful.