2004


lots of broke stuff Recovery point goodness Round and round they go, and better with Revo

A good year.


December 27th, 2004

Head liner, New tires, Recovery points, Got stuck, FTP down, Lense project, Transmission service

Head liner
I pulled the fabric off the moon roof cover this past Sunday. It seems the cover is made of fiberglass. The fabric came off faily easy. I was surprised by the noises you normally don't hear when the head liner is removed. I will try to refit a new liner cover on the moon roof cover hopefully this weekend if the weather holds.

I have decided NOT to take the moon roof cover out of the truck to put the fabric on. I have several reasons for this but the biggest is: I don't know if the cover will come out of the moon roof assembly. I will have pictures in the write up but it is not easily assertainable how this would be accomplished. So I will cut the fabric just short of the edge and glue it in place while the roof is still in the truck. As the glue is "spray glue" this shouldn't be too much trouble to get the glue on there but the potential for mess is high. So I will treat it like a painting project and use a drop cloth just in case. Check the head liner page for more details soon.

New tires
I have been researching new tires. I originally wanted to put 235s on the Big White Bus but after asking several friends it seems a body lift and lift kit would be advisable. So I would need to also replace my springs and probably do my break lines while I was at it. So I will wait a bit and see if I can get off-road instead. While I would love to do all this I just can't justify it right now and will put Bridgestone Dueler A/T Revo (235/70R16) on the BWB. They seem to score really high. I'd love to put Michelin XZLs on the BWB the pocket book and their availability due to the war in Iraq and Afghanistan prohibit me from pursuing that option. Some boards say I could get a used set from Canada but I will wait.

Recovery points
A recent episode of getting stuck reminded me that I have no recovery points on the front of my Rover. This is a major problem. So I did some asking on several message boards and decided to get a couple of simple hooks from one of the many domestic trucks available in the U.S. I went down to Del City Pickup Parts salvage yard in Del City, Oklahoma (405)677-2431. They had a few hooks on a display but did not have two of a kind. So I asked about a Ford F-250 and he directed me to the yard where I found an F-250. It had a closed loop "hook" on the truck and the base of the hook was too wide for the mounting point I was hoping to use. Right next to it was a Suburban. It's too hooks were easy to see and were very long on the attach side of the hook. That would give me enough distance to clear my brush guard. I believe I will have to drill a hole in the hook to match up with my connection point but that shouldn't be too much of a problem.

I had considered J.A.T.E. rings available from OKRovers and other sites. They have a 'cool factor' of 10 but I would have needed to manufacture a connection point and I would have to remove my air damn permanently. I am not ready for that as I like the look of the truck with the air dam on it. I know the air dam will need to go if I am off-roading. It only gathered a bit of mud in my recent incident getting stuck. I am planning a quick release method for quickly removing the air dam. I already have the lamps wired with plugs so they can be disconnected.

Getting stuck
Many of you have probably read my posts titled "NOT AS FUN AS IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN" and "Dumbassery". Dumbassery is my new catch phrase and I hope I can get it registered as a trademark. Sorta like Trump and "you're fired". Just kidding. You all are free to use the word as much as you like.

I wish I could say I had fun doing this but it was just pure and simple stupidity. When I had nearly given up hope I found a tow truck driver with some moxey and with his 100 foot of cable and my newly purchased 70 foot of tow strap and 30 foot of chain we got it out.

I was doing pretty good until I hit the giant red sandstone rock. Then all my progress was going down instead of forward.

I know now my tires must be replaced. And my transfer case wouldn't go into low range. I have an appointment about the transfer case and the tires are coming pretty soon.

Check out the Got Stuck page for pics and more text describing my recent episode of dumbassery.

FTP service down
My host CRT Online has been having FTP problems as of late and I haven't been able to update. Hopefully each of you have been busy with projects and toys Santa brought you to miss any writings I may or may not have been putting up.

Lense problem
My right turn signal indicator lense fell out of it's position a couple of weeks ago. As you know my truck was wrecked way back before I bought it and this was a simple problem that finally failed. I have a write up about the lense repair you can check out on the Lens repair page. Getting the right materials was the key.

Transmission service
My recent episode of getting the center console back in the Rover and my getting stuck pointed out that my transfer case would not go into low range. I am having Cottman's do a transmission service on the BWB on Wednesday of this week. I asked them investigate why the transfer case was also stuck. Cottman's rebuilt my transmission a few years ago and I so far have trusted them with fast service and have had no problems with the rebuild. So again they will get my business to do a service on the fluid that is now approximately 2 years old.


Gettin' a new engine

November 9th, 2004

Head liner, oil change, noisy lifters, head gasket failure, leaking seal, console back in
The horrah for good weather seems to have been this weekend. It was perfect weather on Sunday so I took advantage to wrap up a few jobs.

Head liner
The head liner on the moon roof/sun roof cover came off today. I decided to close it before I got to work and it fell right off. I managed this summer to get it wet when I forgot to close the sun roof. As usual one of the very frequent rain showers broke out and got it really wet. That was it I guess and it decided to come off today. So I guess it's time to revisit the liner project and try to match with the liner I replace sometime ago. Which means taking it all out AGAIN!

Lifters noisy, change oil
I have been noticing for a few thousand miles that I have a very noisy engine sound. I couldn't decide whether it was an exhaust leak again or if a valve was sticking or if I was having some other engine related problem. It is time to change the oil and I have noticed since using the Castrol Extended Life oil sometime ago that the oil seems to fail a little faster than before. Unfortunately I can't seem to find that flavor of oil any longer. Either they don't stock it any more or Castrol quit making it. Either way the good ole fashioned Castrol 20w50 I use seems a little too thin at the end of it's 3000 mile life in my engine. To kill one bird with two stones I bought a bottle of Chevron TECHRONŽ Concentrate Fuel System Cleaner and put it in and I changed the oil. The noise is, I am glad to say, no longer there. I'm not sure which of the solutions solved the problem. But my engine is nice and quiet again. Well relatively quiet.

Head gasket leak
As I have been reporting for I don't know how many years the head gasket has been pushing fluid out of the system. In a desperate attempt to put off the obvious top end engine repair I tried some "horse pills" which sadly have failed to stem the tide. Good news is another engine is in the works. But it will be after Christmas before we get started. So I'm hoping I'll make it through the winter like last with not too many problems. The price of coolant/antifreeze is too high to pour it on the ground like this.

Leaky seal
My swivel joint seal on the right side had a nice big blob of grease on it this weekend. So I will eventually have to replace it. I have the seal in the garage, but not the place to work on it right now. I'm not really looking foward to removing the CV joint again. But it will give me a chance to document in pictures the procedure again. This time hopefully everyone will heed my advice and replace EVERYTHING that could fail when you tear something down.

Console back in
I have the center console back in. It was more challenging getting it back in than it was to take out. I'm guessing they assemble it in two parts and attach the two pieces afterwards. I had to loosen the emergency brake bracket, pull the big screws and hold my mouth just right for an extended time to get it back in, in one piece. But I have it all hooked back up and it looks great. I got a little to carried away with the dremel and had to correct with a couple of washers. Which made the window switch panel screws a close fit. I'll write it up when I get the pictures off the camera tonight probably.


yeah I needed gas...

October 27th, 2004

150,000
The Big White Bus rolled passed 150,000 miles today. I have had her since she rolled 88,000. Gonna reward her with a nice oil change this weekend and hopefully some new differential fluid soon. And new spindle fluid also. Good girl.

A blurry pic of 150,000


Windows up and down again, Yeah!

October 26th, 2004

No console, window problems, leaky windshield
Had to put off putting the console back in. It really needs to be glued properly. I have it sitting in the garage while I finish the painting on the house.

The window ECU fried a week ago when I was picking up my daughter from one of her cheerleading assignments. I rolled the window down to offer one of the kids a ride and there was a spark and then another and the windows all rolled down. I futzed with it a bit and then drove home in the 49 degree weather. It wasn't too bad. I spent 40 minutes figuring out which of the relays allowed the windows to be rolled back up. I couldn't get the part that late on Saturday. So I made sure the windows were up just incase of bad weather. Low and behold it was like 85 that day and I really wish the windows worked. We used the air conditioning to keep up cool and avoided the restaurants with drive thru windows.

Monday I went down to Rover Cannibal and picked up another ECU. Now I can roll up and down the back windows and the front windows. How exciting!

I haven't been getting anything else done on the truck other than adding the "horse pills" to help with the head gasket leak. I have an engine in the works and if everything goes well I should be putting a rebuilt 4.2 in by Spring. JagGuy and I will rebuild the 4.2 then rebuild mine and put it in his 90 Range Rover. Replacing his anemic and failing 3.9. We will probably rebuild the 3.9 and offer it for sale to cover the costs. More news on that as soon as the deal is done.

I got a quote for removing the windshield and refitting it to hopefully stop a leak that I believe is there. "Hopefully" is not the word I would like to be using but it's the best I can do for now.


Updates on Rover Log

September 30th, 2004

House going fine, console back in
Everything is going well on the house. Waiting on brick to arrive now.

I started to put the console back in this weekend. The broken bits I have had to glue held up well. The parts that were not broke are now broke. So I spent Sunday gluing those pieces. The front part connects to the cubby box so they will need to be glued together. I have noticed with my glue in place that they no longer fit well together. I will have to chop part of the rear portion of the gear selector section back. I also glued a new piece to attach the window switch panel to. The previous holes were destroyed and the panel with the switches mostly danced around there. I will be able to secure it now.

The switch relay that powers the rear windows that don't normally operate correctly still needs to be replace. I have fitted it in the Rover anyway and will inquire with Rover Cannibal about getting another to see if it fixes the problem.

Tossed, and I mean literally tossed, a ladder up on the top to haul down to the new house in order to run cable for the computers. Just as I released it I realized I have a sun roof. I thought for sure I had just broke it out. But I hadn't. That was a close call. Just another reason I need a roof rack. Maybe Santa will bring me one? Who am I kidding? Santa is going to have to buy window treatments for the new house. I'll be lucky if I get a lump of coal in my stocking.

I fired off an email to Ozzie at Ozzie's Offroad asking for his pics of the bracket to move the ECU up to the dash. I told him I've been jonesing for something new to read about Rovers. Seems this lack of getting out and my lack of being able to work on the Big White Bus has got me down in the dumps.

The water in the floor boards has to be from a leaking wind screen (wind shield). I will have to find a good shop to pull that and reseal it. Any suggestions you might have just send me an email.


Updates on Tech Tips

September 21st, 2004

Update on the Tech Tips
My laziness is only surpassed by my gluttony when it comes to pie. Well anyway I updated the O2 Sensors, Mirror Replacement, and OME Shocks tech tips. I am ready to reinstall the carpet this weekend. I did not find the leak yet and will look one more time this weekend before putting the carpet back in.

I need to fix the rear window rolling down problem. I have futzed with it a few ways and have determined I will replace the module and see if the problem goes away. I think that it will fix it. Anyway I hope it fixes it.

I need a new rubber seal for my back window. And as you have previously read, it is still rusted. Ozzie at Ozziesoffroad.com is going to send some pics of his POR-15 project. If I understand it correctly, his email was a little fuzzy on this part but he dipped his entire Rover in POR-15, painted his fingernails with it and sacraficed a chicken, two Jeeps and Izuzu to the rust gods that inhabit the Florida wilds too. I don't really know if all that is true but he said he POR-15'd the entire truck. I can't wait to see the pics.

We are moving to a new house. And when I said new I meant new. I will get the two car side of the garage for my shop. I failed to ask the builder to up the garage door height so I will not be able to have a roof rack and lift on my truck AND park it in the garage. But we will see. It will be nice to have the room to tear down if I need too.
Anyone want to buy a house in a nice neighborhood?
Anyone want to help me move?
Hello...hello...is this thing on?


Wet pad, wet no longer Mmmmmm web forums, almost as good as pie, mmmmmm Round and round they go

September 8th, 2004

Drying the carpet
I have found that the drain tubes are not clogged. But where is the water coming from? I have placed some spacers under the pad to encourage the pad to dry. Nine days and most of the pad is dry now. The carpet cleaning was done the way I did the back. I just took the carpet to the car wash and hosed it off. And as it was with the back carpet, the brown fluid flowed freely telling me that the previous owner was indeed a messy person and not worried about spilling in the Rover. What a difference that makes in the appearance of the carpet. So I am still looking for the water. I may put some sealant on the hole in the floor board around the drain tube. I need to find the water leak.

I have found a couple of sites I want you to check out when you can. In addition to Chad's Website I want you to check out these...

  • AzArmadillo Chad's site
  • Land Rovers Only
  • The Land Rover Chronicle
  • Solihull Society Forum

    The Land Rovers Only site just got up but there is always something to read there. The Land Rover Chronicle doesn't have very frequent updates but there is a bunch there to see. The Solihull Society is in Colorado. The site is very well done, very pretty, great graphics and they must all have second homes in Moab. They were very complimentary about OkieRover.com and that's always nice to hear some feedback.

    Updated my wrench picture. I thought that one sucked.

    I'm going to get some new tires this winter probably and have been looking around to compare. Some I'm kinda excited about right now are these...

  • Dunlop Radial Rover R/T
  • Yokohama Geolandar AT+
  • Bridgestone Dueler A/T REVO with UNI-T AQII
  • The Tire Rack has good prices but I'll have to have them mounted locally. Lots of comparison charts and good information there. I wanted to put the Michelins back on this time but the price is way too expensive. Right now it looks like the Bridgestone Dueler tire is the winner.

    My mother has been sick so I haven't had time to futz with the center console. This weekend looks good but at this rate I'll won't know until it gets here. My wife and I have been so busy with the kids and my mom. She jokingly said, "I'll see you on Friday." Wish it was a fun kinda busy instead of a teadious grind kind of busy. Happy Rovering, watch what you eat and get some exercise.


    Rust

    August 30th, 2004

    Wet carpet, wet pad, and I didn't even get in the river
    I noticed that my Rover doesn't leave a little puddle underneath like most cars in the semi-arrid desert that is Oklahoma when the air conditioning is running. Guess where all that water is? Come you can do it...YES! right in the floor board of the passenger side. Evil German Dude offered the advice that my drain tubes were clogged. I knew that but I'm thinking it may not be. But I'll try to find the drain tube and try to clear it first. Thank heaven for compressed air.

    Carpet cleaning As I stated on the OkieRover home page I have pulled the carpet out of the front of the Rover. It required the complete removal of the console and was quite a mess. There are only 5 million wires, two air vents (for the back foot area), 4 relays and 18,000 connectors, and some petrified cheese from a taco or some other mexican fast food. The nickel and four pennies I found are offsetting the repair costs too! I also found an old note reminding me of some awfully important information. I couldn't decypher my codes on the paper, but I think it was a part number for something on the air conditioning. But who knows. I took some pics and will share in a tech tip on carpet cleaning which was the purpose for removing the carpet. I can tell you my good friends that I will not be putting it back in one piece. I will cut it in half and install it as two pieces. I don't think you should remove the center console to clean the carpet. That's just silly.

    Center console
    My center console has seen better days. I have repaired the flip top door a couple of times. The switch panels don't fit well and a couple of the braces are broke. The kids when they were younger were disposed to sit on it when they were switching places in the back or just to chat with one of the front passengers when the other one of us ran into a store or such while they waited. That and the occasional climb into the back seat from the front seat using the console as a step on the way over have taken their toll.
    The console is basically two parts fitted together with a couple of flimzy plastic pieces. The first part holds the ashtray and the shifting levers protrude from there. The rear part is the box and houses two cup holders. All this console talk is due to the fact that I have need for a Citizen's Band radio when we off-road. I would have liked to mount it on the back of the present console. The Infamous Perrone Ford installed his this way as did Chad Manz but Chad doesn't like it there and describes some problems with that location on his website, AzArmadillo. I thought about building a new center console box to conceal the CB radio. I haven't ruled that out yet. I use the box to hold quite a managery of items that would, if I had one, fit in the glove box. Most modern American cars have a glove box. The glove box must have in the early days contained, well gloves. In the early days of driving with out full enclosed coaches the need for gloves in the colder months must have necessitated a place to store them. This and the popularity of gloves at the transition of the 19th to the 20th century made a glove box an absolute necessity.

    In my Rover the absence of a glove box and the center console box have caused me to use this space to store everything but gloves. In it you will find a dizzying collection of items including: a cup full of spare change, a calculator, several ink pens, a tape of my favorite Pow Wow music, a bottle of Visine, a US military issue pocket knife, an eyeglass repair kit, dental floss, finger nail clippers, and my window punch for blasting out the windows if I ever turn the Rover into a submarine and go submerged. So as you can see I use the box to it's utmost so shrinking the size of the box to mount the CB radio inside is mostly out of the question.

    I could get a new CB radio. One with the spiffy controls on the mic. There are several available. Cobra makes the 75 WX ST it has weather band too, but so does my stock Land Rover radio. But I inherited this one from my departed father and if it still works it may have a few more years left in it. And it was free. I got some cool power meters with it too. So the radio location is still pending.


    Rust ...is fundamental

    August 2nd, 2004

    Rust the bain of all autos
    Tomorrow my lovely wife and I will celebrate 15 years married. That is an accomplishment here in the middle lands of America. With a 50% divorce rate it seems to be harder for some than for others. Thank you for staying with me all these years. You are the best accessory a guy could have to make the Rover worth riding in.

    Rust. Rust is popping up on the rear door. It seems to stay wet back there. I will probably look at replacing the rubber back there soon and to look at stripping the rust off and ending that problem for the time being. My buddy the Titanium Hitch has used some POR-15. He is in the process of using it on his old Ford pickup's roof to stop the rust which is all over it. He doesn't have anything to report yet. Ozzie at Ozzie's Offroad has recently used some POR-15 also. He promises some pictures and that always means some writing too. Anyway the rear lid needs some work and I will take the opportunity to fix the lock back there too. I don't think it works like it's supposed to. I'll do a write up on it as I start on it look for it in the Tech Tips section. The rain has stopped for a while so it would be a good time to start on it.

    I'm gonna pull up the carpet in the front and try to clean it as I did in the back. This will also give me an opportunity to check out the rust I fear is under my feet as I motor about.

    I'm gonna add an avatar for any medical things that happen to me when I work on the truck. Maybe I'll add pictures of the injuries too! The last one was the wrench slipping out of my hand and hitting me in the nose. Right on the bridge and now I have a lovely popping sound when I fiddle with my nose. On the CV joint repair I described the ginsu bracket and the new scar I got from that. So look for the red cross somewhere on the new articles.


    Failed again! Not writing anything either

    July 15th, 2004

    Shocks On, Radiator Woes, Work and Weather
    Over the Fourth of July weekend I finally got all four shocks on. I took some pics and will have an update with that when I can get around to it.

    As I had just finished the last shock, I was collecting tools and getting everything gathered up and noticed a puddle under the front left side. Antifreeze was dripping out. What? I didn't even touch the radiator. I wasn't even up there for anything. Being as it was a million degrees outside I took the Rover down to Sooner Radiator on Porter Street in Norman. Sports and Classics uses them a lot and I have had them work on the Rover before. This was July 5th and I was hoping they were open considering the government holiday. They got it done and told me it was a bad tube and the tank had started leaking too. Both due to pressure most likely. Pressure, as we all know is coming from the head gasket most likely. $100(US) later I'm back on the road. So I take my wife to the Target store and when I come out there is a huge puddle of antifreeze under the truck. I was none to happy about it I can assure you. I got under bonnet and sure enough a hose clamp not properly secured. It dawned on me that they did that last time I had it in there too. No big loss but you would expect that if I had been out on a trip and I lost that much coolant I would have been in trouble.

    I've been really busy with work lately and have not been working on the site or the Rover. It is now summer here and you can't really comfortably work on anything without suffering.

    I've got a great idea for a camper but I'm not ready to tell you about it. But I think it would be a one of a kind and be a lot of fun to make.


    Readin' an'a Writin' On your back again Mmmmm, less bumpy

    June 26th, 2004

    New Site, New Shocks
    I decided that I needed a site for the online display of my Big White Bus. So as you read this OkieRover.com is up and running. It contains the same old stuff I had before just in a different format and with a different look.

    I was finally able to get some money together to replace the shocks. The control of the dead shocks is starting to scare me on bumps. It's adventure to go from I-235 on to I-40 west bound. That's what I call "real driving". Anyway...I bought Old Man Emu shocks from Ryan at Rover Cannibal. They should be in any day now. Hopefully I can put them on this long weekend. I'll post the models and maybe some links when they arrive.


    Cold Air, mmmmmm

    June 6th, 2004

    Air Conditioning
    JagGuy's daughter had complained that there was no A/C in the Black Rangie so he endeavoured to repair it. So being as I wanted my A/C to work as well, mostly because the wifey complained that it wasn't working. I decided to prod him a bit and we worked on the trucks one past Sunday. Thinking I was in for an expensive repair and I expected to spend at least $300(US) I was amazed when I had cold air coming out of my vents just $40 later. Read about it HERE

    The cats are back to rattling but I am mostly ignoring them.

    The Big White Bus has not been idling as of late and a fellow at the Pirate 4x4 board reminded me about the idler control valve, which gets sooty after awhile and must be cleaned. I had forgotten about that. As I posted, this happens every year and I seem to forget, every year, how I fixed it the last time I had the problem.

    How about them gas prices? Wow who would've figured that kind of price hike. Funny when things happen in other states to production facilities our prices go up. It's strange because our gas plants here were not affected. You can go down and look at where your gas is made in Wynnewood Oklahoma. Very strange indeed. The only good news in all of this is tax revenues are up. I wonder what they'll blow it on this year?

    It is a time of mourning in our nation as The Great Communicator, Ronald Reagan has passed away. Prayers go out to the family for their comfort. Thank you sir for giving us back the pride we have as Americans.


    chuck ching, hey, where's all the money? Shhhh, no more rattling for you

    May 17th, 2004

    A Big Pause
    Well ROVErica has had a great month. She competed and won a position on the Longfellow Middle School Cheer Team for next year. We are very happy about this as her grades have gotten better too. But with this honor my money has been leaving the house at an unpresidented rate. So I put a couple of projects on hold and have been bracing for the cost of Cheer Camp and all the clothes that go with it. In the midst of this my oldest daughter announced that she will wed her boyfriend in June 2005. We are very happy for her. With this more monies are exiting the domicile now and not even asking "by your leave sir" as they fly past me. Janie's back surgery went excellently and her recovery is very good. She is not working and thus the funding has also gotten hit on that end. I didn't really want to get new bushings and shocks anyway. I desperately need them as The Big White Bus sounds like a creaky old man while traversing the parking lots and gutters of our hometown.

    I did start on the trailer lights and had to stop. I wanted to disassemble the deck lid and get the rust stopped. I quit on this too. If a day or two come up in June I'll get back on it hopefully.

    Good News. The catalytic converters on the Big White Bus are no longer rattling. I guess all the driving has ground them down and they haven't rattled in month. I wish all my issues fixed themselves like this.

    Funny story. My friend recently got a Jaguar XJ6. Nice car, very pretty. She was getting a message from the car that her "boot" was open. She had no idea what that meant. She drove around for a few days and it quit. During recent dinner at her house and JagGuy gave her a lesson on British car terminology just in case she had any more error messages she didn't understand.

    I have started working on graphics for a web page featuring my truck. I need a new name for the Big White Bus. Many people name their trucks but I have yet to find one I really, really liked. If you have a suggestion, email me at rover dot eric at cox dot net. Thanks.


    Did you drop a rod, or what?

    March 26th, 2004

    Cats are rattlin'
    The catalytic converters on the Big White Bus are rattling something fierce! I could have swore I had only 3 quarts of oil and dropped a rod on the way home from RovErica's softball game. Go Lions! Anyway, it sounds terrible. I will again look for a solution this week and report back faithfully as always. I think I saw a "Y" pipe and "cat" for the same price as my local shop wanted to charge me for cats alone...
    where did I put that link....


    What's that behind me? Slippery goodness A table for you, and lights ala LED too

    March 22nd, 2004

    Lots of little things
    I tried to get to the little projects this weekend. Among them were:

  • Tailgate rusting and lock not functioning
  • Replacement rearview mirror installed
  • Oil change
  • Carpets cleaned

    Tailgate
    The tailgate rust has been increasing. It is now rusting through the frame on the upper tail gate. This is a common problem with Range Rovers. There are several approaches to fixing this but I haven't decided which one to do. I will probably order a new tail gate and before it is installed have it rust protected so it doesn't fail as quickly. The screws that hold the handle in place looked terrible and I replaced one of them with a stainless steel screw. The other would not come out due to the head failing and the phillips screwdriver would not turn the stripped head. So off it will need to come and drilled out or some other way used to remove it from the handle. The locking actuator has never worked correctly and will also need to be replaced. These are pricey little items so off to Rover Cannibal for that part. I'll post more later.

    Rearview Mirror Goodness
    As posted in the forums I sent off for a replacement mirror. The options were limited so I chose a suitable one. There are these types available based on what you have now...

  • Prism with map lights
  • Auto dimming
  • Auto dimming with compass and outside temp

    I had an OEM auto dimming with map lights. So if you look at the list there is no such thing available. I ordered the one with the map lights. This was my favorite feature of the mirror and I cannot do without them. So that is what I got and installed (finally) this weekend. I have driven about 2.5 months without a rearview mirror and I only miss it when the police are tailing me whilest I am attempting to recall my driver training and all the pertinent traffic laws of our state. Otherwise I've learned I don't care what's behind me.

    I installed the mirror per the directions. This is an easy procedure. On the Difficulty Scale it's a 1. I made it a 1.5 with a couple of changes. The instructions call for you to run the wiring harness under the headliner and down the driver's side front post to the wheel well. Hook on to a wire with the provided vampire connector and hook up ground. The harness has a 1 amp fuse built in. I made it more difficult by keeping the original harness by tucking it up under the headliner and saving the unnessary mirror hardware. You never know when you might aquire another OEM mirror. I used a Dremel with cutting wheel (always wear protective goggles) to cut the existing OEM wiring harness out of the plastic channel. Worked great, although it was more like melting the harness than cutting it.

    I have only the lights to worry with and I wanted them to work when the engine was off. If you have the auto-dimming feature you do not want this "hot" when the engine is off. As the instructions say it will run your battery down. So I used my trusty volt-ohm meter to find a wire from the existing harness that had 12 volts while the key was turned off. This was easily done. You just put the black lead on the screw that holds the door open switch on to the frame, unplug a harness and start Easter egging for 12 volts. I found it on the first pin I looked at. So I applied the vampire connector and bolted the ground on to a ground post that was somewhat difficult to get to but otherwise a perfect ground. Viola, map lights. The instructions might be intimidating to someone not accustom to such technical details but don't fret it.

    Oil Change
    Nothing really to report. I went back to regular Castrol 20w-50. I didnt' see the "High Mileage" oil on the shelf. No biggy on this job, add a Wix filter and your done. I took the old oil I had collected and took it to my local O'Reilly where I bought my filter and they have a collector in the back. Eventually someone comes and picks it up for them. I don't have a gravel driveway to pour it on so I take back to be recycled.

    Carpets Cleaned
    I asked in the forums if anyone knew where to get new carpet. I was worried about the expense but thought new carpet would be nice. I noticed some of my items in the back had gotten wet. The jug of coolant I carry around had knocked over and leaked about a half gallon on to the carpet and everything else back there. I pulled the carpet up and resolved to clean it. It was an easy remove with just a few plastic holders holding it in place. I though while I'm at it why don't I just pull up the back seat carpet and clean it as well. If I screw it up I'm gonna replace it anyway so what the heck.

    This carpet was easy to remove and soon I had the two on the way to the car wash. I put them up on the provided clamps and proceeded to hose them off. Worked great. The dirtiness of the rear seat carpet was disgusting. I believe at least twenty cans of coke had been spilled on it by the previous owner. RovErica was extremely grossed out. Here's the short and long of it. The carpet is designed to get wet. I believe it is designed to be hosed off too. For the backing on the rear seat carpet was a hardened material and took to being pressure wash quite nicely.

    It was an easy job and I would recommend it for very dirty carpet. I am sufficiently happy with the results that I will not be replacing my carpet any time soon, except maybe for some three inch orange shag carpet if it comes back in style. The only warning would be to keep the pressure wand away from the carpet. I will cut it and even cause a hole if used too closely to the carpet. Work in strokes and rinse the soap out after you have decided it is clean enough.

    Coming up
    My next project is to organize the back of the Rover. I have read some solutions to this and the one I'm going to employ will be adding a rear shelf. I have entirely too much crap back there and I am going to reduce the size of the tool box. With the creative use of some Coca-Cola trays I'm going to put in a rear deck. I will post more as I start it. It will hide some items I'm worried about displaying and offer a rear deck free of debris to put the groceries. If I engineer the legs properly it could double as a table when camping!

    I am purchasing one more set of dome lights for my Rover. This will make the 12th set of lamps I have bought. I am contemplating an LED solution that would not burn out, ever. As the project comes along I'll post more.


  • 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.


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