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cartoon from December 1996 OVLR Newsletter

A Vehicle that Steve Dennis won't drive

Steve Dennis This article appeared in the April 1997 issue of the OVLR Newsletter , the offical publication of both OVLR and the Empire Rover Owners Society .

An update on progress recorded by last year's Lugnut winner, Spencer Norcross: Well, Spencer for hire... Oh no, Spenny's truck isn't just so bad that Quintin Aspin will not drive it...It's soooooooooo bad... are you ready for this?... I won't drive it! Now understand that I once drove a VW bug from Georgia to upstate New York with only the hand brake.

I believe we are all familiar with the Rover steering? (tiller?) You turn the wheel and the steering box and drop arm change the roundy-round of the wheel to a Pushy-pull on that drag link over the frame rail. On to the relay levers and then the steering arms etc, etc. The 1st bit of the motion is the catch here.

On Spenny's red death ride, the roundy round of the wheel is transmitted to the drop arm just fine....HOWEVER the draglink is not playing the game here - it don't move - nope, not one little bit.....Instead of being a team player, it pushes BACK! Now, the drop arm is attached to the draglink and the steering box. The link just said "NO" and the steering box recoils in horror. The steering box is attached to a vertical bracket..this bracket has 3 long bolts going through the frame, 4 bolts hold it to the steering box and it has a 90 degree flange with 2 bolts going into the toe box area of the firewall....to top off the equation, there is a bracket with shims that goes from the top of this vertical bracket to the top of the toe box. Like where the pedals go through. Well that's what ROVER wanted anyway.

SPENNY , however, seems to have run out of scratch at the hardware store. On the "Date With Death" the lower 3 bolts number ..."2".....and one of these is 1/4-inch ,NOT the 5/16 type...what's a sixteenth between friends? The 2 bolts to the toe box are... missing... let me look. Oh yeah. AND SO ARE THE HOLES IN THE TOE BOX! WHOA ! Like a 7-up or a nun.."Never had it , never will? The 4 bolts holding (Ha! that's rich!.."HOLDING") the steering box to the bracket number "3" All of them loose and one stripped out. The top brace is missing all the shims and is not tightened down on either end. So! You turn the wheel and the firewall moves back and forth. The wheels just "Keep on keepin' on"...."Ditch? what ditch....."

The effect of all the hardware is to triangulate the toe box area of the firewall and make thin sheet metal as strong as a billet of steel. Spenny's firewall has the strength of damp pasta - Moldy damp pasta .

"She cracking up! Cap'n....I kenna 'old 'er!" "Somebody left the bolts outta the Warp Drive!!!" Closing the door helps the steering...some of the play is caught in the door lock.... Spenny, Spenny, Spenny..."

   
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