2019 Denton rally in the books

We loaded up and headed out about 4pm Thursday afternoon and headed out.

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Our trip went pretty good with only one stop for readjustments of the camper loading and tie down check of the jeep/trailer. The trailer pulled pretty good in this configuration, but I could tell it was tongue heavy. This could’ve been caused by all of the stuff in the bed of the truck also.

My mom and step dad also came to the rally, but they had an incident on their trip where the hitch pin came out of the drawbar. The camper tongue dropped to the chains and the tongue wheel hit the pavement and dragged for a couple hundred feet. They got it hooked back up and used a coupler lock as a makeshift hitch pin to get them to the rally. Once set up and nerves calmed, the rally was GREAT!

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We had pretty good weather with a thunderstorm on Friday afternoon, followed by a couple of hours of high winds, but other than that, it was great.

The jeep did good. I did a little adjusting on the carb which helped a lot, but it still has a dead spot when you first step on the gas.

Saturday evening, the “Jeep guys” took a little ride out into the country and hit some back roads and gravel roads with a little offroading mixed in (just down the side of a railroad track and through a soggy, overgrown grass covered campsite area). We probably drove a total of 15 miles total. We had a mixture of Jeeps from WW2 to the M151. I DID find out that the Jeep needs to be lined up – it was pulling pretty hard to the right on the road.

The only one missing from the entire Jeep lineup was the M422 Mighty Mite. We are going to get together before the next rally to plan out a longer drive with some actual offroading since the big truck guys get to have all the fun with their convoys.

trail ride

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The Jeep was driven a LOT during the rally. Between me and a Steel Soldier friend, we probably put 25 miles on her just driving around Denton Farmpark roads checking out the rally. I kept the trailer hooked up and pulled it around until the trail ride, so it got some miles on it too.

The highlight of the rally was when we were loading up to leave. My step dad (an old Marine) took a ride with me and then asked if he could drive her back to the campsite. This was the first time he had ever driven a Jeep – and it was a USMC Jeep like the ones in service while he served! This made all of the hard work worth it!

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While my Steel Soldiers buddy was driving the Jeep, I was driving his HMMWV. Then I gave my wife a chance to drive it. I think she wants one! Maybe the next military vehicle after I sell my Army M38a1?

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I bought a few parts that I needed for the Jeep and other M100. I bought an M35a2 gauge cluster for $20 (has a good speedometer, volt gauge and temp gauge  I can use on the Jeep). Everybody else was selling speedometers for $50! I installed the volt gauge and speedometer – the volt gauge worked, but the speedometer didn’t. I guess I’ll troubleshoot that soon. I also bought a tail light that was NEW inside for the M100 for $10 and a IV cable socket cover for $5 for the M100. Add to that the 2- 50cal ammo cans for $5ea and the $3 vehicle log book, and I think I did pretty good for deals.

All in all, it was a great rally – got to spend time camping with my family and doing what I enjoy doing for 4 days/3 nights. I can’t wait for next year! I guess it’s time to get back to the real world – back to work and working on stuff around the house on my days off. I want to get back on my Army ‘a1 – get the distributor back in and leaks fixed so that I can get it back on the road and up for sale. I need to make room in the shop for my side by side and lawnmower.

 

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Test fit

Total weight of trailer, jeep and m100 is about 5,300#, so I was looking for a tongue weight between 530 and 800#.

First try – Nope, I really wanted to be closer to 15% – this is just over 10% (550#). Plus I don’t like the trailer tires on the tongue like that.

Second try – still too light (570#), but better with the trailer tongue over the car hauler tongue.

Third try – too heavy (900#) and trailer is too far back.

I settled on this one. Still too heavy at about 810#, but after strapping it down and going for a 20 mile test drive, it pulled fine.

 

M100 tarp center beam

Turned out pretty good. At least the tarp won’t be drooping into the trailer now. It didn’t allow me to tighten the tarp down as much as I wanted though. Maybe I should’ve followed the instructions and gone with a 1″ notch (instead of 2.5″) after all! Oh well, at least it’s not drooping.

My daughter and I remeasured the trailer and Jeep and car hauler. The car hauler measures 15′ 3″ with a 34″ tongue area. It looks like they will fit with the trailer tongue hanging over into the car hauler tongue and driving the jeep bumper up under the back of the trailer. The Jeep measured 11′ from bumper to bumper and the trailer tub 6′. Trying to fit everything into the trailer will prob be a Monday project.

Getting Jeep ready for the rally

6 days and counting before we leave for the rally in Denton, NC. We were supposed to have severe thunderstorms starting before lunch, so I got an early start working on the Jeep and trailer accessories.First thing was to make a center beam to support the trailer tarp. One of the guys on Willysmjeeps (and a follower of this blog!) sent me a link to a PM magazine article from 1971 with a pic and dimensions to build my own (thanks Ron!). I modified it a little for my taste. I only wanted a 3″ rise, so I cut a 2″ drop on the notch in the 2×6. Also, the dimensions said 74”, but mine was only 73.25″.Once cut, fit tested and sharp edges sanded down, I primed it and put on 2 coats of the exterior latex 24052 that I had mixed for the Jeep ( that was a mistake! – putting that on the Jeep). I will post a pic with it installed on the trailer when it dries.Next I started on the oil seals! Man, I didn’t realize how much built up oil/dirt mixture was under the Jeep! It took 15 minutes of scraping before I could START removing bolts. Then they didn’t want to come off because of the dirty threads.I finally got the skid plate and park brake assembly removed and tackled those companion flange nuts – what a pain. Once that end was loose, I removed the u joint nuts and removed the driveshaft. Then the companion flange nut was removed and a little jiggling of the brake drum persuaded the flange to come off. I scraped and cleaned around the back of the transfer before using a seal puller to get the seal and gasket out.Theni took all of my parts outside and scraped and sprayed then with purple power. Let them sit for awhile, sprayed again and scrubbed before washing them off. I used the wire wheel on the grinder to clean up the bolts and nuts.Time for re assembly! I installed the gasket and rear seal using a piece of 2″ pipe for a driver. I assembled the new companion flange into the drum, then the bolts.I spread a small amount of rtv on the splines of the flange and oiled the seal lip before installing the flange. I then installed the washer and nut – used the impact to tighten it. I then installed the driveshaft to the rear axle, then the companion flange end. What a difference clean bolts and nuts make – I was actually able to hand tighten them! Then I tightened with a wrench. Then I installed the clean, grease free brake assembly and adjusted it.I moved to the front seal after I had a beer break. This went much smoother – same process, only this time I remembered that I had a gear puller and went ahead and changed the front axle pinion seal while I was under there! That but was REALLY on there tight! I’ll get the rear one changed at a later date.Man the underside of that Jeep is DIRTY!I think the only maintenance I have left to do is re fill the gear boxes and chase down the short in the b.o. drive light. I will re install the skid plate after I re fill the gear boxes and check for leaks.

OK, so it IS done now

I’m calling this thing done now! Sure it can use little things here and there, but it is presentable now.

Yesterday I bought some 1/8″x 1/8″ grip aluminum rivets at Lowes and installed the data plates with them. Yes, I know they had either brass or coated steel rivets from the factory – I just didn’t feel like ordering them. Looks good enough to me!

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Today I painted the TP markings on the fenders and undercoated the fender area. I also touched up the wheels where the tire installer scratched them. I painted the lug nuts on the driver side – apparently I didn’t even paint them when I painted the ones on the passenger side.

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After I was done with the M100, I decided to make an addition to the M38a1 that I have been wanting to do for a while. I just could bring myself to pay $12.50 + $3.50 shipping to get it. I’ve been wanting a rearview mirror in the Jeep. The bracket costs $16. I had the original mirror that was on the Jeep, so I just needed the bracket. I looked at the pictures of it on eBay and estimated the size. Then I drew it out on a piece of cardboard and cut it out. Unfortunately, I needed a piece of metal 4″ wide – or 3.5″ if I positioned it differently and made more cuts. I had a 3″x 1/8″ piece that would work if I made a few adjustments to the bends. I ended up cutting 1/4″ off one bend and 1/8″ off the other 2 bends. Once I marked the measurements out on the metal, I clamped it in the vice and used the grinder to cut about halfway through before I bent them. After I made the bends, I measured out and drilled the mounting and mirror holes.

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I scuffed the bracket down and sprayed it. Once semi dry, I mounted it on the windshield with 7/16×1″ screws through the hood catch, then used nuts to hold the bracket on. I think it turned out OK and the mirror seems to be plenty adjustable. I think on the one I make for the other Jeep will be a little longer on the bends (1.5″, 1.5″ and 1″).

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MD Juan M100 – pretty much done

I got off this morning and started working on the trailer when I got home.

First thing I did was sand down the fenders to get all of the scratches and drips out of them. Of course it was drizzling, so I had to move my paint booth to the tent. After sanding, I mixed up enough 24052 to spray 2 coats on the fenders. I sprayed a light coat first, then a finish coat second. They turned out pretty good.

While the fenders were drying, I prepared the stencil for the passenger side of the trailer. I had to cut the stencil in half in order to keep the stencil from wrapping into the bead on the side. I measured and marked (with a pencil) the center of the space between the fender and the front panel and the top seam and bottom of the side panel. I also marked the center of the mask (horizontal and vertical). I lined up the marks on the mask with the marks on the tub and removed the backing of the mask. I pressed the mask down for a good adhesion to the tub. Then I removed the transfer tape, pulling it off at a 90deg angle. Once the stencil was applied. I masked off around it and sprayed 4 light coats of safety yellow. After it had tacked up, I removed the mask.

Next, I moved to the driver side and followed the sane process.

img_20190412_125030000_hdr3027140111921970306.jpgWhile that side was drying between coats, I applied the mask to the rear, masked it off and sprayed it.

When the fenders were dry enough to handle, I brought them to the trailer and installed them. I started installing the bolts at the top, then moved to the ends in order to get the bolt holes to line up. I used new bolts on the fenders. Once all of the bolts were in place, I tightened them up in the same order, which pushed the edges of the fenders out.

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After everything dried enough to move it, I pushed the trailer out of the shop for pictures.

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Then I hooked it up to the dirty jeep and installed the tarp.

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Once the paint cures, I will paint the TP markings on the fenders. I am going to use pop rivets to install the data plates. I will buy them tomorrow.

Fenders are painted

BUT …….

They will have to be sanded back down and repainted! On every coat, when I started spraying the wind picked up and there’s a bunch of pollen in the paint. Plus there is a drip off paint right smack dad in the top of one of the fenders! I’ve NEVER had a drip of paint before!

Oh well. There’s some scratches that I didn’t get out anyway. Maybe I’ll get it done tomorrow.

Going to look good when I get them repainted though. They still aren’t perfect, but the rest of the trailer isn’t either.