I went out to the tent and tried to fire the Jeep up to bring it over to the shop to work on it. It hit a couple of times but wouldn’t start. I sprayed starting fluid in the carb – it would hit but wouldn’t start even with choke. I decided to pull the carb and put the spare on. When I went to pull the fuel line off, it had a LOT of pressure on it. So I pulled the strainer on the carb and cleaned it. I tried again – same result. I pulled the top of the carb off because I figured there was trash in the needle. There was a bunch of trash in the bowl and a piece in the needle. I cleaned everything out and put it back together. She fired up enough to run to the shop.
Once there, I drained the tank – a BUNCH of crap in the bottom of the tank! I guess the new gas broke down the sludge that I didn’t get out of the tank. So next, I ran the gas through a paint strainer in a funnel into another container, then dumped the trash in the bottom of the first container. I did this 3 times until it was pretty clean. Then I poured it back in the tank. I rocked the Jeep for a minute to mix the gas in the tank up. Then I repeated the straining process. I did the whole process one last time – this time the gas was looking fairly clean. I fired the Jeep up and it ran much better, but I think the carb is plugged up now. I will have to put my spare carb on another day after I replace my pre carb disposable filter. I might also dump and strain the gas again just in case more of it broke down. I wish I had some kind of recirculating filter system to do this for me!
Next, I moved on to bellcrank. I believe the steering parts were never replaced – or at least they are covered with enough crap and rusty enough to make them look that way! I spent 15 minutes scraping mud covered grease away before I could even start. I decided to go ahead and remove the tie rods for cleaning and paint while I was rebuilding the bellcrank. This was easy enough once I was able to get the rusty cotter pins out of the tie rod ends.
I moved on to the drag link. I guess the USMC version is different from the other Jeeps or I had my seal kit installed wrong. This one had clamps holding the seal and clip on. The plug came out easily, but there was a bunch of dried grease in there and the inner plug wouldn’t even come out. Lastly, I began the process of removing the bellcrank. The USMC version is different from the regular M38a1. This one has a metal cap that screws on the bottom to cover the bolt. That was easy enough to remove with an adjustable wrench. Removing the bolt was a different story. There is a cotter pin and castle nut at the top of the bolt! And, as you know, there is NO room above the bellcrank to work! I actually had to remove the radiator bolts and brace it up to have a little room to work. THEN I worked with the cotter pin for 20 minutes. About the time I started trying to remove the bolt, my neighbor walked up and I quit on it. Save it for tomorrow.
After my neighbor left, I had time to do a few more minutes of work. I did a quick job – I went ahead and pulled the bumperette off. The impact, 3/4″ socket, universal, extension and 3/4″ wrench is what it took. There was a bunch of compacted sand that was like concrete covering the crossmember and frame. The right side nuts were kinda hard to get to. My replacement bumperette will be here next week.
The only thing I have planned for tomorrow, so far, is to get the bellcrank kit put in, paint everything and put it all back together. I might be able to get to the store to buy a couple more fuel filters too. We’ll see.