I went ahead and removed the drag link first thing this morning. No since in doing the rest of the steering system without cleaning and painting the drag link, right? There was so much undercoating and grease/dirt mixture on the clamp screws holding the dirt guards on that you couldn’t tell where the screw head was! Once I chipped that away I was able to remove the guard and work at getting the cotter pin out of the end cap. I ended up cutting it with side cutters to get it out. The end cap came out easily.
I used the trusty old bench grinder and wire wheel to remove all of the undercoating, dirt, grease and paint from everything. Next, I had to get all of that old dry grease out of the inside. I used the propane torch to heat it the ends up enough to liquefy it, then used rags and brake cleaner to clean it up. I sprayed a coat of primer on it and moved on to the next project while it dried.
I started cleaning the frame and quickly realized that it was going to be too much of a job scraping this stuff off! I fired up the pressure washer and went to work. An hour and a half later, I had gone over everything from the engine compartment to the whole frame to the underside of the engine/tranny/transfer.
I hand painted a coat of OD on the drag link and moved on to painting the frame around the drag link and steering areas where I have been working. That led into painting the inner fenders and firewall. While I was going, I went ahead and painted the front frame rails. But why stop there – I still had a few hours of daylight and 75deg weather? I ended up painting the frame all the way back to the rear shocks! I didn’t paint the cross members though – maybe tomorrow.
I still had a little while before dark, so I went to put the drag link back in. I forgot how the pieces fit, so I had to Google it. Here is the diagram I used from Willysmjeeps:
It didn’t take too long to get it all back together – much improved steering response now!
Last thing I did was to change out the disposable fuel filter. Once I did that, it fired right up and actually idled almost normally! I drove up the driveway a little ways and came back – wasn’t running great. When I stopped, it started loading up and cut off. I guess I need to change the carb. I might end up taking the tank out and getting it professionally cleaned. Of course that means I will have to repaint the tank!
Tomorrow, I guess I might try to finish painting the frame and cross members and who knows what else!