Almost ready for the show!

Well I’ve had a rough few days working on the Jeep! Nothing but fails. I couldn’t get it running right last week. I ended up testing coils and switching everything around and finally putting the points style distributor back in – then I couldn’t even get it to fire!

I gave up on it and decided to get my Army Jeep running and just switch the engines. It didn’t take long to get the Army Jeep fired up – ran and drove great. When I got back to the shop, I noticed a grinding or vibrating coming from the distributor – like a bearing going bad. I decided to pull the distributor. I’m pretty sure the bushings are worn out because it has a bunch of up and down movement and when you turn the shaft you hear and feel the chatter. I decided to put my spare distributor in with the breakerless ignition module from the original distributor. I switched everything out and installed it. For some reason, it was 180deg out! I ended up having to pull the oil pump to re index the distributor. Once I did this, I timed the engine again – the distributor body was pretty much up against the block when on TDC. I couldn’t get it to fire – finally gave up after a few hours of trying.

This morning I located a set of points and condenser at NAPA, so I ran to town to Walmart to pick up a battery for the Army Jeep and the points and condenser for the USMC one. I got back and installed the battery – it still wouldn’t fire. I moved on to the USMC one.

I pulled the points plate and installed the new parts, then reinstalled in the distributor. After a few little tweaks and a couple of shots of ether, she fired right up. I adjusted the idle down and a few tweaks on the mixture then took her up the driveway – in the rain. I got to the road and went to turn around – then she started the same ol’ crap again, trying to die! I limped back to the shop and coasted in – then she idled great!

I hooked up the timing light and dwell meter. The timing was somewhere in the 25 BTDC range – surprised she even cranked up and ran! I adjusted the timing to 5 BTDC and the idle to 700rpm – the dwell was fine at 42. I adjusted the mixture a little more and she idled perfectly. It was raining a little harder at this point, so I wasn’t going to take another test drive today – maybe tomorrow.

I still had a little time to play with, so I tested a spare speedometer and fuel gauge I had laying around – both looked good, so I sanded, painted and installed them. The speedometer face was a little more faded than the rest of the gauges, but hopefully it will work as good as it did with the drill. The fuel gauge showed a little over 1/4 tank when I tested it, but when I installed it, it went to full!


The last thing I did was to start cleaning. I wiped down the wheel wells, inner fenders, radiator – anything that was dusty or dirty. Then I took a rag with lacquer thinner on it and started cleaning overspray off of engine parts. I got the crossover tube looking new, part of the black paint cleaned off of the generator, and all of the blue off of the regulator. It’s a start anyway! I’ll clean everything and detail the engine compartment when I pull the engine to replace the main seal and clutch.


Well that’s it for today – it was nice to get a win for once this week! Hopefully the rain will be gone tomorrow so that I can do another test drive and get some more tweaking done. Hopefully the engine will run right without cutting up when it gets hot. Right now, at least I can drive it onto and off the trailer at the show and park it in the field for viewing. My top should be here either tomorrow or Wednesday, so I will have to fit the bow support rods and drill the holes for them when I install the top.


Not much today

Today was my last day off, so I had a bunch of other stuff that needed to be done. So, basically, I didn’t get too much done on the Jeep. And even worse news is that I couldn’t even get her to fire up! I checked for power to the distributor and spark at the points. I sprayed ether in the carb – didn’t even pop!

So I moved off of that and removed the driver seat so I could pull the pickup assembly out to check the stand pipe fitting to make sure it was tight – it was. I put it all back together and installed the fuel sending unit wire – the fuel gauge didn’t move. After troubleshooting that for a while and even trying another gauge, I gave up on that too.

The last thing I did was finish up the last bit of wiring – the b.o. drive light. The previous owner had cut the end off or pulled the fitting off it or something, so it was just hanging in the engine compartment. The wire wasn’t long enough to reach the light the way it is supposed to, so I had to fix it. I unwrapped the wires back to the Y where the horn wire and b.o. drive light wire separated to find good wire. Then I cut and butt spliced a new wire onto that piece and covered it with shrink tube. Finally, I re wrapped the wires with wiring harness tape. Now all of the electrical (except for the fuel gauge) works like it is supposed to (pretty much)!


I’m hoping to be able to work on her a little while I am working night shift. I can do some of the quick stuff like scuffing and painting the wheels, painting the markings, fabbing the w/s to front bow rods (and drilling the front bow), troubleshoot why it won’t run and get it ready to change the clutch. Time is getting short – I only have 14 days off before the rally!


Almost done!

I got a lot of stuff done today! This morning I went to a friend’s house to use his tire machine to break down 9 wheels/tires and mount 5 new (NOS) Cooper NDCCs. It went pretty good being the first time I had ever used a tire machine. I ended up cutting 5 tubes when I broke the tires down. Luckily, I still had 2 Carlisle tubes – so I was able to (at least) get the 5 mounted for this Jeep. I planned on remounting 2 of the old tires on the new rims I got last month – one for a spare on the other Jeep and the other for the M100 trailer.

One finished (the one on the right) – balanced too! This was the “training” one.


All done and ready to go. I didn’t know it was so much work involved in tire work!


I got home and washed them with Super Clean to get the heavy coat of tire dressing off of them. Then I soaked them in Armour All before I remounted them on the Jeep.

Nice new shoes!


On the way to do the tire work, I dropped my spare flywheel off at the machine shop. I’m hoping to install the new clutch next week, so I had figured I would get my “spare” flywheel machined and ready to go in. It will be ready in the morning when I go to that side of the county to mount my last 2 tires (I have to go get 1 tube patched and hopefully buy another one at the tire shop).


After I got my tires installed, I put my new blade on the bandsaw and cut the last 2 spacers, then threw them in the lathe to turn them down and drill them out.


Then I finished installing the gas can carrier.



Next I moved on to the gauge cluster – it needed to be painted to match the dash. I removed all the gauges, painted it and reassembled after it dried. It was a PITA trying to figure out which wires went where since the wire tags were corroded so bad you couldn’t read them! I was finally able to get them all hooked up to the right place after I lubed them up with anti corrosion grease.


I figured while I was doing electrical, I might as well fix all of the other gremlins on the Jeep. I disconnected every Packard connector to check for corrosion and lubed them with grease before reconnecting them. I got to the front of the Jeep and decided to tackle the passenger headlight (it still had a 12v bulb). I traced out the wiring and installed the 3 prong plug that came with the MRAP headlights I bought on eBay. Crimp connectors and shrink tubing finished it up. Checked them out and everything worked – except the high/low beams were reversed! I traced the wires back to the wire tags outside of the headlight housing and found that the 17 & 18 wires were reversed – switched those and everything worked as it should!


Next I moved on to the passenger side b.o. marker light not working. I traced that down to a blown bulb and a bad ground – fixed those and now all b.o. lights are working!



Tail lights work (brake lights too).


Dash lights work now! So does the high/low beam indicator!


The last thing I had time to work on was to install the rear seat hooks. I saw them in the p

arts box and had time to throw them on.


Tomorrow is my last day off and I don’t know what I will have time to get done other than mounting my last 2 tires and picking up my fly wheel from the machine shop. I am pretty much done with paint, reassembly and electrical. As far as mechanical, I have to change the clutch, get it running right, change the tranny/transfer oil and remove/clean/lube/reinstall the speedometer cable. Still have to paint the markings and install the top when it gets here next week.





Brakes and test drive!

I moved my Side by side and lawnmower out of the shop to make room for the Jeep. But before I could pull the Jeep into the shop, it needed brakes (because the shop is on a slope). I pulled it out of the tent do that I could get under it in the open to examine the parking brake. I figured that would be sufficient to get the Jeep into the shop so that I could work on the brakes.

Once underneath, I noticed that the parking brake lever was real loose and there was no adjustment (threads) left on the rod. My only option was to disassemble the parking brake assembly to see what was going on with it. After wrestling with the outer shoe cotter pin for a while, I finally got it all apart and took it to the shop for a cleaning. This is what I found:


YEP, that’s metal – not brake lining! The outer shoe was paper thin too.

It just so happened that I had ordered a pair of NOS shoes a few months back for my other Jeep that I had yet to install, so I used the new inner shoe and the old outer one. I reassembled it on the Jeep and tested it out – still noisy, but at least it held!

I pulled the Jeep into the shop using the parking brake and low range and got to work on the brakes. First off was to reinstall the brake light switch – no problem there. Next, I added fluid to the master cylinder – it had all leaked out because it didn’t have a switch installed. I pumped the pedal slowly a few times, then wedged a piece of 2×4 between the pedal and fuel tank. Then I went to the front wheels and cracked bleeders – got a little air out of them. I went to the back and bled them. I repeated the process until I had a little bit of a pedal.

I couldn’t stand it any longer – I had to take a test drive!

I was impressed! The engine was smooth, as well as the transmission and transfer case. The transfer case levers were pretty stiff at first, but as I worked them, they operated easier. The clutch needs adjusting as well as the brakes need more attention. The only gauge that worked was oil pressure – the speedometer was jumping around.

I went back to the shop to start on the list of items I need to work on. I pulled the gauge cluster off and hooked up the NOS temp gauge I bought at Denton to the sending unit wire – it went up to about 140deg. So I removed the old gauge and painted the new one. Once it was dry, I installed it. I hooked up the ignition wire to the spare volt gauge I had – and it worked. This gauge doesn’t have a hold down bracket, so I couldn’t install it. I was done with the gauge cluster for the day.

Next I jacked up the rear end and put a jack stand under the driver side so I could change out the rear brake flex line. Pretty straight forward and quick fix. The old one was pretty ratty!


I took another test drive (without bleeding the rear brakes again). The temp gauge took FOREVER to start moving! Once it did start, it only went up to 140deg even after about 10 minutes of driving around the field! When I got back to the shop, I used the temp gun to get an actual temp – the water temp at the filler was about 134deg! Weird! The head temp was only about 205deg. The lower radiator hose read about 90. I’m going to have to investigate that.

Next, I checked my lights. No headlights, the right front bo marker light didn’t work, rear running lights didn’t work but the bo marker lights did. No dash lights work. I wiggled the levers and the harness connector – no change. So I grabbed my NOS replacement and hooked the connector to it. Viola! – headlights, rear running lights, rear bo marker lights and driver front bo marker worked! The dash lights and front passenger bo marker still don’t (I think the dash lights are bulbs and the marker light is a ground issue).

The last thing I did was to clean the sand off the top of the shift tower as well as remove a bunch of silicon the P.O. put under the shift tower cover. I vacuumed a bunch of blasting media from all around the inside of the tub and toolbox area and the sand from the top of the shifter tower. The I re installed the shift tower cover.

The plan for tomorrow is to install a second inline filter on the fuel line and hook the fuel line back up to see if it will run right from the tank. After that, I might pull the rear drums to inspect and clean the brakes and replace the wheel cylinders.

It’s nice to see both of them in the shop side by side!


Getting it running again

Yesterday, I was doing a step by step for troubleshooting found on I found that I had a voltage drop of .6v from battery voltage to the #12 connector at the distributor.

So I decided to start cleaning connectors and connections. I started with the battery clamps. I cleaned them on the bench grinder wire wheel. I cleaned the cable ends with a wire brush.  Once clean, I reassembled using an anti corrosion grease.


Next, I moved on to the battery to frame ground wire. I disassembled it and cleaned everything with a wire brush and wire wheel and reassembled with anti corrosion grease.


While I was cleaning electrical stuff, I moved to the starter pedal contacts. I pulled all of the wires and the contacts off. I disassembled it and cleaned everything inside and out.  The insulation pads were in good condition. I repainted it, reassembled and reinstalled using anti corrosion grease.


When I retested, I was only .1v off of battery voltage! Success!

Next, I moved on to the timing. I ended up removing the original distributor and installed my spare (with points) because I was getting an irregular spark. When I screwed the #12 wire in, the insulation on it crumbled. So I ended up replacing a 6″ section of the wire with a new one.


As it turns out,  the timing was about 30deg off! No wonder it was spitting and popping and wouldn’t start most of the time! In order to get enough rotation of the distributor,  my only choice was to re index the distributor – which means re indexing the oil pump too.


An easy way to do this (by yourself) is to

  1. Put the engine at #1 TDC,
  2. Loosen the 3 bolts holding the oil pump in and drop the pump out of the block about 3″. You might have to use something to keep the pump from falling out completely.
  3. Go around to the other side and turn the rotor until it is pointing at the lower middle dist cap screw hole, which is about #1. You might want to turn the dist body until it has enough swing to adjust the timing also.
  4. Go around to the driver side and try to push the pump back in the pump. It will prob come to about 1/4″ of the block. At this point, I wedged the wooden handle of a wire brush between the pump body and the steering gear to put a little pressure on it (if you have a helper to push it, it would be that much easier).
  5. Go around to the passenger side and turn the rotor until the pump and dist shaft align and the pump pops up to the block. This might not happen though – if you don’t achieve engagement by rotating from 9 o’clock to 4 o’clock, try again. If it engages (and is pointing at the #1 position), stop here. If not, continue to the next step (#6) below.
  6. Go back around to the oil pump and drop it out of the block until you can get to the gear.
  7. Rotate the gear clockwise by about 2 teeth. and go back to step #4.
  8. Repeat the process until you end up with the rotor pointing at #1 with the oil pump seated.
  9. Bolt the oil pump back to the block.
  10. Make sure that the rotor turns when the engine is rotated.
  11. WIth the timing pointer set at 10deg BTDC, rotate the dist body until the points spark.
  12. Tighten the dist down so that it is hard to turn (but can be turned to adjust the timing.
  13. Hook up your timing light and adjust the timing to 10deg BTDC.
  14. Lock down the distributor.

Note: To hook up a timing light, you can use one of 2 methods: 1) Military timing light adaptor screwed onto your spark plug wire and onto the plug – clamp the pickup around the adaptor wire and hook the power up to ONE battery. Or 2) Remove the military waterproof wire and plug and install a civilian wire into the dist cap and a civilian plug – hook the timing light up as above.

Once I got the distributor set right, I turned on my gravity feed fuel tank (2 gallon gas can sitting on the cowl with a fuel line running to the carb.) and tried to start her up. After about 5 seconds of choke, she fired right up and idled pretty good! I shut her down and had a beer to celebrate.

After that, I went back out and fired her back up for an idle check.

Next, I re installed the valve cover, air cleaner lid and vent lines. Then I added water to the radiator (I will put antifreeze in it after I KNOW everything is right) and fired her back up so I could run her until warm. I checked the timing and adjusted the carb. THEN I realized that I never plugged the vacuum tee! I plugged that and had to readjust the carb again. This thing runs smoother and quieter than my original Jeep! I jumped in and pulled her out of the tent and let her idle out there for a couple of minutes until it started raining, so I backed it back in. It feels pretty powerful too!

I guess the next project will be to get the brakes bled so I can take her for a test drive!


Found another problem

I was going to remove the radio noise suppressor capacitor (at the power plug on the side of the distributor)  and do the bypass mod. As I was trying to unscrew the connector I noticed this:


MAJOR melted wire!  The insulation was melted away and the bare wire was touching the connector body. I also noticed that the connector shell had arced to the outside connector.  Maybe this is the cause of it skipping? Surely it wasn’t helping the matter!

I disassembled the #12 wire connector, cut off the female butt connector then  desoldered it. Next, I cut the #12 back far enough to get back to good wire and insulation and resoldered the female end back on.


I reassembled the connector and hooked it back up – PROBLEM SOLVED!

I tried to start the Jeep and all I got was spitting and spuddering and a few backfires through both the carb AND exhaust.  After some troubleshooting, I decided it was a timing problem,  so I loosened the distributor and adjusted it a little.  It fired right off,  but died just as quickly. I adjusted the distributor and tried again a same thing.  Tried again and again. I think it is flooded real good and not wanting to run at all now.  I’ll try again Saturday – I got off of work this morning and I’m TIRED!  At least I found a problem and fixed it, whether that was the main problem or not.

A little work on lights

I received a care package from Saturn Surplus last week that included a 3 bulb left rear light repair kit and an M35 front wiring harness (which will hopefully be converted to an M38a1 harness soon).

So today (my first day off) I started by removing the left rear light. Once I got it in the shop I soaked it down with PB Blaster and put some heat to it. The screws wouldn’t budge and I ended up messing both of the heads up. PLUS, there was NO WAY I would’ve been able to get the 3 smaller screws in the bottom out! I ended up just trashing that light.


So then I pulled my spare one out of the parts bin and went ahead and installed it on the Jeep. No work needed – it looked brand new inside!

I decided to go ahead and install another left tail light on the right side so that I would have 2 brake lights and (hopefully, when I get the M35 wiring harness installed) turn signals. Funny thing is – I had 4 wires on the right side! I am going to have to do some investigating to figure out what they are all for.

So anyway, I pulled the right tail light off and took it into the shop. All 5 screws came right out – the inside of this one looked good too. The guts came out in 1 piece.


wp-1486690783217.jpgNow getting the new guts out back in was another story – an exercise in patience for sure! I fed the wires through the back of the housing and started the 3 small screws into the plate and rubber grommet – it was a pain trying to get to them AND pushing down while trying to get them started! I succeeded after about 10 minutes. Next up was getting the lower bulb socket bracket installed – fairly easy, just had to find 2 more 8-32 screws and washers. Last was the upper bracket with 2 bulbs. After trying to start one screw for a couple of minutes, I realized that neither of the upper holes were tapped! So I had to look for a tap (luckily I had one) and work around the bracket and wires to get these holes tapped. Once that was done everything went together without a hitch. I now have a new second left tail light for a grand total of $16.50 + shipping!


I took it back to the Jeep and bolted it in. I used my multimeter to check the feed wires on the main harness because you couldn’t read the circuit tags on the wires. I turned on the marker light and matched it up to the lower bulb. Then I turned on the Service drive and matched it up to the upper right bulb. There were 2 extra wires that had caps on them – I don’t know what for. I am hoping I can clean the circuit tags well enough to find out. Anyhow, I hooked up the 3rd wire to the brake light bulb. I used a board to hold the pedal down while I checked for brake lights – didn’t have any on either side. I had B.O. marker lights and Service drive lights though!


Another funny (not funny, just odd) thing – when I went to switch back to B.O Marker from Service Drive, I happened to catch something out of the corner of my eye – the damn headlights were on! Why are they burning now when they wouldn’t before? Both high and low beams work – very brightly I might add (they are 12v). Anyhow, lights are sorted now – except for the brake lights which is probably the switch.

I moved on to the instrument panel spider next (I received ANOTHER care package from Saturn Surplus today with a spider and 10 male and 10 female Packard connectors). I laid the instrument panel face down on a towel on the bench and checked the manual for a diagram to hook up the spider. Once I got that put on I went back to the Jeep and started scraping circuit tags to figure out what hooked up where. After about 20 minutes I had everything except the speedometer hooked up and flipped the switch. I still have some things to sort out on that tomorrow! Not everything worked – the lights and High Beam indicator worked. The fuel gauge went to full. Temp didn’t move. Oil pressure went up as I was cranking the engine. Volt gauge is screwed up (I had to put the old one back in).

So that’s it for today. I don’t really have a plan for tomorrow yet, but I’m sure it will involve sorting the instrument cluster wiring and probably rebuilding the bellcrank.

Oh yeah, I placed my next to the last parts order today. I ordered an original spare tire carrier (needs some grinding and cleaning up), a bumperette and grill welting from QTM Parts (Quarter Ton and Military) – he sells a lot on eBay under username wcwfr4. I ordered windshield rubber from Midwest Military. And I ordered windshield bumper welting and pedal draft pads from Ron Fitzpatrick Jeep Parts (off eBay). Except for odds and ends and a trip back to Piedmont to get some used tires, all I have left to buy is interior. I have decided to run used tires for the time being instead of spending $800 on 5 new tires – and I will use the top from my other Jeep if I need one. Got to keep the costs down because I’m trying to pay for this thing as I go along instead of running up the credit card bill!