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.


90% finished now

Today was a very productive day! I stopped by Tractor Supply on the way home from work this morning – bought a tube patch kit and 2 – 3/8″ x 48″ round rods. When I got home, the first thing I did was to patch the 2 tubes that weren’t too torn up. Once they were patched, I set them aside to cure while I did other stuff.

The second thing I did was to paint the markings. I started with the little long term storage stencil on the rear.

Then I moved on to the larger long term storage stencil on the cowl.

And finally the most obvious ones after I had a little experience under my belt.



I sprayed 3 coats on all of the stencils. It didn’t cover completely – was still slightly opaque. Once the third coat was on, I let it tack up for about 10 minutes, then started peeling off the masking paper and paint mask. The hood numbers were very hard to get to stick down completely – I had quite a few places that puckered up because of the compound curves on the hood. These places bled by a little. At least the paint didn’t peel off like my other a1.

Between coats, I scuffed the wheels with Scotchbrite . After I finished the markings, I sprayed the wheels with 24052.

That was a good stopping point to go install my tubes and tires on the spare rims. On the way to my friend’s house, I stopped by and picked up my flywheel that I had resurfaced.


This time, it only took me about 10 minutes to install both tubes and tires!


Once back at home, I got to work on the top bow support rods. The drawing I had showed a total length of 39.75″ with one elbow end 1.375″ and the other 1.875″. After I cut and welded the ends on, I test fit one of them. With the support rod level, I marked the point where I need to drill the hole in the forward bow. Then I measured from the rivet up to the mark – It was 25″. Next, I measured the same points on my other Jeep – it measured 25.5″. I measured the length of the support rod on my other Jeep – it was 37.5″! I guess I’m going to have to wait until my top comes in to make sure the front bow will be in the correct position before I drill any holes in the bow.


The last thing I did was to work on getting it running again. I static timed it and got it to run – rough! So I played around with the distributor until I heard a hissing noise. I grabbed my propane bottle and pointed it at the carb – the idle leveled out a little. Then I felt around the carb base and found a leak! So off came the carb, replaced the gasket and reinstalled the carb. It fired up and idled perfectly! I took her for a ride up the driveway, turned around to head back and it started acting up again! I pulled into the yard and snapped a couple of pics before putting her back in the shop.



I will work on it again when I get back on night shift next week, but for now I’m done. I guess the next thing to do is to get her running smoothly and reliably. Then I can move on to changing the clutch. Other than that, I think everything the HAS to be done is done!

More reassembly

Yesterday I installed the footman loop for the battery box lid, repainted and reassembled the dash, installed the passenger seat, installed the B.O. driving light, installed the new steering wheel, installed the new carb, made 2 spacers (the stainless steel wore out my blade and finally broke it!, so I have to go buy another one this morning). So I didn’t get EVERYTHING done that I had planned – but DAMN NEAR everything!




I am still having the fuel “spurting” and engine surging problem. I’m pretty sure that the inline gas filter should be full all the time. I am HOPING that the fuel pump cam lobe isn’t worn out, causing the fuel problem. But if it is, I will pull the engine to change the clutch (instead of the tranny and transfer case) and change the cam at the same time.

Today’s plan is to install the driver seat cushions and install the seat, finish the spacers and install the gas can carrier, reinstall the gauge cluster and get all gauges working, work on the rest of the wiring and brake light switch.

Either tomorrow or Thursday I will go to a friend’s house to install my “new” set of tires and paint the rims to match the rest of the Jeep.

Radiator flush and fill

Since winter is coming in (or should I say MIGHT come – 71deg in SC today) soon, I figured I would go ahead and drain the water out of the radiator and block, do a good flush (since the water is ORANGE) and refill with 50/50 antifreeze.

This sounds like a fairly simple 1 hr job, and in most cases it would be. Of course, the Jeep was having none of that simple job crap! I started by opening the petcock on the radiator and the one on the block to drain the orange water out. After it was finished draining, I refilled with water and Red Devil(?) radiator flush. I fired her up and went for a 15 min drive up and down the driveway and around the field. I came back and opened up the drains to get rid of the NEW orange water. While it was draining, I replenished what was flowing out with new water. I did this for about 5 minutes, then shut the engine off to let it drain out completely.

Once empty, I filled her back up with water and fired her up. I let her idle until the thermostat opened and it started circulating. The water turned completely ORANGE again! I was out of radiator flush, so I opted for the only other option I had – Super Clean. I added around 6oz to the radiator and headed up the driveway. Halfway up, the Jeep just died – not sputtered and died – just died like you turned the switch off! I rolled backwards to turn around, but didn’t get quite far enough, so I had to push her a little to get her moving back down the drive.

Once back to the shop, I started troubleshooting. I checked for spark at the points – had that, so I went for the carb. I pulled the fuel line at the carb – had pressure where it entered the carb. I removed the filter screen in the carb – it was clean. I pulled the top of the carb off – there was fuel in the bowl. I blew out and cleaned everything I could get to and reassembled – still nothing. I tried starting fluid – NOTHING! I pulled the plugs, cleaned and gapped them – nothing. I sprayed starting fluid again and it sputtered. Let her crank a little bit and she fired up – back in business! I have no idea what happened.

I turned the Jeep around and drained the radiator and engine again. This time when I filled it back up with water and warmed it up, it wasn’t quite as orange. So I drained everything again and refilled/warmed it back up – pretty clear FINALLY!

So, I drained it one last time, then refilled with a gallon of water and a gallon of antifreeze. I started it back up and let it warm up so that I could top it off with antifreeze. Once full, it was the nice transparent green color I was looking for.

It was a long process, but I guess she needed it pretty bad!

Rear hub, diff service and thermostat

I went out to work on the Jeep this morning. I started with the hub. Pulled the puller out of the box and NEITHER of the castings would work! One was wide enough but not deep enough – the other was deep enough but not wide enough to reach across the studs. So I stopped working on that and moved on.

Next, I installed the rear diff cover and filled it with GL4 and friction modifier. Here’s a crappy pic.


Next I moved to the thermostat. I made a gasket for it because nobody had one in stock – then installed it.

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Then I moved to the front diff. I pulled the cover, cleaned the surfaces, blasted the cover and cleaned the bolts and tags.


I scuffed the shocks and set everything up for paint. I sprayed a couple of coats on them and let them dry while I went to town to return the hub puller kit.


When I got back I installed the front diff cover and filled it. After that, I installed the driver side shock and put the wheel back on the passenger side. Then I filled the radiator and went for a drive. I went up and down the driveway until the temp started moving, then went back to the shop and refilled the radiator. The temp had gotten up to about 190, so I let it idle until it leveled back out. I drove back up the driveway and around the field and it stayed at about 170deg the whole time (it is a 160deg thermostat).

A few things I noticed while driving were 1) the clutch needs adjusting (or at least I HOPE that’s all it needs!), 2) I need to get the body mounting bolts tightened down and 3) The temp, oil pressure, volt meter (if you tap on it) and speedometer (it jumps around – I need to clean and lube the cable) all work now – the fuel gauge isn’t hooked up yet.

Working on rear brakes and diff

Today I worked on the rear brakes. The driver side drum came off easily. It was full of sand and mud.


I removed the brake shoes and wheel cylinder and cleaned the backing plate and axle seal retainer up by scraping with a screwdriver and putty knife and cleaning with a wire brush. Then I sprayed brake cleaner on it and cleaned it real well. I cleaned the hardware with the wire brush and brake cleaner. I didn’t order new shoes beforehand, so I cleaned the old ones up until I get the new ones (that I ordered tonight) – they have about 1/8″ of lining left. I installed a new wheel cylinder and all of the cleaned parts.


While I had easy access, I removed the plug in the axle and installed a grease zerk – gave the bearing 6 pumps of grease and reinstalled the plug. I went ahead and removed the shock while it was within reach – one less thing to have to do when I install the new shock tomorrow!

I moved on to the passenger side. This time I couldn’t get the drum to budge – AT ALL! The drum screws came out with a little heat and the big screwdriver with a wrench on the shaft, but the drum wouldn’t budge! I tried the rubber hammer, ball peen hammer, applied PB Blaster and heat – still NOTHING! I guess the only way to get it off is to pull the hub tomorrow so that I can get to it from the back.

I moved on to the rear differential. I pulled the cover and drained the oil – black and runny! I sprayed the rest of the can of brake cleaner on the carrier and gears to clean it up a little, then pulled the drain plug to drain the cleaner. There was about a 1/4″ of sludge on top of 1/4″ of hard sludge in the bottom of the case, so I scraped all that crap out and wiped it clean with a rag. I sandblasted the cover and gave it a couple of coats of 24052 and left it to dry overnight.

The last thing I had time for was to pull the top hose and thermostat housing so that I can install a new thermostat tomorrow. Judging by the look of the coolant (all water, I’m guessing), I need to drain the radiator and block too – and maybe flush it too! It was a nice orange color! Wile I had the thermostat out, I heated it up with a propane torch – just guessing, but it was prob around 250deg before it started opening!

I went online before I went out to the shop this afternoon to order a thermostat (Stant 160deg for $8.99). I had a coupon for 25% off at Advance Auto waiting on me, so I went ahead and ordered the rear shocks (since they had Monroe in stock for $25 ea) too. They were asking $62 for brake shoes, so I didn’t order them there. I saved about $15 ordering online and got another $.87 back through eBates! I went by and picked the parts up after church tonight. While I was there, I bought 2 cans of brake cleaner and 2 bottles of limited slip friction modifier (one for each axle). The bottles are 4oz that treats 2qt of oil – the differentials hold about 1 3/4qt, so I figure a bottle each. This is the brand they had, so I bought it.

oil additive

Kindof pricey at $7.99/bottle, but at least it doesn’t have to be changed often! If I would have thought ahead a little, I would’ve ordered the brake cleaner and this online and saved another $8! While I was at Advance, I rented a hub puller for the passenger side – VERY PRICEY at $100

I left Advance and went to O’Reilly to see if they had brake shoes – they did. They were $30 after tax, but I had to order them – and they wouldn’t be in until late tomorrow afternoon (16:00) – AFTER I finish working on the Jeep for the day! I guess I’ll just get the drum pulled and everything cleaned up and ready to install the new shoes after I get them – I will have to tear the driver side back down too. But at least I will have all new brakes all around after I finish them! BTW – the rear drums looked OK (not GREAT, but OK).

After I finish with removing and cleaning the passenger side brake, I will reinstall the diff cover and refill it (I have a 5gal can of military gear oil, so I didn’t need to buy any of that). I might as well go ahead and remove the front cover, clean it, blast the cover, paint it and reinstall/refill it while I’m doing them and I have the materials. Then I can flush the radiator and block, install the new thermostat and check to see if it is working correctly.



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!