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.


Seals installed

I had a little time when I got off work this morning, so I stopped by Walmart and picked up a 1oz. tube of 3M weatherstrip adhesive and headed home. I had to dig around my parts stash to find the seals that I ordered a while back.

I pulled my glovebox door, battery box lid and toolbox door off and put them on the bench. There was a little bit of residual foam and glue on the glovebox door, so I scraped it off and wiped everything down with lacquer thinner. The directions said to apply a thin coat on both surfaces and let dry. Then stick them together. So with that in mind, I started an assembly line. I just went through and put the glue on all of the parts and then came back and applied it to the seals. By the time I finished the last seal, I was able to start attaching the seal to the glovebox door. It stuck immediately and formed around the corners easily. I had to trim about 1/4″ off the end. It took a total of maybe 15 minutes to prep, apply the glue and install the seal. That’s the original paint on the inside of the door.


Next I moved on to the battery box lid seal. I didn’t really like this seal – it is a really thin (a little more than 1/8″) foam rubber material. It was harder to make it form to the corners. I was short of about 1/2″ of material on this one, so I stretched it as much as I felt comfortable with. It turned out OK, but I’m not happy with it – I guess it will serve its purpose though.


The toolbox door seal was a VERY nice piece. It is a custom molded neoprene seal that is about 1/2″ x 1/2″ with a depression in the top to accommodate the toolbox lip – very nice. It formed around the corners like it was supposed to. I had to trim about 3″ off the end.


I bought all of these seals from Peter Debella Jeep Parts  . The toolbox seal was $15 and the other 2 were $8 ea.

I won’t be working on it in the morning, but Monday morning I am planning on getting the grill welt installed, Tuesday getting the last 2 tires put on rims (plus getting the tubes patched) and trying to get the thing running again. Wednesday will be getting it running and painting markings. Thursday (maybe) will be changing the clutch.

Last day off this week

Today was my last day off. I think I got a good bit accomplished this week off.

Today, I went to O’reilly and bought a 5/16″x40″ (outside diameter) fuel line and 3/16″x40″ Copperhead brake line. The Copperhead line is a nickel/copper alloy that is easy to bend, won’t kink and stronger than copper line – I thought I would give it a try on my gas tank vacuum line.

When I got home, I made the first two bends of the fuel line and connected it to the elbow under the Jeep. Then I finished the last two bends at the tank. Then I removed the line to cut it to length and re flare the end.


I repeated the process with the vacuum line. Of course, it was as easy to bend as copper line and didn’t start to collapse with a 90deg bend.


I tie wrapped the lines together to help with vibration noise. Hopefully I can find the correct hard line connectors.


Next, I was able to FINALLY get the steering wheel off! I removed the fixture, heated the shaft with a torch, lubed with WD40 Rust Penetrant, reinstalled the fixture and cranked down on the bolt. A little while later, I cranked down a couple more turns and it popped loose!


This pic shows how much pressure I have kept on the fixture for the past 4 days!


After I got the old wheel off, I cleaned the threads and splines and test fit the new wheel. I don’t really like the green, so I might paint it black like the original one.


Next, I painted the military anti theft device and the parking brake handle and bolts. I reinstalled them after they dried.



I finished wet sanding the driver side and rear of the Jeep. I guess next week I will re do the bodywork on the passenger side and get it ready for paint. Then I can put the finish coat of paint on the whole Jeep.


I had a few minutes left to work on it, so I grabbed the top bow brackets, cleaned them with the wire wheel and sprayed them with a coat of primer.


The plan for next Tues-Thurs will be to re do the passenger side bodywork, get it ready for paint and put the final coat of paint on it. Getting that much done next week will put me in a good position to have it ready for the Denton rally at the end of April.

Starting to reassemble things

First thing today was to scrape the driveway that I have been neglecting for a LONG time! After a few hours of that, it started raining and I couldn’t finish, so I went to the shop!

I started off by reinstalling the gas tank with new foam cushions underneath. Then I moved on to the drain hole covers, then removed the transmission cover and installed my new shifter boot. Once that was back together, I put the transfer shifter boot over the levers and the trim ring on. I couldn’t find the screws for the ring, so I had to find some replacements from my parts drawer. Then I reinstalled the parking brake lever, passenger seat arm and seat pivots. That pretty much completed the reassembly of the front. Lastly, I dug my new shifter knobs out and installed them. Looks like I’m going to have to repaint the parking brake lever! I decided to replace both the fuel line and the vacuum line going to the gas tank. I know the fuel line had some buildup in it, so I wanted to replace it before installing the new carb. The vacuum line was pretty crusty and bent up, so I figured I would do it while I was removing and replacing lines. Fuel line = 1/4″x34″ and vacuum line = 1/8″x34″. I will pick them up tomorrow morning while I’m in town.


After I finished reassembling as much as I thought was possible without having to remove it at a later date, I moved on to bolting the body back down. I replaced all of the original fasteners with new stainless hardware. The rear compartment carriage bolts are just zinc plated, but the rest are stainless. The carriage bolts also have a smaller head diameter than the originals, but a larger shank diameter (3/8″ vs 5/16″). The square part of the bolt was larger too – which will keep it from spinning like the original was doing. The rear cross member bolts are 1/4″ x 1″ and they were a pain to install – they required moving the tub around to make them fit in the holes.


It looks like tomorrow will be rain again, so I will be in the shop tomorrow afternoon. I will be able to get the lines replaced and might have time to get the rest of the wet sanding done – 2 more items off of my list!


Interior and gas tank paint

I got out to the shop this morning and decided to finish up the gas tank and interior. But before that, I welded up a fixture to (hopefully) help pull the steering wheel. I cut 3 pieces of 1.5″ angle iron and welded them together in a “U” shape. This slides over the steering shaft and a 2 jaw puller attaches to the side angle iron. I drilled a hole through the other side for a bolt – to keep the angle from separating. I put a piece of metal on  of the shaft to keep from messing it up. I tightened the puller down and tapped on the angle iron and puller bolt a few times. I have been spraying the shaft with penetration fluid for a few days.


Next, I reinstalled the l pickup and sender. Once those were installed, I did a little light sanding on the tank and sprayed 2 coats of paint on it. Now it matches the rest of the interior!


I sanded down the front floorboards and gas tank well with 150 grit paper, vacuumed it well and wiped it down with paint thinner. A little taping and masking paper, then I mixed up about 8oz of paint and sprayed 2 heavy coats on the front. I had a little paint left over, so I sprayed a place on the cowl and passenger fender to use it up. Even after the paint felt dry, it was still glossy on the floorboards. Hopefully it will dull down as it cures!


When I was spraying the shifter levers, I remembered the military security device that I had to cut off with a cutoff wheel. I found it in the glovebox.


I welded up the seam on the bottom and the cuts on the end and dressed up the welds – ready for primer, paint and reinstalling after I put the boot on.


There were a few places that didn’t get covered when I painted the interior a couple of weeks ago, so I spray bombed them. Then I reinstalled the rear seat hardware and axe bracket.


There is a decent chance of rain tomorrow, so I’m not 100% sure of what I will be doing. Some of the options are 1)bolt the body back down, 2)install the fuel tank, 3)bend and install new fuel tank fuel line, 4)finish wet sanding, and 5)redo passenger side body work.


Finished painting (1st coat)

Switching shop lights to LEDs

Before I got started on the Jeep this morning, I had a little work to do in the shop while it warmed up outside. I bought 12 LED bulbs for the ceiling lights in the shop and wanted to get them put in today. When I dropped the cover on the first light, I saw that I had screwed up and only ordered half of the bulbs I needed! I was thinking that the fixtures only had 2 bulbs each – but there were 4. After figuring out how to wire them up, removing the ballasts and rewiring everything, I had about an hour worth of work in the first one! The second one was about 30 minutes and the last one (that I had bulbs for) took about 25 minutes. It sure did make a difference though – the fluorescent bulbs were 34w each and the LEDs are 40w equivalent each. Now I just need to order 12 more bulbs to finish the other 3 fixtures. This picture isn’t that great, but you can still see that the middle fixture is brighter.


Back to work on the Jeep

After I finished the lights, I got to work on the Jeep. It had warmed up enough outside to do a little painting. I figured I would go ahead and get the battery box and tool box covers painted, along with the hood exterior (1st coat). I moved everything outside and set them up for painting. I ran my hand over the hood and it was a little rougher than I liked, so I decided to run over it with 22o grit again. I had to sand the other 2 parts down too. When I was happy with the result, I mixed up about a third of a cup of paint (about 5 oz) and sprayed everything with a wet coat.




I had a little left over, so I went ahead and trimmed out the tool box and fronts of the wheelwells before I ran out.  That looked pretty good, so I wiped down the rest of the floor and wheelwells. I mixed up another 1/4 cup (about 4oz) of paint and sprayed the rest of the interior. I think one coat on that will do it, but I am going to scuff and repaint the floor, tranny cover and gas tank well while the tank is out for sealing.


When the hood was dry, I found a few places that will have to be sanded well before I put the final coat on it. The covers looked good. The interior had some trash in it, but I wasn’t expecting a perfect job when painting outside.

Well that’s it for these 3 days off. I think I got a lot accomplished this week! My next day off is Monday, but I will be going to look at an MD Juan M100 trailer tub still in the shipping crate. We already agreed on a price, so if he still has it, I will bring it home if it looks to be in excellent condition and everything measures out right.


Metal work

I started on the metal work today. I have been putting it off for too long – time to get started!

There was a small spot of perforation in the toolbox near the side of the body. I figured I would cut that out and replace it while I had the metal cut out of the side of the Jeep.


I cut out a piece that was 6″ x 1.5″. Then I cut a patch panel in 18ga (from the piece that I cut out of the side). While I was squaring up the cuts, I saw there was more perforation farther down the side. So I cut 2″ farther. I cut ANOTHER patch panel and welded it in place.


While I had the welder out, I had a bunch (29) of screw holes (that a previous owner had drilled for soft top snaps) to weld up. That was a fairly quick job – took about 10 minutes including blending.



There was a small hole left in the floor patch I did before. It was a place I missed when spot welding it in. I went back and welded that up.


It was still fairly early, so I tackled the toolbox seal area that had a few places that were rusted through. Two of them were in the front corners, which required forming the patch in 3d – something I had never done before. Needless to say, the first one took a while! The other front corner took about half the time. Then I moved to the rear where the vertical part of the lip was rusted away. It was just a 3/8″ tall by 2″ wide, flat section of metal – simple, right? This piece took the longest of them all! I fixed a couple of other small places around the front edge too. I still have one more vertical piece in the first corner that needs replacing, but I ran out of time.


That’s about it for today. Now I just need to find some metal to close up the side.