Still on bodywork and mail call

Mail call

I received my transfer case gasket set and replacement axle nut(s) from QTM Parts today. I’m trying to get all the parts I need together before I pull the transmission and transfer case to change the clutch – might as well seal everything up and clean/paint them while they’re out of the vehicle! Funny thing though – he sent me 2 axle nuts even though I only ordered one! The problem? They don’t fit! I don’t think I hit the axle when I was trying to get the drum off, so I don’t think the threads are messed up.

Body Work

I continued working on the body today. I sanded down the rest of the driver side of the cowl and massaged the other dent before spraying a heavy coat of primer on that side. Then I moved over to the other half of the cowl. I spread a little bit of glazing putty on the previous bondo job and sanded it down when it dried. When everything looked pretty good, I sprayed a heavy coat of primer on that side.

After I finished with the cowl, I moved on to the passenger side toolbox area. I sanded that down and applied another coat of Bondo to smooth it out more.


While that was curing, I sanded down the rest of the tub in a cross hatch pattern with 80 grit paper. I only found one other place that needed some glazing putty.






When the Bondo was cured, I knocked the high spots down with some 50 grit, then sanded with 80 grit DA, then hand sanded smooth with 80 grit. Then I sprayed a heavy coat of primer (no pic).

Lastly, I used my angle die grinder with 50 grit twist loc discs to remove everything down to the original OD on the passenger side wheel well. I hand sanded with 60 grit to smooth it a little more before I sprayed a heavy coat of primer. I’ve been dreading stripping the inside of the tub – got get started on it sometime!


I ordered some primer catalyst from O’Reilly yesterday. It is supposed to be here today, so I will go pick it up in the morning along with some more sanding discs. My plan for tomorrow is to spray the whole Jeep with a heavy coat of 2K primer tomorrow and to work on the hood. Once I get that done, I will get back to work on the inside of the tub. Hopefully I can knock that out tomorrow too!


Still on the bodywork and mail call

Mail Call

I received a couple of goodies since the last post. I bought an NOS M38a1 exhaust pipe (as advertised) extension from a guy that was advertising a bunch of parts for sale on G503. I paid $15 for it. It doesn’t look like the M170 ones currently for sale everywhere, and is definitely used, but everything looks “right” about it – the angles, pipe diameter and weld quality. I can live with it for sure – might get one made for the other Jeep!




I also received my gas tank sealer kit from KBS Coatings. I went with this one because it is a hard but still flexible coating instead of just hard, which can chip off (since the gas tank is under the seat and can get hit). It is also a complete kit with cleaner, etcher that leaves a zinc phosphate coating  and enough coating to do a 25 gal tank. The price was right for me at $68 (off eBay) delivered.


The last thing I got this week was my transmission gasket set from Ron Fitzpatrick Jeep Parts. No picture on this one.

Body Work today

I decided to work differently today. Instead of jumping around to different areas, I started on the driver fender and stayed on it until it was done (it was almost done anyway). I sprayed a guide coat on the primer and dry sanded with 80 grit until smooth. Then I sprayed another heavy coat of primer on top after I wiped it down with paint thinner. Turned out nice!


Then I moved on to the passenger fender. This one still needed a good bit of work. I sanded down the area on top, front and side of the fender. I was able to smooth out the side and front just by sanding with the angle grinder and a 40 grit disc. A couple of coats of primer and sanding with 80 grit took the ripples and scratches out. The area on top took a little more massaging with the hammer and dolly. I was left with an oil can popping there, so I had to add some heat to get rid of that. Then I put a skim coat of bondo on the area. I also had a little area on the lip that needed a little bondo while I had it mixed up. Sand with 60 grit to smooth it out and spray with primer.


After that dried, I sanded with 80 grit and had to skim the top again, but the front was still looking pretty good.


Sanded and primed again and I think it is good enough.

Then I moved on to the driver side cowl area. I massaged it as much as I could with the hammer/dolly, but ended up being worse than I thought. It is like the whole cowl brace area is pushed in 1/8″. I ended up skimming the whole area with bondo.


Once this dried, I sanded it down and had to add another skim coat which covered a little more area. Then I sanded and primed this. Pretty smooth and straight now.


I had a little more time to play, so I sanded the cowl above the mirror to see the dents there a little better (I could feel them, but couldn’t really SEE them). I ended up with 2- 4″ dents between the mirror and battery box.


Before I even looked, I spent about 20 minutes trying to get the inner glove box screws out so I could take it out to get to the dent in the cowl. THEN I realized that you can get to the cowl without doing that! Wasted time! I was able to hammer/dolly/sand most of the first dent out. I should be able to prime and block a few times to finish this one. I THINK I will be able to get to the other dent by removing the gauge cluster – HOPEFULLY!


I am starting to get the hang of this hammer/dolly art – getting better/easier with every dent! I was originally just going to do the rear panel, tool box area side panel/cowl brace metal, fenders and cowl dents. Now I think I am going to go back and REdo the rear panel a little better (since I am a little more skilled at this now). I’ll probably do a little more work on the side panel too. While I am straightening stuff, I will go ahead and sand the rest of the tub and fix anything that I find. OH, I forgot about the hood – but there’s only one or two small places on it.

Planning on finishing the cowl and maybe looking at the hood and starting on that today. The goal is to finish the body work this week off, so that leaves only 5 more days to hit that goal.


Body work (fenders)

Got a little more done on the fenders this afternoon. 1 coat of Bondo down, but I need another coat on the passenger side. I believe the driver side is pretty much ready for wet sanding.

Nice, globbed up mess there!

Pretty much done on this side.

This side needs a little more attention, but getting there.

I should be able to finish up the body work (to my standards anyway) while I am off (7 days) next week.

I’m going to put an order in for some KBS gas tank sealer and a few other items tonight. I received my Carquest clutch kit earlier this week ($97 delivered from Advance Auto using a coupon and Speedperks!)

So hopefully things will study moving along pretty quickly in the next few weeks.

Fender work (bodywork)

I started working on the fenders again this afternoon. I did some more work on the passenger side, straightening the front corner even more. I had to use a 2×4 to beat that corner out to where it needed to be. I went back and worked on the lip a little more too. I had to weld a couple of places of the lip back together where they split. While I had the welder out, I welded up the holes on top of both fenders. I tacked a small washer in to fill in most of the large holes.





I moved over to the driver side after I was satisfied with the passenger side. The main problem area was the rear wheelwell. It was pushed back at least a half inch. While hammering it back into position, I broke the inner fender welds loose (from the outside of the fender). I will have to take the fender back off to re weld these. I got it back pretty close to where it needs to be though.


There were a few other places along the wheelwell lip that needed attention and a small crease on the front.



That was it for today – only a few hours to work on it today. Hopefully I can finish up the metal work and get some filler on it tomorrow.

Working on fenders

I reinstalled the fenders this afternoon to make it easier to work on them. That was all I was PLANNING on doing. So, 5 minutes after I finished installing them, I grabbed the hammer/dolly set and went to work on the passenger side one. After about half an hour (all the “extra” time I had to play with), that fender was back in fairly straight condition! The front corner was the only bad part, although there were a few other places that needed attention also.


Still a little more to do plus a little welding the lip back together. Much progress in a small amount of time by someone who has no bodywork experience.


A “before” pic of the driver side fender I’ll get to tomorrow. The front is in great shape.


This is the real problem area:


I also have to weld up the holes on top of BOTH fenders that they drilled to mount those big lollipop turn signals.


That’s it for today – should be good progress tomorrow!

More bodywork

I acquired a piece of 18ga sheet metal from a friend this morning. I came home and fitted it to the hole in the passenger side of the Jeep. This would have been a little easier if I would’ve had a thin cutoff wheel for the grinder, but was a PITA with my 1/8″ cutoff wheel. I have a small 2′ sheet metal break  that was my grandfather’s when he owned a heat and air business. As it turned out, this break was too light duty (even though it HAS to be damn near 100 years old) to bend 18ga. I ended up scoring one side of the metal with a block cutting chisel, then using the chisel in the bench vise (with the jaws slightly open) to bend the metal. Once I got it bent 1/3 of the way, I clamped the metal in the vise jaws and bent it the rest of the way by hand. I used a hammer to finish the 90 deg bend in the vise.

I fit the patch in place, then tacked it in. After hundreds of tack welds (that’s what it seemed like anyway), it was in place.


After a little clean up with the grinder and angle grinder, it was ready for filler.


I put a skim coat of Bondo over the area and touched up a couple of other areas while I was going. After smoothing it up with the DA, I sprayed a nice heavy coat of filler primer over the bare metal and Bondoed areas.



I go back to work tomorrow, so finish sanding will have to wait until next week. After that, I can work on the fenders and hood.

Body work

My first voyage into doing my own body work! I can do mechanical and electrical troubleshooting and repair and painting, but I’ve never really done any body work.

I bought a cheap set of body hammers and dollies from Harbor Freight a couple of months ago, but I’m just now getting to the point of working on the body. So far, the rear panel is the worst part of the body (straightness, not metal replacement). I started by using my angle die grinder (with an 80 grit twist lock disc on it) to remove all of the primer that was on the area and about 2″ past the repair area. I hammered out the left corner almost perfect – it only needed a little filler.

I mixed up a small amount (about golf ball size) of Bondo and spread it out fairly smooth. I also put a little on the snap screw holes that I welded up last week.


After it cured for about 30 minutes, I grabbed the DA sander with 80 grit paper on it to smooth it out. After 2 coats, I had it about as smooth as it would get (with me doing the bodywork). There are still some waves, but they will be hidden by the spare and gas can.


After I put the first coat on the rear panel, I found another place at the battery box that had a small dent. It wasn’t really accessible, but I was able to get a little of it popped out. I added a couple of coats of filler to fix the rest of the area.


The local sheetmetal dealer STILL didn’t have any 18ga metal, but had some 20ga. He gave me a price of $28 for a 6″x26″ piece! I had to pass on that deal. I called a friend that had plenty to spare, so I will go pick that up in the morning. I should be able to get the passenger side patched tomorrow and maybe even get it mudded and primed!