If you’ve been afterward the tragedy that is my 1948 Willys CJ-2A off-road project, you’ve acceptable assured that it’s a absolute bassinet case and that I should accept accustomed up ages ago. Well, you’re right. And the activity is still in peril. But there’s acceptable news: my antipathy has borne some bake-apple finally, and the Jeep is aloof now assuming signs that it wants to animate again.
Since day one, my old Jeep has been putting up a fight. Everything was either burst or has afterwards burst in a hot decayed blend as I approved removing it: all the brakes, the absolute electrical system, the agent bearings, the agent rings, the council box, the baptize pump, the cogwheel arena accessory ts—seriously, it’s absolutely absurd how abundant of this Jeep has broken. I’ve never apparent a agent with so abounding burst genitalia alfresco a junkyard.
I’ve got 11 canicule to get this bones able to drive 2,000 miles, and if we’re honest, there’s no way in hell this is activity to about-face out well. The acceptable news, though, is that this accomplished weekend was fantastic, and the Jeep runs beautifully.
Last week, I wrote this cavalcade about how electrical problems could doom this absolute project. That’s still true, as the architect charcoal borked (but it’s currently at the alternator and amateur boutique actuality tested), but the amateur has been resurrected.
Well, actually, it was never dead. It turns out, there were two affidavit the agent wasn’t axis over. First, the array cables were in asperous shape. I approved bypassing that with jumper cables, but it didn’t work. So my acquaintance Brandon went to Tractor Supply Co., best up some compact 1-gauge wires, and absorbed them up.
The new affairs still didn’t let the six-volt array about-face the agent over, but they did assuredly acquiesce the 12-volt array to crank the motor with the plugs in. This meant we could blaze up the agent with the 12-volt while application the six-volt to ability the new agitation coil. Here’s how that formed out:
It was absolute glorious! And alike better, the ammunition pump works, so we didn’t accept to accumulate cloudburst ammunition bottomward the carb!
We let the agent run for about 10 to 15 minutes, at which point we absorbed up the six-volt battery, and it accursed appropriate up! It turns out, afterwards the rebuild, the agent was a bit tight, and the six-volt couldn’t affected the resistance.
So a new set of array cables and a bit of break-in, and we’ve got ourselves a CJ that starts every time.
On Friday, a Jalopnik clairvoyant called Pete emailed me, adage he capital to advice bend on the Willys. As I had never met him before, I thoroughly stalked his Facebook profile, area I abstruse that he was an auto engineer. That’s aback I assured that the adventitious of him chopping me up with an bend grinder and burying me in the aback dupe was apparently appealing low, because aback accept you anytime met a assassin who can do Laplace Transforms and fractional cogwheel equations?
So I told Pete to appear on over, and it turns out, he’s a absolute boss. He’s got an RX-7, a chiral Mazda5, and his wife acclimated to chase a chiral Toyota Celica. Added importantly, Pete can wrench!
He had my gas catchbasin out and bankrupt in no time. Then, anon thereafter, he had my bankrupt all absorbed up. So now the agent is active off the ammunition in the tank, and cutting its bankrupt out through the rear of the car instead of a the front, bushing my barn with smoke.
Thank you, Pete.
Speaking of bang-up wrenchers who accomplish me attending bad, my acquaintance Steve went agrarian on Saturday. He and my added acquaintance Clark came over to blow about with the electrical system. I gave him a box of connectors, he affective himself some wire, and he jumped on my laptop to attending at some base diagrams.
Fast advanced a brace of hours, and I get up from my abiding position on the cold, adipose arena a the rear brakes, and see Steve blind out beneath my dash:
“Hey Steve, what’s up?” I asked. “Oh, I aloof accomplished up best of your electrical system—everything but the lights is accessible to go.” Steve absorbed up all my gauges, my coil, my architect and alike my key. Seriously, the key absolutely works! Plus, my acquaintance Brandon installed this bottom starter:
Between Brandon accepting the agent going, Steve and Clark oning up the electricals, and Pete acclimation the ammunition and bankrupt systems, I anticipate I’ve acutely got a abundant accumulation of accompany with lots of aptitude and a very, actual aerial thresholds for bullshit. They’re great.
Remember that rear animosity with three burst arena accessory ts? Well, it turns out alone one was broken, and the added two were aloof missing (the holes were abounding with blubbery adhesive grease). I managed to circuit that burst t out with a brace of carnality grips, and now all is well. Here’s a attending at the burst t shank:
From there, I absitively to bandy some new ts in with lock washers and Loctite to accumulate those ts from anytime accepting the adventurousness to aback out again. While accomplishing that, I ample I’d aish all the arena accessory ts and accord them a agnate treatment, alone to acquisition three added burst arena accessory ts.
After replacing all the burst ts and abbreviating the new Loctite-smothered ones, the rear arena accessory still looks a bit crooked. Will this be a aloft botheration at some point bottomward the road? Alone the aristocrat knows.
So the Jeep starts and runs aloof like it should, but there’s still a lot to do. First, I’ve got to accomplishment up the rear brakes, acceptation I’ve got to bandy out the shoes, and install the new anchor line. Again I accept to acclimatize all brakes and drain them. It’s not difficult, aloof time consuming.
I additionally accept to install the rear shocks, whose block pins I’ll accept to assignment out because this 69 year-old monster wants to annihilate me (see angel below). I still accept to alter all the arena accessory ts in the advanced diff, ample the differentials with fluid, ample the alteration case, install the driveshafts, amount out the lights, somehow get that advanced fender on, get that burst architect going, and try to get bang stops in after breaking the ts into the frame.
Speaking of the frame, I accept to amount out a way to affix the anatomy to it; I’m cerebration copse blocks with big ts through the center. Honestly, annihilation would be bigger than the accepted state, as aloof a little bit of appropriation force on the anatomy pulled my council cavalcade out of the council box (I accept back anchored the column, but still. This accomplished Anatomy Not Connected To Anatomy is accepting sketchy).
Once all that’s done, I’ll charge to acquisition some tires. My affair appropriate now is that my auto are alone 4.5-inches wide, and I plan on active 31 x 10.50 tires. Something tells me ascent 10.5-inch advanced tires on a 4.5-inch rim isn’t activity to happen, so I’ve been junkyard hunting for a set of 5 x 5.5 auto with a big abundant centermost aperture for my hub.
So far, I’ve begin three auto off an old F-150 (you can see one in the account above), but three auto won’t do me any good. I’ve got to accumulate hunting.
Probably my better affair appropriate now is my head, which drips coolant on the driver’s ancillary of the block. I may or may not accept larboard a behemothic cleft in the arch while aggravating to pry the affair off the block; whether I’ll fix that aperture or aloof top off the coolant every now and again, I haven’t decided. I’m cerebration the latter.
So yeah, there’s still absolutely a bit of assignment to do afore this affair is accessible to drive, but my ambition is to accept this affair on the alley by the average of this anniversary or this weekend, at the latest. If I don’t get it done by this weekend, again there’s a acceptable adventitious that 2,000 mile adventure will be both the convenance affair as able-bodied as the game, and that’s aloof a abhorrent idea.
But the acceptable account is that this Jeep is alive. For how long, alone the Jeep gods know.
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