Well, I took the plunge today. And honestly, I am very surprised it took me this long to jump in and really get dirty on the jeep. First thing this morning, for my warm-up, I reinstalled the grill on the good jeep and got it back in proper working condition. Once the in-laws left town, I did my token "pull a couple of weeds out of the flower beds and then excuse myself to the garage to find something." What I found was a nasty, old jeep begging for some action. And me, being a man of action, quickly went to work.
After turning on the ipod, I pushed the jeep into the driveway. I found my shop fan and strategically placed it to blow down range and directly behind me. I dug my trusty grinder out of the bottom of the tool bin and attached the wire wheel to it. That's right, I am now perched upon the cusp of 3500 RPM's of fast paced derustification. I pulled up a stool, plugged everything in and went to town. I started just above the driver's side cowl step and very SLOWLY worked my way to the rear corner. It took about an hour to travel the distance of what, 4 feet? Progress.
I squirted some penetrating oil on some of the bolt-ons (handles, trailer socket, spare tire carrier) and then reluctantly pushed the jeep back in. I cleaned up my mess and wandered inside to a greeting of "Wow, you are wonderfully dirty!" Off to take a shower and do some grocery shopping.
When we returned home, the kids went to nap and I again grew restless. Sarah quickly found me aimlessly walking around in the garage looking for something dirty to play with. Well, once again I pushed the jeep back outside, set up my grinding work station and went to town on the passenger side. My wire brush was worn almost to a dull nub, but I persevered and cleaned up the length of the passenger side. There is defintiely more repair work that needs to be done on that side, but that's part of the fun, right?
Afterwards, I cleaned up my mess (including myself...again) and drifited back inside. The house was still quiet so I went back to the garage. No, I did not push it out again. Instead, I grabbed a sharpie and started circling holes that were not installed by the Willys factory in Toledo, OH. Bubba and the gang drilled at least 48 holes into the drivers side of the jeep tub and possibly a few more than that on the opposite side. I did not count the holes in the rear of the jeep since I haven't cleaned that up yet. Where is my welder? Well, its too late in the day for the welder, so in lieu, I grabbed a few wrenches and removed the rest of the bolt-ons. Now, I'll have a nice, clean slate to work on next time. Clean, of course, is a relevant term.
At the end of the day, I've got two shiny sides on the jeep. If it weren't for the welding repairs, I could prime it down and it would look better. But, alas, it still needs a wee bit-o-work before anyone (but me) can see an improvement.
Grinding through a dust storm.