Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Little Less Conversation, A Little More Action Please

Yesterday morning, I was looking for an easy, simple fix since Nora had yet to awaken and I was technically on "baby sitting" duty.  I found my spot to be behind the driver's seat along the bottom portion of the rear wheel well.  All I needed to do was remove a rectangle of nastiness that was about 4" x 8", fabricate a small bend about 3/4" from the bottom and running parallel to its length.  Easy peasy, right?  Let's give it a go, shall we?

"Nasty," 'Nuff said.
It is becoming quite routine by now.  Grabbed the ruler, marked off the areas to be removed, and then transferred it to a piece of cardboard.  Have I mentioned that discarded cereal boxes make great template material?  They are thick enough to hold the desired shape, but flimsy enough to bend and mold into various areas...very similiar to the composition of my brain.   I cut out my cardboard shape and then compared it to the rectangle on the jeep.  A wise man once told me a snug fit "is like socks on a rooster."  This looked good, as good as stiletto heels on a hen, so I cut the area out.

Trim off the fat by cutting out the middle man.
I traced around the cardboard on a scrap piece of steel and then cut it out.  Without the small bend on the bottom seam, I fit it into the gaping hole in the wheel well.  Snug.  Since I haven't had too much success since my initial use of the bending brake, I just slapped my piece of steel into a vice and used the BFH to tap, tap, tappity tap a tap dance down on it to get my bend across the bottom.  Again, back to the jeep...and it was fitting even snugger.  So, I figured lets just tack it in and go get the girl.  Like always, my simple tack turned into the full bore weld and before I knew it, I had it all in place.  I haven't grinded it down, yet, though.  I had exercised at least that much self control.  And to know me is to know that I pretty much do not exercise.

Webster's Picture Dictionary defines this as "socks on a rooster."
Today, I was jonesing for something simple and little so as not to get too involved and too dirty.  Yes, I have seen this jeep and know that the odds of not getting dirty are VERY non-existant.  I tried, though, and subsequently failed.  Go big or go home.  I thought I'd go ahead and cut out the gross spot beneath the passenger seat.  It would be a nice big rectangle (16" x 5") on a wide open flat plane.  I marked out the area to be removed and made my cardboard cutout.  It seemed to have a nice fit, too.  So, next step is to trace it on some steel.  Well, my supply line failed me.  I have plenty of steel, but none big enough for one piece in that area!  So, that project goes on hold.

I moved around to the rear of the jeep and scoped out what damage I could inflict there.  I still had Bubba's weld lines along four edges from when I removed the rear panel.  Sooner or later those would have to be removed.  So, lets go ahead and do that unpleasant, unglamourous job now.  And, my trying to stay reasonably clean goal just got grinded away.  It wasn't the most fulfilling job to do on the jeep, but it does look better with those nasty weld scars gone.  It will be easier to fit the rear panel back on when the time comes.

Okay, its still early in the day.  Next job?  There were all of those small rust-through areas along the tool box walls and floor near where the rear panel was removed.  I decided to replace the corner section on the driver's side.

New corner piece (on the right) sitting beside its soon to be new home.
I had to do a little bit of touching up with the grinding disc along the cut-out area as well as some nip and tucks on the fabricated piece with the bench grinder to make them agree with one another.  However, it did not take much to get another snug enough fit to make it work.

New corner piece dropped in and very snug.
Once in place, it was only logical to break out the welder and make it permanent.  Being so small, it didn't take long to weld it.  In the back of the jeep sat my grinder with the right disc on it, so it only made perfect sense to go ahead and grind away the Frankenstein scar.  Minutes later I was done...for the day.
New corner piece welded in place with Frankenstein's weld marks grinded away.
Tomorrow I get to go bring home jeep number two.  I haven't yet made up my mind as to which one to load.  That must mean I am anxious to get them both!  I'll be leaving stupid early in the morning and driving time is just about an even 10 hours there and back.  If all goes well, I'll be home before dinner and soccer practice.

Here is your parting shot:  the BFH next to the tiny new corner piece.

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