Thursday, October 20, 2011

Change of Scenary: The Front End

I went ahead and finished up the cowl area of the tub.  All of the ugly paint has been removed, the quarter-sized area from the antenna repaired and all of the gauges and almost all of the wiring is out and a fresh coat of primer was applied.  The last bit of wiring goes to an aftermarket push-pull light switch that has quickly burrowed itself into my bum and has become a bonafied pain in the arse.  It isn't original to the jeep...I don't think it is of military origins...but I'm not 100% confident that it isn't valuable to someone (after all, look at the crap I have bought and brought home!) so I do not want to man up and incredible hulk that mini monstrosity out of there and risk damaging something in the process.  Instead, I am taking the ostrich approach to life and am kind of ignoring it until I can come up with a sensible plan.

The dashboard.  And Jack's gas can.
So, since I am ignoring the wires, I thought I would shore up the remaining tidbits that need attention along the topside of the tub.  Well, I have come to the conclusion that those tidbits multiply at night.  No matter how many I fix, my punch list keeps growing!  I fixed that antenna spot, cut out the four pieces of bubbafied pipe that held on the bubbafied top and repaired the damaged areas associated with said four pieces of pipe.  Welded in the replacements for the support brackets on the rear panel.  I'm sure I did something else, but darn it if I can't remember it.  I did find another hole the size of a dime that I missed a few weeks ago that will get welded shut.  Oh, and the last thing that I started, but have yet to finish, is fab up and set in (not welded, yet) would be the bottom of the two vertical reinforcing channels in the rear panel.  When Bubba cut the panel out, the bottom portion of the brackets were probably buzz sawed and now do not reach the floor.

Little baby-tiny brackets on the bottom of the vertical reinforcing channels have yet to be welded into place.
Next up was the grill...I already did the grill of Jeep #2.  My theory was to clean #2's up and stick it temporarily onto #1. I thought that removing the headlights and their respected harnesses would take awhile.  Nope, like everything else I do...I did it fast!!  Harnesses removed intact, so I cleaned up and did a few minor repairs to the grill.  While I was at it, I cleaned up and primed the black-out marker lights, too.

Two marker lights and the unmentionable radiator stay rod hanging out together.

Held captive behind bars...and evidently enjoying it!
With the grill out and done, I needed something else to occupy my hands with.  It just seemed reasonable and within reason to make the radiator the next apple of my eye.  The two nuts that hold it to the front cross member were being stubborn.  I'm not going to lie here, either...the two nuts are in a somewhat awkward place to reach and my back was feeling a bit tight.  The tightness was a result from an old war wound I'll tell you about over some beers one day.  Nette, do not shake your head at me.  Anyway, I lubed them up with some penetrating oil and would tackle them in 24 hours.  Besides, a dark fear that always looms over my head is that I will end up breaking the bolts off accidentally.  I've done it before...I guess that is where the fear comes from.

24 hours later did the trick and off the nuts came.  From what I can tell, the radiator should be fine.  I did A LOT of scrubbing on it.  I was surprised to find that it was still holding antifreeze.  I'll take that as a good sign.  The rear shroud has come loose and will need to be soldered back into place.  So far, that is the only thing I have found that will need repaired.  Jack applied water to it and I scrubbed the fins with a tooth brush.  As a result, we now have about a truckload of gorgeous red clay that only Georgia can offer sitting in our backyard.  Who would have thought so much dirt, clay and small twigs could live in such a small area like between the rods of a radiator?

Thar she blows!  Not really.  Just Jack spraying the radiator and me.  Child labor...gotta love it!
The last little thing I dabbled with was the fan that bolts to the water pump.  Hey, it sits right behind the radiator which in turn, sits right behind the grill.  At this rate, the engine will be done this weekend!  Probably not, but a kid can have dreams, right?  I'm hoping to get that steering wheel off without breaking it) and then give the tub the old switch-a-roo and flip it like a pancake so the underside can get fixed. 

No, this is not a boat.  Its the fan fromt he water pump.
I'm also tempted to start cleaning up the front frame areas so when I bolt the fenders and the grill back on to push this thing of beauty into the yard, it will look respectable when the neighbors ask to look under the hood.  It all has to get done sooner or later...

Here's what I'm now looking at in the garage.  Can you blame me for wanting to clean up the front frame area??

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