Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Fork in the Road: Splitting Up Two Mates

If I were a composer, then these piles of once upon a time heroic jeeps are my symphony.  If this junkyard of dead jeeps were to be my symphony then each jeep would represent one score from a Walt Disney cartoon.  Thus, what happened yesterday and today could then be considered the bridge to more spectacular, take my breath away, jump jiving and wailing music that I am conducting/composing.   What follows is how it all went down.  And I have pictures that may or may not have been staged to prove it.

The steering wheel tried to become my nemesis.  I tappity tapped that guy with varying degrees of power with a hammer while frequently squirting it with penetrating oil.  Sometimes all at the same time.  No dice.  I hit from the top.  I hit from the bottom.  I even whacked a piece of steel that would then whack the wheel...and the wheel was having none of it.  I tried to use a bearing puller, but it was too small.  Retiring with frustration, I went to my standby guru:  the forums at  I researched what others did when faced with the same challenge.  Some bought fancy tools, others made fancy tools and then some used what they had when they didn't have anything fancy at all.  I resigned myself to buying a fancy tool on the morrow since I had two more jeeps to dismantle after I finished with the current one.  However, for the meantime, I thought I would try what worked for someone else without the fancy tools.  I was advised to jump into the jeep, place my hands at the 2 and 7 o'clock positions and wiggle like hell.  Then move my hands to 5 and 11 and wiggle some more.  Loosen the nut (but keep it on the column so when the wheel pops, you don't tumble out of the back of the jeep) prior to wiggling.  Just in case I had success, I made Jack spot me to ensure I DID NOT TUMBLE OUT THE REAR of the jeep.

Wiggle with a spotter.

It moved!!
Amazingly, Jack and I encountered the sweet smell of nasty, old rusticated jeep surrendering success!  Pop goes the steering wheel.  Now we can remove the tub!  And I went to bed with a brilliant smile on my face and Sarah had nothing to do with it!

Jubilees amongst the sweetest smell of jeep funk and success.

Today, I removed the few screws that bolted the tub to the frame.  Two of those little bastards resisted, so I resorted to the cut-off wheel.  Now we were officially ready for lift off.  I brought out the lift and a couple of straps.  At precisely this moment, Sarah ran out to do some shopping and Jack wanted to hang out with me.  Maybe it was because he felt he should stay to dial 911 or maybe he was truly interested in what I was doing.  Nonetheless, he was now my wing man...and I really wasn't quite sure how I was going to lift the tub off the frame.  I kept my fears hidden, though.

Amazingly, we suffered very few set backs.  Despite the challenges, we persevered with superior intellect and strength.  At one point, I had Jack manning the Jack, jacking it up, letting it out and rolling it around while I went hulkamaniac by lifting and pulling the rear of the tub.  Up, down and spin it around and BINGO...we had it completely airborne.  Now what the hell do I do with it?

Well, for starters, Jack and I rolled the chassis back into the garage.  Now we could at least set the tub onto the ground.  Next, we had to figure out how to flip it over since the point of this endeavor was so I could have easy access to the dirty underside.  I'm still talking jeeps here, ladies and gentlemen.    I quickly formulated a plan, called a huddle with my jubilant son and then we set out upon our mission.

Oh, yeah.  We landed this baby!  Jack's nervous smile represents my next plan for flipping it formulating in my head.
I placed a rolling cart beside the tub.  I then lifted from the opposite side and had it vertical.  I spun it around 180 degrees and while I landed it back down, Jack was on the spot with the jack stands for the four corners.  We had it in place and I think we did it very safely. 

Flip it over.  We're done!
While scraped a ton of dirty grease and muck off of it, Jack got to work on his jeep.  I think he had to remove the brakes, engine and carburetor from it and hoist it into the air.  At least this is all that he told me. 

And we still had time to work on Jack's jeep!  He did THAT all himself.
Bright and early tomorrow, I'm going to knock the rust off of that baby.  All in all, it really isn't too bad.  The hat channels are better looking than I thought they would be.  Truthfully, they only need replaced in the corners.  Everything else that has to be done is in the rear areas and I had already knew about them!

Scraped the mud off.  Upside down front view.

Post mud scraping from the rear.
And to think that I am pleased as punch to have it look like this right now!

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