I managed to get a few hours Friday afternoon for some garage jeep time. Friday was my birthday and things were a bit hectic, but the peace and quiet within the sanctum of welders, grinders and hammers was like music to my ear-plugged ears!
I took advantage of my limited time and was able to get the horizontal bottom dwelling pieces for the rear panel made and installed. I also welded shut the smaller holes that were non-GI. Saturday morning, I cut out about a dozen round pieces of steel that were the approximate size of a dime and filled in the remaining unwanted oversize holes. Following that creative jaunt, it was then grind time smoothing out all of the Frankenstein scars along the perimeters.
|Not too bad. But it always looks better BEFORE the paint is applied!|
I feel fairly certain that the rear panel will maybe not fall off. But if it does, I am sure it will occur while I'm driving and have somebody sitting on the rear bench seat. Maybe I'll get my Mother-in-Law to test it out for me. Murphy's Law guarantees it to happen then! On the plus side, I have been pushing the jeep around by the newly installed rear panel and it appears to be solidly in place.
As for the inside wall of the rear panel, I still had some things to do. When Bubba first removed the panel, he also took out parts of the supporting hat channels as well as the vertical braces that connect the side walls to the rear panel on both sides. The hat channel parts were in the four corners and were quite small, but I wanted to get them back in. I decided to leave the wood blocks in place and weld the hat channel replacements over them. I figure the next poor, dumb guy that restores this jeep in sixty years will get a chuckle when he finds them.
I welded in the small parts pictured above. I made the replacements for the other two items shown above, but I am waiting to install them. The holes in them have to be precise since the jerry can holder will be bolted through one of them. Those bolt holes are going to line up within the small vertical section that I had replaced on that back panel. Besides drilling in a few holes in the back panel (yes, I know I filled a bunch in, but they were in the wrong places!), I still need to make the left hand side of the jerry can brace plate. That will fit into the unpainted part of the rear panel seen below.
|Another view...I take solace in the fact that the jerry can and spare tire will cover a lot of my scars! But hey, I converted it from an ugly Bubbafied tail gate to its original solid configuration!|
Now, the major exterior repairs to the tub have been accomplished. I am undecided in which direction to turn my attention. I could clean up the grill on this jeep and bolt the fenders on and then it won't look so offensive. Or I could take the tub off and do the repairs to the underside. Or option number three...begin the tub repairs on jeep number two. I'm leaning towards jeep number 2/3 being the one that gets sold. It would make sense to me to get cracking on that guy so I can get some funds to apply to jeep number one. Any takers?
I'm thinking I'll do the grill, reinstall the fenders and then push this good looking soldier into the yard for awhile and give jeep number two some garage time.