Sunday, November 27, 2011

"Now this is not the end."

"It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning". - Sir Winston Churchill

Although that is definitely not my quote, it eloquently sums up my thoughts at this moment.  Me being me, I can justify its use in the fact that my first major project of the first WWII jeep restoration is nearly finished.  All of the major body work is is now completed.  The remaining items on my jeep tub punch list are as follows:  weld brackets on front gussets that secure tub to chassis, install the rear drain cap for the sump tank, drill out half a dozen various broken bolts, and possibly repair the area that Bubba cut out for the (post war) T90 transmission to fit in the transmission hump.  And out of all of that, the latter would be the most time consuming project to tackle.  The others will be good for a rainy day!

Let's recap-

The four tabs along the upper edge (In reality it is the bottom when right side up.  Got that?) of the rear panel have been straigtened out and put in their places.  I have not drilled the hole in the repaired bracket on the far right side.  I have a sneaky suspicion that when the time comes to mount the tub to the body, there will be some good ol' fashioned adjusting to make the four tabs line up squarely to the rear frame crossmember.  Such is life when you are rolling with a rear panel that was once a bubbafied tailgate.  But hey, IT IS ALL ORIGINAL! 

Hat channels installed, welds ground down and primed.  I thought I'd give it some color by painting the underside like its a battleship. The camoflaged garden gnome in the rear is pulling guard duty.

With the bottom completed, it was time to play "flip the flapjack" and put this tub right side up!   The next few pictures will come at you fast...try to keep the pace.  I recruited help for this fun:  the guarding garden gnome named Jack was in charge of strategically placing the jacks in the four corners, Sarah was to photograph the endeavor, and Nora was to bark out orders in a beastly fashion.  Me?  I was the muscle.

Step 1:  Pick up tub, remove jack (the stand) and place wheels to catch the tub when I drop it.

Step 4:  The Balancing Act.  "Look Ma, no hands!"  All jack stands removed and the tub was tipped onto its side and then spun.

Step 6:  Garden Gnome in action.  I learned that I do not give specific enough instructions when holding something heavy.

Interlude:  The Beastly Boss is not happy with our progress.

Step 8ish:  Three out of four ain't bad, right?

Step 9:  Four for four.  Way to go Guarding Garden Gnome!
With all four corners secured, I thought I'd place the crew in the tub for a publicity shot.  Jack looked at me skeptically and said, "Will it hold us?"  I'm sure he was refering to the fact that it was elevated by the jack stands, but how could I not take it as a personal attack against my welding and panel replacement skills?  Reluctantly, they allowed me to place them inside.  Jack, very gingerly, walked to the rear and took the picture.

The not so confident gang.  However, I don't think Nora had a clue.

With the tub right side up, I was then able to quickly weld the reverse side of the small areas that I replaced from the underside.  With a few minor adjustments to my technique, the welding went a bit smoother and faster!  I was able to grind down the scars and prime the interior today. 

BEFORE:  All of the shiny, ugly areas need some help with the welder.

AFTER:  Welded, cleaned up and then primed.  I even detailed it before priming!  Well, actually I just vacuumed it.
I now need to rearrange the garage and find a spot to store this gorgeous thing of beauty for the interim.  Below are two gratuitous parting shots.  If you are really into this, flip back to September's posts to see what it looked like in the beginning.  Ouch.

Front and center.

In the rear with the gear.

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