Saturday, November 17, 2012

Riding in Style...for real this time!

It had to happen sooner or later, so I went ahead and gave it the ol' college try this afternoon.  I needed to get this thing running.  Or at least try to get this thing running.  Yesterday, I bolted the fender in place (it went so much easier this time around!) and had the jeep prepped and ready for hopeful action today.  I did not, however, install the horn or hook up the grill lighting wires...just in case that fender would be coming off again.
I tried the foot starter, and it spun the engine over, but it has yet to actually crank the engine to life... yet.  That has been added to the punch list.  I thought I would give it a go anyhow.  I wasn't too shocked or disappointed that it did not roar to life.  I popped in the Steady Eddie hand crank and began to turn the crank nut.  However, unlike my previous attempts, it would not give me any sign of life.  I double checked the spark plug connections as well as making sure all of the wires were running to their respective spark plugs.  Remember, the firing order is #1-#3-#4-#2 .  Yes, they were in correct order.  Next, I popped off the dizzy cap and checked for a spark at the points.  (turn crank shaft so points are in the closed position, turn on ignition and use insulated screwdriver to manually open the points)  Yep, spark is present- saw it but did not feel it!
Now I'm thinking that the spark is just coming too soon or too late.  I loosened the dizzy clamp and turned the distributor very slightly in a clockwise rotation.  I hand cranked it again, and again and then again...and BAM...she roared to life.  Well, roar might be an exaggeration.  She came to life, but I needed to give her lots of throttle to keep her going, but she sounded good AND SHE HAD OIL PRESSURE!
On initial start-up:  45 pounds of oil pressure!!!  Look at that, the gas gauge with the rebuilt ORIGINAL fuel sender is working, too.  Yes, that sound you hear is the tooting of my "meep, meep" horn.
At this point, I should have gone ahead and adjusted the distributor, but I was OVERLY anxious to get her on the open highway.  By open highway, I mean my half mile residential street that makes a circle.  I had to give her some throttle to keep her going, but she really sounded good.  I didn't think it would be any problem for the drive.  So, off I went in a smoke-screened flash.
She did run rough once I got out on the road, but I had already started so I might as well finish the loop.  I only got into second, so third gear is still undiscovered.  The funniest part was on the backside of the loop, I definitely heard the sound of something metal falling into the road.  I turned my head back, but could not locate the AWOL piece and nor did I have the confidence to stop the jeep out of fear of not getting it home...under its own power.  Upon arrival of the sanctity of my garage, I adjusted the dizzy while it was still running.  I retarded the spark a little bit and got it running very smoothly and without the help of the throttle at all!  Minor victory by me.  I still need to start it again and drive it once, no, scratch it LOTS more to make sure it is fine!
After satisfied with the dizzy adjustment, I recruited my kids and we went for a walk to locate the AWOL piece of jeep.  It was a Christmas Miracle in November- we found it!  Turns out it was my missing 7/16th wrench that has been "lost" for the last week! 
This was filmed by me while driving so it isn't the best quality!   I'll try to post a better video later.
And for the record...the new "old" seat cushions rode great! 
I guess they aren't that authentic feeling then.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Riding in Style-If I were riding. Oil Pressure Saga...

For a birthday present last month, my wife and inlaws teamed up to buy me a complete set of seat cushions. Their thoughts are solely for the passengers that might one day brave a ride in this vehicle.  They aren't exactly reproduction cushions, nor are they original cushions, either.  They are made out of WWII tent canvas and sewn into patterns from jeep cushions.  Evidently, there is a guy in Europe (Belgium, maybe?) that has a huge stockpile of WWII era tents and fabricates these cushions from that canvas.

All in all, I was very pleased with them.  They don't smell as good (or bad, if you ask Sarah) as the repro's in my GPW, but hey, these guys are 70+ years old...and do have their own odor!  They look good, as in old, which really fits the look of this jeep since I have been using so many original parts to complete this restoration and add to the fact that I left a magnificent assortment of dents, dings and rolls in the tub. 

Actually, I was pleased with all of the cushions except for one.  The back pad for the bench seat (in my humble opinion) needed one more row of stitches to make it sit squarely and not roll out from the bottom.  Maybe that is one that I will keep one eye on a lookout for an original one.  Maybe...

The other fun part for the cushions is that I managed to conjure up almost all of the needed original hardware to attach them to the chairs.   In the end, I needed to buy four screws and eight donut washers to complete the installation.  Luckily, I was able to place the new pieces in concealed areas where one would have to bend their necks to view.  

Original hardware (left) and the newer pieces (right).  The new screw is 1/4 inch longer. 
Cannot notice the length when installed...just the shine.

Passenger back cushion:  looking quite old!

Seat cushions secured!  I have the hip crash pads, but I need to straighten the backing panels before installing.


I've been continuing the quest to figure out why I lost and cannot regain engine oil pressure.  I removed the oil pump, check it's specs and the one part that seemed out of tolerance was the disc-like washer inside of it that is about the size of a .50 cent piece.  I replaced it with another and did a simple bench test.  I funneled oil through the intake port and spun the shaft until oil began to appear in the exit port.  At that point, I place my thumb over the exit port, blocking the oil and continued to spin the shaft.  The shaft immediately became harder to turn and tried to resist my sub-human strength.  Alright, pump seems to be good.  Thank goodness, because if/when I need to get a new pump, it will have to be modified to fit the engine.  Bubba appears to have broken off two of the three studs that mount the pump to the engine.  His repair was good, but he drilled out the broken studs, widened the hole that they screw into and re-tapped it for a wider bolt.  Now, when a new pump will be installed, it's stud holes will need to be bored outwards to accommodate the larger bolts.  No biggie, but just a bit of a hassle.
At this point, I must give props to my good friend David.  Again, from three thousand miles away, he set me on the right path to figure this dilemma.  He sent me a link on how to prime the pump.  I had done it once, twice and thrice, but he gave me a different method to try.  In the course of reading the link, it showed a picture of the flange of the oil pickup line and how it can warp.  I had known about this and even checked it...but not all of it.  I looked at the flange on the engine side of the line, not the actual flange on the pickup end!  I dropped the oil pan (again!), removed the flange and inspected it.  Sure enough, it had a subtle bend AND it was semi pitted.  I used an extra wide file and slowly, patiently filed it so it became flat and level.
Sorry for the blurriness.  The flat edge is resting on the flange of the pickup line.  Hard to see, but there is a small gap in the middle.  What you cannot see is all of the pitting.  This, even though a gasket sits between this flange and the flange on the engine, will not seal off completely.  When the pump begins working, it will only suck air through the lines and not the oil.  This was filed to a smooth, level surface.
After filing, I made extra sure to get ALL of the small metal shavings out of the pickup tube.  I found the most effective method to use my rifle bore cleaning tools to clear it of debris, followed by a thorough washing and then compressed air to remove all of the moisture and whatever microscopic bits that remained.

I mounted the tube back to the engine, installed the oil sump and then refilled with oil.  Again, I primed the pump and began hand cranking the engine.  And then there it was...OIL flowing out of the line that leads to the gauge!  Just to make sure, I popped the top off of the oil filter and continued to cranking.  More oil was splashing out of the inlet tube to the filter!

Oil issue is resolved.  However, I predict the next issue to be timing the spark from the distributor.  Here's why...the engine came to me with the dizzy in the wrong position.  Since the dizzy mates with the end shaft of the oil pump, I figured now would be the appropriate time to remove the distributor and position it in the same fashion that the technical manuals know, since I already had the oil pump sitting on my workbench.

To do this, the engine needs to be at TDC #1 on the compression stroke. I popped tappet cover off of the side of the engine and got number one valves "on the rock" so they would both be closed immediately after #4 finishes its rotation.  I checked the flywheel and the flywheel marks showed in the window.  The dizzy goes in with the rotor pointing to approximately 5:30.  The wide end on the  tip should be to the left with the vertical separator pointing at approximately 11:30.  It will mate with the wide end on the oil pump.  The oil pump slides in from the bottom, mating with the gear on the cam shaft.  Dizzy goes down from the top mating with the oil pump.  Everything went together so well, I figured I did it wrong.  So, I undid it two more times and every time it went smoothly.  Well, I figured I've got it right then.

Next step was to check for the spark at the points.  I attached the leads to the battery and flicked the switch "on".  I slowly turned the dizzy counter clockwise until the points just began to open and I saw a spark flash.  I then tightened the dizzy in place.  However, I'm thinking I'll probably have to fine tune it a bit more once I actually get the engine started.  While I was spinning the hand crank looking for my oozing oil, I did catch a glimpse of the rotor and it was spinning around inside the distributor, so that confirmed that the dizzy had been mated with the oil pump.

The wider side of both the distributor and oil pump shafts are on the left. 
The male part of the dizzy (left) plugs into the tip of female oil pump (right).
Note, these are not the actual units that were pulled from the jeep.
After I installed the originals, I remembered that I should have taken a picture!

On another's a bit of a teaser for what's to come:  JEEP #2!  This is the one where I will use the frame from one '44 MB and mate it with the tub of a second '44 MB.  I'm thinking for this ordeal, I'll be starting a second blog.   Supposedly, this will be the one I sell.  (That's exactly what I said about the last one!!)

Houston, we have lift off.  For sale, as is.  Ran when parked.

Just a bit of rust-through.  Salvageable?

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Reflectors are Flecting

So, I notice it has only been a month since my last post.  Shame on me.  Truthfully, I am running out of exciting, dirty things to write about...with this jeep.  I have had two hiccups along the "Road to Rebuild" (was that a Bob Hope/Bing Crosby movie?) in October, though.  I'll delve more into that in a moment.  In the mean time, check out a fun, simple reflector restoration.
The jeep has four reflectors mounted on the rear corners of the tub:  two on the sides and two on the rear.  My reflectors were all grungy and faded, so I disassembled them, cleaned them up and with two of them, I replaced with new red reflectors.  I haven't been able to procure NOS (new, old stock) reflectors, so I settled for (yes, it REALLY pains me to state this) modern reflectors bought cheaply from the Tractor Supply store.  I figure now that I've got the parts cleaned, I can always easily disassemble and reconfigure with NOS reflectors...if we ever cross paths.
Here is what I started with after a little date with the wire wheel.

Backside:  a bit rusty, but definitely serviceable.

Removing the lens:  I used a plastic pipe, cap and press.  The pipe was slightly smaller in diameter so I would press a bit on ones side, and then move the pipe to press in another area.  Working slowly and patiently helps the does a squirt of penetrating oil on the back side.

The lens, the cap and the housing.  The cap just pressed out of the rear of the housing.

Cleaned and primed.

Painted OD.

Assembly.  The lens is centered in the housing with a rubber gasket on it's rear.
 The cap was just pressed back into place.

Three of the four reflectors were done.
 The fourth reflector, an original one, will be swapped out one day with one of the replacements.  It still has a thin layer of something unknown across it.  I need to figure out how to clean it first! 
Passenger side installed!
So that was the easy peasy fun part.  The hiccups occurred when I thought I would take the jeep out for a joy ride.  The first (and only) time I drove it, I had a temporary gas tank strapped to the side of the jeep.  Now, I wanted to fill the actual tank with gas and make sure all of the fuel lines and fuel filters (I have two- an in line and the original firewall mounted filter) worked.  Well, I double check all of the lines and then poured 5 gallons into the tank.  I disconnected the line at the firewall filter and sucked and puffed and discharged enough hot air that something should have happened...but nothing did.  I wrapped the line with a towel and wedged it into my shop vacuum...still nothing.  In the end, it turns out that the intake line deep inside the tank was clogged.  I drained the gas, removed the tank and set about unclogging the clog.
The clog occurred just after the 90 bend in the internal tube.  Coat hangars and copper wires didn't do a darn thing. Compressed air and high pressured water didn't do the trick, either.  I needed something flexible, yet with drill power like a plumbing snake.  Unfortunately, I do not think they make them that tiny.  In the end, I used a broken speedometer cable attached to a power drill.  PROBLEM SOLVED!
I reconnected all of the fuel lines and installed the tank.  I was now able to get fuel to the carburetor!  Great!  I installed a new battery and the jeep screamed to life immediately...just like it is supposed to!  I shoved the camera in Sarah's hands so she could film the ride from the rear seat and backed out of the driveway.  THAT'S WHEN I NOTICED HICCUP #2:  ZERO OIL PRESSURE.
I immediately shat myself and then slammed it into first gear.  1.5 seconds later I shut it down in the safety of the garage.  I disconnected the oil gauge line...and found oil.  I hand cranked the jeep hoping to witness a geyser spew from the open line....nothing.  I shot some compressed air through the line and heard it come out into the oil sump.  I removed the sump tank and recleaned the oil pick-up line.  It looked alright, but I cleaned it anyhow, but I still can't get oil to flow.  I re-primed the pump...still no oil flow.
Currently, I have disassembled a second pump from my parts stash and am cleaning it up.  So far, it checks out to be within tolerable specs.  My plan is to 1. remove the existing pump from the engine and inspect.  Hopefully I will find something out of the ordinary.  If not, #2 will be to install the second pump and give it a go.  #3 could be buying a new pump.  We shall see!  I'll report back when I know something!
...until then, I'll be parked in the garage enjoying some vibrant reflectors!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Inner Windshield and Jerry Can Straps on 15 Dimes.

The inner windshield that originally came with this jeep is in REALLY sad shape.  Perhaps one day I will tackle its repairs, but not today.  Instead, I am using another inner windshield to complete this project.  This one is fairly just needs a solid cleaning and removal of all of the "goo" that was used to hold the long gone glass panes in place.

Here is the replacement inner windshield before its day at the spa.

One of the broken screws that need to removed.

From this distance, it really doesn't look too bad. 
It looks so much worse in person.

Lots of gooey caulk that needs to be scraped.

Another view of the channel.

The corner is just a bit askew.

Let the cleaning commence!

I drilled the broken bolt out, but I carved it just a bit too wide
 so that I am unable to re-thread it to hold the original "replacement" bolt.

A cleaner channel!


The other inner windshield frame (that was in too bad of shape to repair right now) had two panes of glass still intact.  Although they aren't original, I thought that I would use them for the interim period.  All was going well until I was removing the LAST corner of the bracket and like a dumkopf, I used the ABSOLUTE wrong spot for leverage...the corner of the window.  CRACK goes the glass.  However, the pane still held its shape and I was able to remove it without it disintegrating.  I used some glass glue in a vain attempt to stabilize it.  I figure for now, it will be reused and just add more of that "character" that seems to be defining this jeep!
The edges are taped.  Instead of using the official rubber window tape,
 I am using fabric tape (3 strips deep) to secure it inside the channels.
This is not the infamous cracked glass.

Both panes taped and waiting for the upper channel bar to be bolted in place.

All systems go!  And if you are wondering, the cracked corner now sits in the lower passenger side. 

I used a razor blade to carve the excess tape away from the edges in order to give it a cleaner look.
 My other simple project I did was to make a Jerry (or is it Gerry?) can strap for less that $2.00.  Actually, it was closer to a buck fifty.  No, it isn't 100% factory correct, but it could be stretched to period correct if pressed.  I used an old M1 Garand canvas shoulder strap that I bought locally for $1.00.  I measured it against the straps on my GPW to get the correct lengths.  After cutting and threading them through their respective holes, I used four split rivets on each piece to secure the strap against itself.  I have an old buckle that I could have used, but that would have meant doing some sewing and I just didn't feel like going the distance on this one.  Instead, I just used the buckle that was already attached to the sling.  The hardest part of this project was poking the awl through the canvass...and it wasn't that difficult to do!
The straps are attached. 
Pictured inside the Jerry Can holder is a rolled up M1 sling and a set of the split rivets that were used.

Although not correct, the canvas strap is VERY weathered!  (i.e. character!)
The other item of note is that I finally got around to wiring the back end of the jeep and installing the tail lights.  It wasn't so monumental that I thought it deserved any pictures.  Sorry.
I have finally ordered a gallon of paint, so the next big chart topping order will be to give it another coat or two and make it (basically) all one color.  That will be fun to see!  I'll let you know when it happens.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Sporting My Speedo (speedometer, duh)

Let me make it very clear before continuing will not see me in a speedo.  With that said, I'm sure I will lose a couple of readers, but for the rest, here is what little bit I did to the speedometer.
The speedo that was in this MB's dash is a wartime correct Motometer speedometer.  I know this because it said "Motometer" on the backside.  Wartime correct because it has the trip meter and 60 MPH max.
When I pulled it from the dash, I could reset the trip meter without any issues.  That was a good sign.  However, the negative part is that it appears that somewhere inside, something is hindering the the gears from spinning.  The overall condition looks good, so I'm hoping there is just some hardened gunk jamming the clock-like gears.
It all begins with prying the bezel away from the canister and then removing a few token screws and such from the rear.
As is like the day I pulled it out.

Using a paint can opener to begin prying the lip away from the canister.
Patience and a few rotations around the loop will make it nice and neat.

The backside.  When removing it from the dash, I broke the upper part of the mounting screw off. 
That was an upsetting moment.  (broken mount at the 8:00 position)

This is the order that the small parts go for the trip meter reset switch.

Bezel and glass have popped right off.  Note: be weary of the needle and the 10 and 20 marks...
...they are painted with some sort of radium so they will glow at night.

The number dials look great, as do all of the internal gears.

Nothing particular, just pictures to help me remember where things go...if I need to disassemble further!
Check out the small brass plug at 3:00 o'clock on the large threaded shaft at the bottom of the mechanism. 
This is the oil hole and will come back into play in a few moments!

I wonder what the "L" was for?

Internally, it looks very clean.

Watch makers hand puller in place to remove the needle.
Originally, I had grandiose thoughts of removing the needle and then taking the entire mechanism apart for a deep, thorough cleaning beyond the magnetic housing.  I could not get the needle to budge and I had read too many horror stories of needles snapping off the shaft.  I didn't have the courage to do anything that I felt was excess force to remove it.  I stood down.  I hope Aramis in Croatia isn't too disappointed in my lack of courage.
Instead, I removed the brass plug on the rear side and was able to spray a little carb cleaner in there and pull out (with a dentist's pick) little bits of dried greasy gunk.  This is the oil hole and it was supposed to have a wick in it.  I did not see a wick anywhere and it wasn't like there was a whole lot of room for anything to hide down there.  I could now use my thumb and forefinger to spin the mechanism that controls the needle.  I let a few drops of 3 in 1 oil go down the hole and the gauge began to spin without any resistance.  I then inserted the end of a broken speedo cable into the rear hole and could spin the needle with ease.  I'm hoping all it really needed was some fresh oil.
The gauge was then carefully reassembled.  I cut the shank off of another screw and welded it onto the broken wing nut stud and filed it down so it could be used again.  The gauge was then fitted with the speedo cable and secured in the dash.  Before attaching the other end of the cable to the transfer case, I spun it for good measure and watched the gauge reach 50 MPH.  Sweet. 
And do not fret; the cable was thoroughly cleaned after picking it up off of the road from the other day (the lost jeep part) and graphite powder was reapplied before running it though the sheath.
The dashboard with all original working gauges!
Well, at least 3 out 4 work...I don't have a gas sending unit to check the fuel gauge.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

More Odds and Ends: Bolt-on Bonanza!

I just realized how long it has been since I have given any updates.  I have to admit, that nothing I post now can equal the excitement of the FIRST DRIVE that was talked about in the previous post.  Although that has been, by far, the pinnacle achievement of this project, the project is still far from being finished...if, at all, ever finished!  I say that because there are still things on my good jeep that I would like to fix, replace and change and it has been six years since I started working on that one.  That is just the standard operating procedure with antique vehicles.

On a side note, I do have a story to tell about the aftermath of that historic first drive.  It is funny, at least, when my wife tells it.  The following morning I ventrured into the garage and did a bit of snooping around expecting to find some massive puddle of something somewhere underneath the jeep.  Well, nothing evil was lurking, so while I was patting myself on the shoulder for being such a superb mechanic, I saw the speedometer sheath hanging below the transmission, resting on the floor.  Although the speedometer is not in the dash at the moment, I have the sheath routed through to the transfer case.  (If you listen closely as I drive the jeep back home in the video of the previous blog, you can hear the "clink, clink, clink" of the speedo sheath dragging along).  Anyways, I grabbed the end of the sheath and realized that the actual cable that runs through the sheath and connects the speedometer to the transfer case was gone!!  Oh, oh....I've lost a jeep part!  Well, to wrap up this sideshow story, I walked down the street and found the cable lying in the road where I made the three point turn.  So, when I tell people that I have actually driven the jeep, Sarah chimes in with "and he dropped parts all along the way!"
Anyhow, I have gotten over (barely) the desire to stand down on this project now that it drives.  As always, I soon grow weary of the "current look" of the jeep and want to once again approve upon it.  So, I've been slowly grinding away at many of the bolt-on parts.  Some of them were packed away in boxes, and others had to be retrieved off of the parts jeeps.
Here is the list:  grab handles, rear bench seat, driver's side tool box lid, some of the top bow hardware, Jerry (or Gerry?) can holder, spare tire holder, bumperettes and the trailer socket with protective cover that fits into the driver's side tool box.  Last, but certainly not least, is an original front bumper to take the place of the one that "pranged a Jerry at a crucial intersection."
Bolt-on part staging area.

Bench seat (before)

Bench seat underside (before)

Bench seat cleaned

Ahhh...not so pretty from this angle! However, this is another shot of the cleaned bench seat.
At this point, I had to make a decision to either repair the swiss cheese or leave it be.  If I repair it, how should I go about it  The last bench seat I did looked very similiar to this one.  However, being very green to the situation, I feel like I took the wrong advice and went down a path that I now regret:  I used fiberglass.  (Yes, this is one of those things that I want to redo on the good jeep!)  I decided that the rear seat will end up being used so infrequently that I am going to stall on repairing the metal the correct way.  For now, I will trust that the seat cushion will provide the extra support and it will be fine.  This repair will be made eventually, but not immediately.

Bench seat primed and the tool box lid, too.

At this point, it is very easy to see everything that is newly cleaned and installed!

Just another shot of the "bolt-ons".
Trailer sockets.  The one I am restoring is on the right (in many pieces!). 
A second complete socket sits on the left in order to give you an idea of how this thing goes together. 
Again, I got carried away disassembling and forgot to take pictures.

Cleaned, re-assembled and installed in driver's side tool box.

A look from the rear of the jeep.

A looksy inside.  I used an old tire tube to cut the rubber gasket. 
That would be Sharpe marks that you see, since I obviously can't cut on the line.
The last major sub-project is the bumper.  I removed this one off of the last and worse looking jeep that I dragged home.  Although it is virtually a compete, original bumper, it is in very sad shape.  It is bent in a pathetic figure "S" shape and has holes and separations in various places.  All of these joints need to be straightened and welded.
Front bumper (before)

Front bumper upright (before)
Most of the repairs were straight forward welds after straightening the bumper.  The torn edges were pressed back into alignment prior to welding.  There is one spot on the bottom portion of the bumper where the bolt hole has rusted away.  I'll be cutting that area out and replacing it with good steel.
Small area on the underside that will replaced.

Some of the weld marks that still need to be ground down and smoothed out.
Front bumper just siting in place.  It is a lot straighter, but still retains some of its "character".
In order to mount the bumper, I need to make sure the four front frame gussets are in proper alignment. The driver's side seems fairly straight, however, one of the bolt holes has been ripped away on the lower gusset. I have cut the replacement corner off of one of the poorer gussets on one of the parts jeeps and it will be welded into its propert place.
Soon to be replaced area!
Area to be cut.

Doner part from parts jeep clamped in place.

Not quite good as new, but should clean up fine.
 Now, on to the last bad spot on the bumper...
I began to cut the area away when I remembered to take the picture for posterity's sake.

New metal in place. 
I will drill the hole once I finally get the bumper in place on the jeep and three of the four bolts in their proper place

I suppose, compared to the rest of the bumper, the rear edge is too straight!
It is now time to grind away all of the weld marks to see the results and then I'll prime.  I can't yet install the bumper because I am awaiting the arrival of a package-o-parts that contains the reinforcing block of wood that fits inside the bumper.  It should be here next week.  For now, let's check out the finished product.  I'm very pleased with it.

Primed bumper sitting in place.  The jeep kind of looks like it has a black eye or a pirate's eye patch. 
The reflective materials inside the head lamp had turned black at some point in its life. 
Not quite sure what to do about it, except stomp my peg leg and say" Aaarrrggghhh, matey."

It isn't perfectly straight, yet it isn't an "S" anymore, either! 
However, it does fit the overall "lived-in" condition of the rest of the jeep.