Sunday, August 19, 2012

NOTHING TO SHIELD YOUR HAIR IN THE WIND: A Journey Around the Outer Frame.

Well, the windshield restoration got off to a precarious beginning...I thought I'd get clever and use the windshield frame that already had the inner windshield removed.  Also on this frame, the ORIGINAL hardware for the canvas top was in place, too.  Bonus.  The frame appeared to be sturdy and solid, and I did not find ANY rust-through areas.  Double bonus.  The down side to this windshield is that it IS of WWII MB vintage, it was not the windshield that I removed from the jeep.  Yes, that is a big strike.  Do not fret, oh legion of loyal blogsters, unnoticed at the time and thus deeming this one currently unacceptable, which in turn becomes unusable, this windshield frame was missing the riveted-in arms that allow the inner part to swing open.  Darn, missed it the first look-over.

So back to the original.  And the original has it's own set of issues.  The first and foremost is that the inner frame that holds the glass is going to need some serious repairs.  Luckily, it isn't of urgent nature and that part of the restoration will take place at a later date.  However, there are some areas on the outer frame that definitely need to be addressed before painting and mounting on the jeep.

Interior view BEFORE

Exterior view BEFORE
 The first challenge came in the form of needing to remove the inner frame before cleaning everything.  I squirted a healthy amount of penetrating oil into the hinge area in order to loosen things.  I had to use vice grips to persuade the smaller screws on the push-out arms in order to remove them.  Everything came apart without any mishaps.
Inner frame removed.

Along the bottom edge of the outer exterior frame, there is an extensive amount of rust-through.
 Lets clean this up and see exactly how bad it really is!

And there we have it....

The exterior is cleaned and now we really get a good idea of where all of the bad metal is: all along the bottom portion.
Luckily, I did not uncover any other unexpected issues.
Things could be worse.  I should be able to patch these areas without having to replace the entire outer skin.  The difficult part is that the metal is a very thin gauge, which is prone to over heating when welding and is easy to burn through it.

I carved the front skin into five different zones that needed replacements and then two small holes that I could just weld shut.  With having the compromised metal AND the fact that the skin is so thin (I was using 22 gauge steel to replace it), I needed to make sure that I carved enough out to get back to the healthy metal, but in turn I didn't want to needlessly remove more original metal than necessary. 
I cut my replacement pieces and then traced them across the compromised areas. 

Before cutting out the other four, I thought I would weld the first replacement panel in place just to see if I could do it without burning holes everywhere.  If successful, then I could continue down this path.
 Here is one tip that I did that made fitting the new pieces a lot easier than in the past.  Since I was using a Sharpe marker to trace the pieces, I made sure I cut the old steel out just inside my lines.  I did this because the Sharpe tip was just about the same width as the cutting disc.  In the past, I would often have a hole a little larger than anticipated.  This time, my replacement pieces fit quite well.

Also, because the steel is so thin, I did not weld in area for very long so as not to overheat.  I pulled the trigger three quick times and then moved to an opposite side and repeated.  I worked my away around the seams very similar to the technique used to tighten lug nuts.
Number one solidly in place and without any ill side effects!  All systems go.

Two down, number three is on deck.

Once finished with the front, I flipped it over and very quickly hit the seems from the back.

Hard to see, but I have smoothed out all of the seams.

Solid and smooth!
All in all, I was VERY PLEASED with the outcome.  And truthfully, I will be a whole heck of a lot happier knowing that I restored and reused the original out frame.  I was hesitant to weld the thin metal, but in the end, I did some of my better welds. 
Primed and installed.

I wonder how long I will be able to stand it before I HAVE to paint it? 
I hope long enough to get the seats and smaller bolt-on items ready so I can paint all at once!
Don't even get me started on the bumper.  I'm starting to like it.

Going for that rustic "motor pool" look.
Alright, I am going to make a gigantic confession now.  Don't get your knickers in too big of a twist because it isn't that ginormous, but it is kind of funny.  Remember how I was questioning the originality of the hood?  Well, it was really bugging me so I decided to do a pictorial review.  I discovered that the (above pictured) hood WAS NOT, indeed, removed from this jeep.  The pictures told the truth:  the original hood has lots of blue paint and did not have the lube chart envelope, not the grease gun bracket, but the hood I cleaned did.  A-Ha!  So, I found the original hood stashed in the rear of the other parts jeep.  Besides the hood I cleaned, I have six other hoods in hibernation.  Easy mistake to make, right?  Now, because of my historical integrity, I will have to clean the original hood.  At least I have another chance to find those numbers!

1 comment:

  1. The bumper looks great, mate -just say you pranged a Jerry at a crucial intersection!