Monday, August 13, 2012

The Lights at the End of the Tunnel

I couldn't help myself.  I tried to sit back and admire the jeep, especially viewing it from how it looked when I dragged it home in September 2011 to its current rejuvenated appearance.  Yes, it does look so much better, even healthier.  However, it just looks plain silly without the headlights in place!  I'm sure you can clearly see where this is going...

I took them both apart, cleaned them up and then gave them a coat of primer yesterday.  The passenger side bracket had a braze repair sometime in its past and I just left it "as-is."  It is fine, maybe a little lumpy, but mechanically sound.  The driver's side bracket had a crack that traveled midway through it, so that needed to be welded.  From what I have seen in the past, this was a common location in the headlight brackets for cracks to appear.

Here is the story in pictures:

The pair of sealed beam headlights patiently waiting.

Step One:  Remove screw on retaining bracket and the light pops out.

Step Two:  Disconnect sealed beam bulb.

Step Three:  Remove the nut on the hinged bracket. 
This proved to be the most difficult step due to its stubbornness on both lights.

Step Four:  Remove bucket from hinged bracket and pull the wiring harness out.

Step Five:  CLEAN!

This is the large crack on the driver's side hinged bracket.

Not too bad.  It should clean up just fine.

Scar has been ground down.


Painted. This was the second hardest part of the operation.  I am down to one can of OLD paint and it likes to fight me to the bitter end!  It prefers to spray paint all over me and drip out of the spout (when it decides to let its precious paint out of the can).  The only saving grace to the operation was that I found a new nozzle and it seemed to work decently AFTER the paint dripped out at the nozzle's base for a few moments.  No worries because I outsmarted it...I had on my latex gloves! HA.

This gratuitous shot was taken with Nette in mind. 
This is a test, Nette, to see if you are still reading this! 
Jack is tightening the bolts that secure the headlight brackets to the grill.
I think the bunker makes it look like it is frowning. 
Maybe it will be happier when I install the air filter and clean the hood.

Interior shot of the everything, but mainly I was showing the routing of the headlight wires.

Here is where they all come together and tie into the line that runs to the 6-post junction on the firewall.
All in all, I think this project turned out satisfactory.  I have two qualms with it and if you want to know them, then continue reading. 

Issue #1  The light bulbs are 12 volts, but the jeep is 6  volts.  This means blackout condition driving.  No big deal, I will eventually change the lights out for the correct 6 volt bulbs.  I just want them in for now to make it look nicer.

Issue #2  Although I have reproduction/replacement wiring, I reused the original headlight and blackout light wires.  I inspected them and they were in fairly good shape, especially the blackout marker light wires.  The part of them all that was bad and disintegrating when touched was the outer protective sheaths.  I removed them and put new sheaths around the wires.  The part that I have the issue with is the line running from the passenger side headlight.  Due to the long length, I just couldn't snake both original black and red wires through the sheath.  I ended up running two sheaths from that headlight across the grill.  If I'm to use the original wires, it is probably safer this way, anyhow.  I do take solace in the fact that you really can't notice that I doubled up in the pictures!

I think my next projects will be the hood and possibly the windshield.  Or the air filter and speedometer.  Or perhaps I'll clean up some seats so I can sit and read this blog.  Or maybe I'll get cracking on the gas tank.  Or I'll run the wires for the rear tail lights.  Or I should go help Buzzsaw with his jeep.  He has tracked down four highly coveted (by me!) tacks so I can install the last two pieces of grill welting and it just so happens, I can use 'em!

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