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.


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