Monday, February 27, 2012

"Honey, have you seen my transmission?"

Stymied, stonewalled, and snookered.   Or perhaps I just had to throw my monkey wrench at the pigeon hole.  Nevertheless, it all added up to nothing.  Zilch, zip and zeroed out...again.  The front axle has been never-ending.  Twice, now, I have neglected to notice some key parts that needed to be replaced, so I halted my moving forward at a snail's pace progress to procure these necessary parts.  This time, I knew about the two outer axle shaft oil seals...but flat out forgot to order them.  And, of course, I cannot assemble ANYTHING until I get them in place.  Replacements are in transit now.  The other miserable part is that these seals were eventually upgraded to bushings (to stop oil/grease migration AND offer support to the axle shafts), but I cannot find a source that has these bushings in stock.  Oddly enough, this is happening with several smaller jeep parts.  Time to start buying all of the pork barrels. 

I began the weekend thinking I could feasibly get that front axle assembled.  When I realized THAT wasn't going to happen, I wanted to justify the shipping for my online order to my "jeep parts guy", so I inventoried my disassembled (correct) T84 transmission.  I've decided that the transmission will be the next part of this puzzle after the axles have been installed.  This jeep was originally purchased with a very usable T90 postwar transmission.  I found, along my merry way, a good AND correct T84 model so I can bring it closer to its WWII configuration.  Luckily, it arrived to my doorstep disassembled and mostly clean.  The downside is that it was disassembled and there are lots of small, intricate pieces...that may or not be there...and IF they are there, they may or may not be within specified usable tolerances.  So, before I bought those two damned axles oil seals (for a whopping $3.00 a piece), I would inventory the transmission and order whatever replacement parts are necessary.

Step One:  Locate the box with transmission parts.

It was under my nose.  Lower, right corner of this picture. 
See the white box below the frame and to the right of the engine block holding all of my rags?  Yep, there it is!

Ahhh, there she is!  Thought I had lost it for approximately six minutes while I rummaged through the garage of goodies.   I did find lots of little treasures along the way.

After finding it, I removed the bags of parts one at a time and with my trusty old Technical Manual SNL G-503 exploded parts view (FIGURE 07-1 TRANSMISSION ASSEMBLY), I began sorting my way through this oily mess.  Most everything was there and a few parts were outside of the range of acceptable specs.  Two major gears were unusable, but fortunately I already had a replacement for one of them.

Tagged and bagged.  I now know what the hell I'm looking at. 
Its been a few years since I was elbow deep in one of these.
Arrows indicate three chipped teeth on the cluster countershaft gear and one chipped tooth on second gear.  I had a replacement second gear in my own stock; had to order the cluster gear, though.

This transmission was made by Ford.  The housing looks to have been made by Frank Foundry and casted on 11-22-1944.  The date code stamped onto the housing appears to read that this transmission was assembled on 12-14-1944.

14=14th day of Month, 44=1944  The "M" will reference the month.  However, there isn't a 13th month (at least according to my fingers and toes) so I am guessing it is December and a letter was omitted somewhere along the way.  This at least goes with the November casting marks.  If my theory is wrong, please feel free to respond.
Bend your head sideways and notice the triangle by the circle.  The triangle indicates the housing was made by Frank Foundry (a 1944 supplier).  Also, prominently displayed, is the Ford GPW marks.  The rectangle below the circle has the casting date of 11-22.  NOTE:  the nail punch (lower right) is sitting in a cavity that holds a spring and steel ball.  The ball is being stubborn so I am soaking it in penetrating can blow at any time!
 Maybe the punch will stop me from losing the ball
So, lets recap...The jeep has a Willys tub, frame and lots of small Willys parts.  Both axles and tranmission are Ford.  I have a Ford transfer case sitting in the shed that I will most likely mate up with this transmission.  Now, I'm leaning towards dropping my '42 Ford engine in this jeep.  And in conclusion, with all of these massive Ford parts, this jeep might be parked just beyond Stacy's horizon!  (you might have to wait for jeep #2!)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Look, Finally Finished Front Leafs

Since I had some time to kill while waiting on the replacement parts for the front axle, I figured I would go ahead and try to finish up one of the projects that I have been avoiding, but would HAVE to be completed before I could install the axle to the frame:  the front leaf spring packs. 

Taking them apart and cleaning them up was fun...and easy.  I enjoy that kind of dirty job.  The part I wasn't looking forward to was having to make the eight clips that wrap and support the spring packs.  Granted, the clips aren't too overly complicated to build, its just a lot of the same thing over and over and over and over (and multiplied by two at this point) again.  However, I did try to buy replacement clips, but the roadblock I continued to encounter was "sold out."  OK, fine.  I did manage to get one original NOS (New Old Stock) clip and it was the larger of the two sizes.  I decided to use that one as my template and design the others off of it.  When I did the rear springs, I only had to make maybe two of the clips and I used the pre-existing, already mounted clips as my template. 

I needed some steel so I went to Lowes.  Compared to the original clip, it looked like the correct thickness is something between 16 gauge and 1/4".  And whatever the correct thickness may be, Lowes does not stock it.  I opted on the side of stronger, so I went with the 1/4" thickness.  Besides, they sold it in lengths of 36" (which gave me approximately 6"-8" of overstock per leaf pack) AND it was in the absolute correct width (1.25"), so I would only have to measure lengths and then cut!  Easier Peasier.

I'll make this easier peasier for you, too...below are a few pictures of the springs upon disassembly and through the cleaning process.  I know it would be asking a lot of you to scroll back to the prevous blog to refresh your memory.  

Front, passenger side disassembled and junking up my work bench.

Same spring as above but AFTER having a "what for" with my wire brush on the hand grinder. 
Then, for flavor, sprayed down with a chemical to help with the war on rust.

Primed with some dull gray.

Driver's side after the "what for" wire brushing and chemicals applied.
I managed to save the bolt on the passenger side spring pack, but the driver's side looked a bit suspicious, so I replaced it.  With the center bolt installed, I now needed to get the clips in place.  I upgraded my technique that I used on the rear spring pack clips.  Each clip needs to be positioned in a specific location on a specific leaf.  There is a hole at the tips of the necessary leaf.  These holes coincide with a rounded bump on the inside of the clips. Despite the fact that the clips are hammered into place, the rounded bump fits snugly into the hole, thus helping to maintain the clips proper position.

On the rear spring clips that I made, I welded the bump into the underside of the clip.  This time, I drilled a small hole through the clip and then installed a self tapping screw with a head that would fit securely into the hole on the leaf.   Once screwed in, I just cut off the excess threads of the screw and then grinded it down to be level with the backside of the clip.  All would work well...assuming my measurements are correct.

Here is a view of the screw head and the hole it will live.  The spring back is braced in a vice and is waiting for the BFH.
Driver's side completed.

Driver's side.

Driver's side.  Evidently, I must have liked the driver's side.  I took enough pictures of it.

Both spring packs newly clipped and will soon be mounted to the frame.
Overall, I am pleased how the spring packs and clips came out.  I do wish that I could have been more consistant with the overall uniformity of the clips made.  However, since I am on the level of being an apprentice to the apprentice that shines the shoes of the apprentice to the blacksmith, I can live with the clips.   If I had been thinking before I whacked those suckers into place, I would have turned them around so one would have to be under the jeep to see the fasteners on them and then less than 1% of the population would be able to notice them!  Instead, I will let the next dumbass restorer deal with them in 65 years.

Next up...the parts for the front axle have arrived.  Hopefully throughout this week I can replace the worn out parts and get that guy back together.   Wow, serious flashbacks of the rear axle just ran through my head.  Better give me two weeks before I can roll it across the garage and mate it up with the leaf packs!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

F-ing Front Axle and Front Leaf Springs: In Progress

Technically speaking, since my last blog, I have made progress.  However, in my own head, it seems like I have done nothing but create big messes and leave lots of business unfinished.  I suppose I am guilty on all counts, too.  Here's an account of how it all went down...

The mystery F on the front axle.

So the mysterious "F" mark I found last week was covered with an inch of ancient, crusty dirt on the front axle.  This early 1944 Willys MB jeep has a pair of matching Ford axles.  Obviously they are not original to the jeep, but they are original to WWII.

I began by removing the leaf springs and then rolling the axle into the driveway.  I used the hand grinder and removed as much as the mess as possible, including the two tires.  Note to anyone attempting this:  loosen the lug nuts BEFORE removing the is possible to do it afterwards, but easier to do before!
Front axle and leaf springs removed.

Cleaning up commenced. 
The steering gear really gets in the way of the cleanup, so I removed the arms and linkage to gain better access.  I was hoping that if I removed the upper castle nut (pictured below), that would be enought to enable me to slide the linkage out.  Unfortunately, it was much too tight, so I ended up removing the brake line guards and the 4 nuts that hold the arm to the axle.  It was a bit more work, but in the end it was probably the right thing to do.  It would have to be removed anyway when I open up the steering knuckle and remove the shaft.
Passenger side arm/linkage amidst A LOT of dirt.

Driver's side...looks a lot like the other.

Steering linkage removed.

Most of the exterior is clean and primed.
With the exterior cleaned (minus the regions on the brake backing plate) I plopped the axle onto a moving dolly and rolled it into the garage to clean the hubs, replace the brakes, and replace the interior oil seals...the same process for the rear axle...but slightly different.
Part I:  remove flange bolts, hub cap, castle nut and use a puller to draw out the flange.

Luckily, the flange did not resist, and slid out very easily.

Behind the flange is the series of spindle nuts and washers that keeps the brake hub from falling off.
With a bit of persuasion, the hub came off and revealed the quite messy brake plate.

Hub and brake plate cleaned.  Steering knuckle is now the black sheep.

Pictured in this mess:  axle spindle, old knuckle seals (half-moon shaped things) and the knuckle itself (looks like a helmet at the end of the axle).  Inside the knuckle was probably 70 years of jeep soup with the main ingredients being grease and oil.  NASTY.
And herein lies the rub...I had ordered several replacement parts about two hours prior to this picture.  Two hours before I discovered that the two knuckle bearings (cones) and the races that they are seated in are worn out (I'm referring to the two circular holes on the side of the helmet pictured above).  Shittake mushrooms.  Hoover Dam.  Sure, I could buy them locally, but they are twice as expensive as the online store.  Consider I need two sets for each side of the axle, and the price skyrockets to about $140 locally.  I'll buy online and pay shipping for half of that.  Thus, progress was halted.  Hurry up and wait for parts to arrive.

The modern replacement seals for the backside of the knuckle were introduced around 1955/56.  The parts are slightly different than the wartime originals.  I am going to modify the originals to fit the modern parts, but still retain the original appearance.
The modern replacement is pressed steel and much thinner than the wartime part.

Original above, new below.
The original parts were four of the half moon pieces with felt and rubber wedged in between.  They would slide across the knuckle ball and keep the grease from oozing onto the outside of the axle.  The new system is a circular rubber seal that fits around the circumfrance of the ball joint, felt covering the rubber seal, and then two pieces of half moon pressed steel.  I am going to use the rubber and the felt seals and then grind down pins that are on the inside of the outer original half moon pieces.  It will look original, but have a better seal.

This is as far as I got.  I elected to clean up my mess and set it aside until the replacement parts arrive.  I figure that I will lose some parts as well as forget where they get installed if I clean up and dissassemble the second side.

With the axle progress impeded and the weekend here, I wanted to play with something on the jeep so I turned to the leaf springs.  Honestly, I wasn't looking too forward to them, mainly because I need to fabricate all of the clips.  They are not hard to do, just a bit time consuming.

The passenger side spring came apart very easily.  I even saved the center bolt (they both broke off on the rear springs).  The driver's side proved to be a bit more of a puzzle.  The shortest leaf was broken, and another was severely bent.  I had two other take-off spring packs from a nasty old busticated, rusticated jeep I bought for parts a few years ago.  So, between the three different spring packs, I was able to make one good one by mixing and matching.  The main downside to doing it this way was that I had to intermingle a couple of Ford leafs into the mix.  Of course Henry Ford made his leafs slightly different in appearance than Willys.
Driver's side...sitting where it dropped.

Passenger side.
Passsenger side separated and the preserved center bolt front, right.
Cleaned and rust preventative chemical applied.

Passenger side primed.
Driver's side separated.  Note the busticated leaf (small one) at the top.

Three for one combined set cleaned and waiting to be primed.
 Can you identify the Ford leaves?  #6 and #10 from the left. 
They are the ones with the corners cut off.

The leftovers.
And thus concludes this thrilling half assed/finished edition of Bo's Messy Garage.  Two halves definitely do not make a whole.  In this particular segment, two halves are just to parts not finished.  To complete both projects, I need to make the eight spring clips and assemble the springs.  As for the axle, it isn't even finished being cleaned yet!  I still have to clean the other side, install and set the brakes, and replace lots of seals, as well as the knuckle bearings.  Don't worry...I'll do another chapter on it all so you won't miss a thing!  Thanks for reading.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Leaf Springs: Tying Up Loose Ends

My box of parts arrived and included in the shipment was the new brass bushings that get inserted into the leaf spring eye-holes.  Each rear leaf spring needs one bushing and the old ones had worn'll see it in a picture.  A bolt goes through the bushing and it holds the end of the leaf spring to the chassis/frame.  There are grease fittings on the end of the bolts and it helps to keep everything lubricated.  Over time, the bolts/bushings stopped getting lube, thus it wears out the bushing beyond it life and will do damage to the leaf springs.

To begin with, I had to remove the remains of the old bushings.  I began with a 10 ton press, but the process was a bit cumbersome by myself.  If I had had an extra set of hands, it would have been easy to hold the leaf spring and keep the bushing lined up with the press.  I ended up placing the spring on my work bench, used a socket slightly smaller in diameter of the old bushing and used that BFH (Big Effing Hammer) and drove it out.  I sprayed a bit of PB Blaster lubricating oil on it and it practically fell out with my massive arm and hammer.

Tolls of the trade: punch, socket and big hammer. 
You can see the old bushing protruding out of the bottom of the spring eye-hole.

Just a close up of the bushing on its way out.

Whats left of the old bushing (left) and the replacement part (right).
With the old bushings out, the next step is to install the new bushing.  I did not want to damage the lip of the new bushings using a hammer and sharp blows, so I DID use the press to ease them in.
Spring is secured in place with the new bushing lined up to the eye-hole.

New bushing "pressed" into place.
 It is a VERY tight fit and should be fine for the next 50-60 years...especially with schedule lubrication maintenance.
The next step prior to installing the rear axle, I wanted to adjust the brakes to get them somewhat close to an acceptable position.  In order to get them in the required position, the upper part of the brake shoes needed to have approximately .008" gap from the edge of the drum.  The lower part of of the shoes needed to be at .005".  In order to achieve this, the eccentric screws on the rear of the brake backing plate needed to be adjusted.  To wrenches and a feeler gauge was all that was needed...and some patience.  To accomplish the adjustment, I even got to use one of my ancient old jeep tools.
The is a small slit that the feeler gauge is slid into (front).  It is currently measuring the gap at the upper ends of the forward brake shoe.  The wrenches in the rear are adjusting the eccentric screw to mind the gap. 
The skinny wrench is the old jeep tool made especially for this job.

The shorter wrench is tightening the bolt while the longer wrench is used to hold the eccentric screw in place to achieve the .008" gap between the shoe and the drum.  This had to be done on the two eccentrics and the two holding screws at the very bottom of the backing plate (.005" gap at the bottom).
With the brakes adjusted, the axle could now be installed.  After installation, I will go back and double check the brake positioning.  I will also remove the axle shafts, again, and recheck the tightness of the interior hub screws for proper torque.
Rear leaf springs and axle installed!  I painted the axle with the OD paint supposedly used on Ford's.  The rest of the jeep will be a slightly different shade of OD that will be representative of the Willys jeeps.  Details!

I love these pictures...they make me notice areas that haven't been painted as well as
 areas that I need to remove some more surface rust...just add it to the list! 
With the rear axle completed, time for something new...and as my teaser, check this out:
Another "F" uncovered!
I started on a new rusty old jeep part and found this massive "F" script right out of the gate.   Lightening has struck twice.  Can you guess where this one is?