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.


Sunday, September 9, 2012

D-DAY or D-DAY + 1? She is mobile!

Or perhaps the title should be around the block in 366 days?  Or possibly, "I just got to second, but was too nervous to try for third."  Regardless, I just put the auto in mobile!
Yesterday was the one year anniversary of when I first performed any work at all on these rustbuckets.  The work I did was just cleaning all of the debris out of the tub, too.  Well, I thought it would be a fun to celebrate the anniversary of that date by actually going for a ride in the Rustbucket.  Thus, September 8th was deemed D-Day.
I spent the first half of yesterday chasing down fuel pump issues.  Amazingly, the pump had failed.  I pulled it and rebuilt a different one (CJ2A model) that was sitting on the shelf.  Its fun to have junk on the shelves that you end up using...the fuel pump and a fuel pump rebuild kit! 
With the pump rebuilt AND confirmed that it works (I used a vacuum gauge and could see pressure on both the inlet and outlet holes), I installed it in the jeep and was ready for the big ride.  Well, now something was amiss in the carbureator.  The jeep would start, but not stay running at idle.  After a few emails back and forth to David in Germany, he set me on a great path for fixing a stubborn needle valve in the carbureator bowl.  However, I missed D-Day.
This morning I went back to work on the carbureator.  This time I overcooked it and created a small version of Niagra Falls flowing out of the carbureator.  Yikes!  Luckily, when the jeep started, the fire extinguisher was not needed!  Lets adjust the float level some more.
Also, with the flooded carb means that I most likely flooded the manifold.  And, once again, David came through from 4400 miles away.  "Pull the plugs, wipe them down, crank the engine to blow the excess gas out."  That is all it took!
I wish I had taken some pictures of all of this, but I was too busy tracking down the gremlims to deal with a camera.  Sorry.  Looking back, it would have been fun to see.
The joy began with the unexpected starting of the jeep.  Once I toyed with the throttle to keep it idling, I REALLY wanted to see if the transmission would work.  Hindsight says that I should have adjusted the idle mixture screw before driving, but seriously, who had time to think?
Jack came running out from behind the house and was excited.  I told him to run inside and find Sarah.  She came out and took a few pictures.  If it wasn't for her, none of this would have been documented.
Testing out reverse, first and the brakes.
 After feeling somewhat confident in the driveway, I REALLY wanted to see if I could successfully run it through all of the gears.  I think I surprised everyone (everyone being Sarah, Jack and Nora) when I backed out of the driveway and headed up the street.  It was an uphill thinking was if it crapped out, it would be easier pushing it back home. 
Jonesing to get it into second gear!
Note the makeshift gas tank strapped to the side.  No, that is not a tribute to Bubba, although he would appreciate it.  I have cleaned out the actual gas tank and have run all of the gas lines.  However, one of the little pessimistic voices in my head was warning me, "What if something isn't right?  Hook it up, and you have THAT much more to undo when you need to take this all apart."  Hence, the plastic tank on the side for test purposes.
I never got it fast enough or went far enough to get it to third gear.  However, I was successfully maintaining second gear (no popping out!), so that satisfied me for today!  Whle driving, I could also hear a "tink, tink, tink" noise.  At first I thought it was Tinkerbell, but it turns out it was the speedometer cable bumping along the road...I haven't repaired the speedo, yet, and the cable is not connected at either end.  Good, that mystery noise problem is solved!
So, D-Day + 1 (or 366 days later!), this jeep is driving!  Oh, and the other miracle was that the front bumper stayed on throughout the entire drive.  I think it was because I was secretly blessed by Father John when I turned around in his driveway near the top of the hill.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


I've got a minor milestone here...its been ONE YEAR since my first blog about the restoration of MB 307786...let's do a pictorial review to see exactly how we got here!
The first day I set my eyes upon the maidens...

One year ago this beauty rolled into my garage.

Most everything is there, albeit quite dirty.

Yes, that is the air filter down below.

Driver's side cowl step.  One of just many areas that needed this kind of attention.

Passenger side

The solid rear panel was once made into a tailgate and then made back into a solid rear panel. 
It was butchered, so I removed the panel and reworked it for a better fit.

Better...but still A LOT left to do.

Tub off and resting comfortably upside down. 
It would remain in my driveway through the winter months while it was cleaned and repaired.

And with the tub removed, I could get down and dirtier with the chassis.

This is a postwar (possibly M38) engine.

The front end of the chassis has been cleaned.

More cleanliness.  Rear cross member needs to go...AWAY!

...and there it goes!

Leaf of four packs.

Rear axle- removing the old brakes.

Front axle- removing the king pin bearings and spindles.

Front axle cleaned, primed and painted OD.

The disassembled T84 transmission.  Now, where did I put that thingymajingy?

Have ye no faith?  T84 assembled.

Trying to bust a nut on the transfer case.  Yes, this set up did work, too.

New rear cross member in place.

Remember that nut I was busting?  She cleaned up nicely, eh?

Painting day.  First coat of OD.

I taketh apart, and have putteth it back together.

Adjust the tappets on the '42 GPW engine.

Flipping the '42.  Saying I was very nervous was an understatement on this day. 
I feared the crash and kaboom.

The '42 painted Ford grey.
Lots of mess:  good jeep left, chassis, right, tub upside down back left, and '42 engine center rear.

Settling in.

After the engine was in place, I rolled everything out for some sunshine the following morning.

The first start and we had 25lbs of oil pressure at idle.
Celebratory fist pump after we landed the tub.
Inspector General checking up on me.

Remember the second picture in this line-up?

This redone engine compartment looks SO MUCH better than on day 1.

Outer windshield and a lot of holes.

No denying that this IS a jeep.

Going through and working the electrical system one connection at a time.
Chairs and gas tank sitting in place; gas lines and bolt-on parts ready for the call. 
Perhaps this weekend?

Another shot of the interior taken today.
A lot has happened in one year.  These are just the high points and by no means attempts to show EVERYTHING involved.  All of the details are discussed in the previous blogs.  I have taken several hundred pictures along the way and it was a lot of fun to look back over them today.  It is also very gratifying seeing the "before" shots and remembering the amount of fun, sweat, aggravation, challenges, and determination that was involved to get it this far.  Oh, did I mention sweat?  Yes, I did?  Oh, well double that anyways.  It is quite hot here.  It has come a long way, but I'm not finished, yet!  This old veteran has given me quite the punch list to do before it can be considered close to finished.