Biscuit Research Archives

My Rebuild

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Robert Flores Illustrates Me & Biscuit

• CATEGORIES: Artists/Drawings, Biscuit, Features • TAGS: .

Roberto surprised me today with an illustration of me and Biscuit. How cool is that! Thanks so much! I’m even more handsome than I imagined, lol 😉

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Progress on Biscuit

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Features

Last week I dropped by my parents house to visit. Naturally, I also had some sonny-do chores to finish, including my annual ‘sweeping of the roof’. Their tall fir trees might look beautiful, but eventually fall from the limbs and have to land somewhere. How they all seem to reach the roof remains a mystery to me.

The good news is I did manage to get a little work done on Biscuit. After swapping rear leaf spring combinations more times than i care to count, I finally got a grouping that puts the jeep level and the pumpkin at the right angle. That completes the changes necessary for the rear. Now I just have to finish off the engine compartment, brake, and clutch changes. I’m in no rush as the next book is the priority project, but hopefully by years end the jeep will be running again.

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Biscuit Updates

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Features

Over the last couple of days I’ve been trying to get as much done as I can before my son arrives. As you can see, I’ve got the engine, transmission and transfer case installed. I’ve also updated all the rear brake lines and installed the new rear springs.

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Unfortunately, I dropped the engine down enough within the chassis (when I changed the engine mounts) that the transfer case output yoke is too level, resulting in sharp driveline drop. So, I’m having to drop the tranny and TC. I might have to twist the rear axle as well, but will waiting until I set the body on the frame to see how the rear pinion angle changes.

2014-07-15-biscuit-drivelineSo, more work ahead . . . This afternoon Colter and I will be heading to Gig Harbor to pick up Track Avenger 470cfm rebuilt carb I found on Craigslist. It will replace the old Carter 500 cfm that needed fixing.

 

 
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Biscuit’s New Disc Brakes

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Features
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The driver’s side new disc brake.

Before I get to the brakes, this past Friday Ann’s mother Rosemary decided to buy a motorhome. Well, not that she’d decided on Friday, but rather earlier in the week she caught the motorhome bug. After plowing through websites, stats and prices over a period of several days, she learned there was a local motorhome show happening. On Friday she and Ann went down to the show and found a 28′ Sunseeker. On Saturday, we brought it home.

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I bring this story up because I’d already been planning to head to Seattle for a few days to taken advantage of the nice weather and work on Biscuit. On Saturday I left with the understanding that Ann, her mother, and Ann’s aunt Kathy  planned leave on Saturday as well. They were going to drive the motorhome (Apparently nicknamed ‘Abby’ at this point) to Spokane, then head to Seattle to drop off Ann with me. Next, Rosemary would head south to Vancouver, before turning back toward Pasco.

They spent the night Saturday night in Spokane, but instead of going to Seattle, I got word on Sunday that Rosemary hijacked the plans and decided to head to Montana (with Ann and the wheel). Over the next few days they camped in several spots (Walmarts on two occasions — which offers free camping) in Montana and Wyoming.  After staying Thursday night in Yellowstone, they finally arrived late Thursday night back home in good spirits.

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Apparently the navigation in the motorhome doesn’t work well. They ended up traveling on this gravel road through western Montana on this gravel road at night.

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This World Market was right across the parking lot from the Walmart where they stayed in Billings. Not exactly my idea of camping, but they were having fun.

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Nice bit of art at the Little Big Horn Battlefield.

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This was a parking lot at the Cody, Wyoming, Walmart. I’ve seen worse campsites!

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Ann managed to take this photo on her phone from the camper. They were between Cody and Yellowstone NP.

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Biscuit Progress – Bump and Steer

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Features

2014-jeep-rebuild-may-june-david-jeep1For the last few days I’ve been in Seattle taking advantage of the nice weather to get some work done on Biscuit. Fortunately there weren’t too many ‘sonny-do’ projects, so I had a chance to get right to work.

First, I tackled the custom bracket I made for the transfer case. You might remember that I installed Dana 18 gears into a Dana 20 (a good way to improve the gearing) and turned the single Dana shifter into a dual shifter. When I built the bracket, I designed it to fit alongside the TH 350. I didn’t know it wouldn’t fit right against a T-18.

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As you can see, the side of the shifter bracket tong sits against the transmission. There was no room to attach a bolt on the backside of the tong.

Since the shifter bracket is more functional then beautiful, I reused most of the parts. I simply cut off the old tongs, welded them onto a plate, and welded the plate back onto the bracket.

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Not pretty, but works.

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The ‘finished’ bracket with some primer on it. You can just see the bolt that I welded to the back side to make it simpler to bolt the shift levers into place.

Next, since the transfer case sits slightly lower than it did before, I created a new side bracket. I made a template out of aluminum. To build the bracket I took a piece of an angle I had around the garage, cut it, and bent it into the shape of the template. Again, it’s nothing pretty, but gets the job done.

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Transfercase side support with primer on it (so it would photograph better).

As I explained in a post a couple weeks ago, while I was puling apart my jeep I discovered that the powersteering was rotating slightly as I spun the steering wheel. That’s a problem! So, I dedicated the last few days to fixing that problem and changing the way the front bumper connects.

The basic problem was that the stock power steering mount unit only used three of the four holes to attach the steering unit. Therefore, I planned to add a cross piece to provide a place for a fourth bolt to attach. However, that meant I had to cut the plate on top so the bolt could be attached and removed. And, since I was doing that, I figured I would change the way the bumper attached.

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The white arrow shows how the unit was rotating to the driver’s side.

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This arrow demonstrates where the power steering needed to attach.

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Here I’ve removed the bracket from the frame to provide a better look at it. This is the stock bracket from a 1973 CJ-5.

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This shows the cross brace I made from 1/2″ steel.

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Next up was the alternation of this top piece. You can see the outlines I’ve scratched into the plate.

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Using a cutting blade and a saws-it-all I removed chunks of the plate.

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Now it’s looking a little better.

Next off came the bumper:

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The length of the bumper in from of the jeep annoyed me a little. So, I wanted to remove a couple inches.

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The frame rail on the left has been cut back so the plate can fit snuggly over the custom front shackle. The far right frame rail has not been cut back yet.

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In order to bolt the bumper on to the front of the jeep, I created a set of flat plates and drilled some initial holes into them. The plates are tall so that I can weld a cross piece on to them. The cross piece will allow me to properly position the holes in the bumper with the holes in the plates.

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I clamped the new plates with the cross bracket onto the bumper so I could drill the holes. (for the pics I removed the clamps.

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With the bumper holes drilled, I can how set threads into the brackets.

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This is another view that shows the brackets, the cross piece and the tap at the far end.

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These are the brackets cut down and tapped. I had a little problem threading the hole on the lower right, which is why it doesn’t look quite right. It works fine though. I have also ground down the sides to make it easier to weld and fill the plates to the end of the frame.

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This show the plates welded and cleaned up on the end of the frame.

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This is a top view.

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This shows the bumper attached, everything painted, and the power steering affixed to the new and improved bracket. 

With those projects out of the way I turned my attention to the engine I bought from Daryl last summer. I discovered the motor has stock bores. The pistons appeared cleaned, but never run. The engine looks like it was rebuilt, but never run. The spark plug ends are clean and shiny.

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Me checking out the motor. It came without an intake manifold.

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With the head pulled I was relieved to see clean cylinders. Then I noticed there was no build up at all on the gaskets.

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The tops of the pistons showed they weren’t new, but they appeared to have been scrubbed cleaned.

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The underside of the heads show no carbon and the plugs look unused.

Given the engine looks unused, I’m not going to attempt to rebuild it. Instead, I’m going to run it as it is and focus resources on properly rebuilding my other motor (with its new heads and updated cam) later this year. In the meantime, I can run with this motor and focus on getting the other parts I need to get Biscuit running. Since they are both Buick V6s switching out motors at some future date won’t take very long.

Lastly, I thought you might enjoy seeing the welder I’ve been using. Dad tells me he got this Montgomery Ward classic as a hand-me-down from a local jeep builder (Al Carrol) in the late 1960s. It’s still works real well.

2014-jeep-rebuild-may-june-welder1 2014-jeep-rebuild-may-june-welder22014-jeep-rebuild-may-june-welder3I hope to return later this month to complete some more work. I will be updating the front brakes to discs. Thanks to R&P for the brake kit! I’m also hoping to have all the parts to install the drive train. Here are a few more parts I’ll be adding to the mix:

  1. Holley 390 carb (i have a kenne belle intake)
  2. Clutch kit & pilot bushing
  3. Brake Calipers for the new disc brakes
  4. Brake power CJ-7 unit with proportioner
  5. Bushings for my new rear emu springs (thanks to Mitch at ARB for helping out with those)
  6. Possibly a different set of headers (am waiting to see what I can find online)

So, stay tuned!

 

 
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Engine Mounts Done

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Features

I finished the engine mounts … and by finished I mean they are almost ready. They are welded and set in place, but still need some polishing and paint (as if they will be polished — maybe cleaned up a little more).  I have to pull the engine and go through it anyway, so there was no rush to get any more done.

I hadn’t planned on going through the trouble of redesigning how my engine sits within the frame, but removing the auto trans gave me more flexibility. I didn’t make the change lightly. I pondered, measured, eye-balled, used a level, and got out a crystal ball to see if I’d really be happy with the change. After all, it seemed like a lot of work for just a few inches gain. But, by making the changes I was able drop the engine slightly and shift it to the center between the frame rails. Yep, that seemed like a good idea, so I made the changes.

I wouldn’t call the mounts beautiful, but they are functional. They will be both welded to the frame and bolted (as a backup). Unfortunately, I took terrible pics (we didn’t bring our good cameras with us). Here’s a close-up of the passenger-side mount. You can’t really see the mount’s rear support, so the photo isn’t really helpful. The bolts are just placeholder bolts.

2014-05-15-jeep5As for the rear center mount, the creation of it started out smoothly. I was going to install a round tube between the two undercarriage tubs that support my tranny and tc. I jigged up the tube to-be-cut and cut a perfect pair of holes for sliding the tube onto the undercarriage tubes.

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The jig is holding the tub, which keeps it from spinning. The cutter created a perfect hole. So, why didn’t i use it? Because the installed tube was about a half inch too tall. Damn!

Once drilled, I tested the tube. That’s when I discovered it was barely too tall. I abandoned that plan for a simpler one.

After some scrounging in my very sad metal pile, I found some square tubing that was just the right size, so I drilled that and slide it between the cross members. Then I built a small mount with a rubber housing on top of that (which will be welded to the square tubing). Finally, I created a small piece that bolts to the T-18/TC adapter. The fit is good and solid and the rubber gives it some flexibility.

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This will make more sense once I weld the square tubing to the braced on top of it and paint it. But, I wanted to complete the engine mounts before finalizing the position of this back mount.

Here’s a photo from the side. You can see how the square tub fits in between the front and rear round tubing (fits tight enough that I didn’t have to weld it before putting the tranny/engine weight on it).

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Tomorrow we head back to Pasco for a while. I’m hoping to get back later this month to make more headway. Hopefully I’ll get better pics, too!

 

 
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Perfect Weather for Biscuit Work

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Features

On Monday I spent the day repairing Mom and Dad’s tractor mower, fixing Mom’s computer, getting the chainsaw and weed eater working, and more. Dad made sure I was doing everything right, as you can see in this photo.

dad-david-workingOn Tuesday I got a chance to work on Biscuit. I started by cleaning up the frame some more so that I could deciding how the engine, tranny and tc would be mounted. The T-18 I’m installing is a bit shorter than the automatic TH-350 I’m replacing, which is the reason for the redesign.

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Here’s where I started today.

When I bolted the T-18 to the adapter to the Dana 20/18 (Dana 20 housing, Dana 18 gears) I discovered my custom mount is too tight against the T-18. So, I’m going to have to alter that.

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Updates Friday Evening

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit

I’ll do some updates later tonight.

Here’s a photo of Biscuit, undressed and packed away in the garage. The next step is to hang the motor and tranny in the frame so I can install the new motor mounts. I’m hoping to get that configured before leaving tomorrow.

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Let the Fun Begin

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Features
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Self Portrait . . . let the unbolting begin! Note what happens when I leave the jeep in my parents garage. It becomes a squash storage facility.

I’ve spent the last couple days moving and reorganizing parts and things so I could make enough room to start disassembly (see pic below). Today I finally got to begin the breakdown process.

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As you can see, it was a bit of a mess.

One of my strategies during assembly was to make the body as easy to remove as possible. So, for example, nothing is wired or attached to the fenders. In addition, the wiring along the underside only attaches to the frame in one spot (a ground). It all worked well . . . great when a plan works!

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I also removed the seats. Posts welded to the frame stick up through the body (holding the body in position). Seat plates are screwed onto the body. The seats are bolted to the plates.  Here the passenger seat plate has been removed and is sitting next to the post.

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Biscuit Status

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit

People have asked how the transmission swap is going. Well, fixing my parents house and finishing the book have trumped work on Biscuit, but I did trade for and bring home a low mile short block that *should* solve my engine woes. Here’s a picture of Biscuit and of the new engine.

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Tranny and Engine are out

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit

After repairing a few more sonny-do-items around my parents’ house, I got a chance to pull the engine, transmission, and transfercase. As usual, a variety of expletives bounced off the less-than hallowed walls of the garage.

During the removal process I discovered that power steering box moves some when turning to the right. I *thought* it was a good idea to use the stock ’73 CJ-5 mounting unit to mount the steering, since I would have thought Jeep’s engineers would have been able to get that right, but it seems my place was misplaced. So, part of the rebuild process will be improving the mounting bracket.

On a side note, my father was busily managing the process from the kitchen. Everytime I went in the house he’d ask, “Is your transmission an automatic.”
“Yes, I’d say, but I’m changing to a T-18.”
“You know,” he’d say, “the manual is shorter than the automatic.”
“Yes, I’d say.”
“Ok, well good. You just need to be aware of that.”
By the time we had our third conversation about it, I was WELL aware! 🙂

Here are a few pics:

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The cobwebs and dust on the hook suggest the garage’s engine pulley hasn’t been used in decades.

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The engine is about to be freed.

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The jeep sits just high enough to allow me to pull the tranny and tc out from under it. I’d like to say it was stellar planning, but it was really dumb luck.

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There she sits, looking like she’s bleeding a bit. She and I had some good times, but our divorce will soon be finalized. Time for some thing different.

 
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And the Tranny Swap Begins . . .

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit

After I fixed my parents’ mailbox, repaired two broken outlets, and rewired some lights in the garage, I was finally able to start dismantling Biscuit for the tranny (and possibly engine) swap. Once I undo a few more  bolts, the engine should slide right out. I have a few more things to do before the tranny is ready to come out. But, that will be delayed a day or two as I begin work on several more house-related sonny-do projects.

One thing I learned as I drained the water from the radiator . . . it was much browner than I expected. There’s definitely some oil mixed with it.

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Letter I wrote during the summer of 1986

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Features, Trips, Women & Jeeps

Last month I discovered a letter I wrote in 1986 during my first summer at Roche Harbor. I sent it to my parents, who promptly put it a filing cabinet. Looking for some personal records, I discovered the letter. For anyone who hasn’t read my book (Finding Virginia) the following letter probably won’t mean much. For those that have read it, there are many familiar themes throughout the letter that also appear in the book. That fact my letter covers jeeps, cooking, and a girl shows you that I remember the summer of 1986 pretty clearly!  However, one event I didn’t include in the book, because I didn’t remember it, was going on a date and having the jeep breakdown. That’s so classic me.

Before I get to the letter, below is a picture of my first jeep two months after I wrote the letter. Cullen and I had come over the Naches trail the previous day, damaging the fiberglass front passenger fender in the epic battle against gravity I describe in the book. We slept that night at the Beverly Dunes. In the morning, we drove towards Moses Lake. Around noon, we stopped and took this picture. After the picture, we proceeded to Moses Lake, then on to Idaho. We stayed in CDA for a couple hours, then started back to Anacortes by way of Stevens pass to catch the 6AM ferry back to the islands. It was a long day.

On the front of the jeep you can see a large chain, which, among other uses, was the shovel tie down. Behind that is a trusty warn winch that saved me many times. The grill is fiberglass and, though already patched once, split into two during this trip. The headlights are 5 1/2 rather than 7″. The smaller size and a wiring problem insured lighting at night wasn’t very good. As you can see, bungie chords were a must for holding down the hood. Wedged between the passenger seat and the roll bar is an old canvas collapsable bucket. It’s still in my parents garage. We carried an extra red gas tank, which is attached to the roll bar on the passenger side. If you look near the rear wheel well you can just make out the racing number from the 1985 summer convention.

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Click on the link below to read the letter.

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Happy Holidays!

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Features • TAGS: .

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Poor Biscuit has been run so little this year that we had to get him a new battery for xmas.  That perked him right up!  We took him for a spin between rain showers and snapped some pics.  There might be some updates on Christmas day . . . or there might not be.

 

 
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Just a few Updates Today (Monday)

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Features

Just a few updates today.  Part of the reason is that we are heading back to Pasco today.  The other reason is that there just aren’t very many old flatfenders for sale at the moment.  I guess everyone is enjoying the heat wave?

We got a chance to drive biscuit in the pasture a few days ago, but didn’t get any pics.  Kasia took her turn at doing some technical driving and did pretty well.  Karson handles the jeep well.  Colter still prefers to ride.

I was messing around with Biscuit yesterday, testing out my paddle tires.  It turns out, rather than holding air for a day, my paddle tires only hold air for about five minutes.  This is a problem.

I guess I will need some inner tubes if I want these old tires to work for longer than five minutes.  That’s low on the list.  But, they do look cool, though they need a bath and some paint on the rims.

 

 

 
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Wrestling with the Mighty BIscuit

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Features

During my last visit to my parents’ house, I tried starting Biscuit.  The engine would turn over, but wouldn’t fire.  It didn’t take long for me to figure out that the electric fuel pump no longer worked.  So, I decided on my next visit I’d change from the electric to the stock manual pump.

Today, I took on that project.  While a very simple changeover in theory, the practice turned out to be more of a challenge than I expected.  For example, the first step in the process required me to break into my tool box, as the keys to my tool box disappeared during my move last summer.  After spending an hour searching for the keys, I finally gave up and ‘removed’ the lock’ (with hammer, screw driver, and little finesse).

It was surprisingly easy to remove the lock.  However, it was surprisingly difficult to get the lock portion of the drawers to unlock.  I won’t bore you with the embarrassing details, but let’s just say that it took us about an hour and half to finally get the tool chest unlocked.  Oh, good times!

Next, I had to start pulling off the electrical pump and installing the manual one.  It just seemed like I dropped every socked a hundred times, grabbed the wrong wrench with each reach, had to search through the barn to find rarely used tools I had stowed away, and more.  Nothing seemed to be easy about the project.

Finally, about 5pm, Ann wandered out to see how I was.  I was not good.  The socket has just slide off my socket wrench extension again, which meant I had to climb down onto the tarp, scoot under the jeep, and retrieve it, again.  I shared some choice words about Biscuit with Ann.  She decided to take a picture and post it on Facebook  Here is the picture and what she wrote:

Today, under a cloud of tools, grease, and a broken fuel pump came the flood of curse words and the exclamation from Mr eWillys.com himself…. David Eilers “hates Jeeps” 🙁

It took me until about 7pm, but I did finally get the fuel pump installed and the hoses attached.  Even better, everything worked.  So, now Biscuit and I are all lovely dovey again.

So, I’m done with jeeps for today.  Updates tomorrow.

 

 
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Sunday’s run into the hills

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit

FEATURED MAY 2010

Despite some sketchy weather this Memorial Day weekend, I still managed to get into the hills.  Sunday proved to be the best day, so I chose to head out of Boise on 8th street again — otherwise known by me as trouble road.  You see, every time I’ve headed out that road, something has happened (one time, the fan stopped working .. last time, I broke the fender and almost got stuck near the hill top).  This trip was no exception.

Fixing my Carb

First, let’s talk carbs.  I thought I had gotten the carb running well, but hesitation problems continued over the past week.  By Friday of this week, I was getting ticked off at not being able to floor it and go — instead, I had to accelerate slowly.

My solution:  find a Carter/Edelbrock manual and get instructions.  Sure enough, I found one online that described my problem.  What I thought was the result of too much fuel was actually a problem of too little fuel.  So, I increased my primary jets to .86.  I also re-routed my PVC valve into the base of the carb.  Those two changes made ol’ Lost Biscuit much much happier.  Nothing like reading the manual ….

Now, onward and upward until …

So, with the carb functioning correctly, climbing out eighth avenue into the foothills went smoothly.  As usual, I checked my gauges frequently, especially my temperature gauge.  So, it was quite a surprise when I looked down and saw that the temp gauge had lept to 260 degrees!  SHIT!  I pulled over immediately and shut down the engine.  I jumped out to lift the hood to let the engine cool more; however, much to my surprise it turned out the engine was holding down a ready-to-explode radiator hose.  As soon as I lifted hood, the hose separated from a connection tube and a geyser that could be seen from Yellowstone NP let loose.  If I wasn’t so pissed off, it would have looked pretty cool.

So, there on the trail I sit scratching my head.  After letting things cool just a bit, I quickly found the cause of the problem — a wire had come loose at the base of the fan relay that was part of the original connection. So, I spliced around that loose connection and the fan started working again.

Now, how to get some water into the radiator?  I had a total of one bottle of water on me, so  I poured that in; unfortunately, I needed another 20 bottles or so.  That’s when lady-luck arrived in the form of a puddle around 20 feet behind me — I think it was the only puddle along that entire road.

So, I took my bottle, gathered water from the puddle and filtered the muddy water through a shirt.  After many trips back and forth, I got the radiator filled, cringing the entire time.  But, I figured it would work until I got it home to drain and clean it.

Now, onward and upward for real …

But I was sure about one thing in particular … I was getting to the top of that road this time!  And I did get there, all the way to the ridge road — finally!   Once I got to the top, I was having too much fun, so I just kept going and exploring.  And so, here are some pics from the trip.

First is a composition of images taken from the ‘road’ that ran along the mountain ridge.

On the north side of the ridge there is plenty of green, while the south side is pretty brown.

Here’s a bunch of sheep munching along the hillside.

I wanted to make sure I can get through the snow.  Without a winch, I don’t want to get stuck.

Finally, near the top of the highest mountain, too much snow filled the road to allow passage.  So, I have to save the very highest roads for some warmer weather 🙂

And here is the view looking west of this road.  You can just make out Bogus Basin road which carves upwards to Boise’s ski area, Bogus Basin.

And yes, once I arrive back home, I immediate drained the engine of water and flushed it with additional water.  I also changed the way the fan relay was mounted and simplified the wiring so that the damn fans won’t ever shut down again!

 
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Finding Virginia: Adventures Along the Rocky Trail of Life

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Books, Features

I am proud to announce that “Finding Virginia” is now for sale at CreateSpace.  It has been the culmination of a year’s worth of writing and editing (and 46 years of living).  Please shamelessly encourage your friends, family, and neighbors to purchase this book.   Give it as a present to your spouse (really, they will enjoy it), your kids, other jeep lovers, car lovers, or whomever you know.  It is also useful for filling spaces in bookshelves.

What’s the book about?  
It’s about jeeps, love, the history of the jeep, love lost, the San Juan Islands, my dad’s health fight, how to get kicked out of college, how to  grow up in a jeep club, how not to sail, how to get stuck in the woods, cooking, my thoughts on a variety of subjects, and the reasons why I started eWillys.

Who’s the target audience?  
Readers of eWillys are  first and foremost the target.  People who like adventure and travel should enjoy it too.  Women especially enjoy the ‘love’ story aspect.  People who are frustrated with the economy will, I believe, relate to my frustrations with it too.

The book can be ordered through CreateSpace and, later, through Amazon, though Amazon pays me less.  The price is $18.39.  If you want a signed copy, I will need to order some books, sign them and then mail them to you.  You can email me for more info — d@ewillys.com and put “signed copy” in the subject line.  These will cost a little more due to the cost of me shipping to you.  I will take a check or paypal as payment.

I am willing to both sign books and attend signings.  I can even bring Biscuit if necessary, depending on the weather and distance.

https://www.createspace.com/3748035

 
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Kids and Biscuit

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Features

UPDATES:  Next updates will be on Sunday 11/25/2011.

Though chilly, the weather was sunny yesterday, allowing for some fun in Biscuit.  Karson (17) and Kasia (15) took turns driving while Colter (13) decided he was fine with riding in the back.  I supervised and drove, while Ann photographed.

The day’s highlight was when I ran out of gas.  In my defense, I knew the tank was low and didn’t want to use up our time running to the gas station and back, so I hoped to let the kids play AND save a few drops for the drive back to the side of the garage . . .

We almost made it.

The kids thought this was hilarious, noting that not only did I run out of gas, but I also got stuck in the ditch.  Ann countered that I only got stuck in the ditch because I ran out of gas.  However, the kids saw it as an ‘and’ situation.  So, I’m sure I will never hear the end about the time I both ran out of gas AND got stuck in a ditch with Biscuit.

Fun times 🙂

 
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No Updates until Thursday — Biscuit temporarily not for sale

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit

There won’t be any more updates until Thursday.

On another note, since I’m about to begin a month of traveling and will be away, I’m going to remove Biscuit from the ‘for sale’ category.  Hopefully, between now and the end of November, I will finally get a job offer I’ve been awaiting.  If that occurs, Biscuit won’t be re-listed any time soon, which might just please my mother more than anyone for I think she was the one most upset about me selling it!

For the record, I think Steve’s Jinx worked; I never received a single call about the my ad either off eWillys or Craigslist.

However, I will still consider selling the paddle tires and/or the desert dogs.

 

 
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My Newish Kayline Top!

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Features

Good news, for the next two days you can admire my new top!  That’s because I will probably not do any updates until then.  I had hope to get some updates out, but it has gotten to late and I have to get up early for a very long drive to Boise and back tomorrow.

It is a Kayline canvas — yes not vinyl — top that I bought for $200!!!  It is in beautiful condition, having sat unused for nearly 10 years. I am very pleased.  I bought it from Daryl, who is a full time firefighter and part time jeep nut in the Bonney Lake area of Washington and whom repairs flatties.  If you need any work done and are near him, let me know and I will forward his number to you.

He was also kind enough to give me and my son Karson a tour of his jeep collection, which includes a recently purchased FC-170 and a jeep truck converted to a tow truck.  So I want to send a big thanks to him!

Here is the top draped on the jeep. Of course, the rear seat and spare tire unbolts and will be removed when the top is mounted; I have an alternative mounting bracket to mount the spare inside the back area when a top is installed.  I am pleased that the contrast in colors doesn’t look too bad (he was selling it cheap because few people want that color).

 
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Some Pasture Jeeping

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Features

The weather has been perfect for driving in the jeep.  So, the boys and I have been cruising around Renton.  I have to say it’s a bit surreal to be driving along both the backroads and city roads in Biscuit, many of which I last drove 25 years ago in my last jeep.  No doubt my kids are tired of me saying things like, “I remember when ….” at which I go into some tale from my youth.

Yesterday I put the jeep into the horse pasture, or at least what was the horse pasture and is now an area full of grass, trees and bushes.  Karson got to explore a bit in the jeep, testing out the 4wd and learning to dodge trees.  He seemed to be having fun.  Here are a few pics.

 

 
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Still Getting Organized . . .

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Features

I guess the pic says it all.  Biscuit got plenty of looks as I cruised northward from Boise. I’m still catching up on both emails and postings and it will probably still take a couple of days to get back into the swing of things.

 
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A Quick Trip into the Hills

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Features

It was a sunny (finally), but cold day yesterday.  So, Colter and I took a quick drive into the hills to smell the coming spring.  Here are a couple snapshots.

 
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Pounced: Biscuit Finally Has Its Name

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Features, How To

It was sometime around mid-summer of last year (maybe earlier) when I started the project to place ‘Lost Biscuit’ on the hood of my jeep. It took a little longer than expected, but I finally did it.
First I had to decide which font to use. Fortunately,  I got some very helpful input along the way from Dexter (thanks) and eventually decided upon the Marker Felt font. Okay, that was pretty easy.

Now, how to get the name on the hood. After hmming and haaaing over how I wanted to attach the name (hand drawn, stickers, stencils, pay someone else … ), I finally decided I would do it myself using paint.  But, I knew my freehand drawing and painting skills froze around the 2nd grade, so this wasn’t something I could improvise. Since I had no immediate solutions, I decided to put the project on hold (which explains the delay).

One day this past December I was watching American Restoration on the History Channel.  The American Restoration show is a spinoff of sorts from the Pawn Stars show and follows various restoration projects from Ricks Restoration out of Las Vegas.  In one of the episodes, called Buttered Up (you can view it here), Rick restores an old popcorn machine.

To repaint the front of the popcorn machine, the painter used a technique that dates back centuries called pouncing. Pouncing? My ears perked up!

Pouncing?  Never heard of that. As usual, my computer was on my lap so I instantly googled pouncing.  I learned,

Pouncing is where pounce — loose graphite or charcoal — is rubbed through a series of small holes punched in a paper pattern to transfer the design to an item to be decorated

Well, I thought that would work for Biscuit’s name.  After some more research, I found out that quilters use pouncing for some stitch patterns.  So, the next day I hit some quilt stores.  As you can imagine, the conversation went something like this,

“Hi, I’m here because I want to paint a name on my jeep,” says I.

Blank stare from cashier, “what do you need?”

“I need stuff for pouncing” says I, remembering now that I probably had not shaved, maybe, not even showered, and most likely wasn’t quite dressed like customers they normally help (however, to my credit, I didn’t have on my garage jeans).

Another blank stare, “you want to do what?” I think she even had her finger ready to dial ‘9’ (and then ‘1’ ‘1’)

It turns out, not everyone knows what pouncing is, even at the quilt stores.  Eventually, after visiting a couple quilt stores, I found what I needed (you will see my pouncing supplies in a picture below).

Here’s the synopsis of this project.

1. Design and Print the template.  Then, since I didn’t have a good awl, I created my own awl out of tape, a chopstick and a long push pin.

2. Next, I attached the template to a piece of cardboard.  Then, I poked holes around the outer edge of all the letters.

3. With the letters outlined, I tested out the template on different materials to make sure it worked.  It turns out pouncing is pretty easy!

4. Selecting paint was the next step. So, I visited my local art supply store and explained to them what I wanted.  They directed me to an Acrylic Titanium White Tube from Windsor Newton. Along with the paint, they also suggested an acrylic spray on sealer and finisher from Americana. I took the paint home and tested it on different materials.  At first, I didn’t like it, because it wasn’t as smooth as the typical oil based house paint I had expected.  Instead, it had texture like a canvas artist would want.  But then, after staring at it a bit, I warmed to the texture, because it gave the name a hand generated feel.

5.  Yesterday, with the weather a little warmer, it was time to paint the name.  I got out my template, my paint, and my pouncing supplies.  I taped the template to the hood and prepared to pounce.

Over the course of my tests, the technique I found most successful for pouncing was not tapping the pouncer, but rather dragging it slowly across the holes.  This kept the paper from popping up and blurring the dots underneath.

The pouncing equipment consists of a pouncer with a ‘handle’ on one side and a soft side on the other.  There’s also a plastic container that can hold pounce.  Lastly, there is the white chalk.

6.  Now it’s time to paint.  I put three coats on each side. This image was taken after the first coat.

This is after three coats.

There is still some small edges that need cleaning up.  Once I do that, I’ll spray it and hopefully that will protect it!