Biscuit Research Archives

My Rebuild

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My Build — The Paint Booth

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit

I had hoped to complete painting this weekend, however sore ribs from a hit I took playing basketball slowed me down a bit.  Today, I felt a little better, so I spent the day putting together a paint booth and taping off the body.  It’s hardly state of the art or a monument to high quality design, but it will get the job done.

My friend Lary dropped by yesterday with a larger compressor and an assortment of paint guns for me to use.  He was the person who suggested a website from which to buy some paint, but rather than the Urethane he intended for me to get, I ended up with an Acyrlic Enamel.  When he discovered what I had bought, he was very concerned, as he felt it’s a more difficult paint with which to work, especially with the paint being a metallic paint.  So, the two of us hovered over the various cans and he provided me many different tips on working with the paint, suggesting which paint guns to use and more.

My next step is to make a run to home depot to get one more sheet of plastic for the floor.  Then, I’ll grab some degreaser and do one final clean up of the body parts.

Below are some pics of the paint booth:

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My Build — Front Shocks and Shock Mounts

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Features

I stopped by Buck’s 4×4 shop here in Boise yesterday and picked up some BDS Shocks.  My measurements showed I needed a pair of shocks that had a compressed size of approx 15″ and a maximum size of approx 25″.  It only took them a few minutes to find what I needed.  Best of all, the price was right — under $100.

Now that I had shocks, I could finally create the front shock mounts, something I’ve put off for a few months. I knew I wanted something similar to what I used last time for shock mounts.  On my last jeep I took some 1/2″ steel that was 4″ wide and bent it using a 10′ tube pipe and dad’s huge vice (firmly attached to a 1000lb bench).  The result were mounts that attached to the side of the frame, rounding up and out.  I liked the effect, so for this jeep I wanted to do something similar.  Instead of the steel I used last time, I took a piece of 1/4″ x 5.5″ x 6′ piece of steel I salvaged from my sisters’ farm and created my shock mounts from that.

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My Build — Transmission Temp Gauge Adapter

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit

Brian sent me a great suggestion about my transmission gauge strategy.  As you might remember, the style of gauges I purchased didn’t offer a transmission temperature gauge, so I decided I could use a water temperature gauge.  So, my next question was how to do it?  It was Brian’s suggestion to use a simple ‘T’ system.  I liked the idea, so I hit Home Depot and $17 later I had what I needed.

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My Build — a little more about the wiring harness

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit

I got a question from a reader about the wiring harness I used.  After doing some research, I came to the conclusion that the harness I bought is probably being closed out, hence the drop in price.  After doing the research, here’s what I learned.

KICKZ Harness (this is what I received in the mail):
http://www.thehoffmangroup.com/autoloc/details.lasso?itemid=KICKZ
is a 15 fuse 38 terminal 22 circuit wiring harness.  This is what I received.  The MSRP is $388.70, you can purchase it from the Hoffman Group for $299 (web special price), you can purchase it through ez2wire (which appears to be nothing more than a pass through marketing group) for $219 regularly, and I got it via auction from ez2wire for $143 (plus shipping).  So, that’s confusing!  The KICKZ is definitely a barebones choice (no extra switches for example).

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My Build — My Gauges

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit

No, the painting didn’t take place this weekend.  I’m still waiting to receive my paint …

One purchase I did make yesterday was some gauges.  I decided to go with Equus gauges, 8200 performance seriesSchucks had this set of gauges for only $39.99 (not on sale), so that saved me $35 on gauges that were already reasonably priced.  So far, I’ve got a speedometer, oil pressure, voltage meter, water temperature and fuel gauge.  The only downside is that they don’t make a transmission temp gauge.  I decided that if I really want a temp gauge on the transmission fluid, then I think I can cheaply adapt a water temp gauge to measure the temp of the fluid as it flows from the tranny to the tranny cooler.  I simply need to create a box that the fluid flows through into which I can screw the temp sensor (there seems to be no default place to put a temp gauge into a TH350).

 
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My Build — Wiring Harness

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit

Hurray!  My wiring harness arrived today, taking only 3 days to get here.  I pulled the harness out of the package and checked out the wiring.  It looks like the wiring is heavy duty enough for my needs.  The lengths appear reasonable and everything looks organized.

Painting update:  I just got an email that my paint has finally shipped.  I suspect that, unless it arrives by saturday, I’ll be delaying the painting I hoped to do this weekend.  I’ve got the hood, fenders and grille ready for paint.  The body is about 90% ready.  Everything should be ready by tomorrow.

You can learn more about this harness here

 
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My Build — Oil Pump Changes

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit

How to structure the Oil Pump in a buick v6 can be a bit of challenge if you read various web pages.  Should you use a high volume oil pump or not (the high volume oil pump is simply larger gears and a spacer to accommodate those gears)?  On the 225 v6 the general answer seems to be ‘no’ unless you drill out the oil holes for the middle two main bearing holes (these are smaller than the outer ones according to what I’ve read).

The 1980 and 1981 3.8L v6 engines that I have both came with the high volume pumps.  After doing research, I couldn’t get a clear answer on how good these pumps were for these later model engines.  So, I turned to TA Performance to see if I could get an answer.  They said using the high volume pump was fine, but recommended I use a variable pressure controller (in the pic above, you can see the old spring and nut sitting in front of the new double-nut & spring that’s already installed) and a hardened steel plate that sits underneath the gears to reduce wear (seen in the pic to the right).

I installed everything, but discovered that the gears are too tight, so they don’t spin properly (you can test this by taking out the distributor, sticking a screwdriver into the oil pump drive gear, and turning).  Therefore, I’m ordering a set of shims from TA Performance to fix the problem.

V6 Links

 
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Wiring Harnesses — EZ2Wire

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, How To

When I built my last jeep, I removed the wiring from a totaled Chevy Vega.  Using schematics I copied at a library, I was able to sort out the wires and hook everything together.  This time, I don’t have a wrecked Vega in the driveway.  Moreover, I didn’t want to spend the time at the junkyard pulling one out of a wrecked vehicle.  So, I made the decision to purchase a kit.

My first thought was to use a Painless Wiring Kit, but they seemed to be few and far between on Craigslist.  So, I figured that I’d have to buy a new wiring kit.  When I looked at the price of a new Painless Kit, I thought the price was a little high, so I turned to ebay to see what was available.

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Anyone know where to find Vintage Mud Flaps?

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Features

This afternoon I spent some time searching the internet to find some type of vintage mud flaps, without much success. I’m looking for some flexible rubber flaps with some type of 4×4 image or logo on them. Here’s an example of what I had on my last jeep (I should have kept those …).

 
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My Build — Small wins

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit

Small wins continue to push Gus forward.  This weekend I finished hooking up the transmission lines to the transmission cooler.  It’s a good think I pulled the lines apart and double checked them as one had a crack near the entry to the th350.  A quick stop at Andy’s Supply in Boise and the crack was taken out and the line repaired (Boy, do they give great service!).

My radiator hoses were a challenge.  I stopped in at my local Schucks and wandered back to their radiator hose area.  After seeing that none of their hoses would work, I finally selected two that I could cut, bridge and fit.  After cutting the hoses and bridging both radiator hoses (inlet and outlet) with a metal tube, I finally got a fit I can live with — however, it’s not a solution I’m thrilled about.

This is one of those situations I’m gonna let digest for a few days while I tackle some work projects and deal with replacing the waterpump on my 540i (which over the last month has seen the thermostat go bad [$100], the alternating belt break [$25], and the waterpump go [$150] — each requiring an online purchase and a week wait).

 
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My Build — Combination Valve and Oil Filters

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit

I’ve been a little side tracked from Gus due to a recent neighbor’s problem with a mail box — her son hit another neighbor’s mail box with her car, damaging the mail box (it’s actually two mailboxes and paper boxes that sit on a single pole).  By now, the whole neighbor knows me as the ‘guy with a jeep’; so, it was only a matter of time before it was my welder to the rescue (ok, it was a bit more complicated than that).

Now, back on track, I’ve made some progress on some trivial details.

Oil Filtering System: When I bought my V6, the seller included an external dual oil filter system.  I decided to install the system because (1) I would increase the available oil in the system, (2) having the filters external of the engine would reduce engine oil temperatures, and (3) having two oil filters would help with the engine oil temperatures even more.  Since I’m of the opinion that my last engine blew up due to oiling problems (though that was a much older 225 engine), I’m hoping this helps stalls potential problems.  I’ve also been on the phone with TAPerformance and they suggested the use of a specific pressure spring for use in buick engines with high pressure attachments.

In the image, you can see how the oil filters will sit above the filter base and the hoses will wind down to the oil filter and the forward, passenger side of the engine.

Combination Valve: A Combination Valve is simply a proportioning valve and a pressure differential valve that is combined into one unit.  I got one from a junk yard early 90s cherokee.  I grabbed the valve, the valve bracket and some of the lines.  The lines between the valve and the master cylinder were long enough that I can attach the valve to the frame.  So, I welded a small bracket to the frame and now the valve bolts to the frame.

In the image, the valve looks very close to the front of the tranny, but fortunately, there’s plenty of room.

 
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My Build — Bump Stops

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit

I seem to be in the middle of a variety projects at the moment.  I did finally solve my bump stop puzzle — that being how to mount them.  After much pondering, I finally decided to run bolts through the frame longways.

In the image to the right you can also see the setup for the suspension limiters, which I’ll add if/when I race it.  I haven’t purchased them yet, but you can see them here.

Tomorrow I’ll have a post about the electric fan solution I found on ebay.  I also hope to have a post ready on the external dual oil filter system I’ll be completing tomorrow.

 
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My Build — More on the hood

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Features

There are several important lessons I learned from web and software development:  1)  Real artists ship, meaning that sometimes you can’t have everything you planned or wanted in a project if you want to get it out the door; and 2) there’s always a 2.0 version.

With those lessons in mind, after several days of fiberglass filler and sanding, fiberglass filler and sanding, I’ve finally got a roughed out shape I can live with.  The reality is, more sanding is necessary to get the slopes on the bump smooth, but I can live with its imperfectness (like anything else is perfect).

I have a little final trimming on the hood edges.  After that, it’s time to pull it all apart, prepare the body for sanding/paint, drill the gauge holes in the dash, fix my brake line, and complete some odds and ends in preparation of permanently putting the body on the frame.  Oh yeah, and clean up the garage — it’s looking pretty messy in the pictures!


 
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My Build — The hood vs. the air cleaner

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Features

One of the issue’s I’ve put off until now has been the air cleaner.  I knew fitting an air cleaner between the hood and carb would be tight, a consequence of the tall Kenne Bell intake manifold.  However, I thought I might sneak it in there, but after finally fitting the hood onto the front clip, I discovered that even a low profile air cleaner won’t fit.  Unfortunately, the engine can’t drop much more (not that I want to drop and reweld the engine mounts for an extra 1 1/2 inches).  The only solution left (that I could think of) was to put a bump into the hood.  I REALLY didn’t want to do it.  But, I need to keep moving forward on this project, so I decided it was the most expedient solution.

Once decided, I then had to decide the type of bump.  After mulling it over, I chose to do a simple bump that follows the lines of the hood.  The first step was cutting the hole in the hood.  Next, I created a form out of a 2×4, putting a 20 degree edge, the same degree, but opposite, of the angle of the stripe on the body.  I laid two coats of fiberglass and resin and let it setup.  The good news is that the results are even and the angles correct.  The bad news is that I’m not thrilled with the results.  I’ve thought about adding some angles to the front to make the bump more interesting, but I think I’ll keep it simple and save the details for version 2 of the hood.

Here’s the hood precut

Here’s the hood with 3 sides cut.  I used a cutting wheel to do the cuts and a flat piece of steel as a guide to create a straight line.

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My Build — Hood Mounted

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Features

Last night i got the hood mounted, trimmed and latched. Once I determine where to mount the blocks (not sure what I'm going to make those out of yet), then it will be ready to patch, sand and paint.  

 
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My Build — Hood version 1

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Features

Over the past week I completed the form for the hood, applying a second coat of drywall mud to smooth the curves.  I had to create the hood because I lengthened the front clip about 4.5 inches.  Following that, I rubbed some turtle wax onto the form as a release agent.  Then, I laid 3 layers of fiberglass & resin.  Finally, I laid the hat channel I pulled from a different hood I had (which will serve two purposes — to hold the curve of the hood and provide support for the hinge).

As you can see below, the turtle wax didn't completely release well, so there will be some sanding.  Also, rather than apply the gelcoat to the surface of the form (which I figured would not release well at all), I have decided to apply it once I finish sand the hood.  Finally, I have done an initial trim on the hood and it fits well, but not perfect.   It will take some additional trimming, patching and sanding to finish this, but it should do fine for a first hood (much better than the first hood on my first jeep).

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My Build — Creating the Hood

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Features

I've decided to tackle the hood.  Because of the 4.5" extension to the front clip, I've had to decide what to do with the hood.  As I documented in previous posts, I've lengthened the fenders.  Now, instead of trying to lengthen an existing hood, I've decided to create my own fiberglass hood:  Nothing fancy, just a straightforward simple hood.  I'll save a more complex hood for a second form.

Since I had an existing hood that had a good hinge and a good rib, I decided to remove those from the hood and use them on the fiberglass hood.  To do this, I had to drill out the rivets that attached the rib to the hood.  Once drilled out, the rib came right off.  You can see the rib and the hinge below.

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My Rebuild — The Windshield

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit

The first time I tried to fit the windshield onto the body last year, it was too narrow to fit correctly.  At that point, I put it aside to deal with later. 

Well, yesterday I decided that now was 'later'.   After playing around with the windshield some, I realized a couple things:  1) Someone had welded a crack on the driver's side leg, so I had to grind that down a bit to help it fit; 2) The cowl of the fiberglass body was not shaped quite right, so I would have to 'trim' some of the rubber gasket to get the window to fit (the rubber needs replacing anyway, so I hacked it for test purposes — as can be seen in the closeup photo below); 3) Even with the rubber hacked, the windshield likely won't fit as tight as I'd like, but I can live without a tight seal as I doubt I'd be driving in much rain anyway.  

With those decisions/concessions made, I had to choose where to drill the holes for the windshield mounts.  The key for me was to get the right tilt to the windshield angle, making sure the horizontal part of the legs looked pretty level and making sure that when the windshield was tipped forward that it would rest level (something that I couldn't do after mounting the windshield to my first jeep).  Finally, I had to make sure the windshield was back on the cowl far enough so that the windshield frame binders could be mounted to work correctly (I'm calling them binders here, but what do you call the two devices that pull down and secure the windshield?). 

Another task I tackled today was the brake pedal.  I took a brake pedal assembly out of a junk yard '90 cherokee.  Originally, I had the pedals all set up for a clutch and brake pedal.  After getting that setup complete, I changed my mind to go with an automatic. With that decision, I chose to get a wider automatic brake pedal.  Fortunately, the cherokee's also came with automatics (and hence automatic brake pedals) and they used the same brake/clutch assembly system, so all I had to get was a brake pedal and resize it.  So, if I do decide to switch to a stick/clutch, changing out the brake pedals and adding the hydraulic clutch mechanism (which I already have) will be a snap.

 
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My Build — Radiator and Tranny Cooler Install

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit

While building my last jeep, I remember the difficulty of making the radiator fit.  I believe I finally used a pinto radiator I had laying around and, fortunately, had a hood that allowed the radiator to sit just barely above the grille. With that experience in mind, I've been puzzling through how I wanted to deal with the radiator for a while. 

This weekend I finally got to installing my radiator and tranny cooler.  Selecting a radiator was the first challenge.  I had planned to use the radiator from the CJ-5 I bought last year, but I couldn't make it fit (I ended up selling that radiator).  Then I found a brand new $15 chev radiator that was pretty small off of craigslist.  I purchased that radiator, but it turned out that wouldn't fit either.  Finally, I broke down and purchased a 15" high and 26" wide Griffin Aluminum radiator from Doug Herbert (it was about $30 cheaper than Summit).  That was the shortest radiator they sold and it fit perfect … well, almost perfectly as I had to cut into my cross member to make a little more room.

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My Build – Fans

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit

I went shopping at the junkyard today.  After a couple hours I came back with a steel fan and a flex fan (I couldn’t decided between them), a transmission cooler, some brake lines, and some other parts.  Yes, I had fun as usual and was only out $15.

I tried mounting the steel fan, but the bolt holes weren’t quite right.  I tried the flex fan and that will work, but I am worried about the integrity of it.  So, I decided to get online and learn more about fans.  One bit of info I ran across concerned horsepower vs. different types of fans.  Here’s the info from the site.

“Was reading the May 2000 ‘Car Craft’ and I came across something very interesting. They did a dyno test on a 496 horsepower chubby, {yes, I know — but we can still get some useful info on this…} and they tested different cooling fans to see what kind of drag each different type has.

Alternator, no fan: 496 hp
Black Magic electric fan:494 hp
Thermal clutch fan: 487 hp
Nonthermal clutch fan: 485 hp
Heavy duty thermal clutch fan: 476 hp
High performance flex fan: 476 hp
Stock four blade fan: 473 hp
Low profile flex fan: 466 hp
One piece plastic flex fan: 460 hp
OE replacement six blade rigid fan: 449 hp

They found the alternator alone, a 63 amp unit, only sucked 1 horsepower.”

 
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My Build – Fender Update

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Features

I made good progress over the weekend. As you can see, I was able to mount the fenders and take a few shots of the jeep with the fenders.  It will look good.

In order to fit the fenders, I had to make cutouts in the wheel wells for the headers.  But, as I mentioned in an earlier post, I wanted to fill around the headers.  So, I bought a little bit of stove pipe and used that as a form to wrap fiberglass around the headers.  

The last pic is the fenders with the new covers for the headers.  To match the rest of the underside of the body, I'm going to paint herculiner on the wheelwell of the fenders (which saves a bunch of finish work) and fill in the gaps and paint the top and inside of the headers.

Here are some pics below.

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My Build – Operation Fender Length .. cont

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Features

I made a good deal of progress with the fenders yesterday.  I created a series of mini molds and fiberglassed several times in different sections to successfully capture the right angles.  So, step 1 is complete.

Today I'll be drilling and mounting the fenders so that they fit correctly.  One issue I have to surmount is that the slope on the fenders seems slightly different than the slope on the mount on the body, but I'm sure I can work around this issue.

Once fitted, then I'll have to create the cutouts for the headers and then create the new walls so that the headers are enclosed.  Unlike metal fenders, which wouldn't lose too much strength when cutout for headers, the fiberglass will benefit from having that extra strength.

After the final modifications are made, I will be to run a second coat of resin and cloth along the entire underside of the fenders.  This will create a smoother look and strengthen the fenders considerably.  

The final step will be to use some filler and gel coat to smooth off the top surfaces — then I'll be ready for paint. 

 
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My Build — Operation Fender Lengthen Started

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Features, News • TAGS: .

I've started the process of lengthening my fiberglass fenders. I've determined they need to be extended 4.5". 

My first task was to clean the fenders.  This yielded a surprise:  Business cards from the builder of the body were embeded into both fenders.  To the right a shot of one of them. The information suggests the seller was H.C. "Van" Wagner out of Puyallup, Washington.  He sold Custom fiberglass products including Bobcat products.  The name of the company has faded, but I have the address and phone info.

Once the fenders were cleaned, I cut them in half and I cut out the indent (traditionally for the battery) out of the passenger side.  Once they were cut, I tapered down the cut pieces.  To the left are the cut fenders.

The next step is to fiberglass them.  I'm going to try laying down a layer of gelcoat and then lay the fiberglass over the top of it.  I' haven't used gelcoat in my previous patching jobs, but am trying to gain experience so that I can use it when I do my custom hood project. 

 
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Fiberglass Body and Grille

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Body Parts, Features • TAGS: .

Here's a few pictures of the Body and Grille I grabbed while down in Springfield, Oregon a couple of days ago. I need to get a few better pics of it.  I've got it listed for $450 on Craigslist.  

The outside of the body is in excellent shape and would make a great racing shell for PNW4WDA racing. The interior of the body is well designed and strong and could make a good jeeping/street body, however the plywood attached to the bottom is bad in spots, but could be fixed pretty easily.  Also, the firewall has an extra large opening that needs to be closed.  Otherwise, the body looks straight and is pretty light.


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My Build — I found some fenders (and other parts)

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit

I’ve located some fiberglass fenders along with a grille, a body, and a tail gate for $600.  While a decade old, these parts never been installed, drilled, or painted.  The seller says he bought these parts brand new and that they were designed for a street application, so they are a little heavier duty than the light racing bodies. That sounded fine to me, so sometime next week I’m gonna head to Oregon to check them out.  The one thing this package lacks is a hood.

These were actually for sale about a year and a half ago.  The craigslist ad had very little info and didn’t list any keywords, so it was a tough ad to find unless you specifically typed ‘flatfender’ into the search field. Also, it was winter time and, at least for me, getting over the snowy passes wasn’t worth the effort.  After being frustrated in my fender search (metal or fiberglass), Yesterday I decided to give him a call.  Sure enough, he still had everything sitting in his garage.

Because of this, I will continue to list expired Craigslists ads for a while since the sellers may not have been able to get rid of their jeep or parts, but got tired of relisting their stuff.  And, if I can get it, I’ll always list the seller’s contact info if they provide it.