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To(w) Hell & Back

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features • TAGS: , .
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Patterson looks ready for the big tow to Eastern Washington.

Claiming that Sunday was “Tow Hell” day might be a slight exaggeration, but I wouldn’t call it a winning day either. Let’s recap the last couple days as I’ve been so busy I haven’t had time to photograph some of it.

I finally got the jeep running well on Friday after determining there was an air leak in a short piece of hose (let air in, but did not let gas out). I then timed it by ear and feel, rather than diagnostics, and that seemed to do the trick. On Saturday, I built a tow setup that utilized existing holes in the front bumper. I wanted some thing strong, but didn’t want to drill into the bumper.

Once the tow setup was ready, I turned to the exhaust. I’d already had Ann go to a muffler shop to replicate the 1.5″, 7′ section of tailpipe I needed (thankfully I had an original end section leftover from one of the DJs to use as a template). I combined the tail pipe with a Walker muffler I bought off Amazon and some Oreilly’s clamps and assembled the exhaust with relative ease.

I thought we were ready to head for Pasco on Sunday morning.

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The early DJ-3As has an exhaust that pretty much was straight. The only bends needed were 1) the bend on the front piece from the manifold down to the cross member, 2) the exhaust piece has to bend over the rear axle, and 3) the exhaust bends to the outside past the gas tank (not pictured). (1955 DJ-3A manual). Good luck finding a shop that had this series of bends in their shop manuals or computer!

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For comparison, this is the more likely setup that you’ll find at a muffler shop (if they have anything this old). It’s a more typical setup for 2As, 3As, 3Bs, etc. This doesn’t work for the DJ, because the muffler is positioned where the rear gas tank is installed.

We spent the first part of Sunday morning cleaning up the garage. It was a bit of a mess! Once that was done, we hooked up Patterson and began slowly towing him. We didn’t make it through the first intersection of my parent’s quiet neighborhood before I realized that the jeep wasn’t tracking around the corner. When I turned slowly right, it began to turn slowly left, forcing me to hit the brakes.

What the hell? I’ve towed a number of vehicles and never, ever run into this type of trouble.

We carefully tried a couple more corners and each was the same. The jeep began to turn the opposite way. I’d have to hop out and correct Patterson’s direction. After a trip around the block, we arrived at my parent’s house once more.

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Testing the tracking at a very slow pace.

I pulled out my googler, but couldn’t find anyone having a similar problem. I concluded the drag link/ross box was somehow interfering with the jeep from tracking properly. I did read were “Dr. Verne” (aka Verne Simmons) would remove his drag link to tow it, but my custom radiator made that strategy near impossible without disassembly of multiple items. I was just about ready to remove the drag link when I decided, on a lark, to unscrew the control screw(could be the wrong name for this) on the Ross box. My assumption was that this would loosen the Ross mechanism, freeing the drag link to spin the steering wheel more easily.

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Me trying to work through the steering problem.

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My Wife’s a Genius

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features • TAGS: , .
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This photo provides a good look at how frayed some of the wire was behind the speedometer. Worse, this wiring was sitting on the metal brace!! in the background is the volt-a-drop which provides stepped down voltage to the King Seeley speedometer).

Electrical Mess:

We’ve been working hard on Patterson the last couple of days. Most of our time has been consumed with checking wiring and rewiring stuff. Between frayed wires and mis-wired stuff, it’s filled our time. Apart from the types of frayed wire seen in the pic above, I discovered 1) the wires to the amp gauge and light were wired into the oil light (fortunately, all I had to do was pop out the light and plug it into the amp light), 2) the amp light was missing altogether (thankfully I could steal one off of Rusty’s speedometer), 3) the ignition jumper that screws to the back of the speedometer was laying on the metal brace (must have caused some shorting), 4) the oil light wire was wired to the fuel gauge (which explains in part why the fuel gauge didn’t work … well that and there was no wire connected to the fuel tank wire.

Dimmer Switch:

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No more red paint on this dimmer switch.

The dimmer switch has been lubed, reassembled, de-painted, and installed.

The Horn Wire

Patterson came with a button attached to the side of the steering column that was used as a horn, but it didn’t work. Since we were already changing some of the wiring around, we decided to steal the column shift button wiring from Rusty’s steering column I wired last month and use it on Patterson.

To start, I knew we had to run some non-electric wire (similar to bailing wiring) through the length of the column in order to pull the horn button’s electric wire down the shaft. That sounded like a good idea, but several attempts at pushing the wire up the column  were a failure: the wire kept getting snagged as I pushed it up the column. I was getting frustrated.

But then, my genius wife had an idea. Why not blow some thread down the column using an air compressor nozzle. Once the thread came out the bottom, we could pull the bailing-like wire back through. I admit, at first I thought it sounded a little crazy. After all, near the bottom of the column shaft it narrows, so I thought for sure the thread would be stopped by it. But, then I took a breath and thought …. hmmm … what could it hurt to try?

Sure enough, she produced some thread, dropped a little down the column, then stuck the air nozzle into the hole. That thread blew threw the bottom of the column in a couple seconds. It was genius! Well, almost genius, as we had to upgrade our thread to thicker thread. Other than that, we had the column horn working in no time!

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This is the thin thread we tried. It didn’t she enough tensile strength to pull up the wire. She just dropped some thread in and the air pulled the rest of the thread down through that small hole at the bottom.

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Once we shifted to the thicker, black thread it worked perfectly.

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Disassembling A DJ-3A Dimmer Switch

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features • TAGS: , .

Last week when we were in Renton, we tested Patterson’s headlights and discovered the foot-based dimmer switch wasn’t always working correctly. After a little research, I discovered the CJ-3A page had a useful thread on the topic, but naturally the switch demonstrated wasn’t exactly like the DJ-3A switch. The one shown on the CJ-3A page had a square end, while the DJ (and I’m assuming others of the same vintage?) have a rounded end. In fact, It isn’t clear to me which models use which dimmer switches?

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Example dimmer switch from the CJ-3A page forum.

So, here’s a look at Patterson’s switch. The first obvious difference is that the housing doesn’t have tabs. Instead, it has crimps and, let me tell you, those crimps wouldn’t bend easily outward.

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Using a small screwdriver, I eventually got the crimps straightened. As soon as I tugged at the top part to remove it, everything kind of tumbled onto the table (oops).

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  1. #1 is the bottom piece. When the actuator is depressed it catches on #1 on the bottom of the piece and spins it.
  2. The metal tab that sticks up on #1 connects to #2 and spins it. #2 is actually made up of 3 pieces a) the disc, b) a shaft, and c) a spring.
  3. #3 is a copper propeller that rotates in conjunction with #2 and #1 each time the actuator is depressed. As you can see, it is very dirty.
  4. Part #3 connects with copper highpoints on #4, which shifts the electricity from the high beam to the low beam, then to the high beam, etc, in a circular pattern. The contacts on #4 were dirty, too, but hard to clean without scraping the copper points. I did not have a good cleaner handy, so I only gently cleaned them.
  5. This is a gasket.

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Proof of Life!

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features • TAGS: , .

On Tuesday afternoon, Patterson sprang to life with it’s new transplant!

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We started Tuesday morning working through the wiring. I asked Ann to rewire the low-beam/high-beam floor switch, since much of the fabric had fallen away. That led to rewiring more of the harness than expected, which in turn delayed messing with the engine.

Once I could focus on the engine, the first thing I did was swap distributers, as Patterson’s engine had newer internals (and I knew for sure it worked). When installed, I tried starting the engine a few times, but didn’t have success. So, I rotated the distributor wires 90 degrees. When that didn’t work, I rotated them another 90. When that didn’t work, I rotated them another 90. That’s when I got the engine to fire, but not run. At that point I began rotating it a few degrees, then cranking the engine, then rotating again, so I could get a feel for which position seemed to fire the best. But, after trying this a few times, we still didn’t get it to run.

At that point, Ann suggested we try different spark plugs. I’d forgotten I hadn’t installed the ones that had been on Patterson (still attached to the head). So, we pulled them, checked the gaps, then installed them in the “new” engine. We got it to fire again, but then, mysteriously, it stopped firing no matter where the distributer was located. That was puzzling. About that time, ann noticed some heat at the generator. I suspect the regular got stuck, causing the battery to discharge into the generator, creating heat (at least that’s what I determined later of after doing some reading). So, I pulled the battery cable and let the system cool.

Once it was cool, I rotated the distrbutor back to teh position where it had fired the best, then climbed into Patterson to start the jeep, simultaneously working the choke and gas pedal. Sure enough, Patterson just needed some physical presence in the driver’s seat, because he started right up. At that point, I climbed out and played with the distributor to locate the sweetest sounding spot. (see the video on Facebook … I can’t seem to make it appear on eWillys … it lacks a muffler, so it’s a little noisy).

So, Patterson runs again. But, we discovered the temp gauge and oil gauges are not working, so those will need some attention. Unfortunately, we had to return to Pasco last night, because Ann has a doc appointment Wednesday. I accompanied her back to Pasco, as I have some updating to do to the website and need to organize the sale of some Alaska Or Rust t-shirts. More on that Thursday morning. We plan to be back in Renton early next week. My mother has knee surgery scheduled for the 5th, so we need to be around to help out.

 
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Looking Like a Jeep Again

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features • TAGS: , .

Now, if only it sounded like a jeep. It seems the timing it off, so I’ll be working my way through that Tuesday morning. One fun fact I didn’t know … there’s no top center on an L-head. I wished I’d known that BEFORE I assembled everything. I didn’t check to see whether my flywheel has the flywheel marks.

Anyway, Patterson is all assembled. We only had one oil leak, but that was only because someone forgot to tighten the inlet line at the block. We also had a minor gas leak at the carb, but that was a trivial issue. Some plumbers tape solved that.

So, now I believe it’s down’ to timing. For those looking for a good resource on L-head timing strategies, this thread on the CJ-2A page is helpful: https://www.thecj2apage.com/forums/l134-ignition-timing_topic13819.html. The also may be helpful: http://www.cj-2a.com/techtips/timing/howto/l134-timing.pdf

Here are a few pics from the day:

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This rewiring is Ann’s handiwork.

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Ann also produced some seat covers that have pockets at the front for things like a phone or wallet.

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The grille installed.

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The radiator is installed. Just need the driver side fender installed.

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A Little Confused …

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features • TAGS: , .

A couple things confused me today. In this first example, we have at top the original gasket between the intake manifold and carb. On the bottom is the replacement gasket included in a rebuild kit. As you can see, it won’t work. Is the DJ-3A intake that unique? I know it uses a Carter YF 2392, so that’s unique.

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Next up, the ends for the dragline. On the left is the new end and on the right the old one. The new one is taller and has shallower slots for installing it. The old end is shorter and has much deeper slots (those deeper slots are really helpful) . Anyone know why these are so different? Between the longer end and longer springs, I couldn’t put all the parts together around the bell crank arm (and I tried). In the end I was forced to use some old and some new parts.2017-06-24-draglink-end-piece-comparison

Note the difference in the spring heights. Try as I might, I could not compress the spring enough to install an end. I changed to the old end.2017-06-24-draglink-spring-comparison

Once I used some of the old parts, I was able to get the draglink installed.2017-06-24-draglink

I also installed the dual master cylinder. The rear brake line connected perfectly. I just had to add one bend. The front brake lines were a big problem. You’d think trying to locate an 3/16-1/4 adapter would be easy, but it turned into multiple trips to the auto store, where I hunted for the right sizes with the right threads. The staffs at two different auto stores were not useful (nice, but not helpful). So, this will work for now, but I’d like to get the proper adapter and remove the connectors and line on the right side. 2017-06-24-master-cylinder-brake

Sunday morning we’ll 1) bleed the brakes and then, if all goes well with that, 2) replace the front springs and then 3) drop in the engine.

 

 
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DJ-3A Gas Pedal Linkage

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features • TAGS: , .

On Thursday evening I spent time moving parts from Patterson’s stock, but tired,  DJ-3A engine to Rusty’s rebuilt M-38 engine so I could install it in Patterson. One item that caught my attention was Patterson’s DJ gas pedal linkage versus Rusty’s. Patterson’s appeared stock, while Rusty’s had a modified pivot point, probably the result of using the M-38 block. I decided to keep Patterson’s as it was and recreate the part for Rusty’s engine.

DJ-3A gas pedal Linkage: The linkage goes through the firewall to a pivot point on the driver’s side. When the gas pedal is depressed, a rod pushes an angle piece around a pivot, forcing a second rod upwards to a YF 2392S carb, causing the gas flow to increase.

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Patterson’s real pivot piece (and it seems I misspelled carburetor in my pic).

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This shows the piece after removing the parts. The pivot bolt is solid on the end with a hole for a cotter pin.

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Example of what I removed from Rusty (bottom) and the bolt I will use to make a new one (top with new threads extended up it so I can add a bolt). The biggest problem with the custom piece at bottom is that it had no cotter pin. It was only held on by a bolt, which could have easily have come unscrewed as the gas pedal pivot piece moved back and forth.
gas-pedal-linkage2 Continue reading

 
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Ark-Les Switch Repair

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features • TAGS: , .

Patterson has a Harrison Heater, common in the early DJ-3As. Attached at the bottom of the dash is an Ark-Less four position switch (Off, Low, Medium, High) that controls the fan speed. The switch wasn’t delivering current, so I spent the day figuring out how to pull it apart and clean it up in the hopes that the switch could be resurrected.

The switch is held together by a long pin in the center. The switch also rotates on this pin. To remove the pin, the rounded edges on the pin must be drilled/pressed together/or someone modified. I chose to drill out the ends.

Here’s what it looks like to begin (not my switch .. I forgot to take this pic .. thanks to the cj-2a.com page)

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Note the small hole. That pin must be pushed out

Now, here’s my switch. It received some paint when Patterson was repainted (I believe the paint was touched up some at some point). Once I drilled out the end of the pin a little, I used the nail to push the pin through.

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Here’s the other side of the pin. Now that it is sticking up, I can remove it.arkless-harrison-heater-switch4

Pin removed. I didn’t put much pressure on the pin when I first pushed it through, so I *think* the pin was already bent somehow.arkless-harrison-heater-switch5

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Patterson’s Vacuum Reservoir System

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features • TAGS: .

In case anyone’s curious, this is how Patterson’s vacuum reservoir is setup. Based on what I’ve read, a reservoir was important if running dual wipers. The vacuum begins at the manifold, then winds down under the body.

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It winds up underneath to a reservoir tucked in between the frame and the spring for the parking brake.

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This is a close up look at the TRICO valve on the reservoir.

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This is a not so perfect illustration of how it mounts. Because of the support channels on the floor of the body, the reservoir had to be shimmed down about an inch. The solution was a set of three nuts between the body and the reservoir. Continue reading

 
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Patterson Losing Its Head

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features • TAGS: .

I pulled the head on Patterson last night. I don’t see any cracks in the block nor do I see any obvious signs of coolant, though there might be a tiny bit of residue on the tops of pistons 1 and 2. My initial reaction is that coolant is entering the oil elsewhere. The engine does appear to have a recently replaced water pump. Anyway installing that incorrectly would result in mixing coolant and oil??

The first two photos show how the pistons and head gasket looked right after pulling it. 
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Then after pulling off the gasket and vacuuming up the dirt:
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The head gasket:2017-05-23-head-gasket5

The bottom of the head:

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What the Bell Crank?

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features • TAGS: .

I made an puzzling discovery about bell cranks the other day. I ordered a rebuild kit for Rusty’s bell crank. When I began assembling it, I discovered the original and new bolts were different. So, I had to use my old bolt (which fortunately was in good shape). Going back online, all the bell crank rebuild kits show the left hand bolt below (anyone need a new bolt .. I don’t). Do any other jeeps use the shorter bolt in their bell cranks?

Both of the DJ-3As have the same setup. The bolts they use lack an indent (used to secure the bolt to the bell crank mount). They are slightly shorter and 1/16th larger in diameter than the replacement crank. The DJ bolt lacks the hole at the end.
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Here it is reassembled. The horizontal bolt clamps the unit together, but does not anchor the bolt.

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Fixing Patterson’s Seat Mounts And The Extra Channel

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features • TAGS: , .

UPDATE: I”ve added a couple pics at the end and included a discussion on the extra channel DJ-3As have.

Last fall, when disassembling Rusty, I thought it was odd that the 2/3 1/3 seats had been mounted on wood blocks. I assumed this had been done by the previous owner to raise the seats.

Yesterday, I discovered that Patterson’s passenger seat was loose. When I examined it more carefully, I learned that it was loose because one of the wood blocks under the seat had broken. I can only conclude that all DJ-3A’s with 2/3 1/3 seats were mounted on wood blocks? Or maybe only the early ones?

The photo below shows the passenger seat tilted forward. The front of it is mounted in a way that allows it to pivot forward. The mounts are bolted through a piece of wood, then through a piece of cloth, through the body, and into a welded bolt. The rear of the seats rests on the two mounts at the back of the well. The long piece of wood is a well-seasoned (at least 45 years old) and stained piece of oak that will work perfect for replacement blocks.

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Unlike the passenger seat, the rear of the driver’s seat rests on two posts; slide onto the ends of the posts are rubber feet. Those rubber feat sit on blocks of wood also. 2017-05-20-seats7

A close up of the rubber foot. The hole is 1 inch in diameter, so I ought to be able to find rubber feet to replace these tired ones.2017-05-20-seats8

This shows how great the floor on this DJ is.

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Another angle. Blocks 1, 4, 5, and 6 were the same size. Blocks 2 and 3 were larger and screwed down to the body. The rear 2/3’s seat rested atop those blocks.

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I’ve drilled cut and drilled the blocks. They are ready for installation. I plan to add a thin piece of rubber under the blocks. Once I remove the rusted end of one bolt that broke, I’ll be able to reinstall the seats.

If you take a look at wood block #1 and block #6 there’s something curious. While the body area under wood block is similar to a CJ-3A, the body area under #6 has an additional channel (btw, we’ve yet to document any under DJ-3A body channels with wood in them).

This is the passenger side with the extra channel and a welded bolt.
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No channel on the driver’s side even though there is a bolt welded there. patterson-dj3a-underside3

Finally, the DJ-3As used wood blocks between the frame and transmission crossmember.

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Rusty’s T-96 Transmission Rebuild

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features • TAGS: , .

Another thing I got accomplished recently was the rebuilding of Rusty’s T-96 transmission. It’s been a couple decades since I’ve rebuild a T-90, but I think a person could follow a T-90 side shift guide when rebuilding the T-96 (I didn’t think of this until after I was done — instead I used an old rebuild manual from the late 60’s that has rebuilds of 35 different styles of transmissions). Once again, I thought I had more pics, but I didn’t. So, this isn’t a step-by-step overview.

I took this photo at the beginning of the tear-down to remember which way the speedometer gear should face. The lack of a transfercase is part of what makes this rebuild different from most other jeep transmissions. 
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Here’s the transmission with the input shaft pulled forward. My first gear and second gears were a bit worn. 2017-05-20-transmission2

Once I removed all the gears, I discovered the reverse gear had a broken tooth. 2017-05-20-transmission3

Close up of broken tooth. Thankfully, Charles Tate had sent me a box of T-96 parts that included a reverse gear. I was also able to replace the entire bottom cluster, first gear, and second gear. That saved me some money!

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To remove the side shifters, a pin has to be tapped out. I was able to remove the 2/3 gear shifter, but not the first/reverse unit. Since there was no critical reason I could see for removing the first/reverse mechanism, I left it as is and cleaned up the housing.2017-05-20-transmission4

Normally, I’d paint the housing before assembly. However, with time being an issue and lacking enough warmth on the rebuild day to properly paint it, I will paint it at a later date. 2017-05-20-transmission5

One other unique thing about the T-96: it requires the use of a special speedometer cable that is also used for Jeepsters and wagons.

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Assembling a DJ-3A Column Shift

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features • TAGS: , .

Yesterday I assembled Rusty’s column shifter. In my head, I took all kinds of photos. One in particular I took (again in my mind) showed the layout of all the parts prior to assembly. Alas, somehow that photo never made it onto my phone!

The DJ-3A shifter is slightly different from a VEC CJ-2A shifter. I can’t say how much it differs from a Jeepster or wagon column shifter. But, i can say that following these VEC CJ-2A instructions were very helpful.

After laying out the parts (and not taking a photo) I began the assembly process by learning how to install the horn wiring. After looking up how to do it on a 3B (thanks CJ-3B Page!), it turned out to be quite easy.

Step 1) Thread some of my grandfather’s wire through steering shaft.

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Step 2) Attach the wire to the horn wire end. In this case, I ran it through wire connector and then bent it so that the wire would not pull back out of the connector. 2017-05-20-column-shift-assembly2

Step 3) Pull the wiring carefully through the end of the shaft.  2017-05-20-column-shift-assembly3

With the wire installed, next on the list was assembling the shifter. The first step involved installing a washer, a spring, and a second washer onto the column shift tube Next, the interior shift lever must be screwed onto the shift housing. Then, slide the shift housing onto the column shift tube, pushing it far enough up so that a special metal pin can be inserted. Once that is done, you have to weld the end of the tube to the pin to secure it.2017-05-20-column-shift-assembly4

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Fixin’ Patterson’s Windshield

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features • TAGS: , .

Another item I tackled yesterday was Patterson’s windshield, specifically the twisters and a rear view mirror.

It wasn’t until yesterday that I realized Patterson didn’t have a rear view mirror. Fortunately, I had the mount from Rusty and a nearly correct mirror thanks to Chris McKay. This is before I added the mirror:

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And after the mirror. 2017-05-20-windshield2

Next I addressed a couple of broken twisters. These are one of the unique features of a DJ-3A Convertible. The windshield is nearly like a CJ-3B, accept for the way the convertible top is supposed to attach to the windshield. Instead of a sliding mechanism, it uses those twisters. Two of Patterson’s twisters were broken. I had a few that I removed from Rusty (most of Rusty’s were broken), so I installed two of those onto Patterson. 2017-05-20-windshield3

The windshield is now complete and ready for a convertible top.

 
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Modified Hardtop on Tim’s M-170

• CATEGORIES: Builds, M-170

Tim’s been working on this M-170, bringing it back to stock. One feature he really likes is the Metro Engineering and Manufacturing Top, which was extended to fit his M-170. Tim’s searching for some M-170 seats (probably the same as M-38A1 seats?? Can someone clarify this??).

“I’ve converted the engine back to 24 volts. The unique thing with this M170 is the top. It’s an M38a1 (I think) top that was cut and stretched 20 inches next to the door. Who ever did this did a great job. I like this better than canvas tops. If some one needs measurements contact me. One photo has the tag info on the top.”

m170-tim-0 m170-tim-1 m170-tim-2 m170-tim-3

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Getting Tanked

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features • TAGS: .

During my brief visit to Seattle the weather was most uncooperative. Today it was rain and hail, intermixed with sun. Two days earlier it was thunder, lightening, and downpours. So, I wasn’t as productive as I would have liked. Still, I managed to clean some more parts, order some parts, and work on the gas tank.

Not surprisingly, there seems to be no aftermarket replacement tank for the DJ-3A. I’m pretty sure a DJ-5 or rear CJ-5 tank would fit just fine, but I didn’t have one readily available and, besides, I was trying to stay with the DJ-3A tank. After some searching, I found one with all the parts, but it was a bit dented.

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This tank took a pretty good hit.

Today I decided to get the dents out. With nothing to lose, I started by drilling an access hole in the good side so I could pound out the worst side.

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My tool of choice was a 20 pound pry bar that had a round surface at the top. So, I inserted the bar upside down into the newly drilled hold and began working out the dents. It worked surprisingly well.

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I also had a small sledge and a smaller bar with a rounded end that helped remove some dents. Continue reading

 
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Frame Is Painted!

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features • TAGS: .

2017-04-24-david-ann-sand-blastingThis weekend my lovely helper and I blasted and painted the frame. Now, we are both tired. So, here’s a recap in pics …. First the dirt and scraping. Yuck!

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Rainy Days Go Away!

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features • TAGS: .
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Ann is not afraid to get dirty!

Unlike our sunny Friday, today was a rainy day, so any thought of blasting the frame was put on hold. But, we did get nearly all the parts removed from the frame and the engine/transmission ready to pull out. The more we removed, the more we could see that poor Rusty had come from an abusive home.

Case in point: the transmission cross member. Both sides of the frame where the transmission crossmember normally attaches have been beaten, suggesting that the jeep was often bottomed or high centered. That would also explain the need to install a custom cross member:

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You can see the wave along the bottom rail. I play on straightening it and then added an extra piece of metal to about a foot long to add additional strength along the bottom of the frame.

This net photo shows the rear passenger spring. The front portion of the bottom leaf is bent down quite a ways. This is slightly problematic in that there aren’t off the shelf springs for DJ-3A convertibles (that I know of anyway).

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I don’t know which year this image was printed, but it highlights the different springs among models.

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Note that the hardtop version had different numbers of springs on the left vs. right sides. From the CJ-2A Page.

To make it more confusing, I have five leafs in the front and four in the back (on both sides). I think I should have only 3 leafs. Perhaps the previous owner broke them and installed heavier ones? Or, the number of leafs was changed after 1956? I don’t know.

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Having a Blast

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features • TAGS: .

Just a few updates for today ….

Friday was another day of blasting. And, with Ann’s help, there was plenty of scraping, too. This photo describes my day:

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But, all that work wasn’t for naught. See the much cleaner steering box:

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ross-steering-box-rusty-cleanAnd, some of the blasted parts … clutch linkages, pedal levers, column shift parts, and more:
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One Part at a Time …

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features • TAGS: .
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All work and no noodles makes David grumpy! Good thing I found a new Ramen noodle place just a few minutes away from my parents. I had them add some pork belly. It was awesome!

More progress on Rusty, one part at a time. I wanted to remove the u-joints so I could sand blast and paint the driveline.

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To remove them, I used my favorite vice, something that’s been around longer than me. Using two different sized sockets (one to slide through and one to catch the u-joint as it slides through, I pressed it through. Make sure the grease nipple is NOT on the side you are pressing or it will cause you problems. This shows the u-joint after the springs are removed, but before I began pressing.2017-04-14-driveline5

This shows the u-joint after pressing it through. 2017-04-14-driveline6

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Bends, Cracks, and Mud

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features • TAGS: .

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There’s nothing like disassembly to reveal all the problems that remained unseen. Once the body came off, the realities revealed themselves.

The front cross member is cracked on the driver’s side (no surprise there — funny how I didn’t notice it with the body on it). The transmission is so packed with muck that I doubt any oil could leak through it. There are also some odd bends, like the mid cross member, which had something hit it with enough force to bend one side. Maybe the driveline broke at some point and flew up into it? Of course, there were rusty bolts, too, some which not even PB Blaster could save. At least it is getting closer to being disassembled.

The first big event was the removal of the body. I used a block and tackle to pull the body off:
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Working Away

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features • TAGS: .

With the rain staying away for a few days, I booked it over to Renton for a few days to work on Rusty. Here are a few of the things I did today.

I did a little more straightening to the body. This time I wanted to remove a bow along the top back. I’ve mounted a board as a straight edge. You can see the cancer in the rear.

2017-04-09-rusty-body-work2You can see there’s a gap between the board and the back.

2017-04-09-rusty-body-work1After some clamps and some sweet talking with a 5lb sledge, I coaxed the back into line.
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Then I played doctor and removed the cancer.2017-04-09-rusty-body-work4

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Paul’s Trailer Update

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features • TAGS: .

Paul’s continuing to make progress on his trailer.

I can’t remember if I explained about the lunette thread damage and what it took to get it repaired so here’s the brief story. Before I began disassembly of my M100 trailer I liberally sprayed all the fasteners with penetrating oil numerous times in hopes of easing the removal process. Most of the nuts and bolts unscrewed with normal effort (including the castle nut on the lunette) but I was disappointed to see some of the threads on the lunette were damaged by the nut when things came apart.

Once the lunette was cleaned and bead blasted I took it to a local machine shop to see what could be done to repair or replace the damaged threads. Because I didn’t know if the lunette was cast or forged the machinist said welding was out of the question and suggested I just buy a replacement lunette. I returned home and made numerous phone calls to military parts sellers, Jeep parts sellers and anyone else I thought might possibly have an M100 lunette for sale. Not only did I come up with a big fat nothing for a replacement lunette I also learned these things are harder to find than unicorns. I made a trip back to the machine shop and had another conversation with the talented folks about the lack of replacement lunettes before we brainstormed about the possibility of thread repairs.

After I answered all their questions about the M100 trailer weight, load capacity and the type of use it will be subjected to a solution was suggested. The plan was to carefully remove the damaged threads and then cut new threads on the slightly smaller diameter of the lunette. The thread pitch would be an uncommon type so they would have to make a castle nut of the correct diameter with matching threads but very little strength would be lost with this repair. I wanted one change made with their repair plan, instead of making one castle nut I wanted them to make four nuts. That way if I ever lost or damaged a special nut I’d have spare nuts on hand.

The attached photo shows the thread damage on the lunette, the focus is poor but the missing threads are still visible.

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David Tracy’s 1948 CJ-2A Update

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

David has run into problems with his starter and generator. Read more about the update on his build here: http://thegarage.jalopnik.com/this-latest-setback-could-doom-my-1948-jeep-off-road-pr-1793370087

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Photo Credit: David Tracy