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To(w) Hell & Back

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features • TAGS: , .
2017-07-16-patterson-tow-failure9

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.

dj-exhaust2

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!

surrey-exhaust

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.

2017-07-16-patterson-tow-failure2

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.

2017-07-16-patterson-tow-failure10

Me trying to work through the steering problem.

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