So this evening I was all set to launch the Jeep on a maiden voyage around the block. Mission: Aborted. Pumping the brakes hard before launch blew apart the line where it splits to the real wheels. Also there is an intermittent nasty vibration which dissipates when moving the shifter. I suspect it's only a throw out bearing, but who knows, it could be the clutch. I didn't want to put it in gear without brakes and a clutch problem.
Having now owned 6 Jeeps, I became aware today of something I never noticed. Apparently, the embossed Jeep word on the side of the body has a few variations. Some are stamped Jeep with the "e" very pronounced. Others seem to spell Joop leaving the decals to display the proper spelling. I'm pretty certain the YJs I've owned spell Jeep and I do recall the TJ reading just a rough outline of the word. There is debate over why, when and which had what but I checked the '85 CJ 7 and it is definitely a Joop. The funny thing is, one of the reasons I want to use a steel replacement body over fiberglass is to have the embossed logo. Oh, those replacement steel bodies say Jeep.
Jeeps I've owned:
1980 CJ7 4cyl, manual, hard top, green
1978 CJ7 304 V8 Quadratrac, auto, blue, fiberglass body
1979 CJ7 304V8 Quadratrac, auto, green, hard top
1995 YJ Wrangler 4cyl 5spd green/spice
1995 YJ Wrangler 4cyl 5spd Rio Grande Bright Mango/Spice
1985 CJ7 6cyl, 5spd Laredo, red
Installed the new fuel pump. This should keep the fuel up near the carb where it should be. Next up was replacing the rear brake hose. Elongating a rust hole in the body with tin snips gave easy access to remove the body mount clip. Separating the rubber hose from the steel line proved to be quite difficult. PB Blaster is my new best friend. I wonder if I could just dip the whole Jeep in a vat of it. Unfortunately, the new hose is the wrong part in the right box. A replacement is on the way along with all 3 parking brake cables. A few more craigslist ads should help fund this next round of parts.
This afternoon I was finally able to connect the correct rear brake hose. Kevin came over to help bleed brakes and I ended up replacing both bleeder screws on the front calipers. Here's where it gets exciting! With a little coaxing, I persuaded Kevin to co-pilot a test drive. I thought I was crazy, but having no passenger seat he promptly sat a bar stool in place of where a sane person would have a seat. After realizing his head was far above the windshield and having no goggles, we opted for another idea. I voted for a leather wingback chair, but he settled for a milk crate instead. Besides, the gas tank would not have fit underneath the chair!
The passenger side seat belt appeared intact, but without proper seating what's the point? My seatbelt appeared to be complete but, upon wrapping it around my chest, I discovered that the floor where it was once attached was non-existent. I wrapped it around me anyway however, it would not insert into the other side. I discovered it would fit in the passenger side receiver so I figured that was good enough.
Safely buckled in it was now time to head out on the open roads. A quick test of the brakes while pulling out of the garage ensured me we were able to stop without using an outside force and with that we were off!
Things went well as we travelled up and down various intersecting roads of my subdivision. A few neighbors gave interesting looks of disapproval but I can't imagine why, as the engine was running perfectly! While Kevin was holding on for dear life I did notice there is typical play in the steering and the transmission is quite noisy, likely due to what I believe to be a bad input shaft bearing. The ride was smooth and there is a small exhaust leak, but overall I was really impressed. Luckily, it was fairly warm for a December afternoon as there is no top or doors. I hadn't ejected Kevin from the vehicle and we didn't want to tempt fate, so after about 15 minutes we headed back into the garage. It was wonderful to drive a Jeep again!
No, not the 70's TV show starring Chad Everett, we're talking emergency brake. Or is it a parking brake? I never could figure out dilemna. Anyway, with lots of PB Blaster I've removed all the old cables and routed the new ones before I got sidetracked helping my neighbor figure out his new a/v receiver. I used to be good at stuff like that but equipment being made today is in no way intuitive. I curse Steve Jobs for leaving us before he had time to reinvent television.
I still need another day to connect the cables to the rear wheels. Not looking forward to that as I'm not a big fan of drum brakes. While I'm at it I'll check the fluid level in the transmission.
With 60+ temperatures in mid-January the Jeep was begging to be worked on. I finished connecting up the emergency brake cables to the rear wheels. I had been putting that off because I'm just not a fan of working with drum brakes. Nevertheless, everything is now connected and adjusted properly and works better than the e-brake on my Wrangler ever did.
The brake warning light has been on ever since bleeding the brakes so I tackled that next. Here's how you do it. Place a length of pipe between the brake pedal and the driver seat frame to fully depress the brake pedal. Next, locate the brake proportioning valve on the driver side frame rail. On the valve you'll see a small pin on the front end covered by a rubber cap. Remove the cap and depress this pin. That will center the valve. Replace the rubber cap and verify the brake warning light is no longer on. If it is, you may need to re-bleed the brakes. Start at the front, then the back and finally the front again.
Next I took another look at the left rear brake light which stopped working again. After messing too long with it I finally determined the cause was dirty contacts on the turn signal mechanism. Working the lever back and forth seemed to rectify the problem for now. I'll probably open it up and clean the contacts when the whole vehicle gets disassembled.
Finally, I decided to check the transmission fluid. What I found was not fluid. In fact, the contents was more like what you would scoop up from Mill Creek several years ago. Basically a tan colored oily mud. Naturally this warranted a trip to the auto parts store for some 75w90. I'll work on that next time as well as patch an exhaust leak.
I'm pretty sure transmission fluid is not supposed to look like this! Whoever says water and oil do not mix has never owned a Jeep. A T5 can mix oil water and mud like no other device can. A drain and refill will be the first step in resolving this issue followed by another drain and most likely a disassemble/flush as I have to address the input shaft bearing issue anyway. Or maybe that's just the way bearings behave in mud.
Finished up a few loose ends today. Tightened and locked down the emergency brake cable and flushed and filled the transmission with 75w90 gear oil. During this process I discovered the front driveshaft is bent. Its actually got about a 1/2" bow. Guess I'll replacing that at some point.
It was also a good opportunity to start taking pictures for documentation. I noticed that the hood and grill aren't equal on both sides. The left side is a bit more flush. Also the passenger side of the cowl doesn't line up that well with the rear of the hood. Also the tailgate gap on the left side is very uneven and wider at the top.
Next up: attached the seatbelt to something that isn't rusted through. Vacuum out all the must, dirt, leaves, wasps, rust etc...
I know there's a huge debate on what fluid to use. This transmission is in dire need of a rebuild so at this point any damage is already done. What fluid I put in to drive 10 miles down the road is irrelevant. I'll address this again after it's been rebuilt or replaced.
Tonight I realized I have a stainless steel driver side mirror for a CJ in my spare parts box. I quickly ran out and put it on the Jeep. At this point I have a legal, roadworthy Jeep capable of being driven up to the local 4x4 shop for a new rear frame crossmember and a frame repair near the rear leaf spring. The only thing I need now is for the weather to break.
In other news, I sold a few more Jeep parts with a few more to potentially sell this weekend.
Oh, and the mirror sticks out pretty far so I have to remember to fold in in while pulling in our out of the garage!
The bent driveshaft has been removed. No need to replace it now as it needs to be out to service the transmission. The seatbelt mount has been relocated and attached to a new part of the body that actually still exists. The buckle receive is now working as it should. The seat track is cleaned and adjusted and the seat back is propped into a drivable position. What to do next...
Today the weather broke and made for a great day to get a little work done. Last week I ordered a new front bumper, cover and a rear frame crossmember. The front bumper mounted up in just a few minutes and I gave the crossmember a coat of etching primer to protect it from rust before I can get it welded on. Next up was cleaning out all the debris from the interior (leaves, wasp nests, mud, rust, etc...) so it doesn't fly around when it finally goes to see Big George. Lastly I ripped out an old CB antennae wire and what was left of the passenger side seatbelt.
Now I'm just waiting for a warm Saturday to drive it up to Big George to weld the crossmember, repair the frame and weld up an exhaust leak. Once that is finished the real fun begins!
Well, it's been a while. I totaled my car a couple of weeks ago so I had to buy a daily driver. Not wanting a car payment, I decided to go with something I'm familiar with.
Enter Jeep number 7, a '94 Wrangler. No rust anywhere to be found, recently painted and a new top, it's all stock except for a 1" body lift. I did have to replace the oxygen sensor and change the transmission fluid using Redline MTL. A few other little things like dash lights and removing a few unnecessary accessories and its good to go. I did order seat belts and next will be interior door panels and seat upholstery then it will be like new.
And that is exactly the problem. I got to thinking... How cool would it be to put a CJ front end on a YJ. Add a CJ tailgate and it would feed the need for a CJ until I get the CJ restored. Hey, the parts are already sitting in the garage! More to come...
Back to the CJ. Today I ordered the frame repair tail, shackle and bushings. Waiting for that warm Saturday to drive it to Big George. In the meantime, I did get the interior all cleaned out so debris isn't flying everywhere.
Saturday the CJ7 made its way to Big George for frame repairs. A short test drive around the block deemed it somewhat safe for travel. The 256 straight 6 performed flawlessly and the noisy T-5 transmission didn't give me too much trouble. Even George was impressed at how well the engine started and ran. I should have it back in a week or two with a nice solid frame. Until then the Wrangler only has one seat (hey, I needed something to sit on for the trip to Big George).
The Wrangler also now has a new tie rod and ends. During this repair I discovered a tire slightly out of round creating a vibration at 35mph. Dayton tires are no longer made so I may try road force balancing on it or worst case I'll introduce it to a belt sander!
The Wrangler hood and grille have never lined up properly and has been driving me crazy so that was today's project. Loosening up all the body mounts, I was able to shift the body ever so slightly and then re-center the grille. A little tweaking on the hood evened up the gaps on either side. It's not perfect but it is much better and I can live with that. A wash and wax and the 19 year old Jeep looks almost as good as new. Well, the interior still needs some attention...
The CJ7 made it's way back home with frame repairs complete, a new rear crossmember welded in place, a new front driveshaft and u-joints and all exhaust leaks welded shut. Putting it up on jacks it was easy to spot the main culprit for the steering wander. A worn tie rod end between the drag link and pitman arm desperately needed replaced. I called to have one sent to the local store, picked it up on the way home and got it installed in a matter of minutes. A test drive this weekend will reveal any remaining steering issues although I can say right now there is a bit of play in each wheel likely coming from wheel or hub bearings. Disassembly and inspection may be next on the list.
Meanwhile, the Wrangler sprung a leak of it's own in the exhaust. The bracket welded to the pipe near the transfer case broke free creating a nickel sized hole and lots of noise. I've temporarily sealed it with a tin can and a couple of hose clamps I had lying around and with any luck it'll hold until I take it in for welding.