No idea where, mine is all paint no vinyl here. I haven't updated this in a while, so much of this stuff happened months ago. First off I bent one leaf and the other separated, this was on 2 separate trips too I might add. First 2 pictures show the bent spring and the really messed up spring, the others are me working on it. They didn't go without a fight though, the bolts had to be cut out and new ones put in. I had pictures of that but they won't upload right now.
And then afterwards, I went for slightly taller springs to raise the front up level. The first picture is just after installing the springs. The Jeep was then parked for a few months and only got driven occasionally. I did some maintenance to it when I started driving it again like a new clutch master and o2 sensor no pictures of that stuff, they would be boring pictures anyway. Next up was the trans, after only having been driving it again regularly the trans got stuck in 4th gear. As I was driving in traffic at the time I forced it very hard and it came out of gear but refused to go back into any gear. Got the Jeep home and started to work on that. Got a replacement transmission that was supposed to work and threw it in there, well it didn't. You could move the shifter back and forth like it was in neutral but it was in 3rd gear and we couldn't get it out. As we had used the original back half of my trans we thought maybe we had done something wrong doing that. Of course by this time we had already put the transmission back in the Jeep under the assumption it worked, it seemed like it would. So we pulled the back half off while it was still hanging in the Jeep. There was nothing we could do with it, we had done everything correctly. Luckily at this time another member offered me up a rebuilt ax15 he had been hoarding for years. To make it even better, he lived so close to my mom's place where the Jeep was parked I could have walked there in a couple minutes. This transmission having been from a Cherokee we had to reuse the back half of my original transmission once again, luckily it was already out on the ground as we had taken it off the 2nd trans to see what was going on in there. So 2 of us worked on taking that out while the other assembled the new one. It was around this time when the Jeep began to anger me, but through a combination of stubbornness and a desire to see the Jeep fixed we pressed on. We struggled to get the transmission into the Jeep, we could get it very close but not all the way. It just would not go the last inch or so in, and we had assumed we were doing something wrong. Sleep deprivation undoubtedly was kicking in by this time. 4am came around and I then decided it might be a good idea to see if there was some other reason it wouldn't work. As it turns out, later model transmissions have a larger output on them,so in order to make use of the transmission we would need a new pilot bearing. That was the end of that night. That piece of info was learned thanks to this forum. The next day much time was spent driving around looking for one and borrowing special tools. If anybody is doing a similar swap in future, you can't just order the pilot bearing for a newer Yj as that won't work. Some forum research here showed that a special pilot bearing is required, so what you need to order is one for a 72 CJ with a 304 and a T15. So then due to work and other obligations, not much more was done until later on that night. Once we started though we just didn't want to stop, so it was another night of working until 4 am. Oh and as you will see in the pictures, this was all done without any kind of hoist or transmission jack. Lifting the trans in and out, many many times, was done via a rope wrapped around it.
Then took it on a long road trip I think around 500kms it was each way to go camping with some friends. Well that didn't go entirely smoothly, the Jeep was overheating on a long hill climb in the heat. It was at this point I figured I must have a leak but nothing was visible at the time. Upon arriving at the camp site it became apparent. Threw some stop leak in there which wasn't totally effective and stopped periodically to top it up and that went fine on the return trip. Almost made it all the way home too without any further issues.Was getting gas just off the freeway about 40 minutes from my house and went to go back on the freeway, well there was an accident on the freeway so we bailed. There was a dirt wash between the on ramp and the road running parallel to the freeway. I had seen a Ford Escape and some other vehicles go through so I figured hey if a glorified station wagon can do it the almighty Jeep should have no problem with it. Wrong! Upon cresting the wash onto the pavement there was an awesome crack! sound followed by a repeated bang bang bang sound, the telltale noise of a driveshaft banging off of the bottom of the Jeep. Luckily I have no exhaust back there or it likely would have been followed by another sound, that of my Jeep getting much louder. So upon inspection I had broken the slip yoke portion of the driveshaft, the other half of which remained in the transfer case. Calls were placed and decisions made, so into front wheel drive goes the Jeep and off we go to a friends shop about 20 kms away where he has told us there are 2 cherokee driveshafts waiting. For future reference that part seems to be the same between almost all Jeeps of this era. Unfortunately upon our arrival we are unable to locate either of them. In addition the slip yoke portion had fallen out. So a temporary repair was made to keep the remaining oil inside the transfer case so the Jeep will make it home without further breakage. In the end I got the driveshaft part I needed at a local wrecker, who does not sell whole driveshafts as theirs get cut in half. I did not have a hammer on hand at the time, so I improvised and used my old rear track bar as a hammer. One of the very few uses for a YJ track bar. Shown here is one of the other uses for it.
This hasn't been a great summer for the Jeep, it seems every time I try and do something with the Jeep it breaks. Last week I took it camping up East Harrison and set up camp at Cogburn Beach not knowing at the time how futile that effort would prove to be. Went for an evening run up to the Hot Springs at Clear Creek, coming back down the hill made it maybe a couple kms and the Jeep decides its not going to run anymore, screw what I want. Messed around with it for a little while, discover I've got fuel and no spark, well not much I can do about that in the middle of nowhere so I guess it's time to start walking. It was around 7:30 on Monday at this time, nobody was at the hot springs (or anywhere else really as it turned out) so walking downhill was chosen. First place with any life was the logging camp, not that anybody was awake there as it was near midnight by the time we arrived there. While wandering around the logging camp trying to decide what to do we hear Lester's dogs barking at us then him yelling at him which pretty much made the decision for us, we go and talk to him. If you are unfamiliar with East Harrison, Lester is the somewhat crazy old dude that lives in the logging camp selling firewood and collecting bottles, go talk to him someday it's worth it. Anyway we tell him what just happened and he gives us a few blankets and some towels for pillows and lets us sleep on his patio which thankfully had been closed in since my last visit there. I was later told we had walked 27km from where the Jeep had broken to there. In the morning he gave us a ride back to our camp, from which we had to walk a further 4 kms out in order to get cell service and call somebody to come rescue us and my Jeep. I've found when I make these sort of calls it's usually answered with what did you do now? But maybe that's just me. So we got my friend Cam (same guy who helped with the driveshaft and who's shop the front springs were done in among other things) to come to the rescue, he came out and picked us up and all our gear we then drove up to the Jeep and dragged it into town. By this time in the evening on the second day of my no longer relaxing camping trip I was unable to get a tow truck to get it that wasn't obscenely priced. So an extra day off of work was needed (good thing I'm the boss) and a U haul dolly was rented to go get it. If anybody was considering renting a U haul dolly to tow their Jeep, those things have a 30" tire limit on them. I ended up borrowing the spare out of the borrowed ZJ I had on hand and another ZJ wheel I had leftover from owning a couple ZJ's. Cam once again came to help, and good thing he did cause I hadn't been able to push the Jeep onto the dolly. He pulled it on there with his Jeep, also showed me how to properly strap everything down. So on to the more exciting part, the pictures. As you will see, Cam came not only to help but to laugh at how ridiculous the Jeep looked with the ZJ wheels on it. I suppose that I can at least say that while the Jeep may not have driven out under it's own power, it was at least all Jeep power that got it home.