The next area I wanted to work on was the area I mentioned above which was how the vehicle was running. It would back fire and was sluggish. No real reaction from the gas pedal but ran fine at idle. I took it to a mechanic because I have never had the greatest luck trying to tune an engine. After a few hours I got a call stating that the reason the rig was struggling was because it was a points distributer and these being something from the era of the motor needed to be tuned on average every 10,000 miles. My mechanic suggested I put an electronic distributer and I took his advice. This up grade cost me about $300 in parts. Here is the pics of old to new.
The next trip to Big Dogs was much better. There were only a few areas that the Tank Killer still couldn't perform. It couldn't handle verticle climbs because of the carb and for some reason strated dieing out and wouldn't start. We had a battery jumper with us on the trail and were able to keep it running most of the time. We set the idle high to try and counter act the verticle areas where the carb would start to get flooded out. Here are some pics of the trip.
Also this was our first real event as a club. We decided to name the club Country Boy Crawlers. If anyone is in the Maryland area check us out.
Well I have had a full size set of axles that came out of a 72 Jimmy that I was wanting to drop in eventually. A 12 bolt for the rear and a Dana 44 for the front. With everything I read on there was a full size axle kit offered by Blue Torch Fab (BTF) that would move your front brackets outside the frame and turn into a reverse shackle set up. I went with this set up and wanted to incorporate a stinger hoop, grill hoop, and winch plate. The total amount was right around $1000. Here is what came next.
The front BTF bumper full width kit bumper with stinger hoop.
Installed with winch and grill hoop. Came out pretty clean.
Now the area we worked on next was my dieing battery. I knew cetain things in the rig were not working right electrically. The problem was we did the Painless Wire Harness too quickly and left a few loose ends. The other part that I mentioned was the the grounds. I went back and did individual grounds inside the fire wall to each of my electrical components. I scraped the paint away from each grounding point and used metal bolts, washers, and nuts. I then went and any electrical contact I had with a butt conector got removed and replaced with the heat shrink soder conectors. This was a pain stakingly long process. Mallory will tell you the two 14 hour days spent trouble shooting.
I then went and purchased a new batttery. I had heard nothing but good things about the Yellow Tops and wanted an area to mount the winch to. Here is the battery. I picked up for $200....OUCH Optima OUCH!
Well a few days later I came out and the Jeep wouldn't start. I knew that something had to be wrong after I had been driving it around locally the lst couple of days. Sure enough the culprit was my new electric fan. It seems my stock distributer couldn't handle the juice that the electric fan was pulling. Steady 40 watts. The battery wasn't charging until I got up to about 3000 rpms. So it was time to purchase a new alternator.
I also got rid of the Yellow top at this point and got $100 bucks back with the purchase of a new cold cranking battery with front inputs for the winch.
I invested in a 140 amp Power Master alternator. Another $200 dollar purchase. Here are the before and afters.
So with all of this I finally solved my electrical problem but I still shorted out 1 cd player and a cb from water getting in from the windshield area and AC vents. Here was the fix.
I pulled the CD player and CB out from under the dash. We fabricated a over head console that hold the CD Player and CB that attaches from the sport bar to the windshield. I will upload a pic of that later cause I can't seem to find it.
I also removed the AC and Heater system and patched the firewall from the inside, primed, and bed linered that motha up!
I also patched the top of the AC vent on the hood and patched the inside AC vents from under the windshield. Withe the hood vent I just placed the black trim vent cover over the top of the patch and you really can't tell a difference until up close. I did this with sheet metal and 3m Body sealer. I also went and use the body sealer on the windshield and filled any holes I could as well as the long gasket that sits in between the windshield and frame. That stuff is no joke! Enjoy.
Next I went and invested (or tossed money away, your choice) in an off road carb kit for my 4 barrel Edelbrock carb. This is a specialty item and isn't expensive. $14 bucks maybe. Well after I finished the kit I wanted to take the Jeep off road and see how she handled vertically with the new addition.
Lesson number 8
Bad things happen when your in a hurry and short on time.
We went out to a local area neither me or my buddy were familiar with. Didn't bother to tell anyone where we were going. Took one rig and no tools. You can already see where this is going if your a Jeeper. Well we got out on a power line trail and found a good hill covered in brush. My buddy was in a hurry to get to work so rather than get out and walk it first I powered up the hill.
Four large dug out tire holes were in my path covered with brush. I slammed into the first hole and it kicked the Jeep out and over to the right. A loud bang and a whole lot of thunking and I was rolling back down the hill. I broke a strap on the yoke of my rear drive line from the crash and the thunking was my drive line slapping on my mufflers.
The 2 hours it took us to limp back to the road, phone call to a buddy to bring tools and limped home in front wheel drive. Here was the damage.
A broken CV that was grinding on rotation and a damaged yoke. I also punctured a hole in my muffler. A quick trip turned into $300 dollars real quick! Lessoned learned is always walk it first or have a spotter on your up hill and down hill climbs!
The next thing I wanted to purchase and work on was a roll cage. Since we had purchased a 120 Miller Welder I wanted to put it to good use. The bumper was the first part but the roll cage tested our skills with welding and fab'ing. I purchase a normal weld in cage kit that attaches to the original sport bar. I also wanted to add stability so I did a dash bar and two reinforcements bars across the driver and passengers heads. The last step was footing to be bolted into the floor and hand holds. Here is how it went.
After the forward part was in we pulled all of the seats and interior out and welded in the Jeep to help with not needing to measure. Its a wonder why my neighbors didn't kill me while all of this was going on.