Wow, four months since the last update? I'm not dead, only ran low on money getting this Android tablet so I won't be having to lug around a 15" widescreen laptop in a bag. I got the passenger's side fender off, and the tarp over the engine on both sides. There were fewer bolts to pull, but they were horribly rusted. One of them literally twisted apart on me- the nut was in my open wrench, while the nut head tried to stay in my socket.
So now I've got easier access to the starter, generator, and distributor, and all that. I still don't have lockers, though. Also something that had been bugging the hell out of me turned out to not be present, so that's a bit of a help as well.
Awright, got some good news. I found a 2-ton hydraulic floor jack on sale at the local O'Reilly, and a second set of quality stands at a pawn shop. So the jeep-in-a-barn is once again on stands, only this time a lot more stable.
I tried pulling the driveshafts, and hit a few snags. I couldn't get the U-bolts out of the rear yoke, so I'll have to come back with a bronze punch or something to drive them out. The bolts on the transfer case end were stiffer than I could easily turn, so I'll have to be back there as well.
I also got some snap ring pullers, but they were super cheap and broke. Going to try needlenoses next time.
I also got offered an M38-A1, but the old guy doesn't have the title or and his paperwork was extremely dodgy. So... yeah. After talking to the county I decided against buying it. This makes two dodgy jeep offers in a year. >.>
I didn't get much done this month. Some of the body and trim screws I tried to remove are so badly jammed that I'm just going to have to break down for a cordless drill and some grinding stones and wheels to bust them off. I did get one of the windshield trim pieces off, though, and a look at some wonderful unfaded Indian Ceramic paint.
On a much brighter note, I decided to start loosening up the engine, and didn't have any trouble at all on that end. The spark plugs were nice and loose (edit: loose as in not stuck, not loose as in they're wallering around) when I got the puller over them, and I poured about a fifth of a can of 20w50 down each one and the rest of the can down the filler spout- which surprised me twice. Once by having an internal dipstick, and a second time by only being down a can and a half.
These are the snap-screws I pulled off the driver's side fender. I've got five of these in my bedroom at the ranch; the other five are still on the Jeep so I can have some idea of how they were installed stock. They seem to be a Tux exclusive, and of one-piece construction.
So while I sit here in town unable to work on it and waiting for my FSM to arrive, I've been thinking about just where I plan on going with this thing.
Since I discovered that its a Tux, everything I've been thinking about has been related to getting it running as a more or less stock Jeep, instead of trying to resto-mod it into something really other than stock.
First step is definitely going to be giving the axles and lower drive train a good working over, then rebuilding the brake system. Next up in no particular order will be the steering column, engine, transmission, and transfer case. After that will come a new body tub and tailgate- the fenders just need all that stupid bondo ground off, and the hood needs a paint job. Last will be the electrical work, seat installation, roll cage, and maybe the top.
At this point, I've already decided to mod it in one area: I want a Painless harness so I can have an actual fuse box. I tried redesigning the stock system for one, and the result gave me a bad headache. That, and I also want a radio, electric fan, side marker lights, and a cigarette lighter plug. So Painless it is.
I'm uncertain about whether to get a glass tub or a metal one. I can save a couple of thousand off the basic tub kit by re-using my old fenders and hood and I won't have to string auxiliary grounds, but on the other hand the glass body will never rust and I can put on a metal tub whenever I want. I'm going to kick this can pretty far down the road. The current tub is way too rusted to be easily restorable- there's some freaking awful rust on it, and a lot of the body bolts are so far gone they just spin in place instead of coming off.
Paint is going to be interesting. I've found a sample of unfaded Indian Ceramic on the side of the windshield frame, which should make color-matching relatively easy. Its a surprisingly pretty color, but then again one of my ex-girlfriends called me the "gayest straight boy" she'd ever seen. I also have to paint the steering wheel.
That leaves the white grill and all that chrome. I'm not sure I want to chrome the bumpers; the front was black and the hillbilly rear had a patina. The other chrome parts- windshield hinges, windshield latches, hood latches, grab bar, armrest/seat cushion snaps, headlight bezel rings, and probably some more stuff that I've completely forgotten.
I'm also going to need to take off the exhaust manifold, run it through an electrolysis bath, and then paint it with some high-temperature paint. I'm not entirely sure I want to get a new one. Then take it to a muffler shop and have the tailpipe rebuilt.
Gauges- 100% replacement. Here's where I'm going to be modding it further- I want to install a tach, voltmeter, ammeter, and oil pressure gauge in addition to the speedo-fuel-water temp cluster. I'm going to try my damndest to match all the gauge faces to the cluster gauge; I really don't want to do like my mom's truck where each pod gauge has a different face.
So what I'm going to probably do next jeep weekend (two or three weeks away) is get started on the axles- grind a few screw heads off some parts I want to take off so they won't get lost- the license plate carrier, passenger seat mounts, and last hard top piece- and then starting to check the rear axles.