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Unread 06-19-2011, 10:56 PM   #751
Ken4444
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Paint refurb, attempt #2

Back in May 2010, shortly after I got my Jeep, I got to work fixing up the dull paint finish. Here is the post about that. My Jeep was repainted probably 10 or 15 years ago, with the typical budget paint job (overspray, chipped paint in some areas, etc). The result was a finish that was shiner, but not head-turning. I felt that my work took a few years off the paint's age.

After reading about and seeing Mike's use of various 3M products to shine up his new clearcoat job, I was really impressed with the results. More recently, Dave posted some photos of work on the clear coat polishing job he did on his Nissan:

Mike's and Dave's work inspired me to see if I could work a greater level of shine out of my beat-up paint job, even though it's not clearcoat (2 stage) paint.

I have always been a believer in the concept where you work through finer and finer abrasives to bring a real shine to something, so using sandpaper and polishing compound on my Jeep seemed like a possibility.

There were several problems and questions: First, I didn't want to make it worse by sanding it. Clearly that is a step that can go downhill really quick. Second, I have always thought there was a certain level of black magic arould all of the vendors polishing compound products; they use different terminology (buffing, cutting, polishing, swirl eliminator, glaze, cleaning, sealer, etc), there are few standards, and most importantly, I could never find any clear cut path that gave specific advice for restoring an old paint finish.

I was poking around the 3M 'Collision' products website trying to make sense of their products, and that lead me to one of their videos on Youtube:


By watching this video, I was able to pin down the exact product names that I needed, and the order in which they should be used. The 3M video also of course promotes their other products which includes their buffing pads. Those pads are pretty pricey, but I was able to find similar pads from Mequiars that were much lower in price. The pads stick to a rough velcro backing (also Meguiars) which screws onto your buffer.

Finally, I was browsing the JF auto body forum and found this great writeup by JF user DANIELKSPENCER, loaded with information about how to properly make a vehicle shine. This answered a bunch of questions I had, although I had to read it a few times before I started to absorb the details.

So, in a fit of online shopping at work when I should have really be working instead, I lined up the following products:

Meguiars SoftBuff 2.0 Polishing Pad #W8207
Meguiars SoftBuff 2.0 Cutting Pad #W7207
Meguiars Easy-Buff Rotary Backing Plate #W66

3M 16oz Perfect-It Rubbing Compound #39060
3M 16oz Perfect-It Machine Polish Rubbing Compound #39061
3M 16oz Perfect-It Ultrafine Machine Polish #39062

3M Imperial WETORDRY sandpaper 2000 grit #32044
3M Imperial WetorDry sandpaper 1500 Grit #32023

I also picked up an open-box Black and Decker dual-action (DA) buffer/sander for cheap. This has the standard 5/8" threaded shaft and is variable speed. It works well but weighs a lot. The thing is a powerhouse and I will probably use it to help strip off my interior paint when I do that at some point.

So, one evening after work, I polished a test spot: The front of the passenger side fender. It didn't take long to do this small area, and the test was a success. It had a great deal more shine than the other side. I decided to do both fenders and the hood.

Here's a 'before' photo:



Here's the product lineup:



I also tried out a new beer. It was 100 degrees outside, afterall...



I started wet sanding with the 1500 grit, using a sponge to bring in more water frequently:



The sanding job make a mess and got white paint drippings all over the place. I used the garden hose to rinse these off every few minutes:





The basic order was:
  1. Wash with Dawn dishwashing soap (this strips off the wax)
  2. 1500 grit sandpaper
  3. 2000 grit sandpaper
  4. Wash with just water
  5. Dry with towels
  6. Put the Meguiars Backing Plate #W66 on the DA and slap on the Meguiar's Cutting Pad #W7207
  7. Buff with 3M Rubbing Compound #39060
  8. Wipe with damp microfiber towel
  9. Slap on Meguiars the Polishing Pad #W8207
  10. Buff with 3M Machine Polish #39061
  11. Wipe with damp microfiber towel
  12. Slap on a wool buffing bonnet
  13. Buff with 3M Ultrafine Machine Polish #39062
  14. Wipe with damp microfiber towel
  15. Put down a layer of Meguiar's NXT 2.0 wax (really a sealant) (that's all I had) and buff out by hand with microfiber towel
  16. Put down a layer of Meguiar's carnuba wax (don't remember the name at this point) and buff out by hand with microfiber towel
(Daniel Spencer uses "Black Fire Wet Diamond Sealant" and "Natty's Blue" paste wax, but I figured I'd use the rest of the Meguiar's products I had.)

Anyhow, the results were great! It took probably 4 hours to do the whole Jeep and the bumpers, but I'm happy with the results. Here are the photos:









I figured 'what the heck', and did the front bumper. It turned out excellent! It looks like it's coated in Armor All-



The bumperettes are also really shiny-







Another new beer-



I grilled beef fillet for Father's Day-



So, it doesn't look like a new paint job, but it's a really big step up from my first attempt. If you go easy with the sandpaper, go easy with the DA, and take the time to complete each step, I think this procedure would work well on any damanged paint finish. It takes time but the results are worth it! I wish I had another vehicle to try it out on.

The 3m products are pricey, so perhaps someone can weigh in and reccomend alternatives to the ones I used here. I'm sure that stuff from Meguars or other reputable companies would work fine as long as you can decode their black magic auto care voodoo lingo marketing speak, and figure out which specific products to use at which steps.

(bonus: I used the same sandpaper and 3m products with the DA on my 2003 VW Jetta's hazy headlights, and they shined up like new. They're totally clear now and look great)

Happy Father's day!

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Unread 06-20-2011, 07:41 AM   #752
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I applaud your efforts, Ken. Those excellent results are surely a labor of love. Looks great!

Rich
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Unread 06-20-2011, 08:42 AM   #753
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Originally Posted by rixcj View Post
I applaud your efforts, Ken. Those excellent results are surely a labor of love. Looks great!

Rich
Thank you! I think it looks pretty good. It's come a long way from the original chalky finish that it had when I bought it:



It's amazing what $150 and a bit of research, and a lot of muscle and time can do. I guess that's true about a lot of DIY projecets though.
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Unread 06-20-2011, 10:56 AM   #754
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rixcj View Post

I applaud your efforts, Ken.

Those excellent results are surely a labor of love. Looks great!
Very much agreed, and a great write-up I might add!

The results are amazing, especially compared with what you started with!




.
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Unread 06-20-2011, 11:05 AM   #755
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.
The results are amazing, especially compared with what you started with!
Thanks. My hope is that other people can salvage their worn out paint jobs and put off or avoid having to repaint. Clearly the consumer level products aren't enough to shine up a really damaged paint job, but navigating the professional level products takes some time to figure out. Perhaps my 'forumla' will help get people on the right track.
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Unread 06-20-2011, 11:34 AM   #756
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Ken, looks great, now all you need is a bit of touch-up paint!

Hoss
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Unread 06-20-2011, 06:24 PM   #757
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Ken,

I always enjoy reading about your latest project.

Thanks for including all of us out here.

That is some nice grilling there too.
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Unread 06-20-2011, 10:31 PM   #758
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Exhaust system rework

(FYI... I already posted about this in the CJ forum, so you may have already read about this already, but I wanted to add it to my build thread and include a few more photos.)

All my live I've owned 4 vehicles including the Jeep (not counting what the wife drives), and I've always resisted the urge to modify the stock exhaust on those vehicles. Stock exhaust systems, afterall, are usually designed to be quiet and work correctly with the design of the engine.

My cJ exhaust system was pretty rusty and had a hole in the air tube and what looked like a crack in the front tube. But otherwise it worked OK and was quiet. No need to modfy it, right? In the back of mind, I kept thinking that I should spend that money on something more important like a new clutch.

Somehow that all went out the window when I started shopping around and piecing togeher a new system. The deciding factor was when I discovered that the 2 nuts holding the front pipe to the exhaust manifold were not stuck. They came right off! It was a sign, or part of the midlife crisis...

Before I knew it, exhaust parts started showing up!





My plan was this:

- The Flowmaster is the "40 series Deltaflow" which promises an agressive sound without too much interior sound. I listed to a bunch of exhaust videos on Youtube. It's not always easy to choose because most of them aren't in a vehicle with a 258. There are a few in 4.0 Jeeps, but not too many old 258's.

- I wanted to install a new cat to be sure that I had one in good, working order. The CJ doesn't have to meet any emissions testing requirements, but I want her to run as clean as possible.

- Use 2.5" pipe where possible to get a deeper sound (muffler, cat, tailpipe)

- New, stock (Walker brand) 2" front pipe which would literally bolt right on. No fabrication required.

- Adapter to get from the 2" front pipe to the 2.5" other parts.

- Weld as much as I could, and use clamps as needed.

- For the tailpipe I bought some mandrel-bent 2.5" 'seconds' on Ebay (box of 10), and 4 feet of 2.5" pipe, and made my own.

Here's the old front pipe bolted on to the manifold:



This is looking up into the manifold, with no pipe connected:



Old and new systems together:



Here's the 2.0" to 2.5" adapter welded to the front pipe:



Here are a few of the leftover bends:



One weld:



I'm probably the only JF member with a toilet on the workbench:



Here's a video with before and after shots:

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Unread 06-20-2011, 10:42 PM   #759
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Nice job, Ken!!! Sounds great!! Not too loud, just right!!
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Unread 06-20-2011, 10:59 PM   #760
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Paint looks good Ken. Since your only 6 hours away how about driving this way and showing me how its done?
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Unread 06-21-2011, 06:38 AM   #761
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Nice job, Ken!!! Sounds great!! Not too loud, just right!!
Thanks! Yes, the sound is great. No annoying drone at all. It adds a bit of life to her without being annoying.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MoC View Post
Paint looks good Ken. Since your only 6 hours away how about driving this way and showing me how its done?
Gladly! But if you can replace your clutch then you can easily to the exhaust system! The only thing I would do differently is have an exhaust shop bend a custom 2.5" tailpipe because it would be easier than welding one from parts.
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Unread 06-21-2011, 10:56 AM   #762
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I thought I'd post this incident:

I went to start her up on Sunday evening and she was idling at about 1500 RPM and never dropped down to the regular idle speed. I tinkered with the choke linkages and then it seemed OK, but popped back to 1500 again as soon as I started driving. The next day was the same problem.

Last night I finally took the time to examine it and found that 2 things had happened:

1) I had disconnected the 2 wires from the MC2150 electric choke a couple of weeks ago and left them disconnected.

2) While moving some vacuum lines around, I had turned the cold/fast idle adjustment screw which was giving me the 1500 RPM idle.

For the last couple of weeks the Jeep has been non-driveable because the steering column was in pieces, but I don't remember what I had disconnected the choke wires for.

So, reconnecting the wires and adjusting the cold idle screw fixed the problem. I drove her to work today and everything was good.
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Unread 06-21-2011, 10:33 PM   #763
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Steering column repair

(note: I had pondered writing a really comprehensive writeup about disassembling and re-assembling the Jeep steering column to make for problems in the main existing writeup, but I just don't have the energy. Instead, I'm documenting the main problems I had when I did the work)

One Thursday I got in the CJ to drive to work, turned the key, and she wouldn't start: she didn't turn over. I turned again and she fired up ok. I knew it would be a problem that would come back to haunt me. The next day I took my son to school and had the same problem starting the engine. AFain after a few tries, she came to life. At that point I knew she probably wouldn't start again. I was working from home that day, so I drove back home, parked in the garage, and shut off the engine. I tried to restart it with no luck.

That morning I decided to go wide and did 30 minutes of research and ordered 3 parts: key cylinder, igntion switch, and starter solenoid.

Later that afternoon after working, I removed the starter solenoid and put it on the workbench. The next day, I was finishing up mowing the lawn and saw the old solenoid sitting there on the workbenck. It occured to me that I could easily test it to see if it would fire. I pulled out the Chilton's manual I Keep in the garage to figure out which two posts I had to engerzize with 12 volts DC to get it to fire. From what I could tell, it looked like it grounded through its own body / metal mounting bracket. So I hooked it up and got nothing. I saw that the metal body was corroded, so I scraped the aligator clip harder into the metal and 'SNAP!!' It fired. The old solenoid was OK.

At that moment I realized that I might have a grounding problem.

I sanded the back of the solenoid, cleaned it up, and used dialectric grease on all of the studs. I reinstalled it, and after one attempt where I incorrectly connected one wire, I got it hooked up correctly. I ran inside to get my keys, ran outside to fire her up, and... nothing.

The key and lock cylinder just turned around in a circle. It was shortly after this that a metal piece fell out of the steering column, and I knew I was going to have a lot of work ahead of me. The metal piece wasn't some random bit of shrapnel, but a quarter-sized piece of cast metal that looked important.

At some point I figured out I could pull the "remote rod" on the steering column and bypass the key cylinder. I pulled the remote rod and the Jeep started right up! The starting problem was a grounding issue at the starter solenoid. I then figured out to push the remote rod to stop the engine.



So at this point the Jeep was starting fine, but something in the steering column was broken and preventing the key from pulling on the remote rod.

At this point I started reading about how to disassemble the tilt steering column .

This is the premier how-to on repairing the Jeep TILT steering column (Which is made by GM):

http://www.epiccomputer.com/dale/jee...tilt/tilt.html

The problem with this writeup is that it lacks a lot of detail, but it will at least take you through the steps in order.

I also found this writeup (for the old Pontiac Fiero) which has fantastic photos and great information. 98% of it applies to the Jeep column:

http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum2/HTML/088020.html

So, I ordered a steering wheel puller and waited. It showed up around the same time as some oef my exhaust parts.

(Yes, I realize I have the bolts in backward in this pic)



I got the wheel off in about 30 seconds and proceeded through Dale's writeup until I got to the lock plate. The correct way to remove this is to get a lock plate tool. I ended up getting on at Napa. The function of the lock plate tool is to push the lock plate down, against the large spring behind it.





Once the plate is down, you will see a thin steel ring on the shaft. You have to pry this ring out of the groove, and slide it up and off the shaft. The trick to getting it off is to stick a small strong flat screwdriver or a thin pick between the ring and the shaft. Then stick a larger screwdriver in there. That will let you work it out of the groove in which it sits.



After getting past the lock plate, I worked happily onward until I got stuck at the next major hurdle: The pivot pins. These are the two main hinge points that allow the tilt colum to tilt. They are held place in with friction and can't be unscrewed. You just have to pull them out. They each have a threaded hole into which you put a screw to pull with. I tried 3 ways to get them out: 1) socket and screw, 2) home made steel puller, and 3) $5 pivot pin puller. Only #3 worked for me.







So, by this time I'm about 2 weeks into the project because I didn't procure the correct tools up front. Also, it's taken me this far to finally figure out what the broken piece of metal was. It was the lower half of the lock rack.

Here we see the broken lock rack:



So, I had to wait another 3 days for that part to show up. And you can't get just that part: you have to buy a bag with bearings, a spring, and a gear. For like $22.00. Oh well. They're all good parts, but I only needed one of them.

Here is the new lock rack installed in the column:



It is somewhat of a puzzle to get the new lock rack reinstalled; I can't possibly describe how I did it, but you have to study the mechanics and the fit. The Fiero article addresses this problem as well, but it's the kind of thing you just have to do.

Here we see a test-fit of the key cylinder without the housing installed. This is important because it helps you see how the cylinder relates to the lock rack. In the below diagram, you turn the key cylinder (#1), and it turns a shaft which turns a gear (#2) which pushes or pulls the lock rack. The lock rack then pushes or pulls the remote rod (show in 2 photos further below)



The last huge 'gotcha' I ran into was that when I went to install the new key cylinder, I could not get it to turn the lock rack 100% of the way. After an hour of futzing with it, I realized I just needed to press down the key release lever near the key cylinder to get everything to pop into place. Doh!!!

One big thing I learned from working the steering column is to get the right tools before you get started! Spending $25 on these three tools will save you a great deal of time.

Since I had ordered a new ignition switch, I decided to go ahead and replace that too. It sits on top of the steering column, and the remote rod sticks into the switch.

Here we see the remote rod sticking up from the column with the old ignition switch removed:



Here are the old and new switch side-by-side. They were not 100% identical, but close:



Here is the hole where the remote rod sticks into:



End.
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Unread 06-22-2011, 12:39 AM   #764
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Bravo, Ken!!

I attempted to pull that snap ring without the lock plate tool and stabbed my thumb with a screwdriver. Not recommended!
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Unread 07-09-2011, 10:02 PM   #765
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Almost stranded

She almost left me stranded today. I was out running some errands and was parked in a parking lot at a shopping center. I hoped in and went to fire her up and she cranked over but wouldn't start. I cranked and cranked and a few times she sputtered but never came to life. I tried starting her several times over about 5 minutes with no luck.

For some reason, I wondered if it was a vapor lock problem, so I pulled the gas cap and tried starting again. No good. Then I tried a second time after another minute and she came to life! Unfortunately I didn't take the time to check to see if I had a fuel delivery problem. I drove home with the gas cap off just in case.

I've noticed that during the past several days it can take a couple of cranks to get the 258 started and it sputters a bit at first. But she seems to start OK when cold. I've never had vapor lock problems before.

At this point I'm wondering if I should put on a new fuel filter (I have a spare or two anyhow), or what else I should check.

We're leaving Monday for a week at the beach and I'd love to take the CJ, but if she continues to prove unreliable then I'll have to leave her at home.
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