And no, that was not the majority of stuff on the Ranch.
We went back home and I went to work on stripping the frame, transfer case, transmission, and a few other parts.
Because I was moving soon...and I wanted to get a bit more organized...I decided to get a tool chest. I wouldn't have dropped the cash, but I resigned myself to the Jeep not being done anytime soon. I went to Home Depot, Lowes, Sears, and Harbor Freight. I compared all their chests physically and by price. Amazingly enough I thought the highest quality chest was from Harbor Freight! Sears and Lowes had some decent ones, but the Sears offerings were not as sturdy as the HF flagship....and were two times the price. I was going to buy the flagship then a mechanic told me the one he had up front (that was on sale for 200) was amazing quality. I bought it despite it not being on the showroom floor. BIG mistake..I got it home and it was cheap and ugly as sin. I took it back and got the right one:
It was expensive...but I love it! Drawers and pistons are extremely smooth. It rolls well and is built quite solid. Its not as good as the ones from Snapon or maybe older craftsmen stuff...but still.
The next day we all got up early--Jeff, myself, and my friend and work buddy Dean who flew in from Seattle to visit and work on a project with me (besides moving and car stuff). I wanted to take apart the rear brakes to see what was up, but Jeff dove in before I had the opportunity:
It looked like the piston or reservoir thingy might have caused it to seize. I don't know the official name but I will replace both.
We also took off the front brakes:
I brought a bag of tools, and we headed to the Jeep Ranch to pull my tub. Here is a picture of Dean standing in front of it:
It is in fairly good shape, or so it looked at the time. The rear quarter panel on the drivers side is a little dented...but for the price i can live with it since I plan on some body armor back there anyways. The tub body mounts were all good, or so they looked...which is what sold me. There is some horrible bedliner in there that will be a pain to get off, and a bit of surface rust here and there, but nothing big. We got to work:
In two hours of working we had it off. Not bad at all. Only issue was the roll cage. Over the next FOUR hours we tried everything to get it off but those $*^@ torx bolts were a major pain in the butt. We had to get it off, because apparently the roll cage mounts were rusted completely through on the long tab side. AKA where the bolts were not. Looking back now it probably would have been best just to cut out all the mounts with a sawzaw since I am going to have to weld in metal anyways...but instead I decided to endure four hours on what happened to be the hottest day of the year, in the sun, with 67% humidity.
It was my tub, so I got to work on the cutting, grinding, prying, and cussing. The guys offered to help and I took them up here or there but I didn't want them to go through the hell to get my tub separated. After a long time Jake's (the owners) dad told us we could use Jake's Torch. Jeff Wheeled it out and showed me how to use it:
It seemed simple enough but it was pretty rough using it without sunglasses or any kind of tinting. I did have safety goggles but no face mask and no gloves with a T shirt. Molten metal turns out to be very hot and angry when it splashes around, and I got a bit burned but nothing major. I tried getting the bolts out with the torch, but it just made a mess, fused metal together, and started to warp the body. So I gave up and went back to the grinder and dealing with awful angles.
When I was 95% done Jake got home and helped me on the last two--we worked side by side. Because of the awful angles it was very difficult to get at the bolts, and his grinder slipped on him and went flying out into the field. He cut is arm up but nothing serious.
In the end we got the #*@&rs out of the tub and it was still in one piece:
I officially hate Torx heads.
After that day I wanted to crash but Dean and I worked on painting the frame, transmission, and transfer case. I used Marine Clean and Metal Ready on everything...that stuff is AMAZING. Nothing works as well as it...well, nothing relatively safe does. I wouldn't use hydrochloric acid. Anyways, BUY IT! The Transmission and Transfer case I used silver high temp paint on, just like the engine.
Dean went home narrowly missing helping us move (our closing got delayed). On the way home from the airport I stopped in a wonderfully hick town (loved it!) at their gas station. I saw this outside and thought it was priceless:
They indeed were...all of them were in the box.
The next day I got to moving. It was a bunch of work as I have never moved by myself before but thanks to my awesome wife we got everything in there in one day and 80% unpacked a few days later. It was just two miles away so I felt safe loading like this:
BTW I have pics of the painting process...but they are on Dean's camera so I will upload them later.
To get my workshop ready I needed to build a solid work bench. I called Jeff up to see what he was doing and he came over to help. He had built some good ones for his shop and I wanted to copy his. He did all the measurements for me, and I bought the lumber and he got to work marking for my saw:
I'll tell you, that man is some good free labor.
But seriously he is a great friend and has been awesome help to me on this project. I got it all put together with his guidance:
It was extremely sturdy, even though I opted to use 3/8" plywood for the top instead of buying more 2x6x8s as I had TONS of plywood left by the PO. I drilled it to the workshop wall too...so if there is another hurricane (my house is right by the backbay) my workbench will hold it down.
Another long day done, we went to my favorite place to smoke cigars: