JeepDaddy hit on a BIG ONE!
In a slow reconstruction, you can forget where things are supposed to go or how they are supposed to be installed!
Digital camera is a VERY big thing, and I use it A LOT when I'm 'Exploring' something!
My first Q-track case was a FINE example of how a digital camera saved my butt!
Carb rebuilding is another example of how a camera can get all those linkages back in correctly!
One thing I think all CJ owners can agree on is the biggest problem we have is RUST!
Wire brushes are FAST for taking rust off, but they don't get the rust down in the pits of the metal out, and that leaves rust to forum bubbles and blisters on EVERYTHING after you are done.
There are lots of coatings to seal in the rust.
All that does is cut the oxygen off to the rust, and slows it down, but it still marches on under the coatings.
All you have done is MINIMIZE the rust, not ELIMINATED it.
On top of that, it's now under a coating where you can't see what it's doing!
For me, The best way I've found to get rid of rust is to first WIRE BRUSH the surface rust off.
This is DIRTY WORK, but it saves a BUNCH OF TIME over other methods.
Then I go back with one of two things to ELIMINATE the rust as much as I can...
One is sand blasting.
Even a very small air compressor will allow you to use a 'Bucket Blaster'.
A bucket full of blasting sand, and an air powered siphon gun that sucks up the sand and projects it against your intended victim.
Sand blasters will get into corners, nooks & crannies you can't reach with anything else.
Bucket blasters are about $20 to $100 depending on how many 'Extras' you buy with the gun...
This is a good place to get sand blasting equipment,
LINK: TP Tools & Equipment
Even Duplicolor has a bucket blaster for about $45, and you can get sand tips for it from the above link...
You see these on the 'Truck Tool Sales', Harbor Freight and on E-bay all the time for cheap, usually you can pick one up for about $25 if you shop around.
You simply move your bucket to where you are working and blast away!
Sand is available from your local CONCRETE store for about $10 for 100 pound bags, and if you keep it dry, and screen out the chunks, you CAN reuse it until it gets wet...
Then it won't flow through the gun anymore.
I use these same guns to spray things like 'Herculiner' and other coatings that are just impossible to get through or out of regular spray guns.
Use the same gun to clean, then spray the bed liner or frame coating through that gun...
It's worth the $20 for the gun for the convenience!
Your coating goes MUCH farther, so you save money there,
It takes 10% of the time to get the coats on the vehicle, so you save TIME there,
And you get a MUCH more even, better looking job, and that is worth a bunch!
If you are spraying something like Herculiner with the rubber particles stirred up in it,
You may want to use an Shutz Undercoating gun.
Shutz is a brand name of cheap, cast aluminum spray guns, and the undercoating gun from Shutz works GREAT with Herculiner with the granules in it.
I think I paid $13 a piece for the last batch of guns I purchased, And they clean out MUCH better than the sand blasting guns.
The SECOND thing you can do to kill rust is a RUST KILLER primer...
Once you have removed all the surface rust you can get at,
Use a Rust Killer,
I find this one to work REALLY WELL...
Wire brush in a rotary tool, I did HALF of this wheel with two coats and this is how it turned out,
Paint & Primers can go on right over the rust killer!
YOU DO NOT NEED A LARGE COMPRESSOR!
Small compressor and EXTRA LARGE TANK will do a LOT of work!
Most people think you need a Huge Volume compressor that will keep up with tools as they work. YOU DO NOT.
Plumb in a larger tank between compressor and your work hose, and you will be able to get a lot of work done with a smaller compressor.
RESERVE VOLUME UNDER PRESSURE is the key to making a small/inexpensive compressor do a lot of work!
I used a small 3/4 horse Sears compressor with 100 pound propane tank as reserve for many 'Field' operations down through the years, everything from the race track to doing peoples tubs with sand blaster and Herculiner, and everything in between.
All I needed was a reasonable size 110 volt supply cord and I was off to the races.
If your wallet is fat, get as much compressor as you can afford for the shop,
But if you are 'Mobile', nothing beats a compressor you can carry around with one hand and a large storage tank!
Some warnings here,
Silica Blasting Sand is HARD on your eyes, lungs, hands.
Get yourself some good safety glasses, a cheap welding hood with clear lenses in the front, and some heavy gloves.
(Cheap welding gloves work fine)
I find the cheap hoods at pawn shops for $10 to $15 all the time...
DON'T FORGET THE DIRT FILTERS FOR YOUR FACE!
You don't want those sharp little particles in your lungs!
If you want to polish up chrome, work on plastic or aluminum,
Get yourself some WALNUT SHELL BLASTING MEDIA.
This stuff WILL NOT erode away plastic or chrome or eat into aluminum, and things will SHINE you though were junk a long time ago!
Something like an old metal kitchen colander is great for small parts like bolts, nuts, ect.
You can blast in the basket and clean things up without loosing them or blasting holes in your fingers/gloves.
I've got a CJ-2A going through the same process you are doing right now, and the sand blaster is my most used tool during tear down and clean up stages.
It's messy, but it saves SO MUCH TIME and gets things REALLY clean!