Just a note to anyone starting to read the thread. I started out in one direction thinking that I was just going to make a few simple repairs and a new paint job and decals but after digging into it a little bit I have decided to go for broke (hopefully not literally) and try to mostly restore the Jeep to like-new condition with the exception of the 3" Black Diamond lift, 33" tires/wheels and the changing of the differential gears from the OEM 2.73 to 3.73. Also my engine is not original, it is a 258 from a 1988 YJ Wrangler that was rebuilt by me about 30,000 miles ago.
I hope everyone enjoys watching the progress as I try to bring my Jeep back to better days and anyone who has any advice or pointers you're welcomed to chime in. Cheers.
Here we go. Now I'm joining the ranks of a few of the others here doing a teardown, repairs, and put it back together again. I won't be doing a complete frame-off on the Jeep at this time as I already did that once 12 years ago. My goal over the next month and a half is to bring the Jeep back to CJ specs (I used a YJ tub), fix a few of the places that have went bad since I did the teardown in 1998, and upgrade some of the problem prone areas so I can get a little more enjoyment out of the Jeep before completely tearing it down again to completely restore/resto-mod it to be as good or better than it was when it rolled out of the AMC dealer new in November 1984.
Here's where I'm starting today. The biggest visual problem is I have developed rust between the cowl reinforcement, cowl, and side panel on the driver's side. I've started by folding down the windshield, removing the whole dash and wiring harness, and starting to grind out the rust to see what I'm up against here.
What I have come to find here is that water came in thru the windshield hinges and ran down the inside of the panel and behind/between the reinforcement and the cowl and side panel and it rusted from the inside out. I've already called Classic Enterprises this afternoon as they now list the cown reinforcement on their website but the guy there tells me that it will be about a month before they are ready and that someone jumped the gun and put it on the website too early. I really don't want to wait that long and this really should be fixed somewhat the right way even though I plan on starting the full teardown either this winter or next winter.
I'm going to shape some sheetmetal to fix the outside but not sure what to do with the reinforcement. I just don't want it to be flimsy or look like crap for the meanwhile.
Has anyone ever removed/replaced this cowl reinforcement other than the bottom of it that just about everyone has done? what holds it in?