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Discussion Starter · #301 ·
1- hammer forming longer sections is more accurate and simple
2- now that you have the MDF/HDF buck you can do this coupon fab repeatedly
1 - Hammer forming is definitely the way to go. Thanks for the great suggestion!
2 - I've got to do the driver's side. After that, I hope I don't have to do any more of them! 🍻

Progress continues:

Trimming started:


Trimming finished:


Tacked into place:


Welding complete - lots of tack welds! And all the extra holes were filled too.


Welds ground flush, and looks pretty good.


I still need to re-tack some pin holes:


Red circles are small pinholes that need to be tack welded shut.


Next steps:
re-tack weld the pinholes
mark and drill the flare mounting holes
test fit of the flare
 

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Discussion Starter · #304 · (Edited)
How was warpage from grinding that flat?
It's not the flattest weld line on the passenger side, but I don't think it's the grinding. I was probably a little impatient with the welding. I also didn't do a good enough job of straightening the tub sheetmetal pre-weld. I'll try to straighten it better when I have the rear axle pulled and have better access. I tried to do better on the driver side, but we'll see how successful I was tomorrow. I don't mind a thin stretch of bondo, if necessary. I already spent way too much time and money on this (small!) part of the project!


Happy Fourth of July - my grilling apprentice (my son) came over and cooked some appropriate bacon-wrapped hot dogs for the occasion.



Driver Rear Wheel Well
I followed the same process for the driver's side as shown in Part 2. 18 gauge panel in form and cut lines marked:
🍻


Hammering:


More hammering:


Cardboard template to help get outside cut line - same template as on passenger side - it was just flipped over.


Marking outer cut line:


Trimmed and mostly fitted:


Another view of the fit:


More fitting:


Lots of tack welds!


Welding complete except for the hole that I forgot to fill! Doh!


Next steps:
Grind the welds
Fill any pin holes
Mark and drill the flare mounting holes
Prime
 

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Discussion Starter · #305 ·
Shifter Cover Plate
This wasn't high on the priority list, but it was a small project that I could do in the shade of the garage this afternoon.

Here are a couple of pictures of the problem from an earlier post. I just need to move up the cutout for the transfer case shifter:






I just formed a piece of 18 gauge steel by gently bending it over the edge of the bench multiple times.






Layout


Sheared one side:




The rest of outer shape was cut on my Milwaukee-Swag vertical bandsaw:


The inner hole was cut using a pneumatic body saw:


The test fit went well:


Finished...just need to drill some holes:

 

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Outfreekingstanding work. There is nothing wrong with having to use body filler if the prep work is good and there is no way for moisture to get to in from the back side. Bondo got a bad wrap from misuse and poor prep. It is also an improved product over the years. I have not tried this method yet myself but true a two part epoxy primer over the work you have just done and then continue your body work is what I understand to be pretty much impervious to future rust. You have already paid attention to the detail of not leaving pinholes.

Keep it up. Great thread. Nice work.
 

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Outfreekingstanding work
Absolutely. I’d hire him to work on my stuff and if you knew me at all that’s an exceedingly rare statement from me.

the trans plate. That’s on my to-do today. 18ga is too heavy for that but once done is a significant improvement over the 24ga (??) stock piece.
 

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Discussion Starter · #308 ·
Thanks for the kind words!

Work continued today:

Wheel Wells Finished
Passenger Side
The passenger side with the flare installed using factory hardware:





Driver Side
The driver's side got the finishing touches...welds ground flush.


Flare mounting holes drilled


Primed:


Flare installed:









Shifter Boot Frame
I was missing the metal frame that goes over the transfer case shifter boot, so I made one out of 1/8" aluminum. This was another hot afternoon project in the somewhat cooler garage - at least I wasn't out in the sun!
Drilling the corners of the internal cut:


Corners drilled out:


The inside was cut with a jig saw


Test fit:


The outer perimeter was cut on the Milwaukee-Swag bandsaw. And the holes were drilled.


Test Fit:


I gave it a gentle curve in the vise to fit the curve in the plate:


Done for now:
 

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Discussion Starter · #309 ·
I'm moving back to the front clip. I got distracted doing the floor patch, the rear wheel wells, the front bumper, the frame tie-ins and the tire carrier over the past few weeks. There's still lots to do!

Radiator Fan Shroud
This part was actually done back in May, but just adding it here now...
To do a quick test, I bought a CJ fan shroud for a 304 V8 from Amazon. I bought it from Amazon because I could easily return it if it didn't fit. They were also the cheapest place, and it arrived in 2 days.

I actually used to have one of these exact shrouds for my Jeepster project. When I sold the Jeepster 304 drivetrain several years ago, I sold the shroud. Fast forward a few years, and I'm buying the same part again. As much as I try, I can't keep everything!

Some trimming will be required, but it fits pretty good.


One problem - the fan wants to be a little bigger in diameter, so I'll look for another fan. Or I'll live with it for now. I could always change it out later.


Another minor problem - it looks like I'll have to re-drill the mounting holes. (this is pretty easy)


Bigger interference from the upper radiator port - big trimming needed.


I also need to trim down at the bottom to clear the steering shaft.

I'll do the trimming on the shroud later - for now, I'm confident that I can make it work.

19" Fan
I bought a 19" fan to better fit the fan shroud a few days ago. The old one was 18". I'm just holding it up in place before I removed the old fan. The 19" fan should move more air than the old fan, so cooling should be better. I'm trying to give myself the best cooling system possible.


18" fan on left. 19" fan on right.


19" fan installed


Interlopers
While I was changing out the fan, I noticed a mud dauber flying around the engine bay. They had made a very nice, shielded home. I removed it. I keep a moving blanket over the engine, but they had still gotten under it. In the future, I will do a better job keeping it covered up!

 

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Discussion Starter · #310 ·
Grill Support
The CJ Grill Support is about 1.5" back from the YJ support. So, yet another mod is needed:

Factory YJ Grill support - cut line is marked


The grill mount height is also different, so I shortened the bushing to 1/2" thick on the bandsaw. The pieces to be used are on the left. I also had to get a shorter bolt, of course.


Bushing stackup:


Bushing stackup:


This shows the gap that must be filled it


I have the grill on spacers to set the height


Passenger side spacer:


Underside view


Forming a bracket to fill in the gap


There are several different angles going on, so I cut slits and formed the filler piece to closely fit the two other pieces. Unfortunately, my brake would not form the exact shape of the filler piece, so I'll have to so some extra welding on the outer flanges.


Filler piece test fit. The outer flanges will be added as separate pieces.


Filler tacked into place. To ensure good alignment, I welded it in place with the grill fully bolted into the fenders.


Filler piece fully welded, including the two outside flanges that I couldn't form on the brake.


Primed:


Painted semi-gloss black
 

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Do you know the precise measurement that you've spaced the grill mount rearward? I'm putting a CJ grill on my YJ but using the YJ fenders so I have no factory holes to land the grill.
 

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Discussion Starter · #312 ·
It's time to do another round of painting, so I did quite a bit of prep work today.

Primed Parts
Epoxy Primed today:
  • Tire Carrier Brackets - 5 pieces
  • Tailgate Hinges - pair
  • Windshield Hinges - pair
  • Battery Box - the mods done earlier needed to be touched up

This is a a horrible picture, but it does show all of the primed parts:


Also shown in the picture - the grill and tire carrier. I worked on the grill paint prep a little today, but much more needs to be done.

No action, but I was thinking about how I want to attack the tire carrier. I may just drop it off at the powder coater and have them sand blast and coat it. It's an odd shape with lots of area and would take me a long time to clean it up.


Unfortunately, I forgot to prime the shifter cover and frame today. I left them out of sight, sitting on a stool. Doh!



Interior Tub Cleaning
I spent most of yesterday afternoon cleaning the interior of the tub. I had removed most of the undercoating a few months ago, but had not prepped it for paint.

There's still a long way to go, but I made some progress.



It was actually fairly comfortable working under the Jeep "safari" top. There was ample shade and a slight breeze this afternoon.

I did much more cleaning after this picture. There's a lot of actual area that has been cleaned, but that was the easy part. The difficult corners and seams still need a lot of attention.
 

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Discussion Starter · #313 ·
Do you know the precise measurement that you've spaced the grill mount rearward?
I hesitate to give exact dimensions, as every Jeep is different. You really need to figure out the dimension that works for your Jeep and your parts. In my situation, the CJ grill moved back somewhere in the vicinity of 1.375".
 

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I hesitate to give exact dimensions, as every Jeep is different. You really need to figure out the dimension that works for your Jeep and your parts. In my situation, the CJ grill moved back somewhere in the vicinity of 1.375".
A fraction of a millimeter, but that's not very exact. This is why I keep watching this thread. It's fascinating to watch the precision you're doing this with. All while trying new ideas and techniques out.

I might never do anything this in depth with my jeeps, but I will aspire to get to the point where "somewhere in the vicinity of 1.375"" means what it meant to you in they reply. Not sure if I explained my sentiments properly, but I suffice it to say I find your work and attention to detail impressive.
 

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hesitate to give exact dimensions, as every Jeep is different. You really need to figure out the dimension that works for your Jeep and your parts. In my situation, the CJ grill moved back somewhere in the vicinity of 1.375".
with my CYJ it was about 2”

i used a 2x4 steel tube in place of the round oem tube to allow clearance to move the steering box an inch forward and folded a factory-looking front mount in a press brake.

I wouldn’t affix it until after your hood, fenders, and grill are in place
 
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Discussion Starter · #317 ·
Not much new to report - I was out of town over the weekend. And damn, it's been hot here in Texas! Here's the forecast for this week. I love my Jeep, but it's brutal when I get home from work and it's that hot.

Rectangle Font Parallel Electric blue Technology


And this was the high yesterday.



I did have my apprentice (son) help me with some tub cleaning since my last post. Here are a few of the latest pictures:



Getting close on the Driver's Side. All the nooks and crannies are a pain!


We still need to address the Passenger Side
 

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Discussion Starter · #318 ·
Not much progress this past week, as I was busy with other things and was out of town in San Antonio.

Front Grill
This area will be mostly hidden, but I wanted to fill in the notched corners of the grill.



Patch piece rough shape:


Final fit:


After some welding and some grinding - more is needed:


Both sides done:


Much more work will be done on the grill/radiator/shroud in the coming days
 

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Discussion Starter · #320 ·
GRILL-RADIATOR-SHROUD
I've been procrastinating on this part of the project - I was waiting for a great solution to come to mind, but that never happened. My best ideas involved buying an aluminum TIG welding setup. Spending that much money just didn't seem wise, but I do hope to get a TIG machine at some point.

Back to it!


Transmission Cooler
I've been planning to use the transmission cooler inside the radiator, but have been re-thinking that idea for a few reasons. Most important is to prevent overheating. Extra heat into the radiator from the transmission will reduce the amount of cooling available for the engine.
I first looked at completely remote coolers like this one, as it would totally remove all the transmission heat from the front grill area:

I found a box that was almost a perfect match to the size of the fan. I tried the box in a couple of different locations in the Jeep, but it wasn't going to fit anywhere without a lot of extra work. The best two locations were under the battery or underneath the tub on the driver's side opposite the muffler. This idea was scrapped pretty quickly. I don't think I would be happy with it under the tub. And there really wasn't enough room to mount it under the battery - there are a lot of supports and brackets under there that I didn't want to modify/replace.


Shroud Clearance #1
I had to hack up the Jeep 304 shroud to get it to fit on the SBC radiator. I marked it, cut, cut more, then cut more. Finally, it fit around the radiator inlet and outlet, and also cleared the steering shaft:





Radiator Relocation
The corner of the radiator was only about 1/4" away from the steering shaft, and the radiator mounts are not very secure (Becool Radiator #62030). I didn't feel comfortable with so little clearance, so I moved it up an additional 1/2". There was plenty of hood clearance to do this.
After a lot of measuring and layout, new holes were drilled. Old holes were welded shut and ground flush.






New holes were also drilled for the four shroud bolts - 2 on each side. These also capture the radiator, so I am happy with this solution. The radiator will be held much more secure.



Here the radiator nut clips are also installed:





The radiator test fit went perfectly:







After some more cutting on the shroud, it also fit nicely:



I still need to test fit all of this in the actual Jeep, of course. But I expect that to go smoothly - I was pretty careful with all the layout and measurements.
Transmission Cooler Lines
I also still need to figure out the transmission cooler. Here are the ports for the transmission cooler in the radiator.


My next step is to make a decision on the transmission cooler. Either use the one inside the radiator or add a passive cooler in front of the radiator.
 
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