Oh well – maybe next week

I waited around ’til 10:30 (UPS usually gets here by then), and guess what? NO UPS truck! So I got on the phone and called Rapco. Turns out that the shipment, including the hub nut sockets, that he was expecting on the 22nd didn’t come (of course that was one of the things I ordered, and I told him I could wait until the 22nd for them to ship my order). BUT, instead of calling me and telling me this, I got nothing! They still hadn’t shipped ANY of my order today – 12 days later. I told him I needed that rebuild kit last week while I was off so that I could get this thing on the road. He said he would check with the owner about the sockets and if they hadn’t come in yet, he would ship out the rest of my order TODAY. Too bad that it won’t get here until Friday or Monday (while I am back at work) – AND 2 1/2 weeks after I placed my order.

I guess that’s one of the bad things about restoring/owning a historic military vehicle (HMV) – there are a lot of proprietary parts on them, even though the jeep is only an early CJ5. A lot of the parts are the same though, so I can go to the parts store and buy most drivetrain parts. A couple of the body parts are the same, but NONE of the electrical (24v) can be bought at the parts places. And all of these proprietary parts are getting more and more scarce, and more and more expensive – year by year.

I did go by Tractor Supply and price the bolts I need (CAD plated  1/4″ x 20 x 3/4″- about 100 of them) when I get into the detail part of the resto – which is replacing all the bolts that hold on accessories to the body with CAD plated ones (not painted OD) like it was from the factory. They are cheap – $4.50/lb, so I guess I can get all of them for $10 including washers. I also bought some new screws for mounting the fuel sender and pickup (zinc plated) since the original ones are old and rusted and snap off when you put any torque on them – they don’t seem to be as loose-fitting as the old ones either (I tested one in the fuel sender), so that’s good.

I guess that’s all until late next week when I get off work again – unless the weather is warm and sunny tomorrow, of course!

The Omix Ada (MD Juan) gas tank from hell

Still no rebuild kit! I will call tomorrow. I decided to go ahead and finish up installing the gas tank today since it was supposed to be 75 deg – perfect for painting. I knew I was going to have to weld up some holes for the sending unit just from test fitting. So after I figured out which way the unit was supposed to point (clocked). I found out that I was going to have to weld up ALL of the holes and drill and tap new ones! This tank is TOTAL PIECE of CRAP! $400 piece, that is! I also had to move one of the tabs I welded on, on Saturday because it was in the wrong place (because I measure off of the sending unit hole – which is in the wrong place!).

Sending unit holes welded up

Then I had to drill and tap the new holes so that the sending unit would clock in the right place. I also moved the tab above the hole.

New holes drilled and tapped

Then I scuffed it up and shot 2 coats of 24087 Semi gloss OD on it – FINALLY, it looks like a jeep tank! It turned out pretty good, I think – except for the run right in front of the driver. Not that noticeable though – when you have everything else to look at, who’s going to look at the front of a gas tank anyway?

Finally a painted tank!

I had a little bit of paint left, so I decided to go ahead and scuff the driver’s seat frame and shoot a fresh coat or two on it – I’ll have to do the passenger’s and rear seat at a later date. While the paint was drying, I was looking at the front of the jeep and noticed that the right wheel was turned farther to the right than the left wheel was. I turned the steering wheel to straighten them and check again – yep, they were off. When I put the tie rods back in during mock-up, I didn’t adjust anything – just put the new ends in and installed. So I figured the easiest way to do it was to remove the tie rods, I took them apart and screwed the tie rod ends out to the same number of threads. Then I centered the steering wheel and pushed both tires to the straight ahead position. Then I put the tie rods back on, adjusting the ends the same amount as needed to keep the tires straight ahead. I measured for alignment (front and rear), adjusted once, and it was back to about 1/8″ toe in. I haven’t checked the manual yet to see what the specs are, but I figure it’s close enough for now.

By that time the paint was dry enough on the tank to handle it, so I decided to put it back in the jeep. I put it in, put the filler neck flange and grommet in and put the strap back on (with the welt under the tank and strap. It actually fits rather nicely – a little too close at the driver’s door sill though – I’m pretty sure it’s going to rub there. I put the sending unit in and noticed the float didn’t reach the floor, so I guess I’ll still have gas left when it shows empty – the tank is about 1/2″ taller than the original. I put the fuel pickup and filter in and put 2 screws in to hold it there – then broke one off – damn! I’ll get all new screws (cad plated) for final assembly.

Then I went ahead and put the seat in, because whenever my rebuild kit comes in and I get the pump rebuilt I’ll probably want to drive it a little. I put the 2 pieces of welt under the rear foot and 1 piece under the middle front foot and bolted her down – perfect fit! The only thing I haven’t figured out yet is how I am going to get the washer and nut under the door sill (with the gas tank installed) for the seat bolt – I’m sure there was a weld nut under there from the factory, but that’s long gone.

Gas tank and seat painted and installed

Well, that’s it for today. Tomorrow is supposed to be cold (55 deg), so maybe the rebuild kit will come in and I can get the pump rebuilt and be able to drive around a little and get it warmed up enough to do some real timing and carb adjustments. Of course I really can’t adjust the carb right until I put a fuel pump on it. Of course the fuel pump is useless without the rest of the fuel line (from the frame to the tank) installed. I’ll get in eventually, but hopefully before winter gets here!

Back to the gas tank and test in 4wd

    No water pump rebuild kit yet! I had a couple of hours to work with, so I went out and did a little work on the gas tank fitting. I took out the filler neck flange(?) and seat. I tried to figure out where the welt goes – did the best I could, but I still don’t think it’s in there right. The tank drain hole in the body wasn’t in the right place (SURPRISE!), so I had to lengthen the hole. I couldn’t get the plasma cutter to work right, so I got out the sawzall and the demo blade – that went pretty good. I took a rat tail file and cleaned it up.

I tried the fitment again – it fit OK for an MD Yuan repro, but still not close enough! I tried the tank strap and it was 1/2″ short (to reach across the tank), so I had to straighten and re-bend it. I put the welt under it and it came about 2″ from the florboard! I figured I could live with that, si I found a 2″ long bolt and bolted her down. The strap also ran straight across the sending unit flange, so I had to offset the strap mounting hole. It also runs straight over the top of the tab I welded on for the fuel line – I’ll have to remove it and weld another one on before I paint the tank.

After the tank was strapped down I tried the seat to see how it would fit. The hole in the door opening and on the wheelwell were perfect, the hole between the seats was about 3/8″ off, and the back mount (foot) was about 3/8″ off the floor (because the tank is taller than it should be and it holds the seat up). I decided to bend the leg between the seats and put a piece of welt under it, and put 2 pieces of welt under the rear foot. Everything seems to work well like that.

It still sounded like it was missing or skipping – just not running smooth. I pulled the plugs to check and clean then. All of them were sooty black, but not wet. I cleaned them best as I could and sanded the electrodes with emery cloth. I put them back in and check how she ran – a little smoother, but still not right. I’m not really going to worry much about it until I can get the water pump rebuilt so I can run her long enough to warm her up and adjust the carb and timing while warm. I’m still not ruling out a vacuum leak either, as I haven’t finished the vacuum and PCV tubing yet. Can’t finish that stuff until I buy a fuel pump.

I took it for a ride around the driveway and tested the 4wd and low range by climbing the hill to the parking area. I stopped at such an angle it was hard to get out of and back into. It pulled on up that hill better than the pickup does in 4wd.


M38A1 First run in 13 years! 11/10/2011 – 11/19/2011

I finally got her to run on 11/10/2011. Although I had to use a 2.5 gal gas can turned upside down with a fuel line and filter clamped to it  run to the carb and bungee corded to the cowl as a redneck gas tank, she cranked up and ran for more than 5 seconds. The fuel pump wasn’t pumping. The gravity feed works great for now. The shop filled with smoke (couldn’t tell if it was burning the oil I put in it to keep the cylinders from rusting or actually burning oil from the engine). Maybe it was running real rich too? I let it run for a minute and shut it down. I could tell that there were exhaust leaks everywhere, there was oil bubbling from around the exhaust manifold, paint was burning off of the manifold – too much to take in at the moment + the excitement of her running again!

After I let her cool down for about five minutes (I couldn’t wait any longer) I pulled the choke out halfway and hit the starter. She fired right up! Push the choke in – wouldn’t idle, so I pulled the hand throttle out a notch. She was running real rough – missing a little, still smoking, but still running. Then I checked my guages. Temp guage wasn’t working because I didn’t have any coolant in her. Ammeter was showing maxed out on the CHARGE side of the guage – too high I thought. Oil pressure was showing 60psi. I feathered the hand throttle (because the gas pedal wasn’t hooked up yet) to see how she responded – she did good. She had run long enough, so I shut her down.

Friday afternoon on 11/11/2011, I went out to the shop to put the one remaining hard line from the master cylinder to the front end on and bleed the brakes. I got the line put on and went to the left rear to open the bleeder – it snapped off! So I unscrewed the drum screws and pulled the drum. Then I changed the wheel cylinder that I had bought back in 1998. Put the drum back on and adjusted the shoes. I moved over to the right rear – snapped the bleeder. On that side I ended up having to drill the screws out. Removed the drum and changed the wheel cylinder. Put the drum back on and adjusted the shoes. I decided to go ahead and change the front wheel cylinders. The left front drum screws came out easily, but the lower kingpin bearings have about 1/4″ of play in them – will need replacing – the drum took about 1/2 hour to get off. I changed the wheel cylinder and scuffed the drum and shoes. Put the drum back on and moved to the last one. The screws had to be drilled out and the drum took 1/2 hour to get off. I changed the wheel cylinder, scuffed the drum and shoes, put the drum back on and adjusted the shoes. Then I filled the master cylinder and bled the brakes – couldn’t get a good pedal. I tried 3 times before I realized it wouldn’t build pressure unless the m/c cap was on. Bled the brakes again and had a decent pedal! Then I checked for leaks. I had one at the master cylinder and one at the left rear wheel cylinder – tightened them up – had a better pedal. Something still wasn’t perfect with the brakes though.

By that time Jordan was home and wanting to see it run, so I cranked it up for her – she was so excited. She’s been wanting to ride in the jeep for at least 3 years. I cut the engine off and decided to fill the radiator. I started adding water and noticed it was running straight out – I didn’t tighten the petcock. Once tightened I started adding water again. water started coming out again – leaking out of the water pump! Oh well, I didn’t have another one to replace it. On to the exhaust leaks. I started at the exhaust manifolf tightening stuff up. I found 2 exhaust nuts loose. Most of the flange bolts were slightly loose too – tightened them up.

I couldn’t wait any longer – I had to make her move! I put the tires back on and set her back on the ground. Put a little air in them because they had none. Fired her up, clutch in, first gear, clutch out easily – she moves! Push the brakes just to check – she stops! So I move her out of the shop and start up the hill – she chokes down (because I am still using the hand throttle and I had her on a fast idle). Push the brakes to keep from rolling back down the hill and they hold. I let her roll back, start her back up, give her a little more throttle, and up the hill she goes! I got her to the flat place in front of the shop and backed her up and parked her – Jordan was about to go crazy wanting to go for a ride, but couldn’t understand why I didn’t trust the jeep enough to take for a ride yet + I still didn’t have any coolant in her, so I couldn’t run her long anyway. I decided to let her sit there for a while why I cleaned the spot she had been taking up for the last 5 years and so I could admire the fact that she was sitting in front of the shop where she had moved under her own power for the first time in 13 years! After Jordan and I cleaned up a little, I moved her back to her parking place, although this time I pulled her in (she was backed in 5 years ago). I am very happy – Jordan is very happy – life is good!

On Sunday, 11/13/2011, I removed the front drums and cleaned them then painted them with black caliper paint. While the drums were off, I stripped the hubs of all the layers of paint and cleaned the brakes. I painted the hubs green and put the drums back on. Then I moved on to the rear and did the same. Looks much better and one more thing off the list.

I moved on to the engine again. By this time, I had probably run her for at least 15 minutes total. She wasn’t burning oil anymore that I could tell, but was running a little rich so I decided to adjust it. I adjusted the carb until she ran a little smoother. Then I adjusted the timing a little – come to find out the distributor nut wasn’t even tight. She was running a little smoother, so I adjusted the carb a little more. She’s still not running as smooth as I’d like, but useable. Guages still look good – charging still high I think. I start looking around for other stuff to do and see another brake leak. I decided to go ahead and check all the brake lines and tighten them. That’s all for for Sunday. Still happy.

On Monday, 11/14/2011, I was just going to do a few small things with her. The brake lights looked like they were staying on all the time, so I tried adjusting the push rod – no change – still wouldn’t work right. I tried using a wire wheel to strip a wheel – no way that was going to work with all that paint! There were still some rattles when she was running, so I found a couple of those and fixed them (seat pans loose, shackle brackets loose, bumper loose). That’s all for Monday.

On Tuesday, 11/15/2011, I decided to strip the hood. I moved the jeep out of the shop and set up some sawhorses in the shop – sure is nice to be able to use the floorspace in there! Then I took the DA ans 60 grit and started sanding – and sanding – and sanding! I thought I had a straight hood – I think this one is worse than the original one! I sanded out most of the bondo and all the paint. Then I flipped it over and started stripping the 57 year old undercoating off the underside with a propane torch and a scraper. 4 hours later it was stripped – and I was worn out! It was dark outside, so I swept up and moved the jeep back inside. Enough for today.

Hood undercoating half stripped

On Wednesday, 11/16/2011, I ordered a water pump rebuild kit, kingpin bearings and cups, a hub nut socket and gaskets. Hub nut socket is backordered so it won’t ship until Monday, 11/21/2011. I have to go back to work tonight so I won’t be working on the jeep.

On Saturday, 11/19/2011, I couldn’t sleep so I got out of bed and decided to work on the jeep at 3:00 pm. I went out and tried something I found online about how to check the brake light switch – didn’t come up with anything except that the brake lights weren’t working – instead of staying on all the time – I’ll have to check the switch for power next time. I put the brake pedal spring on – much better pedal now. I checked the generator for charging – 26.2v at idle and 28.2v at fast idle – perfect! I got my repro (crap Omix ada) tank out and measured and marked it for the gas line and harness tabs that didn’t come on it. Then I cut out some tabs and welded them on. Almost ready to paint the tank after I fit it in the jeep first. ‘Til next time