Got the antenna installed

Well I got the antenna installed this afternoon. Not a hard job at all. I was going to install the L-bracket as it came to me in the mail since it was NOS and had the part number stamped on it.¬† The paint wasn’t in bad condition either. I held it up to the Jeep in position and marked the 4 side holes with a pencil. (Note: The notch in the L-bracket is to be lined up with the trailer socket ground screw on the back of the Jeep, then the holes drilled from that point.) Then I went and got a hammer, punch, drill and a few drill bits (for the pilot hole, half-size, and full size – 21/64″). I held the bracket back up and double checked my marks before I center punched them. Then I step drilled the 4 holes. Next, I installed the bracket, then marked the holes on the back of the Jeep. I removed the bracket and punched and drilled the back holes.

After the holes were drilled, I bolted the MP50 and the L-bracket together  to install and test fit everything on the Jeep. I found out that the mud guard in the wheel well had to be removed to get to the back bolts. I only had 4 bolts and star washers, so I had to scrounge for the other 2 for the back and the 4 nuts to bolt the MP50 to the bracket. John Bizal had sent me 10 star washers because I mentioned that I never could find them locally.

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Then I decided that the 2 different greens didn’t look good together, so I disassembled everything and painted the bracket and bolts and washers to match. After they dried to touch, I reassembled the bracket and MP50 and reinstalled it (with the metal backing plate for the bracket) on the Jeep. I reinstalled the mud guard. Then I put the AB15 (antenna base) and mast sections on. The antenna is pretty tall when assembled, I must say. I got my tie down out of the package and put it on the antenna an d tied it down to the mirror arm – I haven’t decided where I’m going to tie it down yet, but either the mirror arm or the driver side w/s wiper motor protector looks like a likely candidate.

Ready to go on a trail ride:

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As a side note – if you have a military antenna mounted on your Jeep and ride on tight trails you have a couple of options: Either take your antenna off, hold it down as far as possible with your hand while being VERY careful of close branches, or leave it straight up. I learned that lesson within 20 feet of turning onto a trail! A SMALL branch caught the antenna tip and the antenna rode the branch up as far as it could before I stopped. When we got back home I removed the antenna and discovered that the top two sections were slightly bent.

I guess the next step will be to consult the forums and find out how to measure the total length of the antenna so that I can cut it to length for use with my cb (I will end up having to cut about a foot off of it because it needs to be about 9′ long – is 122″ now). Then I can run the coax to the cb without worrying about blowing it up.

Another side note – my parts Jeep was a radio Jeep at one time. I got my original measurements off of it. It has the holes drilled for the antenna cable in the rear corner and the fender well also, but I am hesitant about drilling these holes until I install a military radio. It also has the holes to mount the power cable bracket beside the tool box under the passenger seat and screw holes in the floor for the power cable cover.

I just found out a couple of days ago that the NC Steel Soldiers rally will be held April 11-13. It was originally scheduled for the 1st weekend (and I was working), so I wasn’t going. Now I have agreed to go to my cousin’s wedding on the 13th, so it’s going to be hard to do both – decisions, decisions!

New compressor

My brother and I went and picked up the compressor that I bought from him that was in his old body shop. Fairly straight forward job – just a heavy one! It is a Northstar (Northern Tool) 80 gallon, 7.5hp, 26.2cfm(continuous). Nice compressor. I should be able to blast my trailer with that without running low on air. We laid it down on my trailer and strapped it down. I unloaded it in my shop with the hoist I have in my rafters – here’s a pic from after I pulled it off the trailer:

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Here’s one after I cleaned it up a little and put it in its new home (for the next week anyway):

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The orange compressor on the left is my old Eaton 80 gal, 5hp, 15cfm. I haven’t decided whether I am going to run them into a joint header or use them separate.

I took the Jeep for a ride up and down the road (about 5 miles or so) – got her up to almost 60mph! Fastest I’ve ever gotten her, so the tuneup must have helped!

My antenna mount L-bracket should be here Saturday, but I still won’t be able to work on it again until next Friday at least (going to be working day shift this week). I forgot to put a pic of the other antenna parts I got yesterday also:

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That’s it for this week!

Nice day to work on the Jeep

It turned out to be a nice day today weather wise, so I was finally able to get outside and knock a few things off of the Jeep to do list. I started out by installing the voltage indicator (volt meter) in the instrument cluster. I followed the online instructions directly by unhooking the battery before I began. Next, I removed the instrument cluster, followed by the old spider harness (4 wire) and installed the new 5 wire harness. Then I terminated the #8 and #9 wires by wrapping them with tape and then taping them together. The volt indicator doesn’t use these wires – it pulls voltage off of the extra #27 wire from the 5 wire spider harness. I put the new gauge in, hooked up the #27 wire and put the cluster back in the dash.

Turned on the ignition switch and – NOTHING – didn’t move! I came in the house and searched the Willysmjeeps website for an answer. I ended up downloading a troubleshooting manual for the gauges (military m series gauges are a PITA!). I went back outside and took the cluster back out and verified that I had voltage on the #27 wire. Then I ran a jumper wire from the battery negative terminal to the gauge and hooked the #27 wire back up to the gauge – NOTHING. Gauge must be bad, so I put the amp meter back in and ended that to do item – not going to put the new solid state regulator in until the volt gauge is working because you can’t use an amp gauge with a SS regulator – won’t work and might fry something.

While I was playing with the gauges the UPS guy showed up with 3 packages for ME – 2 from Saturn Surplus and 1 from Midwest Military. I got my repro MP50 mount and all the antenna parts – except for the L-bracket for the mount (from Fair Radio Sales). I opened everything up and examined the parts. The AB15 base was in decent shape – gaskets a little worn and o ring shot, but I didn’t expect a new one for $15! The mast sections are BRAND NEW – for what, $5.25 each – damn! The tie down kit and tip (although it is too big to use – should’ve ordered the small one) were also NEW. Very happy with these items. Then I opened up the Midwest Military box to look at the MP50. Man, somebody did a great job replicating this piece! I know there’s not a whole lot to them, but this is a good looking mount – a little pricey with shipping, but they can’t help that I guess. Here’s a couple of pics:

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I went ahead and wiped it down with some thinner and threw on a coat of primer while I went for a ride in the Jeep. When I got back I put another coat on, then backed the Jeep in the shop to adjust the brakes (damn manual adjust brakes) – been meaning to do that since I got her back on the road! It didn’t take long to do the front (maybe 10 minutes counting figuring out which wrenches I needed), but when I got to the back it was a different story! Turns out that the adjusting nuts were slightly seized on the right side and almost COMPLETELY seized on the left – they were a bitch to adjust. Needless to say, they will have to be replaced. After I finished the brake adjustment, I sprayed a final coat of primer on the MP50 and called it done:

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While the primer was drying, I took her for a test drive. Up the driveway, slam on brakes – and she slides without having to stand on the pedal! And she stopped straight too! Down the highway I went – doing panic stops here and there, enjoying my new found braking ability. I got back to my driveway and started down it – about 15mph. I hit a bump (I have a dirt/gravel driveway) and the front end wobbled! Just like the death wobble, just at a slower speed – DAMN! I got back to the shop and backed her in. I opened a beer and took a think break. Then I went and sprayed a coat of OD on the MP50. I came back and decided to change gears and work on the engine.

She had a slight miss in her when I came back from the Thanksgiving drive to Blackstock, so I got to work on finding the cause of that problem. I fired her up and adjusted the carb, then I hooked up the vacuum gauge to adjust the timing (heard that you adjust the timing to maximum vacuum). The distributor was loose! No wonder it was skipping. After I scratched my head I figured out that I had not tightened the nut on the underside of the distributor. Then I checked the throttle for full range of movement and discovered the adjusting nut on the throttle pedal linkage was a little loose too. I went for a test drive – she had a good bit more power this time. I came back and sprayed the MP50 with another coat. While that was drying, I pulled the plugs. They were sooty but the electrodes were tan – I am guessing the out of time engine caused the sooty part, then the test drive when timed correctly produced the tan (correctly tuned engine) color on the electrode. I cleaned them (the gap was correct) and put them back in.

Next up was the horn that hasn’t worked since I rebuilt the spare steering gear and installed it. I couldn’t get the horn push rod long enough to push the button on the horn switch (at the bottom of the column). I thought about this one a couple of weeks ago. Turns out that I had to add an adjusting nut to the switch when it was mounted on the other gear because if I tightened the switch down, the horn would blow constantly. This way I could tighten it down without having to use all of the threads. This new column must be shorter because the rod wouldn’t reach the horn switch even with all of the adjustment added to the horn button. Once I took the adjusting nut off, problem solved! Sprayed the final coat of OD on the MP50.

Next problem: When I had the horn button adjusted right and pushed it, smoke came from the horn! Turns out that the positive terminal on the side of the horn contacted the metal horn case because the rubber bushing was rotted away. In case you have never seen the inside of a military horn, here it is:

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I removed the burnt wire and found a new one with the end already on it, removed the clamp and fiber washers from the old one and reinstalled the wire with a new rubber bushing from the outside. Then I put the fiber washers on and put the clamp back to hold everything tight (as possible). I cut the wire to length and crimped a new ring terminal on.

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I cleaned up the inside components with a little electronics cleaner because they had some corrosion on them. Then I buttoned it back up and put her back in service. Once installed, I think it actually sounds better, and it is definitely more consistent on the beeps – and no smoke!

After I started another beer, I went and checked on the MP50 – it was dry enough to move inside since it was starting to cool off a little. And here she is, just waiting on her L-bracket adapter!

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Well, that’s it for today – it was nice to be able to get outside and actually accomplish something!

I ordered the antenna parts today

Ever since the Steel Soldiers Georgia rally last October, I have been wanting a better way to have a cb onboard – without the magnet attached 3′ whip antenna sticking on my battery box. After a couple of days worth of research I have discovered that you can use the standard GR components from the Korea/Vietnam era (with a little modification) with a standard cb radio!

The only modifications are made to the top mast section (MS-118). Once screwed together, the total length on the antenna (from the bottom of the base – AB-15 – to the end of the top section – MS118) should be 108″ to 110″. You can use a standard tubing cutter to cut it to length since it is made of thin wall copper.

I ordered the L-bracket (SCC-28591) that attaches to the side of the Jeep from Fair Radio Sales for $15 used. This bracket provides a mounting point for the antenna mount (MP-50), which is a little harder to find – they were used in WWII through Vietnam in certain situations. I bought mine from Midwest Military for $40(a reproduction). The antenna base, which serves the purpose of providing a place to connect the antenna cable from the cb or military radio to the antenna. It is also where the antenna sections are attached and provides a springy action if the antenna contacts another object (a tree) in the upright position. I bought it from Saturn Surplus for $20 used. Fair Radio also sold the AB-15. I bought the mast sections (MS116, MS117 and MS118) from Saturn Surplus for $6.50 each(used – good). Fair Radio also sold them, but the MS117 was like $47 – it must have been new or something. I also ordered a tie down kit (to tie the antenna tip down toward the front of the Jeep) and a large plastic tip (to cap the open end of the MS118 after I cut it off) from Saturn Surplus for $6.50 each(new).

A couple of examples.

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I guess these parts will get here sometime next week, so I can install them the next time I am off. Then I can use my cb and still keep the military look! I am also thinking about mounting an external speaker for it and wiring an auxiliary 12v fuse block to one battery to hook the cb and other accessories to.

I have a couple of other things in the works also. I might go ahead and order my Pertronix ignition this week. The weather while I am off this week looks good and warm, so I am planning on installing my new solid state voltage regulator and charge gauge/spider harness. I am going to adjust my brake shoes – now that I have figured out that you have to adjust them individually to get a decent brake pedal (go figure – took me this long to realize that, huh!). My daughter and I took it out for a ride yesterday and she was running a little rough – plan on diagnosing that problem (it started after my last drive of about 50 miles at Thanksgiving).

I am getting a new (to me), larger air compressor next week – 7.5hp, 80 gal, 24cfm. After I get that hooked up I can start on my M100. Restoring that shouldn’t be that big of a deal – just welding up a couple of holes and flattening a few small dents. I think I already have all of the parts – wiring harness, drain plugs, intervehicular cable to complete the resto. I will just have to order some tires at some point. And I will have to order stencils from Delta Team Decals ( ). I already have the paint to match the ‘A1, although I think I might try some Red Oxide from Tractor Supply on instead of the gray primer.

I’ll report back as I get some of these things done this week.