Steering is up to snuff now!

I took the Jeep over to a local mechanic to get the rear pinion seal replaced the other day. When I cranked her up, I smelled gas pretty strong so I looked underneath. There was a new puddle of oil – under the transfer case rear seal! I started the short drive over there, and about a quarter of the way there I hit a rough spot of asphalt – and she started the “Death Wobble” again! I had to pull over to get it to stop. Once I got there and talked to the owner, he said he was getting ready to go fishing – the shop was closed, because it was his birthday. He looked it over and told me to bring it back Monday and he would get on it. He said he would check the steering too.

OK, today, I started out with total focus on getting the “Death Wobble” fixed before I took it to the shop. Today was the only day that I had to work on her before I took her to the shop. I know that he probably won’t get her done before I go back to work, so I had to get everything done to her that I needed to today. I get off next Wednesday night, so she has to be ready to go on Thursday to the Steel Soldiers Georgia rally!

Anyway, I jacked up the driver side front wheel and checked for play in the wheel bearings and king pins – none. Then I looked over at the bellcrank while moving the wheel – I had about 3/8″ up and down movement on the bellcrank. I knew that this was a problem – I’ve just been procrastinating! I removed the bellcrank – the cinch bolt was hell to get off (very little room to move the ratchet). Everything else came off pretty easy (I used an impact and a wrench on the main pin). The old one was scarred up, but didn’t have too much play in it. I had a rebuild kit, so I installed it – the old bearings looked like they had some rust in them, as did the main pin.

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While I had the bellcrank off, I cleaned the cinch bolt slot – it had alot of grease and dirt in it. I used a dental pick to remove this stuff. I also cleaned the inside of the frame casting as much as I could.

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I had to use a socket and hammer to drive the old bearings out of the bellcrank (and reinstall them). I reinstalled the bellcrank, tightened the main pin with the impact and wrench, and reinstalled the cinch bolt with an air ratchet and wrench (then tightened more with a 1/2″ ratchet and wrench). It had a good bit less play in it after I finished!

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Next I hooked up the tie rod and then the drag link. I tightened the drag link plug with a big screwdriver with a wrench on it for leverage. I was able to get it alot tighter than I had it before, but I couldn’t get the holes to line up for the cotter pin.

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I went to the other end, but couldn’t get a big screwdriver in the tight spot. So, I came up with a decent solution. I found a short piece of 1/8″x 3/4″x2″ flat bar with a spot weld on it and it fit perfectly into an 11/16″ socket. I put this on a 1/2″ ratchet and was ablt to tighten it down as much as I wanted, but still couldn’t get the cotter pin holes lined up (I think I have the plugs mixed up end to end).

I checked the air pressure (all were low) and aired them up. I checked the spring and shock nuts – the left side spring shackles were loose, as were some of the shock nuts. All were tightened.

I took her for a ride down the road – about 10 or so miles total. I kept waiting on a shimmy when I hit bumps, but never got one – even in the driveway! I did feel a very slight one at maybe 25-30mph, but not bad enough to hardly even feel. She almost drove like a new one! I got up to 50mph and actually felt safe doing it!

When I got back to the shop, I set the timing by vacuum reading (set it to the highest vacuum reading), and set the carb again. It has a little bit of a miss with this timing setting, but has more power. I think the valves might need adjusting – maybe I’ll get the shop to do this while it’s there.

Next, I decided to finish up the power feed wiring. I installed the clamps (had to drill 2 holes in the body). Then I painted the clamps and screws OD so they would be less noticeable.

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Lastly, I gave her a bath. She was alot dirtier than I thought! I washed her inside and out – now she’s ready for the rally (once the shop gets her sealed up!).

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Put my rebuilt carb on today

I finally got around to putting the carb I rebuilt months ago on the Jeep today! I took the old one off – no problem, except that one of the manifold studs came out in the process. I tried everything I knew of to get the nut off of that thing so that I could re-use it, but it wasn’t going to happen! I had all but given up when I remembered the rebuilt head I had sitting up on the shelf. I went and checked – YEP, it had both studs in it! I put a second nut on that stud and pulled it out. I put a dab of Loctite on it and installed it in my manifold and put everything back together.

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I hit the starter and turned her over a couple of times to get some gas in the bowl, then turned on the switch and she fired right off. Then died. After a couple of rounds of this to figure out how much choke and throttle to use, she was purring along at a high idle!

I let her warm up a couple of minutes, then took off up the driveway. I got her good and warm and then went back to the shop. After a little fine tuning and adjusting the throttle and choke stops, she was idling at a low idle without the miss that has been present since I fired her up for the first time over a year ago!

I took her for a ride up the driveway again, and she now has a good bit more power – I can spin the tires without a problem, and catch second (this is on a dirt driveway, mind you!)!

Then I fixed the hand throttle that wouldn’t hold. I tuned it a little in the dash hole and straightened out the cable a little – works fine now! Then we took her for a spin around the field – a fast one! She did great! We went out on the highway for a short distance too (I didn’t have my driver’s license with me) – I was able to get her up to 35 in second before I had to turn into the driveway.

I still have the hesitation when I blip the throttle – may be a timing issue. My windshield wipers work much better now also – must have had a vacuum leak in the other carb. I also have that annoying bellcrank problem (death wobble) I need to do something about. And, of course, the puking rear pinion seal!

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Well, that’s about it for today – back to work tomorrow night!




Took a couple of rides yesterday

I was out in the shop doing some other work yesterday and looked over at the Jeep. I couldn’t remember how long it had been since I took her out on the road. After I finished what I was doing, I jumped in, turned on the switch, pulled the choke and hit the starter. After about 15 seconds of cranking, she fired up. I pulled her out of the shop and let her warm up. I took off up the road and drove around for about 10 minutes. During the drive, I remembered that the bellcrank was loose – after I hit a bump in the road and had a shimmy. I also smelled some burning oil and attributed that to the rear axle pinion seal leaking, throwing oil onto the exhaust.

I got back to the house and parked her. A couple of hours later, my daughter wanted to go to the field and drive the Jeep. We jumped in, she fired right up and we drove to the field. We switched seats, I threw the Jeep in low range, second gear and pulled out the hand throttle. She drove around for about 10 minutes or so, then we switched seats again and we drove back to the house. No problems except for the known issues that I need to jump on pretty soon – the rally is getting closer by the minute (24 days left!).

I need to put my rebuilt carb on, fix the bellcrank, and get the rear end checked and resealed.