Feb 5 2012

Big Weekend

In what will surely be only the first major component that needs to be farmed out for work, I finally got the frame sandblasted. Performance Powder Coating in Apple Valley did a fantastic job, especially considering how long it would have taken me to do the same work.

With the help of my buddy Joe, I got it picked up and we took it over to his dad’s place. After what seemed like just a short time, the old spring pivot joint was gone, and a new piece of metal was welded in.

Above you can see the before with the horrible weld job that was done. To the right you can see that the joint has been removed. While he was at it, I had him remove the remaining outriggers so I can be sure the frame gets painted under them. I’ve got a little clean up to do and then it will be ready to paint.

Today, though, I didn’t do any additional work on the frame, but instead focused on getting the front axle blasted and the first coat of paint out on. Since most of the axle was already wire wheeled, sand blasting went extremely quick since it was more or less just touch up in areas that I couldn’t get to with the wheel.

After getting it back up on the bench (I found out about half way through getting it back from the drive way that without the knuckles installed, I can carry the axle without the assistance of other tools). Much like I did with the rear axle, I ‘ll complete the full housing before I do the differential cover. It has got some serious baked on something or other on there that will need special attention.

The first coat of POR15 went on relatively easy. There are a few spots that I’ll need to pay special attention too, and the whole thing will get a second coat before getting a final topcoat of Rustoleum for the gloss and UV protection that I’m looking for.

This coming weekend I’ll hopefully also get the most stubborn U-Joint removed from the long axle shaft. I’m also going to clean up the knuckles, backing plates, hubs, and spindles in preparation for their reconstruction. I’ve also gotta start either looking for a place to get the frame primed and painted the way I want, or determine if it’s something I can do in my garage.

But, there is one more thing…

I was also the lucky bidder on a rather nice looking original Carter W-O 636SA carburetor on eBay today. So yeah, a pretty good weekend for Ike. 

Nov 13 2011

In the rear with the gear (take 2)

The only thing greater than a 3 day weekend, is a 4 day weekend. And the only thing better than a 4 day weekend is a 4 day weekend I get to work hours on end on Ike.

After getting the backing plates blasted last weekend, I was all set to paint those and the grease retainers. Unlike the rest of the axle, I went with engine enamel for the plates and grease retainers. I don’t think there would be enough heat generated by the drums to cause a problem with the standard POR 15, but since the backing plate and retainer sits up against the grease seal, I figured I could take advantage of the heat resistance, oil resistance, and durability of the engine enamel. I like the way it turned out.

Once paint was dry, it was time to start putting the brakes back together. I loaded the shims, grease retainer, backing plate, and additional grease retainers on the inside, all held together with grade 8 bolts. Next came the eccentrics, wheel cylinder, and then mounting the shoes to the lower anchors and cams. After the spring was pulled tight, a quick adjustment of the eccentrics, and it was time to move to the other side. The other side was considerably easier after doing the first side.

With all the brake hardware in place, I finally got to do the brake lines on the rear axle. I had become pretty good at getting very good double flares at the end of the brake lines a few months ago when I first bought the tools. However, it apparently isn’t like riding a bike. After making a half dozen or so mistakes, I got back into the groove and was able to create good flares. Using my forming tool, I got fairly close to the original bend pattern. I don’t have any welting to place in-between the line and the differential clip, so for now it’s just going to sit there. Eventually I’d like to replace the clip and add some welting to match the original.

So now, after weeks of work, the only thing remaining to finish the axle is to get the drums turned, hubs/drums remounted, and then fill it with differential oil. I’m hoping once the drums are turned it will be easy enough to get a nice coat of paint on the outside. I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to getting the rear axle off of the workbench so I can get started on the front axle. I’m fairly concerned that the front axle is going to need an axle shop to fix a pinion seal that has started leaking after I cleaned everything up. Since I don’t have the tools to remove the yoke, I’ll probably have to take it in to get it replaced. If that ends up being the case, I might get a bit more done while I have it there.

Nov 6 2011

Prepping for completion

Since I don’t have all my parts yet (should be here tomorrow), I had to just do some last minute prep work to get ready to finish the rear axle. After talking with a few people online, I decided to just use some spray on engine enamel for the backing plates. Cheaper (since I already have the paint) than powder coating, and I don’t have to take it somewhere and wait for it to get completed.

To get the backing plates, and the grease retainer, ready for paint I had to fire up the sandblaster. I was hoping that there was enough grease and brake dust on the plates that a quick cleaning would get me to a point where I could do a lithe scraping and get some paint on them. Naturally I wasn’t anywhere near that lucky. The only nice part was that the two backing plates and two small retainers didn’t take that long to blast. I’m hoping I can spray a quick couple of coats after school this week to be ready to go with assembly on the long weekend. Only problem might be the dropping temperatures as we get into winter.

After getting the backing plates blasted, I finished up the paint on the U-bolts and they look ready to attach. Last pieces to get paint will probably be the rear shock plates. The rear shock plates were the only ones that don’t need work before I can put them on. The front ones, not so much. Haven’t decided yet if I want to replace the front ones, or just fix em. There isn’t much metal left on the rods, but there may be enough that a quick braze and some grinding can bring them back up to the right sizes. We’ll see when I get to that point.

Oct 31 2011

In the rear with the gear

With the rear axle differential finally buttoned up, it’s time to turn my attention to getting it completed. I’ve decided to keep my 9″ brakes rather than upgrading to 11″ drums. While the white parts Jeep already has the 11’s on there, it looks to require a bit more re-engineering than what I’d like to go through at this point. I can always go back later and do a swap if it hits me as something I want to do. With how infrequently this vehicle will be driven, and at the speeds it is capable of, I don’t think upgrading to larger brakes is an immediate goal of mine. I also spent some time giving the rear U-bolts a quick coat of paint. Hanging them up in the garage to dry made them look like a really stupid Christmas ornament.

So with the brake decision out of the way, I placed an order for new brake hardware for the rear axle. Soon Ike will be donning powder coated backing plates, new shoes, new shoe springs and mounting/adjusting hardware, and freshly turned drums. Once the brakes are re-built, I’ll start running the brake lines. After I get the rear axle off of my bench, it’ll be time to start on the front axle, which should prove to be quite a bit more complicated than the rear axle. I have a feeling that those knuckles are going to prove to be a formidable adversary to deal with, but I may be pleasantly surprised. I’m really hoping that I don’t have to replace much other than seals and retaining rings on it, except for the pinion seal which happens to be leaking again. If the pinion seal on the front is damaged, then I’ll have to take it in to get replaced. I don’t have the tools or the knowledge to properly remove the pinon nut and yoke and put it all back together the way it should be.

Oct 23 2011

Getting back to it

After spending the last few weeks hemming and hawing about the brakes, I had finally decided to just stick with the original style 9 inchers. All the reasons I had decided to stick with the original brakes are still there, but after the suggestion of a coworker, I decided to check the parts Jeep and see what it had on it. The previous owners of the parts Jeep had done various upgrades and changes to it for wheeling out in the desert. Everything from the engine, to the tires and wheels, to the locking hubs had been changed. Come to find out, all these weeks trying to find a source (and the funds), were essentially wasted because the parts Jeep had already been upgrade.

That being said, I still have to get the brakes off of the parts Jeep, and figure out what they came from. After the discovery today that I had already bought 11″ brakes, I realized that I forgot to take a snapshot of them. Interestingly enough, the hubs on the front wheel were on the outside of the drum, not unlike what I have on the rear. They also didn’t appear to be 2″ wide, though that may just be due to the curve of the drums. As long as this setup doesn’t require much re-engineering to get things to work, I think I’ll be off to a good start.

Once I got home, I got anxious to get back to work. After running a tap through the differential cover holes to dig out all the crap (which seemed to take WAY too long), I cleaned off the differential cover gasket, and put on a new Permatex seal. After mounting the cover, the brake line bracket, and the ratio tag, I snugged down the bolts with a torque wrench. Hopefully before next weekend I’ll be able to figure out a little more about my new-found brakes.

Sep 11 2011

Starting the front axle

I know I said that the front axle was done with paint, but I decided to give it a shot of semi gloss and now it looks much better. I also removed the zerks for the axle bearings and found that they are mostly clean. I’ll have to push some grease through them to make sure no paint got in there. Looks like my putting the nails into the holes to keep paint out worked well.

While I was waiting for the paint to dry I decided to roll out the front axle and start cleaning. After scraping off about three pounds of grease and dirt, I started with the wire wheel. After obliterating the grime around the brake lines I tried to remove them from the axle. One side came right off where the steel line meets the flexible hose for the steering knuckles. The passenger side of the Jeep has always been a bit more difficult to work on, especially up front there the battery had overflowed a time or two spreading corrosive battery acid all over that side. After making the flare nut look more like a shiny super thick round washer, I ended up just cutting the line to remove the majority of it. I’ll have to see if I can get the clip free with some penetrating oil and some banging and prying. Hopefully it will come loose.

The trouble I’m having now is if I should sand blast the axle as it is now to keep any possible sand from getting into it, or if I should start to brake down the knuckles to make it easier to work with. At this point I’m leaning towards blasting as is and then pulling the knuckles apart and blasting those separately.

Since I’m getting to the point where I have to start putting things together, I’m going to have to place an order or two. I’m going to need my differential gaskets, knuckle seals, grease retainers, grease (!), and oh yeah, I still need to order brakes. I’ve got two suppliers right now that I’m trying to evaluate. One is great over email, and the other prefers the phone, so comparing information and products is slow. The other problem is finding the money for the parts purchases. So far I’ve only had to purchase a few small things to get to this point. Moving from 9″ brakes to 11″ brakes is surprisingly not going to cost me much more than replacing the 9″ brakes sans the backing plate.

In any event, I’ll hopefully have an idea of what I need to order next week after tearing down the knuckles and seeing what needs to be replaced. I’m hoping I’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Sep 5 2011

Last bit of paint on the rear axle

The rear axle is all but finished as far as painting goes. After putting the second coat on the differential cover, it’s just about time to button it all up. I’ll be putting in an order for a differential cover gasket, I’ve already purchased new fastening hardware, and the only thing I’ll need after that is some differential oil.

While I’m happy to be nearing completion on the finishing of the axle, I’m slightly less happy with the way the semi-gloss POR15 dried. When I chose to purchase the semi-gloss over the gloss, I was hoping for a finish similar to some of the other paint I have used. When the POR15 first went on the axle, it was rather glossy. I took comfort in knowing that it would dry and dull slightly. However, it appears that like all things dealing with paint, the amount of gloss left behind is all subjective. I would call the finish matte black rather than semi-gloss, but that’s just me. I could only imagine what matte black would be to this company.

In order to combat that I decided that I’m going to give the parts a quick shot of semi-gloss spray paint. I’ve used it before on other parts and it’s rather resilient, plus with the POR15 underneath it should give me the best of both worlds. While putting the second coat on the differential cover this afternoon, I gave it a quick spray to see what the results are using both POR15 and some good rattle can paint.

I was also finally able to talk to a few parts suppliers about upgraded brakes. It seems the piece that is the hardest to find and get ahold of is the backing plate and core hardware. As drums, especially drums intended for this type of installation, have fallen in popularity in favor of disc brakes, no new backing plate hardware is being produced. I’ve put in emails to two suppliers that specifically sell the conversion kits, and another two that don’t have them listed on their site. We’ll see what happens there.

I also put in my order for the brake forming and flaring tools. Once I get those, I’ll go and get the brake line stock and start a few practice flares and forms before I go to work on the axle. I think I’m also getting to the point where I have to stop putting off getting my frame sand blasted and prepped and need to start figuring out what I’m going to do there.


Aug 28 2011

Painting the rear axle

It took two days due to the incredible heat and humidity limiting how much time I felt like spending outside, but I did get the brakes completely removed and the first coat of POR15 on a majority of the axle. I received my puller early last week, and it sure make a huge difference having an appropriately sized tool. The two that I had borrowed from my father-in-law were far too small to fit around my studs. After lubing the center screw, mounting pulling arms and center body, and getting the anvil wrench on, I went to town pounding. It only took a few good pounds to pull the hub off of the tapered axle shaft.

After looking at the internal brake parts, I went to work getting the assembly off so I could pull the backing plates off. I started on the drivers side, and after figuring out what the additional “adjusters” did on the backside of the backing plate, I was able to spread the shoes far enough out that I could remove the slave cylinder, the spring, and lastly the bottom anchors. Once the assembly was off, the backing plate and axle shims came right off. I ended up zip-tying the axle shaft keys into place, just so I wouldn’t loose them.

After I got the brake parts off, I finished cleaning up the axle flanges that I couldn’t quite get to while the bolts where in place. I also used the wire wheels to get a few spots I had missed with the sand blaster as well as some areas that had some seepage of oil from around the differential cover and the vent holes on the axle tubes. Since the surface was newly cleaned, appropriately scuffed/rough, then it was time to start paining.

I decided to do the everything but the differential cover. I’ll pull that off, give it a good blasting, and then paint it and put it back on with a proper gasket and new fasteners. I still have at least one more coat of POR15 to put on the axle, and I still need to get the areas being held by the jack stands. Luckily it’s going to be ready for brakes here fairly soon.

Aug 21 2011

Small work, big plans

Since I didn’t get my puller in time to pull the hubs this weekend, the Jeep work became more cleanup work than anything else. I finally cut off the rear tube that was maybe supposed to be a flag holder so that the frame would sit evenly while upside down on the stands. Since it was upside down, I pulled off the 4 axle bumpers from the frame. It’s an unfortunate reality that many vintage Jeep frames have extreme rust where the axle bumpers meet the frame. In what is sure to be one of the few times where I am luckier than others in that I don’t have any serious rust issues beneath them.

Borrowed from http://www.the-jeep-guy.comI’ve also decided that if I end up upgrading my brakes to 11″ drums, than I will be forming my own brake lines as well. I’m planning on talking with a few parts suppliers to see what is recommended. I’d love to have some better stopping power, but at the same time, I’d just as soon go with an easy replacement that gets me self-adjusting shoes. I don’t plan on doing anything like speeding down the road, but even when I was out driving it before I started the tear down, people would pull in front of me and then stop, as if I was driving a more modern vehicle.

I’m also going to be purchasing some POR15 for painting the axle. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like anyone carries it locally, so I’ll have to purchase online. Hopefully it will get here in time for the long Labor Day weekend so I can get a good amount of work done. It’d be great if I could get the axle painted and start working on putting it back together. Here’s to hoping that the front axle will go faster after I finish this one.

Dec 24 2010

Ike’s Christmas Gift

Ike got his Christmas gift a bit early this year. Joining him in the garage for the time being (until I can figure out where else to put it) is another 1950 CJ-3A!

Now, it’s not exactly a “finished” gift and instead is more of a parts donor. With two axles for backup, newly rebuilt transfer case, good transmission, great looking grille, hood, and tailgate, it’d got plenty of good source parts. Among other things, I also got a very good pair of dual vacuum wipers, a new pushrod and a second starter, a good spare radiator, era-correct replacement speedometer, locking front hubs (yay!!) and I’m sure once I get through the rest of the parts even more to use.

The body appears to be a little more “there” than my current one, but only time will really tell. The best part is, even if the body isn’t any more usable than my current one, the price for the project was so good that with the parts I will certainly use and those that I can easily sell (like the F head engine) I won’t be any worse off. Now some pictures: