Nov 3 2010

We interrupt this regularly scheduled restoration…

…to bring you a possible change to the time frame.

That’s right, I’m getting restless.

Ike is a fantastic and fun Jeep. I am consistently impressed with what he can do, even in his 60-year-old, rusted-through, leaking every possible fluid including gas state. He’s like the old man that just won’t give up his independence.

Either that, or he’s the old man yelling “I’m not ¬†dead yet” when the body cart comes rolling through town.

In any event, I’m starting to rethink my time frame for striping Ike down to the frame (you see what I did there?). The only reason I was going to wait until March is because that would be the end of the current vehicle registration on the old guy. The more I think about it, the more I think I might be wasting some good cool weather to do some heavy lifting, in the hopes that the weather will cooperate enough to actually get some driving time in.

So, now the question is, do I really start tearing this thing apart in December during the holidays, or do I try and hold off until March and do much of the hard work in the “summer” Mojave heat?


May 3 2010

Ike Versus the Sissy Trucks

via: http://www.flickr.com/photos/patrickgage/4317687250/There is nothing that annoys me more than when someone doesn’t fully understand the capabilities of the vehicle they are driving. Most of the time, this is someone in a little sub-compact or compact car attempting to outrun a light with an underpowered four-banger with a ridiculously loud muffler.

However, there is a special class of people that drive trucks that have no idea what a truck is truly capable of. Rather than trying to do too much with their vehicle like the 17 year old attempting to redline a 20 year old Honda, they treat their trucks like a fragile delicate item that is just waiting to tip over or break at a moments notice.

Case in point, yesterday I drove Ike over to the home improvement store to get some more sprinkler parts and a few more bags of potting soil for the wife’s garden. I get over into the turn lane behind a full size 4×4 truck with off-road suspension. In the truck bed is a rented trenching tool that was being returned, that was well tied down (I’ll give him that). After going up the drive way and driving down to get to the parking lot, the guy is driving around 2 miles per hour, coming almost to a complete stop before every speed bump and drainage dip. Turns took what seemed like minutes, and ultimately the guy had trouble even parking in a spot without taking up to stalls.

"It is a light tractor ... a tow truck ... a pick-up ... and a mobile power unit - all available as a single dependable unit."

The entire time I was behind this guy I couldn’t help but think he has no idea what he is driving. Trucks are made to haul stuff and to do work. That’s why there is a truck bed. That’s why you have a body on frame constructed vehicle, and not a uni-body. That’s why you have a V8 with more torque than horsepower. Apparently, this guy didn’t get the memo.

Meanwhile, Ike zipped around (safely) the parking lot, made it over the speed bumps and drainage dips without tipping over, and carried the potting soil safely home in his bed. I even got a few people to hit the person next to them in the car to give Ike a look. A few thumbs up didn’t hurt either. While Ike may not be new, he still has the original Jeep soul. It was built with work in mind, and even after 60 years of use, continues to be useful. While he may end up seeing less work after the rebuild, you can’t help but see Ike and think “I could do that job with the Jeep.”

As the ad says “With its all-wheel drive and its all-season usefulness, the Universal ‘Jeep’ can go more places and do more things than any other vehicle.” Just as Toledo intended.


Apr 11 2010

New Hood Blocks (and a rant on SAE measurement)

One of the items that was part of my first parts order was a new set of white oak hood blocks.

They aren’t anything special really, just some blocks of wood attached to the front end of the hood. They serve two purposes on the CJ-3A. The first is to keep the hood sheet metal from rubbing against the windshield frame. The second is to keep the windshield frame, and sometimes more importantly the windshield wiper arms, from rubbing against and digging into the hood sheet metal.

Now, keeping with my theme of going as original as possible, I also attached the new blocks using the exact screws used by Willys-Overland in 1950. This presented me with a nice learning experience: the SAE system of identifying screw parts.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve really (and I do mean really) disliked the SAE and Imperial¬† system of measurement. The idea of creating a system of measurement where units aren’t in base 10 (like our numbering system), don’t have direct correlations (like why are inches divided into 16ths, but there are 12 inches in a foot?), and seem so arbitrary as to be just plain stupid (seriously, 5280? feet in a mile?!?!?!??, why not 5296.2 feet if we are just going to make stuff up??).

Luckily, it seems that screws and washer sizes, while still insanely arbitrary, have a system to them. This system doesn’t apply uniformly (of course not!), but instead there is different “sets” of sizes. All of that is a really long way of saying that my frustration with SAE measurements and sizes should be totally and completely thorough by the time I’m done with this rebuild.