Friday, July 31, 2020

 The new Omix-Ada dash pad was mounted. This is a duplicate of the original with Jeep logo. Nice quality. It has the relief pocket for the inside mounted wiper motor along with cut out for the VIN plate that is mounted behind the wiper motor. Our YJ windshield frame had a VIN plate but is shaped differently than the later CJ plate therefore not matching the dash cut out. One had to be fabricated to mount behind the YJ wiper motor but conform to the CJ cut out shape. Two patterns were used, one for the mounting behind the wiper motor and another for the dash cut out. The one was mounted behind the wiper motor then the windshield frame was brought up and fastened into position with the dash hold
down  bolts. Then the other was held into position in the cut out and marked against the first one. Everything was then disassembled, the two patterns taped together and reinstalled for final trimming, disassembled again then the cardboard pattern was transferred to sheet metal, bent to the proper angle and drilled then remounted. The final angle was tweaked then once again removed. After a coat of black paint cured the face was covered with a black piece of Naugahyde. We experimented with black vinyl door edge guard but just couldn't get the tight radius required. In the end we sliced a small length of vacuum hose down the middle and slipped over the edge.

Got the windshield frame back from the body shop and as usual they did a superb job. After giving the paint time to cure it was sent off for glass. Now when it comes to glass I trust one shop only. And that is H & M Ebling I have been dealing with this 2 generation shop since 1974 for home and auto and have never been disappointed. Just once a body shop talked me into using a chain company for a windshield replacement and I had to use towels on the dash to collect the rain water, never again. Ebling installed a new glass with a smoked tint band at the top with new gaskets and even applied a rear view mirror mount and never even scratched the new paint. Using a YJ frame while retaining CJ
ductwork and wiper motor resulted in a few modifications. The YJ uses ductwork that is routed through the dash while a CJ is routed through the windshield frame, therefore openings had to be cut at the bottom of the frame and slots at the top for the defroster vents. The reason a CJ wiper motor was used rather than the YJ was the YJ has additional wiring that is routed through the steering column mounted controls where as   the CJ is dash mounted. The YJ linkage was retained therefor the mounting tab on the CJ motor had to be replaced with the one from the YJ. Before removing a 12 volt source was applied to the connector making sure both motors where in the park position. The location was marked and a small gear puller was used to remove the tabs and switched the YJ to the CJ motor. Linkage was then fed in through the windshield frame and the motor mounted. The plastic nuts for the wiper posts were coated with Right Stuff to hopefully prevent water leakage. I say hopefully because I have yet to see a frame that doesn't eventually rust out, ours was no exception. The bodyshop took care of some minor rust issues. The linkage access holes needed to be covered and sealed since the defrosters now were routed through the frame. A cardboard pattern was made then transferred to sheet vinyl then covered with Naugahyde, the same that was used on the console.

Sunday, July 05, 2020

A carpet set was ordered from Auto Custom Carpets that included both front and rear floors along with rear wheel wells and side wall/kick panel pieces. Not taking into consideration that a fiberglass tub is dimensionally different than a steel one, we encountered a problem with the bound width of the carpet. 2nd and third photo shows excess. Shell Valleys bodies are double wall construction making them narrower inside. After laying down some Cool It Thermal Barrier (first photo) the carpet was centered, fastened down the shifter mount to hold it in place, then worked towards the sides by mounting the seat mounts. That way we could get an accurate idea of how much had to be
trimmed off. All hole locations were cut in at this time also. Same method was used for the rear wheel wells. All edges were marked with a fabric crayon then removed and trimmed then given to Rays Upholstery to rebind. Upon return the main carpet again was reinstalled using the previously cut holes to align. Shifter and seat mounts were installed then wiring (last photo) for the heated seats were routed and access slot cut in the carpet below seats leaving enough slack to allow the seats to tilt forward. E-Brake cables were also fastened. The main carpet was not glued in place for ease of removal to access wiring if needed, but will use Velcro strips along the perimeter. Unlike the front carpet the rear wheel wells were
glued in place using  3M Super 77 Multipurpose Adhesive This stuff if used correctly really sticks. Center rear cargo area carpet will be Velcro-ed. Unfortunately the side pieces that came with the carpet kit could not be used, again because of the fiberglass body's double wall construction. Shapes were not the same as with a steel body. Although it is possible to buy the front passenger floor and rear cargo floor area together, the only way to get the rear wheel well covers is to also get the sidewall/kick panel pieces. It would be nice to do so to save a bit. The side wall/kick panel areas are not a big deal to us due to the quality of the paint work Garys Auto Body applied. The inside is as nice as the outside, plus with the double wall construction acting as a sound barrier, the carpet is not needed. All in all we were happy with the results and quality of the carpet.

Tuesday, June 02, 2020

The used YJ windshield frame that we had picked at our favorite U-Pull was solid and void of any rust, BUT as often happens when a soft top channel is installed to the top of the frame using the supplied sheet metal screws, they always work loose and will eventually create cracks in the sheet metal along the top of the frame. Why Jeep didn't reinforce that area with thicker metal or a backing plate baffles us. Needless to say ours was. Badly I may add. We tried brazing the cracks, but with the metal so thin it just blew right thru. Threaded rivet nut inserts were also tried. And these might be a good cure if done when new, not after the cracks have already developed. Since we had previously modified this frame to accept CJ defroster ducting, the thought of doing it again on a new frame wasn't something we looked forward to. So we devised a method and decided to practice on this frame and if it didn't work out then we would buy a new frame and install threaded rivet nuts.We used 1/4" thick by 2" wide steel plate cut to length to insert thru a slot made in the front of the frame. The location of the original screw hole was marked on the plate then removed and a hole was drilled and tapped 10-24. The plate was then reinstalled and secured with a 10-24 machine screw. Two 1/8" pop rivets were installed on either side of the screw and the screw removed. The excess was then ground flush with the front of the frame and mig welded and again ground flush. The pop rivets were later removed and replaced with counter sunk screws so as to provide a smooth surface for the soft top channel. The whole works was then sent off to Garys Auto Body along with the tailgate and some other miscellaneous parts. The font of the frame was body worked to make the welded areas were presentable. Now we have a solid 1/4" thick backing plate to thread in a 10-24 screw to hold down the channel. The practice piece worked so a new frame was not needed. Next will be the glass install and that will only be trusted to H & M Ebling Glass This has been a 2 generation family owned shop that has never disappointed me. I have dealt with others and have always had problems or had to settle for a compromise.

Saturday, April 04, 2020

Back in Nov. 2018 we redid the brakes with another booster and master cylinder, but kept the silicon brake fluid. Brake pedal pressure was ok but with the size of the 4 wheel discs that we had we just thought that it should stop better. All the brake companies that we talked to said to get rid of the silicon DOT 5 fluid. In fact most companies are now not honoring warranties if it is used. Recommendations are DOT 3 or 4. So the decision was made to drain the brake system of the Dot 5 and replace it with DOT 4. Initially we removed the master cylinder, opened the bleeders and forced compressed air through the system. Thinking this was good enough, Dot 4 was put back into the system, not realizing that what little residual DOT 5 was left in the system contaminated the DOT 4. In fact it jelled. Needless to say we had a mess on our hands. Long story short all the calipers and master cylinder were dissembled, and cleaned thoroughly.  More DOT 4 was forced through the lines to remove the remaining DOT 5. To do that, a Brake Bleeder Kit was purchased from Harbor Freight. What a time saver that turned out to be. Connect it to the bleeder and just keep adding fluid to the master cylinder.
Also when the master was installed on the new booster, we had no accurate way of adjusting the power booster to master cylinder pin. Online checking found a handy tool to do just that. These can be purchased from most brake companies. After looking at the design of it I decided to make my own. Turned out to be a simple milling job and it works great. Adjusting the pin reduces brake pedal travel, and if the pin is longer than it should be would put continuous pressure on the master cylinder, activating the brakes. So it is crucial that this adjustment is correct. Now everything is back together, but since the Jeep is not drive able actual brake testing is not possible. But just hand pushing it to a roll on the shop floor and stepping on the pedal it stops abruptly where as before it did not. We anxiously await for the time that we can drive it to see for sure if any progress was made. I do know I have DOT 5 silicon brake fluid in my J10 for years now and felt the brakes could be better. You have to really stand on them.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Decided it was time to mount the Nardi steering wheel to the tilt column that was previously mounted after retrieving from the paint shop and noticed that the upper bearing was loose on the shaft and missing some balls. We were not prepared for the set back that awaited us. When it was given to the paint shop we failed to mount the turn signal cam and associated lock plate, spring and nut. Needless to say the shaft was not supported and the balls fell out. Of course now we are wondering where they ended up. I did find a few hanging on the grease around the race but not all. We were missing 4. I measured them with a micrometer and found them to be .125 (1/8). Went to my stash of ball bearings and
found what I needed and reinstalled them. Had everything but the steering wheel back together and still had some side play in the shaft but lower on the shaft. Turned out to be the lower bearing was also missing balls. Needless to say this turned into a long day. Had to dissemble the whole tilt mechanism which required pulling the turn signal switch and wiring, lock cylinder and tilt pivot pins and slide off the bowl. Most of the balls were MIA, so again found what was needed from my surplus. People wonder why I save everything, this is why. It also turned out that when I originally rebuilt the column the knuckle joint that is part of the tilt shaft was reversed 180 deg. This you wouldn't think is a problem except that the spline at the upper end locating the lock plate is void one groove locating it one way on the shaft. This in turn positions the canceling cam to correctly operate the canceling function of the turn signals, which brings back a memory of why they didn't cancel correctly during build up. Needless to say I wasn't going to spend the time to remove the shaft. We took the lock plate and ground off the spline point 180 deg opposite of the one that is normally missing and reinstalled it correctly. There, problem solved. I,m not going to bore you with disassembled steering column photos because it was ugly, but now we have a tight steering with functioning turn signal cancellation. So in hind sight we should have given the paint shop a FULLY assembled column, but then we would not have found the turn signal canceling problem. Lesson learned. In the end it's always nice to fix your stupid mistakes.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

 Got the call from Gary's Auto Body that the fenders were finished and what a sight to behold. We had the underside Line-Exed to match the underside of the body. The inner part of the fender behind the wheel well was also Line-Exed but painted to match the firewall. Fender flares were installed along with the clear side marker lights. Jeffrey preferred the clear look over the amber lens, so an amber bulb will be used. Previously during mock up, when the fenders were lined up a split pin was installed through the fender into the firewall along with a 3/4" wide aluminum strip for strengthening. This pin provided perfect alignment of the fender to body eliminating the chance to damage the paint. One
slight oversight though was installing the heater box assembly prior, virtually eliminating access to the upper 2 fender bolts on the right fender. Threaded inserts were then installed in the firewall with studs allowing the use of 2 nuts. In hindsight a steel strip with 2 studs should have been glued in place from the inside before the heater box was installed. We laughed and said when the heater core decides to leak, we will then take care of it. Fronts of fenders were then secured to the grille. The center grille mount will be left loose until the hood is painted and installed permitting alignment. The tops of the fenders were covered with shrink wrap for protection while the wiring harness was secured.

Friday, March 20, 2020

The headers that we are using were take offs from the J10. They are Edelbrock shorties that are no longer available. The finish was weathered and also we were concerned of heat transfer to the Line-Ex covered firewall. So Jeffrey did some research and concluded with Jet Hot Coatings for a heat reducing chrome like finish. The headers were packaged and sent and were returned a few weeks later looking great. Quality is impeccable. Their claim is that the coating reduces heat by 65% and has a life time warranty, plus the polished coating looks so damn good. We figured that these should be installed before the fenders came back from the paint shop. Installation went well using studs and Nord-Lock Washers on all but one location where a bolt was used to allow installation to clear
the steering shaft. The Nord- locks were still used with the bolt. These lock washers have wedge shaped serration on both sides and are used in pairs. We had these installed during mock up and never came loose. Now that these are installed we can move on to the fenders.