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Parts Jeep Trail Build

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    Posted: 04 Mar. 2012 at 12:08am
This is the "parts" Jeep to a pair I purchased around 12 years ago. Since this one was modified and in rough shape, it wasn't much good for providing parts for the stock jeep. The vision for the vehicle is to make it into a capable, low speed off road trail jeep that will still be able to safely navigate public streets. Mods: if this belongs in the modified section, please feel free to relocate this thread. 
 
This is more or less how I got it. It is complete, most of the sheet metal is removed to make it easier to work on. This photo shows the SBC is gone and replaced with a 3.0L (181 ci) Mercruiser 4 cyl. The engine is mated to a Ford top loading 4 spd from a car and mated to the Dana 18 transfer case; the rest of the Jeep is more or less stock. I should mention that this was someone's misguided project that was never finished, the tags expired in 1987. It is probably a good thing it never saw the road as the "workmanship" this vehicle endured was horible! Lives would have been at stake, either the occupants or innocent bystanders. Our friend "Bubba" or one of his close relatives had two tools at his disposal during the  "build",   a Victor Wrench and an arc welder.
 
The Mercruiser fits beautifully. I bought the engine from a boat salvage yard back in '06, it was removed from a mid '70s Seaswirl, a 16' I think. Motor mounts are fabricated.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jeepjunky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Mar. 2012 at 8:08am
welcome to the club!  This will be a fun one to watch!
My Jeep won a war, Your Honda mowed my yard!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MikeC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Mar. 2012 at 11:05am
Smile I want to see more!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote otto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Mar. 2012 at 10:02pm
Since a digital camera is a recent purchase for me and I didn't chronicle my progress very well, we'll have to take a retrospective look at what has been done. This Jeep has an assigned VIN by OSP so only the numbers on the tub will be the only real trace to when it was built; it is titled as a '47.
 
 
 
Floors are rusty, nothing new here.
 
 
My intent with this thing was to make a low budget trail jeep. I refer to this as the parts jeep because it was part of a pair. If I was a smarter person, I simply would have parted this out and been done with it. Check out the funky shifter on the 4 speed, Hurst Competition Plus!
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote otto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Mar. 2012 at 10:00pm
Manual steering box replaced the power Saginaw setup when it proved difficult to mount pump to the Mercruiser engine. It's a combination of Chevelle 4 bolt case and CJ5 innards. Steering effort is so light I can't imagine what power steering would feel like. Check out the precision of the torched out holes on the old PS mount.
Along with this update I swapped out a Ford tilt column for a GM tilt column. I made every attempt to use the existing parts to keep within budget, but the jeep would have none of this. The Ford column tilted in about three different directions.
 
I picked up an axle from a '73 Wagoneer for $40 and got 11" brakes for a bargain. It even came with these cute little chrome Atlas hubs.
 
The drivers side still has a threaded outer axle, so this side will stay with a Dualmatic hub for awhile. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote otto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Mar. 2012 at 7:23pm
I was able to pick up a Scout front axle for another $40 bucks from the same seller I purchased the Wagoneer axle. This came with 10" brakes. These got installed on the rear of the jeep until I can obtain some more 11" brakes. The stock master cylinder got sent out to a shop in Washington to have a stainless steel sleeve put in. I ran all new brake lines and replaced all the rubber hoses. Eastwood sells a double flaring tool that made all this work easy. It was a little spendy, but well worth it. I've used cheaper flaring tools in the past with less than stellar results.
Before the brakework, I decided to try my hand at a homemade chain clutch linkage. I had a leftover Yamaha countershaft sprocket that slid perfectly over a mag wheel lugnut. Once welded to the sprocket, I spun the lugnut onto a wheel stud and fabbed a bracket. It pivots on the well-greased threads much like the C shaped spring shackles. It was kind of experiment but it seems to work well.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Keith.Tracy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Mar. 2012 at 6:16am
not positive but i think the engine torques up on the drivers side. My Chevy V6 does.
if your mounts arent really tight, you can be pulling on the clutch as your accelerating.
just keep it in mind.

i just built a whole new linkage system for mine too and that was one of the considerations i had to account for.

if you want i can post a pic or two but im not wanting to hijack your thread.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote otto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Mar. 2012 at 12:47pm
Keith,
My chain system was a quick and dirty way of actuating the clutch and like I said it was kind of experiment. One big disadvantage of the chain is that when the pedal is depressed, it pulls on the throwout arm and in turn pulls the whole engine and trans rearward. I have the lightest pressure plate available, but it still happens. The mounts are new and fairly rigid, there is not a lot of flex in them at least yet. A system with a cross shaft would be much better and counter the rearward pull. I've been focusing on other things on the jeep and if the chain continues to work, I'll most likely leave it. If you have photos of a better mousetrap, please feel free to post them here. I would really like to see them.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote otto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Mar. 2012 at 9:24pm
This is the most involved car type project that I've gotten into in a long time. Every system in the vehicle needs to be addressed and it has led to burnout a number of times over the last six years, that's why this is still a project. In between buying expensive parts I'll try to pick away at some of the portions that just take some labor and not a lot of money. The idea with this one was to run as much of the existing parts and components as possible.
 
A restoration of the tub will have to wait, these are just band-aids tacked in on top of the rusty floors.
I've noticed a number of members are running metal hardtops similar to the one on this jeep. There are no names, numbers or any identifying marks of any kind. It looks rather Koenig-ish, but the rear side windows are different in size and shape plus they're set in a rubber gasket which I haven't seen on other tops.
 
The glass is tempered so I imagine it was installed by the manufacturer. Anyone have a guess who may have built this top?
 
 
What this photo is attempting to show amidst the many colors this jeep has worn, is that if the paints are scraped down to the initial color one can see that the first coat of paint is Luzon Red which matches the original color of the tub.
 
 
At some point in its life, an owner had coated the inside of the tub with some sort of thick tar-like coating which saved some of the interior sheet metal. Too bad they didn't put more on the front floors.
 
 
The driver's door is missing the window regulator. Does anyone know if these are unique to this top, or is there another application from other vehicles that will work? I hope this is not a needle in a haystack kind of part.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Clone421 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Mar. 2012 at 10:02pm
If you can check for a tag on the lower right edge of the passenger side panel, most times the PO had painted over the tag. The doors certainly point to Koenig, but those windows look like they were modified in. If you can post some good interior pictures of the reinforcement ribbing it will help to narrow down the possiblities.
Kyle
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1950 Chevrolet Styleline Deluxe
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote otto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Mar. 2012 at 8:55pm
So after rigging up temporary exhaust, temporary fuel tank and just enough wiring to make the engine run I wanted this thing to move under its own power! I'd been pushing, pulling, hauling, towing this jeep around for twelve years. I set the jeep on jackstands because the running gear was unknown. I fired up the engine and was greeted with a horrible knocking sound coming from the engine. After some initial diagnosis failed to come up with a cause for the noise, I ended up pulling the oil pan to find the crank throws were hitting a baffle on the pan. Relieved, I quickly remedied this and switched the dipstick location from the center to the rear of the engine. With the oil pan re-installled I gave running the jeep another try. To my surprise, all four tires were moving and the drivetrain was fairly smooth and quiet. The 4 spd shifted nicely and didn't pop out of any of the gears. Off the jackstands and on the ground again, this jeep was motoring around by itself for the first time in eons. One thing was clear, first gear was tall! Some internet research later, the transmission application is an 1966 Galaxie and a big block close ratio to boot. Not so much good for jeepin'. So I got one of these:
 
T18 from Ford PU, since I was already set up for a Ford clutch disc and pilot bushing. This was the cheapest part of the whole conversion!
 
 
I didn't have a tranny jack so I improvised by welding the floor jack saddle to a plate.
 
It worked OK!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote otto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Mar. 2012 at 9:46pm
The car 4 spd is an interesting one. It's a Ford gearbox, but has been modified to work behind a Chevrolet engine. Both the V8 and the Mercruiser are Chevy powerplants and use a standard bell housing. The Ford top loader has been altered by elongating the upper mounting holes and the lower attachment points were created by welding on some steel tabs. With a new bearing retainer, this could still be used behind most Ford engines. Look for this item at the Portland Swap Meet in April.
 
I went with Novak's adapter for this swap. It was insanely expensive, but everything seemed to go together as it should have.
 
 
It was fairly straight forward, disassemble and swap out the Ford mainshaft for Novak's. Luckily the T18 was pristine inside, nothing needed beyond a small parts kit & the big bearings.
 
 
Done! The D18 was in excellent shape also and just got seals and gaskets.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote otto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar. 2012 at 2:04pm
It should be mentioned that the T18 is a very dense object, it's very heavy. I've always heard of people saying they saw "stars" when they have injured themselves; this has been reinforced by watching lots of cartoons as a kid. Let me say this, don't just think you are going to "just set this on the workbench" without help. I have seen the stars and they are real; it took a couple of weeks for the inflammation in my back to subside.
 
Because I was attempting this with the tub in place, the installation was a huge PITA. I rented a transmission jack to put the trans and transfer case back in.  Once the gearbox unit was in, I found the original crossmember wouldn't work. So once again the project ground to a halt until I could fabricate one.
 
 
With the new crossmember done and in place, the transfer case sat about two inches rearward of where it used to. A trip to the driveshaft shop solved this, making one longer and the other shorter.
 
After all was said and done, it took a lot of work and lightened my wallet a bunch. I had succussfully replaced a perfectly good 4 speed trans with another 4 speed trans. Was it worth it? Hell yes, it was worth it! During the maiden voyage around the property it was apparent the true agricultural roots of the vehicle shown through. It was truly a tractor with a body on it. First gear had dropped from 2.32:1 to 6.32: to 1 and at first I thought I'm made a big mistake in doing this but the more time spent putting around with it has motivated me to keep forging ahead. Keep posted, as I can see more mods on the horizon.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote otto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Apr. 2012 at 2:45pm
With the jeep fully mobile, some other things needed attention. The previous owner(s) had cut out three of the frame's crossmembers; the round one at the front of the engine, the rear one and the one in front of the rear one.
 
 
There was a small step bumper cobbled onto the rear of the frame rails presumably from a mini pick up that I cut off in short order. After cleaning up the frame and making a visit to the steel yard, I fashioned a rear x-member, bumper-hitch combo and welded in a boxed section to replace the cut out crossmember.
 
 
The picture doesn't show anything very well except the new exhaust system which was installed much later. I tried to imitate the triangulation of the stock rear frame and drawbar system into a rear bumper that would function well, we'll see how it works.
 
Another task was to fill in the massive hole in the floor from the car 4 spd linkage and the rust. I was looking for something I could use for a tranny cover and have seen automatic transmission pans and other found objects used for this purpose. A quick rummage around the shop uncovered nothing, but a short distance away on the hood was this:
 
 
I envisioned something like this:
 
 
 
It seemed perfect at first, except that I needed room for my right foot! In the end I didn't use this and had to fab a cover from sheet metal. It seemed simple initially but took me most of a day to finish.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote otto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 2012 at 11:08pm
Quick update: the newly fabbed transmission cover is shown at the bottom of the photo. I also made a new data plate for the new gearbox.
 
 
PS I did manage to sell the car 4 spd. I let it go for less than I wanted to, but I was tired of tripping over it. It found a good home in another jeep.


Edited by otto - 01 May 2012 at 11:14pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote berettajeep Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 2012 at 4:28am
Very nice!Clap 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote otto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 2012 at 11:27pm
Updates are coming more infrequent now that the weather is improving, not enough time in the day to get to everything. The jeep got some attention that merits mention. The temporary radiator was not working out (original to the jeep, I think) and I researched many alternatives. I settled on this:
 
 
It is an all aluminum unit for an early Mustang from Jeg's. It was touted as being "made in USA" and was only $299, once delivered the box had a "made in China" stamp in two places. Hmmm, must be using the Chinese boxes to save money. I went with the version that has the lower outlet on the driver's side as the first one I ordered had the outlet on the passenger side and it would have interfered with the front differential if a big bump was encountered. Some of the u-shaped rad hoses came in handy to get the water pump connected. I sourced an electric fan from a late model Ford Taurus and had a local metal fab shop bend up a simple shroud. I also got an adjustable fan controller unit to run the fan. So far it works great, it lets the engine run up to 180 degrees and shuts off at 165. It did require to fab up a core support from some angle and modification of the existing front crossmember/radiator mount.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote otto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 May 2012 at 10:43pm
Now that I can keep the engine temp under control, I've been actually driving the jeep around the property. There are not many interesting obstacles to play on, but there is a stump with a sloping base similar to a ramp. I was using the stock jeep for some work and thought to give this a try:
 
I did try this on another occasion and was able to put the front tire completely on the top of the stump. So seeing this was possible with a bone-stock vehicle it was natural to compare this performance with the other purpose built "crawler" jeep.
 
The black jeep (project) wouldn't make it six inches up this stump! Even with its T18 super duper low crawl gears it would just spin tires and stop. No photos were taken of this pathetic display, it was just too embarassing. Are the NDTs the blue jeep wears just that good?
 
I decided the problem with the black jeep was not enough flexibility in the suspension. The springs under the jeep are aftermarket units of unknown origin. They don't move much at all, plus it rides like an empty dump truck. When the jeep had a V8 in it I could jump on the front bumper without moving the springs.
 
 
What I thought I would try is to soften things up a bit. When I first got the pair, the blue jeep's front springs were broken. JC Witney had seemingly inexpensive springs so I ordered a pair. They were fairly crude and only the main and second leaves were used. The pack rat that I am, I've hung onto the remnants and am going to use these with the stiff main leaf to make kind of a hybrid spring pack. The rear is a different story, I plan to remove one of the leaves and see if there is any change. This may seem suspect but the springs don't work now and I've got nothing to lose by trying this.
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