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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Guages that work

Instead of messsing with the old ones, I messed with new ones.

Gosh its dark. I have a lighted rear view mirror coming to remedy this.

You can't see it too well but the fuel guage is a pod unit next to the release
handle of the parking brake

The guages are sunpro, but came with a ammeter instead of voltmeter.
The ammeter needs ALL of the power between the battery and altenator
running under your dash hooked through it to work (almost enough power to weld with)
The replacement voltmeter on the left jumps 12V power off the starter switch above it.
The temp guage signal comes from the unit between cylinder 1 & 3,
The oil pressure comes from the tan wire off the oil pressure unit on the back of the engine.
When started, the guage reads 70 lbs cold. :)
Check out the cool 1980's knight rider guages
Michael, you are coming up on a turn too fast, autodrive on.
Just getting warmed up

After 15 minutes idling :)

"short" todo list:
brakes and lines, axles- either regear or replace and regear,
seats and belts & test drive

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Rear lights

The following colored wires run to the rear lights-

White: gas sender gauge
Green: reverse ( power comes off of NSS on lower steering column, goes to both rear )
Blue: left turn and brake
Orange: right turn and brake
Yellow: running lights (goes to both rear lights, side marker lights, and liscense plate light)

The cluster of wires from near the parking brake, back to the left light housing was in great shape so new soldered connections to the light were installed since the originals were toast.
Jeeps original wiring harness to the right turn signal and liscense was probably good for the first 25,000 miles or 3 years
then it started decaying and shorting since it ran thru the tailgate hinges and the gate itself. (BTW the tailgate hinges are a pain to remove) 

The driver blue wire was working, but the contact snapped off, I'm just going to replace
the socket with an aftermarket one
so it works like the passenger side (below)

The rear housings are cast pot metal and need a goooood electrical ground to work. I guess jeep thought that
the 3 mounting bolts were adequate. Remember the more grounds the better? If not go back to the dash lights page and re read.
There is a ground wire under the lights that was replaced and ran to the new liscence plate
light and for the side marker lights and will also be ran to the housing studs.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Oil simplicity

This shiny little piece goes in place of the stock
oil cooler that goes up to the radiator via hoses.
This is almost life size.
It bolts onto the block and the new filter screws onto it.

The hoses leak on the cooler after many years, and I don't need the extra junk in the
engine bay. $16 new off fleabay.

Where the orange filter is (PH5 Fram)
is where the old cooler adapter (below puking oil) was bolted up along with the oil filter.
You just remove the cooler, and bolt in the new adapter. 
The only other thing it needed was a pair of 5/16" -18 bolts
Note: The original oil cooler used a smaller filter than just a stock one.

No leaks, no drips....
next thing to do: finish rear lights, fix e -brake, &
see if it can move onto the driveway by itself.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Rear driveshaft update V2.3

I was going to sleeve the stock tube with smaller DOM, but I
 stopped by metal supermarket and got 3' of  stock diameter DOM tubing for $21. 
Since I have plans on hitting the trail before the street, I'm planning
on lengthening the rear driveshaft with 2" O.D. .125" wall  tubing.
I may have it redone later and balanced.

Here's another how to:
Stock on the left, new .125 wall stuff is on the right
It's amazing how flimsy looking the stock driveshaft is compared to this stuff.

The driveshaft will have to be lengthened  roughly 4" to reach 32 1/2"
center of yolk to center of yolk.
Hows that for a techincal drawing?
This is with the slip shaft centered with 1.5" compression and 1.5" extension travel since
the rear springs are almost flat.

Like the front I cut a circumference around the weld
make sure you mark your yolks so they are on the same side because
they need to be in synch (same side, same plane) when it is complete.

1 hit with a bfh and it came right off. 
When cutting, make the cuts as straight as possible.  That way
when you slide the yolk into the new tube its already close
to being straight.

The slip shaft side.  Because the tube wall is thicker than stock I had to reduce
the diameter of the yolk sleeve where it inserts into the tube.
Note how a bfh dented the stock tubing with mild blows.
On the trail with an unforgiving boulder this would have twisted it.

Did you mark your yolks? I put the driveshaft on some steel to make sure the
yolk ears were flat.  Initially they were several degrees off.

I measured from the squarely cut  tubing (used a chop saw for that)
to the end of the machining on the short yolk for a measurement every 90*
After it was where I wanted it,  I tack welded every 90* and re-measured.
The slip shaft was measured to the dust collar (1 5/16" collapsed if I remember right)
every 90*. 

For welding, the ground went onto a large piece of right angle and the driveshaft lay cradled in that.
Then as the weld was layed down with the BIG welder the shaft was rotated.  One side was done in 2 turns
the other in 3 cause the ground stuck.  It'll work for now.

Friday, November 11, 2011


Brakes are my nemisis.  I am going to have to do something drastic to the rear brake line (like replacing it) to match it to the brake hose and line on the rear axle. 
  Also the master cylinder (i think) is a 15/16" or 1" bore (cj jeep size) and the wheel cylinders up front are 1 1/8"
What this means is that the master cylinder has to move a * whole lot * (more than physically possible)  to expand the wheel cylinders a little.

It's like sticking $1.00 in a vending machine for a $1.12 item ... you're not going to get much out of it.

Plans are to replace the master cylinder and front wheel cylinders with 1 1/8" bore parts from bigger vehicles.
 (popluar master cylinder doners are the 79 scout II or 79 cherokee)

*Update 12-16-11,  ordered a booster and master cylinder off a 84 waggy that should be in soon, and some new front wheel cylinders.  all 1 1/8" bore.  I realize that there isn't a residual valve on the mc for the fronts since the waggy had disks, but I'll do a test run to see if it is too much or too little braking - somewhere between not stopping and locking up would be good.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Dash lights and more wiring

Everything works better when its grounded.  Really.
 If crap on your vehicle doesn't work look for a bad ground. 
Example: The jeep wouldn't start the other day, and after digging through my problem checklist
I saw a spark from the ground wire on the engine block. A little wd40 and tightening the wire in a little
different position and presto!

I used the remaining guage lights to get the dash lit.  The ALT (alternator) light will be used
as a key "on" indicator. 
I think the gas, oil, and temp guages will be moved to a underdash pod.
They are originally ran off of a resistor on the back of the dash so- maybe something more reliable.

An auxillary power wire was ran coming from the fusebox to a 20A thermal
fuse that feeds the cigarette lighter (a power port to the younger generation)
and now the brake lights.

The horns have been installed, but the chevy horn relay in the fusebox is shot so they are silent for now.

The hi and lo beams, running lights, and hazards are working. (on the front side at least)
  Working on the turn signals now.

After the turn signals are worked out,  on to the rear lights.  The wiring in the body to the rear lights is intact luckily.
The wiring through the tailgate is shot - why they ran wires through a moving metal tube in the tailgate is beyond me.
Seems like its a recipie for disaster.  

Monday, October 31, 2011

The how to guide for shortening a driveshaft

This is for the front shaft which is part time and I don't care about balancing it.

First off-  I measured the fully collapsed length then measured the fully extended
length, subtracted and divided by 3.  Why 3?  Why not.  I figured that with 1/3 of the
slip shaft hanging out at regular running setting that it would be strong enough.

The 1/3 is 1.5" from the weld nipple.  Thank goodness for nipples.

Stock length with the 1.5" extension was 39" center to center on u joints.

Which means after measuring the centerline ujoint cap at the differential to the 39" shaft length,
 I needed to take off 2 3/8" to make it the right length.
I thought these were solid due to the weight, but I was mistaken.

The yolk is press fitted and welded on.  The end of the stock tube was originally
 chamfered to make assembly a little easier.

The yolk got cut into some with the angle grinder, so it was filled in and
ground down to a roundish configuration.

I measured like in the pictures down below before seating it to weld.
Do this on a flat surface and check your  measurements twice.
Then weld away......

Quick after weld check...

It's actually even!


Paint it and insert ujoints. Then grease the heck out of it.  If you forget to grease it, you'll be replacing the joints again
within a week- trust me.

Friday, October 28, 2011

driveshaft clearances

Rear one has 2.5" of travel and needs to be extended (unless I can get some DOM tubing a professional shop will do this)from full extension 2.5" to reach the transfer case.
The front one will be cut down and rewelded.   I almost stroked out on the front one trying to measure  it.  With the transfer case in and clocked the way I had the shifters mounted, the driveshaft yolk would contact the transmission pan. 
So before I started trying to rotate the transfer case, I put a spare u joint on the shaft and held it in place.  Almost straight out the shaft would rotate without any binding, as soon as the axle end was dropped down it came in contact with the tranny pan lip just outside the bolts. 
  I'll have to pull the tranny pan and shave off the 1/4" lip of the pan (hatched area)  to clear the yolk.

Since it is so close to the pan and aluminum part of the tranny,  it will receive a racing hoop coming off the crossmember that it will pass through to keep it from going thru the pan incase of a ujoint failure. (orange scribbly looking thing)

Update:  The pan is now silver.  And I removed the extra flange. 
The driveshaft is a scant millimeter from hitting when turning.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

parking brake

Nothing too exciting here.  The original parking brake bracket which used to bolt to the crossmember was
too short to reach now since the crossmember moved forward.  I welded an extension bracket that moved
 it about 6" back.

 The cables coming out of the backing plates were stretched tight in their original positions just sitting still.
I moved the cable mounts back about 4" so when the rear axle moves they won't bind it up. I tested the brake and it stayed on so I need to get into the rear drums to see whats up with that.  At least they work.

And after doing this, the parking cable was froze in its housing.  :(

Here the exposed cable ( in the above picture) was coated with anti seize
and pulled through with line pliers.  Then the pulled out portion was
anti seized and pulled back thru. 
They loosened up after a couple times

After this, make sure that NO anti seize is left in the brake drum
it will render the brakes nearly useless. (not that they are great right now)
Spray down EVERYTHING with brake cleaner to get off dirt, and grease that may have
gotten in there. If the shoes are greasy or oily, replace them.

TODO LIST: (seems big, just smaller stuff now)
Oil filter housing replacement, transfer shifter handles, rear driveshaft lengthened 3" +/-, front driveshaft shortened 3"+/-,rear brake line, adjust rear parking brake, check front master cylinder and slaves after rear brake line, alternator, plug back in dash / hvac controls and clean up wiring, rear light wiring.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Camera phone with 2 year contract $4000.

A pic of the transmission shifter from above=  $0.01

The shifter rail for the transfer case= $10.00

Twin stick shifters in the original floorboard hole =Priceless.

I've had several people coming up to me saying they "had a scout or bronco just like mine" when they were younger.
I just look at the Jeep embossed logo on the grill and the Commando logo on the side, smile and shake my head.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Transfer case shifters

The original shifter was on a long tube that came from the dana 20 case. The new shifter will have independant sticks
like below.
before: the new sticks.

After: With everything hooked up and the case able to shift, the sticks, in middle position, are too far forward. They almost lay on the floor pan in full forward position.
  Either the sticks need to be bent back towards the rear or the mount needs to be shortened.

Note the classy shift pattern diagram taped next to it. (below)

I need to stay out of the upper right and lower left boxes to keep from blowing up axles, transfer case, driveshafts, etc....

Update 12-16-11 - got them mounted and angled towards the back so I don't knock knuckles on the cover plate.  They are both straight instead of angled. The left stick shifts easily, the right hi n lo stick takes some coercing, just needs a good breaking in I bet.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fixing and learning

I finally got off my keester and fixed the transmission crossmember so the rear isn't held up by a jack.
I initially dreaded fixing the crossmember because I'd have to weld a nut into the frame. Where the bolt in the picture is is the front original mounting position and the empty hole needed a nut.
When I got the wire wheel on the angle grinder to it, cleaned 38 years of grease, dirt, and undercoating,
 I found that Jeep was kind enough to put a threaded hole every 4 inches for a foot or so.  I guess this was for
the different configurations of the cj-6 and commando frame.  So it turned out to be a dirty job, but not a hard job.
I drilled a hole just behind the original one to make a slot.

The completed original crossmember cleaned and painted

Also got the 700R4 shifter to AMC adapter finished. The shiny part is newly created.
Now I don't have to crawl under anymore!

This,  THIS was giving me heartburn! I thought that the transmission was going to have to come out. 
I pulled the dana 300 (which I needed to do anyway) because there was a constant drip of tranny fluid coming out and dripping off the dana 300.
I called the guy that rebuilt it, and he said this area under the governor gear (green) is supposed to get some fluid into it to keep it lubed.  I hadn't put on a rear gasket to xfer case so that's why it leaked. whew!

While the transfer case was out I mapped the different shift positions since it doesn't have a shift interlock pill in it.
12&3 are the shaft positions, x= where the left and right shaft is respectively.
As you can see, the upper right and lower left  positions are BAD!
They would run one axle in low range and one in high range at the same time!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Can I get a WOOT!

The intake went on w/new gaskets, distributor only had to be stabbed twice thanks to marking locations on it. 
  The new heater hose fitting had its bottom 3 threads lightly ground down in a tapered fashion, and I cut a notch in the threads to clean out the old fitting before putting it on w some industrial teflon tape.  No cracks this time.  I marked it to be able to be screwed in 4X instead of the 5X that they did on the old one. Unfortunately chebby cant bolt down a completed manifold because of parts in the way. So some stuff went in after torquing down. 
  BTW on the front and rear valley pan
make a rtv gasket on the block and let it set for 20-40 minutes, then put on the manifold w a light smearing of rtv on it.

After sitting 2 days I re checked all bolts , filled it with the antifreeze that just went in. (It was strained thru a filter. )
The engine started but was rough.  It turns out that #5 &7 wires were put on backwards.  A tiny twist on the distributor and
She started purring.  The rpms sat at around 700 instead of 1300.  All because of a $3 gasket. No leaks, No drips.  It's a good day.

The transmission is filled to capacity and shifts through the gears.  Onto the driveshaft and an exhaust.  And brakes.  And seats. And seat belts.  And skidplates.  And and and....

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A few "concerns"

  The engine runs great BUT
  • There is a coolant leak where the rear heater hose adaptor was screwed too tight into the intake manifold, thus resulting in a crack.  **PIC BELOW**
  • The thread holes for the distributor cap are stripped on one side also.  may be able to re thread
  • There is an air leak on the back side of the throttle body that is making the engine run at 1300 rpms.  It drops to 800ish when sprayed down w/ wd40.  Either the MAP sensor tube or gasket area.
  • The alternator isn't charging
  • The starter croaked again too.
  •  The transmission cooling hose fitting is dripping when running and the rear tranny seal near the governor is dripping.  
  • This is starting to get expensive
On an upnote, I tried shifting the tranny manually and it seems willing though.
The guy down the street had a manifold , distributor, and tranny dust cap that I will use to fix the engine issues.
I have heard that 95-97 chevys had coolant leak issues back there from intake gaskets not sealing. So that will be a concern putting it back together.
I guess I need to work on shifting mechanism , rear driveshaft, and redoing brake lines so it can go on a trailer and get it back to the shop to replace the seal under warranty.

***Here is the cooling leak culprit. As soon as it was unscrewed, you hardly could tell there was a crack.

Here is the valley of the engine.  Really pretty clean considering the engine was supposed to have high double digit miles.
Every nut and bolt was put in place on the new intake so not to lose it.  This engine had intake work done before, the front and rear valley seals were replaced with rtv.  The white is paper towels to keep debris out of the heads.
Tomorrow, new intake!

Monday, September 26, 2011

And the moment of truth..

Drumroll please

The pink wire was rewired to come off the starter switch,  but the fuel pump is still active after the key is out though.
Will have to rewire that.

Run what ya brung

I purchased a 28 x 19 universal radiator for a chebby, installed it and used gates 22158 lower, and  21710 upper radiator hoses to hook it up. The lower one had to have some chopped off to fit.

for 170, not bad.  aluminum cross flow

Here is all the wiring from the stock chebby harness you dont need.

TA DA!  The running (but never finished) product  I'll try to load a video.