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Monday, December 3, 2012

timing is everything

OK- so you can't set the timing on a tbi chevy like normal
without the chevy computer screwing it up I found.

On the 88?-95 chevys- you must:  ( I read this somewhere)
warm up the engine, Disconnect the tan w black wire coming from the distributor to the
computer (this in turn confuses the computer until it gets re connected)
*Note: on my 1995 wiring harness- unless I took it out before installing because I didn't know what
it was for- there was no disconnect plug on the tan/black wire.  I had to put one inline.*

With your timing light hooked to the battery posts and the pickup hooked to the number 1
cylinder wire, AND the bolt clamping the distributor down loosened lightly......

start the engine making sure to avoid the fan,belts and anything else dangerous-
 set the timing line on balancer to 0.  The engine will run poorly during this.
(one site stated worn engines can be set 2 to 4 to compensate for slop)

Stop the engine. Tighten the distributor bolt. Make a mark from the distributor to the clamp
marking where 0 was.  Plug in the tan/black wire back together ( slap some dilectric grease
in there) and be amazed how much sputtering disappeared the next turn of the key.


heres the video i watched until 2:42 then blah blah blah.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

I found Hoffa...and now with rock rails on both sides

Ever wondered whats in the rocker panels?
Please don't judge me for chopping on a decent jeep body.  This is the better of the two sides and it had a bit of rust in it. The other side
is way more trashed than this.

There's Jimmy!

All of the dirt came through what was supposed to be drains.
There are a couple inboard drains near the supports, and two large holes
with plugs- one up front on the bottom (missing) and one on the
end near the rear tire.

In order to keep the body lines the same I left 2" of rocker  Under
the door you can see the tail light wiring loom.

Heres the initial cut to the rockers.  You can see the rocker supports hanging down.  There's 25" under the rockers now.
The new rocker guards will bolt to the body and supports.  For reference the aluminum platform is 20" tall.

The curvy cut was so it matched the jeep tj fender
flares.  The original fender turn light will be removed
and flushed with the body.

Heres the flares in place

Jeeps 1973 marker lights with two tabs removed from the rubber housing
fit the 2005 tj light housing perfectly.
I ended up cutting all of the original rocker panels under the doors all the way through to the inner
piece.  I had heard that when these were cut off and left without support, the door will either
a: not open after wheeling, or b: not be able to close again. 

The rusted piece is the inside of the original rocker panel. It comes
down about 2" from the floorboards.  The new rock rails have a piece of angle
iron that I drilled and welded nuts on the inside so it would be a bolt on piece.

With the exception of the door cut out and the endcaps, here it is in situ.  The upper plate
is 1/4", the tubing is 3/16".  If this thing dents, there's bigger things to worry about than a rock.

The places with the arrows are 4" bolts. These 4 bolts go through voids. On the drivers side the
brake wires run through here.  
What to do on a 75* day in December

Since I had an inkling (an idea) of what to do, this side only took a couple hours
instead of a couple days.

I cut at the bend on the outside with a cutting wheel, and a sawzall took care of the rest.  Again- the amount of dirt trapped in here is why
these things rust out so easily.

Here is the angle iron bolted onto the inside of the rocker panel (the top of the pic is the door, the tiny little piece above
the rust is the door pocket.  The passenger side was in great condition because it wasn't used as much.
.. the inside piece had several places where the metal was double layered and thats where the bolts went through.

I had match drilled the angle and this outer plate with the others to keep them symmetrical.
I used the body seam next to the front clamp vs. the front bolt hole as a positioning mark.

drivers side "done" with door opening cut out
And voila- the finished product.  The "white caulk" is 3m #8500 seam sealer.
This stuff is supposed to remain rubbery "forever".  And it better for $27 a tube.
I've seen it as low as $17 online + shipping.  Paint is low gloss duplicolor
ceramic engine enamel.

just to keep the rear looking as good as the rest of it, I made some rear armor
- its not as thick as the rest, but strong enough to use a jack under.
it has 2 large bolts through the middle, and a hidden bolt through the ends
of each side.

Here you can see the part near the tire- it has a washer welded to it
that the fender flare rivets to.
The rivets are the new fangled plastic type and are supposed to hold 50 lbs each.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Fender trimming


I started trimming one inch down from the original flare- but after just a bit of that I held up
the tj fender flares and decided to go for broke
Thats enough metal to build a kia out of...
After the carnage... its just clamped on right now to figure out the next step.
I'm planning on tack welding the original lip back onto the edge of the fender to strengthen it and
give it a finished look.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Front AND rear shocks

If you would examine this-
Its the same shocks and setup.  Yes, the shocks survived being dragged all over hells half acre.
Gabriel shocks for the front of a full size blazer being used on the rear of the jeep.
THIS time- not being in a rush to finish I found that the upper shock mounts were too
far outward- they were moved in 2" each and the lower mounts were dropped to mid axle.
The shocks in this configuration are at just a bit less than half travel.  Fully compressed
they will be up above the spring u bolts.
The jeep has became a lot less jiggly in the rear and has lifted about 3/4" from this.

Same crossmember, shocks moved closer together.
---------------------------------------------- 12/31/12 Front shock mounts started...
Heres the towers laid on the side- I  taper-cut the gussets on the orange line.

f350 shock towers with "custom lift kit"
the lift kit is a bracket for the frame and some gussets

The shock tower was mounted using engine mount bolts.
 I had to trim into the inner fender a little to fit these due to the height.
The lower bolt is drilled through and welded on the spring perch. 
What is left on shock travel at rest is 5" compression and 8-9" downtravel.

New "tatton" front driveshaft should be here 1-3-13!!!
I'll give an update on that when it arrives- so far customer service has been good.

Monday, October 22, 2012

chevy engine control stuff

Ok- so the engine runs good, but not great.  The symptoms are- it runs better after getting up to temperature, and between 2600 and 3000 rpm it kinda runs rough/ sputters until after 3000 rpms.
So after cruising the internet- I came upon the likely culprits- (in order of popularity)
1   O2 sensor    $45
2   coolant sensor (the intake manifold one - not the temp guage one between #1 &3 cylinders) $17
3   Throttle position sensor $44
4    map sensor  $??
5   electronic ignition timing in the distributor cap  $80 is the cheapest I've found.....
6    timing, timing chain, vaccuum leaks, wires, plugs, clogged fuel filter, fuel pump, fuel
      regulator, clogged fuel injectors, blah blah blah. 
too many parts- as simple as this fuel system is- the K.I.S.S. principle does not apply.

So I started on #1 and 2.  The revving problem went away almost immediately.
I also turned the timing up a few degrees which also helped- although after 3700 rpms there is
a little bit of popping coming from the passenger side exhaust.
I am going to change the thermostat to a 195 stock because if the engine doesnt get to temp the coolant sensor tells the computer its -40* outside.... duh
The original coolant sensor tested good- so its a spare. 

The jeep now has more power and will do a powerbrake burnout.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

First drive

Excuse me sir- may I borrow your forklift?

On the way over here the ride was very compliant- if it weren't for the flat spotted
super swampers and their noise- I'd say it was comfortable.  The chevy steering
is tight and had good road feel.  I need to adjust the transmission cable-
it doesn't kick down into second gear easily.

I started out slowly to see what would happen...

Then went up some more. 

There's 25" under the forks, if the jeep was on the
concrete with the lift it would come to 29"  After fender trimming
I think theres an easy 3 more inches of travel left.

Tactful fender trimming is in order- can't believe theres
enough room for a 36" tire to disappear into the fenderwell...

The jeep- unlike at megarun- was very stable when lifted.
Small extension brake lines are in order for the front.  Its fine when the front
axle only flexes, but the drivers
side was stretched taught, if it had a hole under the
tire, it will pull the brake hose off.
Here's the brake extension hoses
about 10" long.
Right after getting it all together, I pulled the jeep onto the driveway to clean up the garage
some.  When I hit the brakes on the driveway the pedal went to the floor!  crap.
The right front disks caliper seal blew out  and now I have to re bleed the system.
Oreilly auto warrantied the caliper at least.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

driveshaft measuring*** New driveshaft

Since I'm waiting on some m14 bolts (just a bit bigger than 9/16 coarse thread and 13 tpi instead of 12 tpi) for the chevy steering box, I thought that the front driveshaft length needed to be addressed.  The front driveshaft was not as bad as I thought it would be-  about 35" full droop and 33.5" full compression. 
If it weren't for some safety margin- a stock shaft with 3" of slip would suffice.
**I ordered a new shaft that should be here asap with 7" of spline and length of  33".**

Thats a 48" hi lift jack holding it up.  On the last click the front tires scooted an inch.  The only thing keeping the tires from full contact is the stretched coil springs.  After dropping the coil buckets down a notch- there's 5" safe upward travel before contact and 12" + of down travel. :)

Note the large superlift shock on the left kinda flopping around **these were replaced by long travel pro comp shocks.**
 ford f250 shock mounts are coming for them.  The old online how to's said they were $15 ea- well they're 22 to 25 ea now depending on what dealer you call.  I just ebayed them for cheaper.

The stock scout brake lines aren't even tight at full droop because I bent  the metal part upward a bit.
Maybe friday it can go around the block....

1-7-13  I was just informed that there is 2 months until megarun- I've got to get this thing done asap!

new front driveshaft from "tattons" w spicer 1310 ujoints .180 wall 2" tube 7" spline.
 37.5" long with 1 1/2" compression

Thursday, October 4, 2012

the missing link


Upper frame link mounts.  Started out life as a 1/4" wall square tubing.
Just when I thought everything was going great the drivers side exhaust
interfered with where the mount was supposed to go.
On the right is the modified bracket with a notch out of it.

Drivers side mount- mounted.

Passenger side mount

Upper tubes are .120 wall dom. 

Upper links mounted. 
Remember this?  Max droop with leafs. 

Afterwards, just moving one jack stand out of the way
and the rotor rests on the ground.
Tiny tim without his crutches.  Note- the degree finder that was on the axle
upper link bracket is still there. See 3 pictures up. 
Take it out before lifting the vehicle and trying to crush it between the harmonic
balancer and the axle . Yes, its still in one piece and functioning.

With the degree finder removed...The springs (thankfully)
support the vehicle pretty easily. There will be about 5" uptravel- it
will need bumpstops.

Onto the steering and brakes.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

axle link brackets & links v2

Ever notice that work on this thing comes in waves?
Everything just barely fits without removing all of the scouts leaf spring perches.
The scout stuff doesn't hang down low enough to be a problem, so why chop it?
IF, and I mean IF a reason to change axle happens by- these can still be sold to a scout owner
and all they need to do is chop the brackets off.

After that, a few skid plates were in order to protect the links
and strengthen it.
FYI- I weighed the lower brackets and coil springs before installation- 23 lbs each side.
So this will altogether weigh more than a leaf spring setup.
(lower links are going to be 14 lbs ea. by themselves)

A better picture...

Passenger side finished- it is *really* tight because of the caliper at full steer.
The only jack point on this side is the original scout 
spring perch because it is so tight and the angle of the bracket skid plate.

The drivers side has a little more wiggle room without the pumpkin to
work around.
Note the fancy alignment device- a screw on one side and
a nut on the other.
Here's the mock up of the lower link.  Its about 32" long
and has about a 15* bend in it.  I taped a straight piece
to it to keep it inline while measuring.  Simple- right?

Now- how to break a $300 bending die. ( just the die, not the bender price)
Set up- pre carnage with 0.25" dom 4130
The 0.25" wall tubing was supposed to be brought around by the
curved part of the die ( above the degree wheel)
The tubing is so strong that the clamping area broke off as the die turned
and ripped the clamping area out of its weld.
Listen to the sound and watch the vice grip pliers at 14 seconds.
Didn't even bend the tube 1*.
poof, got the tubes bent- I had to chop saw through the tube wall barely
in 2 places to make it weak enough for the bender to have a chance and weld a
gusset plate onto the die.
These slots in the tubing were welded back shut afterwards.
I give you- 17 lbs of oomph.

 Link installed to rear

Link installed to axle
Big change coming up on 4 link design-
The radius arm setup will be tight- really tight but plausable.
The outer frame 4 link is a no go because the tire will rub the upper control arm.
So a triangulated upper link is going in place from the inside of the frame above
where the spring hanger was, to the center of the front axle.
Due to the geometry of this, I will not need a track bar now! :)
The original upper tab links are going to be where the shock will mount now.
I typed this into the ranger stations 4 link calculator and everything came out great
 Gotta order another big heim joint, and may just truss the front at the same time!
I'll give you a hint- its not ice cleats.
Upper 4 link mount
Various parts

looking from driveshaft side...
The extra plates will weld from the bracket straight to the
axle tube.  There's also a top support plate to tie it all together.