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Project "Free Jeep" a.k.a Project "FJ" - part #19
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(08/25/07) I haven't worked on the Free Jeep project this much in over a year... and it feels really good. Basically last night, Jen went out, I went in the garage and it was a perfect match! Only kidding. She had plans and that allowed me to get a whole lot done on the front axle. It is looking good, now I have to finish it up and get going on the rear... after that, frame? Could it be? Rolling chassis? nahhhhhh.
It isn't going to be a rolling chassis until I get the rear torn apart and worked on. This is going to require some doing, as the rear really didn't want to come apart when I first started working on it. The shoes came off pretty easily, but that was after a lot of banging to get the drum off, but I am getting ahead of myself.
I put in 3 hours last night and 3 more this morning and now I am done with the front axle and the rear axle is underway in terms of coming apart. It took some doing, but the front is rolling under it’s own power and the rear is up on stands and the drivers side is apart, now I just have to get the passenger side apart. Once that is done and the backing plates are taken out, I can get the new 1-piece axles put in and we should be good to put the whole thing back together… after some paint and a lot of sanding, but what else would you expect?

If the pictures aren't clear enough, here goes the reinstall. Knuckles back on, slide in the axle shafts. If they don't fit like mine, die grinder and a little cutting of the u-joint caps so they fit through the knuckle hole. After the axles are in, make sure the spindles fit snug up against and inside the knuckle. You might have to clean them up a bit with the wire brush, as I had to. Then the disc brake shield goes on, I got new ones, the old ones were trashed. Then after this is done, put the new rotor on the old hub assembly, pack the bearings slide it on the axle/spindle combination and then put the washer, then the nut, then the other washer, then the other nut and then finally you are set to put on the outer hub assembly. This goes on, then the c-clip and then the outer assembly with the 5 bolts. See, easy as pie?!?!?!!?!?!?!
The front axle went together slowly as I took it apart about 6 months ago and put everything in a box. I have done a lot of these in my lifetime, however, when you do something long ago; you forget the little things that you did, so taking about the hub mechanism because I couldn't get it to come off on its own. This meant I put it back together backwards in the box, so when I tried to get it back on the axle, I had to look at the other one for some guidance. Not a big deal if, if you wanted to be in 4-wheel drive all the time, but what are you going to do? I took it back apart, put it together correctly and went on my way.
My birthday was the other day and Jen got me a new sign for the garage. The coke sign is in great shape and will make a nice addition to the garage. I am also getting another 1 or 2 pieces of decorating fun for the garage; they just haven't come in yet. I called it a night at this point as I had to get something to eat and I was beat, so I figured tomorrow was another day and called it a night.
We woke up to a nice 94-degree day with 100% humidity. It was crazy, the moment we walked outside the weather hit us and it was nasty. We did what we could, but ultimately as noon came around, it got too hot to be outside, so we came in and got cleaned up and had some lunch. Not before smacking the rear axle around to get the driver side out. I tried all the different ways, slide hammer, regular hammer, brake drum turned around backwards. Turns out, a long crowbar for leverage really did the trick. Can't complain.
There isn’t a lot more to say, I spent about 6 seat filled hours putting together and taking apart axles. I went through a lot of shop towels, I emptied a few boxes, I rearranged the shed to get the tires out, I posted some stuff on CraigsList to get rid of, I helped a neighbor uncover his invisible fence and finally I came inside and had some grub. I am finally feeling human once again.

cb (08/25/07)
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