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Project "Free Jeep" a.k.a Project "FJ" - part #28
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(11/01/07) So, last night after picking up 5 bags of leaves I was able to get a little bit of the offending rear section cut off with the little saw... that little thing works great and doesn’t suck up the air resources like the cutoff wheel does. Unfortunately I have looked at bigger compressors and they are all 220V. It is not that I don’t have the outlet; it is just it is on the other side of the garage. I wasn’t aware that was the case for the bigger 60+ gallon models.
Air compressors aside, I plan on getting back to the rear sections of the Jeep this weekend as well as the side where the seat belt mount had to be cut off. I need to get that drilled out and taken off, so I will be able to then get the floor out and replace that. Should be a lot of cursing, sweating, and swearing going on this weekend!!

(11/05/07) Well, unfortunately I wasn't able to get to the Jeep this weekend as it was a long weekend of picking up leaves and getting things ready for winter... I was however, able to get out there this evening to continue work on removing the rear panel for where the gas filler will go.
This is where I ran into an issue that I like to call, enough is enough! I am at the point where I might just cut my losses and think about getting a cleaner tub... I am finding more and more rust on this thing and it is getting to the point where it might be too much to deal with. I like the idea of fixing it all up, but at the cost of the replacement panels and the time to do it, a $400-500 investment in a new tub might be the ticket!

cb (11/05/07)
(11/10/07) I had hinted at the possibility of a new tub. So, I guess the question everyone is asking, why? I have a lot of reasons. Bottom line, I am not 26 anymore and I don't have a lot of time. The FJ project is something that was conceived back about 2 years ago now... I thought it was a great idea and everyone would be like me and willing to help a brother out by giving away parts, or perhaps bartering for them. Basically what I have found out, that is DEFINITELY NOT the case. People want to make money, and I understand that... the only thing I am happy for is that I learned a very valuable lesson along the way.

NOTE: A quick aside here... when I went to leave, I saw this ice formation... it defied the laws of physics. It was growing upwards at a 45-degree angle. It must be the Radon in the granite that causes this. Also, as the story progresses of the new tub, you will see that I went down to see one. I saw my doppleganger Jeep along the way. For those of you that don't know that word, it basically means twin.
Getting what you pay for is always a true statement... getting people's crap will lead you to spend more money. I got the black tub for basically, well, FREE. What it needed was 2 side pillars for the seat belts (talking safety here), and then 2 rear panels and some miscellaneous steel. Not to mention the driver side floor, and finally the passenger side windshield pillar as that was punched through. All that combined in replacement parts was about $300 and the labor to fix it.

I do things right and stock mostly when it comes to sheet metal, so I was going to buy the replacement pillars from the Jeep deal... I know, I know, big money, but it would be right. If I improvised, I would save some cash, I know. So, with all that, I would be like 40-50 hours worth of labor to fix it and even then, it might not be quite right. Then I found a tub 80 miles away...
I saw the tub for sale a couple times on eBay and I thought the price was a bit too high. Don't get me wrong, the tub was in great shape for a rust belt, New England tub, but I didn't want to pay $755, the "Buy It Now" price. I wanted to pay like 400-500 bucks. So I contacted the seller, we chatted and we agreed to meet up so I could take a look at it. The tub is cherry, not doubt about it. The last Wrangler conversion I did was a "nice" tub and the kid paid $1000 for it. I was able to walk away with a new tub for this and get rid of the old one, plus a lot of scrap for about $700 and a WHOLE lot of time.
The guy I dealt with goes by the name of Paul and his outfit is JeepRebuilders. He is a good guy and is dealing with what most JeepRebuilders do; they have a problem building stuff for other people because NO ONE realizes how much it costs to build a Jeep. So the alternative is to carve them up. A lot of people frown on this, but when you are trying to make a buck, all is fair. He was such a nice guy, that he let me borrow his trailer as long as I returned it the same day. I got up at the crack of dawn, got ready, drove down to get the tub, came back to NH, loaded the old one, took off the new one, went back down, dropped off the trailer and finally came back to watch Michigan lose to Wisconsin... so it was an OK day... LOL.

Actually it was a great day. I was finally able to relax and think a lot during the trips to and fro. I was able to really consider what I was doing and I am OK with it now. I wanted to rebuild that old tub so badly, but sometimes you must cut your losses and say, if I can save a bunch of time and money, is that better? Everyone can judge me, I don't care, that has been happening all my life. All I know is that I have a cherry, cherry tub, that I don't have to do a lot of "fixing" to and I can now continue on and start doing the build up. Stay tuned!

cb (11/10/07)
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