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Project "Free Jeep" a.k.a Project "FJ" - part #48
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(03/02/08) I spent the day shoveling and plowing, so work didn't commence on the Jeep until about 4:30 pm and with that, I didn't have a ton of time to do any work. I put together a "tub dolly" as I am getting tired of taking the tub off the Jeep and having to turn it on its side to get anything done to it. I am hoping that it will work out good for putting the POR-15 on the bottom and doing the herculining on the inside.
I cleaned up a bunch of parts as well and threw some coats of paint on them. I was able to install the throwout bearing as well. I am hoping to get the tub off the Jeep today and stab the motor in with the transmission... we will see how that all goes.

cb (03/02/08)
(03/03/08) I got a bunch of stuff done around the house today (including the taxes!) and then I headed outside for some quality time with the cold steel that lay out there. The freshly painted parts were inspected and tried out and everything seemed to be in good shape. I took some of the parts, turned them over and shot them with some more paint.
I moved onto prepping the block to be moved into the frame rails. I was able to get the motor mounts all set and then put on the water pump and the gooseneck. I then put the plugs in and taped up the remaining holes so dirt wouldn't get in there and then I popped it off the stand, and went to town getting the bell housing, throwout bearing and transmission all lined up and assembled in the right order.

Something to note here. The flywheel is getting resurfaced, so there isn't a clutch setup in there right now. The pilot bushing has been put in place and that allows the transmission to see if it all fits correctly, which it does thankfully. I am doing this to cut and drill the skid plate as it needs to accept the T-18 transmission, which it did not have originally. This takes some doing, but I will try to explain it.
I was able to place the setup in the frame rails, get the motor mounts to line up and then realized that I didn't follow the directions too closely. The skid plate, WAS in the rear most boltholes on the FRAME, but not on the SKID PLATE. This is a MUST or things are going to look funny. I had trimmed the skid plate out when it was in the WRONG holes on the skid plate, so it needs to be clearanced further as the transmission is hitting now and causing it to sit up higher then it will once it is trimmed and the mounts are in place. The mounts look like they will line up pretty good, I just have to drill 2 holes. One in the skid plate and finally one in the torque arm to allow for it to connect to the Novak mount.

The tub removal, some more painting and finally a lot of head scratching all took like 5 hours to do, so I was happy when the dinner bell sounded. I have to get some more replacement bolts and get the skid plate in order, but all in all, I hope it to be mounted this evening. Once that is in there, I can try to put the D300 in place and see how the tub fit and such. The hydraulic clutch is even a possibility as well, lots to do, lots to do.
I forgot to throw some more pictures up here. I had to modify the skid plate to accept the T-18 mounting location. Basically there was one hole drilled into the torque arm and then there was an oval hole put into the skid plate and finally the skid plate was trimmed to allow the drop from the T-18 in the front so you can change the oil if you need to do that...

cb (03/03/08)
(03/04/08) I am happy today. It was a long time coming, but the motor is in, the skid plate is modified, the harmonic balancer should be here today, the flywheel should be done by tomorrow and finally the rockers/pushrods are in place and everything turns over as it should. The compression is quite a bit more then the tired motors I have tried to turn over by hand. I hope to get to a few odds and ends tonight, but other then that, not a whole lot planned. Maybe even a little R&R.

cb (03/04/08)
(03/05/08) Well my happiness went to complete frustration. With the correct tools, I thought it made jobs easier... I was wrong. First off, there was some good news; the harmonic balancer went on in like 2 minutes. Right tools = quick and easy job. Well, almost, I painted the wrong side of the outer pulley, my bad.

The problem I was having was the power steering pump pulley. I got the pump for free, but all this brown liquidy dirt came out of it, so I wanted to get a new one. Simple plan, pop off the pulley and go to the store and get one. I couldn't have been more wrong. I have a pulley remover kit and I put it on and tried to get it off, but that sucker is on there. I think I am going to have to try some heat next as I soaked it in pb blaster and I think it is just rusted on there. I whacked it with a mallet as well to no avail. Well, 2 more hours down the tubes and now a whole lot to show for it. I have to paint up the bracketry for the power steering pump and I have to get a new alternator as well, but other then that, on to the next project.

cb (03/05/08)
(03/08/08) I wasn't able to accomplish all that much this week. I spent a lot of time running around picking up parts, ordering parts, and finally returning parts. I painted a lot of parts after cleaning them as well, so that took a lot of time. Basically, I got the front of the motor mostly together. The power steering pulley is all that I am looking for right now and it should be complete. The power steering pump and the alternator are brand new, so hopefully they will work when we crank it up.

One thing to note here. I keep a running list of the items I still "need to buy". It is a good thing to have as it shows you how much you still need to spend. This idea of the Free Jeep is really starting to become apparent that when you want to build a rig, buy 2 of them in good shape for like 7-8 grand total and then build one really nice one and sell of the rest of the parts. It will save you from spending the money that I am on this one!

PS> There is about 315 hours into this thing already and there is still probably that much to go...

cb (03/08/08)
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