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Project "Free Jeep" a.k.a Project "FJ" - part #58
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(08/11/08) Things are moving along with the FJ project. The windshield frame is now all modified to be like a CJ frame and the defroster vents are in and the cowl is in place. Everything lines up and air will now be able to blow through without much of an issue. The metal cowl on the tub still needs to be ground down and have a little more welding done, but all in all, that shouldn't take too long.
Saturday and Sunday I did some maintenance on the other Jeeps as they have been in storage for a while and I wanted to make sure they were OK to do some driving. The fluids were checked in the transmission, transfer case and rear ends and topped off accordingly. The rest of everything checked out, except for the air cleaner on mine, so I went and picked another one up, had to do some adjusting with the TBI rod and wing nut, but all in all, they are both good to go.
The afternoon started Sunday with the inside of the FJ project. The seats were brought out of storage, set in the Jeep and the center console made its way to the party along with the seat belts to try to see how everything will play together. One of the seats had a broken bolt in it, so that slowed progress as it was quite stubborn to get out and tap, but once that was done, things went smoothly.

The Tuffy Console was drilled and installed where it should be, the shifter doesn't interfere (although it needs to be heated and slightly bent upwards as 2nd gear comes close and first gear is not that close to the dash, so there is some wiggle room there. The rest of the roll cage was also installed and socked down, so now the case is one solid piece that will need to be removed, cleaned up, and painted. I want to put some more bracing on the feet of the cage as well as in the dash, right now the windshield isn't tied it as this cage was for a CJ and the YJ tub has the holes a bit off, but this is all stuff that needs to be done when the cage is out of the Jeep.

cb (08/11/08)
(08/17/08) Saturday came and I was all done with training... so after some yard work, I went to work on the roll bar of the Jeep. The seats and console came out and went back into storage and I continued with the mock up stages of the Jeep. I got some metal stock for under the wheel wells for support, just like they did in the late 70's with these Jeeps and then I measured twice and drilled a lot of holes.
After the roll bar was done as much as I could (I still need some metal sleeves for spacers) I moved onto the bodywork for the doors. Those were taken apart and sanded/cleaned and then the first coat of paint went down on them. The roll bar I played around with color wise and although the silver looks nice, we are going to go black on the roll bar. I finished up the evening with the transmission hump cover and the boots that I mocked into place for the shifters... they are actually mounted backwards to accommodate the setup, but who's counting?

cb (08/17/08)
(08/18/08) Not a whole lot to show in terms of pictures, but anyone who has done this type of work knows that 5 hours of sanding/blasting/cleaning/painting parts doesn't yield a whole lot, especially when there are snapped off bolts to contend with.

The Jeep is broken down pretty far now, the hinges and holders are being cleaned up and painted. The doors received another coat of paint and the windshield is in for a little cleanup and drilling before it is ready to go to the painting process. Since the transmission hump was all drilled out, it received a coat of paint and some clear... it looks pretty good now.

The next thing that is up is the windshield hinges to get them blasted and painted so I can re-hang the doors, finish putting them back together and then move on to total disassembly to get the frame finished up and finally start to put this back together!

cb (08/18/08)
(09/02/08) Well, it has been a long couple of weeks with sickness and a lot of bachelor party planning and execution, but I am back in the fold now. I have 1 more wedding and some vacation and then I should be set to start the winter putting this thing back together.
It is all broken down for the most part. The frame is next up on the agenda. The mock up went well and everything seemed to fit where it was supposed to, so I took the body off, mocked up the new 21 gallon gas tank, made sure it would clear everything, and them modified it to fit snugly and then called that a win.
I had to notch the skid plate, drill new holes, trim off excess, and really just customize it to fit. I then went to down taking off the drive shafts and other little parts. Need to get the rest of the stuff attached to the engine off, so I can pull the motor/trans and get the rest of it broken down. I played around with the cowl a bit as well and ground that all down and did some work there. I then cleaned up the garage which desperately needed it and then called it a day. Lots more to come. Just need to get past a few busy weekends. Colder weather will allow me to do more on this... come on winter!

cb (09/02/08)
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