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Project "Free Jeep" a.k.a Project "FJ" - part #62
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(11/25/08) I spent the day getting the tub ready, taping off all the holes, cleaning, cleaning, and more cleaning and then finally I was ready. The heater went and warmed up the room and then I was able to lay down 2 coats of herculiner, about 3 hours apart.
I am happy with the results. Tomorrow, I start the bodywork and hopefully lay down a couple coats of paint as well, we will have to see how far we get. Only a couple more days before we have to start with the holiday eating/drinking... I will try to get as much done as I can... stay tuned.

cb (11/25/08)
(11/26/08) I had a little bit of an issue with the herculiner not drying all the way. I went out the next morning and it still wasn't completely dry. It was a bit tacky... not that it came up on your hand tacky, but just not hard too the touch. So, I covered it up with a tarp and proceeded with the firewall cleanup, sanding, and prep work. I finally got that painted and then moved onto other areas of the Jeep as I couldn't do the body until the herculiner dried.

I also was able to changed out the heater core as well before all the painting began. This was due to the fact that I overlooked it before and since I am having an issue with the Orange Jeep and it needing a new one, I didn't want to skimp out when it cost $40 and I had the time now. The Orange Jeep has to have the dash completely disassembled... that is going to suck!
As for the FJ project, I know I said I was going to roll the whole thing... and I will, it is just parts like the back of the grille and parts of the firewall that are too hard to get at with a roller, so I sprayed them. The firewall is not a point of interest, nor is the back of the grille, so I was able to get away with spraying it. This isn't a show Jeep, it needs to look good from 5 feet away... okay, maybe 10. LOL.

So, the color matches very well with the parts I painted over the summer and once that was all done and moved out to the drying area, I was able to sand, prep, and start painting the rock sliders. That took a while and then I called it a night. I put in about 7 hours today and it was pouring the whole day, so it was nice to go inside, grab a shower and watch the series finale of the Shield! Have a Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. Eat up!

cb (11/26/08)
(11/27/08) So, the herculiner has dried, but I still wanted to work on finishing up all the things that I started. I went after the rock rails first and got them sanded down on the inside and painted them up. I put them aside and then went after sanding and cleaning up the grille. It came out good. I had to spray the inner thing pieces on the sides as the roller wouldn't get to it, but the other parts could roll out pretty well. I hit it with a couple coats and then put that aside so I could start on the windshield frame. This is yet another part that doesn't lend itself to the roller too well, but I did what I could. I sanded it all down, cleaned it, then hit the corners with the spray can and then rolled the rest. It still needs work, but it is time for Turkey and Football!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

cb (11/27/08)
(11/29/08) Turkey Day is over and it is back to the grind. Now I have to go back to work and I won't have the unlimited time I have had working on the Jeep over the last few days. I was able to finish up the windshield frame today, a few more things here and there and finally started on the fenders. The frame and the hood match up pretty good. The frame still needs to be buffed out and the windshield installed, but that is all in good time. I will paint up some more of the fenders tomorrow and then sand them down and repaint and then clear them. All in all, the exterior pieces should be done fairly soon. Then all that is left is the body itself.

cb (11/29/08)
(12/05/08) I don't have a lot to report as body work is long, tedious, and the results aren't good until you see the finished product. I have spent numerous hours stripping, painting, then getting a few more small dents out, then sanding some more, then final painting and last night 1/2 the clear went on. I want to re-clear it one last time and then I will be happy... it isn't perfect, but it is getting there. If I can finish this up, I want to then top-coat the herculiner as I don't want it to fade as my Orange one has done a bit and then onto the body work on the tub. Each day brings us closer... each dollar I need keeps it further away. :(

cb (12/05/08)
(12/07/08) Yesterday was quite the interesting day. My wife and I got up at 3 in the morning to the bedroom being about 78 degrees... when it was supposed to be 66... yeah, I don't do well when it is that early and that hot... felt like the place was on fire... anyway, long story short, the thermostat had been acting up, so I went out and got 2 new ones, one for each zone. I replaced them, problem solved... no, wait, that didn't fix it. It was fine all day long, but later on, same issue. Turns out the actuator on the valve for the zone was stuck open and water was flowing into that zone all day long... made it a bit hot again.

Anyway, you don't care about that, but it killed most of the day troubleshooting and running back and forth for parts. So, onto the Jeep. I got a couple hours out there after doing the stuff around the house and the yard and was able to tape up the Jeep so I can start the bodywork. It wasn't all I wanted to do, but it is a step further. I also re-wired and hung up the heater so I can be warmer this winter, so that took some time. I am headed out now for a few hours as well. One last thing to note, I top coated the herculiner as well with some black paint, it came out nice and uniform, I am quite happy with the results, we will see how it holds up agains the sun.

cb (12/07/08)
(12/08/08) Yesterday I was able to sand the entire tub down with 40 grit sand paper. I had a lot of layers on there trying to see what color I wanted. That takes time to get off... clear coat, silver paint, black paint, the original clear coat and finally the green and then a bunch of primer.

So, it was snowing yesterday and the heater worked great in the garage... I spent 3 hours working on it and then called it a day... too much going on with a heating problem in the house. I plan on going over the tub with 60 grit and then 100 grit. After that, I will primer the tub and look for where the body work needs to be done. I saw a couple little spots, but not too bad.

cb (12/08/08)
(12/11/08) Last night I was able to finish up the 100-grit sanding and then put down a coat of primer. I am happy with the results. I am also happy that the tub is now not exposed to the elements, so I can take a few days to relax. It has been a ton of sanding to get it to this point. First I started with 40, then 60, and then 80-grit. I had to go through tons of layers to get down to bare metal or the first couple coats of primer.

There is some bodywork to do still. I need a little filler in places, not a whole lot, but just a few places where transformations from the Wrangler style to the CJ style. Speaking of Wranglers, the windshield had its glass put in. It is different from CJ's, they require 2 seals and adhesive. It went on good and cost $50, so it was well worth it. They had all the tools and it took 1/2 hour to do. Not bad.

cb (12/08/08)
(12/18/08) It has been a wild ride the past few days. We got caught up in the ice storm that plagued the Northeast for the past week. We were without power for just short of 3 days... it is amazing what we take for granted, that is all I can say. Even as I am typing this up, I don't have cable or Internet access, but I do have electricity and let me tell you, that is all that matter to me right now. The heat is back on, I can flush the toilet without manual intervention, all very thankful for the times we live in. Two nights in the dark isn't a big deal, I can't complain. I am very fortuante to have a wood stove as well, that helped out big time! The Internet/Cable/Phone was out for almost a week, but I feel very fortunate as there are some people still without power, and the temperature has dropped and it is still snowing/raining outside.

But, before it all happened, I was able to fill in a couple low spots with a little body filler. I know, some people love it, some hate it. I basically had no choice as I filled in a ton of holes and I warped the metal a bit with a little too much heat in places, so I banged out what I could and then filled in the imperfections with the rest. I don't care, it doesn't show through and no one will know... that is all I have to say about that.

cb (12/18/08)
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