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Project "Free Jeep" a.k.a Project "FJ" - part #63
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(12/20/08) The weather has not been helping my attempts to work on the Jeep. We have had an ice storm, then a small snowfall, about 4 inches, and then last night and this morning, so far, over a foot. Needless to say, it is taking some time to clean it all up and get out of the house. The good news is the wood stove continues to burn away and lessen the need for oil.
The majority of the bodywork is now done. I patched up the rear one last time and also worked on the front a bit cleaning up a little warping that occurred when welding in the patch for the CJ ducting system. I hit it with a coat of primer (not shown) and I hope to get out there today and do some inspection and final sanding to see where we stand. I hope to be putting on a coat of paint tomorrow! Oh yeah, we are supposed to get another foot of snow tomorrow. Can't wait!

cb (12/20/08)
(12/21/08) So, it is snowing again, I know, big surprise, we live in NH, but really, it is quite a bit of snow, even for up here. 12 to 14 more inches today, combined with the 12 from yesterday and the 4 or 5 from the other day and it really does add up! Reminds me of the blizzard of 78, except now I have to shovel instead of watching people shovel.

Bodywork is done, now onto the finish sanding and paint. Hopefully we will be shooting jams today or sometime this week! I hope to get this thing painted between now and New Years. Once that is done, body on frame and let the re-assembly begin!

cb (12/21/08)
(12/22/08) So, 3.5 hours of shoveling and plowing results in not a lot of time to work on the project. A lot of things like this are coming up these days, but I take it as work on it when I can.

I spent 2 hours rubbing down the body with 800 grit and then went around spraying all the jams/joints with a can, prior to rolling on the first coat. This way, I know all those areas have paint in them and are covered. I quickly rolled on a coat and then it was time to go in. I need to see how it turned out and sand down a few more areas that looked suspect when I was doing it, but all in all, I think I am in good shape to start painting the whole thing up. That is of course if I don't have to plow or shovel over the holiday break... yeah right!

cb (12/22/08)
(12/23/08) Well, we made it a full day with no snow... that was pretty nice. I had the wood stove going all day as it was cold out, but I didn't have to shovel, so that was good!

I found a few spots on the body that were very rough, so they got regular 400 grit and then 800 grit sandpaper on them to get them smooth. I then did some wet sanding and then I was onto cleaning it up and then putting on a new coat. It really does look pretty good. It is hard to tell because of the lighting and the color, but after a few more coats, I will clear it and it should be good enough for the woods!

cb (12/23/08)
(12/24/08) Merry XMAS Eve! Just wanted to wish everyone Happy Holidays as we won't be doing a whole lot on the Jeep over the next few days with all the family events and all. I wanted to get the latest set of pictures up there. I spent another 2 hours fine sanding some rough areas before layering on another coat. It doesn't look bad. It is tough to take pictures of the sanding and the final paint as it is very reflective and the lighting is tough in the garage. I am thinking that I am down to another couple coats and then onto the clear. Hopefully we will see the body on the frame early in the new year!

cb (12/24/08)
(12/27/08) Christmas is over and the clear is going on the body... actually, there has been a bunch of pictures that I haven't been able to get up here, but you aren't missing anything, just more sanding and painting... nothing of interest and nothing but taking up space.

So, basically I am done with the silver paint and I am now trying to clear the tub. I am finding difficulties on the vertical vs. horizontal surfaces. There are a few runs and it makes the silver paint appear gray in areas. I guess I should have expected something like this, since there was no one else on the forum that had put clear from a can over the paint... oh well, this isn't a show Jeep, more of a woods Jeep. It still looks OK, I guess I was just expecting the results of a $20,000 paint job when I only spent $100... more to come tomorrow, I hope to get this thing cleared and on the body tomorrow just in time for the Jets game! Go JETS!

cb (12/27/08)
(12/27/08) Part II... I was able to get out and finish up the clear coating and then with a bit of time that passed by, get everything peeled off and get it ready for the body assembly process tomorrow morning. I have to go to a family thing that I forgot about, but on Monday, I plan on getting a bit of stuff done on the Jeep. I can't wait, finally some assembly instead of sniffing paint fumes!

cb (12/27/08)
(12/30/08) Well, the holidays are mostly over, we just have one more party to attend to, so that means I can hopefully get back on the project. The tub is now on the Jeep and the parts are starting to get attached. I have started the long process of cleaning up the garage as well, so as the time goes by, the pictures should look better (cleaner) and the Jeep should come along nicely. I am going to put on the grille and associated parts today along with the heater setup and maybe the pedals, not sure yet, I have to get a temp crown today and I don't know how long that is going to take. I need to do some errands as well, so we will see how far we get. Right now, I can't complain, it looks like a Jeep!

NOTE: The Jeep tailgate IS a slightly different color... I am not sure exactly why, but I think it has to do with the "rolled on" technique and prep. I don't think the tailgate was prepped with primer... not sure, I have to go back through my pictures and see why, but now I am curious about the hood as well.

cb (12/30/08)
(12/31/08) Another year is upon us and I wanted to take a minute to reflect on what has gone down this year. A year ago today, I was starting to break down the transmission, transfer case, and engine. The project had only really begun then, and since then, I have put about 400 hours into this project. It really has come a long way and now we are in the final phases of reassembly. There is still some painting to do, and a whole lot of wiring, but all in all, things have progressed nicely. I expect another 40 hours or so and we will be close to cranking her up.

I am still in the process of finding parts in the various places I have squirreled them away and with that comes a lot of cleanup in the garage, as it is a mess from many days of sanding, but all in all, last night was good. I was able to find all the pieces for the front grille, so that is back together, the little things like the washer nozzles, cowl vent, and upper heater parts are in. The emergency brake is bolted in and finally I was able to clean up the rest of the heater parts and hopefully they will go in today... that is of course in between the snow that is falling at an alarming rate.

cb (12/31/08)
(01/03/09) The New Year celebration has come and gone and with it came a bunch of freezing cold weather... so the chores continue with getting the wood and stacking it and bringing it in the house so we can utilize the wood stove... that thing works great, no complaints... except you have to feed it so much!

So, after a ton of running around in the morning and getting all the house stuff done, I was able to spend a few hours in the garage working on a lot of the little things that need to get done before I can start the wiring. It started with entry guards, moved onto the antenna that came in, then onto the battery tray, then onto the pedal assemblies, both clutch and brake, put on the master cylinder for the clutch, then strapped on the gas pedal, and finally put on the steering shaft and the lower mount for the steering column. I had to re-run the YJ wiper hoses as well as I put the wrong ones on the other day... that is a lot of fun when you are snaking it up behind the heater components. Anyway, it doesn't look like much, but it is a step in the right direction.

cb (01/03/09)
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