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Project "Free Jeep" a.k.a Project "FJ" - part #64
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(01/04/09) We woke up this morning to having ZERO water, but the electricity was on... I guess a bonus in disguise. So, as I wait for the well repair guy to tell me I need a new pump, I figured I would update the website. I am pretty sure it is the well pump itself, or the wiring out to it as I tested the voltage and found the right amount on the control box... but that is besides the point.
I was planning on wiring up the Jeep yesterday and that is when I started to think about the fuel injection ECM and where that mounts and that I needed a hole for the wiring and then there was the cut off switch I wanted to install and finally, with all that, I started poking around with the dash and seeing about fitment issues and where I could drill and what could be done and so I decided to put the dash together.

The dash went together pretty easily, except I had to take it apart as I forgot the decals for around the Laredo style dash cover. Once that was together, I then moved onto drilling holes in the firewall so I could start to cut the glove box for the ECM and that is when I had a helper come in, so I decided to try to put the steering column in, to make sure I had all the pieces necessary... this is when I noticed that the shaft was too short. I remembered reading something about the plastic knobs or something that was in there that had to be melted and then the shaft would become longer... so, I gave it a go and was able to lengthen the shaft, but then I ran out of time.

cb (01/04/09)
(01/07/09) I had to travel the past couple of days, but I am back now... and the weather is turning for the worse. It is pretty what I expect these days, this winter has been just like that.

The other day the well pump went out, so when I was waiting for the guys to show up to help remove the old pump and put in the new one, I started playign around with the steering shaft as well as the bulkhead to try to figure out a few fitment and wiring issues. I didn't do much, but it at least is starting to look more like a Jeep. Once I figure out those things, I can start in on wiring up the dash... I think!

cb (01/07/09)
(01/09/09) So, more snow is here and more on the way... but we keep plugging away. The winter has not lent itself to me getting anything done on the Jeep, but we press on. I finished up the wiring issue I had with the bulkhead and then moved onto the dash situation with the computer for the fuel injection. Things are moving... tonight and hopefully the weekend will bring more change... hopefully to the dash area!

cb (01/09/09)
(01/10/09) Things are in motion for the dash to start to be wired up today... looking forward to it as it really marks a turning point in the project. With the wiring going in, that means that there isn't a whole lot more to do before firing it up. Don't get me wrong, there is a lot of work, but at this point, nothing custom, just all bolt in and wire it up.

I hung up a board from the ceiling as well to hang the dash from in place so I can wire this bad boy up. I have to find the brake master cylinder first though, not sure where I put that... scratching head.

cb (01/10/09)
(01/11/09) Did you ever just have one of those days in the garage? Yesterday was it for me. I ended up finding the "free" brake booster I got a while ago; along with the "free" wiper bottle and radiator overflow bottles. These "free" items broke down as such... there was a crack in the wiper bottle, not allowing it to hold fluid and there was a break at the bottle of the radiator overflow bottle, also allowing it to not hold any liquid. The brake booster? Well, that thing was rusted solid... took an hour to get the cotter pins out and get all the pins/bolts apart so I could separate the brackets from the booster. Everything I did seemed to not work. I tried heat, I tried this, I tried that, but all in all, it fought me the whole time.

I now need to go order up a new booster, new master cylinder, a new wiper bottle and a new overflow bottle... my "free" parts are going to end up costing me $200... but at least I got the brackets off, they were sandblasted, and now are nice and cleaned up and painted black. Oh, did I mention it snowed 9" last night and is still snowing as I type this? You know what I will be doing today and where I WON'T be! :(

cb (01/11/09)
(01/16/09) So, I picked up the new booster, master cylinder and got them prepped for paint. After all that, I was able to then run the wires for the fuel injection through the firewall. I have done it like 3-4 times and for some reason, I can't remember how to snake that thing through. It took me over an hour to do it becaues I got it half way, then remembered tha the fuel pump relay has to go first as it is the biggest... anyway, it is done and I didn't break anything... although one wire was a little chaffed, so I have to fix that... all in all, not bad.

Next, is the debate going on in one of the forums... black glove box door or same color as the dash? I am not sure. I like the silver contrasting with the black, I have to say.

cb (01/16/09)
(01/17/09) I turned the little heater on, I went out to the garage in sub-zero temperatures, I braved all that and then I started on the power booster assembly and well, that kind of had me scratching my head a bit as in order to mount it, it had to be different then the way I took it apart, due to the valve running into the air cleaner. Since the Howell Fuel Injection setup is aftermarket, an 8.5" filter would work better then the 9" that I bought, but you have to make due.

It is all on and I went in to try to find the brake lines from the master cylinder to the valve, and that took some time... all my parts are scattered and finding them proves difficult sometimes. With those found, I did a few odds and ends before the phone rang and then the night was all done. All in all, some of the wiring hookups for the Fuel Injection are done and the glove box is ready to receive the computer and after all that, I think we can get to the dash today... hopefully. I just have to hook up the pedals first with cotter pins and clips.

cb (01/17/09)
(01/18/09) The more I look at the way this Jeep is coming together, the more I realize a Raiders fan would probably love to take this to a game and tailgate it!

That aside, I got about 5 hours out in the garage yesterday, which is great, as it has been a long time since I was able to get any real work done on the Jeep.
I started off the day soldering and fixing the under dash lights that I had lying around... 3 sockets and 4 bulbs eventually ended up with what you see... 2 working lights. I am happy, I have never had those in any Jeep I have owned, it will be nice to have some sort of light in the Jeep at night, besides the flashlight.

I moved on to cleaning up the rest of the connections under the dash, and attached the brake lines from the proportioning valve and then moved onto the windshield. I got the seals and such on, along with the wiper and wiper mechanisms and then moved onto starting the wiring when I noticed I had the wrong speedometer in the dash. When you take things apart and put them on the shelf, you have to be careful to put the right stuff back. I had and 85 mph speedometer and not the 90 in there... so the registration mileage would have been off... good thing I checked.

cb (01/18/09)
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