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Project "Free Jeep" a.k.a Project "FJ" - part #65
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(01/19/09) We woke up this morning to more snow... go figure, I only spent 3 hours out there yesterday clearing it off, only to have another 4 inches fall... lovely. So, we cleaned it off, stoked up the fire again and went out and cleared it off... good thing too, the oil guy came and it really allowed him to get up the driveway and bring us some much needed oil.
In between plowing and running around, I was able to get a bit done on the Jeep. I worked on the Power Booster and hooked that up... I had to dig around a lot in the old parts bin for the vacuum adapter, but I got that and then I had to get it apart, but all in all, I was able to get that done, get the wiring block installed and run the wires into the tub and into the engine bay and finally, I finished up by cleaning up and attaching the brake proportioning valve pressure switch and then running the wires and installing the headlight dimmer switch... then it was time for football!

cb (01/19/09)
(01/20/09) Wiring is one of those things that has to be done. I don't even mind it really, it just takes time and that was very evident yesterday. I was able to get the whole thing laid out and even the dash 95% wired up. All in all I am happy with the progress. Next up is the engine bay and doing that, but I need some cables for the battery hookup... mostly grounds.

I am off to get a root canal in a couple hours, so I am not sure what that means for progress on the Jeep this week. I have been told that sometimes it isn't that bad to others who told me that childbirth is easier... I don't know, all I do know is that I didn't sleep to well thinking about all the potential pain. We will see in a couple hours.

cb (01/20/09)
(01/22/09) Well, I go outside on the 21st to work on the Jeep (after the root canal) and I am just not into it. Every time I bent my head over, my tooth throbbed... so I am putting around and I hear the sound of shoveling... in my backyard! So, I go over to check it out and it isn't my backyard, but my neighbors and they are digging out the fire pit, so they can burn and drink some beers... now I am intrigued.

As you can see in the picture... when you get a fire going and everyone brings over their XMAS trees, you get a very nice show! The snow was 2 feet deep, the temperature was about 10 degrees, but a 20 foot high flame warms you up very quickly. There were about 6 trees, so it was a fun time... but I didn't work on the Jeep.
So I got out last night committed to getting some stuff done. I worked on the reverse light switch for the T-18 and the D300 4wd switch and I got it all wired up and put into loom nicely and then I realized that most of the wiring was done, so I had to get the fenders on to get the starter solenoid in place among other things. I got the fenders on, but after I hooked the ground up from the battery to the block, the block to the frame and the frame to the tub, so I won't have any issues.

The fenders went on, I re-routed some wires, I hooked up the tach and the "+" side of the distributor and then I called it a night. I plan on doing a lot of the front end and back end stuff tonight, like the lights/wiring as well as fender flares, etc.

I am trying to not get too far with the engine wiring, because then I am tempted to start it and it needs a lot more work to do that... I would rather test out all the lights and the steering column/switching, etc. to make sure all that works before buttoning it all up... then I will work on the fuel injection and other stuff.

cb (01/22/09)
(01/25/09) I begin this entry with some good news, THE JEEP IS RUNNING!!! Now for the not so good news, it is barely running, but a Jeep I built all the way from scratch, including the motor/transmission/tranny is running. I didn't have a whole lot of gas, so it only ran for a bit (after realizing I had some of the plug wires backwards), but it did run.

I have to admit, I got a little emotional. This Jeep had its roots in trying to help others and the thought that others would donate to the cause. No one really did, except for a few generous souls who are long since gone, but never forgotten. Outside of that, it was started with the intention that if I put my labor into it, I could come up with a "Free Jeep". Here is what I learned. My 640 hours of labor to get it to this point, plus the fact that nothing is free basically means that I can't give this thing away. I was thinking 200-300 hours max... it is 640 and I am not even close to done.
So, now what to do? Well, that is still to be figured out, but I have to get it done and get it registered and on the road. After that, I can figure out what we are going to do with it. Also, I realized that I am quite the perfectionist. This "rolled on" paint job is quite good, but I am not happy with it as each time I look at it, I am like, I should have done this differently, and that differently. The good news about that is that if I am never satisfied, I will keep doing this over and over until I get it right!

As you can see in the pictures, a lot of the lighting is done and a lot, if not most of the dash wiring is done. I am still waiting on an oil pressure gauge as well as a headlight gauge and some clips, but all in all, I am hopefully getting close to bolting on the dash, putting in the cage, as well as the dash pad. I can't wait for that!

cb (01/25/09)
(01/30/09) Last night, the UPS man dropped off the new oil gauge, sender and finally the new headlight switch. I got those in and everything worked as it should. I then moved onto trying to figure out the temp gauge and that didn't go too far. I had to go down and get the other speedometer and I will try again tonight. I also have another temp sender to try. One more thing was the headlight I put in, that was out on the low beam. Heat also work now, I got the Wrangler blower motor hooked up, so that is all good news!

cb (01/30/09)
(02/01/09) Yesterday was a productive day. I was able to get a bunch of things done. First, the issue with the computer for the fuel injection is resolved; I just cut the glove box a bit more for it to fit nicely. The dash went in and the Jeep still runs, which is great news. I just have to tidy up the wires underneath and I finally hooked up the levers and controls for the heat/air related stuff, so that all works now.

I moved onto the windshield and got that installed along with the dash pad and then I finally ran it to make sure all the gauges work. She runs fine, just a little rough when cold, so I have to look more into that, but all in all, all the gauges work, the bulkhead is now tightened down, I put some more bolts in the fenders that I didn't do before, I found the center console and that is in the garage now as well as the seat belts, so I started putting them in place, so all in all, things are moving in the right direction. Today however, the Jeep rests and the Super Bowl parties begin...

cb (02/01/09)
(02/06/09) I have been traveling for work, so not a whole lot going on these days. The weather hasn't been cooperative either; it is FREEZING out there. Lying under the Jeep these days is pretty cold I must say.

I got the wiper washer motor and bottle installed, the radiator overflow as well. I got the plumbing for the vacuum hoses done and then moved onto the center console and seatbelt mounts. I wanted to make sure everything fit, as it should. I then started the rough wiring for the center console. As you can see, it is in the wire loom, but not mounted yet... I am still waiting on the cage mounts to do that, as it will have to go behind that and not interfere. I also dug up the hood, as I have to put the hood lift kit on that. So, as you can see, there is plenty to do, just need the time.

cb (02/06/09)
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