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Project "Free Jeep" a.k.a Project "FJ" - part #7
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(10/29/06) So we seem to be back into a bit of a groove here with working on the new house and working in the garage. I am happy to say that we did a bunch of work on the house and then it started raining, so I was able to get into the garage for a couple of hours.

From the tally page, you can see that it has been 32 hours worked on this project since the beginning, and yes it goes back to right before XMAS in 2005. So, it is closing in on 10 months since I started this project and it has taken some time, mostly due to the fact that we moved, got engaged, worked on the new house, looked at new houses, etc. The good news is that we are back in full swing now and as long as I get a heater for the garage, then I should be able to get some good work done this winter.
I snuck a picture of the 2 Jeeps in the garage in here to show that the garage is pretty good size, but 2 doors would have been a lot better. Either way, we were able to move the Jeeps into the garage while we sheetrocked the other garage. It was for the weekend and you can still move around in there with them in there.

Speaking about the heaters, I just checked out and found a few heaters in the area for good prices. I sent a few emails and now I will wait to hear back from them to see if I can snag one. So, onto the project at hand. I was able to remove the gas tank and shield finally. The gas tank has a bunch of crap in it and I don't think it is usable, but the hoses and clamps look OK. The sending unit is rusty, haven't tried to remove it. The shield is OK, doesn't appear to be too bad. We will have to see about reusing that.
So, with the frame on it's side, I moved onto removing the rest of the stuff that was attached to it so I can repair what little needs to be done and then move the body mounts to accommodate the Wrangler tub and then finally get it blasted and painted/coated to start the assembly process.

Much to my surprise and delight, a lot of the parts came off without snapping bolts in the frame. I got all the leaf springs off with relative ease, got the old rubber parts out and then removed the rest of the rear bumper support brackets. I needed to remove all of this as I will be replacing the rear cross member as it is somewhat rusted as well as bent.

I moved onto the bump stops and this is the only place I had real trouble. Two of the bolts snapped off in the frame and I will have to remove them before I sent it out to be coated. The power steering box came off with surprising ease. I had one bolt that gave me some trouble, but all in all it wasn't too bad. The only issue I had with the front end was the sway bar on the driver side. For whatever reason, the nuts that held it in inside the frame pulled out through the frame. This isn't a huge issue as there are frame holes there that you can get your fingers in to put some nuts on the backside, I just found it strange as the passenger side came out with no problems.
I also noticed this on the rear of the Jeep. The passenger side rear frame rail has a little bit of rust through that needs to be repaired, but no where else that I can see. I took a hammer and hammered all around the rear of the frame and everything seems to be solid. So, all in all, the frame needs a little bit of work, but for now it looks like we will use it.

So, I called it a day after I got a couple hours of work in and went inside and ordered up a few things. I will be receiving a new rear cross member as well as some new body mounts to replace and move the existing ones. As you can see in the picture, one of them is quite thin and split so that will need to be replaced. Also coming are some auto dollies to put the Orange Jeep up on to move it to the back of the garage so we can have more room to work on the project. Finally, I hope to pick up a heater for the garage as the current temp is 45 and it is quite windy.

I know I ordered up some parts and they cost around $150.00, which makes this not "FREE". I am running into that a lot. I need to order up a wiring harness as well, not to mention brake parts. It is going to be "CHEAP" but definitely not "FREE" unless I start getting donations. I think we will auction this off when I am done. Maybe 100 tickets at like $25.00 each or something. That way, I will get reimbursed the money that was spent, the Jeep will be done right, and 100 people will have a very good chance at getting a Jeep. Have to talk to the organizers about this at the next years Danbury Railroad Museum show.

cb (10/29/06)
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