Work on Ole Blue has slowed a little for the very best of reasons. Evan’s and Tammy’s son Robert (aka Robbie) was born in early November. We are sure that it won’t be long before Robbie joins sister Maddie as a Farm Jeep mechanic. We are also looking forward to giving Robbie his first jeep ride, as soon as the weather improves.
Parting is such sweet sorrow
In the meantime, the search for just the right parts continues. Without a doubt e-bay has made finding parts easier, but it is not without its pitfalls. Sometimes, we (especially Barry) buy things we really don’t need. But there is always that bargain that is just too good to pass up. This time the bargain was in the form of a complete PTO setup that was not described in a manner that would cause it to appear in a farm jeep search. We didn’t really need another PTO setup, but Barry couldn’t resist the urge to bid. With some minor repair on one of the shaft boots, this will most likely be the setup we install on Ole Blue.
On the down side, we have purchased a couple of mislabeled items. The reader might remember the grill that was described as being for a 3a, but in fact was for a 2a. The latest error was a set of headlight buckets. Again, these were described as fitting a 3a, but they are for later model CJs. The upside is we have ended up repairing and using the original parts. We are also using the 2a grill as garage art (doesn’t every garage need wall art?). Barry’s New Year’s resolution is to look a little closer before hitting that bid button.
Good things come
Evan has been patiently searching and waiting for a Newgren pump. The search, which began when we acquired the Newgren lift in 2003, came to an end when a complete pump appeared on e-bay and Evan was the successful bidder. Amazingly, all the parts were there, although one bracket arm was missing. That has been repaired by our local welding shop and looks like new.
We took the pump to a hydraulic repair shop and have just learned that it isn’t repairable. We (with the help of the shop) are searching for a substitute. If one isn’t available, we will see about a custom rebuild. We still have the option of installing the Monroe pump, so this shouldn’t slow us down on our goal to have the jeep ready for spring plowing.
Robbie arrived slightly ahead of schedule and the reassembly of the jeep stopped just short of our next milestone of starting the jeep and driving it out of the garage. Barry decided that a nice Christmas present for Evan would be to make the jeep drivable. That meant installing the gas line and tank, roughing in the wiring harness, installing the driver’s seat and replacing the steering wheel.
Replacing the tank is a snap, since the tank is strategically located under the driver’s seat. Attaching the gas line, however, is another adventure. We had purchased a new, solid fuel line and the first task Barry faced was finding the proper routing. Ole Yeller has a “replacement line” made up of pieces of solid steel tubing and rubber hose. So it was of no value as a guide of how the solid line weaved in and around the body and frame. After several tries, Barry dropped a note to our friends at the CJ-3A Information Page and they provided detailed routing information (http://www.cj3a.info/tech/line.html).
Once the line was in position, the hard part began. The end of the line bends 90 degrees at the opening in the floor and has a male flare fitting that mates to a nut welded to the bottom of the tank. The line, once in place doesn’t move. The tank, once in place (but not strapped down) will move only slightly, and then only when considerable force is applied. The quickest way to ruin the tank is by cross-threading the connection. After what seemed like hours of trying to screw the line into the tank, Barry gave up and removed the tank and line from the jeep.
With the tank on the bench (upside down), he still couldn’t get the fitting to screw into the tank beyond a half turn or so. The fitting in the reproduction tank seemed to be slightly out of spec. There are only a few threads inside the nut, before the mating flare and Barry couldn’t see a way to run a tap to clean the threads. Closely examining the threads, Barry was sure he wasn’t cross-threading the connection and decided to use the flare fitting as a tap. Using a wrench, he slowly eased the fitting deeper into the nut. After each quarter turn, he would back the fitting out and recheck the threads.
When he finally felt like the fitting was solid and he could screw the fitting into the nut with his fingers, he remounted the tank and line. It took several more tries before he got the tank and line aligned and he could screw the fitting in by hand. He did one final tightening of the nut, then crawled out from the under the jeep. Either the fitting would hold or it would leak. In either case, putting gas in the tank would have to wait for another day. Barry had had his fill of gas tanks.
Up next – Wire was I again.