More cool stuff going on--more to come. There's the receiver hitch I welded on to make a nicer bumper. It's a Harbor Freight receiver hitch meant to be bolted onto a bumper. I welded together the factory hitch (see previous pics) to the receiver hitch and the bumper. Should work out good. Hood was off here temporarily to buff it out and attach the new hood hardware.
I recently modified the front nerf bar. (7-14-08) If you read the whole thing up til here you might remember the crossmember I cut off right before dropping the body back down. Well it was a stout piece of square tube and got an idea to beef up the nerf bar with it. Had to shorten it and fill in a couple of holes- it takes HOURS of grinding and removing paint but I finally got it done!
Used grade eight bolts to bolt back on and the grill guard too, the old bolts were rusted pretty bad.
There the rear bumper. I got it for about half price off E-Bay!
Got some used tires for free that match the rear tires exactly. They'll do for now, will get some serious tires soon.
There's the rear bumper and an original Jeep tow hitch that I bolted on already. Need to get the photos developed.
I had to chop off some tow hooks that were welded on to make way for the tow hitch.
Blurry photo showing how I solved the fuel filler hose dilemma. I still had to cut the hose and shorten it about 3/4". Reattached it with some copper plumbing fittings from the hardware store. Good way to extend or shorten these if you need to.
Here's the new gas gauge sending unit and new hoses and stuff going together. More updates to come- almost ready to get on the street! Latest pics! (almost 8/08) Had to add a license plate bracket under the new taillights- a stainless steel one!
Remember the new black hood hardware I got a steal on from E-Bay? Got it on finally!
There's a better view of the new bikini top and windbreaker, I like the half cab look of this.
Redid the exhaust pipe again, I lowered it and moved it away from the floorboard and transfer case. Probably starting to overthink things but -that's me! If you look closely above the pipe I stuck some heat and noise insulation stuff above it to the floorboard.Cool tip- if you want the exhaust stuff to seal up so you don't have to keep taking it apart and replacing gaskets- use some Permatex Ultra Copper RTV on both sides of the gaskets before assembly. I used the best gaskets on the header dump joints and yet they all leaked! I took them apart again - used the same gaskets over- but this time used the RTV and it worked like a charm. No more leaks!
The dashboard is looking more complete with a full set of lights and I carved out a surround for the steering column.
Update (8-24-08)Here's the latest pictures taken today- took it out for it's first real drive. Looked at it as a shake down cruise and had a few minor problems. The bikini top came unstrapped about a block down the road and came down on my head in a big crash! Fortunetly not a big problem to fix haha! Make sure to tie it up tight so you don't get this problem..It was a blast driving around though I have to admit to being quite tense at first., Got my first Jeep 'wave' and another person invited me to their Jeep club! This in about 10 miles of driving - this is going to be FUN. Will keep posting stuff as it comes up!!!New shocks front and rear made a huge difference in driveability. Those are BDS shocks, seems like a quality product. Thinking about going double shocks in the back as it is a little jumpy still, we'll give it a little more drive time as I have only gone like 20 miles so far.Had the carb plug up a little and the idle quality went to heck. A little carb cleaner and all was good again, actually running sweeter than ever. Vehicles were never meant to sit around for months on end without running so it's ok for a few problems to surface.I think the speedometer cable is getting screwy, will look into that later. The floorboard up front near the bellhousing gets quite warm, will put up some more heat insulation soon.It's almost Labor Day weeked 08 so am looking forward to having some fun time instead of working on it all the time. New rear brakes! Became very apparent after driving it that I needed better brakes. I had avoided pulling the rear drums off but it was time to face the music. Yep they were a mess! Looked like the passenger side wasn't doing much of anything and the driver's side wasn't much better. Anyway there is new shoes, wheel cylinders, hardware and one new drum going on and I'm expecting MUCH better brakes. Painted the drums with a high heat aluminum ceramic paint, matches the aluminum wheels and gets rid of more of the Barney purple paint haha 9/23/08 updateAs I stated above the Jeep was a rough rider and I set about tuning the suspension a bit to correct that.First off the new shocks made a big difference, the old ones had bad bushings and apparently were worn out. Made a difference in cornering and bumpy road handling.Last night I took off one leaf of each of the rear leaf springs to cure the sharpness of the ride a bit. The rear was jumping around so much that on a choppy road the Jeep was a handful just to keep a straight line. Too much drama! Taking off a leaf helped smooth things down a bit, still not Cadillac like but much improved. I take a test drive (that includes some of the choppiest pavement on earth) that was hairy the first time, but have managed to make major improvements in handling since then.Lastly- wanted to say a word about tire pressures.On most vehicles if the ride was too stiff letting out some tire pressure would soften thing up. So using this technique I made a mistake with the Jeep. I let the tire pressures down on the back especially thinking this would help the ride. NOT SO! Big mistake with a Jeep apparently. By setting my tire pressures back up to 30 psi in the back ( from 20 psi) the ride got much improved! I have read about this before but experiencing it for the first time was an eye opener. Higher pressures stiffen the tire which transmit more road roughness to the suspension so it can take care of that. The tires were too soft and there is nothing that controls their movement internally. Kind of hard to describe in writing but feeling this for yourself makes you understand this. Lesson learned- tire pressures up will give a smoother ride and better cornering and less 'sway'. Will try a sway bar install soon as well as some other suspension stuff.The engine is breakin in nicely and sounding awesome! Having a blast driving around breaking it in! I discovered the speedometer cable has a tough time staying screwed onto the transmission output. Have screwed it together as best as possible, keeping my fingers crossed that it will continue working good, it's nice having a speedometer on the highway especially.Had to stop driving it until the top gets installed, so at a temporary lull until then.12/1/08 Winter is not far off and am in the middle of a soft top install, will write up a new page soon.