Today I applied the first olive drab paint on the freshly blasted front axle!!! In the course of blasting the original paint away, I noticed that there was no red oxide primer under the original olive drab paint, so I skipped priming the axle and got out the olive drab paint instead. The axle is the correct "GP" prefixed casting number to indicate a Ford axle and there are little "F" scripts on each piece, like the brake line brackets, which are welded to the housing. I am very pleased with the paint, as it EXACTLY matches the NOS parts that came painted from the factory.
With the application of the olive drab paint to the frame, the frame restoration phase of the project is complete (refer to chapter 2 link on the main page)! The front and rear differentials are blasted and painted, ready to go in. The next steps will be restoring the leaf springs and brake drums.
Painting and installation of the center crossmember, skid plate, battery tray, bumpers, pintle hook (trailer hitch), axle snubbers and drivetrain mounts have been completed. Check out the star painted on the front bumper! The front and rear axles are in position for mounting, on pallets I made so I can easily move them around by myself without messing up the paint or spilling gear oil. I have all the leaf springs repaired and painted with the exception of the left rear which has a broken leaf, ACK! I'm now actively hunting down either a replacement leaf or the complete assembly which may be big delay in getting the chassis rolling. I will mount the front axle next week. I have lots of work with installing the brake system and sand blasting, painting and assembling the combat wheels and tires. I can have everything in place waiting for the leaf spring if I build a jig to hold the rear axle in place where the left leaf spring will go. I'm trying to keep a positive attitude here!
This was a busy week! I've installed the front leaf springs, front differential, new torque reaction spring on the left side, new shock absorbers, turned the front brake drums, installed new brake shoes, new wheel (slave) cylinders, new brake springs, new wheel bearings and seals, assembled the front hubs, partially installed the front brake lines and painted the whole thing olive drab! I also sand blasted and painted two combat rims and they are ready to assemble with an innertube and military non-directional tread (NDT) tire. The front half of the jeep should be "rolling" by early this coming week. I am still searching for a left rear leaf spring to replace that broken leaf. I cannot find a spring shop that can provide a new leaf that matches the originals closely enough to not be detected. I have plenty of things to keep me busy while searching for that leaf.
Well, we have a rickshaw! The front of the jeep is "rolling" with the installation of combat split rim wheels and Goodyear NDT (non-directional tread) military tires. I also have all the new brakelines installed up to the new master cylinder. EUREKA! My heros at Krage Motorsports (see link section on main page) found a replacement for my broken rear #3 leaf in their junkyard and I should be receiving it by mid-week, I'm very hopeful this is the right one. I've also secured two brake drums, used, from Beechwood Canvas Works (see link section on main page) to replace the two cracked rear drums. Brake drums are another item on the endangered species list so I'm starting to collect any of those I run across as there are no replacements being manufactured currently. The rear wheels are painted and ready for assembly with innertubes and tires so things should come together quickly once I get the left rear leaf spring assembled and painted and the rear brake drums installed.
I'm also in the process of prepping the transmission and transfercase for paint. The first step is completely degreasing the unit and removing any remaining paint. Moving the heavy unit around is easily handled by chaining it up to my cherrypicker. It's especially handy for placing the unit on my workbench. I've used spray carburator cleaner and a wire brush to get the grease off, then a wire wheel on my drill to remove any remaining paint. Next I will be removing the early type parking brake bearing cap off the rear end of the transfercase and installing the later model internal shoe type bearing cap. I'm also removing the front bearing cap for installing new seals on the output yoke and control lever rods.
I've been a busy guy, the transmission / xfercase have been cleaned-up, new seals installed, the later parking brake cap installed, new shift levers to replace the bent ones installed, paint applied and bolted into place. I ended-up using NAPA part #97020 Ford Ferguson Gray paint for the transmission and engine. I've also got all the rear brake components ready to install and the clutch and brake pedal components ready to install once a few new parts arrive. I dropped the engine off at the rebuilders a week ago and have all the pieces that will be bolted on the engine blasted and painted and ready to go. My next objective is the front and rear drive shafts.
I've installed the clutch, pedal assemblies, the front drive shaft and the new internal shoe parking brake assembly. With brand new pedal pads, gear shift lever and transfercase shifting levers, things are looking very crisp and assembly line new. All the parts that hang off the engine, such as front and rear plates, thermostat housing, generator brackets, pulleys, water pump, etc. have been cleaned-up and painted Ford Ferguson Gray to match the transmission. I'm starting to think about preparing the body tub for paint. First step shall be chemically stripping the gray sealer off before priming it and then drilling all the holes for the handles, top brackets, reflectors, and such so I won't mar the paint.
We finally have a rolling chassis! Media blasting and painting the rear springs was pretty minimal effort because of the great condition they were in; a slight surface rust masked what remained of the original olive drab paint. I've also finished installing the axle shafts (hub flanges), brake lines, drive shaft and shock absorbers. I'm also investigating what needs to be done to correctly mount the parking brake cable on the older style center crossmember, which will involve drilling some new holes for sure! Stripping and sand blasting the fenders, hood and grill are on the schedule for the next dry, sunny day.