My weekend's accomplishments. And failures.

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merrill77
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My weekend's accomplishments. And failures.

Postby merrill77 » Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:11 pm

A few weeks ago, my son (Ryan) and I set out to shim one of the rear doors so it would fit right. We made some shims from aluminum sheet, using the existing shims as a template. Here are a few of them in progress:

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We tried a few different combinations of shims until the door was perfectly aligned - based on the lines of the body. But then it would not close at all. It took us a while, but Ryan was on the inside and noticed that the door panel was hitting the weather stripping. We popped out the weather stripping and then the door closed perfectly - with that satisfyingly solid thunk that I remember from cars of that vintage. Closer inspection revealed that the door panel was just a little too big. It has a custom interior (thanks to a previous owner) and both rear door panels share the problem - the panel overlaps the part of the door that, based on the sheet metal pattern, is where the weather stripping was intended to seal the door. You may notice that you can NOT see that line on the door with this panel:


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So I started off this weekend with something I'd never attempted - modifying my door panel for a better fit. To my surprise, the leather peeled away easily from the panel. I marked a line about 1/4" from the edge and took to work with some aviation shears. Used a rasp to clean it up and trimmed the padding underneath as well.

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I forgot to take other pics of the process...but I still have another panel to do, so if anyone wants to see it, please say so and I'll try to get more next time.

I picked up some 3M 38808 Headliner and Fabric Adhesive to re-bond the leather and vinyl to the back of the door, along with a lot of clamps. The 38808 worked great - it is a spray contact adhesive that goes on really thick. I can think of lots of other uses for that stuff :) It turned out well. Not perfect, but really good. I think I'm likely to be the only person to notice the imperfections. Note that you can now see the line on the door indicating where the weather stripping should stop and the panel should start.

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About 15 minutes after we put that panel back on, Ryan noted that the plastic weather-proofing sheet is still sitting on a table in my workshop. Failure #1 :(


Next up was an oil pressure sensor. I'd replaced this back in the fall but Autozone had given me the wrong one. So I replaced that with the correct unit. No pics, but based on a short drive this evening, it not only works, but seems to be working better than the one I originally replaced, which always read nearly zero pressure. Still needs more observation, but I'm hopeful.

This morning I started pulling the heater box to replace the core. I had noticed I could smell coolant in the car with the windows rolled up. As recommended, I dropped the A/C for access to the interior nuts. Actually, my youngest, Ethan, did most of the work.

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While he was doing that, I followed along the instructions in the service manual. Started by disconnecting the heater hoses and the blend-door control wire. Then the blower motor resistor and the two screws in the engine bay. Also capped the core to minimize spillage.

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With the A/C dropped, I could get to the screws. Oddly, both of them had 2 nuts on them. The lower had a clip securing what I think is the control cable for the passenger side fresh air vent held on with one nut and a second securing the heater box. If you look down from the upper (left) nut, you can see a pattern in the firewall insulation that matches a metal bar that was held on by a second nut. The other end of the bar was attached to........nothing. There is a hole there indicating it was once attached to something. But what? I have no idea.

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I ended up having to remove the other two nuts in the area as well, since the heater box was too well connected to the blower motor to get out without removing the motor housing as well. When I say "I" removed the bolts, I mean Ryan :)

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Heater box is out.

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The heater box came apart easily enough. We spent some time cleaning it up and I debated sanding a few rusty edges and putting on a coat of paint while it was out. Decided against it, as I wanted to get it re-installed today and at just under 50F today, it would take a while for the paint to dry.

Ryan scraped the old, crumbling foam off the blend door in the heater box and we installed some closed-cell foam weather-stripping around the edges to get a good seal and prevent a metallic clunk sound.

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Ready to put it back together. Or so I thought.

Opened up the BJs box and pulled out the new heater core. Hmmm...why is that connection crooked? It wiggles a little...I think I see a crack. yup. Failure #2 :(

On the upside, I'll have plenty of time for the paint to dry.

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Ok, so now I have some time on my hands...I've had no luck getting much heat, so this is a good time to check out the other parts, now that I have them out. I re-installed the blower motor and housing, put the blower motor resistor back into its plug and tested it - blows well on all three speeds. Not too surprising, the car spent its life in CA, AZ and TX. Not a lot of hours spent with the heater on, I'd guess.

So in the pic above, (4 pics back with the heater box out), you can see the inlet door. I assume that should door open when the heater switch is in the "heater" or "defrost" position, correct? It doesn't for me. I'm guessing the silver disc, visible a few pics back (showing the interior heater box bolts), is a vacuum actuator for this door. It does not appear to be working...gonna need to fix this before I button it all back up. Failure #3 :( Didn't diagnose that one any farther.

Instead, decided to patch the two heater hoses together, clean up and take it for a drive. Want to make sure that neither the oil filter nor oil pressure sensor are leaking. And fill up with gas. I pulled out of the gas station, with Ryan and Ethan in the car, to head home and I smell something burning. Then smoke coming out of the dash. I quickly pulled over and shut off the ignition. Failure #4 :(

I popped the hood - everything looks good there. Poking around in the dash, I can't find anything amiss. I suspect and check everything I touched this weekend, but can't find the smoking gun (sic). So, I figured I'd start it back up and see what happens. Turn the key and....nothing. Dead as a doornail. Not even lights. The battery was on a tender, so I'm a bit befuddled at that point. Called for a tow and sat there pondering my predicament.

Luckily, had a great tow driver. I had mentioned on the way that I wanted to move my Wrangler before he pulled into the driveway so the Wagoneer would not block it. On arrival, he asks if I normally keep the wagon outside and I said "No, it is usually in that center garage spot". He says "Hey, I can drop your Wagoneer right into the garage, if you'd like?" Uhhh, yes please! Didn't know they'd do that. He saved my mood today :)

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After I got it in the garage I checked the battery - 13v, just as it should be. So I am wondering, what single point-of-failure shuts down the entire electrical system? Is there a single fuse before the fusebox somwhere? What would be the point of that? Then I thought - the ammeter ? !?! That would be really ironic, since I was just asking on Friday, on another post, what the "ammeter bypass" was and why I'd want to do it. Does that seem like a likely explanation?

All in all, still a good weekend. Got a lot of things done, but a little disappointed that I won't be able to take the Wagoneer on our camping trip next weekend. Spent some quality time with my boys...well, 2 of them anyway. If you made it this far, thanks for following along and thanks, in advance, for any help/advice you can offer!

Chris
77 Wagoneer and 97 TJ.

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dodgerammit
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Re: My weekend's accomplishments. And failures.

Postby dodgerammit » Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:17 pm

Yeah. The ammeter needs current going between the two wires to allow ignition. Even bypassed, those wires need mounted together. I learned that the frustrating way. Clean waggy.
84 Grand Waggy-Radio Flyer (Garnet Red/3M Ebony Metallic woodgrain, with tan interior) AMC 360/727/229 TFI conversion, MSD streetfire ignition, D44/AMC20 Serehill tailgate and headlight harnesses :fsj:

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dodgerammit
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Re: My weekend's accomplishments. And failures.

Postby dodgerammit » Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:18 pm

And my tow driver put my waggy right under the carport for me when I had the same luck. Good tow drivers!
84 Grand Waggy-Radio Flyer (Garnet Red/3M Ebony Metallic woodgrain, with tan interior) AMC 360/727/229 TFI conversion, MSD streetfire ignition, D44/AMC20 Serehill tailgate and headlight harnesses :fsj:

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fulsizjeep
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Re: My weekend's accomplishments. And failures.

Postby fulsizjeep » Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:08 am

Small helper hands for the win! :-bd
Sent from my IBM 5150 using TN5250 emulation.

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88 GW, 401/727/208, 5" lift, D44s/4.10s/locked up, 35s, a few Evil Twin mods, http://eviltwinfab.com and a few TT's Fabworks mods, http://www.ttsfabworks.com
76 401 Wag, 77 401 Wag, 77 401 J20

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jsinajeep
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Re: My weekend's accomplishments. And failures.

Postby jsinajeep » Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:54 am

Sound like a good time with the boys.

Cheapthrills
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Re: My weekend's accomplishments. And failures.

Postby Cheapthrills » Mon Apr 09, 2018 4:42 pm

This is a nice post... I can't wait for my 2yr old to stop being a little butt, and be interested in helping out with the jeeps.

That waggie is super sexy

87 grand Wagoneer mostly stock
90 grand Wagoneer (stalled 5.3 project)

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j10jim
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Re: My weekend's accomplishments. And failures.

Postby j10jim » Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:45 pm

Nice looking Jeep!
1980 J10/20
Rusty's 4" lift, 2" body lift, old Cliffhanger front bumper, 35" tires, 65 dash w Speedhut gauges

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FSJ Guy
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Re: My weekend's accomplishments. And failures.

Postby FSJ Guy » Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:06 am

Yes, a good wrecker operator will put your vehicle where ever you tell them to!!

If your FSJ uses fusible links, check those. Since you R&R'd the heater box, you may have moved the wiring harness and wires may have dropped on the exhaust manifold and shorted out. AMHIK.
Ethan Brady

http://www.bigscaryjeep.com

Jeepless, but I still have a lots of old parts in my garage!

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merrill77
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Re: My weekend's accomplishments. And failures.

Postby merrill77 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:43 am

Cheapthrills wrote:This is a nice post... I can't wait for my 2yr old to stop being a little butt, and be interested in helping out with the jeeps.


I have 3 boys. The 13-year-old twins showed NO interest in cars :( My youngest (now 8) has always been into cars. Plays driving games. Draws cars. Cars cars cars. Unfortunately, even at 8, the amount he can help is much less than we would like it to be. But his relentless interest influenced one of his older brothers, Ryan, so he is now really getting them into it as well. It was great to spend the day with him working on the Wagoneer. I couldn't have been happier :)

Maybe I should get them a subscription to Hot Rod magazine? I recall reading Car Craft as a teenager...at least, that is what I think it was called. I wonder if it is still around?

Cheapthrills wrote:That waggie is super sexy.


Thanks. I can't take much credit, other than having the good sense to buy it. Previous owner spared no expense on it. I'm just trying to "finish" it - tie up loose ends and fix the little stuff, like doors that are not perfectly aligned.
77 Wagoneer and 97 TJ.


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