Since my last post about a week ago, I have moved stuff around to the extent that I actually have SPACE in my garage again! I started with this:
(Actually, this is after I rolled the Honda out into the driveway and moved a couple of other boxes of stuff so that I could walk around.)
I had to do some prep work on the Jeep to make it towable; that included reinstalling the front bumper and tow bar, reconnecting the drag link to the steering box, and making sure that various nuts and bolts were tight enough so they wouldn’t fall off while I was towing it over to Robert-The-Frame-Guy’s place. I also finished cutting off excess stuff under the Jeep, like old brake lines and wiring. I removed the old clutch and brake pedal assemblies, since I’ll be using a different system when I rebuild the Jeep. I also took out the seats and the gas tanks so that Robert could see where the existing body mounts are. Then I took a bunch of pictures to show how bent the Jeep got when I rolled it back in 2005. This shows the messed-up right side:
This one shows how the cargo area floor and driver-side wall panels got bent. The back of the roll cage isn’t frame-mounted, so when the Jeep landed on the cage, the whole weight of the Jeep was taken by the body panels.
This one shows the passenger-side damage to the cargo area:
In its next incarnation, all of the roll cage mounting points will be directly to the frame!
After I got all the (bulky) unnecessary stuff out of the Jeep, and all the heavy new parts (axles and tires) into the truck, I found I still had time to create a template of how I want the new body to look – at least, from the driver’s side. Since that side panel was still relatively straight, I used it for measuring distances and taping the cardboard up against and all that. This is what I came up with for the new body:
It’s not too obvious from this angle, but I decided to stretch the door opening six inches. That’ll make it a little bit easier for me to get in and out, and will also add a few inches to the driveshaft from the transfer case to the middle axle. The steel fender flares are from GenRight and are designed to fit everything from the old CJs up to the TJ Wranglers (they won’t fit the current JK Wranglers). The Jeep will end up being about five feet longer than stock – somewhere around 190 inches (nearly 16 feet) overall.
Then I decided to take the template, the fenders, and two tires outside and put them all together:
So there you have it. The project has been given to Robert-The-Frame-Guy. His first task is to think up all the questions he can, so that we can talk about them before he starts cutting and welding metal. My job is to get as many of the necessary parts for the project as possible – especially the ones that go on the frame, or will help determine how the frame has to be built. These include things like body-mount bushings, the a/c condenser [check], the new radiator, the electric cooling fan, the winches [check], and the middle axle (I took the front and back axles to Robert with the Jeep).
And with all that stuff out of the garage, there’s actually enough space available that I can move things around and paint the garage! Woo-Hoo! I’ll have to make sure I get *that* done before Robert finishes the frame. This is what the garage looks like now (with the Honda, the trailer, and all the miscellaneous stuff back inside):