First, some updates from my June 26 post:
- The radiator I got was custom-made, so the manufacturer wouldn’t take it back. We knew that, so Hi Speed agreed to order me a new one and said they’d absorb the cost of the first one. Then I got a call with some further information: The manufacturer puts the tranny cooler tube in the *outlet* tank because the coolant has been, well, cooled at that point and thus can do a better job of cooling the tranny fluid. Oh. Okay. (D’oh!) So I retrieved the original radiator and took it to R&W. I figure I have three options: run hard lines from the driver side of the engine bay (power steering box and pump) to the passenger side (the cooler); use the finned mini-radiator I was using before; or do both and put the finned mini-radiator in line with the cooler. I think I’ll probably take the third option, on the theory that more cooling is better than less, but it also depends on how much real estate I have on the fenders when it’s all put back together.
- I opened the onboard air system and discovered that they had sent me a serpentine-belt clutch for the air pump, despite my specific written request for a double-V-belt clutch. I let them know; they apologized for the mistake; they sent me a new one and I sent the wrong one back. As far as I know, I now have all the correct parts for the onboard air system.
- The stud/bolt kit for the high-steer arms arrived. I took it to R&W when I delivered the radiator, so the steering system can be put together more-or-less permanently now.
Now, on to the new stuff!
Robert wasn’t very optimistic that he could straighten out either of the two grilles enough to be useful, so I went to Willys Works to see what they had lying in their yard. I actually found an early-CJ grille that still had almost everything still on it! The place where the grille had bolted to the frame had either rusted off or been cut off, but since we weren’t going to use that anyway, it didn’t make any difference. So I bought the grille.
It turns out that this one is a little bent, too, but I don’t think it’s bent as badly as either of the other two. In any case, I told Robert to use the best one of the three. One potential advantage to using this grille, though, is that with the original radiator shroud/mount still attached, Robert could use part of it to hang the a/c condenser off of, instead of having to build something that works off the radiator mounts. This way, the a/c condenser and the radiator would be totally separate and wouldn’t be affecting how the other is mounted. But I’ll have to wait and see what he comes up with.
Robert’s also been working on the back end of the JeepMonster. This is the rear bumper / winch mount as it looked last Friday:
Each end is approximately the height of the frame (5 inches), and the winch hangs down an inch or so below that. The center cutout is where the hitch receiver will go. When it’s actually attached to the frame, end pieces will be added to protect the rear corners of the body. This will all be aft of the back end of the body, so Robert’s going to make a lid for it that’ll serve as a step as well as a cover for the winch and the solenoid box. If there’s space, he’ll make a small box to put winch-recovery gear in.
The BIG news is that the JeepMonster is actually on its own six tires now, at least temporarily.
I say “temporarily” because, after all the remaining pieces (transmission mount, rear bumper/winch mount, radiator mount, sliders, etc.) are cut, bent and attached, Robert’s going to take everything off the frame so he can finish-weld everything and do it safely and cleanly. Then he’ll put all this stuff back on the frame and start building the body. There’ll be a lot more to look at when I get back in mid-August!
So that’s where the project stands right now. I have a few small parts to find (in the pile in the garage) or buy (from somewhere…) this week, and I hope to be able to deliver them all to Robert by Friday afternoon – or maybe Saturday morning as I leave on my motorcycle trip. If Robert sends me photos between now and August 16, I’ll post an update; otherwise, we’ll all have to wait for 5 or 6 weeks to find out what has happened in the meantime.