There’s no other way to put it. And you’ve probably been there on a project or two yourself. I’m running out of time to get Flat Out for Moab finished and on the road.
Most things have gone well on getting the 1946 CJ-2A ready for a roadtrip that most sane people wouldn’t consider under ideal conditions. Let alone a vehicle that hasn’t been on the road since 2002. And my dreams of putting a week or two of miles on it before setting out on the 1,700 mile journey to Moab for the 2016 Easter Jeep Safari have come down to hitting the gas station and an oil-change place on the way out of town.
But let me catch you upon the mechanical progress. Much of this I will follow up over the next few months with specific tech articles showing more specifics, making it useful info. What I offer here is more for entertainment.
The ancient power steering pump I had on the shelf leaked horribly from the seal between the pump and reservoir. As tempted as I was to ignore it, the leak was too bad. However, the aluminum pulley had become one with the press-fit steel shaft on the pump. When the right tools to remove a pulley didn’t do the trick, I broke out a reciprocating saw and cut-off wheel. Unfortunately for you, the batteries were dead in my video camera by that point.
I ordered a Borgeson pump (later style with keyway) and a new pulley from March Performance. The time lapse video at the top shows me redoing the power steering pump.
I’ve also had lots of fun finding the correct tie rod end. The driver-side one was toast, but tracking down what application the old one fit has been more challenging than most Mission Impossible plots. The great irony is that after searching the shop for other parts, I ran across a lone Moog box with a tie rod end in it. Like the duke fitting ugly girls with shoes, I decided it was unlikely but worth a try. I’ll be darned — it fit!
Next, we come to Flex-a-lite aluminum radiator 2.0. The first one didn’t fit. Shame on me for not double-checking the custom order build sheet. But I was able to use the first one for fitment and work with the engineering team at Flex-a-lite to come up with an even better solution. We shaved fins off the front to move the radiator as far forward in the grille as possible, and the height and width is the absolute most that I can fit. The Flex-a-lite LoBoy electric fan fits on the radiator perfectly, and there’s almost a figure’s width between the fan motor and the hub of the water pump. Done!
I then turned my attention to driveshafts and the Sam’s Offroad Traction Bar. This is still one of the best solutions I’ve seen for curing rear axle wrap on a spring-over conversion. The bar is vintage (20-years old or so), but Sam’s still makes them and I was able to get new brackets to weld on the Dynatrac ProRock 60 axle. I managed to lose the special bolts that are used to attache the bar to the brackets, so Sam’s Offfoad sent me new ones.
Will I make it? I’m still not quite sure. But I need to decide by Saturday (March 12, 2016) morning.
In the meantime, you might enjoy these previous articles on this project: