February 2011

Work Log: February 2011

Brakes, continued

We managed to find the right replacement brakes, with one minor deviation. The fitting is for a 1/4" tube instead of 3/16". Thankfully, the same store had adapters, so we are now good to go. For reference, the brake cylinders are rears for a 73 Jeep Truck.

Also reassembled the rear cylinders. Turns out I'm supposed to use a bit of brake fluid as lubrication when assembling them, so I get to redo that...


We ended up taking all four into E & C Spring to get them rearched. Thankfully I hadn't already disassembled and cleaned them up; they do that as part of the rearching. One less thing for me to de-rust. :-) All I have to do is shoot OD over the black paint they used.


Took this into the shop to get it rodded and tested. The report came back that it's "very weak", which is their way of saying it's in good enough shape to be used, but if it does spring a leak again, it may be too thin to repair. I guess it depends on where it happens to break.


It turns out off-road or mud/snow 7.00-16 tires aren't really made anymore (except in NDCC, which I don't want, even though it's accurate). After doing a bunch of research I ended up going with the Specialty Tires of America Super Traxion in 6.50-16. They're on order now and should do nicely.



After polishing up the steering knuckles, they look much better. Instead of being rusty, they are now smooth and mirror-like. Even after ScotchBrite and sandpaper, the pits were too deep, so we filled them with JB Weld. Re-sanded and now they are darn smooth.

Turns out the front pinion is really worn. Another part to replace... At least I managed to snag a NOS ring and pinion on eBay for a good price. Based on evidence in the oil/housing, it looks like a previous owner let the differential run dry. The bearings in there are also shot. Geez, had one (or multiple) of these guys not heard of grease and oil and their proper application?

At least the left side Bendix joint doesn't need rebuilding. The same can't be said for the part of the shaft where the inner seal runs. There's really bad pitting and a groove that's probably deeper than can be cleaned up on the lathe and still be within the necessary diameter for a proper seal. Dad's going to have a coworker take a look at it and see if he has some recommendations. It looks like a pressed on sleeve may be in the future for both left and right shafts.

Oh, and remember those front wheel bearings that I thought were in good shape? Turns out they aren't so hot after all. Pits and grooves showed up after a good cleaning and inspection. Sigh.

All the external parts are ready for paint as soon as I get set up for that.


Inspected the rear differential carefully and it appears all the bearings and gears are in good shape. Whew!

Battle of the crud

Removing grease was a major pain. For smaller parts I just use mineral spirits and a brush, but that wasn't going to be practical for such large parts as the axle housings. And there was a lot of gunk caked on. Methods tried:

  1. Simple Green sprayed on with an air hose attachment (sucks up detergent and sprays it). Didn't do much besides spray water and detergent.
  2. Scrub sudsed-up housing with a BBQ brass brush. Kinda just moved the crud around unless large amounts of detergent and water were used. Definitely didn't reach into the plentiful nooks and crannies. A small steel brush sorta worked for those spots.
  3. Pressure washer hooked up to the spigot. Even with detergent, didn't do much.
  4. Pressure washer hooked up to the solar water heater and detergent. Yay! Success! Dad put it this way: Think about washing dishes - hot water works much better than cold. Also worked wonderfully for cleaning the inside of the housing (just don't blast all the grease from the inside straight onto another car in the driveway - sorry, Dad).
  5. Soda blaster. Now that nearly all the grease is gone, the soda blaster removed the multiple layers of paint. It also turns out that, unlike other abrasive blasting methods, soda actually removes caked on grease. That was perfect for those really tight crannies.

The axles are now sitting in the living room since the've been prepped with phosphoric acid and are ready for painting. Along with a bunch of other chassis parts. "Living room" is synonymous with "parts storage warehouse", right? :-P

Speaking of paint...


Wow, who knew getting the right paint would be such a challenge?! I'm supposed to use the Army's 2430 olive drab paint, but nobody seems to actually make that. It's easy to get the colors used during WWII and those after my M38. Even records are sparse. On top of that, I don't actually want to use the original paint type (alkyd enamel) since it doesn't make use of a hardener and I don't have the luxury of a place for my parts to sit around for a week and dry without getting coated in dust. As Dad and I were digging through other people's research, he remembered that one of the guys in the San Diego Early Ford V8 Club worked for a paint company and specialized in digging up information on old paint colors. So, he called Jim and he started working on it. He managed to find chips for 24087, which replaced 2430 and is noticeably different, and for 319, which may have been the lusterless predecessor to the semi-gloss 2430. I managed to find a part of the jeep that wasn't subject to fading (the inside of the glove box) and scraped down to the original paint. It seemed to match the paint chip quite well, so he had a quart made up in a new formulation using acrylic enamel in a semi-gloss. We're going to paint the chassis with that paint and compare it to a spray can of one manufacture's paint that supposedly is a very close match to 2430, even though it isn't labeled as such. Hopefully they match.

Originally, no primer was used. Two coats of the OD were applied, the first being slightly lighter. However, I'm going with modern paints and primers. Everything is getting a nice coat of epoxy primer first, followed by primer-surfacer on body panels, and finally paint. The result should be a lot more durable, which is good because this jeep is going to be used in more than parades.


Currently there are some aftermarket lights that just don't look right. I found a take-off pair in decent shape on eBay at a good price, so I got them and have started cleaning them up. Water managed to get inside at some point and rust things up pretty badly, so I've disassembled and sandblasted everything. Pliers and a chisel should not be necessary to remove the bulbs. Just sayin'... A shot of clear coat should protect the bare metal. Wiring also needs to be redone, which involves me hunting down the correct wire so that the grommets can do their job properly. The seals are also shot/missing, so I'll be using black silicone as a supplement. I don't want to see rust in there again!

Since the taillights are "blackout" lights, the actual visible light is, well, pretty much useless on the road. However, the light doors from the Gama Goat are full red lenses and are a perfect fit. So, all I'll have to do is swap out the doors depending on my use. Spiffy.

Air cleaner

I managed to snag one of these from a fellow member of the Willys M Jeeps forum. Woot! I'll have to figure out how to route it to my MB carburetor though. The M38 YS carb has a right-angle air horn, whereas my WO carb does not. Unless I manage to find a correct carb, I'm going to have to get creative.

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