Day 1…

The Jeepster has now officially arrived at its new home.  A friend of my Dad’s with a big pickup truck and bigger trailer hauled it up.


The next challenge was to get the Jeep off the trailer.  Which was complicated by the front wheels refusing to turn.  I suspect the brakes locked when a curious person decided they had to push the pedal…

In the end we used brute force.  A chain hoist was hooked around the end of the trailer and we simply winched the Jeep back.  This worked until the locked front wheels hit the trailer ramps.  But at that point the back wheels were on the ground so we blocked the wheels and pulled the trailer forward (very slowly) until it was clear of the trailer.  Once it was on solid ground we jacked it up and got the wheels turning well enough to muscle it into the garage.


I think it is kind of funny that we blocked the wheels like there is a prayer of this thing moving anywhere.

Time to get dirty!  First order business is to see if the engine still turns over.  I removed all the spark plugs and sprayed oil in the cylinders.  Then I got a big wrench and turned it over.  The engine was free so I pulled it through a few times.  It was a good first step.  Next what is in the crankcase?  I drained the oil and pulled off the nastiest oil filter I have seen in a while.  While the oil drained I crawled all over the car squirting every bolt and nut I saw with penetrating oil  This thing is not TOO bad up top but the frame and suspension is rusted all to hell.  Every brake line will need replaced before it hits the road.


The good news is there was another oil filter in the back of the Jeep.  The better news is that the oil was oil with no metal chunks, water, etc.  I put in some fresh oil and the new filter.  Next I wanted to see if it will turn over on the starter.

I made a quick trip to NAPA and spent my first real $$$ on the project buying a battery.  I installed the batter and hooked up the terminals.  No fire so that is good.  I turned the key on and the gauges came to life.  Also good.  But when I turned the key the ammeter went to -30A but nothing else happened.  Looks like the starter solenoid is stuck.  But while I was in there I started pushing switches.  Score stands:


  • Left turn signals
  • Headlights
  • Taillights and marker lights
  • Maybe two instrument panel lights
  • Fan

Not working

  • Right turn signals
  • Convertible top (awwww!)
  • Horn


  • Backup lights
  • Brake lights
  • Wipers

I tapped on the starter a few times but no joy.  The terminals on the starter solenoid looked pretty ratty.  Rather than fight with it under the car I dropped the starter out.  One of the terminals was rusted to the point where I had to be careful not to break the stud but everything else moved.  Then when I lowered the starter I got a refreshing shower of bits of shells and seeds.  Looks like a small woodland creature had been living in the bell housing and using the starter as a larder.  I vacuumed up the mess and called it a day.  Next I will troubleshoot the starter.  It is a standard Delco unit so I will not go into heroics to save it.  I bet I can get a new one for $40-50.

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