Rachael and I put the finishing touches on cleaning the gas tank area. Most of it is in surprisingly good shape. First we vacuumed the whole thing
Got some painting done on the brackets and other bits I unbolted from the back of the Jeep. This is all ready to go back in the car.
The new power brake booster showed up as well. This one is much larger than the one in the car. I will have to take the master cylinder out and tweak the brake lines to make it fit. More on that later.
This is the gasket the goes around the fuel filler hole in the floor.
I decided to put in new fuel gauge sender. Looks nice.
So here is the first problem. The pickup tube uses a different size hose bib than the one off the old tank. I will have to do some hose size adapting to make this work.
So here is the next problem. The sender is just a hair to large to fit in the hole. I thought about trimming the return tube a bit shorter but that seemed stupid. After all it is a plastic tank…
This little notch is all it took to make the sender fit. I did it with a razor blade and yes, I did catch the little bit of plastic so it did not fall in the tank.
Obviously with a plastic tank we will need a ground wire. Anyway it got late and I am tired. Enough for tonight.
This morning I decided to get the Jeepster running right. I hooked up a vacuum gauge and time light and started the engine. It fired right up. I warmed up the engine then tried to get the low idle right. The engine ran like crap at low RPM but I got the timing nailed and went to adjust the mixture. As soon as I tried to turn one of the mixture knobs the engine died and would not run at all. I was just about to rip the carb apart then I decided to try spraying some carb cleaner in there. Surprisingly that worked. I was just starting on tweaking the idle mixture when I realized the inductive pickup from the timing light had fallen on the exhaust manifold.
Dammit! I have had this timing light since I was a teenager and have never damaged it on an engine. It still works but I am using a bit of twist-tie to hold it on the spark plug wire. At this point it was getting really hot in the garage and I was tired for fighting with this engine so I just shut it down.
I also saw that a bunch of crap was in the fuel filter. I flushed everything out except the fuel pump and the stupid little gas tank I am using. I cleaned out the filter. All I need is more crap in the carb.
Rachael and I have been making progress on cleaning up the fuel tank area. The undercoating did its job well and the rust is pretty minimal in the undercoated areas. But they did not do a good job getting undercoating in a lot of areas like the reinforcement bits that run across the body.
More clean and unclean areas. We have found the secret to getting the undercoating off is heat. We warm the area for 5-10 seconds with a propane torch then peel the undercoating off with a putty knife.
There are a lot of blind and hard to get to areas too. This one is on either side of the rear crossmember and the rear bumper bolts go in the shinier hole down there.
Here Rachael is using a rust converter product on all the gas tank and bumper brackets. After they dry we will paint them.
Just in time too. The new gas tank showed up today. It looks a hell of a lot better than the old one.
My daughter Rachael came out to help and we got the engine started again. I took a video but the phone decided to crap out and it was lost. But the engine fired right up. There was a very loud tapping from the #3 or #5 cylinder. I hope it was a lifter sticking but I am afraid it was yet another pushrod getting mangled. After a few minutes it quieted down. So we will see. I adjusted the timing and dinked with the idle a bit but could not really get a stable idle. It will take some work. However nothing leaked, the cooling system holds pressure, and the gauges all look good.
But a bigger problem are the ongoing electrical gremlins. About every other time we turned key the engine would not crank and the ammeter would show -30A. I suspect (but have not yet proven) that there is an intermittent short somewhere that is tripping the main circuit breaker. It should not be too hard to track down since there is not all that many circuits that tie into the engine crank circuit.
But screw that. Time to go for a ride. We cleared tools off the car, filled the very tiny gas tank, bolted the passenger seat in, and mounted up. For some reason Rachael seemed to think she needed a fire extinguisher.
Actually that was a really good idea. Here is our short trip on video!
That could have been worse. We still have a lot of work to do. Power brakes are dead. So are the brake lights. And I have to figure that engine out. But at least the car moved.
We have plans for this afternoon so we pushed the car back into the garage. Which reeks of burning oil now. The Jeep lives!
I woke up early this morning and set out to get ready to start the Jeep. First order of business was to install the new ballast resistor. No problems there.
I took the front license plate off to register it with the BMV. Since it was still too early to wake up the neighborhood I took the front plate bracket off to clean and paint it.
More rusty hardware to clean.
Cleaned, painted, and reinstalled.
Still waiting for the help to arrive so I decided to start taking out the fuel tank hardware. I already know I will have to replace the tank but the condition of the rest of the hoses are questionable too. First step is to separate the rubber hose from the plastic tube under the back of the car.
Next I crawled into the back of the car to a place I affectionately call “Tetanus Junction”. There are 8 machine screws with nuts holding the pipe to the fuel filler on the side of the car. There are also some very corroded sheet metal screws holding what is left of a gasket around where the hose goes through the floor. The upper screws and nuts were no problem but several of the sheet metal screws in the floor were too rusty to get a bite on with the screwdriver.
So I got creative and put Vice-Grip pliers on the ends of the screws sticking through the floor. That worked.
Most of this stuff can be saved. The floor gasket needs replaced as does the rubber hose between the fill pipe and the tank. The fill pipe is some sort of plastic (probably polyethylene) and seems like new. I also need to pull and test the fuel gauge sender to see if that can be reused.
While the car was in the driveway anyway Rachael started wire-brushing the frame and body back where the gas tank goes. While the tank does not exist is the ideal time to do this. But she got really, really dirty….