It all started when I wanted heat…


It is getting colder and the Jeep is a car again so I want to get the heat working.   These little tiny levers control both the temperature and the heat/defrost mix.  They don’t right now.


Before I start rooting under the dash I figured I should take the fresh air intake off.  How bad can it be?


OK, pretty bad.  How much worse can it get?


Wow.  This is a mess.  How am I going to clean this up?  That rusty “gutter” is supposed to collect rain water and funnel it into the plenum where it can drain.  Not so much any more.

The picture did not turn out but I also sucked about an inch of “stuff” out of the bottom of the plenum.  Most of it was organic but there was a bunch of rusty metal bits.


Much to my surprise the gutter is a separate piece.  I was able to work it out of the hole and  work on it on the bench.


I started off with the wire brush in the drill press then started working with a hammer and chisel.  Finally I resorted to the angle grinder.  It cleaned up better than I expected.


A lot of metal is missing from the cowl.  I wire brushed this as well.  The gutter was “sealed” to the plenum with plumber’s putty.  I am worried about those nylon nuts that hold this whole thing together.


I masked off the cowl and sprayed rust converter on it.  I wish I could get to the underside of this…


I wire-brushed the screen and painted it silver.  I also sprayed the gutter with rust converter and let the whole thing dry overnight.

vt_20161015_101350  vt_20161015_101408

The next day I painted everything with rust-encapsulating paint.  On to the controls.


Well that is handy.  The radio gives a great view of the heater/defroster mixer door control.  I disconnected this end of the Bowden cable and tried to move the mixer door.  It moved easily to the cable is the problem.  Same deal with the temperature mixer door.


I popped out the switch panel I did it by unscrewing the spring clips from the sides.  That was probably unnecessary, but I did not know how it worked.  Anyway I disconnected all the wires and the Bowden cables.


I was able to pull the cables out easily.  Here is part of the problem.  These nylon ends were supposed to hold the cable sheaths so they don’t move.  But both are broken.


Looks like this is not a new problem.  That is epoxy on the blue nylon.  Probably Dad trying reinforce this thing.


The cables are very stiff.  So I rigged up this handy-dandy cable lubricator.  I split a bit of tubing and clamped it around the end of the cable.  Then I filled the tube up with oil and worked the cable to get the oil down in there.  The cables loosened up nicely.


I also took apart the switch panel and cleaned and lubricated everything.


Now how to fix this thing.  The bottom clip was off the end of the defrost mixer cable.  The nylon clip I found in my weird hardware bucket.  It is too big but I can use rubber tubing to make it fit.  The top one I made from an old license plate.  It turned out nicely!


Here is the general plan.  The heater temperature control’s blue clip was shattered so I removed it and replaced it with the nylon clip and some vacuum tube.  The defrost mixer cable nylon was in better shape so I just used the factory clip from the other end of the cable around the nylon.  I was having a heck of a time getting it all together then I realized I could just remove the bracket from the switch panel and pull the cables out to assemble everything.  This worked well.


Here it is all put together.  By the way sometimes I am an idiot.  First I failed to protect the dash and scratched it up a bit.  Once I figured that out I put that newspaper on to protect it.  Not content with that screw up I have the stupid cables backwards so I had to take it all apart and flip them around.

I also figured out I have to angle the cables to keep them from popping off the controls.  The parts book shows clips on there but I don’t have those.


Here is the other end of the defrost mixer cable.  I used my home-made clip.  Worked great.  As do the cables now.  By the way I am not expecting a lot from this heater.  Those two two-inch holes you see are the only heater vents.


Time to put the cowl vent back together.  I had this roll of 1/4″ self-adhesive foam insulation.  I put it on the plenum just outside the screws to seal everything up.


It does not look all that great but at least the rust has been slowed down.  Any my worst fears are realized about the nylon nuts.  About three of them  are stripped.  I will have to see what I can do to fix it.  The easy way will be to find new nylon nuts.  If that does not work I have this idea that I can drill larger holes in the nuts and put nylon wall anchors in them.


This driver’s side rear panel is shattered and full of sharp edges.  So I took it off.  The best part was when I put a screwdriver on one of the floor screws and the floor just collapsed dumping screw, screwdriver, and bits of plastic on the floor under the car.


And this is what was behind the panel.  Shop vac time!


I cleaned up the metal under the panel and put the window handle back on.  This looks a lot better than the old panel.


Both rear armrest bolts broke off so I drilled out the nut plates that were riveted to the plastic.  I will just use a bolt and washer to replace this.


Like so.  Worked well.


I also cleaned up the armrests.  This is the nicest armrest on the car.  Looks like new.


The other side is the worst armrest.  So I did some electrical tape upholstery  work.


I adjusted the shift levers yet again and put the console in.  It is held by six screws and they were a bit of a pain to get lined up.  Once started I then had to nudge the console around so the shift lever clears the gate in all gears.  The console looks great but the seat belts don’t fit around it very well.


Just for the hell of it I cleaned the dash, sun visors, and seats. It looks a lot better as long as you don’t examine the floor too closely.  The best part of the console is storage.  There is a compartment in it that will hold things like the insurance and registration much better than the structurally unsound glove box.


While I was rooting around under the dash I lubed what I could get to of the wiper arms.  They move much better now so I decided to try and get the squirter working.  I took the washer fluid bag out and cleaned it up.  Surprisingly it is in really good shape and cleaned up nicely.  I put some water in there and pushed the wash button.  I could hear the pump running but nothing came out.  I will have to investigate further.


Finally I decided to do something about the mirror.  What a rusty mess.


A vigorous wire brushing helped but it still pretty nasty.  So I decided to paint it.


I masked off the mount and the mirror.


And sprayed it black.  Still looks like hell but better than before.  I let the paint try and put the mirror back on.

After I got the car back together I took my wife to the park.  After our walk I handed her the keys.  The resulting introduction to the use of a clutch pedal was exciting for both of us.  But she did get so she could get the car rolling and drive around the parking lot.  And the car stays in first gear now so I think I finally have the linkage adjusted right.

Then I did a really, really stupid thing.  My neighbors wanted a ride so I picked them up.  I set the parking brake while they were boarding and forgot to release it.   It was my first time with 4 people in the car and I was surprised how bad the performance was.  Then I started smelling something hot.  After a bit of that THEN I remembered the parking brake.  By that time the rear wheels were smoking.  Stupid.  I hope I did not damage the brakes.  I need to get the parking brake working well enough that the car simply will not move when it is set.  Currently that is not the case.  The brake cables are very stiff and don’t work well.  I may have to take them off and either lube or replace them.


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