Chasing electrical gremlins

Since I am still fighting with the carburetor I decided to do something that would actually make some forward progress.  Lighting on the car is not working very well at all.  Taillights are not working and only one front indicator light is working (intermittently).  So I figured I would do some troubleshooting on that.

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Painting and carb rebuild

Work on the Jeepster has slowed to a crawl.  I have been busy, Rach had surgery and can’t help, and it has been hotter than the surface of the sun outside.  But this beast is not going to fix itself.  Sunday I got up early and decided to work until I started to melt.  First order of business is painting the gas tank area.  I knew this was going to be a messy job so I put on long sleeves, wrapped my hair up, and wore gloves and a face shield.  It all helped but I still made a mess out of myself.


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Lots o’ new parts


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.


Frustrating day…


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.

Finishing up the brakes


Tried to finish the brakes tonight but did not quite make it.  I got this last brake line in and tightened up.


Attached the brake lines to the master cylinder.


Hooked up the brake light switch.


I also got the back brakes adjusted.  Here is a picture of me rehearsing how to adjust the brakes.  I am using the 1/4″ wrench to push the adjuster lever away from the star wheel then using a screwdriver to spin the wheel.  This worked pretty well but was a lot harder with the brake drum on so I could not see anything.  Anyway I got both back brakes adjusted before I ran out of time.  I will finish this next time then bleed the brakes.

Last wheel together


After a couple days off the project for flying, Father’s day, my wife’s birthday, and my youngest daughter’s college orientation I got back to work and put the passenger rear brake together.  It is basically the same as the other side so I skipped taking pictures.  The car is missing a washer under the axle nut.  I ordered a replacement but the wrong one came.  But I can put that on later.  Everything went smoothly except I forgot the new gaskets on the grease seals and had to undo some steps to put them on.  I was about to hook up the brake line when I got called away so that will have to wait until next time.  Once the brake line is hooked up I can adjust the brakes then bleed them.  Then the car should be ready for rolling and stopping.

Finished the brake lines


I cleaned and painted the parts for the last brake but that is boring and we have seen it before so I did not take any pictures.  But I also finished running the brake lines.  Here are the rear lines going into the T-fitting on the axle and the new hose snaking up to the line from the master cylinder.


Lots of fuzzy pictures here since it was dark, under the car, and I was trying to get my phone all dirty.  You can see here the line that goes over the differential all bolted up.


The paint is still drying on the backing plate so the other brake line is just hanging there.  And the picture is fuzzy again.


And finally the other end of the hose is connected to the brake line.  Notice the red wire.   I don’t know this is for but there are wires strung here there and everywhere on this car.  This one goes into a dubious wad of electrical tape then ties to a couple of wire nuts (!!!).  Other wires go from there to the taillights.  I think a wiring harness is going to be an early upgrade if this car is going to be a driver.