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post #1 of (permalink) Old 02-24-2003, 03:06 PM Thread Starter
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SS body, with pic

Last week I finished the essential thrashing at 9:00 Friday morning, after about a month of 14-hour-plus days. I had made a two-mile trip to the filling station Tuesday night, and a 15 mile trip to the parts house Thursday morning.

As soon as I could throw tools and clothes in, I took off for the 100-Acre Wood SCCA Performance Rally in the Ozarks, about 130 miles away. The Jeep did fine for itself. I had wired running lights into the high beam relay, and the combination blew a fuse, but that was the only problem.

Until about midnight Saturday. I was performing Sweep function, following the racers through the woods to collect breakdowns and tow them to a hard road. As I went around a sharp right turn, the left front dropped into a deep hole filled with very loose gravel dug up by the racers. The tire dug in hard and put the Jeep up onto two wheels. When it landed there was steam coming out. The fan had bitten the radiator, and my day was done. I had it towed to the nearest town, and have borrowed a trailer to go fetch it tomorrow.

The bummer is that I had to put a half-inch spacer between the grill and radiator. In addition, this is a brand new three-row radiator, where the old one was a two-row, so the core is a half-inch thicker to the rear. There is a 1-inch spacer between the water pump hub and the fan. I would have tossed it, but I didn't have any grade 5 1/4-28 bolts of the proper length! I thought that there was enough clearance anyway. A $200+ mistake.

Here is a picture where I parked at the beginning of stage one on Friday. As you can see there is still work to be done, but at least it's driveable. After I get the radiator fixed or replaced.

Also got to use my brand-new Ham license - KC9DEW - which was a lot of fun.

One big surprise - I had thought that it would stand out and draw a lot of attention, but only one person noticed all weekend. I suppose everyone else just thouught it was a Jeep painted silver. Maybe I can sneak over to my girlfriend's after all [img]images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] If I had a girlfriend.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 02-24-2003, 03:16 PM
 
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Re: SS body, with pic

I`m VERY curious, If you don`t mind telling, How much did that body cost. VERY nice. [img]images/graemlins/40BEER.gif[/img]
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 02-24-2003, 03:22 PM
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Re: SS body, with pic

So do you clean it with a Brillo pad? [img]images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

Looks good!
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 02-24-2003, 03:27 PM
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Re: SS body, with pic

1. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh....
2. Pretty.........................
3. NO RUST!
4. Great Job Jim,
5. Now ya gotta do something about that yellow door! [img]images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img]
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 02-24-2003, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
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Re: SS body, with pic

1. It cost $3500 shipped from Manilla to St. Louis, plus about $400 customs duty, which I am supposed to get back eventually, plus local delivery and customs bond. Congress has to renew the trade status of the Phillippines anually, which hadn't been done for 2002 when the body got here.

2. I could clean it with Brillo, but green Skotchbrite is what I have used so far, for weld prep and to dull the polished parts. It seems to match the brush finish already applied by the manufacturer. Clean bodywork isn't usually very high on my list anyway.

3. The doors are exceptionally ugly, granted, but there are a lot of things that will come first: An outside rearview, wipers, covers for the turn signal holes, instrument panel, transmission cover, spare tire rack, roll bar, windshield and tailgate hinges (SS hinges came with the body, but I don't like their design. I've already made the hood and back window hinges), proper wire loom mounting in the tub, a hood prop rod, grill support rods . . . And I'll make all of those from stainless.

For anyone thinking of doing this, be advised that I put more hours on my plasma cutter for this project than in the previous few years. Also I got pretty good at TIG and MIG welding stainless, and used the hydraulic press to bend a lot of heavy-gauge sheet.

Not all of that would have been absolutely necessary. There were a lot of steel brackets, tabs and things that could have been reused but I didn't want to bolt mild to stainless. For example I have yellow steel covers for the turn signal holes. I could paint them silver and reuse them, but won't.

Also a lot of the original parts were badly rusted and needed to be replaced, the battery box and license plate bracket for example, so I made them from stainless. I probably would have spent as much time and more money finding replacements in good condition. And with the equipment I have, stainless is just as easy to work with as mild steel.

Another example; I reused the tubular braces for the battery box and the aft corners of the front fenders, but will replace them with stainless braces as soon as I have time.

And I never liked the stock filler neck because the way it was recessed made it impossible to fill from a jerry can. Making a stainless filler took over two days of my work schedule, and tool design and press work to make the part that captures the filler cap. But now I can completely empty a jerry can into it, and it easily takes fuel as fast as the pump can put it out, right up to the neck if I want.

One of my customers frequently tell me that I'm "the pickiest S.O.B that ever sh!t over a pair of shoes!" That trait frequently has me skipping the easy option.

Here's how it looks right now.

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 02-24-2003, 05:26 PM
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Re: SS body, with pic

Just curious but why not ditch the current mechanical fan and run an electric fan in front of the radiator and push air through.
post #7 of (permalink) Old 02-24-2003, 05:50 PM Thread Starter
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Re: SS body, with pic

That's a good question, CSJJeep. I'm real big on simplicity and reliability, and in those categories it's hard to beat a fan bolted to the water pump. In 25 years of hard use I never had the fan hit the radiator before, and reckon that if I take the spacer out of the system, it will be good for another 25 years. The fuel and power savings are small, and meaningless to me compared to the reliability.

An electric fan can fail in many ways - one corroded connection out of a dozen or so, fatigued wire, blown fuse, worn brushes, failed thermostat, worn bearing, muddy water in the motor, rusty ground connection . . . The only thing that can go wrong with the fan on the pump is that the bolts work loose. Or a broken belt or siezed pump bearing which would end the day anyway.

Now that I think about it, I believe that I'll drill and safety wire the bolts. Safety wire is another thing that I'm big on.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 02-24-2003, 05:57 PM
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Re: SS body, with pic

Fair enough
how bout a little more added prtoection a sheet of expanded metal bolted in between the fan and radiator
post #9 of (permalink) Old 02-24-2003, 05:58 PM
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Re: SS body, with pic

oh yeah by the way love the ss body. I'm jealous
post #10 of (permalink) Old 02-24-2003, 06:17 PM
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Re: SS body, with pic

I still want a windshield frame. Never did get them to answer e-mail. So how did that part fit?
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