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  #1  
Old 07-25-2012, 10:03 PM
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REDONE REDONE is offline
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Join Date: Aug 19, 2002
Location: Golden, CO
Posts: 1,752
After Action, Sustains and Improves: A Build Thread

For over a year I've elected not to have a build thread. While this forum is unequally docile, the internet abounds with armchair quarterbacks, doomsayers, and well meaning folks who are just so wrapped up in their own intentions to really grasp what you're trying to do. I didn't want distracted by posts from folks telling me that my dropped spring hangers were a death sentence or fifty different options to shortening an XJ driveshaft to fit in my J-10. There have been specific items where I wanted some opinions and I've posted up those specific challenges, but never started a build thread.

I guess it all worked though because I achieved my goal! I took a $700 beater and in one year,

brought it to a condition where I was able to drive 2,600 miles round trip to Ouray and even hit a few trails while I was there!

(Thanks to Flint for sharing the pic, I didn't do very good with the camera this trip!)

In true AAR fashion, I'll start by clarifying the mission. To buy a J-truck, fix said J-truck to the point that it could be driven all the way to Colorado, go into four-wheel drive, drive off road and then return to Washington under it's own power. The mission was achieved.

Though it did have it's challenges, starting with an entire wheel coming off on the interstate! But I'll discuss that more under "improves", haha! Next is the execution:

Last July (2011) I picked up the Money Badger 60 miles from my home for $600 and my word that I'd do what I could to keep it alive. to be honest, the rust on the bed had me ready to walk despite the low price. Lets face it, $600 for a running anything is a fair price, and a 4x4 to boot? Still, one look at the bed in real life and you feel like you need a tetanus shot. But then I found something else on the bed, the original dealer sticker, from my home town, and the truck is the same "model year" as me.


So I figured we're practically brothers and you don't leave your brother to rot in a field, right? So now I had my FSJ and surprisingly it made it the whole way home! The exterior lights worked but the interior lights did not, so I had the woman go in front with the 'burb so wouldn't inch home at 25 thinking I was going 50. It almost made it through a whole tank of gas before the problems started. NOthing major, just a dead accelerator pump making a stickshift truck nearly undrivable, but a quick and cheap fix. I knew it was going to take a lot more than just quick cheap fixes to get this sucker to Ouray, let alone home!
__________________
2012 Winner of the Prestigious Ouray Cast Iron Butt Award
79 J-10 - The Money Badger!
304/T18/D20/D44s
What's been did:
Holley 4160/Ede' S.P.2.P.
MSD Streetfire based TFI
Custom-hack gauge cluster
Razor swap
Fancy exhaust (Thrush Muffler)
2 knob tape deck!
3" homebuilt lift
Half a hillbilly paint job
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  #2  
Old 07-25-2012, 10:07 PM
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REDONE REDONE is offline
Bleedin' Gasoline
 
Join Date: Aug 19, 2002
Location: Golden, CO
Posts: 1,752
I started by trying to get a more accurate assessment of what I actually had. It started with a compression test and not a single hole held less than 130psi. I was very happy considering the appearance of the truck, and the pile of rat turds on the intake. Then I crawled underneath it with my grease gun to see what fresh grease would push out of the lube points. It appears that the PO used high moly EP (grey/black) grease, but that he did do his maintenance! Ball joints, u-joints, slip yokes, TREs, all pushed out slick, thick grey black grease right away. I pumped until I got red. I had one sloppy rear u-joint, but still serviceable until I knew more about what the truck NEEDED to keep running, let alone drive to CO.

The breakdown of problems in the beginning was essentially, burns about a pint of oil every 1000miles, runs like crap cold and runs like crap when it's hot out. The gauges didn't work except the speedo and ammeter and the wires to the ammeter were crusty. The wiring was original for the most part, but very crusty and corroded and had some PO repairs and was completely unkempt.


I completely disregarded the Standard Army 1/3 + 2/3 rule (plan to get done in 1/3 of the time you have available so that you have an extra 2/3 to actually get it done) since I had no idea what the nickel and dime factor was going to be. I made a list of everything that needed to be done that I knew of and also what I WANTED to get done (since nobody can really tell the difference when you're just starting) and prioritized it. I decided that the truck must be driven as much as possible during the year so that if something was going to surprise me, it'd do it within towing distance of my driveway. Thus, it had to be my DD even though I had a perfectly reliable Suburban and no one project could take it down for more than a week.

I said that's what I decided, not what actually happened.

First on the list was to re-hose and rewire the engine compartment, including upgrading the ignition. I collected parts and would do it in small shots. One afternoon I'd pick up a bunch of vac hose and replace all of those. I'd work until midnight so I could drive it the next day, then be too P'd off to work on it again until the weekend. Then I'd replace the major cables, then on a Saturday drinking beer I installed the StreetFire CDI and TFI parts with new plugs. This was all part of the rewire program so I'd find myself run out of time and hack something together so I could drive it during the week and really I think I learned a whole lot about the wiring system this way. You figure out exactly how important the little brown wire to the alternator is when you're sitting at a gas pump and your truck won't start back up, know what I mean? It took a few months of the few nights and weekends between overtime to get that much done, but I'm still confident that it was the best first upgrade I could have made.

__________________
2012 Winner of the Prestigious Ouray Cast Iron Butt Award
79 J-10 - The Money Badger!
304/T18/D20/D44s
What's been did:
Holley 4160/Ede' S.P.2.P.
MSD Streetfire based TFI
Custom-hack gauge cluster
Razor swap
Fancy exhaust (Thrush Muffler)
2 knob tape deck!
3" homebuilt lift
Half a hillbilly paint job
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  #3  
Old 07-25-2012, 10:11 PM
REDONE's Avatar
REDONE REDONE is offline
Bleedin' Gasoline
 
Join Date: Aug 19, 2002
Location: Golden, CO
Posts: 1,752
After that I decided that since I was going to spend 50 hours in the cab of the truck in two 25 hours stints (it's a heck of a drive to Colorado and back!), I should probably give the cab a little love and make it as liveable as a 33 year old base model truck can be, starting with cancer surgery.



I went after the drivers side first, and the first thing you do with cancer is chop out as much as you can, with gusto!


Obviously that's not all of it, but it's everything that's worth while to chop out. To fab new substructure and what have you would have grown the project exponentially! So I chopped what could be chopped and sealled up the rest.


Then I got the dumb idea in my head taht making one big patch panel would be less time consuming that scabbing together a bunch of little panels.



Something about paving the road to hell comes to mind. I learned my folly on the passenger side, which was done in an afternoon.

__________________
2012 Winner of the Prestigious Ouray Cast Iron Butt Award
79 J-10 - The Money Badger!
304/T18/D20/D44s
What's been did:
Holley 4160/Ede' S.P.2.P.
MSD Streetfire based TFI
Custom-hack gauge cluster
Razor swap
Fancy exhaust (Thrush Muffler)
2 knob tape deck!
3" homebuilt lift
Half a hillbilly paint job
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  #4  
Old 07-25-2012, 10:13 PM
REDONE's Avatar
REDONE REDONE is offline
Bleedin' Gasoline
 
Join Date: Aug 19, 2002
Location: Golden, CO
Posts: 1,752
As I'm sure you've guessed by now, it's late December and the "no projects taking it down for more than a week" deal is up in smoke. At this point it becomes a mad scramble to get it back on the road with out cutting corners. We all cut corners mind you, but to find that line between progress and perfection that I could live with. Next conquest with the interior was getting my flipping bezel to work!


It was done fairly quickly compared to some of the other projects.



While I was in the dash I added some comfort goodies like a CB, 1Din AM/FM/Tape deck, and a la'cucaracha horn.



Don't fall in love with my gauge bezel though, the darned thing burns up later.
__________________
2012 Winner of the Prestigious Ouray Cast Iron Butt Award
79 J-10 - The Money Badger!
304/T18/D20/D44s
What's been did:
Holley 4160/Ede' S.P.2.P.
MSD Streetfire based TFI
Custom-hack gauge cluster
Razor swap
Fancy exhaust (Thrush Muffler)
2 knob tape deck!
3" homebuilt lift
Half a hillbilly paint job
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  #5  
Old 07-25-2012, 10:17 PM
REDONE's Avatar
REDONE REDONE is offline
Bleedin' Gasoline
 
Join Date: Aug 19, 2002
Location: Golden, CO
Posts: 1,752
After that I went to work stuffing high density foam in the seat and recovering it with some milspec polyester. I also coated the floor in Duplicolor Kevlar bed liner roll on, and laid a big rubber mat on top of that to cut down on noise. I also got some good weather stripping for the doors and shift boots for the shifters.


Now it was spring and I was driving it again! My next big push was to get 3" of lift. I have three sets of good 31"s and figured 3" would give 31" room to move and 33"s, let alone 35"s were out of the budget. I decided to build to take full advantage of 31"s. Wanting to keep a (relatively) good ride and supple flex I wanted to keep the stock springs too. I decided to go for longer front shackles readily available from the parts store and then space the rear hangers down 3" for the front. Blocks was an easy decision for the rear. Before I even got the parts though, the pitman seals in the steering box popped. It was an easy enough fix but I decided to do it all at once and that took the truck down for another two weeks and spring was almost over. I did what I could fabrication wise while I waited for the extra few bucks to get all the needed parts.


I had already planned on replacing the crappy exhaust but the lift made it immediately necessary.


So I started hacking up a Walker y-pipe from BJs to make it actually fit like it should and flow better. This is how it looks new





That's I've gotten pic embedded so far, I'll post up more tomorrow!
__________________
2012 Winner of the Prestigious Ouray Cast Iron Butt Award
79 J-10 - The Money Badger!
304/T18/D20/D44s
What's been did:
Holley 4160/Ede' S.P.2.P.
MSD Streetfire based TFI
Custom-hack gauge cluster
Razor swap
Fancy exhaust (Thrush Muffler)
2 knob tape deck!
3" homebuilt lift
Half a hillbilly paint job
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 07-25-2012, 10:31 PM
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bigun bigun is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 10, 2003
Location: Back in Mountainair NM
Posts: 20,085
What?Hey you can't leave us hanging like that!
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charlie
KB0HXA
"Crom" 76/75 Cherokee/J20 Hybred,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gambler68
congrats...that's the first post on here I have absolutely no effing clue how to comment on.


How you behave toward cats here below determines your status in Heaven.
Robert A. Heinlein
The birth of CROM is recorded here
http://www.alaska4x4network.com/showthread.php?t=7778
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  #7  
Old 07-25-2012, 10:38 PM
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Stuka Stuka is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 21, 2001
Location: Twain Harte, California
Posts: 13,743
hey, its tomorrow back east :P
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Full Size Jeep Network

1981 J10 AMC 258 with TFI and Weber 32/36 DGEV Carb with a BJ's Aluminum Radiator, T176, NP208, D44/M23 with 4.56 gears and Detroit Locker, 6" lift, 33x12.50 TSL's, BJ's Offroad Rear Bumper.

1975 Cherokee *Sold*
1989 XJ Limited *Sold*
2005 KJ Limited 3.7, 42RLE, NP242
2008 JK 3.8, 6sp, NP241, 2.5", 33's, 4.56's
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  #8  
Old 07-25-2012, 10:43 PM
REDONE's Avatar
REDONE REDONE is offline
Bleedin' Gasoline
 
Join Date: Aug 19, 2002
Location: Golden, CO
Posts: 1,752
Jeez you guys. Here's some candy to keep you quiet until tomorrow, ever seen Goonies? HAAAAYYY YYOOOUUUU GUYYYYS!
__________________
2012 Winner of the Prestigious Ouray Cast Iron Butt Award
79 J-10 - The Money Badger!
304/T18/D20/D44s
What's been did:
Holley 4160/Ede' S.P.2.P.
MSD Streetfire based TFI
Custom-hack gauge cluster
Razor swap
Fancy exhaust (Thrush Muffler)
2 knob tape deck!
3" homebuilt lift
Half a hillbilly paint job
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 07-25-2012, 10:44 PM
bigun's Avatar
bigun bigun is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 10, 2003
Location: Back in Mountainair NM
Posts: 20,085
MORE MORE!!!
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charlie
KB0HXA
"Crom" 76/75 Cherokee/J20 Hybred,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gambler68
congrats...that's the first post on here I have absolutely no effing clue how to comment on.


How you behave toward cats here below determines your status in Heaven.
Robert A. Heinlein
The birth of CROM is recorded here
http://www.alaska4x4network.com/showthread.php?t=7778

Last edited by bigun : 07-26-2012 at 12:47 AM.
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  #10  
Old 07-25-2012, 11:00 PM
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austinaubinoe austinaubinoe is offline
FSJ Maniac
 
Join Date: Aug 08, 2010
Location: Maryland/ Williamsport, PA
Posts: 2,995
Quote:
Originally Posted by REDONE


ROCKY ROOAAAD


Cant wait to read more, That interior is excellent! Body looks straight now too, you should do one of those $100 rustoleum paint jobs. basically roll on a bunch of layers of really thinned out paint, it actually can look pretty good!
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Austin

1991 Hunter Green Grand Wagoneer
5.9 2bbl-727-NP229-TFI-30x9.5 Firestone M/T's-Brush Guard-tire mount
SOON: 4350 and cast iron intake

Others:
-1994 Baby Grand
-2000 XJ cherokee on Tons
-1953 REO M35A2 6x6
-1955 Willys Pickup



Quote:
Originally Posted by rustywagoneers_com
i am not an addict, i can stop anytime.
i dont have a problem, you people have the problem.
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  #11  
Old 07-25-2012, 11:36 PM
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shimniok shimniok is offline
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Join Date: Jan 08, 2003
Location: Centennial, Colorado
Posts: 2,907
Subscribed...
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Broken Photobucket image in my post? PM me.
1986 Grand Wagoneer "Troubled Child"tc.wagoneer.orgFacebook • KØFSJ
Stock 360, TBI, 727 with TransGo, NP208, 4" Skyjacker, 33" BFG MT, WT Axles, Lock Right & ARB, OBA
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  #12  
Old 07-25-2012, 11:47 PM
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Dr. Marneaus Dr. Marneaus is offline
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Join Date: Jun 16, 2010
Location: Reno, NV
Posts: 2,886
awesome read so far!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FSJunkie
Dr. Marneaus is now officially my idol.

The Mag - The Wag

The Beast Build Thread:Marns '73 Wagoneer Thread
1973 Wagoneer - 1987 360 w/ factory 4bbl - TH400 - D20 - D30/D44
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  #13  
Old 07-26-2012, 12:10 AM
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Atla Atla is offline
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Join Date: Jun 13, 2012
Location: Morganton NC
Posts: 308
Outstanding! Gonna keep an eye on this one.
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  #14  
Old 07-26-2012, 06:57 AM
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710 Burner 710 Burner is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 30, 2003
Location: Normal, Oklahoma
Posts: 8,684
Well now I feel cheated out of getting to tell you how you are doing it all wrong.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrandWag&Prix
Actually, now that I think about it, that could be either awesome or really terrible.


'79 Cherokee Chief "Junaluska"
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  #15  
Old 07-26-2012, 07:11 AM
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bigun bigun is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 10, 2003
Location: Back in Mountainair NM
Posts: 20,085
Quote:
Originally Posted by 710 Burner
Well now I feel cheated out of getting to tell you how you are doing it all wrong.
X2
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charlie
KB0HXA
"Crom" 76/75 Cherokee/J20 Hybred,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gambler68
congrats...that's the first post on here I have absolutely no effing clue how to comment on.


How you behave toward cats here below determines your status in Heaven.
Robert A. Heinlein
The birth of CROM is recorded here
http://www.alaska4x4network.com/showthread.php?t=7778
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  #16  
Old 07-26-2012, 07:15 AM
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csuengr csuengr is offline
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Join Date: Jan 19, 2011
Location: Loveland, CO
Posts: 748
You still have tapes?
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  #17  
Old 07-26-2012, 08:46 AM
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hummer010 hummer010 is offline
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Location: The Great White North
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csuengr
You still have tapes?

Tapes still beat CD's in some respects. I can leave a tape on the floor for a few weeks, not in a case, and walk on it and such. Then I can pick it up, blow off the dust, and throw it in the player, and it will work. Can't do that very well with a CD. Tapes don't skip either.

'Course, lately, I just use an MP3 player.
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  #18  
Old 07-26-2012, 09:18 AM
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Stuka Stuka is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 21, 2001
Location: Twain Harte, California
Posts: 13,743
Quote:
Originally Posted by hummer010
Tapes don't skip either.

Yeah, they just break and spit their ten miles of tape out all over inside the tape deck :P

Solid state is where its at though. Digital music players (MP3/AAC/etc) are better than just about anything. More songs, no switching, bumps don't effect playback. Just need to be sure to rip the songs at a high bit rate.
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Full Size Jeep Network

1981 J10 AMC 258 with TFI and Weber 32/36 DGEV Carb with a BJ's Aluminum Radiator, T176, NP208, D44/M23 with 4.56 gears and Detroit Locker, 6" lift, 33x12.50 TSL's, BJ's Offroad Rear Bumper.

1975 Cherokee *Sold*
1989 XJ Limited *Sold*
2005 KJ Limited 3.7, 42RLE, NP242
2008 JK 3.8, 6sp, NP241, 2.5", 33's, 4.56's
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  #19  
Old 07-26-2012, 09:41 AM
Blake Blake is offline
Bleedin' Gasoline
 
Join Date: Dec 22, 2005
Location: longmont, colorado
Posts: 2,123
Looks good man!

I'm about to start another build thread on a J20 that I'm hopefully getting. '75/401/727 that I'm gonna put an extended cab and use it to tow my other FSJ's to Ouray next year.

Edit - the J20 I was looking at sold.

Good work!
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Last edited by Blake : 07-26-2012 at 04:55 PM.
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  #20  
Old 07-26-2012, 04:26 PM
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Hutcho Hutcho is offline
Gear Head
 
Join Date: Jun 22, 2010
Location: Neosho, MO
Posts: 641
subscribed and ready to give unneeded useless advice! seriously though you are the motivation to get mine done for next year, after that trip you had to get it there and wheeling it and back, I feel lazy I couldn't do the few things I needed...keep up the good work!!

oh and more pictures!!!!
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Formally known as "oilfieldtrash354"

"Grandpas" 1979 J-10 resto/mod-on hold for now

Preparing for Ouray 2013!!!!
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