In the fall of 2006, NeilK posted a message here on the G about a slat grill for sale in Texas:http://www.g503.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=69&t=78819
He posted some pictures of it as well.
I had wanted a slat for some time, so my brother and myself drove out to Texas to take a look at it and brought it home.
We started the process of removing the major bubba infractions and I put on an extra grill I had.
One of the first things I did was send out the original grill to a metal worker in Pennsylvania that Michael Boyle used as it had been hacked up to put the CJ style headlights in.
After "yard driving" it for a couple of months, I decided that a proper restoration was in order.
Out comes the engine.
My brother came over and helped me pull the rest of the jeep apart as we were both sandblasting our projects.
Nate removing the bubba roll cage.
The sandblasting fun begins.
The frame had taken a hit at some point which damaged some of the crossmembers. Here my brother helps me to straighten and weld one of the bends.
The machine gun mount was loose, so that was repaired as well.
We used clamps to straighten out some of the dents in the frame.
The rear hangers were causing the frame to pull apart. Bubba tried in-situ repairs, but they were not holding.
The next step was to remove the rear crossmember. It had been damaged, had stuff welded to it and was in generally rough shape.
The rear crossmember became a great source of frustration for me. I spent a lot of time on it trying to straighten it out. I am almost embarrased to say it was probably over 50 hours. At one point I threw it in the junk pile and ordered a repro - only to pull it back out a few weeks later and work on it again. Finally I managed to get it worked out.
The bumper gussets were also in pretty poor shape. They had a bumper welded to them as well as either some brush guard or roll cage. The top ones seemed trashed to me, so we used the edges of the top gussets to replace the parts of the lower gussets that had been damaged.
The next step was to put on new upper gussets. I found a nice set from a partial CJ frame. We tried hot riveting, but could not get the hang of that. My brother then built some fixtures that we could use in our press and we cold riveted the gussets using the press (yes we manuvered the frame in so we could use the press).
We used a heavy milling machine vice to cold-press the rivets for the rear crossmember. You also notice repair work done on the separation issue at the rear of the frame.
The spring hangers were trashed as the holes were wallowed out and much of the sides of the hangers had been gouged away. These had to be welded and redrilled.
I had the frame sandblasted again as well as other components. Here the axles have been blasted. Both axles were stamped 1 8 42.
I decided to use the POR product on the axles, frame and rims.
Someone recommended that just before the POR was completely dry that you should spray it with primer as the primer would adhere to the POR. I tried that and it seemed to work well.
I had the local go to guy (Tony Fricks) rebuild the front and rear differentials as that seemed a bit too complex for a wrench turner like myself. I finished up the rest of the axles.
Jeep draw noted some of the brake components being plated as well as the shock washers. As they were pretty rusty, I decided to try my hand at home electroplating. This worked very well and I was very pleased with the results.
Finally after 3 1/2 years the frame is ready to paint. I did not notice one small bubba addition that I would have to fix after the frame was painted. Can anybody spot it?
The T-84 was my first transmission I have ever worked on. I bought Bob Notmans book and that helped guide me through the process.
The transfer case was a little more intimidating to me given all the articles on the web. It turned out to be much simpler than I thought. Aside from the snap rings being a pain, it went pretty smooth.
Parts are all painted including the grill. I decided to use TM9 Ordnances Synthetic Enamel Shade #8. I had intended to use the 2 stage paint from them, but could not as I had not used the 2 stage primer.
Over Thanksgiving weekend I managed to put together my rolling chassis. It was nice to finally dig into all those boxes and parts to start assembling things.
Over the next few weeks during the holidays I added more items onto the frame; finished the rebuild of the transfer case and numerous small projects and fixes.
Today (01-13-2011) was the 69th anniversary of the DoD of the jeep, so I riveted the frame tag back onto the frame to rechristen it so to speak. Here are some pictures that I took this evening.
I am still waiting on the engine to be completed by the machine shop. I am both excited and apprehensive about the next phase of the project (body work).
I have a lot of people to thank for helping with my project thus far. Primarily my brother who sacrificed much of his time on his own jeep projects to help me out. Thanks Nate.