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I've been spending again! My '43 GPW


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The steering wheel looked quite badly corroded while fitted to the Jeep, but after removal and inspection today, it doesn't look so bad. The main body of the hub where the splines are and where the spokes go in is all sound, so I should be able to weld up and re-dress the rest.

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I had to grind the screw heads off five of the mirror arm brackets when the heads all sheared with a screw driver. Also seen with them are what I think are fire extinguisher brackets. They come from inside the front panel, next to the clutch pedal. I've been told this was the location for fire extinguishers, but I've never seen a Jeep with one fitted, presumably because it gets in the way.

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The second picture shows the locations of the three brackets. Did the fire extinguisher have its own bracket that attached to these, or did it hook on directly? The reason I ask is because of the second pair of holes in the middle of each bracket which had nothing fastened to them.

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Also done today was to knock a few bricks out of the side walls of the garage for a steel beam with will be for my chain hoist and trolley. The steel should arrive around the middle of next week.

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They are the holes for the fire extinguisher bracket. The extinguisher clamp part is mounted to 3 top hat pieces that mount to the body,

They are a bit of a pain. I've had to cable tie the lower strap on mine to stop me unclipping it with my boot.

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The first part of this morning was spent over at a friends house to collect some parts. He'd replaced his Ford Jeep screen with a new one after the old one started rotting through. While the outer frame on my screen is sound, the brackets for the opening screen have rotted away, and it is missing the carbine holder brackets. I should be able to salvage this parts from this rotten screen to add to my frame. The inner screen is also partly rotten, but by cutting and welding the good bits from this one and the one on the Jeep, I should be able to create one good original frame.

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He also had some original roof bows that he'd replaced. The bows are slightly bent, but should straighten.

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Late morning, the Metal Supermarket truck arrived with my 3.8mtr steel beam, and the rest of the morning was spent installing it in the garage for my chain hoist. I'm now in a position to be able to get the engine out of the Jeep.

After lunch, I began the repair of the steering wheel. The majority of the wheel was good, but the surface of the centre hub was badly pitted. Here it is after a quick grit blast. Looks a mess, but it's still sound where the spokes meet the splines.

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The collar on the back of the wheel was a real mess, and was ground off flush.

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A replacement was turned up on my lathe from a piece of thick walled tube. The inside diameter was spot on by chance, so I just needed to take about 3mm off the outside wall. A small chamfer was added to the end where the weld would be.

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The collar was then lined up and welded in place.

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With the collar now fitted, it gave me a guide as to the diameter for the rest of the hub, and slowly the pitting was filled in with weld, and then grit blasted again. It needs dressing down with a file, and probably further welding to fill in the rest of the low spots, but overall I'm very pleased that it's coming back to life.

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The steering wheel repair was completed this morning. There's still a little pitting in the hub, but I don't want it to look perfect, because it won't match the rest of the wheel, which shows signs of use and age. The two pictures below show the before again as a reminder of how it started, and after the repair. Quite a difference, and it's kept the originality.

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The steering wheel nut had also suffered on the flats, although the thread and domed area were undamaged. I had to pop out and buy a new small angle grinder this morning after killing the old one trimming patio stones in the summer. To finish the patio, I bought a 2000w 8 inch disc grinder, but this was too big to handle for small grinding jobs, so came back from B&Q with a 600w 4.5 inch version.

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Later in the day, I moved from the workshop to the garage, and started pulling the front of the Jeep to bits. The Shovel bracket came off with the bolts intact, but the left fender bolts were rusted to the point where there was little left to put a spanner on. The grinder had to be used for the majority of bolts, although some did come free.

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The head light fixing bolts came out like they'd only just been bolted up. In fact, despite surface rust, these original 'f' marked bolts were just finger tight.

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The front grill was a nightmare. The nuts on the bottom ( inside the U bracket rivetet to the chassis ) appeared to be captive, but were severely rusted, and were spinning with the bolt. I had no means to stop the nuts spinning, and couldn't get any tool or wedge in to jam them still. Neither could I get a grinder in there without damaging the mounting bracket. The outer two nuts were destroyed with a pneumatic chisel until they came away, and the bolts could be withdrawn. The bolts can probably be re-used after running a die up the threads.

The centre bolt was also rusted solid, but because of the grill design, the nuts couldn't be accessed, except by a cranked neck ring spanner, inserted into the lip in the bottom of the grill. Unfortunately, they were so rusted, the ring spanner wouldn't grip. I again used the pneumatic chisel on the bolt head until it was destroyed sufficiently to allow the grill to pivot forwards a bit. I was then able to get the angle grinder in behind the grill to grind the rest of the head off, and off popped the grill!

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The grill is pretty sound, with only some light surface rust on the inside.

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I've still been plodding on with the Jeep, although I've also been working on my customers model railway. The three sections of railway have just been moved from my workshop to make way foor the Jeep engine rebuild.

Recent work includes the Rad removed.

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Dash stripped

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The engine stripped of accessories. While the manifold was filled with who knows what, the engine turns and is full of plenty of oil, so hopefully the internals are ok.

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The ignition key looks old, but were keys ever fitted to wartime Jeeps?

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The carb was a bit siezed, but after soaking in a pertol/oil bath, has started to move again.

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The fuel pump was a pain to remove. One bolt being the type that can only be accessed after the pump was removed!! Much cursing helped to finally removed it.

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I think the earliest jeeps had H700 keyed locks in them - if you have a key switch on the dash I think you should have matching locks on the rear lockers that the same key fits, and the spare wheel lock, of course.

 

Have a look for evidence of water in the sump. Nearly every Ford block I've seen or worked on has had a crack down the distributor tube which weeps coolant, There is an easy fix for that - a short length of 1/2" copper tube rolled to increase the diameter just a hair, covered with gasket goo, and shoved down the distributor hole. Leak sealed, distributor works unaffected - just need to be careful you use tube that doesn't protrude far enough into the block to hit the cam. Of course you may find that tube has already been fitted as it seems to be a really common thing.

 

Gordon

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I drained all the fluids yesterday. The engine and gearbox just had dirty oil, while the transfer case had about half a cup of water in it. Anyway, more pictures for the past few days. The distributor was stripped, cleaned and primed, though this picture was before the priming.

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The filter just after removal and a clean in a petrol bath, showing a light grey finish which doesn't appear to be Ford grey, though there weren't any other traces of paint colours.

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The fuel strainer after cleaning and stripping, ready for primer.

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Now yesterday's progress. I wanted the tub off soon, but things like the gear/transfer levers get in the way a bit, as does the steering column. I needed to remove the pivot for the transfer case levers, which comes out of the case away from the gearbox. I knew this was going to be difficult, as I suspected it had never been out in 69 years. I didn't fancy the prospect of wrestling with it from under the Jeep, so took the easy option, and cut the floor out!

Don't panic! The floor wasn't original, and wasn't even a proper Jeep part. It turns out that when the original floor rotted through, a new one was just welded straight on top; badly. With a nice big hole to work though, access to the gearbox and transfer case was simple, but that's where the easy bit ended.

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So, removal of the pivot. I took the grease nipple off so it didn't get damaged, unscrewed the locking set screw, and gave the inner end a light tap with a hammer and drift. It wasn't easy as the gearbox position means the drift was at an angle to the pivot. After the first tap, there didn't seem to be any movement. Another slightly harder tap; nothing. WD-40, more tapping; nothing. I spent the next half an hour alternatively hitting the drift and my fingers before it finally came out.

After the shaft was removed, it was given a light rub with wet and dry to remove the surface rust, oiled and replaced, along with the nipple and set screw.

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The gear lever was easy by comparison. The four bolts were little more than finger tight. Looking at the colour of the gears, they haven't turned with any real purpose in quite a while.

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It was a sunny day yesterday, so while it was warm and dry, I took the opprotunity to roll the Jeep outside. This allowed me to remove the right side fender, with all but two of the 'f' bolts saved.

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Next I started removing the tub retaining bolts. Again, most were saved, a couple missing and a couple so badly rusted that they were only about 1/8 inch diameter under the head. Once they were all out, I gave the tub a bit of a tug to see if it was loose or whether I had missed any. It was mostly loose, but seemed to be still attached just behind the tank.

After another search for bolts, and finding none, it dawned on me that who ever fitted the new floor, managed to weld it to the chassis in places, inaccessible places! Below is the first step in the tub removal, cutting out a hole in the rear floor, just beside the left side wheel arch.

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