It’s been too long since I updated the blog; I left the last post suggesting that the project target was changing…
The Goals Change
Once we got the ’85 Jeep in the shop and gave it a good once over, and a good cleaning, I did some research on the combination of engine, transmission and T-Case that the builder had put together. I found that what is in this Jeep is a much more sturdy combination that the I-6/B-W T-5/D-300 T-Case in the ’84 that we are working from. So we decided that the best bet is to reassemble on the chassis with the V-6 in it.
We’ll need to put some longer and beefier shackles on it to clear the 32″ tires from the ’84 and it appears it was designed for the smaller gas tank, so there will need to be some alteration done there as well. I also will need to come up with a transmission belly pan for it as that was missing from the ’85 and I suspect that we’ll need a custom rear mount for the tranny, but I think Novak will come through on that one.
In the meantime, we’ve been working hard to get the ’84 torn down. After getting the front clip off, we focused on the cabin, removing seats, tailgate, console and then to the dash. I pulled the steering wheel and the other parts from the front of the dash. I pretty quickly realized the steering column was going to have to go if I was going to get anywhere, so I went to the firewall and started pulling bolts out. Fortunately, I’ve got a factory service manual for the ’76 Jeep that helps – they really didn’t change that much in 8 years.
After the column was out I decided the best approach was to pull the dash off and start pulling wires one at a time, tagging them as I went. Thankfully, Jeeps have very simple dash assemblies. I also disconnected the heater controls from the heater.
Once the harness and heater connections were detached, I was able to pull the dash out with all the components attached (I’ll strip it later for cleaning and repainting).
So, now we’ve got this huge harness sitting between the cowl and the bracket the carries the clutch and brake pedals. With much effort, I was able to work the harness through the narrow opening and out of the vehicle.
I then removed the master cylinder, which also frees the bracket on the inside. I should have done this first as it would have made removing the harness easy.
Getting the heater out was pretty easy at this point since there was no dash or wiring in the way. We just had to remove the 4 or 5 nuts holding it to the firewall, disconnect the defroster hose and out it came. Right behind it was the plenum up to the cowl vent.
That Stinking Roll Bar
The final major item to remove was the roll bar. Ten bolts easy to get to – it ought to be a cinch to get out, right? Wrong! This was the single most difficult piece to remove so far. The bolts are Torx head to start with so they don’t seem to stand up to a lot of torque like a hex bolt will (seems like an oxymoron, doesn’t it?). To make things worse, they’re all in places where rust will take the most toll.
We were able to get a couple out without a problem, but the rest were locked up tight, so we broke out the penetrating oil…and sprayed…and tried…and sprayed…and tried…no dice. Next, I tried my new oxyacetylene torch figuring some heat
would do the trick. we were able to get a couple more out, but we quickly ran out of luck finding that the Torx heads would strip when heated and cooled. We finally resorted to the air cut-off tool, cutting the heads down to something that would fit through the holes in the roll bar. After much frustration it was finally off. Since the body is junk, the remaining bolts don’t matter.
Next time, we start disassembling the ’85 and look toward removing the body tubs…