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Dj-5c Restoration - 3s + 1w

Discussion in 'Intermediate CJ-5/6/7/8' started by Jeff Bromberger, Jul 5, 2019.

  1. Jul 29, 2019
    Jeff Bromberger

    Jeff Bromberger New Member

    Dallas Metroplex...
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    Part Two. We begin this section with me, tired, hot and soaked through and through with water that's leaking out of the cooling system. How's that for a start?

    I decide that this is as good a time as any to see if I can get the starter to turn over the engine.

    Hook up the new battery to the new cables. Open the door and turn the key in the new switch. And I get...

    Windshield wipers. Whacking back and forth. Beating a drum rhythm sorta like Todd Rundgren talks about. Not what I bargained for.

    Frickin' switch is unlabeled after all these years, and it is pretty much stuck. One twist from a set of pliers and the wipers cease their motion. At least *something* in this cursed mail jeep works!

    Then I move the switch to "start" and... the whole switch module turns in the dashboard. I need to come up with some sort of washer for the back end so that it will sit and not rotate in the opening. The front bezel just doesn't clamp tight enough to keep the whole thing stationary.

    Hand under the dash to hold it in place, key to start and I get <click>. Not even a loud click. Just a sorta <click> that you'd miss if you were not paying attention.

    By now, I am ready to call it a freakin' day. But I refuse to be bested by a USPS cast-off. Try other things. Yeah, the wipers work. I can't get the hazard switch to move, and the turn signals are inoperable. I do have headlights, though. So I know that some power is running.

    For some stupid reason, maybe it is because I am already wet, I ask myself if maybe the engine got water in it, and now it won't turn? In defeat, I release the fan belt, pull out the 3/4 inch socket, snap it on the big breaker bar and try to hand-turn-over the engine. And it barely moves. Huh? Wha? Oh, lordy, no! This cannot be happening! Not to me, especially after such a wonderful day!

    Think! No, harder than that! And be positive, for goodness sake!

    Maybe I am trying to compress water. Cure is to pull out all of the spark plugs and see what's going on. One through six, each plug is removed. They're clean and dry. Heck, they've never been used! It also probably tells me that the water leak may not be from a head gasket (letting the water seep into the cylinders).

    With all of the plugs out, I try again to turn the engine over by hand. Yup, she moves easily - no hesitation and no sticky points. Maybe this means I have good compression or something. And I probably need to diagnose the stupid starter next. Or maybe the transmission neutral/park safety switch. Perhaps I will just get a remote start thingie and screw the safety interlocks for now.

    No matter the case, I have now formally had it. If there is light to be seen at the end of the tunnel, it is from somebody else's jeep. I go home, take a cold shower, guzzle more than my fair share of Mexican Coca-Cola, and try to put today behind me.

    After dinner, I steel myself up again and brave the machine that sat there mocking me earlier. I took the brand new battery home and put it on a charger. Wouldn't you know it? The date on the battery is 3/2019, and it's holding less than 25% charge. Tonight, it's juicing up. I suspect that maybe my electrical problem was 100% due to a battery with low charge. We'll have to see what tomorrow morning brings and what a slow overnight charge will do to this new battery.

    Every day, another challenge.
     
  2. Jul 30, 2019
    sterlclan

    sterlclan Member Sponsor

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    3.07 ratio
     
  3. Aug 3, 2019
    Jeff Bromberger

    Jeff Bromberger New Member

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    Saturday, and work to be done. Water pump needs replacement and I have to find that other leak.

    On the 232, I betcha didn't know that you can't get the water pump out without removing the fan, the spacer and the belt pulley! And you can't get them off of the engine, especially if they have been there forever, unless you get rid of the radiator and grille.

    I pulled the three bolts and the radiator came up and out. Oh, yeah, I have transmission fluid in the system, and it looks like a cross between sangria and beef gravy. That doesn't thrill me.

    Then I got the six bolts out of the fenders, and the grille got all wobbly. Took another bit of creative wrenching to get the spring thingie out of the forward left corner (the right one is missing) and POOF, the grille has come out.
    Grille_Gone.jpg

    Now you can see the happy degree of filth that I'm working in. Since there is no water or electric at this garage space, I am going to have to wait until it runs and passes inspection before I can take it to a car wash and pressure blast the engine compartment. Meh.

    Now with the radiator and grille gone, I can get the fan out (four bolts) easily. The spacer and pulley? Do I have to even say it? A few good whacks with a BFH and penetrating oil caused the spacer to pop loose, and wise use of a screwdriver got it off of the shaft. The pulley assembly was another story. That took a gear puller to get moving. The amount of rust on the water pump shaft was sickening, and hearing the gear puller keep going "POP!" as the pulley came over the crud was enough to make a city boy get nervous. In the end, the pump is getting replaced, so I don't care much. But still, it can be unnerving.

    I had to remove the entire alternator bracket in order to get that pump out - at the 3 o'clock position is a NUT on a stud and not a bolt. So, when the nut comes out, you need to drop the alternator bracket to get it off.

    And once it was off, there was no doubt why it was leaking:
    Water_Pump_Hole.jpg

    It must have been previously serviced, and the old garage probably thought that RTV Sealant was made out of platinum dust or something. Sheesh - whatever you see in the picture was all that there was. Oh, one thing I forgot, They also put it on the pump bolt tips, which is pointless.

    New water pump and alternator (if it's time vs. money, while I have the whole front side off, might as well replace the dusty thing and get it over with, right?) coming tomorrow.

    But that still does not solve my other leak problem. With the front off, I have this better picture:
    Casting_Leak.jpg

    It looks to me as if the square head plug might be the cause of the leak, but I don't know what that taps into, or if that is the leak, what I could do to fill that hole properly. There *are* sealed core/freeze caps further up and back - they're about 2 inches in diameter. But this clearly isn't one of those. What might this port have been designed for?

    Tomorrow, I unscrew it, try to clean up the threads, crank it back down into place and see if the leak stops. If it does, I have dodged a bullet. If it doesn't stop, then I am completely out of ideas on how to make this work. Does anybody have a suggestion??

    j
     
  4. Aug 4, 2019
    Jeff Bromberger

    Jeff Bromberger New Member

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    It's dead, Jim.

    Cracked_Block.jpg

    Well, there's no saving this one. I pulled off the left fender and tried to unstick the screw-in plug. It doesn't want to move - even with a wrench and BFH. Doesn't matter, though. Once you scrape through the crud, you see this crack and the water weeping out of it. It starts under the first cylinder and goes back to the engine mount pylon.

    Now, I have to figure out my options.

    Buy a new block? Change it out for something nicer/bigger?

    Next post will be in a while - need to wait until I get enough cash available to buy a replacement.
     
  5. Aug 4, 2019
    timgr

    timgr Jeepin' Nerd Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    Block was frozen. Plain water as coolant, sub-freezing temps, this results. Typical damage. Visible in your previous post too. I saw it in your previous post, and hoped it was not what I though it was.

    You want to keep going? You could part it out and start over with another Jeep, or find another engine. It's 2WD so an engine/transmission swap from a RWD car would not be horribly difficult. Depends on what you can find to swap from. Or find another 232 - they are a cigar butt outside the AMC car enthusiasts circle - or a 258 or 4.0L could be made to work. The pre-91 4.0L is a nice engine, much more powerful than your 232, not in demand. The Renix fuel injection (Renault-Bendix) used with the pre-HO (pre-91) 4.0L is a mess I hear, but supposedly Megasquirt can work.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2019
  6. Aug 4, 2019
    Jw60

    Jw60 Recovering Jeepaholic

    Sedalia MO.
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    Well darn... I would go for a later 232 or 258 don't get into more than you need to right now.
    Well actually... first make sure the Transmission works then you know if you need a engine and Transmission pair. If you are sure this is the jeep you want. get the electric sorted, brakes, suspension and steering in shape. Give the engine some time to clear your mind.
     
  7. Aug 5, 2019
    Everett Reed

    Everett Reed New Member

    Southeast Missouri
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    To coin a phrase from Ghost in the Darkness, "The glory is in the fight." I hate this for you. Your working under less than optimal conditions is an inspiration to some of us. Don't quit now, just flank right and keep fighting.
     
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  8. Aug 5, 2019
    timgr

    timgr Jeepin' Nerd Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    Just FYI, likely your cheapest / best route is to find another 232. In the long run, it should be cheaper to find a complete engine rather than to find used parts - like another block - to fix this one. Any reconditioning or assembly from parts will cost more money than finding a complete used engine. This engine is the later 232, made from 1971 though 1978 (?? not sure about the ending date - some time before 1980.) The AMC 232 and 258 are the same engine except for the 258's longer stroke. 258s are likely more plentiful, but a 232 should be cheaper if you can find one. The pre-71 232 won't work for this application - the bell pattern is different and I believe the engine mounts were changed to lower the hood line of the passenger cars.

    Sorry that your project turned out like this - you must be very disappointed. This is a significant setback. However, I suggest you don't let this make you put more into the project than you can afford. Project cars are supposed to be fun, not a burden. If you want to stop here, there's no shame in it, and we'll understand.
     
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  9. Aug 5, 2019
    Jeff Bromberger

    Jeff Bromberger New Member

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    I'll address the other stuff later, but maybe this is the place, now, for this.

    I wanted a project car - something I can build with my hands and something that may, G-d willing, outlast my time here on this rock. After working all day in software (which includes a 20+ year run in Finance/Wall Street), I came to realize that everything I touched is almost immediately outdated, and nobody will remember it (or me) down the road. Always looking for the latest/greatest in programming and the rest ends up in the collective dustbin of civilization.

    Took some time to look around and see what would be worth fixing up. So many cool cars are either super difficult due to parts availability (say a 1940's sedan), or body rot (where I have no idea how to fix), or too damn pricey (muscle cars). I wanted something easy as a start. It was either gonna be a early 70's Plymouth (thinking along the Duster line, with the Slant 6) or something else that had a memory for me.

    I grew up in a NYC Housing Project in the 1970's. I remember (as a kid) the big blackout and the riots, cocaine, Studio 54 and disco, the Son of Sam, the decay of the subways, etc. Life just plain sucked back then. But it was always a thrill/hope when the mail jeep came around. Our local carrier always had that pushcart, packed full of bills, that got shoved into the little mailboxes in the lobby of the buildings, so that your parents were unhappy when they opened it and saw what was inside. But the jeep meant the promise of a package - maybe a gift? Idunno. But it was always exciting and unexpected. The brown UPS truck never had the same allure, only because the stuff they delivered was stuff that you already bought! Oh, and after working in Manhattan, loading those package cars for a year in college, I'd be happy not to get back into one of those again.

    So, postal jeep it was/is. Any while the one I have is fighting some body rot, mostly it's just dirty as $&@^! and the 20 years of red clay dust has congealed on every flat surface. There's no frame rot, the body is more or less in tact (if you exclude the fenders). The engine is shot, literally and figuratively. I have no easy way of testing the transmission, but I will presume that it's probably a bloody massacre inside, considering the fluid that I saw come out. I've already pulled out a beer-can's-worth of black snot from the rear differential. The brakes are worn out, and the lines are just plain seized - pedal won't even move. Tires? Who needs them! The shocks are bent, the springs are flat, the steering plant needs to have all of the ball joints and tie rod ends replaced. Other than that's it's in perfect condition, not counting the plastic parts, the barely executed spray paint job and the parts that decay over time, such as the rubber seals.

    But this is mine, and I will get it moving again. It may take longer than I had expected, now, but there is a future.

    I got so tied up from the Mopar forums, where everybody is fighting for cars with original matching blocks and other parts. I was wondering why, on the AMC boards, there's always an open thread on "Can you identify my engine codes?" and "The engine is XXX but it's supposed to have YYY!". Now I know - a Jeep is not meant to be a collector vehicle. It is a piece of utilitarian work machinery. And, the goal of it all is to keep it on the road. So I will find a replacement and get it back on the road. I have a solid lead for an engine/trans pair to swap. I just need the cash (and an engine hoist).

    So, what do you do with a pulled/cracked engine? What gets saved? What gets sold? What goes to the scrap yard?
     
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  10. Aug 5, 2019
    Boyink

    Boyink Super Moderator Staff Member Sponsor

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    20+ years in software/web here too, and I feel you here. Other than our years spent fulltime RVing (and even during some of those) I've had hands-on projects of one sort or another just to build something that stays in existence when the power goes out.
     
  11. Aug 5, 2019
    timgr

    timgr Jeepin' Nerd Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    What to do with it? Keep it around until you get the new engine in, in case you need some of the pieces. The block is scrap iron. Many would scrap the whole thing. The crankshaft, rods and pistons could have some value, but the likelihood of you or someone local needing these parts is pretty low. The cylinder head is the same as that used on the 258, which is in a lot of other Jeeps. Somebody might want it. Save other external parts for spares if you have the space and it does not bother you to keep a lot of junk around. Such hoarding typically has a very poor WAF.

    Note that if you want to spend the money, you could buy a remanufactured engine to replace this one, either a short block or a long block. This engine is not an acceptable core, but the core charge should be minimal.

    If you use this engine as a core, the rebuilder will probably give you something for it, though they have to take something off for the cracked block. In that case, you'd need to turn in the same parts as you buy. Ask the rebuilder, if you go that route.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
  12. Aug 7, 2019
    ojgrsoi

    ojgrsoi Retired. Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    The larger, more knowledgeable, postal jeep stores on eBay are run by Postaljeep.net in Boaz, AL and a guy in Duncanville named John. John is a very good source for parts not available at the parts store. John also likes to talk postal jeeps. If he doesn't have the correct engine he may know where you can go to get one. Best news is he is local.
    Postaljeep.net can ship you one and they are knowledgeable but are a business so they don't always have time to chat.
    Don't get too wrapped around the axle with poorly maintained old Dispatcher 100's. They had a hard life and then were sold at auction to anyone. Usually anyone ran it till it quit. :shrug:

    I will send you a PM with John's contact info. He has always been helpful to me with my DJ5F&G.
     
  13. Aug 7, 2019
    Jeff Bromberger

    Jeff Bromberger New Member

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    Actually, I *am* looking at Neil's place in Boaz. They have a "C to D" swap kit, which is a 232 engine PLUS the A-727 (instead of the older Warner Gear transmission) and drive line for a reasonable price. That's what I will probably do, but I have to scrounge up the $2K to make the magic happen. :whistle:
     
  14. Aug 7, 2019
    timgr

    timgr Jeepin' Nerd Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    Just curious - why would you want the 727 in place of the Borg-Warner automatic? I have rebuilt similar transmissions and they are not hard to go through. Mine worked well, and I don't think there's anything particularly wrong with the Borg-Warner transmissions, other than their dated design. I would not be surprised if AMC/Jeep switched to the Chryco transmissions because they were simply a more available or cheaper turnkey commodity transmission. The 727 is strong, but not very efficient - I kinda doubt it's any more efficient than the Borg-Warner.

    Also, $2000 for a used running 232 engine and transmission? I don't think that's particularly cheap. JMO.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019
  15. Aug 8, 2019
    jeepstar

    jeepstar Sponsor Sponsor

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    i feel your pain. its was like that when i was working on my 1970 cj5.
     
  16. Aug 9, 2019
    Jeff Bromberger

    Jeff Bromberger New Member

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    I never said I was thrilled with the options. But, as my Spousal Unit says, it's either time or money.

    We know the current engine is probably useful only as a boat anchor of last resort. But there's a huge unknown in the transmission. Since I've never gotten the jeep running, I have no idea if it works, and if it does, how well it does what it is supposed to do. All I know is that when I pulled out the radiator, the fluid that came out of the coolant lines looked like the stuff that comes to the top of a container of chocolate pudding once it was sitting around too long. There was some red left, but you could easily say that the oil was burned. It smelled awful, if that counts. And while there is nothing that I cannot do, right now, I have to get that jeep off of the jack stands, onto tires and driving down the street to the local inspection station. Once it is in my *real* garage, I have more time to play. Wife won't let it come home from the storage garage unless it comes in under it's own power. Cannot say I blame her.

    There are other issues in the drive line, too. There is a black used-to-be-rubber boot on the drive shaft, and it's harder than chewing gum left under a school desk. What was it supposed to protect? Is that part also encrusted in this red clay from the field? Does that screw up the balance, especially at higher speeds? Do I want to rebuild that now, too?

    The engine/trans pair that I would be buying is guaranteed to be working. It comes with a new drive shaft (because of the length difference between the TF8 and the BW M-11). And maybe I can sweet talk them into tossing in a pair of engine mounts, because the ones I currently see are dry, crumbly and missing in places. I have to call and see if they even have an engine that may have been totally reconditioned - who knows?

    It's time or money. Is it worth the $1750 plus freight to get a unit that was tested and is known to be working, magically dropped at my door? Or should I go scouting for just an engine, get that shipped, then pray the rest of the stuff works? Knowing my luck lately, just unbolting the current engine might warp the frame, crack the windows and accelerate the progress of Global Warming.:cry: At the end of the day, what I'm getting for my hard earned money is another used engine and transmission, but at least when I drop it in, I can say that while I am technically not ahead of schedule, I am back on board to get this moving before Yom Kippur comes around.

    I plan on saving damn near everything off of the old unit. And if I can find a place that actually has a rebuild kit for the M-11, yeah, I would love to try my hand at that. It has less parts than a internal combustion engine, so as long as you're careful not to break anything, you should be OK, right? I'll keep everything that bolts onto the short block - I have a safe place to store the starter/carb/distributor/fuel pump, etc. Maybe somebody will want that head - or maybe I will strip it, have the deck milled, and lap in new valves in case the compression on the replacement is only so-so.

    I'm still heartbroken that I can't ever get that original engine block working again. But there's only so much crying I can do. Now it's time to make up for all of the weekends of "no forward progress".

    In a favorite song of mine, Sting says, "If a prayer today is spoken, please offer it for me." I'm calling in the morning to find out about options and availability.
     
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  17. Aug 20, 2019
    Jeff Bromberger

    Jeff Bromberger New Member

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    Status update!

    I found a matched engine/transmission/drive shaft combo for a lot less than $2K. I'll be getting it this weekend. Only thing is that the current owner suggests a top to bottom rebuild. I'm going to try a compression test before I go that far. As long as I get something reasonable, I will be happy for now. It is from a 1975 Jeep, so there are parts that I am not familiar with (those Coolant Temperature Override / vacuum switches, as an example), but there are plenty of pictures to help me along.

    Talk to me for a second about transmissions. This new-to-me set comes with a 727. Yeah, it may be Chrysler inside, but it has a custom bell housing. No biggie, except that it's not gonna be as easy as going down to Aamco and dropping this one off and picking one from a shelf. Are the guts the same? As in, can I go to a tranny shop, buy a 727 rebuild kit, and it'll all work? Or are there mandatory differences inside because the outside is different?

    And, while I am asking questions, I have one about the brakes. I've got the original 10-inch setup. From what I can find, spring kits for that size are no longer readily available. An email friend suggested that I "upgrade" to 11 inch brakes. From what I hear, the front is a project, as it means a whole new axle because I lose the old kingpin setup. Oh, and that also means the wheels are trash as well, as I would have to go from the 14 inch tires to 15 inch ones. What does the change entail for the rear? Again, I have a Dana 44 with the 3.07 gears. Do I have to rip that out as well if I want to do the cutover? Is there some way I can just change the back plate from the 10 inch to the 11 inch variety? And, no, I am not considering a disc brake upgrade right now. :bananatool:

    Has anybody personally rebuilt an engine/head and is willing to answer a few stupid questions? If so drop me a line, because I want to know what I might be biting off before I get into the biting.

    Thanks, and more details (and pictures) to come this weekend.
     
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  18. Aug 20, 2019
    timgr

    timgr Jeepin' Nerd Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    Yes, you are right about the 727. It's a plain old 727 except for the case, which has the AMC front pattern. The case is one piece, no separable bell housing. Should be easy. Every Grand Wagoneer uses that transmission (with a different tail to accept a transfer case) and big/powerful AMC cars after 1970 too.

    Don't know about the brakes, other than is seems likely that the 14" wheels won't fit over the 11" drums. I would look some kind of disk conversion for the front, and use what good parts I had on the rears. The rears don't do much more than keep you out of a spin when you brake hard anyway. Weight transfers and most of the braking force comes from the fronts. Suzuki disks and calipers are a popular option for CJs now - those may be small enough to fit under the 14" wheels.

    I've done some engine work but I'm not willing to take the conversation offline. What are you wanting? Don't worry about exposing your ignorance - we are all ignorant to a new topic until we learn.
     
  19. Aug 20, 2019
    Jeff Bromberger

    Jeff Bromberger New Member

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    My engine question is simple. I see that you order kits with basic parts, all the way up to basically everything minus the cast iron block. And I've seen videos that talk about balancing parts, so that's not a biggie. What gets me is this:

    You pull out the pistons and if needed, hone the cylinder bores to put the cross-hatching on it. Then you measure the diameter and order the pistons/rings at either normal or oversize values. And you use a caliper for that. Seems simple. The bearings also come sized. So, you install the connecting rods back onto the crankshaft, and then install the main bearing caps as well, but how do you determine the space between to order the new bearing inserts? Is there a special tool for that? And what if, say, four are "normal" and two need oversized bearings. Do you have to get all of them to match, which means machining the 4 "good" ones so that they're "worn" like the other two ones?

    It's just that having the engine professionally done is gonna set me back quite a bit. Everything I read tells me that as long as I am careful, I can rebuild an engine myself. Is this a reasonable suspicion?

    Thanks again!
     
  20. Aug 20, 2019
    ojgrsoi

    ojgrsoi Retired. Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    I think you can find the 10” parts if you want to make it simpler. I redid 10” brakes on two different rigs (DJ5 & CJ5A). I know old time recently did some 10” brakes on his project.
    10” brake parts are not the cheapest but they do fine for everything I’ve had them on.
     

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