Apart from the bodywork, chassis, axles, engine and transmission, I don’t know how many individual bits, brackets and components needed to be sandblasted and painted. It seemed to take forever but only two colours were needed, black and raspberry (body colour). Part of this included modifications such as the pendulum pedal assembly to accommodate a dual circuit brake master cylinder and hydraulic clutch mechanism. The original floor pivot pedals had taken a beating on the underside and the bellcranks and linkages to convert it to RH drive looked like it was thought out in somebody’s backyard. The clutch pedal linkage extended back to a bellcrank that pivoted between the chassis rails just forward of the rear axle, then connected to the factory bellcrank that actuated the clutch on the left side of the transmission. I fitted a hydraulic clutch slave to do the job on the factory bellcrank, however, a fair bit of readjustment was done to finally get the correct amount of travel in the throw out bearing.
Original steering setup for RH drive conversion, saw the steering gear fitted above the chassis rail with the pitman arm pointing downwards and the draglink attached to a small pivot arm fitted to the top of the RH wheel king pin. The radius of the pivot from centre of the king pin to the draglink connection was only about 2″ which would have made for heavy steering and fair amount of load on the steering gear. Who knows how he would have been trying to hold it on the road at speed! A bit of research on the compoota (CJ3B info page) detailed a bellcrank arrangement mounted on the front tubular crossmember, but with the steering gear pitman arm fitted upwards to compensate for the lever action of the bellcrank…. simple, but where are you going to get one of those? After many phone calls and googleing the only answer was to make one.
I turned down a piece of high tensile steel to accept an OEM bellcrank with the ball end (draglink) cut off, made up the top arm to pivot across the top of the chassis rail under the battery box to attach the draglink and assembled it into a couple of bearings… a tad over-engineered, but it works!
Other non-original mods included, instrument cluster fitted to a removable panel, jerry can holder, demountable rear seat and a couple of brackets for spot lights etc.
The steering draglink had been cut and welded in the original RH drive conversion, but the length did not suit the rehashed arrangement, so I had to recut and weld in a spacer, turned down to match the diameter of the draglink. I did a good penetrating weld and then slipped over a matching ID pipe sleeve to weld onto the original metal.
Next problem… The draglink fouled on the inside of the RH mudguard (fender), and that @#$%& thing had been fitted and removed so many times that I could now do it blindfolded. After a few goes, I sorted a built out section that cleared the link and also cleared the front wheel on full lock. I have to respray the bonnet (hood) due to contaminated thinner mixed in the paint leaving a number of small holes in the finish, so it doesn’t hurt too much to repaint the mudguard mod.
I made up a complete set of brakelines apart from the small “S” bends that connect the front wheel cylinders to the flex hoses. They are available from most suppliers, but the fit did not allow them to clear the backing plate on the wheel hub, so I had to reshape them manually, careful not to put a crease in the tube. Reshaping then did not match up with the guard plates fitted to the top of the king pins, so another little fabrication job needed to be done. In hindsight, and thanks to the CJ3B info page, I could have fitted longer flex lines that apparently work just as good.
Next, the old wacuum vinscreen vipers…. I’ve had a couple of older rides with vac wipers and although they only worked if they felt like it I figured that Fergus would stay in the shed on raining days, but he needed wipers to pass machinery inspection for rego. I spent a whole day disassembling and cleaning the red dirt out the orifices, and after installing and hooked up to the vac outlet on the fuel pump, one side would only do one sweep then die. The other side had to be manually swept but returned to the park position with no problem. Although I was having dejavu feelings with memories of working on Dassault Mirage gunsights from my RAAF Instrument fitter days, I couldn’t be fagged trying to sort out that problem…. Solution = Buy a set of electric bastards!
The Carter carburettor – a simple piece of engineering. Strip down, clean it out and fit a new kit….done! He runs but there is a fair bit of slop in the butterfly shaft and the idle adjustment doesn’t want to work too well, so a Solex replacement is on order from willysjeepparts.com (good bloke!)
He’s alive! After 30 years sitting in a barn, the 15 horses are out and galloping. A few extra grey hairs with timing 180 deg out, a couple of fuel leaks, and the fan hitting the shroud, he took off at about 2,000RPM, sparks flying and some skid marks in the undies! Click on the link below to see/hear the sweet sound of success: