Picking up the “Fugg” from the docks, I got it firing after a jump start but he kept dying under load and I had to winch it up the ramps onto the trailer. Customs required two goes at high pressure cleaning to pass inspection which added a week or two from when he landed and an extra couple of hundred bucks in import charges.
“Touchdown”. Fired him up but the same problem of dying under load and trying to turn those big tyres with an undersized steering wheel made it a mission to get him into the shed. From what the PO told me prior to purchase, I thought it would be driveable (with a few tweeks) from day one…. Wrong!
I knew the dashboard was out so the PO could fit a timber overlay, but I think this is looking like a total rewire job. I hope the steering shaft has not been butchered to fit the aftermarket steering wheel, because it will certainly need the larger diameter of an original one to keep it on the road…. either that or I’ll need to beef up my biceps at the gym.
PO was looking for that military look with the olive drab paint and the addition of ammo boxes and tools, but I will try to get him back to civilian life with a new paint scheme when I do the restoration. The spare wheel is normally mounted on the right hand side of the bed with the top section of the bed recessed to allow fitting of same. I can’t see evidence of the recess, so maybe the spare was an option back in ’58.
PO told me all the rust repairs had been done by an aircraft metal worker and that all the curves were shaped to original. It looks like that was achieved by pop-riveting thin gauge sections over the original body panels, then a liberal amount of body filler applied. At first, this looks like a major problem to restore but at least the original rusted panels are still in place so I can remove the overlays and abrasive blast the original metal to see how replacements can be fabricated and welded into place. The above photos are inside the rear of the cab corners, battery box and where the front panel joins the inner floor.
Looking under the front corners of the cab, some original metal has been cut away and thin replacement panels are tacked in place. This will take a bit of soul-searching to work out, after these sections are removed.
Rear mudguards have spacers fitted to allow cover of the wide wheels and with a few dings, there will be a few modifications required here as well.
The inside top section of the windscreen has got a piece of metal screwed into place which I have yet to remove to see what is behind. Fingers crossed that the rust has not grown through to the outer roof skin because that can be a bugger to weld without distorting the shape.
Door hinges will need some work. Left side seems to align reasonably but the right drops when opened. Bondo around the inner frame joint to the floor points to a few problems there.
Bed floor is cactus, with deep rust pitting and undulations. A complete replacement will be needed but I’ve yet to decide whether to fold up sheet metal like original or go for a polished timber look.
Second pic is inside, lower corner of the dash/windscreen
Accelerator pedal appears to be from an FSJ Cherokee or truck… at least it’s Jeep. It’s a bit awkward to operate and will need a bit of tweaking to get it right. I think OEM pedals are available but the cables are not so that probably explains this modification.
Drivers floor has had the overlay panel, riveted treatment a few times… I think I can count three or four.
A 3″ body lift, along with a SOA conversion has got him sitting about 6″ higher that original. That would not get through Australian Design Rules, so the body lift will need to go and if the SOA doesn’t slip through inspection, I will have to sort some lifted springs to get the oversize wheels to clear. Need to do a bit more research before going further, but I believe a maximum total of 4″ is legal in either spring or body, or the sum of both methods.
The following is just something to give you FC buffs something to look at while you wait for me to get this project started sometime down the track….. 2017? 2018?:-