If you have read any of this, or the write up about FrankenJeep, you will know that I have an affinity for Jeeps. I love Jeeps of all shapes and sizes. Okay, many of these new ones are crap, but anyway – I love Jeeps.
I really love Jeep trucks! I have the J20, Hyde, that I write about here, and at last posting I told you that Hyde was not doing so well. Over the last week, he did get a new pair of shoes (the good) but we knew he still had engine problems, and I told you the clutch was going out. He broke down again shortly after I put on the new tires, and I lost my brakes when I was pulling into my driveway (the bad).
You may, or may not, know that I own another Jeep truck (if you pay extra attention in my picture posting of the hot rod Jeep known as FrankenJeep, you could have guessed it). Yep, some time ago, I bought a Jeep Comanche. It is like the little XJ Cherokee, only a pickup truck.
I got it from a Navy veteran in Tucson, and he told me that he used it to go from there to Deming, New Mexico for hatch chilies. He explained that it got pretty good mileage and that his son also used it for some light construction, and industrial yard work jobs. I knew I was not getting a pristine truck here (the ugly). Both doors creaked when you opened them and it looked like someone put bubblegum on the hinges to keep them in place. I had intended on buying an XJ Cherokee and using most of it to build me a new Little Big Jeep Parts Hauler.
Between Hyde and Frank, I never really got to give much love to this little Mighty Mac. The old man said it had been sitting for over a year, and I bought it quite some time ago – the truck was nearing two years, or more, sitting and never getting the attention it deserves.
I met Gary, and he happened to be looking for such a Comanche (short bed/manual/4×4). He figured that he and his son might be interested in it, so they came over today and looked at the little truck. We spoke numbers and agreed it was not really worth a whole lot of greenbacks. He asked me what I had into it, and what I wanted out of it. I told him outright, “Look, I do not really think I can get much money out this; and to be honest, I do not need money. I need my J20 fixed.”
He asked me what was wrong with my J20, and I told him. He gave me the numbers on what he would normally charge someone to do those jobs and it tallied out to be greater than the worth of the little MJ. I countered with “What if you only helped me do the jobs? You did not do them yourself. You take the little truck, and you help me get my J20 running.” He liked the sound of that, and we shook on a deal.
What does this all mean? It means that I will not get to build a little Mighty Mac right now. It means someone is taking off with my little Comanche. It means that I can get the J20 fixed up some more and have a truck again. It means I have put a reprieve on Hyde’s death sentence. He will be put on life support so he will live long enough to kill him and resurrect him to be the truck he was destined to be. Haha! See what I did there, with a Phoenix reference… and I live in Arizona? Never mind.
We each have our own business to attend to, but we have a date in late September to transfer the truck for mechanical labor. I will let you know what happens then!
Why does that sound like a children’s book? I imagine LeVar Burton reading me this story on Reading Rainbow. WOW! That dated me and showed how very American I am, all in one short statement. So be it. Both are true.
Anyhow. Hmm. Do I present the shoes? Or tell the story of “why” first?
You all know I got “new” tires for Hyde some time ago. I have been holding off installation for one reason or another. Well, sometimes life gives you a little push, and you are forced to do something about it.
Yep. Good ol’ Mother Nature told me it was time to put on Hyde’s new shoes. Off to Craig’s we go! Craig is my specialty mechanic and I take the things I cannot do at home, to him. He love/hates me for it. Okay, usually the things I bring to him are things that not even he likes to do. But he is a good mechanic, and a damn good guy! So, Hyde is my truck; how do I get four 37″ tires to Craig?
The Camry of course! “The Little Big Jeep Parts Hauler” is hard at work again!
HAHAHAHA! That picture always makes me laugh! The other tire was sitting in the back seat. Do not fret. I have retired the “Little Big Jeep Parts Hauler” and sold it to the teenager. Is it a reprieve, or an expedition of its death sentence? We will find out, in due time.
I drove the Camry to Craig’s but had to make a stop at the parts store, which is on the way. Good thing I did too, because I met Brad. He and Rat Rod Addiction have given me some very good ideas, both for Hyde and the FrankenJeep.
I dropped off the tires and told Craig I would be back with the others, the ones that had the rims on them. He agreed, and I lost track of time, getting to his shop just moments after he shut down. Oh well. I got the tires dropped off and called the shop explaining the situation. When I came back out to pay, he figured it would be just a few hours. Um yeah. NO SIMPLE TASK LEFT UNCOMPLICATED!!
Craig has a mechanic’s shop. In that shop he has a tire machine and a balancer too. One would suspect that removing 31″ tires from a 16.5″ rim and mounting 37″ tires onto said rim would be an easy enough task. As it turns out, I gave Craig my bad juju, and he had a hell of a time mounting these tires. So much that I paid him a bit extra and bought the shop lunch. I felt really bad for the guy. Nonetheless, greatness will prevail and Craig did, indeed get all four tires mounted on those rims! It only took about 10 hours or so to get it done. But was it ever worth it!
I know. Fenders. Where are they Mac? That is a bit of a sore subject. Do not get me wrong, I am still getting them, as well as my originals too; but I was to get them on my way home this last time, and the Louisiana weather screwed me out of that.
Normally, I take a 1 hour chopper ride inland and then I spend the next 26 hours in the car driving home. I usually stop and see Cherokee Jim before I head home, but instead of leaving on Thursday, we left on Saturday. This meant he was not on his normal schedule. That meant I was unable to get in touch with him. Because of that, I could not get my fenders. Stupid Louisiana weather.
Anyhow, I should be getting them this next time home. I know – how many times has that already been said?
At the very least, I should be able to get my stockers back on, and look like a complete truck again.
How do they fit? I mean, you went through all of this trouble. How does this chapter end?
Well, I drove it to the wrecking yard the next day. 25 miles, with half of that on the freeway. Prior to the new shoes, my speedometer tracked off, I knew that it needed larger tires in order to track correctly. I was right. 37″ tires seems to be what that speedo was calibrated for. I checked it against the GPS and up to about 60 mph (97 kph) it was nearly dead-nuts on. At about 60, it started to lag against what I was actually driving.
Oh, I passed someone on the freeway! Did you tell them it was a senior citizen’s livery cab? Hey, I will take any victory, no matter how small or under what circumstances.
The truck drove very well, all the way to Mesa, where I was getting a new lower intake manifold for another vehicle. (You gearheads out there should be able to read between those lines!)
I was hoping that new tires was going to help with some of my issues – I know I have 3.56 gears on it, and I was hoping that maybe some of my chug-a-lug problems were gear related, that maybe I was running the wrong tire size. It turned out to be the case. For a little while. In the end, big tires did not fix my problem, because my problem is not gears. It goes back to a tired engine.
Why don’t you just fix the damn thing and be done with it? OR, why not just rebuild the SBC 400 and install it?
Both are valid points. Number one: if I rebuild the AMC 360, at the end of the day, I am still stuck with an AMC 360. We have had this conversation before. Number two: if I rebuild the SBC 400, yes I have Chevy now and can get parts for it, but I am using money and energy where it need not be. I should be expending all that on a diesel. I will just keep this alive, ensuring I do not injure the body, and continue on working toward that diesel truck so I can body swap and call it a day. Agree or disagree, it is what I have left – I believe my clutch is slipping, and my brakes went out on me as I pulled into my driveway today… Hyde is in need of some serious work.
I do not fret. Even though it is very apparent that there is still much to do on this truck, I have made some new contacts; and I believe that with them, I am making way to a better ride. It is just something that will take time.
Hang in there, just because I do not have this truck up and dieseled right now, does not mean it won’t happen. I still have the FrankenJeep build going on; that is sharing time and money, but is making good progress. Mad Mac’s will have something to show for at the end of all of this. Don’t you worry about that!
I apologize for not writing sooner. The last I wrote, it was 2Jun16, it is now 26Aug16. It has been awhile, and much has gone on here both in the world of Hyde as well as over there in the world of FrankenJeep.
So, what has gone on in the past few weeks?
Let us start out with the Extension Cord Escapades. I thought I was going to get a 6ga wire and use it as an extension cord. Well, let me tell you a little story about that.
It turns out that the 6ga was only two cord, I need at least three cord wire – hot, negative and ground. I might have been able to cut the 6ga wire in half, splice it and create a four cord, or simply use only one of those for a three cord wire, but then I am spending quite a bit of time creating a wire when I could have just spent a little more money and bought one.
I started looking on the line for a new extension cord: 600 Volt Cord
I found a 12ga extension cord that was three wire and 50′ long on the eBay for, well it was a bid war. They wanted $14.99 for processing and handling. Since I was not about to spend more than $100 to get this thing in my grubby paws, I put a max bid at $85.01 and waited. It was not too long before I got a message – “You have been outbid”
Oh well, on to the next thing. I kept searching, and I found a 10ga three cord, 50′ generator extension cord that came from the military surplus and it had a “buy it now” price of $50. After the processing and handling, plus the fees and whatnot, I think I paid right around $68 to have that cord in my hands. SCORE!!
Next, I had to rewire the j-box outside to accept this wire. We cut the female end of the wire off and connected it to the j-box, placing it on its own breaker and switch. Then we bought a new gang box to use on the end of the wire we just cut and wired that into a secure connection with its own plug outlets. Vi-ola! I have a new 50′ extension cord that will hold up to 600V. Now I can plug the welder into the extension cord, and it will not know that it is so far away from the supplied electricity.
Now I just need to fix my regulator gauges on the welder.