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Thread: Hello from Wisconsin

  1. #1
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    Hello from Wisconsin

    Hi all,
    I saw that you guys were starting a forum in the last newsletter I got so I figured I'd join up. I've worked on early CJ's and Utility vehicles a bit so I've got a small amount of knowledge to share and I'm sure I'll learn a lot more.

    Anyway, I've had my 1959 truck in storage in a barn for the last 11 years and took it out a couple of months ago to get it running again. I sold my F250 and only have a car at the moment so I need something to haul stuff once in a while; not to mention there's a nice snowplow for sale cheap in the area. Unfortunately, the 226 engine was seized. After soaking it for a while we finally pulled the head and realized 1/4 of the antifreeze had gotten into the last 3 cylinders. The head gasket looked fine so I think we may have forgotten to put sealant on the head bolts the last time we put it together. We let the thing soak again for about two months and I even used electrolysis but to no avail.

    We finally dropped the oil pan and pushed the pistons up through the top of the block. The rings on the last two were so gunked up that they actually stuck in their compressed shape. The rings themselves came unstuck from the pistons with some elbow grease except for me breaking one compression ring. I ordered a one-piston set of rings last week and we reinstalled the pistons last night. The carburetor needed a rebuild from sitting too so that was accomplished as well.

    I'm hoping to have it running this weekend and later hope to have it stopping as well since the brakes aren't working either. So, this weekends activities are to put the engine all the way back together, drop the gas tank and clean it out, and at least get it started on a boat gas tank or it's own if it cleans up nicely.

    One question I have is when installing the oil pump I noticed that when the number 1 piston is at TDC; my timing mark on the pulley doesn't line up. It's about an inch or so off. If I line up the mark instead; the piston is about 1/2" down in the bore. Does that sound normal or did I mess something up 15 years ago when I put this thing together for the first time?

  2. #2
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    I would say that it really shouldn’t be that much off...

  3. #3
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    You're right.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike36 View Post
    I would say that it really shouldn’t be that much off...
    Yup, I think you're right and the balancer is probably messed up. Oh well. We just used T.D.C. and put a new mark on the balancer. We put in new plugs, slapped the distributor in, hooked up the wires, primed the fuel pump and wouldn't you know that darned old truck started up on the first try! We just set the timing with the distributor "by ear" while it was running. I can't believe the fire department wasn't called though. The smoke was so thick for a while that it was crazy. A ton of Marvel Mystery Oil, and various other substances went down the exhaust while we were trying to get it unstuck and it all had to burn off. It ran clean though after about an hour. We also bled the brakes and they function but I'm not sure about the condition of the shoes and drums.

    The gas tank was junk so I ordered that and a bunch of other goodies from Kaiserwillys on Monday. Everything showed up yesterday so I might actually have the thing on the road after this weekend. It all depends on how the brake shoes are as that's the only part I don't already have and I'm not sure If I can get on short notice. I am running an 11" package out of a Wagoneer so it's possible a store around town will have some.

  4. #4
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    It Moves!!!!
    Put in everything and found brake shoes locally. After bleeding the brakes as well I drove it about 20 miles this weekend. After a couple of violent bouncing/wobbling instances I am now waiting on some new tie-rod ends. I think they are wore out bad enough that the front end get's to going all over the place when I hit a bump just right. Other than that the old truck is running like a champ.

  5. #5
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    good to hear another old truck has been given a new lease of life.
    do you have any photos ?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave351cid View Post
    good to hear another old truck has been given a new lease of life.
    do you have any photos ?
    Hopefully my tie rod ends will come in today. If I work on it tonight I'll snap some photo's. The only ones I have now are of the brake assembly so I'd remember how to put it back together. LOL

  7. #7
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    Sorry, no pictures yet. I did drive it 20 miles to work today though. That took a while...haha. Unfortunately, I'm still dealing with the "death wobble". I've got to look into my kingpins next I guess. If that doesn't work I'll look into the drag link and the other steering components. Man this problem is frustrating. After some research I found I'm far from the only one though. Google "jeep death wobble" and you'll see. Thousands of others having the same issue makes me feel better. Misery loves company!

  8. #8
    Administrator AmyB's Avatar
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    Are the steering components original? Sometimes if non-original steering is installed if not done properly can cause it to jerk to one side or another when going over a bump. I would also check into a steering stabilizer kit, check the steering box for too much play, correct tire pressure, any kind of sagging or broken leaves on your springs, camber etc. But like you've already read it could be a number of things. Good luck getting it fixed!!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmyB View Post
    Are the steering components original? Sometimes if non-original steering is installed if not done properly can cause it to jerk to one side or another when going over a bump. I would also check into a steering stabilizer kit, check the steering box for too much play, correct tire pressure, any kind of sagging or broken leaves on your springs, camber etc. But like you've already read it could be a number of things. Good luck getting it fixed!!
    Yup, all original steering. I've got a couple of steering stabilizers laying about in the jeep parts pile but from what I've read that's more of a band-aid than a true fix. I may still add one but I'd like to see if I can track down the source of the problem first. When I originally redid this truck about 17 years ago it never had this issue. This Willys did NOT appreciate sitting unused for 11 years. I think it's mad at me.

    Thanks for the suggestions! I'm digging in to the kingpins tonight if I get time...Then on to the other stuff.

  10. #10
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    what are the tyres like ??
    if you still have the tyres that have been sitting for seventeen years, they might be deformed.
    we have a late model Isuzu truck at work that started getting the death wobbles real bad at random times. no real pattern to what would cause it. ended up finding that the LHS front tyre tread was starting to lift. took a lot of searching to find it as the tyre looked fine when parked. a new set of front tyres and never had another problem.

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