I figured its probably about time I start a thread of my own relating to my jeep(s) build. I'm active duty Army and currently stationed in Germany so I'm going to lump all my project in one condensed thread. Why? Well... Like everyone, finding time and funds (and getting them to overlap) is a difficult thing to do. And to add a little extra hurdle, getting parts here is often slow, expensive, and... well, slow and expensive! So I mainly tinker on whatever that I have either gotten parts already or maybe something that costs me nothing but time and effort. I'm also a pretty good scrounger so its not uncommon to find me hacking up something I pulled out to the recycle center to use on a Jeep in some completely different manner.
Here is the short version of things up to now as far as me in Germany is concerned. When I was sent here I had just bought my 1983 Scrambler CJ8. My orders left me very little time to get the Jeep how I wanted it so I basically threw it together in about a month and a half. Any parts not yet attached to the Jeep got packed in my House hold goods (and made the movers probably hate me!) and shipped via Uncle Sam. I had my Jeep here and running for about 4 or 5 months before I was cruising down the Autobahn and had the transmission explode. Seems a stock T5 with 100+K on it doesn't like a slightly warmed up AMC 360! Who would have known? Thankfully I brought its replacement in my "luggage".. one of the reasons the movers hated me I suppose. But it has been a very slow process getting it all back together. Getting an NV4500 with a NorthWest Fab works crawl box in where it was never intended to go has been...interesting. ALmost there but not quite yet.
While the "8" was down I was driving around in a beater '95 VW Golf. While not a Jeep by any stretch of the imagination.. that little $500 POS served me well for over a year. And I am at least the 5th or 10th GI to have owned, neglected, and driven the wheels off that car! But in the end its still a car. And I am a Jeep guy beyond any doubt. So...
One day while looking on the local classifieds site I found what I have come to call Thing one (or T1). Its a 1991 Jeep Cherokee XJ. 4.0, 5 speed, 231, HP Dana 30/Dana 35 rear. Seems the Jeep turned out to be a larger project than he thought and his Smarter half told him it had to go and I seemed to be in the right place at the right time. Sorta. As many vehicles here in Germany the poor Jeep had a bad case of cancer. But the main reason it was being sold is the oil leaks. The seller had thought it to be simply a pan gasket when he bought it but quickly realized it was much more. He had gone to the trouble of finding a junked XJ and cutting (sort of) replacement patch panels for the rusted areas so I plunked down my 500 bones and signed the devils contract. More on this in a little bit....
Less than a week after buying thing one I was once again on the online classifieds site (yeah...I should probably get help for that) and spotted yet another XJ, this one a 2001 2WD sport. On a whim I shot the seller an email and we "talked" a little. We made arangments for me to just come look...Honest! I had no intention of buying ANOTHER Jeep in less than 2 weeks! Really! But sure as death and taxes... the dang thing followed me home! Its story? The sellers were leaving Germany soon and it hadn't passed inspection due to a couple oil leaks and the tail pipe needing a hanger. Uh... OK! So now here I am in Germany and the (proud but somewhat embarrassed) owner of not just one but THREE Jeeps!
Its a sickness I tell you!
So skipping ahead to actual build type stuff (if you haven't fallen asleep or died of old age yet reading this, sorry for being long winded)...
The Scrambler is on a hold status and pulling duty as more or less a storage facility for my tools and whatever other parts or junk that needs storing. I'll likely get back to it soon enough since its close to being on the road again.
Thing two, the 01 black XJ is going to be repaired and become my daily driver. I've already fixed the tail pipe and a couple of the seals but am waiting for gaskets to someday get here.
To that end I have spent the last couple weeks of vacation in the DIY auto skills center working mostly on T1. I'll stop here for a breather and to post some general pictures to get ya'll caught up. But get comfy and prepare to see all these words slam to a screeching halt once I get caught up to today's progress. After tomorrow things will go slower as I head back to work and am still waiting on lots of parts that are in limbo.