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1985 J20 slow build/resto: The Enprissening

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  • #16
    Looks great, Aaron. Nice rig
    Brad
    (*Allowed to post while failed 'I am not a Bot' test results are under appeal)

    My build thread: 1982 Cherokee Laredo

    Ristow's Bunker

    Member, FSJ Prissy Restoration Association

    Comment


    • #17
      Thank you, thank you. It's growing on me.

      With the help of the lovely Mrs. Monohue, I just found the cause of the wandering steering. The right side tie rod end (from pitman arm to main tie rod) has some play in it I wasn't seeing last time I looked. Hooray...
      '85 J20 Old Man Truck, bought @ 65K miles - not great, but better than walking.
      Member, FSJ Prissy Restoration Association
      High quality junk here: intro thread and slow build thread

      Did you know? Willys is just Willis spelled differently, but pronounced the same. Neither Willy nor his apostrophe are involved.

      Comment


      • #18
        Those tires look really good on it. I like the width it really fills out the wheel well.
        Life happens while you are making plans...............



        1983 Wagoneer Limeted, 169k 360 AMC, NP 229, 727,
        MODS: 2003 Durango bucket seats:
        http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=159286
        Build Thread: http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=174925

        Comment


        • #19
          I really like the old J20. Its got character.
          1980 J20

          Comment


          • #20
            Thanks!

            Couple more. Still no really good shots to show the true size and width of the tires, but...well, they're just tires.



            Last edited by DarkMonohue; 04-13-2020, 10:20 PM.
            '85 J20 Old Man Truck, bought @ 65K miles - not great, but better than walking.
            Member, FSJ Prissy Restoration Association
            High quality junk here: intro thread and slow build thread

            Did you know? Willys is just Willis spelled differently, but pronounced the same. Neither Willy nor his apostrophe are involved.

            Comment


            • #21
              Man I absolutely love your truck. And I think you'll love the Coopers.

              Did the auxiliary tanks fit with the toolbox?

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by Nikkormat
                Man I absolutely love your truck. And I think you'll love the Coopers.

                Did the auxiliary tanks fit with the toolbox?
                Thanks. I like it, too - usually.

                So far, the tires are OK. They may be a little squirmy, or maybe there's still some looseness on the steering, or an alignment issue (toe out or inadequate caster) that makes it want to wander a little.

                The tanks and tool boxes interfere with each other. If the tanks had been solid, I could have notched them for clearance, but they weren't. I'll have to build new tanks if I can clear some time to do it. There's always something more urgent that needs done.
                '85 J20 Old Man Truck, bought @ 65K miles - not great, but better than walking.
                Member, FSJ Prissy Restoration Association
                High quality junk here: intro thread and slow build thread

                Did you know? Willys is just Willis spelled differently, but pronounced the same. Neither Willy nor his apostrophe are involved.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Project #7.1: 4" spring lift - front

                  You know how things tend to drag out if you let them? That's the problem. I let them.

                  When I bought this poor old truck four and a half years ago, I thought it might need shocks soon. Well, it did. But I also wanted to lift it a little, which meant longer shocks, so I waited. I found a suitable (read: cheap) set of used springs, did the math, bought the shocks, and promptly did nothing but drive the truck and complain about the miserable ride quality.

                  A couple of weeks ago I decided enough was enough and dug out the parts. It was time to get the thing put together. So I ripped into the front. And that's what I got done. The front.

                  So we got this for now:




                  It's a couple inches low in the back because there's a ton (well, 2400 pounds, actually) of Daddy Weekender landscaping materials in the bed. But even without the load, it's still dopey looking, and still rides like poo with 8400# rear springs and nearly no damping on the rear axle.

                  Just looking through my old PMs, apparently I bought the springs in late 2013. There's nothing like procrastination, is there?

                  I'll get the rear lifted pretty soon. Probably.
                  Last edited by DarkMonohue; 04-13-2020, 10:23 PM.
                  '85 J20 Old Man Truck, bought @ 65K miles - not great, but better than walking.
                  Member, FSJ Prissy Restoration Association
                  High quality junk here: intro thread and slow build thread

                  Did you know? Willys is just Willis spelled differently, but pronounced the same. Neither Willy nor his apostrophe are involved.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    LOL, I think I procrastinate a little more than you!
                    Life happens while you are making plans...............



                    1983 Wagoneer Limeted, 169k 360 AMC, NP 229, 727,
                    MODS: 2003 Durango bucket seats:
                    http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=159286
                    Build Thread: http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=174925

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      J20 on my mind

                      Looking good! I love your truck and eventually you'll get it there.

                      I'm now back on the market and looking for a similar 1980s J20 as my camping rig. I have an '84 pop up Skamper that'd be perfect for it along with a pretty cool little off road trailer. I still live just south of you in the Rogue Valley. If you see any good J20s up your way for sale, please let me know!
                      Sold: 1975 Jeep J20, 360 rebuilt 2bbl, 4 speed manual.

                      WTB: 1986 Jeep J20, 401, lift




                      Not all who wander are lost --J.R.R. Tolkien

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Solitude
                        Looking good! I love your truck and eventually you'll get it there.

                        I'm now back on the market and looking for a similar 1980s J20 as my camping rig. I have an '84 pop up Skamper that'd be perfect for it along with a pretty cool little off road trailer. I still live just south of you in the Rogue Valley. If you see any good J20s up your way for sale, please let me know!
                        Thanks! I'm still driving more than working on it, which is a funny thing to complain about, but making a little progress here and there.

                        I haven't been looking too hard for other pickups, but will let you know if anything decent pops up. Lately it's been a handful of rot-boxes and a smattering of over-bumpered "tactical" GWs. Something has to turn up someday!
                        '85 J20 Old Man Truck, bought @ 65K miles - not great, but better than walking.
                        Member, FSJ Prissy Restoration Association
                        High quality junk here: intro thread and slow build thread

                        Did you know? Willys is just Willis spelled differently, but pronounced the same. Neither Willy nor his apostrophe are involved.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Solitude,

                          I think I might have found something for you. PM on the way.
                          '85 J20 Old Man Truck, bought @ 65K miles - not great, but better than walking.
                          Member, FSJ Prissy Restoration Association
                          High quality junk here: intro thread and slow build thread

                          Did you know? Willys is just Willis spelled differently, but pronounced the same. Neither Willy nor his apostrophe are involved.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            It's time for an annual check-in - just like going to the doctor, really, only without the awkward eye contact.

                            I have been really bad about updating this, but the truth is that nothing all that exciting has happened. The old truck is... well, it's still an old truck. That's what I wanted when I bought it, and since then, it has not lost any of its oldness or truckness. I've been using it occasionally to do truckly, homeownerly things, like hauling bulk amounts of rotting plant matter and tree parts off to the local forest products emporium, and for the most part, it does it without complaint. As such:




                            There have actually been a handful of little projects. Such as the grandiosely titled Project #7.2: 4" spring lift - rear:

                            I had a buddy throw the rear lift springs in at his shop as I just didn't feel like fighting them in the driveway. All went well except that the springs positioned the axle 3/4" to the rear. It's a little hard to see in this pic, but here it is:




                            Apparently this is typical of FSJ lift springs (at least of this era); they're usually configured for wagons, not pickups. The lift springs I've seen are usually listed as "fits all '76-'91 FSJ", and while you can technically bolt all the parts together, the rear springs will put the axle 3/4" rearward of the correct location. Even though the springs are the same length and width, the axle location on the rear springs is different between pickups and wagons. With all four lift springs installed, the rear also seemed to sit a little lower than the front, which I don't like. That combination of annoyances brought about the unnecessarily boldfaced Project #7.3: Rear axle relocation plates:

                            To move the axle forward 3/4" and raise the rear end a little, I made some combination lift-and-relocation plates out of 2-1/2" x 3/4" bar stock and a bolt the same diameter as the spring pin. The pin in the relocation plate is 3/4" rearward of the hole. The pin locates the plate on the axle, and the hole locates the spring pin. This moves the axle forward by 3/4" to correct the axle location:






                            A ratchet strap helped position the axle for reassembly. Notice the spring pin is now in a new hole in the spring clamp plate and the axle has been moved forward to its correct location:




                            With those in place the axle was once again centered in the wheelwell and the rear ride height and attitude was more appropriate. Witness the imposing stance and astonishing flex encountered in the, uh, backyard:




                            ... who am I kidding? This thing is stiff as a buckboard. That said, it's not worse than it was on the stock (8400 lb GVWR) springs. The ride would be better with a flatter overload leaf in the rear to allow more flex before the overload comes into play. Removing a leaf from the front might make it a little softer as well. And the Gabriel Max Control shocks are way overkill for the light use this thing normally sees. But it's OK for what it is and what it does.

                            Project #8: Replacing fuel hoses and fuel tank strainer due to no-start condition:

                            There was one other issue that had to be dealt with lately. The blessed truck refused to start after sitting for a few weeks. Long story short, a couple of pieces of fuel hose (between the hard line and the fuel pump inlet and a few inches at the fuel tank) were original to the truck, and after 34 years, looking pretty sad. They were probably permeable enough to allow the pump to suck air rather than fuel. Replacing the section at the pump inlet was easy enough. Replacing the little piece at the tank required dropping the tank and pulling the sending unit to gain access to the hose clamps at the sending unit. Since that had to come out I also replaced the strainer on the pickup tube. Unfortunately, the replacement was either incorrect or poorly made. This is the style the truck came with - note the provision for a clamp:




                            And this is the style I got as a replacement part:




                            It looked like it was meant to be a light press fit on the pickup tube, but it was far too loose to hold on. The solution was to flare the end of the pickup tube by simultaneously hammering and turning a tapered bolt into the end if it, then running a 3/8" die around the outside of it to start a couple of crude threads. That gave the new strainer something to thread onto. It's not elegant, but it worked, and likely nobody will ever see it again.

                            Since the tank was down, I also replaced the fuel filler and vent hoses with the new ones I've had sitting on the shelf for a couple of years now. It was definitely past time. The originals were hard and starting to crack. At this point, all the soft parts on the fuel system have been replaced, and the truck seems to start nice and easy.

                            One more thing - the truck had some auxiliary tanks in the bed when I bought it, with fuel switched by a six-port solenoid. Apparently this is a GM #467513 (or clone), designed to simultaneously switch fuel supply and return:




                            Those auxiliary tanks were shot when I got the truck, so I never used tried to use the solenoid, but it seems to work just fine on the bench. If the truck ever gets new auxiliary tanks that solenoid can go right back in.

                            That's all the news I have for now. See you next year!
                            Last edited by DarkMonohue; 04-13-2020, 10:32 PM.
                            '85 J20 Old Man Truck, bought @ 65K miles - not great, but better than walking.
                            Member, FSJ Prissy Restoration Association
                            High quality junk here: intro thread and slow build thread

                            Did you know? Willys is just Willis spelled differently, but pronounced the same. Neither Willy nor his apostrophe are involved.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              thanx for the update

                              love that truck

                              it is what a truck should look like,...

                              just got a 1976 j-10 Honcho myself after completing a wagoneer

                              compiling parts and making plans.

                              don't know much about them but learning as I go.

                              dave in NC
                              SOLSAKS - dave
                              1976 J-10 HONCHO Fleetside
                              1982 J-10 Fleetside
                              1988 grand wagoneer
                              2004 RUBICON jeep
                              Benson, NC

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by SOLSAKS
                                thanx for the update

                                love that truck

                                it is what a truck should look like,...

                                just got a 1976 j-10 Honcho myself after completing a wagoneer

                                compiling parts and making plans.

                                don't know much about them but learning as I go.

                                dave in NC
                                Thanks, Dave! It's a pretty good old truck as old trucks go. I do get a little jealous of the full-tilt resto jobs around here, but this isn't the time or place in my life for a vehicle so pretty I can't park on the street overnight and so expensive I don't dare use it.

                                I know more about these trucks than I used to and less than I should. Let me know if there is something you need help with.
                                '85 J20 Old Man Truck, bought @ 65K miles - not great, but better than walking.
                                Member, FSJ Prissy Restoration Association
                                High quality junk here: intro thread and slow build thread

                                Did you know? Willys is just Willis spelled differently, but pronounced the same. Neither Willy nor his apostrophe are involved.

                                Comment

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