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Old 02-18-2021, 09:03 PM
Phillip3000 Phillip3000 is offline
230 Tornado
Join Date: Jan 24, 2016
Location: Independence, OR
Posts: 18
Finally have my Gladiator Back!

Well its nice to be back with my 1969 J3000 with the Buick 35, I believe a Dana 20 and a T15 3 speed trans. I have a Dana 53 rear and 44 up front.

I'll give you a little back story here and try to keep this easy to follow along. So I bought the truck while in the Marine Corps from a guy in Hemet, CA. On the drive back to San Diego I blew a tire and had to find a spare from the side of the highway. Good fun. After I got it to the base I did an oil change and minor tune up ie. plugs, wires, cap & rotor. and from there was the parts search.

When I bought it there was a seat from an old Chevy and a blue steering wheel from, I assume, the same Chevy. The Rhino grill was missing and replaced width the newer style. The heater and all components are missing as well. The only rust on the whole truck was on the passenger side floor board.

I was able to track down a original seat and get that put in. Found a steering column that didn't fit or work ended up giving it to another guy. Then found most of the heater components i believe. I haven't dove into the heater just yet but I believe I'm still missing some parts. On top of all of that there was a constant wiring issue and over heating issue. So naturally me and my friends drove it anywhere and every. With a tool box and some extra water we generally got home in one piece.

Well in Jan 2018 I had to go drop my truck off at my parents place for storage until just last week, Feb 2021. While it was at my parents i told my little brother he could drive it as long as he didn't wreck it and kept it maintained. All I heard form him in the last three years is that somehow a headlight bezel fell off and then was ran over, and that he upgraded the front brakes to the BJ disk brake conversation.

So Feb I tell him I'm going down there with a trailer to pick it up. He says "ok sounds good but it wont start and I think the starter is bad." I pull a starter from a Chevy small block and head down. Get the starter in and it still wont engage. Bust out the volt meter and determine that everything is working besides the positive battery cable. It was reading the correct olts but was not transferring enough amps to the starter, probably due to corrasion. So off to the parts store I go. New battery cable installed and fires right up great! I take it out for my first drive in years only to find out that the power steering and power breaks no longer work and neither do the turn signals. So I call my little bro like wtf mate! He says oh yeah sorry idk they went out.

So investigating I found out that there's no power steering fluid so I fill it up and try to flush the system only to find the power steering pump still doesn't work. So new power steering pump is on the list. I check vacuum to the brake booster and have good vacuum so I added a booster to the list.

This is when i thought I got real lucky and real smart. I ordered a power steering pump and brake booster for a 69 Skylark from the local parts store think they would bolt up. I was was wrong they did not work so I returned them and headed back to my parents in defeat. I decided I would search online and try to find the parts. I believe I have the correct Power Steering Pump coming on Saturday that I will install. My best idea for booster and master cylinder is through BJ's, so ill try to order those in the next couple months.

The other immediate thing id like to do is put in a new universal wiring harness for two reasons 1. so that all of the wiring is new and not brittle, and 2. so that I can have fuses. So the current order is Power steering Pump, Brakes, and Wiring.

I also need to figure out why my plastic choke thin on the carb melted away, why the engine spews oil out of the valve cover oil fill plug and another what seems to be random hole in the back passenger valve cover. then ensure im not leaking oil anywhere else. I'd love to keep the stock motor but possibly try to find a 4 speed vs the 3 speed to help with highway speeds.

Then ill get to the passenger floor board and replace the rusted portions with some new sheet metal. Next id like to order door trim and door panels then a headliner. Possibly try and find a fan shroud or make one too.

So my only questions I have does anyone have or no where to find a stock/stock look steering column I can put in? What are some basic/budget friendly upgrades I should due to the motor?
1969 J3000 Buick 350/T15/Dana 20 with Dana 53 rear and dana 44 front axles.

Slow restoration from a poor 26 year old Independence, OR
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Old 02-19-2021, 09:18 AM
SOLSAKS's Avatar
304 AMC
Join Date: Jul 25, 2016
Location: Benson. NC
Posts: 1,684
good story

you have been thru a lot with the truck already

someone will chime in on the steering column

put out a request in the parts wanted section

for a quicker response

Watson and sons jeep salvage in NC has. a lot of stuff and will ship

and I am sure there are more jeep salvage yards all over the US

good luck with the project.

dave in NC
SOLSAKS - dave
1976 J-10 HONCHO Fleetside
1982 J-10 Fleetside
1988 grand wagoneer
2004 RUBICON jeep
Benson, NC
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Old 02-19-2021, 10:20 AM
MysticRob MysticRob is offline
327 Rambler
Join Date: Nov 26, 2019
Location: Boise, ID
Posts: 576 is good for finding similar makes and models as yours nearby with parts to salvage.
1988 Jeep Grand Wagoneer / Baltic Blue & Tan
2008 BMW 535xi Wagon / Deep Sea Blue & Tan

My build thread:
My Howell TBI Install How-To:
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Old 02-19-2021, 12:00 PM
Phillip3000 Phillip3000 is offline
230 Tornado
Join Date: Jan 24, 2016
Location: Independence, OR
Posts: 18
Thanks Gentleman! I never knew of the salvage yard in NC or Car-Parts.Com I will check them both out!

I'm just excited to have my truck back and get it ready for some summer time cruises. Hopefully can drive it to some car shows and talk with people who have already completed their restorations.
1969 J3000 Buick 350/T15/Dana 20 with Dana 53 rear and dana 44 front axles.

Slow restoration from a poor 26 year old Independence, OR
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Old 02-19-2021, 10:31 PM
78 WIDETRAC's Avatar
78 WIDETRAC 78 WIDETRAC is offline
327 Rambler
Join Date: Aug 19, 2003
Location: Portland, Or
Posts: 704
Welcome from Portland.

Post up some pics of the Jeep! There is Lots of experience in ifsja. There are also some very cool archives.
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Old 02-20-2021, 01:47 PM
goldhammer's Avatar
goldhammer goldhammer is offline
Join Date: Aug 08, 2004
Location: Willamette Valley, OR
Posts: 5,082
Changing transmission won't help your cruise speed rpm's, unless it's an overdrive high gear. Most three and four speeds are 1:1 high gear. Either going to have to find an old OD box (ie. Warn or Atlas), go to taller tire, or change both gear sets in the diffs.

Fan shrouds for the Buick powered rigs are pretty much made of unobtainium, scarce as hen's teeth.
ASE Master Collision Tech
"Beast" - 81 "S" W/T, 85-360, T-18, Lock-rite,wag alloys, 31-10.50 Pro Comp MT's, Warn 8274 in a fabbed bumper/deer strainer(tested and approved)

88 XJ, 3" lift, 31-10.50's, custom bumpers and winch/tow bar mounts, Warn 9500HS, custom sliders/steps, camo paint, & headliner

Member: FSJ Prissy Restoration Assoc.

Last edited by goldhammer : 02-22-2021 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 02-20-2021, 09:45 PM
Crankyolman's Avatar
Crankyolman Crankyolman is offline
327 Rambler
Join Date: Sep 27, 2017
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 694
Nice to see another Kaiser era guy

J&W Jeep in Antalope Ca ( ) probably has anything you need. Any '72 and older steering column should work. A while back I bought an aftermarket steering column that is a late 60's Chevy style that looks very close to the one on my truck although I haven't done a side by side comparison.
'72 J4500
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