My newest project “car”

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NorCal

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I‘ve been restoring cars a lot longer than I’ve been making wine. However, my last project car showed me that my passion and ambition for completing big projects is not what it used to be. I sold the last car for a loss (only the 2nd of 16 or so project cars) and really felt I was done with cars for a number of years.

However, with a large arena that I’ve been rehabbing (13,000 sqft) and sand being delivered next week, I thought it would be nice to have a vehicle dedicated to dragging (smoothing out) the arena and carrying grapes/pruning/suckering out of the vineyard. With 4 grandchildren, it also got me thinking that it would be fun to make something that they would have fun with.

Here is my new purchase, picking up this weekend for a negotiated $200. It will become a mini military Jeep! I’ll post progress here.

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Sage

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Ground up rebuild plus a new engine about 30 years ago. It's still going. Every now and then I'll need to tighten up a bolt or two. 60" mower, 60" hay mower, 48" grader blade.
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NorCal

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I removed the mower deck and got it starting, stopping, running and driving reasonably well. Defintely has some things going on, but for $200 it's expected. The motor seems healthy, but for a 20hp motor it's pretty slow and the steering is wonky and has a flat front tire. I suspect the drive belt is slipping, so a new belt or tensioner is probably needed, as well as a tie rod is bent. Starting my to do list.

- remove mower deck - done
- take it for a few more drives, make sure everything is at least operational
- drain gas, run motor dry, remove the battery
- remove front hood section
- remove seat/rear body section
- remove hardware controls associated with lawn cutting
- figure out / find matching 8" rims for the front (back rims are for DD axles, drill out and shim?)
- figure out controls, driving position (keep center, move to left side?)
- decide to make own dash & steering wheel or modify current one
- figure out what is wrong with steering
- figure what is wrong with the current speed (assuming drive belt)
- figure out how to make quieter
- add trailer hitch
- make frame/mounting points for jeep body
- make jeep body
- figure out front / rear lighting
- make jeep wind shield
- make jeep seat
- paint and letter it Army green
- paint trailer to match
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NorCal

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Made some progress today.

- remove mower deck - done
- take it for a few more drives, make sure everything - done
- drain gas, run motor dry, remove the battery -done
- remove front hood section - done
- remove seat/rear body section - done
- remove hardware controls associated with lawn cutting - done

The belts are pretty worn, assuming they are hard and slipping, resulting in the slower speeds. Starts, stops, everything seems to work surprisingly well. Shopping for the 8 inch rims I can make work on the front.

I see that steering wheel needing to drop down 6 inches.

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Sage

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You're going to have to stretch the frame or you won't have room for a big 50!
 

NorCal

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Here is my quick and dirty plan. Gas tank will need to be replaced, steering wheel replaced and stalk shortened. Debating on whether I should make the body out of metal or wood. Since the lines are all pretty flat, I'm inclinded to make the body out of wood, and it would be quicker and easier.


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NorCal

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Found my 8” wheels/tires on Craigslist, will get them tomorrow. I’ll need to do some work to get them to fit on the axles. Worked on the flooring and figuring out how I’m going to approach the body. Looking at how close the pedals are to the front tires rules out doing an early ‘40’s version, due to how the front narrows down between the cowl and the front wheels.
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I will be looking to model it more like this 50’s version of Jeep.
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