Now that our move back to MI is done, it felt like it was time to reexamine the thorn in my side... er... jeep. The jeep was on the verge of becoming a reliable weekend wheeler when Naches struck it down with violent and reckless abandon!
Motor mount failure lead to fan destroying radiator while climbing the snag at Funny Rocks thus causing a MAJOR overheat whilst getting towed back to camp. The jeep died as I rolled into camp and then onto the trailer and would not restart once back at home. Since that fateful day last July the jeep has not run, instead sitting useless like the red headed stepchild it has grown to be.
Now I've been having many thoughts lately about the future of the jeep... I've been assuming the motor is toast, I know the frame has cracks, there are still gremlins to be discovered. So what to do...? I want to get back out wheeling so one thought was to simply replace the 258 since everything else I already have would bolt up and get back out there. Then there's the thought of why not upgrade motor and trans if I'm spending money any way. Of course that leads to far more downtime. Then there's the thought... why not just save the hemoraging and buy a used buggy frame keeping my good parts of the jeep.
In the end, all I really want is be on the trail as soon as possible. So I ventured into the garage tonight to begin rediscovering my lovely jeep.
First out was the rad. Does anyone want a gently used delux CJ radiator?
How about a modified industrial application flexalite fan?
Got the headlight/turn signal wiring harness out of the way and thought to myself how it'd prolly be easier to punt the fucker and just wire in a couple of Hellas. We'll see...
She looks a lil nekkid
Then I started getting a good look at stuff. Does this kink looking dealy bother anyone else or am I making stuff up? (please disregard the duct tape fixing a possible vacuum leak)
Ah yes, the almighty CJ frame
Then again, the body wasn't much better. Should probably go ahead and get the cage tied into the frame sooner rather than later.
Now for the fun part. I tried turning the motor over by ratchet to see if it was seized and to my happy surprise, found it to turn over. So then out of morbid curiosity, I took out my battery which I knew to be beyond dead and hooked the cables up to the lovely LS1 sitting in the next stall
And for the surprise of the night, the damn thing sounded like it wanted to fire. At this point, I turned on the propane and began cranking with weif's car running. I'd crank and crank and as soon as I'd let off, I'd hear the motor caugh sputter and die. Over and over it'd do that until finally with some persuasion of the throttle pedal, it fired to life and ran. I got some smoke out the exhaust which I was trying to decipher if it was do to coolant in the oil or just normal condensation from sitting. It didn't smell overly sweet like coolant, but I was so stoked to see life, I may have been overlooking the obvious. In any case, the damn thing didn't sound half bad... No obvious clicks or knocks that I could hear. Now this may just be a temporary moment of jubilation and I will soon be smashed back down to the cruel world of reality, but it is possible this particular 258 is of supernatural ability and on par with the illustrious 22re
I took a video which sucks horribly, but at least the sound is good:
After running for a minute or so (shut down before it could get too hot), I noticed this cute little puddle of oil which could either be normal for my plastic valve cover, or could be due to slight warping from the overheating event. I'm not sure which.
So where to go from here? Did I seriously luck out and what ever problem just solved itself? Was it something as stupid as a dead battery not allowing the motor to fire and run? Do I just need to replace the fan, radiator, and motor/tranny mounts to get back on the trail??? I sure as hell hope so but time will tell I guess...
Stay tuned for the comedy or errors that is my jeep