1 2 3 4
Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
11/28/21 1:46 p.m.

In reply to bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) :

Yea, I could see that under all the rust, it's solid where it needs to be and it hasn't been screwed with like most of them. It's been a very easy project. The only hard part has been making time for it. 

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
11/28/21 7:59 p.m.

I wanted to beat the snow and get a few miles on the Jeep to see what else needs to be done.  We've had some dustings the past few days, so I barely made it.  I don't know if I got thumbs up for the CJ or for driving it in 31 degree weather, but I had some real fun taking it on some drives and entertained the neighborhood.  My home shop is behind my house and its driveway is on the next street over, so I took it around the block a few times, then home for lunch.  A big adventure indeed.

I'm still looking for 1-2 6.00x16 snow tires.  As you can see, I've got a summer tire in the back right now while I look, but at least it's on four CJ wheels now.

The drive went well.  New issues that came up include a noise from the left front on sharp turns, a weeping hard brake line, and a bit of a misfire.  Those will go on the list for this winter.

To make things a little nicer this winter, I decided to deep clean the home shop.  Nearly everything is on wheels, so I pushed stuff outside, then swept/blew the shop out, then mopped it twice.   

I also put away the various clutter from past projects and the garage is seeming big again.


Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) MegaDork
11/28/21 8:09 p.m.

In reply to Carl Heideman :

Love this. 

Did you resolve the tire situation?


Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
11/28/21 8:15 p.m.

In reply to Woody (Forum Supportum) :

No, I'm still on the hunt for at least one 6.00x16 snow tire.  One of the fronts is cracked pretty badly, so ideally I'll find more than one.

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
11/28/21 8:36 p.m.

NIce. I respect that you're able to "just do the things that absolutely need to be done" before doing a restore. There's no way my OCD will let me do that, lol. 

Are there no modern-production tires available that have a general "look" similar to those old snow tires and aren't presumably made out of rock-hard rubber? Since no top, etc I assume you're not going to drive it (much) in snow, so is it necessary to use a snow-specific tire? 

I was thinking something like this would give the same look but maybe be better for actual street/offroad driving than old tires:  https://www.prioritytire.com/deestone-d502-lt-6-0-16-96-94l-c-6-ply-tt-as-a-s-all-season-tire/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&adpos=&scid=scplpN1046678-99&sc_intid=N1046678-99&gclid=Cj0KCQiA7oyNBhDiARIsADtGRZbuxWYGweUe7KXBCLs73CeUenvpVZ4-R3kQLKrMMuCwhUxVIaF4RukaAubMEALw_wcB

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
11/28/21 9:24 p.m.

In reply to irish44j (Forum Supporter) :

I can find new tires, no problem.  If/when I restore this thing (it's turning more into an "if" than a "when"), I'll just buy new non-directional tires like it had originally.  

For now, it's turned into a Patina thing, plus a Fun of the Hunt thing, to find used 6.00x16 snow tires.

Speaking of patina, my friends and family don't think I should restore this. I even got a lot of head shaking when I mentioned that I'd like to paint POR-15 on the inside of the tub (to keep it clean) if I don't restore it.

ddavidv UltimaDork
11/28/21 9:33 p.m.

Are those non-syncro gearboxes?

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
11/28/21 9:39 p.m.

In reply to ddavidv :

Only first is non-synchro.  It's also got a high/low range.  Anybody could learn to use a clutch with the low range.  Between the ratio, the torque, and the flywheel, there is no stalling it.

ddavidv UltimaDork
11/29/21 7:56 a.m.

My dad had a '57 CJ-5, I just remember the gear grinding being a regular thing. I've thought a flat fender would be an easy to work on vehicle though I'd probably just mail order a new tub.

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
12/3/21 11:18 a.m.

In reply to ddavidv :

A lot of these Jeeps are very worn out, so I wouldn't be surprised if the synchro's on your dad's CJ-5 were bad.

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
12/3/21 1:39 p.m.

Okay, decisions have been made:

  1. I'm having so much fun with this thing as is, I'm not going to restore it any time soon.  It's going to stay in the low buck beater phase for awhile.
  2. While I've kept a number of my older vehicles 6 volts, I'm going to convert this one to 12 volts.   Since the generator is very tired, the regulator is bad, and I need to buy a battery anyway, I think it's money better spent (and honestly, less money) to go 12V with a cheap GM alternator.  The whole wiring harness is too damaged to be safe, so I'll be rewiring everything.  Replacement harnesses are about $300, so I'm going to try a generic $30 kit from Amazon and report back.  I love wiring cars from scratch, so this will be fun to try on the cheap.  I'm hoping by the time I buy some bulbs, switches, and connectors, I'll still be into the wiring for about $100.   
  3. Of course, I'm going to sort the rest of the mechanicals. You'll see a punch list about that in a future post.
  4. Seats:  I'm going to try to sew up my own seat covers.  I've dabbled with sewing upholstery a bit in the past and am ready to try again.
  5. Seat belts.  With old vehicles, I figure you can get thrown from the car and killed, or get strapped in and killed in the car.  My wife will be happier if I don't get thrown from the car. 
  6. Tires:  You've seen my quest to find used tires.  I'm continuing that quest but I'm not going to drive it on unsafe tires, so if I don't find a few more decent tires, I'll order new ones.
  7. I'm being careful not to screw it up, so other than the wiring (which will be neat and easily reversible with a correct harness) and seat belts, it's going to stay a 1947 CJ2A, not a resto-mod CJ2A.
onemanarmy Reader
12/3/21 3:57 p.m.

I like this.  Will be following

Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA SuperDork
12/3/21 6:53 p.m.
Carl Heideman said:

Good catch.  I agree the longer lining should be on the leading shoe.  Must be the last guy didn't pay attention.  I left them as installed, though, because I'm pretty sure I'd have to re-arc them to the drums if I switched them around.

Flip 'em around and overtighten the manual adjuster slightly.  They'll re-arc themselves.

maj75 (Forum Supporter)
maj75 (Forum Supporter) Dork
12/3/21 7:39 p.m.

I just bought a '59 CJ5.  Running gear is very similar to yours.  It was a ranch Jeep in Colorado.  Very original with a PTO winch.  I drove it down the mountain (easy in 1st) and then back up to 8000' (easy in 1st). It doesn't ride or steer any worst than my '95 F250 did.

I went with General Tires 215/75/15.  They list a 205/75 but it wasn't available.  I think they fit my CJ pretty well.

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
12/3/21 8:22 p.m.

In reply to maj75 (Forum Supporter) :

Nice!  I bet that's a little less rusty than mine. 

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
12/4/21 8:07 p.m.

I did a little work on my '74 Thing today and it occurred to me that these are both civilian versions of military vehicles developed  during WW II, but from different sides. 

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
12/19/21 9:30 p.m.

I've got a punch list of mechanical work that will render the Jeep undriveable for a little while.  Before I do that, I want to drive it in the snow.  And we haven't had enough snow yet for that.

So I decided to start working on the seats.  We had to take sewing class in the 7th grade ("Don't race the machines," our ancient teacher would yell) and got an A- but I haven't touched a sewing machine since.   My mom sewed a lot and I have one of her sewing machines.  With that and YouTube, I set to work.

I started disassembling the seat that had some upholstery.

I was pleased to find what looks like the original upholstery under the nasty cover.  I used that as a pattern.

I've been told upholstery is a lot like sheetmetal work (and I do a lot of sheetmetal work) and I have to agree.  I made up some paper patterns the same way I do for a sheetmetal project.

I picked out some dark blue denim from the fabric store.  I didn't want to use anything too heavy as I'm learning and wanted something forgiving.  I also figure the denim should fade pretty quickly to better fit in with the rest of the Jeep. The denim was $3.97/yard.  I bought 2 yards, enough to do both seats and make some mistakes.  The fabric people recommended heavy-duty thread, which was $4.95.   

My mom is 92 and she was excited to hear I put her machine to use.

Had to do a little ironing, too.

And the first iteration didn't fit.  It hung over about 1-1/2" too long at the top.

I learned how to use a seam ripper and adjusted.  I tried three different times and I still couldn't get it right.  

With frustration winning over progress, I decided to revisit my patterns.  The seat is pretty simple, but the curve at the top turned out to be critical.  I had sort-of eyeballed that part of the pattern figuring denim is more forgiving than sheetmetal.  Turns out it's just as fussy.  So I cut some of the stitching out of the original upholstery and got my pattern to match it perfectly.  

I started over and cut up new pieces with the more accurate patterns.  I also stitched up the top part (the tricky part) first, test fitted each side as I went, and then moved on to the easier parts. 

This time it fit.

I'm very happy with it.  It will fit a bit tighter when I screw it all in.  I'm pretty sure it will be wrinkle-free.  I had about six hours in all of this, not including the trip to the fabric store.  I probably can do the other back in about an hour.  

The bottoms should be about the same, except I don't have a good pattern to go from.  I'm looking forward to learning more about stitching!

Wayslow Dork
12/20/21 8:28 a.m.

Great to see some other old Jeeps on this forum. Still plugging away at getting my 1948 CJ2A finished. We got the body back on the chassis for I hope the final time. Finished connecting up the steering this weekend. Parking brake is now working. Wiring is next.

ClemSparks UltimaDork
12/20/21 12:17 p.m.

The seats are coming out great...I like the denim!

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
12/20/21 1:52 p.m.

In reply to Wayslow :

We have similar taste in cars.  I see a Lotus 7 (or clone?) in the background...I've got a 1965 Series 2.

Is that a new body tub on your Jeep?  

Wayslow Dork
12/21/21 9:29 a.m.

In reply to Carl Heideman :

Hey Carl. That particular Locost belongs to a friend of mine. It's undergoing a bit of an overhaul as the original engine blew and he's swapping in a rebuilt Toyota 4AGE. We've built several of them over the years and I enjoyed mine but sold it after I purchased my 1969 Europa. I think I'm one of the few people with a running driving Europa.

I also have a 1973 Spitfire as a summer driver. There's a 1971 Lotus Elan in the loft of the shop awaiting a full restoration. It's on the short list to get done but once the CJ2A is finished we'll be restoring a 1929 twin cockpit cedar strip boat that's sitting beside my pole barn.

The Jeep has been a nice departure from old British cars.

Billy_Bottle_Caps SuperDork
12/21/21 10:23 a.m.

Great project! Glad you are keeping it pretty much as is. That thing is cool.

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
12/23/21 9:06 p.m.

It took about two hours to make the 2nd seat back cover and it fits nicely.  It would have gone a little faster, but I had to untangle the sewing machine a couple of times.  I've got some friends who know a lot more about sewing than me and I'll ask them to help me figure out why I'm having these tangling issues.  The issues tend to come at the beginning and end of a stitch when I'm backstitching. I can't tell if it's the backstitching or that I'm holding/pinching the fabric.  Anyway, I'm happy with the results.

I've got the inner springs for both seats, but as the picture shows, I don't have the horsehair and padding for one of them.  I think I've got some leftover at Eclectic from customer work, but otherwise I've got to visit the fabric store again to get foam for the seat bottoms and I can get some then.


Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
1/1/22 8:08 p.m.

So there's been a little distraction, but it does have something to do with the Jeep.  

I have three Model T Fords:  1914, 1921, and 1927.  The earlier ones run and drive, but the '27 was disassembled, awaiting restoration. A few days before Christmas, I was organizing shelves trying to come up with some space for customer parts.  My sons were around for Christmas and we thought that we could free up some shelf space if we put that Model T back together and make it drive again.  It's a bit of a Christmas tradition to do a car project while we're waiting for Christmas dinner, so we headed to Eclectic in the morning with the goal of driving the T before presents and festivities began at 4:00pm.  We called it our Christmas T Party.

At 3:45, the boys took it around the block.  We washed up and had our family Christmas on time.

What does this have to do with the Jeep?  I've been hankering to paint something with a brush and was thinking about doing that with the Jeep, but so many of my friends and family said I'd ruin it by doing that.  And I agreed.  So I decided to instead paint the T with a brush, just like they did in the old days. 

My buddy Nick came over and helped throw some filler over the sinful metalwork done sometime in the T's past.  Then we had a painting party a few nights later.  A couple of the boys' friends even joined in.  With friends and some beers, it takes about 45 minutes to paint a Model T in black Rustoleum with a brush.  

This picture doesn't show it very well, but we also whacked 2-1/2" out of the windshield and leaned it back about 4."  We're going to make a "gow job" out of this T.

The Jeep is sharing the home shop with the T for a little while.  I think I'm going to try upholstering the T as well.

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
1/1/22 8:33 p.m.

Distraction over, I have been back at the seats.  I was able to reuse the plywood bases from the previous upholstery.  I did tune up the radii on the corners with a sander.

I made a paper pattern from the bases, adding 1/2" all the around for the hem to the seat sides.  

Supply chain issues have apparently made it hard to get foam right now, so I had to stack some 1" and 2" foam to make a 3" cushion.  

I then cut some denim from my pattern and stitched it up a base for test fitting.  I'm pretty happy. 

I'm making the other base tomorrow and will glue and screw everything together, hopefully wrinkle-free.


1 2 3 4
Our Preferred Partners