Rear 3 Point Seat Belts

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This spring’s update consisted of yet another safety related item.  Three point seat belts for the back seat.  My oldest son, Alex, is now too big for a simple child seat and is now in a booster/belt positioner.  This type of seat requires a full 3 point seat belt.  So, off to Pull-a-Part I went. I found an old conversion van with two after market seat belts in the back that were exactly what I needed.

Several hours later I had (a)removed the old seat belts, (b)reaffirmed my hatred of Torx bolts,  (c)removed and reinstalled my rear bench seat, (d)drilled several holes in my roll cage and (e)bolted the new seat belt retractors to said roll cage.

Now, off to the ice-cream stand! With gas prices as they are, I can’t afford to go trail riding so this is about as fun as it gets sadly.

Update: I had to rotate the retractors 180 deg so they are on the inside of the roll cage.  My soft-top hoops were hitting them.

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Holy Crap! A Jeep Chronicles Update?

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You can pick yourself up off the floor now.  I’ll wait.

Ok, now that the blood has returned to your brain and you can see again, yes.  I have updated the blog! And with a shiny new WordPress engine too boot!  She’s come a long way since I started this blog back on

10 years! Holy Crap.

A lot has changed with the Jeep and with me.  First off, yes I still have her. And, yes she is still yellow. The only really major additions since the full roll cage are some sholder harness seat belts for the back seat. The boys are getting bigger and I needed to move them from full 5 point child seats to boosters w/ shoulder belts. I’ll have a post about that update soon.

Now, go get a glass or orange juice or something to get your blood pressure back up to a normal level. Shocks like this can certainly take their toll.

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Roll Cage

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Yes, I’m alive! Contrary to popular opinion. And yes I have actually done something to the Jeep! Or should I say, I’ve paid someone to do something to her for me? I don’t have a welder or tubing bender or the skill to wield either but I know somebody who does and I got him to make a roll cage for me! Gotta love buddies from 4×4 clubs, thanks Smitty! You do good work!

I wanted this addition to protect the new additions to the family. Alex 3 and Nathan 15 mo. will soon be riding around in the back seat and I wanted steel above and behind their heads. Now I have it. Can’t wait to get out on the trail this summer, it’s been too long!

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Pinion bearings, engines and suction guns

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Ok, yea, yea, yea… it’s been a few weeks… er… months… er…OK!… years since I last posted. I’ve been a little busy. We have a new passenger for the Jeep, my 18 month old son, Alex (I’ll have him under the Jeep with me any day now.). And a second new passenger due in about 5 weeks. Needless to say, the Jeep hasn’t gotten as much attention as she used to.

But, I’m going out on a trail ride this weekend and had to get her road/trail worthy so I’ve had an excuse to work on her a little. So, to catch everyone up on the last year or so… the biggest bit of work I’ve done was a full axle swap front and back last winter. I killed the front differential climbing a long hill. Threw the front pinion bearing and the gears kina ate themselves. One of the members of the club had an old CJ-5 carcass sitting out behind his garage that had 3.4 gears. He didn’t want them (too high for him, he’s running 4.3 I think.) Me? I’ve had 2.7’s in the old girl all along and 3.4’s are a step up! I graciously took them and stuck them under her last fall.

I then took her out the next spring and it was wonderful! All 15 minutes of it. Till my engine seized up. Spun the rear crank bearing. Once again a friend from the club ( saved my ass with a spare 258 straight six he had sitting out back. One poor man’s rebuild (new main rear seal and oil pump) later she was installed and I was back in action.

Took her out a couple of times over the summer and it’s great. The new gears are amazing. Second best mod I’ve done to her. Second only to the locker in the rear.

So, I’m driving back from a local festival (on a level paved road I might add) with Jen and Alex when I hear a strange noise coming from the rear axle. I get home and look under it and see the rear pinion shaft is wobbling all around. Uh oh! After pulling the rear axle out, I see the pinion bearings are shot and luckily I didn’t kill the gears. Phew. Stuck in some new bearings and put it back on and we’re good again.

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Wiring in the Plug

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I got a female plug from Radio Shack to match the male that I put on the end of the power cable. I then connected the red wire to the center post on the female connector. The ground wire from the drill got connected to the outer shell of the connector. The third connector is a normally-closed switch connected to the outer shell. I connected it to the connector that connected to the battery. This way, when the cable is plugged in, it disconnects the ground lead of the battery.

I drilled a hole big enough for the connector in the plastic plate that covered the wires in the drill. I figured that mounting the connector there would a) protect it and b) make it so I would have to remove the battery to hook up the wire. You could just as easily put the connector any where you could find space in the drill.

And that’s it! I now have a 12v drill that I can use on the trail all day if I need to. And it only cost me bout $20. Gotta love it.

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The Plug and Cord

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First step was to make the cord. I used the 12v cigarette lighter plug and wire from an old auto vacuum dust-buster like thing. You could find the same on one of those cheep little air compressors or just about anything that runs off the cigarette lighter.

I attached a power plug from another device that I happen to have lying around. You can just as easily get one from Radio Shack for a few bucks. Be sure to connect the center connector of the cigarette lighter plug to the center post of the female power connector.

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12v Jeep Powered Drill

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A little side project. I picked up this 12v drill at Harbor Freight a few months ago for something like $15 during a sale. I thought, it’s inexpensive. If I drop it in the mud and kill it I’m not out much. But for $15 you don’t get that great of a battery. It lasts about 10 minutes if I’m lucky. And only holds a charge for a day or two.

But I bought it with a plan in mind. I could have gotten one with a higher voltage battery but I wanted the 12v for a reason. I figured I could just attach a wire to the battery clips and then to the Jeep battery and I’ve got a drill that will last all day! Read on.

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All done! Now to let it dry for a day or two. Then everything gets bolted back in. Including the newly painted roll bar. I also stopped by a local tire store and got an old truck tire inner tube. I’ll cut pieces out of it and put it in between the roll bar and the tub. This will keep the metal from rubbing the paint off. More soon!

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All Covered

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Here it is painted all over. The tape is still on. According to the directions, I left it dry for about an hour or so and then put a second coat on the edges. This softens up the paint around the tape so it will peal off easily. After the second coat on the edges, I pealed off the tape. Then it got to sit for 3 or 4 hours till it was dry to the touch. Then a second coat all over and we are done!

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Finally! The goop goes on!

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The day of painting has finally arrived! I was ready to paint it two weeks ago but a family member ended up in the hospital and I had to put it off for another day. Then a typical Ohio early spring snow storm kept me from doing it till today. 50 deg. and rain. That’s ok, though because it is Herculiner actually uses the moisture in the air to start the curing process. So, rain on!

First off, tape around all the edges. 2″ up from the floor all the way around. Then after donning a pair of rubber gloves, I start glopping this stuff on. It feels like putting roof tar on it. Thick black tar like stuff with ground up rubber granules in it.

First job is to paint around the edges with the brush.

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