Sunday, July 20, 2014

Door Latches - Custom?

Discovered something about my DJ5 today that I didn't know. I was trying to figure out why I'm unable to slide open my doors and keep them open like I hear everyone else is able to do with their postal Jeep. I started digging around for pictures of the latch mechanism to see if mine's just broken or missing a part. Turns out...I have a completely different setup (ie...customized) for my door latches than normal DJ5's do.
Here's what a normal DJ5 latch is supposed to look like:

As you can see, it has two latches... a front one and a rear one. This is so you can latch it in a closed position, or also in an open position.  My doors don't look like this, nor do they stay latched open.

I'm guessing it was customized sometime in the 80's when I think some of the other custom mods were done on mine. My door latches are mounted completely inside the sliding door itself. Only thing sticking out is the handle on the outside, a thumb lever on the inside, a slide bolt lock to lock it from the inside, and the latch catch. I'm going to try to find a way to see if I can rig up a latch to hold the door open when it's slid open since this setup doesn't allow that. Interesting how it was done. A little crude, but definitely customized over the stock double-sided latch solution.  Here's what mine look like:

Friday, July 11, 2014

Original State

Finally got my two videos that I took of the Jeep when I had first purchased it. I did a basic walk-around and also a separate video of the interior.  Here's those two:

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Brakes 2

Yay!!! Some progress.  I managed to put an order in at Napa for parts on Monday of this week.  I basically narrowed my parts list down the the basic essentials.  Here's what I ordered:

  • 4 wheel cylinders
  • 1 master cylinder
  • 4 adjuster screws
  • 8 shoe hold-down clips
  • shoes for front and back
  • master cylinder bleeder kit
  • wheel cylinder bleeder kit
  • 2 parking brake strut springs
I didn't order new drums because the existing drums look like they're in good condition.  Besides, if it turns out they're not (out of round or whatever), those are REALLY easy to replace.

I picked up all the parts today and started with the master cylinder since that's the head end of all of this (and actually it's what I believe is bad).  Sorry I didn't take any pictures of this process.  There's tons of videos out there on Youtube on how to do this stuff (how do you think I learned?  I have no idea what I'm doing except for what I watched on Youtube).  But here's some of the basic steps I took to remove the master cylinder on my Jeep DJ5.

First, I pulled the battery and tray out.  They sit right above where my master cylinder is mounted in a little box just off to the side of the frame rail.  There were 4 bolts/nuts holding it in.  Two in the firewall, one on the fender, and one on a large bracket that goes down to the frame.

Once the battery stuff was gone, I disconnected the brake pedal from the cylinder strut bar.  It was just held in by a cotter pin and washer.  The strut is kinda semi-permanently held in to the master cylinder by a one-way retention ring with 4 fingers on it.  I didn't know that though until I got it totally out and on my workbench.  So basically, you'll have to leave the strut and the rubber boot that covers the joint on the master cylinder until you remove it.

I then removed the two bolts that hold the master cylinder into the box.  Then disconnected the brake lines with a 1/2" wrench.  They're basically just rigid metal lines that are flared at the end and a compression nut.  Once everything was disconnected, I was able to pull the master cylinder out, feeding the strut through the hole as it came out on a diagonal.

Once I drained and disposed of the fluid in the reservoir, I had to get that rubber boot and strut out of it to be used on the new master cylinder.  The rubber boot is just held on by a lip around the edge of the opening.  Just needed to lightly pry it off with a flat head screwdriver and then shimmy it down the strut so it's out of the way.

The strut is held in by a 4-fingered retention ring.  My first thought was that I was going to have to find proper tools to carefully remove the two retention rings (there was also an outer ring too).  Then I realized... I'm not keeping this damn thing.  Why do I have to be careful with it?

So I took a flat head screw driver and bent the four fingers down which freed up enough space to pull the strut bar out.  I cleaned it up with a wire brush and set it aside.

I put my new master cylinder in my vice just like in the videos and attempted to use the bleeder kit I had from Napa, but the kit was missing one of the properly sized connectors so I did the best I could with what was there, and then capped off the ports and put the lid back on.  Check Youtube videos for details on how to do this.

Brought it back up to the Jeep and re-installed it.  I won't go through all the details, as I had to do it 3 times before I got it right... but, make sure that you hook up the brake lines in first as the must be threaded in straight or it won't work right.  I hooked em up, then bolted the master cylinder back in, and then tightened everything down.

I won't be re-bleeding the cylinder on the car tonight (you need a buddy to do it, and my wiffy has already gone to bed).  Will have to install the front seat temporarily to do it so you can press on the brake pedal to do the bleeding.  That's all for now.  Next is to bleed the master cylinder and then start to disassemble and reassemble all the drum stuff.  And more bleeding. 

Sunday, July 6, 2014


Ugh...this has been one of the biggest pains in the ass so far with my new Jeep.  Finding the proper brake parts to rebuild the drum brakes on this beast is not exactly easy.  Also doesn't help that I don't really know the year of mine since it looks like it may have been pieced together at some point from a few different DJ5's.

I've visited most major parts stores either online or in person including Napa, Autozone, Pep Boys, CarQuest, JC Whitney, and a bunch of others.  Most big auto parts stores like Autozone and Napa don't have much listed if you look up a DJ5 specifically.  Napa seemed to have a decent amount of stuff but none of it local.  Most parts would have to be shipped in.  Anyway, here's what I've found:

This stuff is super easy to find and you can probably go to any major auto parts store and either find it there or have it ordered to arrive next day.  This should be free to ship since they ship it from store to store or warehouse to store and then you just pick it up.
  • drums
  • fluid
  • brake shoes
This stuff is a little more difficult to find because most parts stores I go to don't have solid listings for DJ5's.  You can try and take your chances with looking up CJ5 since it seems like these stores have much more listed for that model, but you're taking your chances depending on the year since the two models strayed a bit after AM General took over.
  • master cylinder
  • wheel cylinders
  • hydraulic lines
  • some springs, clips, misc hardware
  • adjuster screw assembly
I found this stuff to be completely difficult to find at any parts store other than and possibly the Postal Jeep store (jo296ro) on Ebay.  Just... good luck trying to find any of these parts/kits.
  • correct springs
  • backing plate
  • parking brake rebuild kit
  • spring rebuild kit
  • self-adjuster rebuild kit
Honestly, it looks like the best bet for getting the exact brake parts you need if you're keeping drum brakes is to call up and order from them.  I'll be doing that this Monday for sure since I"m tired of searching endlessly all over the internet for the exact rebuild kits that I need.

Anyway, I took some pictures of my drums to document how they are now.  I'll paste them below so you can have a look in case you need to reference against yours.  Again, I have no idea exactly what year my brakes are, but I'm guessing 1968-1970 and they appear to be 10 x 2 inch brakes.

Right rear top - missing parking brake strut spring

Right rear bottom - missing self adjuster hardware and
leading hold-down retainer is failing

Left rear top - also missing parking brake strut spring

Left rear bottom - no self-adjuster hardware

Left rear leading - used those silly clips instead
of spring and retainer top

Left rear trailing - same dumb clip

Right front full view - does this seem tilted forward to you?

Right front top

Right front bottom - again, no self adjuster

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Interior Clean Up

So since I haven't been able to locate the parts I need to re-do the brakes (actually, I can but I'm being picky and I've been avoiding contacting so far) I've started to work on the interior.  I wanted to clean it up and see if I can fix any rust that was showing up.  Trouble with this is that once you start working on it you start to find more and more areas that need attention.

My original goal with the interior was just to do a basic quick cleanup and then cover over it with some roll on truck bed liner.  I didn't want to strip all the paint because most of it is in really good shape and I don't think I need to go down to bare metal.  But, as usual with these things, as I started pulling up the carpet and taking things out I started to find more rust than I had thought was there.

So here's what the interior looked like when I bought it.

And how about a video too:

It looked clean, but that's because all the insanity was covered up.  Actually, the carpet was really dirty, but it seems like it photographs well.

I started to tear stuff out.  Here's a mid-progress video of that:

And finally after ripping most everything out:

I was surprised to find it in decent shape, but also surprised at how stupid some of the repairs were done under the carpet.  You can still see some of the square patches of sheet metal held in by rivets covering larger holes in the floor.  I have no idea what the previous owner that did this was thinking.  Lazy way to do a repair.  I had to drill the rivets out and then toss the square patches in the trash.  There's a fair amount of good sized holes in the floor.  I can only figure it's from various seats, seat belts, and mail trays being attached and removed over the years.  Once I got all the stuff out of the way, I took to the bad part of the floor by the driver side with a angle grinder fitted with some wire brush wheels.  Here's what I ended up with so far:

Doesn't show up too well in pictures (it was dark when I took them so only the flash on my cell phone lit up the Jeep), but I've sanded down all of the rust and took off most of the loose paint.  I don't really feel that I need to take EVERYTHING down to bare metal since I'm going to be covering over it with truck bed paint.  Most of the rusted areas appear to have been where the floor mat was under the feet of the driver.  It's mostly just pitted but there are some spots that were thin enough for the wire wheel to break through.  Lots of holes too from years of mounting things, and then removing them.

Not sure yet how I'm going to patch the holes.  I'd really like to avoid using too much body filler, but I guess for smaller stuff like this it's probably the best option.  For larger holes I'm probably going to cut out sections of the floor and then get some new sheet metal, cut it to size, and then attempt to weld it in.  I don't have a good welder at the moment (lower cost arc welder) but I'll try it first before I go get myself a better and easier to use wire-fed MIG welder.

Identifying The DJ5

I've been trying to determine the year of this Jeep the past few days because a) it's really bugging me, and b) it makes it difficult to find parts if you don't know what year your vehcile is. There are pieces all over the Jeep that are different dates and years leading me to believe more and more that my DJ5 is a FrankenJeep.  Here’s what I’ve found so far.

Engine Bay - 1971
Dashboard - November 1969
Engine - October 21st, 1967
Transmission - December 29th, 1970

Engine Bay
$_57 (14).JPG
AM General Corporation
South Bend, Indiana

This appears to be a legit tag from the manufacturer.  It has a fair amount of overspray on it from a previous paint session.  I tried to scrape some off, but you’re really not going to get to see more than what’s already showing through in the pic above.  This is an odd tag because the serial number showing on the tag doesn’t match what is on the dashboard.  I’m not sure if the dashboard was replaced at one point, or if the tub/engine bay panels were replaced.

$_57 (15).JPG
(False, aftermarket added tag)
1971 JEEP DJ5

This tag can be disregarded.  I think someone in the 80s rebuilt this Jeep and went a little crazy with false exterior badges and tags like this.  (not to mention how crazy he/she was with rivets!)

Manufacturered by Kaiser Jeep Corporation
Truck, Light Delivery
Model - 1969 DJ-5A 8513
Warranty Expiration Date
Nov 21 1971

This is legit tag from the manufacturer that states the Model # including the year and a warranty that appears to be exactly two years after the manufactured date on the other tag below.

Mfd. By Kaiser Jeep Corporation
Nov. '69
This vehicle conforms to all applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards in effect on the date of manufacture shown above.
Vehicle Number: 8513-51826

This tag identifies the Jeep as a Kaiser Jeep made in November 1969 and it lists a VIN # 8513-51826 which is different than the VIN listed in the engine bay.

So the engine was a little more difficult to identify a date on, but here’s what I found.  First an image of the date ID.
So this image basically shows the date tag and another interesting one.  The upside-down number at the left is the ID number of the block.  I’m not sure if it’s a unique number or if it’s supposed to match the VIN of the vehicle.  Doesn’t match either of the two VIN’s above, so I just ignored it for now.  Here’s what the other two sets of numbers mean.
J = October
21 = 21st
7 = 1967
CON 2 = Conveyor 2 (assembly line conveyor?)

So the research I did on the Internet shows that this stamping identifies where and when this transmission was created. I found this stamping on the side of the pan at the bottom of the transmission. It was covered in trans fluid so I didn't see it until I wiped it off. Here’s the decoded info:
C = Cleveland, OH
0 = 1970
T = December
29 = 29th day
N = Night Shift

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

New Jeep DJ5

Welcome to my Jeep DJ5 blog.  I picked up a used Jeep DJ5 on Friday June 27th, 2014 from a car flipping business in Savannah, GA.  I have been looking for one of these for a few months now.  I wasn't sure if I wanted one or not, but the more I researched them the more I realized how cheap and easy it was going to be to obtain and work on one.  How about a pic?

This is what it looked like when I purchased it.  It was listed in an Ebay auction that I won with no contest at all.  I used some ninja bidding skills and bid at the last 20 seconds and won it for $1300.  Probably a little higher than I wanted to spend, but this thing was in fantastic shape compared to other Jeeps I've seen on Craigslist.

It was a bit older than I wanted, and also didn't have the 6-cylinder motor I was looking for.  But I couldn't get past how good of shape it was in.  I can always drop a new motor in it later anyway.

It's allegedly a 1971 Jeep DJ-5B, but there's a number of things on it that lead me to believe that it's actually older.  Maybe a 1968-70 model.  The motor is a 4-cylinder Chevy Nova engine hooked up to a 2-speed PowerGlide transmission.  That motor wasn't available on a 71, so either it's mislabeled or I have a FrankenJeep that was pieced together using parts from other Jeeps.

The motor starts and runs, although it sounds like it may have a slight issue in the top end.  Maybe a minor adjustment needed in the valvetrain.  Transmission shifts in and out of gear fine. The brakes are completely shot and don't work at all.  I managed to take off the driver side rear wheel and drum tonight to get a look at it.  Based on all the videos I watched on how to repair drum brakes, I believe the brakes are missing a lot of parts and springs that are needed to make them work properly. Plus the master cylinder looks a little rough and might need to be replaced.  I'll get some pictures of this stuff the next time I take it all apart.

I'll post a shot of the interior as it looked when I bought it, but I just spent a few hours tonight removing all of it.

I believe this Jeep was possibly a total frame-off restoration done in the late 80's.  The underside of it is very clean.  No rust or deterioration that I can see on the frame, and minor surface rust on the body.  The engine bay is painted the same color as the rest of the car leading me to believe that the motor/trans were removed at one point.  The interior looks to have had a lot of work done on it too.  There was a full headliner added, side panels, and back door panels.  I think the panels were a combination of grey and gold/orange when brand new but time and a lot of sun exposure caused all of it to fade and fall apart.

I've removed the mail tray and all of the interior panels so all that is left is the bare metal.  Still have to remove the carpet on the floor in the front.  It was glued in (like the back) and there's a lot of stuff bolted into it like the seat, seat belt, parking brake, trans shifter, etc..etc. So it'll take a little more effort to pull that carpet out.

I'll post more of my ideas, photos, progress and even some videos later.