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71 Wheeling Rig

Discussion in 'Builds and Fabricators Forum' started by Fireball, Jan 18, 2021.

  1. Apr 11, 2023
    vtxtasy

    vtxtasy oldbee 2024 Sponsor 2023 Sponsor

    Tucson, AZ
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    Super Skookum!
     
    Dwins1 likes this.
  2. Apr 11, 2023
    Fireball

    Fireball Well-Known Member 2024 Sponsor 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

    Pullman, WA
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    Feb 9, 2018
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    I end up using that silly thing a lot more than I thought I would.
     
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  3. Apr 11, 2023
    Dwins1

    Dwins1 Member

    Port Richey, Florida
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    Jun 20, 2022
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    299
    You are the first jeeper that uses a cat scan on their repairs!
     
    blalp!, vtxtasy, dozerjim and 2 others like this.
  4. Apr 11, 2023
    duffer

    duffer Rodent Power

    Bozeman, MT
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    Sep 17, 2009
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    4,542
    :watch:

    If this fails, anyone decent with TIG can probably fix that in about 10 seconds.
     
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  5. Apr 11, 2023
    duffer

    duffer Rodent Power

    Bozeman, MT
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    Sep 17, 2009
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    I was piloting a work Suburban once and a piece of gravel poked a hole in the front of a tube. I stopped at the first truck stop I came to after getting out of the boondocks (Mike Horse Mine near Flesher Pass in MT), bought a cheap pair of the non serrated jaw Visegrip imitations, and clamped it shut. Probably a more or less permanent fix if you didn't mind the new accessory sticking out the grill. The university service shop installed a new radiator in it.
     
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  6. Aug 27, 2023
    Fireball

    Fireball Well-Known Member 2024 Sponsor 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

    Pullman, WA
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2018
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    I was moving the '71 out of the way to pull the truck and trailer in the shop a few days ago and the battery was dead. Jumped it to get it going, got 14.1V from the charging system so it wasn't that. Put the charger on it overnight, and it couldn't start the Jeep the next morning. I guess 7 years is the life of a Napa battery.

    Replaced it with an AGM battery from O'Reilly. I've been happy with the 3 year old one in the '69 so far:
    [​IMG]

    The posts are against the firewall this time (to keep them on the same sides), but thankfully the wires still reach.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2023
    Stakebed, Rodney, vtxtasy and 4 others like this.
  7. Aug 27, 2023
    Dave Deyton

    Dave Deyton Member

    Fuquay-Varina, NC
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2003
    Messages:
    880
    Got the O'Reilly AGM batteries in 3 Jeeps (2 of them 24V so X2) and 2 Honda CRV's. No complaints in 3 or 4 years. Big expense buying 7 AGM batteries but it has been worth it.


    Dave
     
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  8. Apr 22, 2024
    Fireball

    Fireball Well-Known Member 2024 Sponsor 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

    Pullman, WA
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    Feb 9, 2018
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    Been doing some stuff with the '71 in the couple weeks.

    After a drive, I parked it to find this:
    [​IMG]

    The radiator was leaking somewhere up in the upper driver's corner, so out it comes.

    This is me trying to not make a mess while draining it. Funnel to hose to bucket:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This is the help I get:
    [​IMG]

    After I got the radiator out, I pressurized it to figure out where it was leaking. It's leaking where the top tube is welded to the tank. The same tube I already epoxy patched due to my poor job mounting the radiator the first time around:
    [​IMG]

    Hard to say if it's my fault for having had the grill shell pressing on that tube, or if it's just a crappy aluminum radiator going bad in 3 years.

    That's not a leak I can fix, so I ordered another radiator. It's a Griffith universal hot-rod thing from Summit Racing.

    Fitting the shroud to the new radiator and drilling holes:
    [​IMG]

    I did some improvements to make the Jeep easier to work on while I was at it. This time I used rivnuts for the shroud bolts and slotted the lower mounting holes so the radiator can drop over already started screws. Much better then trying to start screw in a place with no access.

    I also added a petcock with a place to attach a hose, for much less messy draining:
    [​IMG]

    Burping out the bubbles. All seems well now:
    [​IMG]

    Fixed another thing that's been annoying me for a couple years now. The right rear tire had a slow leak and would need to be pumped up every three weeks or so. I finally took the tire off the Jeep and hit it with some soap to find the leak:
    [​IMG]

    It turned out to be a good two inch long nail:
    [​IMG]

    Plugged and verified to not leak:
    [​IMG]

    That last thing I've been working with is the ride quality. Even with the BDS springs, it sucks compared to the '69 with it's (no longer available) ProComp springs. I've been doing some experiments to see what works.

    Experiment one is low-back seats. The theory is that the high-back seats pitch your whole body forward when the Jeep pitches while the low-backs in the 69 allow your body to pivot relative to the Jeep.

    I swapped the passenger seat for an original low back an had my wife judge it. Definitely an improvement so the '71 will probably be getting low-backs:
    [​IMG]

    My wife isn't a fan of the big gap at the bottom of the factory seat back, so I've got the Smitty Bilt seat from the '69 in it now and am waiting for my wife to get back from a business trip so she can evaluate that.

    Experiment two is the shocks. The '71 has BDS gas-charged shocks that came with the springs. Not a ton compression resistance, but they are pretty stiff on rebound. I simply pulled the shocks off and drove it. This was also an improvement. Rather than blow lots of money on adjustable Rancho's, I ordered the cheapest Monroe shocks that fit. They should be softer than the BDS shocks. The fact the Jeep wasn't a bouncy mess without shocks is an indicator that the springs are really stiff and aren't moving much.

    So,,, experiment three is yanking a leaf out of the springs:
    [​IMG]

    They were six leaf springs and are now five. I pulled the 3rd leaf up out since it didn't have any clamps on it:
    [​IMG]

    Done:
    [​IMG]

    It definitely rides better with that change. Quite a bit smoother over harsh bumps. I think it's going to stay this way.

    Amazingly it's had negligible effect on the ride height:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2024
  9. Apr 22, 2024
    Bob

    Bob Member

    Northern California
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    Sep 23, 2002
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    442
    Interesting info on the BDS shocks and removing the 3rd leaf.
     
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  10. Apr 22, 2024
    Stakebed

    Stakebed Member

    Lake Co....
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    Aug 2, 2022
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    691
    I have similar experience with my relatively new BDS springs and shocks.
     
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  11. Apr 22, 2024
    Rich M.

    Rich M. Shoe salesman 2024 Sponsor 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

    Maryland
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    Mar 23, 2008
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    So Rubicon ready ? :whistle:
     
  12. Apr 23, 2024
    Ohiowrangler

    Ohiowrangler Member 2024 Sponsor 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

    Newark, Ohio
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    I'm also interested in the results, Ron
     
  13. Apr 23, 2024
    Fireball

    Fireball Well-Known Member 2024 Sponsor 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

    Pullman, WA
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    My wife is back home and we went for a ride to the Post Office over some frost-heaved roads. Consensus is that it's quite a bit better. You still get bumped around, but the hard edge seems to be smoothed off.

    Later I took it for a drive around the property on one of the really bumpy trails:
    [​IMG]

    That trail might look smooth from a photo, but it's the equivalent of a Colorado mountain trail with loads of rocks sticking through the surface. Again, it an't no Cadillac, but it's definitely taken the edge off. I do think it's as good as the '69 with it's ProComp springs and that was the goal of all this.

    I'm curious if the shocks will make a noticeable difference when they show up on Wednesday. I'm also think about removing the smallest bottom leaf from the springs.

    My wife likes the SmittyBilt low-back seat I stole out the the '69 so the '71 is going to get a set of those and the high-backs are out:
    [​IMG]

    I love the Smittybilt seats and have already put them in two other Jeeps. Horror of horrors, Smitty Bilt has discontinued them. :poo: That's a serious bummer they are the best replacement seat for these old CJ-5s.

    Luckily a couple vendors on e-bay still had new stock and I've got a couple on the way. Soon they won't be available anymore.
     
  14. Apr 23, 2024
    colojeepguy

    colojeepguy Colorado Springs

    At the foot of...
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    Did you do front and rear?
     
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  15. Apr 23, 2024
    homersdog

    homersdog Tulsa, Ok 2024 Sponsor 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

    Tulsa, OK
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    Are these the same model you have? https://www.smittybilt.com/product-skus/smittybilt-low-back-bucket-front-seat-black-44801/
     
  16. Apr 23, 2024
    Fireball

    Fireball Well-Known Member 2024 Sponsor 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

    Pullman, WA
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  17. Apr 23, 2024
    Fireball

    Fireball Well-Known Member 2024 Sponsor 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

    Pullman, WA
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    Yes. One leaf of of each of the four springs.
     
  18. Apr 23, 2024
    Ohiowrangler

    Ohiowrangler Member 2024 Sponsor 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

    Newark, Ohio
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    Did the wife have any specific points as to why she liked the low back seats better? I also release that wives don't need a reason to like or dis like something. Thanks, Ron
     
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  19. Apr 23, 2024
    Fireball

    Fireball Well-Known Member 2024 Sponsor 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

    Pullman, WA
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    From my own experience between the '69 with low-back and the '71 with high-backs:
    • These short wheelbase, relatively stiffly sprung Jeeps have a lot of pitching motion over bumps.
    • I think the low backs are more comfortable in the pitching case because the high-backs force your upper body forward with the Jeep while the low backs allow your spine to pivot back and pitch much less than the Jeep.
    • In fact when on really bumpy stuff with the high-backs, I would tend to lean forward away from the seat to alleviate some of this effect.
    • A secondary factor is that the bottoms of the SmittyBilt low-backs are much cushier than the bottoms of the 80's vintage S-10 pickup high-backs without sitting you higher in the Jeep.
     
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  20. Apr 23, 2024
    Ohiowrangler

    Ohiowrangler Member 2024 Sponsor 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

    Newark, Ohio
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    Thank you Sir for the perspective. I've been debating on installing the low back seat that I have, Thanks, Ron.
     
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