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New proud member, will need your help with my 72 commando

Discussion in 'Jeepster Commando and Commando Tech' started by KeyserSoSay, Sep 3, 2017.

  1. Jun 11, 2018
    OzFin

    OzFin Vintage Jeep Guy

    Michigan
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Messages:
    513
    That will be some long range shooting with the 50 BMG, especially if you can get shots off within some "stable clean air" conditions.
     
  2. Jul 5, 2018
    KeyserSoSay

    KeyserSoSay Member

    Edgewood New Mexico
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2017
    Messages:
    112
    Just checking in to let you guys know this jeep build is not dead. I’ve not done much of anything with it in the last month as I’ve been adapting to my seizure meds and have been pretty loopy and unfocused. I’ll be getting my sidekick back here pretty soon and we’ll get back to working on this Jeep.
     
  3. Jul 5, 2018
    ojgrsoi

    ojgrsoi Retired. Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Weatherford, TX
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Messages:
    1,852
    Hang in there!
     
  4. Feb 21, 2019
    KeyserSoSay

    KeyserSoSay Member

    Edgewood New Mexico
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2017
    Messages:
    112
    Just touching base with you guys to bump this thread up into the "in progress" zone. I've had a run of bad luck and medical issues over the past 8 months, but we've not given up on the Jeep and are chomping at the bit to get moving forward with it. My shop is so small I've had to store project A to work on Project B, but we're working now on getting everything geared back up for Project Commando.

    I'll be posting regularly on this thread starting about the 2nd week of March.

    I have to powder coat, mount sliders, and install the passenger seat bracket, and then we'll be breaking down the seats to reupholster them in the dark red Cordura. We'll be able to shrinkwrap the seats and set them aside once that is done.

    we've been fiddling a little with the other door and will soon have that rebuilt and set aside for final finish and paint as well.

    our first big 2019 project will be repairing/replacing rusty rockers and rear floor panels, and integrating the Hagan shaved fuel cap door. I'll be replacing body bushings and have a 1" body lift we'll slip in as well (since we'll probably be running 35' tires).
    Second big project will be a roll cage and integrating it with the hard-top. Hard-top will mount directly to the roll cage for support, and the side panels will be cut out and replaced with removable hard panels (with windows).
    Third big project is shark week, red paint and raptor liner.

    from there we'll focus on the drive train, fuel system, hanging our new exhaust, tilt steering column, power steering refresh, wiring harness, 4 point traction bars, etc. Then we'll work on auxiliaries like front and rear bumpers.

    it may seem a backwards build, and probably is, but I want my steel and body work done, and can then fix or replace things to a sound structure.

    [​IMG]
     
    commanlerwrangdo and D1RTD0GG like this.
  5. Feb 21, 2019
    D1RTD0GG

    D1RTD0GG New Member

    Albuquerque, NM
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2019
    Messages:
    18
    I like where your head's at keysersosay. I'm going i don't have an exact plan in mind just whatever is in the budget and upgrade whenever something breaks. So obviously as you saw on my other post I'll be picking up a performance ring and pinion stool trying to figure out what ratio to go with i kinda wanna keep the 4.27 but with the 32s on that 3spd she was really working hard @ 65mph.
     
    KeyserSoSay likes this.
  6. Apr 15, 2019
    KeyserSoSay

    KeyserSoSay Member

    Edgewood New Mexico
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2017
    Messages:
    112
    we still continue to have snowy wet weather the past few weeks, but have been able to get some new tools and are on track to get the Commando project turning again.

    we finished up the passenger seat bracket and mounts and will soon be removing the fuel tank and other parts to facilitate some major body panel replacement and repairs. Also getting the passenger door repaired and ready for paint and re-install. I plan to send off the door hinges to the chrome shop.

    lots of work to make the old rusty Jeep seat brackets ready to install as new shiny brackets fit to the Commando, but it's been a worthwhile diversion and needed to get done..

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    commanlerwrangdo likes this.
  7. Apr 22, 2019
    KeyserSoSay

    KeyserSoSay Member

    Edgewood New Mexico
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2017
    Messages:
    112
    We got some work done on the Commando this weekend finally.



    First thing, we pulled out the fuel tank- this is a recent new replacement installed by the previous owner and we'll go right back in with it when we've go the steel right.
    [​IMG]

    I did not take very good "before" pictures of the crush damage to the back of the passenger taillight, but you can see the metal was pretty well crushed out of shape- the end result may not look pretty to most, but the steel is back in shape well enough that a minimum of body filler should make this repair invisible.
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    The sidewall cancer spots were more limited than I first expected, and I opted to just cut out a strip of metal and replace it.

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    I had already removed all rotten steel from within the floorboard.
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    tedious slow process of welding the replacement metal in place, one zapp at a time, to avoid warping. In truth, I did get impatient at one point and weld too much in one spot causing warpage, but in the end, with the interior of the panel reinforced anyway, I've got a workable flat (all steel) outer surface that will bondo up nicely.
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    We got a little further along but forgot to take any further pictures. The floor will remain open for now and I may end up building in a drop-down box in that corner of the bed which would serve as a 7" deep toolbox. I cut out a significant portion of the interior back panel and plan to add a roll cage support tucked up into the outside back corners of the jeep that is tied to the frame. This should allow me to move my role cage right up into the back wall of the jeep instead of sitting out 4-6" into the floor and save me some space. This should make more sense as more progress and pictures come..
     
  8. Apr 22, 2019
    jackdog

    jackdog Member 2019 Sponsor

    Finger Lakes NY
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2013
    Messages:
    238
    Glad to see your back at it.
     
    KeyserSoSay likes this.
  9. Apr 24, 2019
    KeyserSoSay

    KeyserSoSay Member

    Edgewood New Mexico
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2017
    Messages:
    112
    This help illustrate the current plan, the red part will be a solid brace mounted directly to the frame to support the roll cage. This will be set back into the rear wall panel to save space and should facilitate the green part, which will be a drop in tool box storage space utilizing the wasted space under the floor. I'm not sure how it will play out just yet, or even if it's a good idea, but this is where my mind is now with this part of the project.

    [​IMG]
     
    commanlerwrangdo likes this.
  10. Apr 26, 2019
    commanlerwrangdo

    commanlerwrangdo Sponsor Sponsor

    Cleveland, Ohio
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2014
    Messages:
    452
    Looking good on the rust repair and I like the in-floor toolbox idea. Might as well take up some empty/wasted space and add usefulness to that area.

    Reminds me of the work I've done on my 71. 71_Commando_0677ds.JPG
     
    KeyserSoSay likes this.
  11. Apr 27, 2019
    IRQVET

    IRQVET Member

    Southern Oregon
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2015
    Messages:
    473
    I remember straigtening my Jeep with C-Clamps, those are worth their weight in gold. I even unbloted my bench vise and used it to remove a kink in a frame rail, lol.
     
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  12. May 7, 2019
    KeyserSoSay

    KeyserSoSay Member

    Edgewood New Mexico
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2017
    Messages:
    112
    got some more work done over this past weekend. It's slow going this type of work, but we're about to get through some of the long-winded chores and should see more encouraging movement with the project in coming weeks.

    Also, we have this year's tax refund coming soon, and my sister has offered to pitch in to the project for my kid's birthday present, so we should soon have some funding coming that will give the project a nice boost to production.

    Passenger rear quarter panel is complete and ready for an integrated roll bar mount. The cross member of the body panel has been replaced and reinforced underneath the floor, and there will be a much heavier mounting bracket mounted directly to the frame underneath.

    The metal I removed from the rear interior panel will be boxed back in to seal the cab- actually, the lower role cage mount will be constructed integrally up to the height of the removable top.

    [​IMG]

    I cut out the rust spots in the fender wells, these were created by spot-welded reinforcement panels that trapped moisture, and the rust-rot is restricted to these small spots.

    [​IMG]

    I don't pretend to be a pro, or even a respectable welder, and this is the first time I've ever really done this type of body panel replacement work. I understand that many here might find my work inferior and ugly, and I appreciate that you guys have not trolled me too hard so far. My intent with this thread is not to brag on my high-speed, low-drag fab work, but instead to show that these types of repairs are not beyond the scope of what any of us can do for ourselves. I'm content and confident that the metal work done here is going to be strong, resist further rust, resist future cracking, clean up nicely with a minimum of body filler, and result in a jeep that won't need this type of work done again within the next 50 years.

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    On to the driver's side...

    This side does not look as bad as the other at first glance...

    [​IMG]

    But the cross member is rotted out, and I'll be replacing/repairing it exactly as I did the other side, and extending support from the frame out to this corner as a point of contact for the roll cage.

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    This side of the jeep received some impact damage at some point, denting the fender well, wrinking much of the flat body panel, and popping the spot-welds that connect these two panels. I drilled a few holes and welded these panels back together.

    [​IMG]

    On the other side, I had drilled several holes in the square tube to make sure it does not capture and hold water. On this side I cut out a large window so that I could redneck-spot-weld this piece to the trim piece that spot welded at the factory. This allows me to minimize the welding and warping to the actual side panel, which is already pretty kacked up from some previous misadventure.

    [​IMG]

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    guess we'll have to leave it at that, I forgot to take any more pictures as we progressed from there.
     
    commanlerwrangdo likes this.
  13. May 7, 2019
    KeyserSoSay

    KeyserSoSay Member

    Edgewood New Mexico
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2017
    Messages:
    112
    Now that you mention it, my rear frame cross member is dented and I was thinking of replacing it entirely, but I may well try the bench vise trick and maybe just box in the frame once it's straightened. thanks!
     
    IRQVET likes this.
  14. May 7, 2019
    KeyserSoSay

    KeyserSoSay Member

    Edgewood New Mexico
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2017
    Messages:
    112
    Except that your work here in the picture makes my Jeep look like it was repaired by a chimpanzee. Nicely done.
     
  15. Jun 3, 2019
    KeyserSoSay

    KeyserSoSay Member

    Edgewood New Mexico
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2017
    Messages:
    112
    OK, I was able to get some progress on the jeep last (last) weekend, but have been away for work for the past 8 days.

    I've completed the cancer surgery to the body of the jeep, with the exception of the rockers which I'll be replacing with heavier gauge sliders that will mount to the frame.

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    I also installed the shaved fuel filler.

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    This picture shows all the wrinkles in the panel that remain from previous damage and previous (less than stellar) body work. There is nothing I can really do about it short of a complete rear quarter replacement, but it is not nearly as bad as it looks and I'm confident I can make this panel smooth and pretty without excessive amounts of body filler that would be subject to flaking or breaking later on.

    the good news is that the gas filler door welding in very well, in-plane, with no warping. It is smoother and flatter than it looks in this picture and is the flattest smoothest part of the entire fender right now.

    [​IMG]

    The Hagen fuel door solves problems for me right away, as the fuel filler hose connects at a 45 degree angle removing an S-curve and pinch point in the hose that existed before. Eventually, I'll build an integrated duct for the fuel hose on this side and the fuel hose and any potential leakage or fumes will exist outside of the cab. You'll notice I also welded in the corner gaps in the fender wells. I assume they never did this at the factory for fear of creating a crack point, but I'd rather deal with a crack than water squirting through the holes every time you hit a puddle.

    [​IMG]

    When I removed the fuel tank, I broke the spot welded ground wire on the fuel sender unit. I could probably fix it, but have decided to go back with a new sender unit. I discovered a nifty trick that you guys might find worthwhile.

    My wife teases me about my compulsion with saving containers. Here's one that paid off. This is a M&M bottle that worked great as a seal for the fuel tank until I can install the new sender.

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    We also pulled the body off of the frame and removed all of the body bushings (no pictures yet). Next project will be installing new body mounts and a 1" body lift using 1" aluminum blocks. Once this is complete, we'll be in a position to start on several other projects including frame ties for my roll cage and structural rocker panels below the floor-line.

    We also removed what was left of the old exhaust. They came off easy and I'll not need to remove the exhaust manifold. Once the body is remounted, I can install and hang my exhaust system which has been collecting dust in the shed for some time.

    It may not look it, but the project is picking up steam and should move more substantially in the coming months.

    Uhhgh, it would be so much easier and quicker if I just had MORE MONEY!!!!
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2019
    commanlerwrangdo and jeepstar like this.
  16. Jun 6, 2019
    jeepstar

    jeepstar Sponsor Sponsor

    Sheboygan
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,274
    more time, or more money. always need one or the other, and you never seem to have both at the same time. great progress, keep it up. i really like jeepsters.
     

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