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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. May 17, 2018
    KeyserSoSay

    KeyserSoSay Member

    Edgewood New Mexico
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2017
    Messages:
    112
    here is a picture of the curved slider that was in the jeep- I'm pretty sure this is the OEM slider, but others here would be able to confirm or correct that better than I. The bracket has been (hastily) shortened by the previous owner- not sure why- maybe he was just tall, or maybe these brackets were not meant for this jeep (out of a CJ?), I don't know.

    [​IMG]

    this is the seat that was in the Jeep when I bought it. It's a rugged ridge low-back. I'm pretty sure this is a direct replacement for both the Commando and CJ5, again others here could educate me on that. It's a straight bolt though to this red bracket pictured.

    (FYI- both of these front seats are in like-new condition, I was planning on selling them locally on Craigslist, but let me know if anyone here has an interest in them- I expect the shipping alone would not make it worth either of our time and effort, but maybe- I'd like to get about 50%-70% of the new cost for them but I also value my standing as a helpful member here).

    [​IMG]

    This is probably premature to post up, but I'll do it anyway. Here is my solution to using the YJ flip-forward seat brackets in the flat-floored Commando. This bracket has been sandblasted and sanded smooth (an agonizingly tedious chore). I had to grind off some angle-iron bolt tabs the previous owner had welded on, not sure what he had them mounted in, but it was a half-assed job. The front bolt will mount through a 2" aluminum round that I'll have polished up.

    I'm about 90% sure I can (silver) powder coat these and have them look good at the end. Powder coat and moving parts don't really mix, and I do not want to disassemble and reassemble these. I'm pretty sure I can figure out a way to hang these in just such a way that that there won't be any visible naked spots or have the hinge points welded together with melted powder coat. (We'll see, I may have to just paint them).

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
  2. May 19, 2018
    OzFin

    OzFin Vintage Jeep Guy

    Michigan
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Messages:
    532




    Did you locate a doorstop? Looks like one is available over at the Jeepster Commando Club of America. You will likely have to register to see the offerings. Lots of good info at that website.
    Oz

    Jeepster Commando Club of America • Login
     
  3. May 19, 2018
    KeyserSoSay

    KeyserSoSay Member

    Edgewood New Mexico
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2017
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    112

    Yes, Jackdog sent me one of those as well.
     
  4. May 21, 2018
    OzFin

    OzFin Vintage Jeep Guy

    Michigan
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Messages:
    532
    For reference my Jeepster/Commando seat brackets are a wedge shape as seen here.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. May 21, 2018
    KeyserSoSay

    KeyserSoSay Member

    Edgewood New Mexico
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2017
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    112
    Ahh, OK, looks like the Rugged Ridge Seats are a little different (I thought they were made as a replica of CJ seats and I'd assumed the commando seats would be the same as a CJ seat. Not sure where that (red) seat bracket/slider that was in my Commando originally came out of then, it seems to be consistent with the era.


    My first thought after seeing your photos- (and it may sound goofy at first), but you might consider mounting sliders at the bottom of the brackets and have your whole bracketed seats move back and forth. That way, the height of the seat is not affected. I actually think it would work out pretty slick, and you could make a custom slider locking handle bar that would not be in your way either.

    [​IMG]

    I've got an update for you on these universal sliders, but it will be a while as I'll have to get the pictures from my phone to my computer and so on.. My initial thoughts: B-.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2018
  6. May 21, 2018
    KeyserSoSay

    KeyserSoSay Member

    Edgewood New Mexico
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2017
    Messages:
    112
    Worst part about these universal sliders is the half-azzed way they connect the adjustment handle. These just have bent out tabs that stuff into holes in the handle. Supposedly, the compression of the two sliders bolted down would be enough to keep the handle in place, but I see lots of future problems with that.

    I welded on some bolts that give a more positive attachment.

    [​IMG]

    These fit pretty well inside the bolt holes of the seat, but I had to grind the ends down just a bit.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    minor issue with the locking handle- because the front of my seat hangs down, it pushes down on the locking handle. I'll have to modify the handle a bit...

    [​IMG]

    in the meantime- the front of the seat creates additional problems. When the seat is slid back- the front of the slider rides up into the seat cushion. It's only a matter of a few inches, and you only loose about 1-1/2 inch of slide to it. and I've determined that it is not that big of an issue as we are all short people in our family. I plan to install some plastic rectangular guards into the seat when I go back together with it all (think of a square juice bottle or something similar about 2"x2" x about 3"). I may have to carve out a little foam, but pretty sure I can rig it so sliding the seat back does not create damage to the seat foam and fabric.

    [​IMG]

    bending the locking handle was a 5 minute chore. One good thing about these sliders (and the welded on bolts I modified it with) is that one could build any kind of shifter handle they'd want.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I had some red heat shrink and opted to put a rubber skin on the handle for aesthetics sake. This heat shrink is cheap on E-bay and I keep several colors and sizes (up to 2") for just this kind of thing.
    [​IMG]

    All mounted up. One thing is for certain, this new rig up sits much higher than stock, and I'll definitely be having to get a tilt steering column and a smaller steering wheel (OEM is 16", probably go to a 13" or 12" steering wheel. All-summed: fits and functions very nicely.
    [​IMG]

    went ahead and powder coated the seat bracket, and it turned out pretty great. the pic on the left is from one of my 15 test runs using different methods for mounting the seat. You must be able to pick up the item from the powder coat ground and place it in the oven without touching any surfaces or allowing them to touch the oven walls. In this case, easier said than done. All-thread through the bolt holes turned out to be the best method as it keeps the parts from moving.

    [​IMG]

    We had sprayed this bracket with WD40 very early on, and I basically forgot about that when it came time to clean this bracket in prep for powder. Had I remembered that I would have shot all of the hinge points with carburetor cleaner or some such and then cleaned as normal.

    As it turns out, we had some flaws in the powder because of this. For the most part it looks great even with a few areas of flaws like the one pictured, and the coating is still very hearty and should last forever.

    [​IMG]

    Beat's the heck out of what it looked like before, and (in my opinion) beats the heck out of the industrial flat-black look even with a few flaws.

    [​IMG]

























    HAS ANYONE SEEN MY #^$%ING SAFETLY GLASSES??!!

    (Got mad at my kid for walking off with them and he just smiled and then a few seconds later took this picture- Dad-4,383 : Kid- 73 )

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2018
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  7. May 21, 2018
    OzFin

    OzFin Vintage Jeep Guy

    Michigan
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Messages:
    532
    I'll check if the sliders will work on the bottom of the seat brackets. I have had the seats out a long time and cannot recall if the back of the wedge shaped bracket comes up against the rise in the floor deck. If they do then that will require the slider to be on top to allow the seat to as far back as possible.
    Nice work on your brackets, I like the bolt modification and the red heat shrink on the actuator handle too:goodidea:.
    Looking forward to seeing them installed.

    Now where are those safety glasses at :confused:??
     
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  8. May 22, 2018
    KeyserSoSay

    KeyserSoSay Member

    Edgewood New Mexico
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2017
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    112
    In reference to a new tilt column, my inexperience with automotive work has got me in a ditch.

    I’m hoping timgr and others are still checking into this thread from time to time. I’ve been studying the TSM and I cannot determine what type of steering column this jeep has.

    So from what I can gather, there are 3 types of steering column output shafts, 36spline, 48line, and DD shafts.

    [​IMG]

    I’ve read that Jeep used Chevy/GM components such as steering column up until 1970 (DD shaft I think) and then switched to AMC. I’ve not been able to find what type of steering column AMC used in 1972.

    From looking at the shaft in the flesh, and from the TSM, I can’t see that the Commando Column is even like this at all and simply has a flexible coupling and a u-joint, which should make it quite easy to rig up- my greater concern is rigging the linkage to the automatic transmission- and I just don’t have any experience enough to know how much trouble that is going to be. Seems like a mechanical linkage should not be too huge a job to sort out, even if it means building from scratch- any thoughts?

    Not exactly sure how long the column is either, although I do understand that I could answer these question by pulling the column, but I’m hoping to get a little advanced intel from the gurus here to guide me on my quest for knowledge first...

    Also, I’m completely confused about the steering wheel attachment- 3bolt, 6bolt, 9bolt.... I’ve seen three different 3-bolt bolt patterns for steering wheels.... “What does it all mean Basil?” Is it possible to adapt from one to another?

    What I’d love to be able to do, is just buy something very similar to exactly this (available in various lengths) and be confident I could make it work with this jeep... Please chime in if you have any pertinent direction or cautions for me...

    [​IMG]

    Chrome Tilt Automatic 32" Steering Column No Key & Shift Indicator | eBay
     
  9. May 22, 2018
    sterlclan

    sterlclan Member Sponsor

    exploring the...
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    Feb 21, 2009
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    3,011
    That column will work if it’s the right length. Trans linkage goes to the lever on the bottom. Steering shaft may need new joints. As far as wheels go they are talking about where the wheel hooks to the top of the shaft some have different options for wheels get a grant wheel to fit a gm tilt it will fit.
     
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  10. May 22, 2018
    KeyserSoSay

    KeyserSoSay Member

    Edgewood New Mexico
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2017
    Messages:
    112
    Thanks sterlcan,

    That's kind of what I thought- I had seen somewhere at some point someone mention what length the 72 Commando steering column is, but lost track. it's a bit hard to measure in the truck, and also I'm not sure if that means as measured from the wheel or is a measurement of the shaft.. I figure I can create a shaft joint or coupling if necessary, but with that I figure maybe a shorter column is better as it's easier to create a few inches then to shorten a few inches. Primary concern would be that the transmission linkage mounting at the same spot as it does with the old column. With that in mind, (and with the slider seat installed and also starting with general clearance issues) , seems I'd rather have the column 2" too short than 2" too long.

    As far as the steering wheel- The column I linked is a Chevy column and fits a 9 bolt Chevy steering wheel. All the 9 bolt steering wheels I've seen seem too fancy and cost around $180-$200 each and I found one I like for this build that is a 3 bolt wheel- I'm curious if it's possible to mount the 3 bolt wheel to the 9 bolt column. I've seen adapters but they seem intuitively to be designed to mount a 9 bolt wheel to a 3 bolt column. I just hope I'm over thinking it. I could build an adapter on my lathe I'm pretty sure, but my concern is if I'd loose 2 more inches of clearance in doing so- again leading me to think a shorter column might be the way to go, and build out from there to achieve the proper length. hence my conundrum.. My best tact will be to pull the current steering column and learn it well before I purchase anything. then commit to a column with as much info as possible, and then a steering wheel.

    If only I had the patience for all that. I really want to just buy and have the parts for this column build while I've got a little scratch in my pocket.

    Current project list:

    * Window frame parts for the Passenger door have been pulled, sandblasted and prepped for powder coat- and all my rubber/mohair/rivets parts to reinstall the glass in both doors is sitting in a box (so that chore is almost done) .

    * Passenger seat bracket is in the process of being sandblasted in prep for powdercoat (so the hard part is almost over for that chore too).

    * I have sheet metal ready to begin work on repairing the cancer spots in the body of the jeep- I also have a Hagan fuel door I'll be installing in conjunction with that chore (which will require removing the fuel tank and put the jeep out of service)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    * really want to get the tilt steering column installed before I pull the fuel tank for sheet metal repair.

    * I have the exhaust system ready to install, but want to pull the exhaust headers and replace the bolts and gaskets first. (prolly should wait to see if I do a 1" body lift with body mount replacement before installing my hangers and seems like I should undercoat with POR15 before I install the exhaust)

    ( body mounts/1" body lift, rollbar/hardtop modifications, POR15 underneath, bumpers/tire carrier, radiator/Power steering pump/engine compartment mods, wiring harness, seat resurface, body/paint/coatings, ladder bar/traction bars) <-- seems like these should be done a specific order just not sure exactly what order that is yet.....
     
  11. May 30, 2018
    KeyserSoSay

    KeyserSoSay Member

    Edgewood New Mexico
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2017
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    112
    It feels like I didn't get anything accomplished on the Jeep over the long weekend, and I kind-of didn't.

    Plus, I lost my sidekick to his Mom's house for the better part of the summer-:waiting::n:. It kind-of sucks working on the Jeep without him, but I guess I'll get over it before too long as I approach some of the larger projects coming up. Right now my focus is on completing the seat brackets and the door rebuild so I can set all of these items aside in a completed form.

    did get to finish up on a few pending projects, most of which didn't merit a photoshoot.

    I powder coated the Passenger side window frame and door hardware... I used Ruby red on the internal parts- partly because I wanted to see what it looked like, but mainly to conserve the silver powder for other projects...
    [​IMG]

    with that done, I could build the window frames back together..

    not the clearest picture, but what I'm doing here is gluing the "mohair" channel liner in the window channel. This is actually similar to the hook side of velcro except with tiny bristles. I used an industrial adhesive with a 24 hour cure time, and kept it compressed while it cured (with wood and cardboard) It seems to be pretty permanently attached.

    It fits just a little snug on the window sash, but I expect snug is good as this stuff is designed to hold up to wear over time and should break in nicely for a nice smooth operation.
    [​IMG]

    The rubber/cork sash liner worked really well, better than I though it would when I first started trying to fit it. it is not self-adhesive like we are used to (like with the 3M adhesive strip), but it does ultimately adhere well to the glass, and is much more flexible and forgiving than in seems at first glance.

    I had bought enough to line both large roller windows but went with the old rubbers- I have a bunch of this stuff left over if anyone is interested in some.
    [​IMG]

    riveting in the inside vent window seal turned out to be a stressful chore.

    Another example of the prep work being more then the chore itself. I ended up building a backing anvil that I did not take pictures of. It was made of 1/4" angle iron that fit inside the window channel. (my first little tool pictured in the vise-grips was not even close to adequate) I had to get my wife to help me with this as it was a 4-hand job.
    [​IMG]


    The Money Shots!!! Whew, it feels good to have these built and put back together. I'm pretty sure these are in better shape than the day they rolled off the factory floor, and they look beautiful (in my opinion).

    If I have any regret it's not looking into how much it would have cost me to have these chrome plated since I had already taken them down to bare metal and polished the flaws out of the steel. But I recognize that is my OCD and is counter productive to the project as a whole.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I never intended to take this project to this level of restoration, and I do not expect I will continue to do so as I finish restoring the rest of the Jeep- but I do like that I've set the bar high in the beginning and one of the many lessons I intend to teach my son with this project is attention-to-detail and generally giving-a-sh!t about the work that you do in life. At least now he'll be able to look at something and recognize the difference between doing something right, doing it well, doing it well enough, and repairing it to get by- and then determining which is the best tact to take for a given situation. Many folks never learn that full spectrum.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2018
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  12. May 30, 2018
    EchoWars

    EchoWars Banned

    Kansas City
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    Did the same work on my '69 some years ago, and I did opt for chrome plating on the wing and window frames. 25+ years later, still looks good.
     
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  13. May 30, 2018
    KeyserSoSay

    KeyserSoSay Member

    Edgewood New Mexico
    Joined:
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    Uhhgh, where were you when I was getting started with this project? I seriously never even concidered Chrome until it was too late. :banghead:. Would have looked awesome, but I’ll have to let it go and just be content with the silver powder coat.

    Plus my kid will remember literally doing it himself everytime he gets in the truck for the next 45 years.
     
  14. May 30, 2018
    EchoWars

    EchoWars Banned

    Kansas City
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    Hey...powder coat is a great alternative. Back when I did mine, I don't think I had ever heard of powder coating. I'd have probably gone that route except that the same place kinda let me tack those window parts on since they were chroming my bumpers anyway.

    Tip: To help preserve old rubber parts that are otherwise in decent shape, smear some of this stuff on 'em:

    https://www.amazon.com/Dow-Corning-...&sr=1-1&keywords=Dow+Corning+Vacuum+Lubricant
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2018
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  15. May 31, 2018
    KeyserSoSay

    KeyserSoSay Member

    Edgewood New Mexico
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    Great tip- I actually have some of that stuff and it does work wonders preserving rubber and even cork or leather seals. but had never concidered it for external rubber.

    You might notice some armorall in some of these photos, but I never actually used it on my new rubber. I’m not a big fan of it as it seems to be designed to get you to use more Armorall (like chapstick).

    I’ve used jeweler’s-saw lubricant in the past to pretty decent effect. It seems to be a wax whipped up in an oil and the mix tends to work well whether it’s really hot or really cold, but I’m going to give the vacuum lube a try on some of the old rubbers and give them a head to head test.

    https://www.amazon.com/EuroTool-Cut-Lube-Jewelers-Lubricant/dp/B000HXSBZ6
     
  16. May 31, 2018
    EchoWars

    EchoWars Banned

    Kansas City
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    I worked for years in semiconductor cleanrooms & other robotics. We used this stuff to lengthen the service time that many seals might get around some incredibly nasty chems. Some parts went from weekly replacement to quarterly. In the comparatively benign environment of an automobile, no sweat.

    Example: I had (until a few months ago) a 1989 Honda Prelude that I bought new. Needed a valve adjustment every 15K. Never replaced the neoprene valve cover gasket, simply cleaned it off and smeared it with the Dow Corning stuff every time it was removed. Sold the car last October with 150K on the clock, after I did a valve adjust for the new owner. Still using the original gasket...no leaks. Gasket looked like new.(y)

    I also use this stuff on the foam surrounds of car stereo speakers. Helps keep them safe from sun and ozone. 1000 uses for the stuff.
     
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  17. May 31, 2018
    EchoWars

    EchoWars Banned

    Kansas City
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    Might mention here that, for hardened rubber, there's a solution if replacement is difficult or perhaps not even an option. Soaking the part in a 3:1 mix of 90% isopropyl alcohol & methyl salicylate (oil of wintergreen) for 4 or 5 days will soften it up without damage.
     
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  18. Jun 9, 2018
    KeyserSoSay

    KeyserSoSay Member

    Edgewood New Mexico
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2017
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    112
    Might be a brief hiatus for this build thread for a little while. I had a weird medical episode recently where I went “name blind” and was diagnosed with partial seizures and cannot drive or work as an LEO for 6 months. I’m still a little bit “out of it”, but it looks like I’ll be home from work for at least a few weeks until they figure out what to do with me without my truck and gun belt- so I may be able to get some real work done on the jeep, but right now my new anti-sieze pills make me pretty tired and loopy.

    Bummer.
     
  19. Jun 9, 2018
    OzFin

    OzFin Vintage Jeep Guy

    Michigan
    Joined:
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    Best wishes to you for a speedy recovery.
     
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  20. Jun 11, 2018
    KeyserSoSay

    KeyserSoSay Member

    Edgewood New Mexico
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    Also worth mentioning, the windfall money I was so excited about ( that was going to go towards the Commando project) was re-allocated towards emergency expenses. Namely, a 300 Blackout SBR, and a State Arms 50BMG.

    Gotta take care of essentials before pet projects (y)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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