Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Front Clip Removal

The first step in taking off a CJ body is the clip removal.  There are several small things that you need to do to ensure it comes off smoothly.  You can completely unbolt the clip, but like the removal of the tub, you will need a hand to get it off.

The first thing that I did was remove the hood.  The hinge bolts were only very slightly stubborn, after a quick blast with my new best friend, PB Blaster.  Given enough time, it seems that there's nothing PB Blaster can't get unstuck.  It eats rust like Pac-Man gobbles pellets.  Anyway, this isn't a commercial, but if you're using WD-40, you're missing the boat.  Really.

Hood hinges being removed

Hinges on the parts washer. 
You can see the original color (orange) here.

Hood's off!

After I disconnected the battery, radiator hoses, grill bolts and hood strut (one's missing), I was ready to examine the wiring on the wiring block.  That was an Air Force issued item that my Uncle Terry installed to facilitate removal of the clip.  It definitely made things a lot easier, as there were only a couple of things to disconnect, after photographing and carefully labeling with masking tape and a Sharpe, to ensure I can reconnect everything properly.  There's a chance that when I go to reassemble this, I will just replace all of the wiring while I am at it, but for the time being, I thought that it would be prudent to treat it as though I was going to retain the original wiring.

Wiring Block.  Hood strut directly above.

After I disconnected all of the wiring, there were some bolts along the side of the clip edges.  I removed these, and replaced them in their holes to ensure they wouldn't get lost.  I mean, who knows how long it will be until I get everything back together.

Speaking of which, you might see some coffee cans in various locations in these photographs.  I use a different coffee can for each little subsection of hardware, such as hood mounting hardware, etc.  I label the can, throw the lid on it, and the parts stay together and more or less clean (or at least as clean as they were when I pulled them) until I need to reinstall them.  I have found that this system works as good as any.

I had a friend come over and lift the clip off with me.  It isn't that heavy, but it's very bulky, and flexes a little when you try to remove it alone.  It consists of the grill with lights, both fenders, and the radiator.  When the clip is off, the access you gain to the front end of the Willys is amazing!  After only forty-five minutes, this is what it looked like:

Originally, I thought that I would just take off the clip for better access to the master cylinder and brake lines. However, I was inspired by the ease at which the clip came off, and decided just to pull the whole tub off while I was at it, and just do things right the first time.  Besides, just removing the clip didn't give me the complete access to the master cylinder, though it did help a bit.  Since I have to replace the leaf springs (two are broken) as well as all of the brake lines, and really want to inspect the frame, it seemed like the right thing to do.  More later!


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