Repli-tub deficiencies

jmarkel

Scrambled for Life
City
Fairfax Station
State
VA
#21
I'm in the process of reassembling my replacement tub and windshield frame matched with original everything else. It has been a long process with a lot of challenges. The worst is actually that not all the body mounts lined up neatly which required some shifting. The cowl needed a lot of work to clean up, the spot welds, the rear corners at the top lip. The firewall holes (lack thereoff) and other subtle differences. Sometimes I wonder if I would have just been better off keeping the original tub even though it was pretty rotted out....i could have patched it all since I was covering with linex anyway. It looks great now, but has a lot of bondo skimming on it. I used original pieces everywhere else, but the fenders, dash, grill, and tailgate that came with the tub all seemed fine. I don't plan on using them for anything at the moment if someone is interested.
And more things to consider which are annoying...the differences in the way the firewall is made means the battery tray doesn't mount directly, you have to drill holes for things like the gas pedal mounting, heater box install, and other complicated firewall related matters. The body also needed to cut some material out to allow the gear shift to move as needed. And I'm still completely lost on trying to get the fender braces installed.
 

AdamH

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Mt Holly
State
NC
#22
After much mental debate I ordered a “fixed” tub this week. I will cut my Postal firewall out and graft it on the new tub.
 

ag4ever

Average Nut
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Richmond
State
TX
#23
Is it worth paying for the fix if you are swapping firewalls? As I understand it, most of the fixes are on the firewall. :shrug:
 

walkerhoundvm

Typical Know-it-all
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Cave Creek
State
AZ
#24
Is it worth paying for the fix if you are swapping firewalls? As I understand it, most of the fixes are on the firewall. :shrug:
They also use a jig to make sure all the frame mounts are lined up, but yes, there's a few things done to the firewall.
 

AdamH

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Mt Holly
State
NC
#28
Thanks for the responses. I have spoke in length with them and they will not be doing any "fixing" to the firewall since I don't need that part. This will be a one-off sort of job for them fixing the rest of the tub.
 

jmarkel

Scrambled for Life
City
Fairfax Station
State
VA
#29
I'll add a few more cents to this thread as I'm getting to the assembly portion of this project. I am running 100% jeep original body parts on this other than the windshield frame and the tub, which is MD Juan. The windshield frame is fine other than they left out the slots for the defrost. I'll have to cut those in. But the tub...oh the tub. There was a lot of issues with the tub and I'm still dealing with it.
1. The body only mounts correctly to the front mounts on the frame. The last two mounts are misaligned and I'll have to mess around back there to get them to work.
2. All the curves, at the back by the tail lights and the cowl were not up to snuff. They needed a lot of work, sanding, bondo, to get them to look ok. And even after all of that, still don't look as good as the original without all the work.
3. Fender and hood alignment. We did the best we could but the drivers side alignment of fender to hood has like a 1/2" gap running the length. I cannot sort it because all other panels and alignment gaps are correct.
4. The hood cannot align left to right correctly. If you move it to align, it sticks over the drivers side cowl too far. This might be something a jeep expert can handle to get everything aligned better than I can, but i've had it with trying.
5. Holes missing...it is a real PIA to get things mounted because it's missing a lot of holes in the body. Holes to mount up the door strikers, holes for the vents. Holes for gas pedal mounts. Tail light holes, etc etc etc. all holes you need are missing except for ones that are mislocated.
6. Holes that are there are mislocated. The big one was the heater core holes being about a full inch off.
7. Firewall stamp different from stock. THis means that the heater box was a massive project to get in (still not in, but hopefully soon) and the battery box doesn't mount the same way. By the way, the battery box holes were not there.
8. The Fender stabalizer mounts that go to the firewall were a PIA. I had to drill holes and use bolts because the bolts sticking out of the firewall were misplaced.

Honestly, if I were to do this again, I would have searched high and low and found a good used tub from a dry state and paid the money to get it here. By the time we did all the bodywork, bondo, and all the challenges to assemble, the choice of using the MD Juan as a new tub is negated.

I will say a few positives about the tub.

1. It is NOT flimsy. I actually think it is made with 16 gauge steel all around. After it was linex'd top and bottom, you won't know it is aftermarket until you see the jeep logo emboss missing.
2. It was cheap. I got the whole thing shipped for $2400 new. That included tub, fenders, hood, grill, tailgate, and windshield along with a set of windshield hinges. And it arrived without any damage.
3. It was NEW. It looks like it was dipped, actually, in some autophoretic type dip. If you're not familiar with that process, it is the process that people use for industrial purpose with harsh environments. Generally autophoretic dips can be subjected to 365 day salt water tide simulations and do not rust. If that's what's on here, which seems so, it will never ever rust out. The fact that I linexed it top and bottom should help. Any additional holes I drilled I blotted with POR15.
 

walkerhoundvm

Typical Know-it-all
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Cave Creek
State
AZ
#30
I'll add a few more cents to this thread as I'm getting to the assembly portion of this project.
MD Juan direct or via willys-overland? I'd guess about 90-95% of my holes lined up, heater box/core included. Fenders/hood/grill - yes, they were a real pain to get even remotely aligned. I don't think willys-overland made that much of a difference, sounds like the QC is crap at MD Juan.
 

jmarkel

Scrambled for Life
City
Fairfax Station
State
VA
#31
I purchased mine from 4wd.com. The problem is due to how I executed the project, the whole thing was already painted and linex'd before I found out these issues....didn't consider it was going to be THAT far off. But now I have to deal with patching holes on the firewall, which won't be hateful, but just another project. I plan on just making a small cover plate, coated in POR15, siliconed and attached with 4 self tapping stainless screws. I can live with that. But the fact that the whole firewall is just stamped differently, is utterly disgraceful.
 

Randyzzz

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Redmond
State
OR
#32
I've always wanted to build a Jeep with an Aqualu aluminum tub. Since Quadratec is offering free shipping on everything, If anyone wants to trade my cherry steel tub for an Aqualu tub, I'm game! 8-)
 

AK-RWC

Legacy Registered User
SOA Member
City
south central
State
AK
#33
Be aware: the Aqualu tub has no holes. None. You have to locate and drill EVERYTHING. The ONLY holes it had were the lower ones on the B pillar for the seat belt retractor. They were kind enough to scribe the cutout for the steering column and the wiring harness at the firewall, but I still had to make the cuts myself. If a person is intimidated by the MD Juan tub, I don't know that I'd recommend an Aqualu tub.
 

Randyzzz

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Redmond
State
OR
#34
Be aware: the Aqualu tub has no holes. None. You have to locate and drill EVERYTHING. The ONLY holes it had were the lower ones on the B pillar for the seat belt retractor. They were kind enough to scribe the cutout for the steering column and the wiring harness at the firewall, but I still had to make the cuts myself. If a person is intimidated by the MD Juan tub, I don't know that I'd recommend an Aqualu tub.
I doubt I’d actually trade my tub for an Aqualu. It’s just too nice. I’ve always loved those aluminum tubs though. Maybe some day-
 

Randyzzz

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Redmond
State
OR
#36
I wouldn’t be intimidated. It would actually be nice to open up only what I needed as opposed to welding a bunch of extra holes shut.

I’m thinking an Aluminum bodied Scrambler should be highly modified- TDK hybrid frame with long arms at both ends, LS9 or Hellcrate engine with appropriate trans, Hutchinson bead locks with KM3’s... a real hot rod! If I ever win the lottery I might have to build one!
 

barrys

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
East Norriton
State
PA
#37
I’m thinking an Aluminum bodied Scrambler should be highly modified- TDK hybrid frame with long arms at both ends, LS9 or Hellcrate engine with appropriate trans, Hutchinson bead locks with KM3’s... a real hot rod! If I ever win the lottery I might have to build one!
Don't forget the prorock 60's with axletech portals!
 

jmarkel

Scrambled for Life
City
Fairfax Station
State
VA
#39
Ok...one more deficiency with the MD Juan Tub...Besides the tub firewall being stamped entirely differently, the location of some of the key elements is off. The blower motor hole for the electrical connection is clocked about 5 degrees incorrect. The stamping itself prevents the airbox from seating correctly against the firewall without a lot of pursuasion. The left most mount will not make it through the firewall, so I'm going to have to put an extension on back there to anchor it. The upper fresh air box mounts ok, but the drain spout hole location is off about 1/4" And I thought that I could just flex it in there, and instead I broke the spout right off the airbox. The throttle linkage square that comes through is about 1.25" too far to the left. I'm going to fix that by welding a bracket onto the gas pedal at the top to move it over. I'm going to say that the entire tub at the cowl and dash is a full 1/4" narrower...the original hood doesn't line up correctly as a result. The original dash panel hangs off the ends a little bit. Every hole to mount the dash panel needs to be redrilled. EVERY HOLE. Anyone want to take a gamble to see if the Roll Bar will mount in there correctly?
 

walkerhoundvm

Typical Know-it-all
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Cave Creek
State
AZ
#40
Ok...one more deficiency with the MD Juan Tub...Besides the tub firewall being stamped entirely differently, the location of some of the key elements is off. The blower motor hole for the electrical connection is clocked about 5 degrees incorrect. The stamping itself prevents the airbox from seating correctly against the firewall without a lot of pursuasion. The left most mount will not make it through the firewall, so I'm going to have to put an extension on back there to anchor it. The upper fresh air box mounts ok, but the drain spout hole location is off about 1/4" And I thought that I could just flex it in there, and instead I broke the spout right off the airbox. The throttle linkage square that comes through is about 1.25" too far to the left. I'm going to fix that by welding a bracket onto the gas pedal at the top to move it over. I'm going to say that the entire tub at the cowl and dash is a full 1/4" narrower...the original hood doesn't line up correctly as a result. The original dash panel hangs off the ends a little bit. Every hole to mount the dash panel needs to be redrilled. EVERY HOLE. Anyone want to take a gamble to see if the Roll Bar will mount in there correctly?
For my dash, it was just the bottom one on either side that didn't align. Roll bar did fine.

The problems really seem to be hit or miss, every tub is different.
 
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