The Descrambler Project

W.R.Buchanan

Legacy Registered User
City
Ojai
State
CA
#21
Thanks Polarfire !!!

Looking at both sets. The deal in San Jose with the complete hardtop is too good to pass up, and the one in Vegas is pretty good good too. Both are 5 hrs away, but I will drive 5 hrs at the drop of a hat.

We'll see what happens, I should be able to get one of them.

I really appreciate your help on this. :thumbsup:

Randy
 

W.R.Buchanan

Legacy Registered User
City
Ojai
State
CA
#23
Well,,,, thanks to the hound dog like nose of Polarfire, who ferreted these doors out for me, I am now the proud owner of one set of ACME fiberglass doors for my project.

I paid $150 for them, and they are complete with good handles, locks, and all window hardware. It cost me $125 in fuel to drive to San Jose CA (299 mi one way) so I've got $275 in them total.

It was worth the trip to get my hands on them, since I've had 2 sets sold out from under me, and the 3rd was the guy in Atlanta who flaked out and fell off the map. the doors I got are exactly the same as the Atlanta ones except they haven't been buggered.

Mind you, I will have to completely disassemble them, paint them, clean up the locking mechinisms, and maybe do something different with the sliding window arraingement.


I don't care for the fact that only the rear portion of the window slides forward, and not very far. The front 2/3 of the window is fixed. I would like something more like the sliding windows on early VW buses, which both panes slide and were latched independently. They work much better. I would have to build my own tracks, and procure the VW latches, (Hot V Dub mag) but that project will have to wait until the Jeep is overall done, it can be an upgrade project.

Also all new Weather stripping is in order. It is a common profile.

I am pretty stoked about this find, These doors are getting harder and harder to find. I was also surprised at the weight of these, they are about 25 lbs each, much heaver than I had previously thought.

I'm one step closer to pull down.

Next is to procure the top and fit the doors and latches, and then the body is nearly ready for paint prep. First there is some steel reinforcing and fiberglass work to be done on the under side, and I've got to figure out where to put the fuel tank filler, but the list is getting shorter everyday,,, er week.

Randy
 

W.R.Buchanan

Legacy Registered User
City
Ojai
State
CA
#26
Eric: Have you seen an ACME hard top for a Scrambler? These doors I got were off a CJ 7 and he had an ACME hard top for it.

The ACME tops for 7'& 8's have a rounded look to them looking at the side. You've probably seen them but paid no mind.

They are distinctive, but I personally am conflicted with the look. I have seen 8's with the ACME top and to me it kind of looks like a giant flea, with the butt pushed up in the air.

I prefer the level top line look of the Rally top, and gr8tops, and I really like the lines of the one Jeff Scherb is doing, but he won't cut loose, so I have to look else where.

I had at one time looked at building a top similar to his for my CJ5. It was inspired by the LR Defender top which his is drawn from also. I was going to use a light steel frame and Secoflex double stick tape to attach Fiberglass sheet panels. I have a bunch of 4x4' .020,.030, .060, and .125 fiberglsss sheeting left over from a shop I bought many years ago and have been looking for a use for ever since.

Secoflex tape is some pretty serious stuff in it's own right. It is used to stick panels on trailers. If you see a truck going down the road and the trailer has no rivets showing, the sides are probably held in place by this stuff.

IT IS PERMANENT ! Once it sets, you have to literally burn it with a rosebud torch to separate it.

Anyway I got my doors, now on to other things. thanks once again to Polarfire.

Randy
 

bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
#27
Oh yeah, I know ACME tops and I agree with you, I don't care for the look. I didn't know that there were ever full hard doors to go with the tops, only ever seen hard, soft, half and 2-piece soft. Have to add these to the list now :)

That tape sounds cool, I want :smokin:
 

W.R.Buchanan

Legacy Registered User
City
Ojai
State
CA
#28
Eric: the Secoflex tape is serious stuff, and unfortunately they don't give it away $$$, but it works really well.

3M also makes a similar product also $$$ but more readily available.

Just to give you an idea how well it works,,,,

In Santa Barbara CA they have these electric buses. They are about 30 feet long and the frame work of the vehicle is made completely of Steel Square tubing covered by Sheet metal stuck on with Secoflex tape.

There were originally 3 made by a company in Argentina that went out of business. SB decided they wanted more buses since they worked so well, but they had no drawings.

A friend of mine ran a company in Oxnard CA and told SB if they would let them tear a bus apart and reverse engineer it they could duplicate it and generate drawings too. They offered to do the job cheap so so they would get to build the new buses. So SB said go for it. These were not real complicated vehicles they are very open air surrey type things.

After one week, I was asked to come by so they could pick my brain on how to remove the sheet metal. I really couldn't come up with anything better than what they were doing.

IT took 3 guys 3 full weeks (15, 8hr days) to strip the sheet metal off that vehicle. They used rosebuds and literally had to burn the metal outside the tape while the other 2 guys rolled the sheet metal up on a Key like used to open a sardine can. :banghead: These guys were miserable! :angry: They had to work their A%^es off to do this. All of the sheet metal was ruined.

The irony here was that after the outfit made the new drawings and put the bus back together, Santa Barbara city took the drawings and shopped the bid until they found someone cheaper to build the busses. They now have about 20 of them so this was a big job that got stolen out from under my firends shop. I refuse to ride on them.

But the tape is defineately the way to attach sheet panels to frameworks.

Randy
 

W.R.Buchanan

Legacy Registered User
City
Ojai
State
CA
#29
Fitting of the doors.

OK; Now, I'm doing some preliminary fitting of my new doors to the body. They actually fit pretty well, but there is some repair work to do, and I really need the hardtop and windshield mounted to get the fit right. All 4 pieces IE body, door, windshield and top must work and fit together. Plus you only get one shot to get it right.

You'll notice the holes to attach the hinges to the doors are all wallowed out, This is because the original hinge anchor points have long since been ruined by running them loose and then changed to thru bolts with large washers. I am cogitating on how best to fix this. I'm looking at possibly filling the area with steel filled Devcon , or maybe some metal inserts or a combination of both. I may have to make steel nut plates to reinforce the inside of the door, but they have a very limited space they can fit into before they will interfer with the dash board. This may not even work so I'll be taking my time to come up with a best of all worlds fix on this. Ultimately, there needs to be a solid attachment for the hinge bolts, as well as some threaded holes which unfortunately have to be located in exactly the right place.

There will be very little available adjustment in the hinges, and the upper female hinge is directly located by the windhield hinges so there is no room for compromise there. The only slack for door adjustment will be in the acutal holes in the door side of the hinges themselves.

My body is virgin (ha ,I wish) so there are no holes yet for the lower female hinges. There also needs to be some kind of reinforcing included in the body side, probably in the form of a large steel nut plate.

I also have to make a cutout and mount the striker plate assembly for each door. This consists of making a cutout in the rear of the inside door frame on the body, and then placing the striker assembly in a position where the latch mechinism will pick it up correctly everytime. Obviously the doors must be mounted in order to divine the position of the strikers. Strictly a cut and fit type of operation, which to a machinist borders on complete buggery. The only way to go is slow, and patience and forethought are the order of the day.

Getting the fit and operation of these doors right is a critical part of the body work, and will result in a tight cab with no air or water leaks. It's got to be right in the end. And it looks like I've got a real good shot at succeeding. :thumbsup:

Randy
 

CBRogers

Perpetual Parts Collector
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Yorktown
State
Va
#30
You might look into borrowing someones Factory Hard Doors.

That way you could mount the doors and hinges to the body. With the striker plates in position it would give you a good marker to drill in the front hinge points for the doors. Then once the doors are mounted you can move onto top and windshield angle.

Factory doors and windshield use a plate with nuts welded on. So it should be OK for your situation. Actually the idea of a nut plate gives a bigger bearing surface for the force of the doors and windshield. Just be sure to knock down the edges for that the sharp corner does not dig into the fiberglass leading to a Crack.

Thanks for the info on the tape. I have been thinking of building a Teardrop trailer. But more in an off road version. That sounds like a great deal to make a waterproof outer skin attachment.


Carl
 

W.R.Buchanan

Legacy Registered User
City
Ojai
State
CA
#31
Carl: Actually I was going to measure some stock doors to divine the position.

I've got pics of other fiberglass doors with the hinges in tact and they have nut/backup plates on the inside of the door.

In my case I have a complete new set of Kentrol door hinges, to use. I am thinking of using the full length hinge (3 holes @6" long) on the top where I can make new holes (after I fill the old ones) for the front 2 holes and then drill and bush the third hole farther back on the door.

For the bottom hinge it will be shortened and and the third hole drilled farther forward so it doesn't interfer with the lower window.

See Pics of hinges and positions below.

I also contacted Besttop today and am waiting to here back from them as to the supplier of their upper hard doors (fiberglass) which appear to use the exact same windows as the doors I have.

The have 2 configurations, the CJ/YJ Upper half doors only have the rear pane sliding forward. This is like what I've got now. The TJ versions have both panes sliding which is what I want. Hopefully they will fit into pretty much the same space as the CJ/YJ windows do. Won't know until I actually get to see them in person, but from the looks of the finished product I don't have any reason to doubt they will fit , if with only a small amount of work on the door it self.

We'll see on all this. I have found another mismatched set of doors which would be good to pull moulds off of should anyone ( HINT: Jeff Scherb) want to produce to go along with their hardtops.

Randy
 
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W.R.Buchanan

Legacy Registered User
City
Ojai
State
CA
#32
Well my latest attemp to procure a Hardtop from Craigs List failed. Damn Craig's List to hell :evil:

I have decided to go ahead with my order to Rally tops tomarrow. I've wasted a bunch of time and emotion trying to procure things from across the country several times now, only to have my hopes dashed by flakes. Luckily I haven't lost any money, just time.

I have no use for people that don't do what they say !!!

On a more positive note:

I spent the weekend line sanding the edges on my tailgate panel and the rear of the hood, both were pretty wavy, and now are relatively strait.

Moving on to the windsheild frame tonite. Need to procure a windsheild glass this week and make sure it will fit in the frame. The frame will be painted first then the glass installed. Then I can completely assemble something on this project as I have all of the parts for the windsheild assembly.

Need to sus out the Paint codes for the two colors I'm using for this Jeep. They are the running colors for a steel outfit in LA, and go together really well. I'll be going to the International dealership near me that sells this outfit their trucks to see if I can get the paint codes.

Then I can buy a small amount of paint and start finishing some of the small parts, like hinges etc. A bunch of enthusiasm can be gained from seeing finish painted parts layed out ready to install. :D

Randy
 
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W.R.Buchanan

Legacy Registered User
City
Ojai
State
CA
#33
Just doing a bunch of fibreglass work on the body last and this weekend.

Found some real cool material I had never seen before. It is a fiberglass bondo made by 3M/ Bondo and there are 2 versions Short strand and long strand filler. This stuff is like resin with stranded filler, but works exactly like normal Bondo body putty.

If you have any Fiberglass parts with cracks etc this is definately the stuff to fix it with. Found it at Pep Boys, but I'm sure it is available at any big chain auto parts store.

I did some reinforcing around the edges of the hood and it is fairly easy to apply and sand afterwards. The side edges of the hood were only 1/16" thick so they definately needed some help.

Working on the floor area of the tub today. 5/29/10

Randy
 

Major Jack

Legacy Registered User
City
Zillah
State
Wa
#34
Back in the early 70's, I had a 56 Corvette. In the early Vette bodies cobbwebing was a common problem. I hooked up with a couple guys in Charleston, SC who did Vette restoration. They were taking common Bondo and mixing fiberglass fibers in it. The area they were working on dictated the length of the fibers and the amount they added. Guess it worked well enough that Bondo picked up on the idea.

Thanks for letting us know about this stuff. I just bought a fiberglass body-ed Scrambler from Toby. I know there will be some work to be done before painting.
 

ag4ever

Average Nut
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Richmond
State
TX
#35
I tend to make my own "bondo"

Bondo is just polyester resin with fillers to thicken it.

I get my materials from fiberglasssuply.com

I am in the process of building an 11' sailboat from scratch using c-flex material and polyester resin. I have used milled fibers, chopped stands, cabosill and other materials. Each one has it's own purpose.

I personally don't like the bondo materials as I think they have too much filler materials that don't add stength. I like a low resin to glass ratio to keep the weight down and the stength up.

Either way, you can always take regular bondo and add different fillers (glass or powders) to get a different end result.
 

W.R.Buchanan

Legacy Registered User
City
Ojai
State
CA
#36
Jack: the only problem I had was getting the mixing ratio of base and catalyst correct. My first batch went off in about 3 minutes. Even mixed cold the stuff still goes off in less than 20 min. It's like anyother material, you just have to play with it and figure out how it works.

I used a cheap paint brush dipped in Acetone to smooth the high spots out before the batch goes off. it saves some sanding.

I'm going to be using a bunch of this stuff glueing up the center portion of my trans tunnel, which got butchered while installing the seats. I'm going directly to the long strand stuff. I have a bunch of work to do in that area so I should have the stuff pretty much figured out by the time I'm done. (wish I had it figured out before I started, probably would have saved some time and sanding)

I will use regular Bondo filler to fill the gaping holes in the new material so it looks half way decent after painting. I will be applying fiberglass cloth over these areas as a final "coat" for added strength. Might use some "filled resin" to fill some of the really low spots before the cloth gets placed.

I'm going to paint the underside of the Jeep and inside the engine compartment white so I can see what I'm doing while working in there. My last Jeep was painted black in there and that was a big mistake. You don't need nearly as much light in a White area to see what you are doing, this can come in handy if you have to work on the thing at night, especially on the underside. Plus that the engine will be painted white so you can see leaks of any kind.

Makes sense HUH? :thumbsup:

Randy
 
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Major Jack

Legacy Registered User
City
Zillah
State
Wa
#37
Helped a friend build a a transmission tunnel cover on a fiberglass T-Roadster. He used rigid, thin cardboard to build the shape he wanted. The thin cardboard worked nice. Was able to make rounded corners and top that looked really good. He then used fiberglass mat over the top tying it into the body. We flipped the body over and applied a layer of mat on the bottom leaving the cardboard form in place. He then used a micro thin coat of the Bondo on both sides to smooth it out. Once painted you couldn't detect it as not being factory.

Want to protect the gelcoat from chipping. So, I am going to use a bed liner product inside and the under body. I wonder if there is a source for white.
 

W.R.Buchanan

Legacy Registered User
City
Ojai
State
CA
#38
I haven't seen the Herculiner material in colors other than Black , however I do know they make bed liner materials in every color of the rainbow. My room mate got his new truck done and the shop that did it had a color board of samples with just about everything covered.

My body has the chopper gun finish on the bottom, obviously because they shot the gel coat into the mould first and then filled with chopped material per standard proceedure. This will be a decent surface for the paint to adhear to.

I am using Cardinal 6400 series Polyurethane paint.. This is an industrial paint but it glosses up just like automotive paints. Available in all colors and degrees of gloss, and very easy to apply well . I have a gallon of white which was purchased to paint Navy parts I make. Once the stuff goes off it is really difficult to get off so it should be excellent on the underside. All of the cast and regular metal parts I have already painted with this paint look really good, planning on using it on the engine too.

Will be using a medium Gray of the same paint on the frame, axles, drive shafts etc. The bumpers and rock guards will be the same color as the top and windshield,,, about a metalic charcoal color like Hammertone gray.

This paint is very resistant to chipping, and that's why I'm using it instead of Powder Coating.

Powder coating leaves a durable finish but it doesn't have the adheasion of the poly paints. Also it chips when hit by sharp blows like from rocks being thrown by the tires, or tools dropped on it etc.

I'm planning on Farming out most of the painting of the frame and big metal parts to a friend who does industrial finishes. They have the equipment to grit blast and then paint right away.

Also contrary to popular belief and normal practice, We will not be priming these parts first. I have found that the poly paint sticks to the bare metal MUCH MUCH better without the primer.

I have a body shop that does really good work lined up to paint the body. These guys did the front fender of my 25 year old MBZ and not only did they match the color perfectly they got the texture of the paint right too. You CANNOT tell it has been repainted, which in todays world is pretty exceptional.

I don't need the sound deadening qualities of the bedliner material as I have a significant amount of Dynamat to install on the inside of the body before the carpeting goes in.
Believe me this Jeep will be quiet inside despite the diesel engine under the hood. I think doing a body, either fiberglass or metal ,is a good way to knock down the interior noise. Also just carpeting the interior makes a world of difference. Also there is a product called "lizard skin" which looks like bedliner but has increased sound deadening, and heat blocking qualities. It is also similarly priced to the bedliner materials. Just Google "Lizard Skin" it will come up

Randy
 
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W.R.Buchanan

Legacy Registered User
City
Ojai
State
CA
#39
Some Update and photos.

I have been working on Fiberglass for the last 2 weeks (on and off) The main thrust has been to cover the trans tunnel and reinforce the seat mounts I installed. I also installed a Ebrake lever mount into the floor, which is requiring more reinforcing.

The reinforcement looks pretty cobby right now but I will sand and fair it in before I'm done. Also the entire area gets covered by Dynamatt and carpet, so strength is more important than cosmetics.

I have also stripped the fiberglass doors, and am proceeding with fixing cracks etc.

One thing I do have to relate to those who are interested is that finially I found the source of the sliding windows, not only for these doors but for just about everything that has a sliding window, IE RV's, Boats, Jeep tops, you name it.

The company's name is Statewide Aluminum. Located in Elkhart IN (big surprise?,RV capitol of the world)

http://statewidealum.com/index.htm :thumbsup: great people!

This outfit has been making windows for 40 years and in fact they made the ones I have. Unfortunately they won't make just 2 for me as they are no longer a normally produced item . Since the only thing wrong with mine is the weatherstripping they have agreed to supply me with small quantities of the 4 different types so I can replace what I've got., and essentially end up with new windows. (more work !!!)

They would however produce a run of 25 sets of windows for me, so if enough of you guys find fiberglass doors we can replace the windows with brand new. around $200/set.

They are Besttop's source for the sliding windows in their upper half doors and soft upper half doors. Best top was kind enough ( after I talked to the right person) to share the source with me.

On to technical:

I was worried about removing the windows from the doors themselves. They were held in place by a interior Bezel held with sheet metal screws, and some black GOO. I removed the bezel from one window and tried to push it out and it wasn't going anywhere. I'm thinking I'll have to destroy this to get it out, so I backed off and started looking for the window source just in case I ruin one, I can get a new one to replace it.

Well I laid the door on a bench with the window side half off the bench, and a few days later I noticed the window frame hanging below the door. The heat from the garage had released the goo and the window just fell out. Luckily it only fell a couple of inches and was unharmed. The back side of this is the fact that this black Goo is one serious SOB to remove. It is the consistancy of tar, and it not interested in giving up. Scrapping and some expensive guncleaner seem to take it off, but it gets everywhere.

Since new widow assemblys are not available I will have to disassemble them by removing 2 screws and drilling out 4 small pop rivets on each frame. This will allow me to replace the weather stripping, in exactly the same manner as the windows were assembled at the factory. Since the window frames are a little scratched up I'll either have them reanodized, or paint them with the same paint as the upper half of the body.

I'm debating whether or not to remove the lower windows as they will have to be done by pro's. I would like them out so I can deal with any fiberglass issues on the doors better, but it may be a real hassle to get them out of the doors. We'll see.

Talked to the painter Friday and he said he could match any color I choose. I have to paint some of the items that are parts of the body before the body is actually painted. Items like the grill which is a 4 hour job to completely cover with paint and doodads like the door, windshield, hood and tailgate hinges The tailgate and the doors have to be painted before the weatherstripping can be applied, and the Windshield frame itself has to be painted before the glass, the wiper mechinism, and the cowl seal can be installed.

Also I want these items painted with a much stronger paint than is used normally on cars. The paint I'm using as stated in an above post is Cardinal 6400 series Polyurethane industrial paint. The grill will be much more resistant to chipping caused by flying rocks when painted with this stuff. Metal parts will just hold up better. This paint has a slightly lower adhesion number than powder coating, but it is much more flexible so it doesn't chip during impact like powder coating does. I am also painting the entire frame and undercarriage with this paint as well as the bottom of the body and interior of the engine compartment. Chip resistance is the reason for all of this extra work. Corrosion elimination is the reason why I'm painting all of the individual parts of the undercarriage before final assembly.

All of the body parts, IE tub, fenders, hood, top, will be painted with some kind of superduper Dupont car paint that is base coat, clear coat/2 stage. Apparently this stuff drys in like 20 minutes, and then they put the clear on and it drys in 20 minutes too! less time for dust and dirt to attach itself to your paint job.

All of this may seem like a bunch of unnecessary BS to go thru for a Jeep. :rolleyes:

I plan on driving this thing for the rest of my life. :rotfl:

Randy
 
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Randyzzz

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Redmond
State
OR
#40
Not unnecessary. I understand 100%.

The tar stuff looks like the butyl windshield setting tape. I've used it before...sucks to clean up.

I've also rebuilt sliders before- the trickiest part is getting the weatherstrip to lay flat in the corners. At the factory they make a bunch of small slices on the backside of the w-strip to accomplish the curve. I did the same, but getting symmetrical cuts was a problem. I ended up making a template out of a few pieces of 1/4" hardboard. This provided support for the w-strip, and a slot cut across the support allowed me to make straight and consistent depth cuts every time. Just used a carpet knife blade, made long strokes.

I'm working on a floor mounted parking brake currently, too.
 
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