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Project Scuzzy


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Like most projects, this one started out completely unnecessary. I was hunting for some random parts for my 1970 Ford Torino GT at at local junkyard that specializes in older vehicles when I happened to notice this mostly intact Comanche sitting there and asked Vic (Vics Classic Cars) what the back story to it was. I already have a daily driver, and also a 4wd truck, and a muscle car, so I certainly didn't need this Jeep.

A week later, its in my driveway. :laugh:

Scuzzy got his name since he so desperately needs a deep cleaning. Step 1 today, Scuzzy got a bath. Over a period of 4 hours, he got a soaking in Mean Green degreaser, then a pressure wash, then cleaning nooks and crannies with a toothbrush, then more scrubbing with a brush and carwash sponge. So much mildew and crud. And that doesn't include the interior. Phase 1 interior cleaning was to attack the glovebox(s) with Meguires foaming cleaner, scrub, shop vac, and repeat several times. The drivers door window got stuck all the way down, so I pulled the door panel off to fix that and in the process vacuumed out the acorns and funk inside there. Other than the drivers side floorboard, it blows my mind how rust free this thing is.

Here's the 1st picture I took of Scuzzy at the junk yard, then a before and after of cleaning progress under the hood. 

 

I'm new to this whole Jeep thing so I'll be asking questions along the way. 

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Welcome to the madness and addiction that is mj ownership! When I first joined cc I didn't know much and now I know a little but feel smarter so that is a good thing, right? So many knowledgeable people here to help out. That is a great find and hope it wasn't abused in its first life. 

 

Good luck and keep the updates coming! 

 

Buck.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Update: When I first checked it out at the junkyard, it started up fine. Naturally the day I went to pick it up, it wouldnt start. After pushing it on the trailer and dragging it home, the simple fix was to replace the CPS. Once that was replaced along with a new distributor cap/rotor/plug wires, it runs like a champ.

 

But...before I take it for a test drive, the brakes need some love. Todays task was to rebuild the rear drums with new hardware, wheel cylinders, and shoes. Judging from the old brake shoes, it was way past due. I also put in some new Monroe shocks since the old ones were completely blown out. 

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While replacing the rear hose I discovered a couple of tube nuts that were seized up. No amount of torch heat or penetrating oil would budge them, so I ended up cutting and making new lines from Cunifer. One end goes from the distribution block to the drivers side drum, the other end goes from the hose to the distribution block up near the frame. 

 

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So the rear brake lines were resolved by just making new ones. But to replace both front brake hoses, the fittings were just as stuck. Before I started hacking into it, I figured I should try something else.

What you need: MAP torch and a can of canned air like you use to clean computer parts. Also wear eyepro, gloves, and have a way to extinguish a fire just in case. Cut the hose if possible to drain out the brake fluid.

Step 1: Heat the female end with the torch for about 30 seconds. This expands the female end.
Step 2: Quickly grab the canned air, hold it upside down, and dowse the male end for a few seconds. Don't get it on your hands as it will cause frostbite. This shrinks the male end.
Step 3: Immediately put the wrench on and turn.

To my overwhelming excitement, both sides unscrewed so easy like they weren't even finger tight! 
Funny thing, once I froze the brake fitting, the rubber brake hose sounded like a  firecracker (and about 2' from my face) and blew out of the metal fitting. The line was already cut, so i'm not sure why they did that. Hence my reminder to wear eyepro!

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Part of my pre-drive prep is to make sure its safe and road worthy. So today I pulled the front brakes & old ball joints out, in the process discovered the drivers side steering knuckle/spindle is all goobered up. Luckily I found a replacement on eBay so that should be in this coming week. I also pulled the bench seat to confirm the rust situation. The carpet and insulation were a nice squishy mess. The whole floor is covered in moisture so tonight I left the windows rolled down to air it out. Time to cut in and replace the floor pan!

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-Suspension work

Since Scuzzy shows 200k on the odometer and looks mostly original, I figure its a good time to replace anything worn out..which is a lot.  I 'may' have found the reason why Scuzzy ended up in a junkyard, the ball-end of the track bar is completely worn and blown out, thinking the previous owner got the $#!& scared out of him from death wobble? So i replaced that, along with shocks, sway bar bushings, ball joints, tie rod ends, steering damper...thankfully MOST of it came right off without a hitch. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Scuzzy gets new shoes!

A little elbow grease goes a long way. Also used a pressure washer, a wire brush,  a foam sanding pad, and then an application of Eastwoods Rustconverter. My plan was just to drive it to the shop for new tires and alignment, but the old tires were really dry rotted and had some good cuts in them, so instead of risking it I got some new ones mounted to be safe. Found some center caps on ebay to finish them up. Really fun now that its like 95 degrees and humid for the last couple of weeks...

Before and after pics....

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I got a lot done today...I was expecting to get rained out, so I hauled @$$ for 8 hours. Finished cutting out any remaining rusty spots, which turned out to be higher up the firewall a few inches short of the fuse box. Using cardboard for a quick pattern I traced it to sheet metal, cut on the bandsaw, and welded them in. Then I tacked in the floorpan, beat it with a BFH to make it fit properly, and finished the welding. Had a few blowouts along the edge of the transmission tunnel so patched them up with some small 1"x2" pieces.  From all the grinding and cutting, I figured it would be a good time to blow out the fuse box and surrounding area with an air hose; ended up finding the mother load of acorns and chipmunk belongings somewhere and got showered with them. 

 

Next I'll hit the edges with 3M seam sealer. For the internal parts, I used Eastwoods Internal Frame Coating. For anything else I used the Eastwoods Rust Converter. I'll give it a couple days to dry and coat it all in Eastwoods Rust Encapsulator, then maybe Raptor line the floor? Not sure yet, but will avoid carpet until i make sure it doesn't leak anymore.

 

So happy this part of the project is almost done.

 

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more progress

 

Today I applied 2 coats of the Eastwoods Rust Encapsulator to the floorpan top and bottom; also swapped out the grille, bumper, and headlight surrounds with chrome stuff from Rockauto. Tomorrow I'll finish installing new door seals and put in the new inner fender wells. 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

The OEM speakers still worked, but music sounds like its played with a kazoo. Upgraded to some basic Pyle speakers front and rear. The display on the radio doesn't work, so I'll get a new head unit eventually. Right now I only have 2 radio stations, one being a local mexican station. 

 

Dropped it back on all 4 wheels for the 1st time in a couple months, got excited to take it for the first test drive...then realized the steering wheel is somewhere in the garage and now its raining out. Bummer. Oh well. During the floorpan installation I hit my head on the turn signal stalk so much I broke it, so waiting on a new one to arrive anyways. 

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

Lots done since Scuzzy last reported in; lets see..new windshield, suspension and floor.  After that mess was done, I moved my Torino over and brought it inside. Next was time to tackle the wipers. Some of you guys might recall my posts on Facebook about it. This Jeep has the non-tilt column with intermittent wipers. That particular switch is no longer offered new. I ended up replacing the original 7-wire multifunction switch with a standard 5-wire low-hi switch and stalk, all I had to do was remove the intermittent wiper module under the dash. Even more fun was pulling the column and doing it all on 1 leg since I just had hip surgery. I got really good hopping around on 1 leg.

 

Another nag was the lack of turn signals, so while I had the column on the work bench I put in a new turn signal switch. Still didn't work, so here is what I did to fix it:

  1.  both front turn signal sockets were completely corroded. Replaced with Dorman 84716 sockets from Amazon.
  2.  one of the bulbs was physically broken in the socket. Sourced from my stash of spare bulbs. 
  3.  the flasher in the fuse box had a giant dent like someone hit it with a hammer? Weird. Fixed with my stash of spare electrical parts. 
  4.  the fuse under the dash passed the visual test, but it didn't work. Fixed with my stash of spare fuses.
  5.  corrosion under the grounds...giant kudos to Cruiser54 for the tip of cleaning those up. I fixed a ton of grounds and replaced lots of sketchy wiring in the process.

 After fixing all of those, I have all working turn signals and hazards! :banana:Another tip of the hat to Cruiser, I installed the headlight relay kit you link to in one of your posts.

 

While doing all of that I also took the time to clean the dash and vacuum out stuff the chipmunk left behind for me. Although when I tested the blower today, I still had turds spray out at me. I guess that's going to happen for awhile. Below is a picture I took of the blower motor when I pulled it out; bench test with a 12v power supply and it barely turned anyways, so I installed a new one from Rockauto. 

 

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