Rebuild page 3
Received 21/3/2004, the news that the engine was started and ran fine....for a while. Suddenly a rattling noise was heard - could it be the ghost of Jacob Marley? No, a screwdriver pressed to the ear and held against the timing chain cover revealed a rattling timing chain. So off with the radiator and the timing cover to look at the damage.
The chain has so much slack in it that it knocks against the housing, as can be seen. It therefore needs replacing, so one has been ordered and will be with Bob by Wednesday. In the meantime the wings, bonnet, radiator grille and other bolt on bits of bodywork have received their coats of paint. On close examination of the front wings, an "F" script is stamped into the metal. With a little care, this is still visible under the coats of paint.
We await Wednesday with interest.
26/3/2004 Update of interest, though no pictures to add, Bob has been in contact with a Jeep enthusiast in the States who has Ford GPW number 4. After some banter between each of them both offering to buy each others Jeep, they agreed to exchange details of the rebuild of Jeep 55. Apparently Jeep no. 4 has seen better days, and Bob's restoration may be an inspiration to restore no. 4 to its former glory. If the owner views this site, good luck, and let us know how you get on.
Some research into the possible markings of Jeep 55 has been carried out. A range of identities has been established, and the stencils are going to be prepared shortly.
The timing chain has arrived and has been fitted. The engine now purrs, and starts first press of the starter. Some concern was expressed when the timing chain was first fitted and the engine started. Another awful rattle was heard, this time from near the gearbox. This was eventually tracked down to the handbrake assembly rattling, as the propshaft against which it bears had not yet been connected. Panic over.
27/3/2004 The bits are starting to gel together to make something that looks like a Jeep. The body is back on the chassis, and most of the external parts added. The windscreen (now there's a good name for a magazine!) hasn't been added yet, nor have the main electrical systems. Those will be sorted by someone with more confidence in the electrical field than Bob. If I heard it correctly, the canvas on the seats is being sorted by Bob's wife Sandra, while the main roof canvas is going to be replaced with new. Bob is going to Malvern tomorrow (Great Malvern International Militaria fair) with a shopping list, so watch out Malvern, there's going to be some hard bargaining going on. Roof sections and side screens will be on the list (the UK weather is not the best in the world). A custom made round silencer has been fitted that can be seen on one of the pictures above. I am told early Jeeps had round silencers before changing to the more familiar oval.
3/4/2004. Almost on the final straight. The electrics on the Jeep are not up to the standard Bob wants for his Jeep, so it's off to see John Davies who is a qualified auto electrician, and fortunately works for Bob. A whole new wiring loom is being made and fitted, so the electrics should not cause any trouble when on the way down to Normandy. If anyone else needs a real wiring loom (not the modern day wiring ribbons) making up for virtually any vehicle, Jeep or truck contact me though the address on the home page and I will put you in touch with John. The wiring should be completed within the next few days then it's on with the markings and ready for its first run out.