Monday, 30 January 2012

Work Done

Here's a list of bits I've done so far ...

Posting this for those like myself who have little or no mechanical knowledge. Hope to point out a few of the pit falls and stuff I've learned while doing the work.
First thing to remember is that I want a truck to have fun with and drive, it was never intended to be a full restoration ....
Anyone who is interested in BJ's will have read or been told they are just like a meccano set ... well just remember its a big meccano set and most stuff hasn't come off the meccano set in years.
A few tools that I have gathered while doing bits and pieces.
A good socket set, breaker bar, a wide range or wrenches, decent trolley jack, axles stands, pliers, vice grips, screws drivers, lump hammer, ball joint socket remover. The list is growing. A good lamp is very handy, you will find that a lot of time is spent under the truck and a lot of time working in the dark.

I have learnt to always expect a simple job to take twice as long as expected. Mainly to lack of mechanical knowledge and with most jobs, there is a correct sequence, its the sequence that has good me in trouble ever time leading to hours wasted..... But I keep telling myself its all part of the fun :)

So my first job was the suspension, and like most people I went for a 4" lift thinking it would be cool !. Again I should have done a lot more research before ordering parts. Why because lifting the truck requires more than just shocks and springs. So for those who are interested here what I ordered, how it worked out and what I didn't know

4" lift suspension kit ordered from TPI (my best contact for parts and advise yet ). The kit came complete with springs, shackles, bushings, shocks and all the bits required to swap out the suspension. Changing the suspension wasn't that hard really,I started with the rear. I got the sequence wrong, which slowed it down, and what I mean by that is I thought I could do one corner at a time, the problem I had was the new suspension (leaf spring alignment nut) would not align with the underside of the axle. It took me a while to figure out the problem, but the cure was straight froward. The cure was to sit the truck on stands and drop the complete rear axle, this allowed the axle to be pulled to align with the spring seating points.
The front was a lot easier, so not much to say there.

So the bits I didn't realize needed to be done as a result of the 4" lift. The rear brake line needed to be extended, no big deal extension lines can be got, just it would be very handy to have known because it meant the truck was sitting around for a few weeks waiting for the part. The axle vent lines need to be extended to reach the underside of the body. The u-joints should be replaced, I had a vibration in the rear shaft when i eventually took the BJ out for a test after the suspension swap. Apparently this is a common problem, and apparently an easy fix. so the next job was to replace the u-joints.

Again dont think that something like replacing the u-joints is an hour job. Removing the rear shaft is easy, removing the spider joints holding the u-joints/flanges is not so easy. Rather than give a line by line account heres a link that is by far the best and easiest 'how to' for replacing the u-joints

A couple of photos of the u-joint, the separated parts.

The resembled rear shaft.

Steering tie rod ends. Not a big job, but a lot easier with a ball joint socket remover.

Replaced alloy wheels with steel wheels.


Window seals.

Seats recovered.

General service.

24 to 12v reducer.

New tufty centre console with head set. Didn't fit straight out of the box, needed a bit of drilling. but works ok.

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