Last: Island Rock Crawlers
When I got back from the Island Jamboree I drove the Jeep into the garage and parked it. I called up the insurance company and told them I wanted to cancel the policy for a while because it was going to be in a state of disrepair for a while. Well, that was not a simple thing. You see, in the State of Washington there is a law that says all vehicles must be insured, even if you are not driving them. What a load of crap. Luckily my insurance company, State Farm, had an option where you could put a policy on hold for 6 months. Well, that would do. After 6 months the policy is canceled. I'm not sure if this is a bad thing or not.
For a while the jeep just sat in the garage. I was planning on taking it to Montana but Ted and I decided to take the gocarts instead. That was probably a good call and I really didn't want to rush through repairs again. When we got back from Montana I really wasn't in the mood to do anything with the jeep yet so it just sat in the garage a little while longer.
Finally, a time came when being able to drive the jeep around was needed. I wanted to asphalt my driveway and I needed a load of gravel to prep the surface. I figured I could take the trailer down and get a couple of yards of gravel. So I started trouble shooting my problem with the burning oil. I took the intake manifold off and looked at things a little. With the intake manifold off I could look down into the valves and it seemed to me that the valve stems were leaking. This soft of pissed me off because I spent a lot of money getting them rebuilt and I didn't have that many miles on them. I figured new heads wouldn't cost that much and would be an easy fix to my problems. So I called up Kevin and he got me a new set of heads for a really good price.
When I took the old heads over to the Offroad Outlet one of Kevins friends looked at them and said that my problem might be a bad intake manifold seal and oil might be getting sucked into the valves that way. Hum, that would be a real pisser now that I already had new heads. Well, I would look into that. I brought the heads home and installed them, put the engine back together and took it for a little drive. The jeep had much more power and drove and sounded much smoother so there was probably something wrong with the heads anyway. I felt pretty good about my decision to replace the old ones. But...it was still burning oil. Really bad out the number 1 cylinder. Damn. Well, time to see if the intake manifold might be the problem. I poped it off, checked it with a straight edge and then reinstalled it, making sure to get a really good seal. No luck, it still burned oil.
Shit, that meant that it had to be the rings. A quick compression check and the number 1 was sort of low. When I came around to it again, it was pretty high. Hum, probably oil leaking in the cylinder and increasing the compression. So I took the heads off, took the oil pan off, and pulled out the number 1 cylinder. Nothing looked bad. No rings were broken. The cylinder walls were not scarred. I think what the problem might have been was that the rings never seated correctly when I first installed the new short block. I think all the cylinders were on their way to burning oil.
So, I never got to use the jeep to get the gravel I needed, I just had it delivered, which was probably a good thing anyway. 2 yards of gravel weighs quite a bit and it would probably have taken about 4 trips with the trailer to get that much. I did finally get the driveway paved and it makes it much easier to get into the garage. Plus it looks much better and should be easy to shovel in the snow.
While I was working on the engine I also decided to do something different with my spare tire. The rack I made that hung off the tail gate was just tearing apart my rear body. So I welded up a new rack that sat the tire between the roll bars right behind the seats, siting horizontally. Sort of like you see tires mounted in the back of pickup beds. The tire is much more stable back there but it also meant that I couldn't have the jump seat. Oh, well, one passenger is enough.
As far as the engine goes, my plan is to take the short block out. This means taking the transmission out, which probably means taking the body off again (maybe). Then I'll take the short block to a good machine shop and have them rehone the cylinders, put in new rings, and replace the cam bearings as well. Then I'll get it all back together and the jeep will be reborn again, hopefully for the last time.