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1968 Jeep Jeepster Resurrection Part 3

Posted in Project Vehicles on August 1, 2012
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Just five weeks before Easter Jeep Safari 2009 we bought this ’68 Jeepster and you saw it in the July and September ’09 issues of Jp magazine in “Jeepster Resurrection, Part 1 and Part 2.” The Jeep hadn’t run in over five years, as near as we could figure. So we ended up thrashing day and night to get it ready to go to the biggest Jeep event of the year.

Wheeling it in Moab exposed and/or created a bunch of problems with the Jeep that hadn’t come to light while wheeling and driving it around Southern California. It wouldn’t run well, it had a nasty chatter in low range, the T-case wouldn’t stay in low range, the transmission wouldn’t stay in First gear, and the radiator was leaking and clogged so it tended to overheat. So, we dragged it back home and started making plans on how to fix the laundry list of problems.

Even though we replaced the fuel filters early in the resurrection, there was still crap in the carb and the accelerator pump was shot. We knew because we had to pull the carb apart at least once a day in Moab. We couldn’t find a rebuild kit in Moab, but we tried fixing the accelerator pump. Nonetheless, the carb was sputtering and spitting. We’ve used Jeep Carbs in the past and been satisfied, but this time we had some trouble finding it. Turns out, Jeep Carbs is now known as I-5 Automotive Components. It also turns out it still has these old-school Rochester 2bbl carburetors.

The ultimate goal for this Jeep is to keep it as close to stock (or at least stock-looking) and period-correct as we can. We’ve got enough super-modified Jeeps in the fleet. Part of this Jeep’s character is that although it isn’t highly modified, it’s still very capable off-road and comfortable to drive on-road. That means we want to keep the odd-fire V-6, the manual transmission, the narrow axles, and as much of the factory-spec Jeepster stuff as possible. At the same time, we want the Jeep to be more reliable than it was out in Utah. After we spent a few months researching and geeking out on Jeepster-specific stuff, we decided to tackle the running problems first. We mapped out a simple step-by-step attack to take care of all the problems. But as it’s typically been with this Jeep, as soon as we started spinning wrenches, we found a lot more problems lurking under the skin and things just started to snowball. Follow along as we chase the snowball downhill.

When we pulled the old transmission and T-case, we found the tranny input bearing was shot, the bellhousing was full of gear oil, and the top cover was cracked. Cleaning up the other transmission and T-case for installation, we found this mount, which apparently is an early torque-arm mount. Ours was almost entirely missing, but we were able to build a new one from the parts that we did have. We think it was a combination of the shot input, shot clutch, and missing this torque mount that made our original setup chatter and shake in low range.
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Summit Racing
Akron, OH
Memphis, TN
Midway Industries
Prescott, AR 86301
I-5 Automotive Components
BTR Radiators

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