Zorba's JeepFor some odd reason, on an otherwise relatively rust free Jeep, these three brackets from the engine compartment were ugly with rust the day I bought it. Time to do something about it. The brackets are for the PDC (Fuse box), the horn, and the vapor canister purge solenoid. The inside of the fender wells where these brackets all mount are completely rust free - so I have no idea what's up with all this "cancer". It took chipping and wire wheeling both to get rid of the worst of it. The brackets are pitted and will never look brand new again, but are now at least rust free with a good coat of paint - and they'll probably stay that way now. I ended up painting them with the pictured "Dark Walnut" paint - I thought it was black when I purchased it, but it isn't. As the brackets are isolated, the mismatched paint doesn't really matter. Like true black paint would be, this super dark brown paint takes 1.2 forevers to dry - I've found the best way to dry items like this is to place them into the HVAC closet for a couple of days. There is considerable air velocity therein, and its dry air, so it helps the paint to dry and get hard. Since the WX forecast was for 2 days of rain when I couldn't put the brackets back onto the Jeep even if I wanted to, having them spend that time in the closet worked out well!
Underhood Bracket Refurbishment
"Eye Liner", Swaybar Links,
and Lower Control Arms.
Bracket that holds the PDC (Power Distribution Center) is very rusty...
Here it is removed...
Just ugly, "cancerous" rust.
Chipped, wire wheeled, and painted with "Red Lead" primer...
Finish coat drying in HVAC closet.
Two other brackets also drying - paint sets up faster in HVAC closet!
But not black! See text
After a tiny bit of scraping, precautionary primer applied to bracket mounting locations.
This is one end of the PDC bracket's mounting holes.
Other end of PDC bracket screws on here.
Horn bracket goes here...
Vapor canister purge solenoid mounts here.
I added stainless washers and never seize.
Horn and its bracket back in place.
Vapor canister purge solenoid.
And the PDC bracket. Note added metal strap to hold winch power lead.
I generally like chrome, and lots of it...
But it looked out of place on this Jeep. "Kohl rimmed eyes" like any Belly Dancer!
Suspension parts are arriving!
Loaded in the wagon. All control arms, swaybar links, a fire extinguisher...
... and fire extinguisher holder, new shocks, and even a hand throttle!
Let's get to work...
New passenger's side swaybar link.
Ditto on the driver's side.
Side view of the Moog swaybar link.
Top to bottom: Old Passenger link, old driver's link, new Moog link.
Listen to the radio while working - something I don't often do.
The passenger's side swaybar link had been changed out once before, and wasn't any more than "the usual problem" to get changed once I procured an 18mm (!!) combination wrench. Who uses 18mm hardware? Nobody but Jeep I guess!
However, the driver's side link was apparently OEM, and I didn't think I was going to be able to get it off. Long story short: I ended up Sawz-all-ing it short (Much to the amazement of my next door neighbor), then MANY attempts with a puller that failed miserably, beating on it with a BFH, heating it with a propane torch, cussing at it roundly, and it was STILL stuck. I was beginning to think that I was going to have to pull the winch back off, remove the swaybar from the Jeep and take it to a shop with a hydraulic press to get the remnant of the old swaybar link pressed out of it. It FINALLY popped free!
But even then, the battle wasn't over. When installing the new one - with new nut but re-used OEM bolt - the nut and bolt wouldn't tighten up all the way, it actually felt like it was starting to gall. So I had to disassemble it again, treat with "Never-Seez", then the re-assy went well enough. Then it was on to the lower control arm replacements after I got some 21mm wrenches!
Removed rear wheels to replace lower control arms, front wheels were able to stay on!
A favorite trick to loosen stuck hardware.
New Moog control arms in rear...
Pile of old control arms, destined for the recycle bin.
New (bottom) and old rear swaybar links. Old ones were actually plastic!
New one in place.
Seen from outside. Repeated on other side - done!
Read on for the next part!