Zorba's JeepThis spare wheel and tire doesn't match the rest of them, and is from an older Jeep. The tire dates from 2004, both it and the rusty rim are "skutchy". I think the previous owner/s had a summer and a winter tire set, and this is from the winter set. The tire is similar to what I intend to eventually put on the Jeep, but is smaller than what I want, yet bigger than what I have! Not what I want to put on the ground even as a spare all things considered, so I've ordered another stock rim as I intend to run the stock rims when I switch over to bigger tires, and I'll purchase a used matching street tire for the interim. Then I can switch over everything in a year or so.
First minor additions.
This tire has seen better days, and the valve stem looks like something chewed on it.
I added the locking chain, but the whole tire and wheel will be replaced...
... but looks nice enough with the cover on.
This is 2020. Nobody, not even me, runs sealed beam headlights when far better alternatives are available. I had been going around in my mind as to whether I wanted to install one of the many LED sealed beam headlight replacements, or if I wanted to get a set of "E-code Hella" H4 conversions and then further install LED bulbs in those. The advantage there is that the Hellas are glass, I have yet to see a LED replacement that isn't plastic. Plastic is stupid, it fogs up here in Florida within a very few years, and this Jeep is parked outside unlike the Mercedes or my wife's Fiat. I actually have been running the square sealed beam Hella H4 conversions on the Mercedes for the last 20 years, and have been contemplating an LED switchover there as well with similar questions in my mind.
Hella H4 conversion headlight, left; with original sealed beam, right.
Ditto on the backside.
H4 halogen bulb.
Original in place sans trim ring.
Hella in place.
Original shows more of a dome shape...
... than the flatter, but still slightly domed Hellas.
Backside plugin doesn't show...
... the rubber dust covers that came with the Hellas.
Wife finds these LNIB for $20/pr. As I seem to recall paying $35/side 20 years ago for the Mercedes, this pretty much made up my mind on the spot. It was a bit of a thrash to meet up with the guy that had them, but I got 'em, and installed 'em. The LED bulbs to go inside will come eventually!
Stock fuse and relay box.
and battery positive terminal.
"BlueSea" 4 circuit fuse widget.
QUITE the stackup here, see text.
The trouble with Jeeps is they're small. Which means adding things to them can be a real estate challenge. After some serious thought, I ended up buying a 4 circuit mini PDU (Power Distribution Unit) from a boating outfit called "BlueSea". I think it will be enough capacity for what I want to do, and its good quality. 1 circuit for the onboard air compressor, 1 for the 120 VAC voltage inverter, 1 for probably eventual additional lighting, and one spare. Winches come with their own wiring and circuit protection as they pull hundreds of amps, although I'm tempted to install a hydraulic winch instead, but they're pricey!
Some guys will do surgery on the stock fuse/relay box, installing the missing contacts scavenged from a donor junk yard box. A lot of work, but probably very nice. For now at least, I've gone this way. You'll note the weird bolt, nut, and washer stack up - with the diagonal placement of the little PDU. If ANYTHING had been different, this install could have been cleaner. If the battery was a reversed terminal type, if the buss bar on the PDU was on the other end, or the other side, or even closer to the bottom, it would have helped. I had to use multiple flat and star washers because the buss bar has a ⅜" hole going onto a ¼" bolt, that coupled with two nylocks to hold everything good and tight results in a 1 inch high tower! But its good and solid and should maintain contact. The diagonal placement is necessitated by needing to get to the actual bolt that clamps the connector onto the battery coupled with the above mentioned buss bar being in the wrong orientation causing yet another "not enough room" situation with the power lead going into the stock fuse box!
You know, sometimes your brain realizes that "it doesn't make any difference" and/or " it won't accomplish anything", but you just GOTTA "do something about that" anyway. In this case, its the rear brake drums on the Jeep - heavily rusted. Worked on one today - wire wheeled the worst of the rust off. It now looks like a relic from the 1800s - heavily pitted around the circumference although the rim mating surface is smooth. I flat blacked the darn thing with high temp paint. Looks better at least, looks pretty good from 10 feet away - old stage makeup trick.
I was never all that impressed/happy with the above setup, so I changed it.
A bit of modification to the stock fuse/relay box enabled moving the BlueSea PDU.
Had to gnaw on the end tab a bit.
I didn't have any foam rubber on hand, but wanted to back the hole a bit.
Two "bubbles" from small sized bubble wrap fit the bill.
3M produced upholstery patch, stuck on and then heated gently for a short time. I
don't think I'll be having any problems with this. Maybe I'll get seat covers eventually.
Very rusty rear brake drums.
Didn't clean up much, but some.
Flat blacked with high temp paint.
Did the other side the next day...
...looks better at least!
Read on for the next part.