If At First You Don’t Succeed,…

“…Give up.”

Uh, no, I can’t do that because if I leave the Jeep frame in the driveway the Homeowner’s Association will complain.

“…You’re about average?”

Well, probably, but that’s not the answer I was looking for.

“…Try, try again!”

AHA! I knew someone would get the right answer!

That was my day yesterday. I worked for several days to cut / grind off the heads of all the bolts holding the CJ-6 body tub to the frame, and yesterday morning I cut the last one off. I knew it would be fairly easy to separate the two, because I have my handy-dandy 2-ton engine hoist.


The next step was to get the tub to the sandblaster’s so they could clean off all the rust, Bondo, and remaining paint. I rented an open U-Haul trailer, brought it home, and backed it into the garage (after getting the frame out of the way). The tub was an easy load into the trailer, and then I was off to the sandman, where I left it sitting in line to be cleaned:


100_4460Back at home, meanwhile, there was a goodly chunk of useless, rusted metal sitting in my driveway.


I couldn’t leave it there because, first, my HOA wouldn’t be happy, and second, I need the space for the truck anyway. So my idea was to move it from the driveway into the back yard. Plan A was to use my hand truck (it has pneumatic tires and will roll on the gravel) to support one end of the frame and to pick up the other end, by myself, and drag the whole mess into the back. Well, it took a while just to get the frame vertical, even using the engine hoist, so I decided Plan A wasn’t really feasible. I developed a quick Plan B, which was to get someone to *help* me lift the other end and drag it into the back. Well, that didn’t pan out because no one was readily available. I didn’t want to leave the frame in the driveway any longer than I had to – not only because of the mess, but also because I didn’t want to leave it suspended on wheeled tools sitting on a slope. I knew, I just *knew*, that if I did leave it there, everything would roll out into the street at the *worst* possible time – like when a car was coming along. No, I couldn’t leave it on wheels. And I didn’t want to undo all the work I had done to get it upright, either. The only remaining option was to come up with Plan C:


Plan C built upon Plan A by supporting one end of the frame on the hand truck and the other end on a lightweight dolly that I typically tote my kayaks on (it also has pneumatic tires). So I got everything all balanced (sort of) and tied together (sort of) and I was in business – sort of. I found that the kayak dolly would turn a bit from side to side, so I used that to my advantage and “steered” the frame around the house and toward the back yard. The dollies were taking all the weight; all I had to do was keep the frame from falling over. And it would have worked fine, if…


…the front dolly and its load of boards and ramps and “stuff” hadn’t spontaneously disassembled itself, and the rear dolly hadn’t gone over a rock and tilted, causing the frame to slide off it. I’m still not sure how, but I managed to keep the frame from falling over. [The picture actually shows the hand truck restored to its proper supporting role. I would have taken a picture of everything apart, but I was a tad busy at the time.] I tried to reassemble the mishmash that supported the front end, but I didn’t have enough hands, legs, or other body parts to make it work.

So there I was, with the frame stuck in the *only* gate to the back yard, and no clear idea of what to do. I thought, Hmmm, I’ll see what I can do by going back to Plan A. It can’t be any worse than it is now; if I can’t lift it by myself I’ll just leave it in the gateway until I can get some help. So I hefted the end you see in the gateway, and by golly I was able to lift it far enough to move the monster! It took me several tries, with serious rest stops in between, but I managed to get the frame completely into the back yard (to sit next to all the other useless pieces of Jeep):


The tub is awaiting sandblasting, and the old frame is out of the way. It’s a big step in the build process. Now if I could only get my gearbox from Ohio…


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