Figured I post a mid-summer update about all the jeep fun I've been having
The Reading, PA WWII Weekend was during the first weekend of June. As I did last year, I decided to drive my jeep from my house in Maryland to the show in Reading, with a stop at my parent's house in Lancaster, PA. It was 50 miles to my parent's house, then 30 miles each way to the show. I drove up to PA on Thursday night, then made the round trip to the show from my parent's house on both Friday and Saturday. For the first 130 miles of driving between Thursday and Friday, the GPW ran perfect! It was running smooth, idling well, and giving me no reason to think I'd run into any issues throughout the remainder of the weekend. Well, unfortunately when I pulled out of the garage on Saturday morning to head back to Reading, it all of a sudden felt like it was misfiring and ran like crap. I ended up pulling and re-gaping the plugs, checked the points, and cleaned up for rotor and distributor cap, all of which made it run better, but still not perfect. After a couple of hours fiddling with it, I got things running well enough to make the 60 mile round trip back to the show. Thanks to the issues I was having, I ended up parking for the day and didn't do much driving around the show like I normally do. After getting there I also started to walk through other items that could be causing the problem. Nothing immediately jumped out at me until I realized the heat riser valve on the manifold was frozen solid...while there was nothing I could do about it at the show, or until I got home, I figured that would be the first item I tackled in an attempt to fix my issues. So, I made the trip back to my parent's house with no issue and made the 50 trip back to Maryland on Sunday without any issue either (minus the occasional miss every few seconds).
Here's the GPW at the show...even though it ran like crap that day, it still looked good from a distance
I didn't get the chance to mess with the jeep until mid-July due to a busy 6 weeks after the show, but luckily I had a spare manifold off of the 45' replacement GPW block I'm currently repairing. As a temporary fix, until I get the other block back together, I swapped the early style manifold I was using with the late style spare manifold. Voila! After the evening in the garage (which reached 105 degrees), I was able to finish the swap and get the old girl fired up again. Honestly, it was a night and day difference! Things were smooth, it idled almost immediately after starting, and driving was perfectly smooth. It was definitely issues with the manifold which were causing my problems.
After install I also bought a vacuum gauge, as the "new" manifold has the vacuum ports. My block is definitely getting tired, as I didn't rebuild it, but the gauge showed that there is still life left in it and didn't show anything alarming about how it runs. I'm hoping to only run it the remainder of this summer until I get my other block reassembled, but it's nice to know that it would likely run for the long term if I didn't have a spare engine.
That said, the GPW replacement block that I have been "working on" for the last two years is finally fully repaired! I finished the lock-n-stitch repair on the crack above the distributor last fall, but didn't have the time through the winter to pressure test. Finally, last April, I was able to rig up a pressure testing setup to determine whether the crack was successful. Unfortunately, the pressure test identified another crack in the distributor well. After receiving some suggestions from a friendly group here on the G, I was able to (on the 3rd try) drive a 1/2" piece of Permatex coated copper pipe into the well and finally plug up my crack. I put 20psi of air in the block which only dropped 2psi over the course of 24 hours. To me that's a success, as I'll likely add block sealer to the block once I get it reassembled and running again.
Here are a few additional pictures of the pressure testing setup (I de-greased the block, too, which brought out some original Ford gray that was hiding behind dirt and OD
To finally make the fix work, I coated the inside of the well with Permatex prior to driving the pipe into the well - the majority of that was pushed out with the pipe, but I think some of it remained which is what likely plugged my hole:
My hope now is to reassemble at some point before summer ends and maybe swap the engine later in fall when jeep driving season slows down/ends