Chapter 19: The Autopsy of Humpty Dumpty

Humpty Dumpty

I had begun taking Humpty Dumpty apart shortly after dragging it home. My first concern was to pull the interior and trash the nasty carpet. The seats came out fairly easy. In order to remove a couple bolts, I realized that it would be easier if the exhaust was out of the way, so I pulled it off from the collector back.

There was a lot of debris in this thing. Bottle caps, pens, kids bracelets…I even made $0.32! Under the rear seat, which was in surprisingly good shape, was a paper wasp nest…luckily vacant. I cut up the carpet and sound deadening mat, and threw it out as soon as possible. It was just forcing the rust to grow. The rust was still damp. Shutter!

Next, I started pulling gage off the dash and pulled the heater out. A rather uniquely installed heater. I even pulled the windshield and put it in the garage. While I was pulling gages, I also started pulling off the engine accessories. Most of it should be good…as long as the broken rod hadn’t touched it.

I also pulled the power steering gearbox off the front frame. That should be good on the Deuce.

So when I got around to pulling the transmission and transfer case, easier done together, there wasn’t a lot in the way. The driveshalfts came off easily enough. I then noticed was that the transmission crossmember and skid plate was different between the 1975 Deuce and the 1976 Humpty Dumpty. Four bolts and it fits the ground.

Take off the transmission shifter and loosen the t-case shifter, and then it is just 4 bolts holding the trans to the bell housing. From there it is just a matter of managing disengagement of the front shaft from the clutch, while pulling backwards and controlling the fall.

This is when I notice that the front shaft is much longer on Humpty than the Deuce. Hmmm…well, maybe I can use it with a bell housing swap. A few more bolts and it is off. Oh, and nice looking starter too.

At this point, I’m staring at the engine being held from the firewall with a piece of wood. I realize that there are only 4 bolts holding the engine in place. Well, why not just remove the engine? The hood, front fender and grill come off easily as I had never really put more than the minimum number of bolts on. Drag over the engine hoist. Remove four bolts. And it’s out. I now had three disconnected engines in that garage. Details.

Things I noticed that were different about Humpty Dumpty. The biggest was that the front leaf springs were installed backwards, with the wedge angling the front pinion down instead of up towards the transfer case. Also, a plate around the steering column was cut from a construction sign.

At this point, there isn’t much left to Humpty Dumpty. It still has it’s axles, which I plan to steal for my CB build. There are a few lights left. The dash and all the interior is gutted. In fact, the dash panel is already in the garage. The steering column is still there, only because they welded the lower tube to the firewall as it passes through. And the roll bar is still in place, because they used carriage bolts set into round holes. I have yet to loosen those nuts. I’m thinking of grinding a slot in the top and using a screwdriver to hold and an impact on the nuts. But that’s for a later project.

Humpty is almost easier to move around now, except there is no steering.

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