After the initial welding in of new top hat sections - I expected to have to replace the fuel tank recess - but after cleaning this came up very well (see picture to right)
I removed all the handles and exterior 'furniture' and gave the jeep a very good sanding down back to bare metal - to get a perfectly smooth finish for a respray.
I managed to get rid of many of the last spray jobs runs and crackles, but decided it would need a primer to seal the bod before the finishing spray over.
I took the spare wheel carrier to a paint shop and from the original paint colour under the olive drab we found a nato green in satin (basically Nato but with a good dose of blue in it). We matched the colour and I had five litres mixed up - I also had 10 cans of aerosol just incase I had to get to any hard to reach places.
I sand blasted all the 'furniture' and radiator - taking them all back to bare metal (picture of the fuel strainer top section after a blast shown on right) and went about masking off the vehicle.
After a coat of primer I sanded the vehicle back and cleaned out every nook and cranny to get the last of the caked on dirt off the vehicles underneath.
On went the first coat of Green cellulose and this acted as a witness coat showing up imperfections in the sanded panels.
These I flattened back with a sander and a second coat went on well. After flattening back (again!) the entire vehicle with some 320 grit on went another coat.- this was flattened back by some 1000 grit and we are now waiting to apply the final coat (once it warms up a bit as its near freezing here in the west country this week!)
The vehicle already is looking very nice and the final coat will ensure there is a good coat of paint so it will be more 'mark/ scratch resistant ' when complete.
I also resprayed the underside and therefore the top hat sections now look like new - I did seal the welds with weld sealant, so you can just see the join! (picture to right)
The underneath responded well to the lick of paint and after a good clean out of the rear springs (more wax, grease and dirt!) the rear axle started to shine! (maybe not so military I guess???) Picture to right
All the seats, externals and internals were finished off, and it was at this time the history of the vehicle became more apparent..
Under the paint on the grill I found a white triangle, that basically divided the grille in two diagonally. This therefore meant the jeep had been used as a convoy escort at some time (see the final pictures including the last picture in black and white - its a shot from the film The Longest Day where they use a Circulation Routiere Hotchkiss jeep and try to pass it off for a WW2 one!!)
I don't think I will return it to these white distinctive markings as it won't look too 'tactical' when I dress it up with all the kit for display!!
The penultimate picture is the jeep awaiting the final respray. This has given me time to change the gear oils in the axles and gearbox. I took lots of advice from the oil manufacturers and have gone with Extreme Pressure 90 Hypoid oil. Its a good viscosity and performs well when hot.
I will be regreasing the entire vehicles running gear and suspension with some high melting point litium - I think its 23 grease nipples to find!! (- a very mucky job so wish me luck!!) I will also be filling the front swivel ball housings with grease through the rear square lug on each side - should use about 1 kg of grease in total...
The final pictures is a completed Circulation Routiere jeep in a private collection in Germany - how many have we out there with this history??