By Jon Maib
If you have read "The Beginning" already, you will know that this Jeep came home with no brakes. After inspection of the braking system, it was obvious that I would have to rebuild axles and braking system. Several of the brake lines were completely severed and there wasnt a drop of fluid in the reservoir. I decided to begin with the rear axle, that way I didn't have to mess with any steering components just yet. All of the bolts/nuts were pretty rusted in there, lets just say, PB Blaster became a permanent tool in my tool box. After lots of spraying and fighting, the rear axle finally came out. As you can see by the picture, it was pretty ugly. At this point, I removed the springs and then threw the axle up on some shop A frame horses so it was easier to work on. From there, had to remove the drums so I could get to the brakes. This proved to be even more of a challenge, especially because I didn't realize that these drums are held on by 3 small flat-head screws. Once I got that figured out, a bit of beating I finally got the drums off and had my first look at how bad this really was.

From there, it was just a matter of stripping all the parts off and hitting the whole axle with brake cleaner and cleaning it up. I ordered the parts I needed - New brake pads, wheel cylinders, U-bolts, springs, shackles and of course, brake line. While I waited for parts to come in, I finished cleaning up the axle and getting a fresh coat of paint on it. Some may wonder why I didn't paint the axle's and frame in OD green. The older Willys MB's were, but this is a CJ2a and I only painted OD green because I love the color. I really like the contrast between the black and the OD green personally. Once my parts came in, I installed the new cylinders and brake pads and then began buttoning up the axle.

Next up was tackling the front axle. I knew this one was going to be a pain because of all the steering parts that would need to be taken off and replaced. What I didnt realize was that the steering wouldnt be the difficult part! The spring hanger bolts were completely rusted on and wouldn't budge. I ended up having to cut one of the springs in order to just get the axle out from under the Jeep. And check out this leaf spring, it looks good, right?!? As you can see, I had to cut the bolt just to get this side out too. It was a beating trying to get this axle out.

With the axle now out from under the Jeep, I began stripping it down and cleaning it up. I even pulled the axle shafts and cleaned all the grease of them so that I could add all new grease during the build process. Some guys use to call this "knuckle pudding", but I was able to find some CV Joint lube that worked perfectly.

I then had to order a bunch of new parts to get this back together. The order was in for brake pads, wheel cylinders, steering parts and most importantly, new springs! Once the parts came in I began to re-assemble the front axle. It actually went back together easier than I thought it would. I did have to do a little research and make sure that I put the king pin's back in properly, but a quick google search and it was all set.

Once the axle was all back together and painted. I then ran all the new brake lines. Found that I wasn't very good and doing double flairs on the lines (that or my tool I had was cheap!). Ended up having to take them in and paying to have them flared because mine kept leaking. Finally got them on with no leaks and had my son help me bleed the lines. For the first time in years, the CJ had brakes and I could actually drive it around and STOP!

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