Nov 24 2014
This POST will be for one of the two Terra Jets I have for restoring this winter… There will be a separate post for the other once I start it. The 400E (in the shop now) looks like a Corvette with monster mudder tires.
All About A Terra Jet:
What we have here is a power train similar to the Bazoo that I restored last winter. A 2 cycle snowmobile motor and belt drive / clutch. A simple transmission with just forward , neutral and reverse. The difference is: Far less chains, a steering wheel instead of leavers, Four wheels not six. Like the Bazoo there is no suspension to cushion the ride.. just the soft tires and hopefully a soft seat. Controls are a gas and a brake pedal very much like a little car . Ahh but a 4×4 car.. all four wheels are driven.. full time. Very simple straight through axles.. I would imagine that turning would not be tight with the two rear wheels trying to push you straight. But you would have tractor like traction.. AND you also have an AMPHICAR that floats and the wheels paddle it through the water. How cool is that ! Well its’ so cool, and the design is so good that 44 years later they are still making these.. Yup you can buy a new one.
When it comes to taking things apart I do not wast too much time . But I wish I’d stopped long enough to take more “before” photos. Hopefully one can glean a picture of the sad little Terra Jet from this shot above. SOOOO Got the wheels off and the body off.. The body get’s set aside for later. Once I do work on the body You’ll get a better idea of the roughness of that. The wheels will come off the rims so the rims get cleaned and painted. But first I need to start with the tub and inner frame.
Things to deal with:
As I dismantle the Terra Jet I’m going to find the stuff that needs attention. Here they are:
Holes: Yup there are a few.. if you want to cross a river or go out on the lake you can not have holes. This is a steel tub so it’s patchable just like a car body. And I have two welders !
Some play in the steering.. caused by this interesting steering gear. It shouldn’t be a problem to fix. Some guys replace this with an auto steering box. Oh you can sorta see those foot pedals… real crappy. There is a better way . And below is a photo from another guys restore of a Terra Jet.. He set up hydraulic brakes.
This would give you some nasty braking power. May do this to the other Terra Jet , but maybe I’ll just make better pedals and keep the push rod brakes.
In this photo you can see the little short steering tie rod. they are worn and so I’ll need new ones from Princess Auto.
Before I use this motor to anchor my boat.. we will test the compression and look it over good. It does have a better carb, but it’s a noisy 2 cycle..
As we carry on taking things apart.. there is lots of rusted and seized stuff. Like the nuts on the end of the rear axle.. Big wrenches needed here.. Got the motor and transmission out.. and chains off the sprockets..
Here’s the motor liberated from the Jet.. Couldn’t resist cranking it over a bit.. Hmm we think it would run fine..
Oh ya… deja-vu The very same trans that the Bazoo had.. So I know what to do.. sure hope there are no cracks in the body.. But they are built tough so I’m doubting that. The big disc for the brake is a bit bent.. and it seams too thin.. Maybe I’ll get a thicker one made.
This is where I’m at .. the hubs and axles need to be removed ..then the frame will just lift out.. and boy it’s not easy..
The Left Rear Hub: These parts are all seized together.. Needed a very large wrench to get this nut off. And still the hub is stuck.. I guess a torch and a puller is the way. Once this hub is off and the bearing and seal slid off, the whole axle pulls out through the right side. Same with the front axle.. comes out the right side.. because that is the side with the drive sprockets, and larger holes in the tub for pulling them through.
OPPS.. I broke the aluminum bearing cup (on the floor). The bolts were so seized in there that while trying to punch them out the casting cracked in half. This should be a steel part so it won’t react with the steel bolts. The bearing was toast too.. Ah the start of the parts list. And I’m shearing bolts off constantly… Oh well it’s all good fun , and part of restoring something old and rusty.
And speaking of rusty ! I did get the front axle out. That’s good but it still needs to come apart. The steering came out without too much swearing.. So that’s out of the way.. I only sheared off two bolts for the front hub.. They are in the frame…so once the frame is out I can remove them.
Well after much toiling and foul language.. We got the hub off the rear axle .. and the frame out of the tub. Here’s a photo of the frame standing up on it’s left side. Tomorrow it’s off to get pressure cleaned and de-greased.
We flipped the tub over to see just how bad things are.. Yup there is a few holes…well lots of holes.. Once it’s clean and I run the sander over the metal I’ll see the bad stuff..
Some is obvious.. Like this hole for the rear axle. Going to weld in a new piece here for sure. There has to be a gasket here..so it needs to be good.
This is a big project.. and will need several pages. Now that the destruction is done, it’s time for cleaning and repairing.. on to…