Project: I Never Claimed To Know What I Am Doing

    • Project: I Never Claimed To Know What I Am Doing

      So any of you that are friends of mine on Facebook already know that I have decided to take on the project of swaping the body on my 1980 CJ7. I have been randomly posting progress pics on FB but decided to start a thread here to put it all in one place. First things first, Yes I know my shop is a mess, and that the welds on my cross member and skid plat mounting plates look like hell. They were done a while back laying on my back under the jeep with an old school stick welder, Wearing a Carhart as a welding jacket in the middle of summer. I thought i was going to catch myself on fire, wether from the heat or the dripping slag, and my welds show it. lol.

      The Starting point
      1980 Jeep CJ7
      258 I6
      T176 4 speed
      Dana 300 JB 4to1
      Dana 30 Narrow track 3.55 spartan locker
      AMC20 Narrow track 3.55 Spartan Lock Ten Factory alloy one piece Axles
      33/12.50/15 MTR's
      15x8 black steel wheels
      1.25" wheel spacers
      Roughly 1.5 inch suspension lift
      YJ Spring Pack front with extra main leaf
      CJ Spring pack rear extra YJ Main Leaf
      1 inch daystar body lift
      Build not Bought clocked Dana 300 and flat to the frame rail belly skid
      RCI 19 gallon fuel cell
      SmittyBuilt Tube Fenders
      TJ Rear Flares
      One VERY rusty body and a lot of Bondo

      The Plan

      I have picked up a YJ tub to swap over. For those that don't know there are very few differences between a YJ and CJ7 tub. The tub that I found was pretty cheap and also in need of some repair but not anywhere near what I already had. I don't have a lot of great pictures of the tub before hand but ill place a few here. The PO comp cut the rear, Im planning to install corner armor to cover this.

      I started out the tub repair by putting it in a position that has made floor repair 100 times easier. Then I proceeded to cut out any and all rust I could i find.

      Someone at some point had tried there hand at body work. This consisted of riveted sheetmetal and a lot of Bondo to cover it up. I removed this to find that this tub had obviously been attacked by a shark at some point.

    • I cleaned up the edges the best I could and went to work with sheet metal. At this point I will tell you I have never attempted body work in my life. Im fairly happy with how it has come along given my experience level. I certainly have a few ways I would have gone about it differently now that I have completed it. I still have some small sections to patch on the passengers side.

    • I got tiered of looking at sheet metal so I decided to start taking the old CJ apart. One good thing about that is that at one point or another I have had most of this jeep apart, so disassembly was fairly easy.

      Now we get to the part where the people following along that have been thinking "that CJ tub doesn't look that bad" will understand how bad it really was.

      This is the driver side seat belt mount, it was removed by hand.

    • I took a break form the disassembly to build a new steering set up. tie rod is 1.5" DOM with 3/4 rod ends. Drag link is 1 ton chevy TRE and 1.5" DOM. Came out decent and its laughable the size difference between the new and old.

      I did something a little unconventional with the drag link. I moved the TRE to the top of the pitman arm rather then mounting form the bottom. I matched this with moving the axle end to the top of the knuckle. this has kept the angle of the drag link the same as before however has avoided interference between itself and the tie rod during flex.

      This area is just begging for a hydro assist ram. More to come on that.

    • Next on the agenda was plating and repairing some body mounts. fairly boring stuff but need to be done. I then started grinding the frame clean and painting. Also along the way I removed the trans and transfer case. Jeep will be getting a new clutch, as well as a hydro clutch upgrade. It was a mechanical linkage previously .

      Well at this point you are up to date. Ill jump on and update as it progresses. Im working on this thing most weekends so progress has been slow but I plan to be wheeling this year!