Build Thread CJ7 let the fun begin.

Build Thread CJ7 let the fun begin.

gootee08

Jeeper
Posts
60
Thanks
0
Location
Dayton, Oh
Vehicle(s)
cj7, 4.2L I6, T-5, Dana 300, bone stock
Let the saga begin…
First I’m somewhat of a gear head as a hobby. I love spending time in the garage and I have a good selection of tools to do what I want. I plan on doing all the work myself and I plan on this taking years. Not a problem. I also have a thick skin and do not take things personally, so all comments and opinions are welcomed and wanted. If someone sees me about to do something stupid please speak up! Even if it is unsolicited believe me I appreciate the time you spent saving me from myself…

My eventual goals for this Jeep are to travel 40-60 miles off road in Alaska for hunting and adventure bringing all needed gear. I bought the CJ as a tow vehicle for me RV and if all goes to plan will spend 4-6 weeks traveling around the US visiting some national parks and friends. I plan on wheeling around the states for the next couple of years as I build and I plan on flat towing as I go. A secondary goal is not to take the Jeep off the road for any extended period of time. I stay more motivated if I’m driving it. So with this in mind some of the things I think I need and what I’m thinking in no particular order:

1. A reel roll cage, family style with attachments to the frame
2. Winch- have a 12k lb for front that will get mounted when the bumper is built.
3. Bumpers- plan on using what I have and build on to it with plate steel to make a nice winch bumper. Something like the style below. Thinking about using ¼ or 3/8 plate for the skid plate.


4. Suspension- Thinking about a 4 link / 3 link (cause I can, not that I need it) with 2-5 inch lift. I’d like to keep the center of gravity low. Plan on steep mountains, deep mud, river crossing and everything in between.
5. Axles- ??My most unsure part?? I would like to keep as light as possible but bullet proof. Upgraded stock, 44/60, 60/60, 9inch
6. Tires- starting with 33’s thinking about ending up with 37’s
7. Very reliable drive train- rebuilding everything as needed. Keeping the I6 AMC 258 i6 / 4.2l and manual trans
8. Solid body and mods- repairing rust and tj flares, I really like what Pete did to his. I’ll keep some of the diamond plate but not all of it.

So let us begin.

This is what is looked like the night I brought it home. The kid I bought it from said v6 on the phone so I thought it might have been modified but it was an inline 6 and from what I can tell is all stock. It ran good but shook like crazy at 65mph. It has some oil leaks, looks like the hardest one is the rear main. The steering and the trans are tight except the sink on second gear is gone, but I can live with it. Speedo is at 139xxx, and according to the DMV is original miles.



The tires were in bad shape and I had an almost new set on a trailer that I was getting rid of, and with new rubber, no shake.

The tub has some rust issues…

I’m starting with the rear roll bar m ounts…

After cutting out the offending spots…

Making a new internal structure. …

Made some new panels for the mount out of 16g and welded in…
http://www.jeep-cj.com/gallery/files/6/5/6/1/6.jpeg
And that is where I will leave it for this post, next fix the front roll bar mounting points, build the bumper and mount the winch. Until next time…
 
Thanks for the compliment. I like the bumper design you picked , thats one of my favorites. Slightly better than what you have now. :D Do you have a bead roller? Like the way the panel you made blends right in.

As far as axles the only thing Id do is throw a set of one piece axles in the rear. Maybe add a lock rite or aussie locker. That will do you fine while your on 33s. I wouldnt spend any more on them after that. In the mean time grab a set you can build to handle your eventual 37s. That'll minimize your downtime when you do swap.

Along that same line your inline 6 will be fine with a few mods. The Dana 300 t-case is also a solid unit. The T-5 trans is usually considered scrap by most off road enthusiasts. It wont hurt to replace the synchro and give it a good once over but Id treat it just like the axles. Probably fine with the 33s depending on its condition , but a time bomb for larger tires.
 
Thanks Pete,
I don't have a bead roller yet but working on biulding one. I just used a 3/8 rod and t dolly, then beat on it with a big hammer. It did not look like there was a lot of interest on sheet metal work here but I can post picts of what i make if there is.


The big thing I want out of the bumper (other than good looks) is protection for the steering box and maybe some bracing for the it.

Good to know I should be looking for a trans. I like the 5 speed and other than second gear it is rock solid, tight shifting no slop in the stick, any recommondations on a strong 5 or 6 speed that will bolt to the I6 and Dana 300 ?

The axles are something to think about, I want to stay as light as possible and still have it bullet proof, but if there is one place to compromise on weight it would be the axles, imho. I just seen a 44/60 set on CL for $400. Not sure of prices yet, but that sounded like a good price to me.

I like the up grade of the stock for now, I'll have to look up the lock rite or aussie locker. I have not heard of them. Do you have a favorite? And same question on the I6 mods, do you have a favorite? I've read about a carb and coil mod that looked good.

On a good note, just picked up a set of 04 wrangler fender flares off CL for $40. They will go on in a couple of days.:D
 
Share as much as you want. Theres always someone looking for some ideas on here. Im sure your 3/8 rod idea will be used by another Jeeper out there. I dont do alot of sheetmetal work considering I dont weld but one day...

As far as transmissions probably the 2 most popular manual trans are both 4 spd. The Jeep/Ford T-18 and the SM420. Both have excellent reputations for durability and are popular for rock crawling due to their low 1st gears.

I can speak for the T-18 and let others chime in on 5 spds and the SM420. The good thing about a T-18 is the were offered in Jeeps from the factory. You can usually find a T-18 for around $650. First gear is 6.32 and the rest are basically the same as a T-150 3spd. They can be modified to accept the Dana 300 but were originally backed by a Dana 20 t-case. Here is a great site for popular trans/engine/t-case swaps

Novak Jeep Conversions - Home

A 44/60 set sounds good for what you want in the end and $400 is a good price.
 
There are a bunch of mods out there for the I6. I think the one your talking about is the Team Rush upgrade. Heres a good link for that.

Team Rush Mod (Writeup w/ Pics} - JeepForum.com

I did this along with a Mc2100 swap and was very happy. Unfortunately I did both at the same time so I cant really tell you just about 1. Together it was a great bang for the buck cure for my CJ7 .

That said on the Scrambler I went with an h.e.i. I could open up the plug gap to .50 and it really smoothed out the idle. Power gain was instant in my case, just due to it smoothing out and getting rid of flat spots I had throughout the powerband. When I do my new motor I will go this route again. You get to get rid of more wiring and that ignition module as well.

I like the idea of the 4.0 head swap as well. Heres a short write up on that.

http://www.jeep-cj.com/forums/f2/258-4-0-head-swap-results-8500/?highlight=head+swap
 
Now theres a bunch of different intakes and headers you can use, but you have to be careful or you'll end up with a bunch of mis matched parts that dont work with each other. Some intakes take a Holley 4 bbl pattern. Some wont work with a header. Some just plain dont work... you get my meaning.

If you werent looking at such large tires Id tell you to do what I did. Buy a parts Jeep and rebuild the driveline of it to your satisfaction. In your case your still going to need something other than the stock axles. I bought my rusted out junker for $450. After I get some frame repair done I can drive the CJ7 while having another driveline being built the way I want. A best of both worlds thing so I hope. ;) I dont plan on going any larger than a 35 in tire and will probably stay at 33s.

Anyway those links should be some good reads for you. Enjoy and get a good game plan together. It looks like with your skill you can be driving that Jeep around on 33s while builing the stuff you need.:cool:
 
Thanks Pete,
I don't have a bead roller yet but working on biulding one. I just used a 3/8 rod and t dolly, then beat on it with a big hammer. It did not look like there was a lot of interest on sheet metal work here but I can post picts of what i make if there is.
Lmao being how about 75% of cjs are swiss cheese, help and hints on sheetmetal work is always welcome, seems though that fixing rust isn't most peoples main concern versus just gettin a jeep running or keeping it running right.

As for transmissions id look into the ax15 if you want a 5 speed, its probably about the easiest to swap in, and rather strong for a medium duty tranny.


Droooiiddd 2
 
Hey were in the same city. I also been all over Alaska. Drove the alcan highway and drove the dalton.
 
Lmao being how about 75% of cjs are swiss cheese, help and hints on sheetmetal work is always welcome, seems though that fixing rust isn't most peoples main concern versus just gettin a jeep running or keeping it running right.

As for transmissions id look into the ax15 if you want a 5 speed, its probably about the easiest to swap in, and rather strong for a medium duty tranny.


Droooiiddd 2
Thanks, I was just informed by my wife that I will NEED to do some more welding on the jeep. Darn I'll have to spend some time in the shop:D. I just order some panels, so should have some sheet metal pics soon.

I'll look into the ax15, thanks for the input.
 
Hey were in the same city. I also been all over Alaska. Drove the alcan highway and drove the dalton.

We are planning an RV trip up the alcan next year, and dragging the jeep up to be our Alaska vehicle.
 
Wow, I can't beleive it's been a month. I've been very busy the last month getting ready for vacation. Working on the Jeep and the motor home. But not to worry I've got pictures and a story to share.

First a little teaser as to where the jeep is now...

So on with the story. The panels came in from JC Whitney in just a couple of days. In the ad it said "some fitment needed", it should of said "remake as needed".

I started with the passenger side because it looked easier and I won't be over there.:D


So I started cutting and fitting...

The key is to sneak up on it. You can always cut more, takes longer to put it back.
And B, never cut anything out until you have something to replace it.



So happy with the passenger side, by the way I had to remake the braces under the floor pan as well... but that can be another post. Until next time.
 
The panels came in from JC Whitney in just a couple of days. In the ad it said "some fitment needed", it should of said "remake as needed".

Thats about the same way Id describe the ones from Quadratec. Your also spot on about removing excess material in small amounts. Thats why you'll see alot of people recomend these guys: http://classicent.com/jeep.php Lookin good. :chug:
 
Hey I like the sheetmetal work you have done. In fact your a few steps ahead of me. As far as your sheetmetal, what thickness is it? Where are you getting your metal from? I use metal for industrial duct work. It's called paint grip. It's 0.033 thick as opposed to body sheetmetal 0.032. Thats some really nice work your doing too! I gotta make on of those dolly things.
 
That is some good work! I'm about to tackle the floor pan on the driver side myself, so this is good info! Can I ask what kind of winch you have? I have a friend that I'm trying to talk out of him, a 12,000lb Ramsey with the worm drive motor set up. He keeps trying to tell me it too wide, but he hasn't measured it for me yet! LOL, we keep going back and forth about it, but I think it'll be mine soon!
 
Thanks for the resonses, guys!!
Pete, that looked like a lot better quality stuff, but for me I'm more into the making of stuff. So for me I should have just started with a sheet of 18 or 20g. It is all about time and price. If you don't have the time your better buying the good stuff. If your have time and you like to do it, your better off making your own.
rr41mag
I'm using 20g on the body, 18g on the floor and I found mig welding on the floor to be the fastest for me. I even used 16g on some of the spots where the roll bar mounts. I live in Dayton very close to a metal yard, so I have a very easy supply.
Niedhogg
I've got a Badlands 12000lbs, but I would much rather have a Ramsey, but for 300$ I could not pass it up.

Some more work on the floor boards.


I used some old 2x2, 1/8 wall that I had laying around to use for the bracing. I cut it to match the floor board.


used some 1/8 plate to cut the flanges.

and used the same on the drivers side. As it turns out the drivers side was not that much harder.


more latter time for an adult beverage...:chug:
 
Ps, rr41mag the t dolly is just some 1/2 inch round bar I cut and welded together. Ground a dome on one end and left the other flat. It has turned out to be rather useful.
Greg
 
If you plan to eventually run 37" tires and want a 5 speed, I'd go with the NV4500 5speed. It was originally found in Chevy 1/2 & 3/4 ton trucks. They have a decent granny first, and the beauty of the over drive as well. You get to have your cake and eat it too lol, use the granny gear for crawling around off road, and the overdive for blasting down the highway to get there!

In short it's a 5 speed that will handle pretty much whatever you throw at it. Plus with it being in a GM product you can find them around for decent prices, and if you did manage to ruin or wear part of it out you can find replacement parts at reasonable prices too. Just a thought.


On the AMC 258 i6 / 4.2l 's I've had I get a GM HEI dist. out of a Chevy I6 and put the Jeep gear on the shaft, and drop them in. Then I run a Motorcraft 2 barrel carb from a Ford v6. The Motorcraft carbs work exceptionally well off road and run by far the smoother than any Carter style 2 barrel I've ever had.

If you do the conversion dist yourself from the boneyard the cost is mere pennies compared to the DUI kits and what not on-line.
 
If you plan to eventually run 37" tires and want a 5 speed, I'd go with the NV4500 5speed. It was originally found in Chevy 1/2 & 3/4 ton trucks. They have a decent granny first, and the beauty of the over drive as well. You get to have your cake and eat it too lol, use the granny gear for crawling around off road, and the overdive for blasting down the highway to get there!

In short it's a 5 speed that will handle pretty much whatever you throw at it. Plus with it being in a GM product you can find them around for decent prices, and if you did manage to ruin or wear part of it out you can find replacement parts at reasonable prices too. Just a thought.


On the AMC 258 i6 / 4.2l 's I've had I get a GM HEI dist. out of a Chevy I6 and put the Jeep gear on the shaft, and drop them in. Then I run a Motorcraft 2 barrel carb from a Ford v6. The Motorcraft carbs work exceptionally well off road and run by far the smoother than any Carter style 2 barrel I've ever had.

If you do the conversion dist yourself from the boneyard the cost is mere pennies compared to the DUI kits and what not on-line.

Man...that's some good info...what year for the chevy i6 and the motorcraft 2 bl ford v6?
 
If memory serves me correctly it was around 82-83 for the I6's. And as far as the Motorcraft 2 barrel, I usually get a re-man one from the parts store, I order them for a Ford Fairmont with the V-6. They run about $110 my cost and I have them in about 2 days from my local Advance Auto.

When I do these conversions for customers with CJ's or earlier YJ's they can't believe how smooth and powerful their Jeeps are now. It truly makes them run very well, one guy swore I changed his engine, he said "there is NO WAY a six banger with 180,000 miles on it can run THAT good" lol.
 

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