Build Thread Father/Son Project in Orlando

Build Thread Father/Son Project in Orlando


Senior Jeeper
Lifetime Supporter
Orlando, FL
1985 CJ7, AMC 360, lunati cam, AX15, Affordable Fuel Injection, edelbrock performer manifold, 21 gallon fuel tank, Old Man Emu 2.5 inch lift, 1 inch body lift, tie rod flip, HMMWV H1 steering box, rear disc brake conversion, Dana 44 rear, YJ to CJ tub conversion, still working on 33 inch tires, Metallic dark blue paint.

Scrambler Project, cosmetically taking it back to the 80's- 1984 Scrambler, Laredo. 258cc, Holley Sniper EFI, 30in tires on Laredo polished wheels, Dana 44 rear, OME 2.5 YJ springs/lift, HMMWV steering box

Previously owned cj 7, 1979, Renegade, 258 and a '89 wrangler
So here we go, please bear with me as this is my first Jeep build and my first blog.
My wife is goofing on me because I used make fun of her scrap booking blog, Facebook updates and journal entries, I guess I should have kept my mouth shut. Of course she fails to understand the difference in that this is to receive technical as well as emotional support on this adventure... besides being much more important than scrap booking.

How we got here... My son, who is 10 years old saw a picture of me circa 1988 in my 1979 Jeep Renegade , 289 three speed. He wanted to know what happened to that Jeep.
"I sold it when I left for the army".
"I'd like to have one for my first car"
"They don't make them like that anymore son"
"Dad we could fix one up !!!!!!"

About us.... We are a family of five living in Orlando, Florida with a sense of humor.
I'm passionate about college football, Go Gators, and Medicine. My son loves to shoot a .22 at the range, PopWarner football and his Coach, which happens to be me. Of course this makes neither of us mechanics, calling us novices would be kind. Can it be done? "Not for the Weak or Faint Hearted". It won't click for most, google it and you may understand if not it's not important.

The Project is to get this thing going and make it as safe as possible. (out goes the CJ5 , lifts, V8, huge tires, nitro kits, jet packs, ejector seats ect).
We started this conversation about a month ago, and of course the first thing we need after gathering all of our research was the Jeep it self....

Everyone loves Craigslist, except for my wife who swore that I would be calling her for help from the trunk of some dudes car. Luckily I met Jerry who was selling this... a 1985 CJ7 , 289cc, T-5 just rebuilt and installed, hard top, AC, with about 70k miles. It comes with an additional YJ tub which is mostly rust free, extra windshield frame, and and extra hard top. The tub is pretty rusted but the frame looks good in the parts I can see.
Strangely it's lineage is that the second owner (Jerry's Father) had it from about 1995 until he passed it to Jerry (the guy who sold it to me today). Jerry's dad has since passed away. Jerry, has worked on it on and off over the last several years but decided he wanted it to go to a good home. Asking Price, $1300 for everything, and in good faith I offered him $200 more to hold it for me until I could get off work at the Emergency Room and get there in a couple of hours.
Thank goodness that there are still guys around that stick to their word, and Thank you Jerry.

I know everyone loves pictures so I will get better ones but here is what I have so far. Please let me know if you recognize anything that I should start with, problem areas that are ahead or anything I should be on the look out for. Even words of encouragement are appreciated.

After trying to upload the pictures several ways I am unable to decrease their file size with my Macbook. I will try a different approach....we rent out a condo on this website, check the Jeep page that I added and you can access photos.
My Albums
Looks like great fun! Welcome from lots if pictures!
Looks like you have a big project on your hands. Just take your time and have fun with it. There are a lot of people here that have tore them down to a bare frame and put them back together again that are willing to help any way they can. I know I will be watching and will help when I can. :popcorn:
Looks like great fun! Welcome from lots if pictures!

Thanks... if it's the Clarksville I'm thinking of then Fayetteville is on my mind.
Looks like you have a big project on your hands. Just take your time and have fun with it. There are a lot of people here that have tore them down to a bare frame and put them back together again that are willing to help any way they can. I know I will be watching and will help when I can. :popcorn:

Thank you for the words of encouragement.... I keep thinking marathon, not sprint, but to be honest with you it's been a long time since I have been this excited to get involved in something. My wife has been in school for the past three years and is about to graduate next month so we can finally get back to a normal life.

Where in Orlando are you? I'm in Altamonte Springs.
Its very cool you are doing the father/son thing..
My sons and I are getting ready to build the 360 for my 79 CJ7 .
Both sons grew up around this Jeep, even had car seats strapped in when they were young! Somewhere I've got pics of my two sons in diapers handing me wrenches!!

I've had mine since 1986 and have had every nut and bolt off it during that time.

Anyway, if you need any help at all, please get hold of me.
holy dash!:eek: good luck with that beast shes gonna be a fun one, just got mine painted and back together... it was an awesome experience
Brian thanks for the number and the encouragement... I live close to the airport but will be moving to the Dr. Phillips area soon.

I asked a friend of mine with a car trailer go to the PO house and pick up the jeep, and we rolled it into the garage.... however he wasn't able to pick up the other tub that came with the sale, it's a yj with some rust, mostly on the floor pan, both front and back.

Since I know I'm about to get started taking the jeep apart I buy 4 cans of PB blaster and go to town. I go to run some errands, come back and my wife gives me this look of "hey genius, the whole house smells like the stuff you were spraying". Ok maybe this stuff should only be used outside.

So I had the day off and my son and I rented a Uhaul trailer and went to back to Jerry's house to to pick up the tub. As I'm driving down the road I'm trying to think of a way to fit both the tubs into the garage to fix one and start to take apart the jeep. I can't be the first guy to have a non working jeep and an extra tub in a two car garage with bikes, wagons, strollers, tools, gardening supplies and all the other stuff I have accumulated, right?

So how do I use the PB blaster outside on a jeep that doesn't run, without pissing off my neighborhood association.... The solution is I did an internet search for "car castors" and found that Harbour Freight (I'm really starting to dig this store) has wheeled dollies that will allow you to push the jeep around the garage, or the tub around the garage and outside as a one or one and a half man operation.

Now I need to make a decision the floor panels on the YJ tub all need to be replaced. Do I look for a better tub or just replace the floor. I will do some research tonight and come up with some information.

Also can someone tell me how I can identify what kind of axels I have?
On a '85 you have a d35 in the front and a AMC20 in the rear.
On a '85 you have a d35 in the front and a AMC20 in the rear.

Thank you, that really helps, especially since we were going to do the drum to disc swap once we were down to frame.

So we actually made quite a bit a of progress today.
We removed the windshield and frame, the seats, dash, wiring harness, E brake, console, hood and three of the body mounts.

To someone more experienced this may say sort of foolish but begin the jeep is so rusty most of the bolts are very difficult to turn. Mostly to have a 10 year old. he really wants to help but isn't really strong enough. So either I can loosen them and he can continue to work or I came up with another solution.

To make a long story short when I was in Iraq we had to hook up with the French Infantry unit at night. As we pooled into their camp we saw them doing this really strange thing. From a distance it looked like they were running around a tire playing tag or duck duck goose. As we got closer we realized they were changing a tire but since they didn't have pneumatic wrenches, they would put a tire iron into the lug, hook the other side into a tent pole, and then run around the tire with more leverage....

So we took a page out of the French manual, got the pipe that fits into my floor jack put it into the ratchet and my son is able to pull off even the most stubborn bolts.

I have posted more pics on My Photos

I am now able to lift up the tub, but need to get to those other body mounts, maybe this weekend.

Can anyone tell me what the black box is under the passenger dash, Fan Maybe? is it worth keeping?
I'm gonna keep an eye on this build. I'm glad to see your son would rather turn wrenches than play video games. I wish I lived closer to my son.
So after spending the last couple of days taking apart our 85 CJ7 , we turned our attention to the other YJ tub.

As it turns out this tub in not in very good condition. There is some rust between the rocker panel and the front wheel well, and the floor is rusted through in several places, specifically where both floor pans, the junction of the roll bar and back, and even in the back seat area.

If anyone can offer advice on how to fix that would be great. Is it as simple as cutting out the bad, ordering new replacement panels and welding? I'm not opposed to giving it a try, but I have no welding experience and I'm afraid that the end result would be a floor that didn't fit correctly into the mounts of the frame.

So realistically we started looking at option two, which is getting a YJ body and converting it over. I would need to change the tail gate and the gas opening, but it doesn't sound like a horrible option. However as I started doing the research I found some bodies on ebay for $600... but they don't ship. I found a local guy about 100 miles away that says he can find one, but it will be $1000.

Anyone have any other ideas of leads for a good yj tub? I guess this is something I should post on the board to open it up for general discussion.
If your gonna do repair panels you will at least plenty of clamps, some way to cut the bad rust out also. You could also lap the panels in and rivet them. Then you go over the seams with sealant and spray ed liner over that. Noone will ever know. There are also some good videos on you tube about doing repairs. If you must get a welder at least use bare wire and get a small bottle of gas co2/argon mixed.
Thank you Phil for the image resized... I think I might have figured this out.

So now I'm looking for a YJ tub that is reasonably priced, I find one on Ebay, '95 for $530 that has no rust and according to my research, this is about the time that the tubs are starting to come galvanized. It also has the family roll bar (I know I shouldn't say that on a CJ forum but I will be driving the vehicle before my son gets his license and my younger daughters will need 3 point seat belts in the back seat. My son has already explained that's "not cool, We will keep the cj roll bar to switch back". I get it.) and brake MC with booster and the blower,

Now on how to get it from Virginia to Florida for a decent price.... option B is to drive up and get it, about 22hrs round trip, and $270 in gas. Option A is a freight company. I find one that will ship for about $300. Now the problem is that the seller has no way of getting it to the dock, about 6 miles away and putting it on a pallet.

Now I only mention this because it may help someone in my situation, but again I turn to Craigslist, under movers in Richmond. There are several guys that are looking for moving business for $50 bucks, better yet I find a guy that has a business moving stuff from Richmond to Florida and is looking to fill his truck. I'm still waiting on a price but it looks like problem solved.

I will keep you posted on the progress.
Welcome from texas. No e pictures and great project.

Working on a rebuild myself, with my 83, once my ankle heals up ill hopefully be able to teach my daughter a couple of things along the way.

Have fun and take a bunch of pictures
Today we finished taking out the body mounts... I just need to take off the fuel lines and I think I can lift the tub off.

I have a couple of questions someone can help me with... the transfer case was removed by the PO... and the rear drive shaft is missing as well as the transmission crossmember. the front driveshaft is present but disconnected... In order to hold the transmission in the PO attached ratchet straps to the body and ran it under to support the drivetrain. I used a jack to support the drive train, undid the ratchet straps and then resecured them to the frame so I can remove the tub. Is there anything else I need to do to secure them and will a new transmission crossmember resolve this?

Also how in the world to I get those Torx bolts off of the roll bar? I have tried to find a wrench so far but have been unsuccessful, I'm afraid of stripping them with an allen. I have read about welding a nut on and twisting them off, but don't have a welder yet. Will a hand held propane torch help? Where can I get a Torx wrench?
:)Any auto parts store or sears.........they come in either 3/8 or 1/2" drive make sure you get the right size.
:)Any auto parts store or sears.........they come in either 3/8 or 1/2" drive make sure you get the right size.

I looked on the sears website and didn't see them so I assumed they didn't sell them, I will go to the store itself. Thx again.
I think when the bar goes back on I will use hex bolt.
I looked on the sears website and didn't see them so I assumed they didn't sell them, I will go to the store itself. Thx again.
I think when the bar goes back on I will use hex bolt.

:)Look again...........under Torx sets. or any Napa store.......common socket to attache to a 3/8" or 1/2" drive ratchet.

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