Build Thread NWolford51's CJ7 Rebuild

Build Thread NWolford51's CJ7 Rebuild


Findlay, Ohio
Well, it is finally time to fix up my CJ7 that I bought about 3 months ago. First, I will give everyone a little background information on the Jeep. Earlier this year one of my co-workers was trying to get rid of a 1980 CJ7 . He wanted $1000 and I offered him $800. He told me that he didn't want to go that low on it that it was in too good of shape. I told him that it was not worth that much to me so I did not buy it. Well, 3 months later he comes back and tells me someone is looking at the Jeep. I have looked on the internet for a good buy and just had not found one in the shape that this Jeep was in. Yes, the body was rough but the suspension was good and the frame was great. I kind of brushed him off and told him good luck and hope that guy buys it. It turns out that the guy didn't have that much money to spend and the co-worker really needed money so I told him that I would buy it for $500 cash today. He heisitated a bit but accepted my offer. So, now I own a CJ7 . I looked at the CJ7 's body and so forth but never really heard it run. He told me he would have his brother drop it off at my house. His brother got there and the CJ7 started right up and he drove it off the trailor. I was very impressed that I bought a running CJ7 for $500. I couldn't resist taking it out in the field to see how it ran. So, down in the ditch and into the field I go in the new Jeep. The first thing I noticed was there was a small knocking noise in the engine which I will touch on a bit later. The next think I noticed was the body was worse than I thought. Rust has taken its toll on the the floor and has already had replacement panels on the side. So, I park the Jeep and start to research what I want to do with it. (Alot of research on this site!) First things first was to fix the motor. I used a wood stick to place on the engine to see if I could pinpoint the noise. I noticed it was coming from around the waterpump. I start to tear apart the front of the engine and get into the timing chain. Found my knocking noise. The 3 bolts that hold the cam, 1 was out, 1 was half way out and the other one was finger tight. The knocking came from the bolts hitting the timing cover. It actually wore a hole into the cover. $14 dollars for a timing chain and put the motor back together and it is as strong as brand new. While taking the engine apart I managed to find some used fenders for $75 for the pair primered and ready for paint. I also found a used tub for $200 that is off of a 78 that has no rust roll bar and front electrical panel included. This will take us up to Friday.
Inside of the Jeep as I bought it.

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Hay welcome to the site! :chug:

Looks like you have a good game plan.
Cant wait to see how it turns out
So last friday I decided to tear the body off to work on the frame. It took me most of the day to get everything unhooked from the engine to the frame and to get the body mounts. Right away I noticed some of the body mounts were going to need some attention. I ordered a 1" body lift to replace the factory pucks and will have to weld some new metal where they sit on the frame. Everything else looked really good. I noticed the transmission was leaking around the pan so I replaced the pan seal. What I am working with is a 1980 CJ7 with a 350 small block conversion. it has a turbo 350 automatic transmission. Should I replace any more seals while I have the body off. I want to keep it cost effective at this point. Not looking for a total rebuild I will do that later when I have more money. Just looking to rebuild what I can to make it a good running vehicle. Another question I have is when I paint the tub and body do I paint these things seperate or should I paint 1 coat apart and sand and paint 1 coat while it is all together? Any input would be great.
Don't have any pictures but have fixed the new tub and have a few small places to bondo and it is ready for paint. Also fixed a door and have to do a little work on the other door. Can't wait to get it back together.

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