Build Thread Project Jeep CJ8SS (Scrambler Sleeper)

Build Thread Project Jeep CJ8SS (Scrambler Sleeper)


Full Time Jeeper
Berlin, CT
1984 CJ-8 Restomod Scout axles 4 wheel disks, 258, ax15, D300.
Project Jeep CJ8SS (Scrambler Sleeper) Part I.
This will be the documentation for my Jeep Scrambler restoration project. The goal is to build a clean family wheeler that looks almost stock to a glance but will be very built underneath the skin. I made a spreadsheet that I constantly update and allows me to keep track of the estimated cost against money spent. My long loved CJ5 that has been with me for over 20 years will be getting cannibalized of its aftermarket parts for this build. The CJ5 will be getting a proper stock restoration after this CJ8 is built. I just really want a stock clean CJ5 for putting around and just having.
My build plan summary.
1.) Factory stock frame but stiffened up and rust free.
2.) My small block 350 out of the CJ5 . 300+ HP to the wheels. 8k miles built by me a few years ago.
3.) 4 speed auto mated to the twin stick Dana 300 and full lock up converter. 700R4 is the candidate right now. My CJ5 has a T-18 but I really want the Overdrive . NV3550 isn’t strong enough and the NV4500 is just too bulky.
4.) Dana 44 ’s out of a Scout 2. Both locked and rebuilt. Possible rear disk brakes.
5.) Spring under lift from my CJ5 and Tom Woods shafts, out boarded front springs and homebuilt shackles. 33inch tires and rims from my CJ5 .
6.) Kentrol Glass body, lined tub, hard top, full homebuilt cage, all new interior seats from my CJ5 . Modified stock dash. Ammo can storage.
7.) Copper or Silver paint done by my and the wife.
8.) Underbody protection all homebuilt. Bumpers all homebuilt with receivers front and rear. Mile Marker winch.
9.) Hella H4 light conversion with HID set up. 68 Charger side markers, back up light, LED parking lamp. Driving light built into bumpers.
Anyway, I picked up this not so clean 1984 Scrambler from a guy 5 miles from my house for $2000.00 including delivery last September. I spent about a year looking for a restorable basket case. I only really cared about the frame, VIN and random hard to find Jeep parts. The drive line and body didn’t matter to me since my plans are to go fiberglass and replace everything. He gave me another motor because he didn’t know if this one ran.
Here are some shots when it came home.
Project CJ8 -SS Part II

So the Jeep sat for awhile and I finally got to tearing her down in November before the crazy winter hit. I broke allot of bolts and had to cut most of the roll bar bolts off. What a pain. I have at least 9 nuts to replace in the frame. After getting the Jeep torn down I got to cutting the frame to remove the bad rust. The more I cut the more I found. I got to s certain point and decided to just cut the back section of the frame right off and build it from scratch. Basically everything rear of the front gas tank cross member will be new metal. One section by the rear stationary spring hanger is bad. I plan on plating that and then going over a good portion of the frame with additional plating where ever I think there could be interior rust. The front of the frame is very nice but need new nut inserts for the spring hangers and one sway bar mount. Luckily I just bought this handy Hobart Stickmate AC/DC welder to give me a hand. I lover ARC welding and Tractor Supply had this for a sweet low price of $475. No other store could come close to that deal. Tractor Supply even has Hobart rods for half the price of the welding store like Air Gas and they don’t charge the ridiculous hazard material fee.
Hobart Stickmate. The frames lifeline.
What’s left of the rear frame portion.
Frame getting degreased.
The rusty tank skid. I am going to refab the mount for this.

So that is where I sit right now. For the next few weeks it will be cutting welding, and more cutting and welding. Once this is done then the axles will get torn apart and I will use the housings for mock up on the outboard spring hangers and relocated perches for the rear. The front axle needs all the cutting and caster corrections made before I can rebuild it. I plan on using my Dana 30 outer knuckle assemblies as well. I have more pictures of the tear down but they are not in Photobucket yet.
Definately going to enjoy seeing this be built. Glad you decided to share it here. Any stuff you have a hard time getting pm me , but you know most of my sources now ;).

I know you were torn about canniblizing the CJ5 but in my opinion it was the right way to go. I call dibs on anything you have the slightest incling of throwing away :D.
I wanted to start the write up earlier but I just had a crazy winter at work and home. I was expecting the frame to be done by now. I guess that is how it goes. My wife knows that all my spare time is now full and she wants to see it done as well so I won't have any issues with her.
Body Removal.
Here are some shots when I pulled the body off the frame. The tub is heavily rotted on the bottom and both sides are entirely covered in bondo and cheap sheet metal. It was far too gone for restoration and in New England I prefer glass for longevity. My CJ5 body is going on 17 years old and still looks great.

Here is a shot of the Kentrol body I bought from a guy on Craigslist. This tub was brand new and he never got to do his project. I got the tub, fenders, hood and new metal grill all for $1700. Serious deal.
Have to ask what your gonna do with that tub though. Its not worthy of a restoration for sure but... trailer project??? Dibs please!! :)
Pete I had the same thing in mind. Great minds think alike. It would make a great trailer to pull my dirtbike to the track behind the scrambler.
:eek:that tub looks fine compared to some of the ones ive seen, i say find the right guy and let him restore it
I didn't take pictures of the whole tub. The sides are complete bondo. The whole left side by the bed is completely separated from the floors and there is hacked in sheet metal in its place. the front floors are gone with sheetmetal tacked there as well. I could have torn it down and maybe restored the tub but I live in Connecticut and will drive this Jeep in the winter so fiberglass works for me just because of the long term rust issue.

On another note my sunday Jeep time got cancelled since I was called into work so I only got about 1.5 hours of work done. Hopefully I will get some real work done tonight and get another update this week.
I agree with pete, you done the right thing with the CJ5 . Altleast you know it'll be there and no one else will get their hands on it and destroy it. Anyhow the CJ8 is going to be killer, can't wait to see it come together. When do you plan to have it done?

I agree with pete, you done the right thing with the CJ5 . Altleast you know it'll be there and no one else will get their hands on it and destroy it. Anyhow the CJ8 is going to be killer, can't wait to see it come together. When do you plan to have it done?


I just am going to plug away as much as I can. After the frame work and Scout 44's are put in though the rest will basically be a parts exchange from the CJ5 . The frame will take the most amount of time because it is the hardest to change out down the road so I want it strong. This isn't intended to be a crazy restore, just a tough as nails driver that will look good doing it.

In reality I am hoping to have it done this year. We shall see. I should have an update this week. I did a bunch of welding Monday night and plan on more Friday.
This weekend was very successful in the Jeep project world. I did allot of welding and design for the repairs. Last week I ordered and received all my steel. I bought 24 ft of 2x3x.120 and I had my local sheet metal company cut me 2 3/4” x 8’ strips and bend 2 3/4”x 2 3/4" x 8’ angled steel out of .120 thick sheet steel. This should cover everything I need for rail replacement and reinforcement along the frame. My plans are to replace the back 32 inches, add some cross members, cap the lower edges along the whole frame, replace all body mount tabs and replace all the interior welded nuts.

During the week I fabbed all the top body mount tabs at work. I got the initial welding done to them and decided to attack the rear frame rail that was completely rotted. I cut back about 25 inches and realized I had to go farther. The inside rail was too far gone. I thought for a bit I would end up cutting off everything another 2 or 3 feet. I cut back another 6 inches and found solid metal throughout. Whew. Sunday I made the rail and got it 50% welded in place. I put the frame on the floor and leveled the good rail. Then I measured from the rail bottom to the floor and cut some angle for the other side to make sure it is equal. The 3x3 tubing is just a tad smaller than the frame at the top of the curve so I was able to tuck the 2x3 into the stock frame for more meat to weld. It should help with strength and reduce any chance of burn through. I am happy with the results so far and it is perfectly level with the other side. I haven’t decided if I need to cut the other side off. I am going to cut out the welded nuts and get a feel for how much rust is in there first.

Anyway here are the pictures.
I did a few more hours on the frame this weekend. Unfortunately I will only get about 4-8 hours a week to do work. Anyway I don’t have much to say this time around but here are some progress pics. This weekend, I plan on finishing the welding of the plate in the last picture and then cutting out all the bad frame bolts to install new ones. Hopefully I should get that all done.
It has been quite a while since I posted in my build thread mainly because build is taking much longer than expected. The family takes up most of my time and I also have another hobby which is riding sportbikes on race tracks. This frame required so much work that I never anticipated. Some of it I chose to do since I was already there and some of it was needed so it will last for many years to come. I laid on the 3 coats of POR15 chassis coating and 2 coat of POR15 black top coat paint. The amount of work that I did to this frame was huge. If I realized how much was needed I may not have started this project. All said a done I ended up doing several things two times over. This being my first frame that I basically had to rebuild from rust I think it came out very nice.

List of what I fabbed and fixed.
1.) cut off the back 36 inches of frame and replaced with new tube and new cross member for the gas tank mount. Fish plated both sides. Very big learning curve here. I almost ended up starting over until I realized the fiberglass body had some misalignment issues on its own that made me think I crazy.
2.) Replaced all body mount tabs and custom fit them to the aftermarket glass body. I fixed my stock pieces and then scrapped them for the Throttle Down Kustom new units. [FONT=&quot] I lined them up with the new tube so they would look factory. The glass tubs mounts do not line up with the original metal tub mounts.

3.) Cut out all internal captured nuts and welded in new grade 8 nuts.
4.) Added new reinforcement metal to the entire inside of both frame rails.
5.) Added an extra cross member.
6.) Replaced several sections of bad metal.
7.) Mounted the front spring hanger’s outboard of the frame with home built mounts for the extra wide Dana 44 Scout axle.

Here are some pictures after the fab work and before paint.





Here are picture during paint. These are after the 2nd POR15 coat. The final chassis coating looks much better but I did not get any pictures yet.

My next step will be to install the new brake lines and get the body drill for the mounts. Then I plan on cleaning up all the shackle hangers, gas tank skid and brackets that need painting so I can get the axles hung on the frame. The axles rebuilds will be later but I at least want a rolling chassis by winter. Plus I need the full weight of the vehicle so when I go to set my caster angle on the front axle it will be accurate plus the pinion angle for the back axle.





This past month I have made some progress. I have the body back on the frame. I just purchased a new to me hard top and I am now tackling the Scout Dana 44 rebuilds. I will have some pictures up this weekend on the process to rotate the knuckles for proper caster and also rotating the differential to match the angles of the Dana 30 . Last night I cut and removed both knuckles. Reason why I removed them is because one was damaged and I found a used set on E-bay for $40. I plan to reinstall these at the correct angle after I set the differential angle. There is more to it on the front end for the dif rotating because the right pad is integrated into the housing. This will require some more grinding. I also inspected the inside of the housing last night and the carrier bearings are rusted from water damage so I will need a full bearing rebuild. The gears look good and they are 3.73-1 so I will be keeping those. I will also be using the entire outer knuckle and brake assembly from my old Dana 30 . The only part I still need is the drag link but I am not worried until I get the steering box installed. After the front angles are all set and welded back up then the dif rebuild will commence and then onto the rear end. The rear is in good shape but I am missing one drum housing. These seem to be pretty expensive online so it may be worth it for me to just do a disk brake conversion. Between the drum cost and everything else it would run over $300 for the brake job. That is too much for me so might as well upgrade. Pictures to follow later this week.

Here is a shot of my new to me top though to keep it in the thread build.



Here are some pics of the knuckle on the scout axle. There was alot of corrosion so in the trash it goes.
You said this was taking more time that you wanted, but it looks to me like you are doing it the right way. I can't wait to see the finished product!:notworthy:

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