Build Thread Sponge rebuild round 2

Build Thread Sponge rebuild round 2


Senior Jeeper
Libertyville IL
86 CJ7, a minivan, and an Infiniti G37x
Hi guys!

This will be a little journal about my slow and steady rebuild of my 86 CJ7 Liberty Edition.

Factory specs were:
Dana 44 rear
Red interior
Fold and tumble rear seat
A insane mess of vacuum hoses for emissions

This is what a Liberty Edition looked like from the factory, this isn't mine but identical except mine didn't have the windshield lights


The research I have done it appears the Liberty Edition seemed to only be offered in the Chicago region of Jeep, I think I may have the window came with red interior, radio delete plate with black panel around the gauges, white hard top and wheels as well as very ugly CJ era stickers...that I actually want to recreate for this build I think?

Why is this round 2?

Well my Grandfather, Dad, and a buddy of mine rebuilt this CJ when I bought it back in 1998 we torn the body down cut out all the cancer welded it back together, painted, and it was my daily driver thru college. I will try to find some pics of that rebuild and post it.

Then after college I got really into offroading and really punished my CJ...I was at the Badlands in Attica IN all the time, hit Colorado with Grub, and was a regular at the Cliffs too.

Then I had an accident on the trail where I smashed the end of my thumb off...i am lucky it wasnt more, then the next trail event I smashed it up terribly bad and if it weren't for one tree the CJ would be dead.

Notice the location of the tree

With a baby at home I lost the motivation and was burnt I parked it in my Dads barn 4 years ago until today.

So today two of my best buddies and I started round 2 of getting the old bird going again

This how it looked upon arrival

How she looked after a little barn clean up..and two very happy kids Dad is getting the Jeep going again!

Here are some more pics of how she looks today

4.0 head and Intake out of 97 ZJ, fuel injection and ecu is 92 XJ to have the ease of ODB1 and a killer custom intake!



Well it went really well today! We got it running but artificially thru a little ghetto fuel manipulation the new gas tank must need a different fuel sender because the fuel pump was pumping anything.

One thing I did learn is I did go overboard with the Kirby skid! Holy heck is it heavy!!! But no tree will mess up another tank :D

Anyone know what fuel sender I need for the plastic fuel cell?
Reserved for future posts :)

This will be just some more picture whoring probably
Reserved some more future posts :)

TBD what it will be but likely will be drivetrain work - making the stuff you can't see pretty, you know making it safe and road worthy!
Yup reserved again - some great things will happen on this one....I am thinking body
More good things to occur at a future date on this post...likely interior
Glad you decided to save the Cj and show us all as well. Is the tank the 20 gallon plastic one? Or is it a 15 gallon?

Thanks me too! what made it really tough is I found a late model LJ Rubicon locally with less than 30K moes on it for 17K!!! unreal deal...
20 Gallon poly with Kilby skid :chug:
Ordered up a fuel sender and a new filler hose from MTS company MTS COMPANY, L.C. - Plastic fuel tanks for Jeep, Ford, Chevy, Scout, willys, and Toyota

A great little company with a Jeep expert Mike working there. He got me squared away with their sender which is made in house and much higher quality of anything made from many miles away as he put it.

They are out of the vent hose but will be in a few weeks, he said he would let me know when is in! Great customer service.
Well the local performance shop picked up the CJ this morning from my Dad's...

Plan is for them to solve the fuel issue and go thru the whole Jeep from top to bottom with hopes to get up to my home in Chicago in the next week or two!

The gas guage is fried and I need to get it plated and insured...

I may get it re-geared, waiting for a few quotes...but next up is drive it and prioritize.

The gas guage is fried and I need to get it plated and insured...

I may get it re-geared, waiting for a few quotes...but next up is drive it and prioritize.

That is exactly what I looked like yesterday...and again today when I found the title!:banana:

However the great state of Illinois online registration has no record of my title either by the title number or I need to go to the DMV tomorrow :bang:

I am trying to decide if I should go antique plates, share the road (cycling), or route 66?

The gas guage is fried and I need to get it plated and insured...

I may get it re-geared, waiting for a few quotes...but next up is drive it and prioritize.

What did you find out that was wrong with it?
What did you find out that was wrong with it?

It was the ground for the fuel would prime but not run.:eek: I feel stupid

It is unreal how well it is running! It purrs like a kitten...just a soft quite idle, and when I let go of the clutch both tires just bark and it just wants to go.

But boy oh boy do I have some projects...the brakes are very soft, the steering is very difficult, and the tranny linkage is so floppy it is...well...I will let u guess:censored:

My best buddy who has been helping me and went with my Dad and I to take it home has been giving me a ton of grief just to sell or part it out but it is running so well he said he takes it all back...I forgot what the 4.0 swap did for it....anyone thinking about it do it now before they are tough to find.
Drove the Jeep around this weekend on my Dad's land and on the road some...the priority top 3 priority list has been created.

BRAKES - the rear are shot, they aren't even moving my bet is the wheel cylinders.

STEERING - very loose and not aligned

REMOVE REAR LOCKER - I can't drive it as it is, every time I let off the accelerator the whole Jeep back in kicks the rain it was fun

I really just want to tear it down and rebuild it but it will be a while before I can afford to do it the way I want to so I am thinking getting it road worthy for now and collect a few bonus checks...just paid off my car with the money I was going to dump into the Jeep...figured a better use of money right now and will nickel and dime fix it up as I can.
Well shortly after this last post I was laid off from my job...the Jeep was quickly put back in my Dad's barn and off the priority list as my new job relocated me to Lexington Kentucky.

We are now calling Lexington home because the Jeep was delivered two weeks ago and is now proudly dripping in my garage.

Now what to do with it... I will keep you posted and do not plan to disappear again.

Hope all is well with everyone.

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