1979 cj5 jeep rebuild from the frame up - JeepForum.com

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post #1 of 77 Old 01-31-2013, 07:50 PM Thread Starter
Dailydriver79
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1979 cj5 jeep rebuild from the frame up

Well last August my wife got me a mudder cj5 that was shot. I rebuilt the carb and drove it for a while until the leaf spring pushed through the frame and I decided I better start the rebuild before it goes any further.

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post #2 of 77 Old 02-02-2013, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
Dailydriver79
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So I debated building my own frame from scratch but then I found a 66 with a channel frame for 100.00, couldn't pass it up. That came with a Dauntless V6 in it but the 79 I have has the AMC 304 So I decided to pass on the Dauntless. I stripped them both down and started mounting everything on the 66 frame. Moving suspension, I had to add 3 inches in the front to accomidate for the 304. I cut the front end off of the 79 frame and put it on the 66. That way I still had all the mounts for the power steering, grill and suspension.
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post #3 of 77 Old 02-02-2013, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
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79 Frame
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post #4 of 77 Old 02-02-2013, 03:23 PM Thread Starter
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66 donor frame, straight and not rusted through
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post #5 of 77 Old 02-02-2013, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
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Had to make new leaf spring brackets, the guy who mudded the 79 had put a 3" lift kit in and swapped out the leaf springs.
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post #6 of 77 Old 02-02-2013, 03:30 PM Thread Starter
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So when upgrading to the v8 I had to move the engine mounts and cut out the grill support for the old v6 so I had enough room
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post #7 of 77 Old 02-02-2013, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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Here's where I cut off the front end, I picked a spot where both frames were the same size but the 79 front has the additional 3" in it.
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post #8 of 77 Old 02-02-2013, 03:35 PM Thread Starter
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Here's a pic with the 79 front end welded on.
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post #9 of 77 Old 02-02-2013, 03:39 PM Thread Starter
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So here is after I've put the new engine mounts in the tranny's mounted and the new front leaf spring brackets. Everything fit except the gas tank, which I'll be ordering a new one. I didn't run break lines or anything else because I'll be taking it all apart to sandblast and paint once I build the tub.
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post #10 of 77 Old 02-02-2013, 03:47 PM Thread Starter
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I was to a point now that I need to figure out what to do about a body. Both of the jeeps I had picked up had shot tubs and the cost of a fiberglass one was a bit out of my price range.

I did some steel fabricating in high school and in the summer between college so I decided to take on building my own steel tub. The only part I was going to use from the 79 jeep was the firewall and tranny caul. So I cut it off from what was left of the old tub started with the two front mounts and went from there. I cut any rust off that had eaten into the meatel.
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post #11 of 77 Old 02-02-2013, 03:54 PM Thread Starter
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I had a local steel fab shop bend the outside perimeter of the jeep and cut me 4 sheets of 16g 4'x4' steel for building the inside of the jeep. I decided to make the whole thing out of 16g just to add a little strength and reduce warping when welding.

I also decided to build it right on the jeep frame so I could get accurate measurements and build the tub mounts in as I went. I leveled up what was left of the old tub behind it so I could take measurements off of it. I waited until last to cut the doors in so that the rest of the outside would stay straight until I had the fenders welded in and floor. I did have to cut the wheels out otherwise it wouldn't have sat on the frame.
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post #12 of 77 Old 02-02-2013, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
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I made my own tub mounts that went out the 7" instead of the 4" that the 66 tub used. The 3/4" angle iron that runs across the tub is just to keep it straight and the right distance apart, the machine shop did that when they bent it up.
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post #13 of 77 Old 02-02-2013, 07:05 PM Thread Starter
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The first thing on the tub was centering it on the frame and squaring it to the fire wall. Then I found some pictures online of the bottom of a good tub to find out where all the supports went. I started making the supports and welded the tranny caul to the outside of the tub.

At this point I should state that when I was leveling the jeep and getting everything square I was an inch and a half off level from right to left. I thought that I had welded the leaf spring mounts wrong and one side of my jeep was lower. I knew that it was going to take forever to remount them and I was so frustrated that I shut off the lights and went home! A few weeks later I was talking with a guy that had worked in the garage longer than I had and he said that the concrete slopped that way. So I jacked it up and blocked the wheels and I was back in business.
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post #14 of 77 Old 02-02-2013, 07:16 PM Thread Starter
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I cut a square piece for the back floor and would cut the bends in later. I couldn't find a way to put in the ribs that the oem floors have but needed to reinforce it someway so I bent up some steel and supported it from the bottom. The supports fall where the seat bolts down and where the rubber body mounts will sit. I welded a mount on the back of the tub where the floor will sit this is also where the bumper will meet the tub.

I put the wheel wells in just to see how they would sit.
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post #15 of 77 Old 02-02-2013, 07:25 PM Thread Starter
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A couple pics of the back floor and the bends that were made for behind the seats. I use cardboard for all my curves so that I don't wast a lot of steel.
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