1980 CJ-7 Refrurb on the cheap.. well, sorta cheap. - JeepForum.com
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Unread 08-24-2010, 01:30 PM   #1
knowlwk@snowhill.com
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1980 CJ-7 Refrurb on the cheap.. well, sorta cheap.

I've had my CJ-7 for about 6 years now.. when I first picked it up, it ran ok but needed some bondo and paint. I spent 6 or 8 weeks fixing it up, filling rust holes with bondo, tub liner, rattle-can rustoleum paint, etc. I was actually pretty happy with it and have been driving it to work at least once a week (25 miles one way, so can't afford it as daily driver).

Well, the sun was starting to take its toll, and the rust was catching up with me, so it was time to sell it, or do something about it.

I took a few pictures along the way... not really documenting it properly, but its turning out nice enough that I'm kicking myself for not making a better record.

So here we go.. if I can do it, anyone can...

Before I began... these shots are from when I was putting out a Craigslist ad, so they are the most flattering angles. There is a lot of rust hiding under the rhino liner (I didn't know that till I started stripping it off), and there are 1/8 inch plates bolted over the rust spots under all the roll cage mounts.

Also.. the pictures don't show the rust bubbles all around, the 6 years old bondo, or the totally shot windshield frame....

80cj7_2.jpg   80cj7_1.jpg   dash1.jpg   motor2.jpg   besttopseats.jpg  

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Unread 08-24-2010, 01:37 PM   #2
knowlwk@snowhill.com
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So I was actually just going to do the windshield frame, and maybe upgrade to Yj power brakes... next thing you know.. she's in pieces all over my yard...
imag0008.jpg   rusted_tub.jpg   imag0055.jpg   dscn1262.jpg   dscn1261.jpg  

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Unread 08-24-2010, 01:40 PM   #3
knowlwk@snowhill.com
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I didn't take too many before shots.. but you get the point.

I started with the frame... wire wheeled all the rust and scale, welded in a new rear crossmember, picked up a shackle reversal kit off the net, new stainless brake lines and fuel lines, etc.
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Unread 08-24-2010, 01:44 PM   #4
knowlwk@snowhill.com
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Frame started to look pretty nice.. although I didn't paint it right, and the coating is a little on the brittle side.. too late now.
imag0052.jpg   imag0009.jpg   imag0050.jpg   imag0053.jpg  
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Unread 08-24-2010, 01:48 PM   #5
knowlwk@snowhill.com
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Cut all the rust out of the tub, and started welding in new metal... didn't take long to realize I'm not a welder, and the tub has too much rust in all the seams to ever get ahead of it... fate steps in and gives me a decent YJ tub and fenders for a good price...
imag0054.jpg   imag0056.jpg   imag0061.jpg   yj-tub.jpg   imag0058.jpg  

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Unread 08-24-2010, 01:54 PM   #6
knowlwk@snowhill.com
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The next step was to learn how to paint... umm.. and sand and sand and sand some more. I didn't get any pics of the original hood, but after stripping off the paint and the hidden surprise bondo, it looked like someone beat it with a hammer. Took me two weeks of evening to get it presentable.

I painted everything Arctic White (Omni AU MAE w/hardener), out in my yard, using a 21 gallon harbor freight compressor and a $14 Hf paint gun. yes there are bug legs, tree bark, moth wings, etc in the paint.. but it actually turned out pretty good... much better than I expected.
painted-tub.jpg   imag0084.jpg   imag0072.jpg   imag0064.jpg   imag0083.jpg  

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Unread 08-24-2010, 01:57 PM   #7
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Then the fun begins.. putting her back together. Much more tedious than taking her apart...
imag0091.jpg   imag0089.jpg   imag0096.jpg   imag0094.jpg   imag0095.jpg  

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Unread 08-24-2010, 02:02 PM   #8
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and SHE LIVES!

Still have a number of things to finish.. gotta get the hood on this week, and get some glass put in the windshield frame... but she runs. I've only got about a mile on the clock, and that was doing 5mph around the back forty, so I don't know how the new shackle reversal handles at speed, but I'm very pleased that she still runs. I had a hell of a time getting all the lights to work again; seems I may not have lined the ignition switch up correctly when I rebuilt the steering column... took about 4 tries to get it correct.

All in all, I think I have about 350-400 hours in it so far over 5 months, and maybe $3k if you include the extra tools I needed to buy (that's my story and I'm sticking to it.)

Here is how she looked this weekend.. loading the kids up for our first test ride.
imag0093.jpg  
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Unread 08-24-2010, 02:07 PM   #9
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looks nice so far. what did you use to paint it, and are you painting in the sand????? howd that work out for ya??? just askin cause i painted mine in a garage all sealed up and STILL got small marks on it.
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Unread 08-24-2010, 03:12 PM   #10
knowlwk@snowhill.com
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Yep... painted her out in the yard... wet sanding is your friend. Equipment-wise I used a $159 harbor freight 110v compressor and their $14 hvlp gravity feed gun. Protective gear was a SAS Bandit disposable mask (2 actually), goggles, tyvek shoot suit, headsock and gloves.

Paint was PPG Omni AU MAE acrylic enamel with hardener. Arctic White. I sprayed it over a sealer coat of white Omni Epoxy primer. I went with the acrylic enamel because I was originally going to shoot it without the hardener (iso's), but ended up getting the hardener anyway mostly for the extra durability and fuel-proofness.

I painted it out in the yard, as it was going to be too difficult to move all the parts around (I painted it in parts). I was never looking for a show quality finish, just something shiny and durable. I got what I was looking for and the white really hides the paints imperfections. I did have one panel that had some solvent-pop and should really be resprayed, but I'm going to keep it as is for now.

I did end up with a fair amount of trash and several runs in the paint, but since I went with a solid color, a little wet sanding and some rubbing compound has taken care of most of my issues. The paint is no where near perfect, but it was my first paint job and I like it. Would I do it again... probably not.. LOL too much sanding to keep me interested
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Unread 08-31-2010, 07:43 AM   #11
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Just about done....
imag0102.jpg  
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Unread 08-31-2010, 09:34 AM   #12
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Looking good....
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Unread 12-16-2010, 07:10 AM   #13
knowlwk@snowhill.com
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An updated pic, new shoes all around...
small_imag0123.jpg  
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Unread 12-16-2010, 08:32 AM   #14
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Are you rear lens upside down?
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Unread 12-16-2010, 10:52 AM   #15
knowlwk@snowhill.com
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They were in those shots... found my mistake when re-wiring the lights.. couldn't get my blinkers and brake lights to match what the control stalk was doing till I turned them around and then all was well... LOL
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