1985 CJ-7 Laredo Restoration - Page 3 - JeepForum.com
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Unread 07-26-2013, 12:28 PM   #31
GFox
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1985 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: milford, oh
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No disassemble
Engine: degreased. Leaks: detected. Small leak at rear main seal. Oil pan gasket leaks badly and is not seated correctly at the front. It's obvious that is has been replaced and just about every gasket has excess silicone everywhere. Head gasket and valve cover gasket and every other gasket appears leak free.

Also a quick test drive reveals a nice tight steering system. There are still lots of little projects but its to the point now that most of them will be easier sans body or upon reassemble. So, long story short, it's time to remove the body!

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Unread 07-26-2013, 12:29 PM   #32
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Disassemble
I've begun stripping the CJ7 tub in preparation for removal. I started off removing small pieces just to make some progress; dash pad, visors, etc, but just like everyone else, the torx bolts for the roll bar are proving difficult. Since I don't have access to a welder to weld nuts to the top of the bolts for extra grip, I'm having to cut the heads off with a cutoff wheel. It's not too bad, just time consuming. Slicing down the middle and splitting the heads in half seems to work well. As for the windshield, I plan on replacing it and I've already got a new set of hinges so there's no need to mess with those bolts. Overall, it's getting very close to the point of no return.
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Unread 07-26-2013, 12:31 PM   #33
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I ain't got no body
David Lee Roth's jazz hands aside, the CJ body has now been removed! The hardest part by far was grinding the torx head bolts for the roll bar to free it from the body. Everything else was pretty straight forward with just a couple of snapped bolts here and there. PB Blaster and a propane torch are your best friends for this process. After everything was disconnected and removed it only took me and two friends 5 minutes to liberate the body from the frame. It now sits behind the garage for reference for whatever fabbing, drilling and template making the new body will require. I managed to only damage a few things during the process. Both shifter rods broke where the threaded part begins (man, these a expensive) and I broke one mount tab on the heater duct. Even at this early stage of the game the unforeseen expenses are adding up.

Attention now turns to the frame. I've got a decision to make. How far do I strip the frame before sandblasting? I've got a little cleanup to do while I make that decision but I'm leaning towards keeping the springs and axles intact and removing the transmission and transfer case. I'm not looking for a trailer queen, just an awesome weekend driver. Media blasting is surprisingly affordable and if you think about how many hours I would spend and how many wire wheels I'd go through, blasting is money well spent. Sand, if used, is messy and will require lots of disassembly, inspecting and cleaning afterwards. dry ice or soda is much more expensive. The other decision I must make is to have the new body delivered or do I go to Toledo to pick it up? Time on that decision is running out.

I picked up a CJ grill and hood over the weekend as well, so it looks like the CJ swap is gonna happen on the Wrangler. I'll use my existing CJ fenders for the conversion and buy new ones for the CJ. With the purchase I discovered something I never noticed. Some older CJ's have a small notch on the driver's side lip of the hood. Some say this is to allow wiring for a retractible under hood light? I need to research more on this. The olderst Jeep I've owned was a '78 and I do not recall this notch on it or any other Jeep I've owned. I think it's kinds cool and I'll be proud to display it on my Wrangler.

Until the body arrives, everything is placed in labeled zip lock bags and many pictures were taken during the disassembly. We'll see how thorough I was when I go to put it all back together.
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Unread 07-26-2013, 12:44 PM   #34
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It's a blast
So with the body removed I am faced with a decision. I've decided to blast the frame but I must decide how far down to break things apart in order to do so. I think I know the answer I just don't want to admit it. So, with the 3 day weekend, I'll remove a few pesky body mount bolts and then look into breaking things down even further. The engine and external components need cleaned up and painted so I might as well remove it. That means heavy documentation of all the vaccuum hoses and all the other garbage attached to the motor. Since the transmission is bad, it'll have to go also. That means I might as well pull the transfer case since I'm already disconnecting driveshafts. That leaves suspension, axles, wheels, tires and brakes. That will all stay on but shocks will be replaced. I think I'll leave the brake lines on so they can be cleaned and that way I can do a thorough inspection and replace what is needed. Any weak lines will have been exposed by the sandblasting. In other words, I've got more dissasembly to do before I can really begin the restoration process. I was hoping to avoid that, but since I've come this far I might as well do it right and any added expense is really negligible. Just a little more time consuming...

Update: I did remove those lines and they will all be replaced.
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Unread 07-26-2013, 12:44 PM   #35
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Spent the weekend removing driveshafts, transmission and transfer case as well as the main wiring harness. Also removed the Remaining body mounts and separated the exhaust from the engine.

Next weekend I'll be ready to remove the engine and make decisions regarding brake lines and steering box/lines. The more I get into it, the more I just want to remove everything.
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Unread 07-26-2013, 12:46 PM   #36
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Disassembly complete
Finally I'm to the point where there is nothing left to be removed from the frame. By far, the toughest parts were the tool bar, power steering box and brake lines. All of these involved seized bolts, snapped of bolt heads or other fasteners that just would not budge. Lots of PB Blaster and create ingenuity finally got everything removed. Using a cutting wheel to make slots for screwdrivers, a BFH to pound out nuts welded to the frame, lots of heat with a propane torch and grinding away other fasteners were all common practice on this project. Pulling the engine was quick and easy as the bolts were not much past finger tight. I did bend the flange on the exhaust down pipe due to clearance issues. It was a pain getting it mounted on the cheap harbor freight engine stand. The bottom bolt holes on the 256 CID are too wide apart for the stand to accommodate. After an hour of fiddling with it I got it mounted. I am worried it won't hold but we'll see. The stand doesn't appear too sturdy and wants to list to one side as well. I'm not sure how I'm going to invert the motor to replace the seals. I may have to get creative with the garage rafters and a come-a-long. Also I dread disassembling the motor with all of it's many vacuum and emission lines. Serious documentation will be in order.

Next up will be spending some time degreasing and cleaning with a pressure washer before sending it off to be media blasted. Oh, and cleaning up all the muddy, sludge and grease left behind. Also ordering the body needs to take place but I need to coordinate the timing with my helper(s).

Since there won't be much happening until the frame if blasted I may post a few pics to show the progress up until now.
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Unread 07-26-2013, 12:47 PM   #37
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Life in a vacuum
Spent the entire weekend cleaning the insides of the frame. A shop vac with various adapters and tips with a long thin hose to reach all around the inside as well as a magnet on a flexible rod did pretty well. Add to that various screwdrivers, pliers, etc and after about 6 hours of work I've removed about 2 quarts of mud, rust, wasp and mud daubers nests and even what appears to be a mouse nest. It's amazing how much crap can get into a jeep frame yet be so difficult to remove. I did uncover one more spot that will need to be welded- the area near the bump stop on the left rear rail. That will most likely have to wait until it is back on the road.


Next I wheeled the frame out of the garage, down the alley and down the street where I have it a thorough pressure wash along with a few more cans of degreaser.


Next week should be fun as I will order the body, send the frame out for sandblasting and gather supplies for prepping and painting and coating the inside of the nice clean frame. Sad part is I'll probably have to spend a few more hours removing sand from the inside.
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Unread 07-26-2013, 12:50 PM   #38
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From out of the sand
It's been a while since the last post but progress has been made. The CJ frame was picked up, sandblasted and returned. Before being blasted another small section of rust was repaired via a piece of angle iron. The frame was gone for a week even thought it only took him a day to do the work. This was OK as it gave me time to clean the garage, order supplies and work on the Wrangler a bit (more on that in a moment).



It seems counter-intuitive to dowse a nice clean raw chassis with water but that's what the instructions say for POR 15's metal ready. Against my better judgement I applied the product, let it sit for about 20 minutes and then hosed off the residue. Once back in the garage the frame was wiped dry and a fan was set up to allow it to dry thoroughly overnight. It actually didn't flash rust too much and POR15 prefers rust as a base so I guess it all makes sense.


I spent about 4 hours brushing on the first coat of POR 15, making sure to get every nook and cranny (trust me, there are many!) covered in a thin coat of this unusual grey "paint". I chose grey because I figured it would be easier to see if I'm missing anything when I apply the top coat of Eastwood's Extreme Chassis black. The POR really does a good job of leveling and it doesn't leave any brush strokes at all. I used about 2/3 of a quart so I ordered more to have on hand before beginning a 2nd coat. This is the first time I've used POR15 and overall, I'm pretty impressed with this product. I suppose powder coating or even epoxy primer might be superior, but for an old frame with a little previous rust issues and a need for a DIY solution this stuff is pretty amazing. It really does form a rock hard coating although I was able to scratch it down to bare metal using the edge of a small, sharp screwdriver. We'll see what happens after the 2nd coat is applied. This Jeep, once restored will not see any harsh conditions (not intentionally, anyway) so it should hold up just fine.


Progress has also been made on project CJ2YJ as I'm now running a CJ hood and grille on the '94 wrangler and everything has been patched, primered and sanded and is now ready for base/clearcoat. The paint should arrive tomorrow and if the weather holds out it will get sprayed this weekend. This little project turned out to be a lot more work than I anticipated but none of it really too difficult, just very time consuming. I was sidetracked a bit when my front right brake caliper seized which prompted a weekday evening repair. Replacing it was simply but also prompted a left rear wheel cylinder replacement when it cracked while undoing the bleeder valve. This all turned in to an unexpected complete brake job. The rotor is warped a little from the heat generated which create a little pedal wobble but I'll have it turned when I get time.


The next post will cover the conversion in a little more detail. That's all for now...
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Unread 07-26-2013, 12:50 PM   #39
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For the CJ, things are moving slowly. Saturday afternoon was spent brushing on a 2nd
coat of POR 15. I ran in to a little trouble this time as it appears I may have got a
little grease on parts on the frame which has affected adhesion. The plan is to sand
these spots down, clean and degrease and touch them up again with POR15. Good news! The
body is in and I'm planning a trip to Toldedo perhaps this weekend to pick it up. While
there, a new windshield will be purchased as well.
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Unread 07-26-2013, 12:56 PM   #40
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Here's the frame with 2 coats of POR 15. I did sand between coats to increase bite with 320 grit. I still need to sand the spots that failed due to the grease or whatever the heck it was. Those spots seem durable but they look awful so I'm not gonna take any chances. Once that's done I can sand again and start applying Eastwood's chassis black. I don't plan on using a tie coat of any kind so I'll do a small test first to see how it goes. With all the work going in to this I'll spare it from the mud and salt so the frame should easily last another 30 years.

Again, this topic has been discussed ad nauseam and this is just my take and what I decided to do given the money, time, skill and access to tools I have.
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Unread 07-27-2013, 09:20 PM   #41
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Picked up the Repli-Tub body from Willys-Overland. This thing really is a piece of work. The assemble overall is pretty decent. The sheet metal stampings however are crap. It amazes me that if you're gonna go through all the trouble to make something, why not spend just a little more time and make it worthwhile. I've got a lot of work ahead of me. WO did a great job with their part, but making this body straight and factory-like is gonna be a pain.
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Unread 08-03-2013, 09:36 PM   #42
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Been busy tearing down the hood, fenders, grille and dash and stripping all the paint so I can get epoxy primer on at the same time as the body. It was a little tricky getting the glove box apart as it is locked and I haven't a key. I was able to remove the hinges on the door and open it enough to remove the 2 screws that hold the lock's catch at the top. At that point I was able to remove the door and remove the lock from the door by using a paperclip in the 2 holes which push the tumblers around and let you slide it free. Maybe I can get a key made by a locksmith or but a new lock. I doubt I'll ever lock it so I may just file the tumblers down. Anyway, I hope to finish stripping everything tomorrow and do a little sanding.
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Unread 08-06-2013, 09:05 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GFox View Post
Picked up the Repli-Tub body from Willys-Overland. This thing really is a piece of work. The assemble overall is pretty decent. The sheet metal stampings however are crap. It amazes me that if you're gonna go through all the trouble to make something, why not spend just a little more time and make it worthwhile. I've got a lot of work ahead of me. WO did a great job with their part, but making this body straight and factory-like is gonna be a pain.
From the pic the body looks pretty nice...I own a couple of djs one is a 71 the other a 77...I have continually been amazed at the lack of original quality in the sheet metal department....I guess that willys overland place either figures you plan on wheeling it hard or have a pro body man on call or maybe the quality was just never there to begin with...don't get me wrong tho wouldnt trade my jeeps for nuthin...lol
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Unread 08-07-2013, 10:43 AM   #44
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spot welds and wavy panels have always been the name of the game with Jeeps, so I wasn't expecting perfection with this body, but I had hoped for a little more. I'll be supplying MD Juan with the serial number on the body per their request on another thread to determine when this body was made. They are actively trying to improve their bodies and I appreaciate that. Doesn't help my body man for this project though! I'm worried about hood, fender and windshield alignment with this body but it'll be another month or two before I'm at that point. I can live with some imperfections but I hope I don't end up with major misalignment issues. Not looking for a show vehicle, just a nice rust-free weekend toy without any obvious stand out flaws.

Stripping the rest of the Jeep is taking longer than expected. I hope to haver things finished up this weekend so we can get epoxy primer on everything. The paint is really stuck to this thing! If it weren't for some rust, a previous respray and some chipped areas I would have just sanded with 600 grit and left it at that.
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Unread 08-08-2013, 07:32 PM   #45
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Finally got the hood, tailgate, grille and fenders stripped. Mow I'm faced with the decision if it's worth it to finish restoring these or by aftermarket panels. With the time and materials needed it might be more economical to buy new. I mean, these are decent- would be great for a driver or mud toy but I'm worried about rust coming back to haunt me down the road. I hear horror stories even when using epoxy primer. It's rust vs. poor fitment. Tough decision. Selling the old parts would also help offset the cost of new. Gonna have to sleep on this a couple more days.
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