The 40th Anniversary CJ That Never Was
Hello fellow Jeep enthusiasts. :wave: Since the work on the CJ has finally begun in earnest, I decided it was time to start the build thread. I have two primary goals with this thread:
1. To document for posterity, hopefully in a somewhat entertaining and informative manner, the work performed on this on this Jeep. I cannot promise this thread will be as educational or enthralling as those written by those written by Skerr or Sundowner (and others), but I hope it will be a value added addition to the forum.
2. To draw upon the extensive knowledge and expertise of the members of the awesome forum. I am no expert, and this build will be a (sometimes painful) learning experience. Therefore, I welcome the inputs, advice, recommendations and criticisms from all.
I have been inspired by the different editions… like the Willys, Moab and Trailhawk… that have rolled off Jeep’s assembly line in the last decade. My plan is to create a modernized and more capable CJ with a military theme that looks like it rolled of the assembly line that way. Of course, this plan is just that… a plan. It will evolve after initial contact with the enemy (rust, age, breakdowns, etc.). There will also be the expected excursions down the “while I am in here, I should also fix…” rabbit hole. And while the specific details of the build may change as my knowledge and experience base grows, the vision has been locked in my head since I purchased the Jeep and I doubt it will change
As it stands, the plan is for the build to unfold in four phases:
Phase 1: I am trying to have this done before our second child arrives in June.
• Driveline fluids and seals
• Oil change, radiator flush and tune up (if one is needed)
• Check out the electrical wiring
• Clean up the tub and frame and stop/slow down rust.
Phase 2: Modernization
• Rear disc brakes
• Junkyard TBI
• YJ Family Roll bar
• iPod stereo
• YJ leaf spring conversion
• HID Halo headlights
Phase 3: Upgrades/Customization
• AMC 20 Rear axle upgrades (one piece shafts, welded tubes, TBD traction device)
• 4.10 Gears
• Recovery points
• Improved cooling
• Ignition upgrade
• Power distribution center
• Taillight replacement
• Auxiliary lighting
• Rocker Protection
Phase 4: Restoration/Rebuild
• Sgt Rock Metallic Paint
• O.D. Interior
Here is our patient… a 1981 CJ-5 that I purchased off the “lemon lot” on Kirtland AFB in July of 2007. This is what she looked like when I brought her home.
I sold the hard top a few months later to seed my Jeep fund. She is a solid foundation for a project with a solid drive train and almost no rust. The only real issue is the PO’s pension for welding things to the frame. Here is an example of some of his handiwork
And here is how she looks today.
Shortly after we moved to California in 2010, the brakes started acting up again. Since I was in the middle of my masters and our first child was on the way, I didn't have time to fix the issue. So I parked her in the garage and started collecting parts for the eventual build. And with school finishing up in last December, I finally have time to work on the Jeep. I am really looking forward to getting her back on the road, so let’s get started. :thumbsup:
I'm in the same boat. Yours looks to be in great shape. You can see my project here. I'll be checking in to see your progress. Good luck!
The CJ section of this forum is a wealth of knowledge and there are a lot very experienced owners that are more than willing to a fellow Jeeper out. Also, I found this link useful.
Good luck :wave:
I got a kick outta the "cookie cutter" comment. My uncle always referred to modern jeeps as "girly jeeps". Thanks for the link! It's exactly what I was looking for. I'm gonna have to plan a trip back home soon and get to work.
A bad headache kept me from getting any work done on the jeep. So, I thought that I would take a little time this evening and get everyone caught up on the work I have done on the Jeep to date. While living in Albuquerque, the Jeep had the carburetor rebuilt, new rear axle seals and one piece axel shafts, new front pads and rotors, and a new poly gas tank (which required cutting off the PO’s monstrosity of a trailer hitch). After that, she ran pretty well, and we had a good time cruising around town in her. But as mentioned earlier, brake issues sent her into storage when we arrived in CA.
The last time I drove the Jeep, the pedal went straight to the floor. I tired bleeding the system, but I couldn’t get the pedal to firm up. On top of that, I was getting a fountain out of the rear brake reservoir of the master cylinder. I assumed that the problem was with the wheel cylinders, proportioning valve, or master cylinder.
I started by replacing the master cylinder. The PO had told me he had replaced it with a “rebuilt” unit, but that rebuilt unit was in rough shape. So, I decided to start by installing a new unit. After digging around for a few minutes, I quickly realized that that a lot of brake fluid has leaked in the engine bay. The booster, frame, fender and steering shaft are all missing there paint and suffering from surface rust. Before I installed the new master cylinder, I cleaned, primed and painted the front of the booster
Based on the level of damage done by the leaking brake fluid, I think I will be pulling the fender and doing some more cleaning and painting. But I am going to wait to do that until I have the brake system working again.
Pretty nasty old fluid… good thing I will be flushing the system.
Finished up the disc brake installation this afternoon. :bacon:
Write-up coming in the next day or so.
I like what you are doing here, especially with the brakes. I desperately need a new master cylinder and brake booster. I need to get the Yeti on the road before I jump down another rabbit hole! :D
I didn't know there was an Air Force Jeep Club. I sent my request in to be a member. Thanks for putting that in your signature block.
Disc Brake Conversion Part 1
Disc Brake Conversion Part 1
With the master cylinder replacement finished up, I started on the rear brake upgrade. I wanted to convert the rear to disc brakes because my previous experience with drums had been… unpleasant. I figured now was a good time since I was concerned that the wheel cylinders might be bad. After a lot of research on the forum, I decided to go with the Nissan/Geo conversion. I got the brackets and the calipers off of eBay (I should have bought the brackets from BSERK. His appear to be much better quality. I spent several hours modifying the eBay brackets caliper mounting holes to fit the caliper:brickwall) and the rest of the components from the local auto parts store.
The calipers were pulled apart and pained with Duplicolor black caliper paint. The brackets were painted with some Rustoleum Self Etching Primer and Semigloss Anodized Bronze paint (I like this color and I am going to have to find other places on the Jeep to use it). The paint is not perfect, but it will protect the parts for now and get redone when I rebuild and upgrade the axel down the road.
Over President’s Day weekend I started pulling driver side apart. The drum hardware came off relatively easy, but the fittings on the hard lines rounded off. :mad: I decided leave part of the backing plate behind for a couple of reasons. First, the plate acts as a splash guard like the one of the front axle or the one that comes with the SSBC kits. Second, it will give me a place to secure the emergency brake cable when I get it installed. (I am working on template right now for a replacement plate that I am hoping BESRK can help me cut)
The next couple of weekends were filled with family activities like my son’s first trip to Disneyland. So, I wasn’t able to get back to work until recently. Last weekend I finished cutting the passenger side backing plate and test fitting the calipers. This weekend I finished bending the new hard lines, which I ran to the front of the axle to avoid kinking the brake hoses. Here is how it all turned out.
Hard lines (I used pre cut and flared lines from O’Riellys)
http://i1300.photobucket.com/albums/...ps6e2a2a5e.jpg(That outside pad had shifted, it is not rubbing against the rotor now)
Overall, everything came together rather smoothly. Total (not counting my errors), I have spent about $200 on parts. I just need to bleed the system and see how it functions. If anyone has some tips for bleeding the system, I am all ears. :help:
Here is the list of parts that I used:
• AMC Model 20 disc brake conversion brackets
• 1988 Nissan 300ZX 3.0L N/A 2+2 rear calipers w/ lines
• 1988 Nissan 300ZX 3.0L N/A 2+2 rear caliper pins and bolts
• 1988 Nissan 300ZX 3.0L N/A 2+2 rear caliper pads
• 1996 Geo Tracker 4dr front brake rotors
• Four 10-1.25 x 25mm bolts for mounting the calipers to the brackets
• Six 3/8-24 x 1.25 inch bolts for mounting the brackets to the axle
• Pre finished hard line – one 12” and one 40” length
EDIT: Here are the links that used to research the conversion:
I ordered a set of brackets from BESRK yesterday. Although I'm down quite a few rabbit holes at the moment, I'd like to tackle this job sometime in the near future once I close on some of these other jobs. Can I hit you up with questions if I have any? This is a good post and I appreciate you listing the hardware and the other links that you used to do the research.
So, I tried bleeding the brakes to day. The pedal is soft for about the first third of the travel and the firms up quickly. Much better than when I parked it, but still doesn't seem right. And, I am still getting the "fountain" coming out of the MC's smaller reservoir. :ghost:
Anybody have any thoughts? Could it be the proportioning valve? I could definitely use some help with this one. :dunno: Thanks in advanced.
Just wanted to say Happy Easter and God Bless to everyone. I hope that you all have had an awesome day. :)
Sounds to me like you need a new master cylinder. One of our dodges at work was doing the same thing. Soft peddle that firmed up and the fountain in the reservoir. Bled brakes several times and it never got better. Finally put a new mc in and all was better.
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