80 CJ7 "The Kraken" - a project 25 years in the making
Update: I have changed the name of this build because it is going in a new direction with a new tub, new color, new purpose really. I have decided to call it The Kraken!
My reasoning is The Kraken was a mystical creature of the sea that eluded many a sailor who went looking for it. For myself a CJ7 has been much the same way. I have on several occasions setup to buy a jeep only to have it disappear before I could get it, one of which I drove from Montana to California to pick it up, only to pass the Jeep leaving on a trailer as I was almost there!
I have been lusting after a jeep since I was probably 5 or 6 years old. I had a couple of toy jeeps back in the day, and my love for them started early, and despite having several chevy trucks, I had never been able to land a jeep CJ7 except for this one.
I served in the Navy from 99-03, thus being a sailor I felt this name was only fitting for my build.
Bought a Jeep this morning, paid 800 bucks for it and agreed to weld a hitch on a trailer for the PO.
These are the pics from the Craigs List add.
I drug it home, cleaned it out, bolted the seat back in.
The motor wasn't wanting to turn over, so I hooked it back up to my friends dodge, drug it down the street popped the clutch and it started turning over.
I changed the oil, threw a new Optima Yellow Top in it, and it lit right off. Got to drive it up and down the street a couple of times. Now I just need to make it street legal.
I ordered a whole bunch of goodies, got a new pair of hood hinges, latches, head lights and buckets, tail lights, and a few other goodies.
Should have it road ready next week some time.
Nice CJ you got there. Looks like a great foundation to start restoring.
Here are a few pics from last night.
I finally got the Jeep street legal today, so tonight I loaded up my girlfriend...
And we went down to subway, got some sandwiches then drove down to one of the T-heads and watched the sun set over Corpus Christi. ( 27°47'33.11"N 97°23'20.62"W ) It was really nice especially since it has been really hot here, it felt good cruising with no top or doors.
This will be one of the last times we get to do this too, pretty soon we will be moving to Montana where I am from, then next summer we will probably wind up in Alaska.
We will see how it goes.
Not a whole lot to report progress wize on the jeep, but I have been getting some plans made.
Currently the plan is to rebuild the 258 with a 4.0 head, and to run fuel injection on it.
I am going to do some other common sense upgrades, like going to an HEI distributor, and I am going to run a NV4500 transmission.
Up front for the time being I am going to get a Dana 44 out of a waggy and put a posi in it, and I am going to build a 9" rear using spidertrax unit bearing hubs and a Currie ENT high pinion pumpkin with an ARB air locker and 4.10 gears.
The body needs a bit of work, I am going to clean it up and probably just rattle can it for now.
I need to get a hard top and doors, and I am probably going to strip the cheap roll on bed liner job the PO did and have it sprayed with rhino liner nice and thick.
Other immediate plans are to install a shackle reversal, that will give me a 2 1/2" lift, in the rear I am going to simply build new shackle hangers to move the mounting points down 2 1/2"
I am only going to be running a 33x11.5" tire, so I wont need tons of lift, this jeep is going to be more of a daily driver/expo rig than a rock crawler.
With this setup it will pull 1982 RPM @ 65MPH, 2134 @ 70MPH so I should be able to get some decent fuel economy out of it.
Hopefully in the next couple of weeks I can start getting some progress made on it.
Man I haven't looked at CJ prices lately but $800 for that plus a free weld job? Seems a bit steep to me...should have told him $400 + the weld.
However, that is a decent project you got there and being in Texas it should be rust free.
not really, its going to take about 3 - 4 hours to do the weld job. not a big job at all. It is putting a new hitch on a trailer.
Seeing as how this is my first Jeep project, I have been doing a ton of reading and research. I think I have a pretty solid plan down.
The previous owner for what ever reason cut the stock tube out of the front of the frame and welded a piece of pipe in its place, in doing so they cut off the first couple of inches of the frame.
The solution I have come up with is to make 2 saddles out of 2x4" box tube and weld them on, then I will have a location to mount the new front bumper I am building and the winch.
The winch I have is a Warn 12 series Industrial 12v.
The plan is to build a bumper from 3x6 1/4" wall box tube and some 1/4" plate. Here is my AutoCAD rendering.
Also included are a set of PIAA 40 series driving lights.
I am also considering adding 6" oval led lights to each end of the bumper since my turn signals will be somewhat obscured by the winch.
There is a tropical storm in the weather forcast for this weekend, so I wont be getting much done, hopefully I will be able to get the bumper knocked out in the next couple of weeks.
Other issues I have to contend with, one of the leaf springs on the front is bent, so I am going to get a M.O.R.E. shackle reversal and run YJ springs.
As well when it is all tore apart I am going to pick up a Waggy Dana 44 and get it stuffed in the front, and this will include a steering box relocate kit moving it an inch forward, and it will beef up the box mount as well.
I know some people love to rag on them but I am going to run the Teraflex revolver shackles in the rear and see how they work.
On the front I am going to run a 1" lift YJ spring and will pick up another 2 1/2" from the shackle reversal kit.
This will give me 3 1/2" of lift, and will allow me to run the BF Goodrich 33x11.5R15 mud terrains that I want.
Gears will be 4.10, right now im stuffing a Waggy Dana 44 under the back, and to lift it I will run 2 1/2" YJ springs in the rear as well with new hanger I am building that will move the mount 2" down. this will give me the same 3 1/2" lift in the rear as well.
Then I am going to worry about building some taller shock towers, not sure what shocks I will be running yet.
As well I will be rebuilding a NV4500 that I have and installing it behind the 258 and when I do so I will rebuild the Dana 300 with the Novak 32 spline kit to make it mate up.
Then I have a shop here that I will have build drive shafts for it, and I will have it back up and running.
I am not sure if I will rebuild the motor here in Texas, or wait till after I move, the plan is though to rebuild the 258 with a 4.0 head, EFI and a header.
Right now the motor runs really damn good aside from some oil leaks, those are fixable though.
I am getting pretty excited about it though because it is coming together pretty fast.
I really like the tan with the white wheels. If it was my Jeep I'd keep those colors. In fact, my jeep may end up those colors some day.
Well after a lot of careful thought and consideration, I have decided to put my 1990 Chevy 350 in the Jeep. it is a LO5 motor that makes 210 hp and 300 Ft/lbs of torque. I will run it with the TBI injection, and I am going to use the Painless Wiring harness to hook it all up. With the move to Alaska I will have little use for the AC pump, so I am considering options to put an engine driven air compressor in its location if anyone has any ideas here id love to hear them.
I also have a set of Vortec heads that when I rebuild the motor will find their way onto it as well as a roller cam and a chip. But for right now I am going to run this motor and be happy with it because it runs well.
As it turns out my old advance adapters bellhousing to allow me to run a NV4500 in my old 72 chevy will allow me to run the stock jeep clutch, so it is a win for me all the way around.
This week I am going to just spend some time cleaning the motor and the accessory drive up, getting everything painted because it is all corroded up pretty good.
In a few weeks time I am going to have the NV4500 rebuilt, and rebuild the Dana 300 myself with a new input shaft that will allow it to mate to the NV4500, as well going to put a twin stick kit on it.
Also today I found out via a MRI that I have a badly bulging disc in my back from a car accident I was in on July 2nd, I have been out of work since then, not sure how long it will be before I can go back to work, right now I am waiting to see.
Kind of slowing me down, it is hard when you are used to making upwards of 65.00 an hour to nothing, I am waiting on an insurance claim trying not to spend money. I am hoping some time in the next few weeks to be cleared by the doctor to go back to work. Right now we are waiting for some ligaments to heal, which is happening, I am feeling a lot better.
Hopefully pretty quick here this will all get settled up, I will get paid for the lost wages and I can get back to work. One of the things that is certain is I am going to buy a Throttle down Customs Frame as soon as I can get my CJ5 sold.
I am going to order the frame setup for the YJ springs and a shackle reversal, then I will build my custom front bumper, I will then get the engine and tranny mounted, as well as the axles and everything else, then I will tear the jeep down, strip the tub, fix the rust, and spray it the Khakis sand color again. As well found some bed liner in that color, so I will be painting the under side of the tub and in the inside with it.
Should make for a pretty damn good winter project.
Figured I should post a few pics of the CJ5 that I am robbing a lot of stuff for this Jeep off of.
Next week I am going to swap the lift tires and axles over to the CJ7, I traded a wire feed welder for the CJ5, it is a nice enough jeep, but the problem is I am 6'1" and 265 lbs, I just don't fit in the CJ5.
As well I am moving the whole front clip over and the rear flares.
The cool thing is the tires on the CJ5 are brand new, and by brand new I mean they still have the stubbies on them.
And I also got a spare.
I am really looking forward to getting everything moved over and getting the Jeep painted.
Well haven't done much for a while now, just been saving money and collecting parts.
I just picked up a hard top and doors, the hard top is from a YJ need to see if I can find a CJ back hatch for it.
I just ordered a bunch of goodies too, got some Rancho 2.5" lift YJ springs for the front, A More Shackle reversal, some RS-5000's, some 88 F-350 front shock hangers, and a set of Old Man Emu greaseable shackles.
Hopefully this weekend I am getting a 78 Waggy for the Dana 44's right now they have 3.07's in em, but it will actually be better for mileage until I get the NV4500 in it.
As soon as Brown Santana shows up with it, I am going to get to work on it, trying to have it ready by November 1st so I can hit the road for the big move to Alaska.
there are ways that you can convert your air conditioning unit into a engine driven air compressor
Well time for an update. I have been collecting more stuff for the jeep.
I picked up this 79 waggy, it has Dana 44's with 3.54's a recently rebuilt 304 that is pretty healthy, and a T-18 trans with a Dana 20.
I am going to install it all in my CJ for now, and later the Dana 300 will go back in attached to a NV4500.
Here is a shot of all the jeep stuff, my welding rig, and my 72 Chevy Cummins project.
Funny thing is, everything runs and drives except for the 72 which is a work in progress.
I also really love the wheels that came on the Waggy, I have always been a fan of the old turbines, I am going to get them cleaned up and put the 33's off of the green jeep on them. I think it is going to look pretty sharp.
Ride height before:
Been working my butt off this weekend. I don't have the front suspension all the way back together yet, but it is getting closer.
All I have left is hooking up the power steering hoses, installing the new shock towers, sway bar disconnects, steering shaft and brake lines, and I can move on to the rear.
Hoping by the end of the week to be driving it!
Oh yeah, doing this in a driveway in the Texas heat sucks! I cant wait to hit the road to Alaska!
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