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Unread 02-05-2015, 02:16 PM   #1
BillZ77
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1977 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Danville, KY
Posts: 165
BillZs 1977 CJ7 do over

Well, I've found my Jeep and brought her home last night. It was almost dark by the time we consumated the sale so I'm posting the original picture provided by the seller as my starting point. I managed to buy her for $4k and I feel like I made quite a deal.

It's difficult to tell how much the PO knew about this vehicle so I'm just moving forward. He had it for just about a year and intended to rebuild it but never found the time. His ill-timed efforts are my benefit.

I ususally name all my vehicles but this one hasn't told me what her/his name is yet. I usually let them speak to me and we just haven't spent enough time together to begin to communicate. I think he/she is still in shock at the exchange but I'm glad to say that she/he is living in my garage where she/he can be safe and dry because we had an inch of snow last night and that's no way to treat a lady.

I guess I feel like it's a woman because I already am in love with her. Time will tell...

I hope to make this a complete restore to almost all original condition. I have no fantasies about the cost of such a dream. I figure that this project might easily cost north of $10k so if I double that figure, I'm prolly close. It'll take years of blood (busted knuckes), sweat (mostly mine), and tears (struggling to get the funds together, it's a Jeep, after all) but I figure it'll be my forever vehicle, so it'll be worth it.

I'm planning on starting with the basic maintenance items of fluids, filters, and lubrication just to introduce myself to her and give us a chance to get to know each other.

1977-cj-7.jpg

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Last edited by BillZ77; 02-05-2015 at 02:20 PM.. Reason: added picture, ain't she cute?!
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Unread 02-08-2015, 03:01 PM   #2
BillZ77
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1977 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
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Posts: 165
I've added 42 images to my gallery as a starting point to this build and I invite you to visit there to see what I'm working/starting with. I have another half dozen images that I will be adding to that gallery of images of interior shots.

I've subjected myself to my first truly Jeepy experience today while visiting Auto Zone for an oil and air filter; neither of which fit and must be returned. THIS seems to be the first of many exchanges in the adventure of rebuilding what we have affectionately renamed "DaJoop." The PO repainted the YJ tub that was installed but didn't put the Jeep stickers back on the sides where the embossed name Jeep would be proudly displayed. My imagination reads Joop because of the space for the e's in the Jeep name and it's beginning to stick around the house. My wife is pitching in, at this point in the infancy of the project, and has just completed our first order for replacement parts, so I have a willing partner supporting my dream, at least for now. I realize that she could and may change her opinion later when I might be spending too much time in the garage, but for now, we're sharing and it's pretty cool.

So, the books hanging off the shelf at the parts store don't go back to 1977. There I was standing in the isle laughing out loud and my wife was just shaking her head when the sales associate walked around the corner to ask, "can I help you?" Hum, yah, oil and air filter for a 1977 Jeep with a 304 engine. Quick check of the computer shows the parts that the self-help catalog didn't contain and we're out the door. Thanks to the efficient friendly salesman at Advanced. So, I'm sitting here laughing at my mis-fortune while I plan a return trip to Auto Zone tomorrow.

So, my challenge is to confirm the engine size since I already know that the tub was swapped. This is a image of what I found stamped into the side of the block between the exhaust manifold. She supposed to have a 304 in there and I couldn't find any other tagging including the production tag, but I am not sure where to look.
engine-stamp.jpg

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Last edited by BillZ77; 02-09-2015 at 11:18 AM.. Reason: corrected from Advanced to Auto Zone
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Unread 02-09-2015, 10:52 AM   #3
RWC
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Yes, that's 100% confirmation that you have an AMC 304. It was a factory option in 1977. You can cross-reference oil filters with the AMC 360s, used in Wagoneers (and Grand Wagoneers) into the '80s; at some point I think Chrysler changed the part number for the oil filter circa '87, but I'm not sure why since they still use the exact same timing chain cover and oil pump. The 258 oil filters also fit just fine on the 304/360.
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Unread 02-09-2015, 11:27 AM   #4
BillZ77
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Ok, now we're getting some where...

I just took the mismatched parts back to Auto Zone and they couldn't help me with an air filter even though I took the dirty one from my engine. Turns out it's a 14" generic from Edlebrock that's 13.75" round and almost 3" tall. We did find the Edlebrock valve cover kit as well as the carb kit with the air cleaner housing accessory that included the air cleaner that matched dead on. However, the Auto Zone I was in didn't have anything on the shelf that matched up to the size that I'm currently running. I will be checking at the Advanced Auto Parts down the street later to see if they have any better luck matching something up to mine.

Great to know about the oil filter because I had to return that too so I'm back in the market for a replacement Wix oil filter for a 258 or a 360 engine. Live and learn! (yes, I'm keeping notes in my Joop Journal)
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Unread 02-09-2015, 11:36 AM   #5
BillZ77
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Seats

Well, since I've been able to verify that the tub on my 1977 CJ-7 is a 1994 Wrangler Sahara, I'm wondering if I should be looking for seats that fit the Wrangler YJ tub? Or, does it even matter...the seats I have are a nightmare and include someone's idea of custom installation and they are pretty worn.
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Unread 02-10-2015, 11:15 AM   #6
RWC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillZ77 View Post
Well, since I've been able to verify that the tub on my 1977 CJ-7 is a 1994 Wrangler Sahara, I'm wondering if I should be looking for seats that fit the Wrangler YJ tub? Or, does it even matter...the seats I have are a nightmare and include someone's idea of custom installation and they are pretty worn.
It doesn't matter. Any CJ-7 or YJ seat bracket will bolt to your tub. Then it's a matter of picking whether you want CJ-7 or YJ sliders (I prefer the YJ sliders) and seats. You could then adapt your existing seats to those sliders/brackets, or you can find OEM CJ or YJ seats, or any of the aftermarket seats which were designed for Jeeps (such as the BesTop or Rugged Ridge).
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Unread 02-10-2015, 11:35 AM   #7
BillZ77
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YJ slider advantages

RWC: Can you explain why you prefer the YJ sliders? I have all but decided on a Corbeau Moab 70001 Neoprene seats and I'm pretty sure that I can get the YJ sliders for them. I'd be interested in why you choose those.

My major issue is leg room because of my height and I'm interested in having as much room as I can get. I don't really care about conserving back seat space and have actually considered removing the back seat and replacing that with a padded metal footlocker type arrangement that could secure specific items under lock/key. It would be much room, but it'd be some while providing limited security.
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Unread 02-10-2015, 07:26 PM   #8
BillZ77
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Ordered by BesTop Soft Top today because, as I justified this major cosmetic expense not related to the mechanical survival of my Do Over, that J.C. Whitney was the only retailer that had the top in stock that I wanted and they only had two with the unlikely prospect of getting another soon, seeing that the number of 1977 customers is dwindling.

I've decided to use the Spice colored top and seats are going to replace the unknown fabric seats and painted black top. This also means that I'll be able to see if I can remove the paint job from the hard top during the summer months. Hope, hope, hope...
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Unread 02-11-2015, 07:36 AM   #9
BillZ77
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Just received my factory service manual from the USPS. I feel empowered!

Also, I found a individual who is willing to weld up the frame near the steering box where someone cut a hole to get to the mounting bolts. He just happens to be the instructor for the local technical school. Pretty cool! I'll have that structural problems closed off next week.

Every singel knob on my dash board simply pulls off and I can't figure out if I have to replace all the cable controls or if I can find replacement knobs; any recommendations?
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Last edited by BillZ77; 02-11-2015 at 09:30 AM.. Reason: bad knobs question
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Unread 02-11-2015, 03:53 PM   #10
RWC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillZ77 View Post
RWC: Can you explain why you prefer the YJ sliders? I have all but decided on a Corbeau Moab 70001 Neoprene seats and I'm pretty sure that I can get the YJ sliders for them. I'd be interested in why you choose those.

My major issue is leg room because of my height and I'm interested in having as much room as I can get. I don't really care about conserving back seat space and have actually considered removing the back seat and replacing that with a padded metal footlocker type arrangement that could secure specific items under lock/key. It would be much room, but it'd be some while providing limited security.
The YJ sliders have more adjustability than the CJ sliders, to the point where I don't have the one in my CJ-8 slid all the way back. Your limitation will probably end up being the rollbar itself. I also like the "pull up on the bar" action to release the slider, as opposed to the "move the lever sideways" action for the CJ.

The link you provided was for the bracket though, not the slider. The sliders look like this for the CJ:

and like this for the YJ:


All the major aftermarket parts houses sell some version of the YJ slider.
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Unread 02-11-2015, 03:56 PM   #11
RWC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillZ77 View Post
Ordered by BesTop Soft Top today because, as I justified this major cosmetic expense not related to the mechanical survival of my Do Over, that J.C. Whitney was the only retailer that had the top in stock that I wanted and they only had two with the unlikely prospect of getting another soon, seeing that the number of 1977 customers is dwindling.

I've decided to use the Spice colored top and seats are going to replace the unknown fabric seats and painted black top. This also means that I'll be able to see if I can remove the paint job from the hard top during the summer months. Hope, hope, hope...
Which top did you order? The SuperTop is the same for both YJs and CJs. The only one that's CJ-specific is the TigerTop, but it uses snaps rather than the rails, and is generally considered inferior in all respects. You can also use the SuperTop with your full hard doors.

And if you did order the TigerTop, there's no way that JC Whitney is the ONLY company that has it.
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Unread 02-11-2015, 04:02 PM   #12
RWC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillZ77 View Post
Just received my factory service manual from the USPS. I feel empowered!

Also, I found a individual who is willing to weld up the frame near the steering box where someone cut a hole to get to the mounting bolts. He just happens to be the instructor for the local technical school. Pretty cool! I'll have that structural problems closed off next week.

Every singel knob on my dash board simply pulls off and I can't figure out if I have to replace all the cable controls or if I can find replacement knobs; any recommendations?
Purely your choice on aesthetics: do you want it to look stock, or do you want fancy aluminum knobs? You can order replacement aluminum or stainless knobs from a number of companies:
http://www.google.com/search?q=cj-7...dress&tbm=shop

I wanted to keep a more stock appearance in my CJ-8, and my OEM knobs were looking crummy (even though they functioned perfectly), so I ordered the Crown replacement cables. Some people who have ordered them have complained that they don't exactly match the OEM ones. For my purposes with the CJ-8, I thought they were fine, and I have no complaints.
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Unread 02-12-2015, 05:26 AM   #13
BillZ77
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Rob: We chose the SuperTop because it seemed better and more inclusive for parts. I am way past trying to keep things looking stock, but I do want things to be top quality. I would consider new cables if they would slide better and work great. I'll take your advice on the seat slider for the YJ. I really appreciate your advice and assistance in all this stuff. I don't have enough money to figure out which are the best choices and which are a waste of money and time. Great to have you along for the "do over."
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Unread 02-12-2015, 08:58 AM   #14
BillZ77
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Worked a little last night. It's pretty cold in the garage and I'm not about to attempt to heat that space because it has zero insulation and would just seem silly. Cleaned and refilled the master cylinder to enable me to check for leaks. A cursory check of the wheel bearings seems ok, but I'll double check those when I pull the wheels to complete a full brake system inspection.

I've ordered my Zombie Outbreak stickers as well as matching valve stem covers and a spare tire cover. Simple additions for next to no money that'll change the look and make my Zombie Slayer Vehicle stand out from all the other Jeeps on the road.
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Unread 02-13-2015, 12:48 PM   #15
BillZ77
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It was 26' at lunch today but I couldn't let a little cold stop me from installing my new side mirrors that were delivered by UPS this morning. Now I can see where I've been as well as where I'm going. I also received the Footman's Loop that belongs at the top center of the windshield as well as a new brake pedal cover to install too, but that'll take a few seconds, I hope.
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