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Unread 06-15-2014, 07:23 PM   #1
Wolfeman64
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1979 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Sherrills Ford, NC
Posts: 162
Ultimate CJ7 442ci Restomod Hot Rod

Well, here I am, new to the forum, but not AMC Jeep's. I have never been a 'look at me' kind of person. I am who I am, you can like or not like, that is your choice not mind. But I am honest to a fault and don't mind giving my honest opinion. I have a lot of passions in life, but one of my first was Jeeps, four wheeling and hot rodding those jeeps. I grew up on a farm and I am mechanically apt, which lead to taking the Jeep apart and putting back together a little better. I will share some pictures of these previous Jeeps ago the way.

My last Jeep I sold in 1992 and have been without since then. I had been looking at building a replica AC Cobra (this will happen), but my wife convinced me to build a Jeep. She said that since I had Jeeps in the past, it would be more fun to have a Jeep with our two kids. She made a great point.

Sooo... now for the reason of this post. As I said, I am not a 'look at me' kind of person, but this Jeep build is worthy of a thread. Mostly for the Jeep and the people I have met ago the way.

Therefore, the build began with a purchase of a '79 CJ7 304 3 speed.



Doesn't look bad, but steering, brakes and clutch needed work.

Just one word...this is a simulcast with a thread in the AMC Forum...also the build is about 90% complete and the post will come fast and furious for a bit...so stay tuned

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Unread 06-15-2014, 07:27 PM   #2
Wolfeman64
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Join Date: Jun 2014
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Posts: 162
Well, after some review of jeep, I made some decisions. The body had a lot of 'cancer', some hidden with body panels put in with RTV and covered with bedliner material. Other panels tacked over rusted panels and sprayed with a quality Maaco finish.









This is all fixable, I had made the decision to make this thing as close to a new modern Jeep as possible with all the great looks of the CJ's. Therefore, I decided to do a fiberglass body. Had one back in the late '80's and liked it.
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Unread 06-15-2014, 07:30 PM   #3
Wolfeman64
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Join Date: Jun 2014
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Posts: 162
I then found part of the reason for the bad steering. At some point the chassis on the drivers side had been bent and the weld nuts for the spring shackle mounts were broken loose.



Again, this could be fixed, but CJ chassis are notoriously flexi. Therefore, decision two, new mandle bent tube steel chassis.
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Unread 06-15-2014, 07:32 PM   #4
Wolfeman64
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Location: Sherrills Ford, NC
Posts: 162
In March of 2013 a buddy of mine (Bobby McDowall aka Streetwise from Moparts and others) made a trip up to Ohio to look at fiberglass bodies at both Kentrol and 4WD Hardware. On my previous Jeep I had a 4WD Hardware body and was probably heading in that direction. My first visit was to 4WD Hardware. The people were nice, but since Tom Kennedy's death and sell of the business, it is very corporate. Oh yea, in late March in Ohio it snows.



The next morning we made a visit to Kentrol to see Tom Troll. He is the first in a long list of great people I have met on this journey. After seeing the quality of their bodies, I was sold. Great steel in the firewall and all body mounts are steel plates. Tom was not there, but I met his brother Charlie, which runs the molding department. There were a couple of areas that I wanting to get reinforced and Charlie agreed to make the changes a start on my body the following week.



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Unread 06-15-2014, 07:32 PM   #5
Wolfeman64
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While I was at Kentrol, I found out that they had bought out AJ's molds when he past away. And funny that my first Jeep was a '80 CJ5 304 4 Speed, Rag top, which I bought in 1981 at the ripe age of 17. First big mod, after headers, side pipes, wheels and tires of course, was to put a hardtop on it. I purchased it from Rebel Manufacturing that has at the time in Myrtle Beach, SC. They wanted to use my Jeep for advertising. So they did a photo shoot on the beach and made post cards.





When Rebel Mfg. closed AJ's bought the top molds and my Jeep photo ended up in AJ's catalog circa 1987. I guess if you are on the earth long enough everything comes full circle.

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Unread 06-15-2014, 07:33 PM   #6
Wolfeman64
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At this point I had already ordered a chassis from Jeremy at Throttle Down Kustoms. I tell you this thing makes the original chassis look like a go-cart chassis. Plus all of the holes, weld nuts are in the right place. The only thing that was missing was a rear brake line tab, but this is easily resolved. I am in the NASCAR belt and the guys painting the body are ex-NASCAR painters and fabricators and they keep talking about how nice the chassis is.

I don't have a bare chassis picture so I borrowed one from Jeremy and TDK's website.

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Unread 06-15-2014, 07:34 PM   #7
Wolfeman64
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My plans from the beginning was to put a 401 in this Jeep. Love AMC power, unique and not another chebby. So on the way back from Ohio to NC, I gave Barry Allen a call to see if we could stop by. I had never met the man before and he didn't know me from Adam, but he said sure would be glad to see you. This guy is as down to earth and modest as you ever want to meet and what a knowledge of AMC's. He had some great AMC parts laying around the shop and the Erb's Indy block motor to be freshened up. He even had some funny heads with the spark plugs through the valve covers. This kept Streetwize happy (Mopar Nut)! I talked to Barry about offset grinding a 401 crank to 3.81" with 2.1" journals, but didn't have an engine at the time. He told me to give Alan 0'Brien a call or see him at the Z-max 4 Wide in a month. I meet Alan at Z-Max, but no luck on parts. Alan has one bad Top Dragster, Barry Allen AMC powered of course.



Our Z-Max group.



Funny Car debris. Amazingly no one was hurt.

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Unread 06-15-2014, 07:37 PM   #8
Wolfeman64
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The next great group I started working with is Tarheel 4WD in Charlotte. Both Ron Crisp and Steve Owens are great people and Steve is one heck of a great fabricator and knowledge base for Jeeps. I had originally planned on using the AMC 20 rear end and Dana 30 front end. But after looking at the cost of strengthening up the parts and I preferred a little wider track, we decided to use a Dana 44 in the front and put a Dana 60 in the rear. A little more expensive but a heck of a lot stronger. I found a full size Jeep junk yard in Burnsville, NC operated by Jake and Jackie Jacob, great people and willing to help any way they can. I purchased a Dana 44 front end out of a narrow track Cherokee. You can cut 4" on the drivers side and make a wide track CJ. I also purchased a AMC TH400 auto tranny for the build.



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Unread 06-15-2014, 07:38 PM   #9
Wolfeman64
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The build for the front and rear ends are 3.73 gears with TrueTrac diffs. The front end of course is from the FSJ, but the rear end is cut down from a Ford van. This will end up being a great gear for the auto and 442ci I ended up with (more on this later, torque and more torque and flat). Also will have 33" tires.

The rear end will get disc brakes, as I state in the thread title it is a restomod. These will also be hydroboost brakes.









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Unread 06-15-2014, 07:38 PM   #10
Wolfeman64
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SIDEBAR

First fiberglass Jeep build 1989
- 1977 CJ5
- Wide Track CJ Dana 30 Front End
- IH Scout Dana 44 Rear End
- T150 3 Speed
- Dana 20 Xfer Case
- '74 AMC 401 Bored .030, Crane Commander Cam, Torker, 750 Holley













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Unread 06-15-2014, 07:40 PM   #11
Wolfeman64
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Posts: 162
Back to the current build, sent a bunch of parts out to be blasted and powder coated.



...and blasted only. The steering column tube and mounting brackets have plastic inserts so they will collapse in accident and these will be melted out if powder coated. So I had them painted.

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Unread 06-15-2014, 07:40 PM   #12
Wolfeman64
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Found an engine with standard bore and crank. Torn it down to send to the machine shop. At this point, I had decided to go with 4" billet crank from K1 with 6" H beam rods, Wiseco 10.6:1 custom pistons and internally balanced. I worked with Ron Shearer at K1/Wiseco. Ron has a lot of help. The only issue with the crank is that it has a 68-69 flange and if bolting to an auto, you have to make an adapter. Ron did mention that they were looking at making one. Of course the one shown in the Performance American Style book in for a Torque Flite converter and not a GM converter, which is .100 smaller. This combo yielded a bob weight of 1712. Should spin up nicely and does!











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Unread 06-15-2014, 07:41 PM   #13
Wolfeman64
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Well back to the body work. Lots of hole to cut and parts to fit.



Yes, I know the tailgate hinges are on backwards.













Made a latch block with detent dimple for the tailgate latch.

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Unread 06-15-2014, 07:42 PM   #14
Wolfeman64
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Posts: 162
With any kit there always some fitment required. Notice the rubber bumpers for the hood. The hole for this one is blind, but you can use a dremmel tool to carve out a cavity for the tit.



I used a spline string and plumb bob to guarantee the body was centered on the chassis. Of course the chassis must be level for this to work.



The body shop will need to work on the gap between the hood and fender.



The easy stuff.



Found a mold problem with one of the fenders. Call Tom at Kentrol and they repaired their mold and sent a replacement. Great customer service.

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Unread 06-15-2014, 07:42 PM   #15
Wolfeman64
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Posts: 162
Some parts off to be yellow zinc'd. Oh by the way, decided on M.O.R.E. bomb proof motor mounts. As you see the engine side is going to yellow zinc and the chassis side got powdercoated.





After plating, like new again! [IMG]smileys/smiley2.gif" align="middle[/IMG]

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