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Unread 12-03-2007, 10:49 AM   #1
biker250
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1979 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Indiana
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19?? CJ7 build thread

As most of you are very familiar with, when somebody asks what year your Jeep is, you smile and say "Which Part?" hence the question marks in the title...

I tried my best to wait until I was finished to do the build thread b/c if you guys are like me, it drives me crazy waiting months & months to see a completed project so I was going to try to post it all from start to finish but anxiety has gotten the best of me in wanting to share the project with the fellow gearheads so here we go....

Background: Got the Jeep almost 3 years ago for FREE! The guy couldn't get the 4.2 to bolt down in the engine bay & thought he had all kinds of stuff messed up so he said just take the thing minus the top & doors. $15 later for new motor mounts, the motor dropped right in!!!

A few hundred $$$ later (mainly for a radiator) I had a running & driveable mud buggy. A lot of mud & a few trees later, I had a broken frame rail (D. side where it turns up to go over rear axle) so in comes a $700 rolling chassis (minus engine & tranny) with 4" SL by Rough Country. When the body was being CUT off, it was apparent, a lot of work was in store to get it to bolt to the new chassis. All body mounts were disintegrated & nothing but rust existed. That brings us up to the current "build" which was to fix the body & get this baby goin again. First a few history pictures to prove that it was, indeed, once a mud buggy:



This is how i got it: No top, no doors, no windshield, no radiator, engine wasn't set in





First time out: The brown jeep is my girlfriend's dad's jeep....HE's the one that got stuck this trip





Doin some muddin:





About to get really stuck in this crick:





G/f's dad lendin a hand:





The green? Jeep:






Time for the new chassis: Pullin the motor:





Got the body off:



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'79 CJ7 lifted 4" suspension, 3" body.....trying to remove enough rust so the body stays in one piece
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Unread 12-03-2007, 10:55 AM   #2
biker250
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Now fast forward to the present and I'll begin with the actual "build"



The day we got the new chassis under her...body is just resting on the frame




Grindin thru all the bondo only to find holes everywhere




This is gonna need fixed:




A cab support barely holdin on:




Fender wells are in sad shape:




Other really bad pictures:








After removing the roll bar, she's barely holdin together now:



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'79 CJ7 lifted 4" suspension, 3" body.....trying to remove enough rust so the body stays in one piece
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Unread 12-03-2007, 10:56 AM   #3
biker250
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Cutting out rotten chunks of metal:




Finally adding metal rather than removing:






Using metal I had laying around that's as thick as the steel used for the frame:




Who needs a radius for fender wells? Straight edges are so much easier...and more tire clearence:




Rocker panels that aren't goin anywhere:




Got the rear welded up solid...who needs a tailgate anyway?




P. Side floor cut out:




And then fixed:





Rear floor had to go:

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Unread 12-03-2007, 11:01 AM   #4
biker250
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Gutted the dash, wiring, heater:





Driver side rear fender cut out:





D. Side rear fender fixed:





Another view:





Fabbed in a little cubbyhole for tool bag, jerk strap, small cooler, etc....





Passenger side rear fender cut out:





Different angle:





Weldin up the last bloody fender:





Measure, Measure, Measure, Mark, Re-Measure, Re-Measure, Re-Mark:





Then cut:

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Unread 12-03-2007, 11:04 AM   #5
biker250
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Fixing the P. Side rear corner:





Weldin in the new corner:





Finished P. Side rear fender:





Mostly finished rear half of the tub:





Cuttin out some body mount plates:





This is where they're gonna go:





Cut:





Weld: It's that easy





Rear body mounts done:





Yea, that's a 3" body lift....not sure if I'm gonna keep it thatta way..may chop 'em so I have either a 1" or 2" lift to choose from:





Fabbin up a rear floor support/body mount piece:

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Unread 12-03-2007, 11:06 AM   #6
biker250
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Patching up some holes:




Makin seat brackets:





Won't be falling out in these babies:





Cut out D. Side floorboard:





Makin a piece to fix that floorboard:





D. Side floorboard done:





Flushmount taillight holes cut out...It's a good workout on the wrists





Fabbed up the last of the body mounts...finally!!

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Unread 12-03-2007, 11:09 AM   #7
biker250
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Finally gettin the body off for sandblasting:








Apparently, my welds are holding together...at least for now





Chassis beggin for some attention:





Locked & loaded for the sandblaster:





Weeeee little leak in the transfer case that I'm a gonna have to fix:





New tranny mount:

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Unread 12-03-2007, 11:12 AM   #8
biker250
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Body back from sandblasting:








Strenghtening rear body mounts:





Beefin' up rear floor:





Underneath tub after sandblasting:





Rear tub after sandblasting:





Firewall:





New motor mounts:





New bump stops:





Tranny/t-case after powerwash:

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Unread 12-03-2007, 11:17 AM   #9
biker250
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New water pump with fresh paint on that & thermostat housing to keep it from lookin like old water pump:





Bondo fiberglass:





More fiberglass:





More fiberglass:





Now before looking at the Bondo pictures, you need to realize my goal with the bondo or with the Jeep period is not to make it a show or original jeep by any means. I used the bondo just to smooth out some of the HUGE "elevation changes" created by welding on really thick pieces of steel to fix body panels.


First coat of bondo:







2nd coat of bondo:





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Unread 12-03-2007, 11:19 AM   #10
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Won't be needing the hood scoop anymore since all HVAC is gone:








3rd & final coat of bondo:





Dash re-design begins:

Dash before any work:




Cuttin out all the holes:




Fillin in with new metal:





Layin out all the pieces that will be goin into the dash:






Cuttin new holes:

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Unread 12-03-2007, 11:21 AM   #11
biker250
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Fittin new gas tank:





Finally made a decision on paint for the outside.....oh yea, the cheap & easy route







2 coats of primer:





Doin some carb work inbetween coats of primer:





The hood before re-painting:





The hood after some love from the sander:





More fancy paint work:





First coat of primer:





The tub off for "Lightning Liner" (Rhino Liner knockoff):

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Unread 12-03-2007, 11:24 AM   #12
biker250
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Skid plate problem took me most of a whole day to fix. Either motor needed moved back an inch or skid needed moved forward an inch. Decided to move skid forward an inch....it's not as easy as it sounds!





Fabbin up new mounts for the skid:








Skid plate done:





Sprayed undercoating on whole frame:





Tub back from "Lightning Liner" and installed on chassis:





Underside of tub:





Rear:






Just a lil tire clearance

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Unread 12-03-2007, 11:28 AM   #13
biker250
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Thought this was just a funny picture....it's the bellcrank and at one point, somebody put in that grease zerk & thought it a good idea to fill the whole thing with grease (yea, it's hollow) so when I put a rag in there & pushed it out, it came out lookin like one big turd.





Test fittin grill & radiator:





Makin brackets to lower the radiator:





Notice the bracket welded to the radiator flange:





Radiator done...notice the middle of the radiator where you can see where the fan got into the radiator one time. Yea, that'd be the same tree that broke the frame & buckled the whole body....it was a bastard of a tree...but it was either take the tree or roll....and with no roll cage and no seatbelts with 4 people in the Jeep, I opted for the tree:





Front shot of grill after radiator has been lowered. Sometime, I'm gonna make some kind of guard to protect the bottom part of the radiator hangin below the grill:





Shot from the inside:





Painted firewall...used Krylong Rust Tough enamel...that stuff is awesome:



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Unread 12-03-2007, 11:32 AM   #14
onesourcemike
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This is great, keep them coming!!!
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Unread 12-03-2007, 11:33 AM   #15
biker250
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CB antenna mounted:





As she sits right now:









So that's about where I'm at now....I did get the base coat of paint sprayed on the tub last night and the hood also has a base coat (you have to pick & choose days warm enough to paint now that the snow is falling frequently).

I'm also in the middle of fixing the clutch linkage to work with the 3" body lift...not a big deal just a couple hours.

Still to do:
-) Run bypass hose from thermo housing to water pump since I have no heater
-) Finish clutch linkage
-) Finish dash
-) Wire engine compartment/gauges/radio/lights (I'm not using any wiring harness...making my own)
-) Install fenders & hood then finish paint job
-) Finish brake lines (from master cyl. to prop. valve) & bleed all lines
-) Install seats
-) Fill with fluids
-) Try to get it to start
-) Figure out what all problems I have & try to fix them


Widely open to any suggestions. Please hold off on the 3" body lift putdowns...I know they're bad news but I'm not doing any serious trails, I just want the clearance. And the rollcage will be the next project....in good time.
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