I’ve always wanted a CJ. The opportunity came up recently to get a CJ from a friend that was in fairly decent condition. This is my first restoration/rebuild of anything. I’ve never pulled an engine or really done anything other than simple routine maintenance. I’ve never worked on a transmission, transfer case or any other driveline component. What I can do is read and follow directions… this should be interesting. I intend to update this thread with pics and updates as often as possible.
I’ll be teaching myself (along with the wealth of knowledge contained within JeepForum, of course) everything that it takes to do a complete, frame-off, restoration of a Jeep CJ including: tear-down, inspection, welding, body work, painting, rebuilding, what to purchase and where, troubleshooting, etc…
All of the work will be done in a small 3-car garage which currently has 2 bays in use (wife’s car on the left and storage, tools and motorcycles on the right).
The Project Truck…
The truck, as mentioned earlier, is fairly solid 1979 Jeep CJ-7, 304.
: It has a rebuilt 304 with ~30k miles on the rebuild. It’s leaking every imaginable fluid from every imaginable orifice known (and unknown). Exhaust is currently rusted-out, long-tube headers to dual Flowmasters dumped in front of the rear wheels.
: The chassis is straight, rust-free and in good condition.
Body: The body is in fairly good condition, with several, quarter-sized, patches of rust and a larger rust hole behind the driver-side windshield mount. It looks to have been repainted at least once. And has some flavor of bed-liner throughout the interior.
: The suspension is in fair condition and looks to have been replaced at some point. It’s currently running 35” BFG ATs with the help of a 2” body lift and possibly longer shackles, Rancho shocks and a Rancho steering stabilizer.
: The clutch is completely shot but the 3-speed manual transmission is in excellent condition. The transfer case is unknown at this point and in unknown condition. It has a Dana 44, wide-track in back and the original up front but came with another Dana 44, wide-track for the front. The brakes are discs up front and drums in back—both are completely shot and barely functional.
The To-Do List…
• Pull motor, clean, strip, paint, replace seals/gaskets and other necessary items, dress-it up a little.
• Pull body, strip, fix rust, POR-15, prime, paint
• Strip chassis, POR-15, prime, paint paint
• Strip driveline, paint, replace seals/gaskets
• Strip suspension, inspect (replace if necessary), prime, paint
• Re-wiring, re-plumb all electrical and plumbing
• Replace brakes or brake components
• Get a night job to pay for all of this
I have no idea what the time-line will be on this project. Since this is my first endeavor of this nature, I’m having a difficult time even planning it! This thread is forcing me to at very least write-down a punch list! I’m sure you all will have ideas and suggestions… and while I’m on the topic of suggestions, let me stress this point: Guidance and suggestions are not only welcome but encouraged!