I don't have a catchy user name or something creative to call my Jeep (it was "The Beast" in highschool but those days are gone) so this will be another rebuild thread without a snazzy title. I'm going to start with some background then get into the pictures since everyone seems to love pictures
My father owned 2 CJs and I was able to ride around in one of them for awhile when I was younger before he sold it. I remember going over to my Grandmother's house where it was kept in the garage and working to start it each winter so we could use it to plow our driveway. I always had to sit in the back seat and hold onto the roll bar (I'm pretty sure the passenger side floor was gone) while my dad plowed but it was always a good time. He eventually sold it and we didn't have another CJ until October 2001 when we acquired the one I am currently having at for this rebuild.
This "new to me" Jeep was owned by my Uncle for some time and he provided me with a Haynes service manual that the person he purchased the Jeep from gave him that included the newspaper ad he bought it from as well as service records hand written through approx 18000 miles. When we got the Jeep it only had 21xxx miles on it so my Uncle didn't use it very much. I know he had it garaged at one house and when they moved it moved with them to the garage at their new house. It then spent a few years in a friend's heated garage but it just sat for an extended period of time which obviously isn't good for any vehicle let alone one that is 20+ years old (at the time). We went out to see it in said garage and it turned over but didn't start. Still pretty good considering how long it had been sitting and how old the gasoline and other fluids likely were.
My dad drove it home with my mother following him and they tell stories of only being able to go 45 MPH and having to watch out for the pieces flying off the thing. It died on them a few times on the trip home but they got it into our driveway and we started doing some work to get it at least reliably functional for me to use it going to and from school. We did some brake work including new lines, we tuned up the carb and set the timing, we fabricated an exhaust (impossible to find a crossover pipe for the V8 locally) and generally got the thing running as well as we could with minimal time and money. I quickly decided that wasn't enough...
The windshield frame leaked horribly as did the liftgate so I purchased new pieces and we installed them. This took some field engineering but it greatly improved the resistance to weather so I was happy with the results. The fenders were beyond salvaging so I purchased new fenders as well and we did some body work to clean up the worst of the rust. A lot of grinding and bondo later and some fresh paint and it was obviously not a new vehicle but it cleaned up pretty well given its age and it was more than suitable for me to drive - which I did happily for many years!
It took some time learning about and getting comfortable in such a tall vehicle with an old carburatered V8, no antilock brakes, just lap belts, no A/C, manual windows, doors that didn't lock with a remote and a host of other creature comforts and safety features that didn't exist in 1979 but I have to say I wouldn't trade the expirience for anything. It only left me totally stranded twice in my time driving it and the first time was entirely my fault for letting it run out of gas. On that note making sure the gas gauge works after the rebuild is high on the list of things to do.
I'll post some pictures about the earlier changes we made when we were getting it road worthy and cleaning it up but the majority of this thread will be about the current rebuild going on which started in late 2009 and as of yet doesn't really have a completion date.
In short -
I am starting with a 1979 Jeep CJ7 with the Golden Eagle trim package, the original AMC 304 V8, the GM Turbo-Hydramatic 400 Automatic Transmission, and the Borg-Warner 13-39 Quadratrac transfer case with the low range option. I drove this Jeep daily to and from school and work for several years before I went to college and then my sister drove it daily. It sat for a few months and then after college it again became my daily driver to and from work. I continued to drive it through minor repairs until the gas tank nearly fell out of it and it was determined that I needed something “more reliable”. At that point in time it was put in the garage and it has been sitting there since December of 2008. In late 2009 I was told I either needed to start seriously working on it or it needed to go and since I had always somewhere in the back of my mind had grand plans for this Jeep I started amassing parts and getting to work stripping it down into something I could rebuild.