1981 Laredo CJ-7 Restoration - JeepForum.com
 
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post #1 of 15 Old 06-03-2010, 06:50 AM Thread Starter
Conflict
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1981 Laredo CJ-7 Restoration

Under the inspiration that is Coiz, I decided I'd restore my parent's Jeep after I ended up driving it for a couple weeks due to my truck breaking down. The Jeep drove great and ran decently, it was just an eyesore and rustbucket.

Anyway, I got the go ahead to start ripping it apart, so I went at it, completely forgetting to take pictures along the way, but I reminded myself to start, so here's where I'm at right now.



Like the hole on the left side rollbar mount?


Well, here's the right one.


Awesome rust holes in the driver's floorboard.


And finally two things I still need have to do.


So I still need to pull the dash off, but I'm not 100% on the proper way to do it. I suppose I need to start pulling wires and label them as I pull'em. Of course, to get the dash out I need to get the steering column out, and it didn't want to budge from my limited yanking on it. I was trying to separate where the splines are right below the master cylinder, but it didn't want to move at all. After the dash/steering column, I've got the master cylinder to remove, and then it's basically ready to unbolt from the frame. I'll probably remove a few other things like the mirror/windshield mount and various other things, but I'm close to having it off the frame.

Of course, this is only the start, look at all that rust. Good thing I recently bought a Hobart Handler 140.

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post #2 of 15 Old 06-03-2010, 07:52 AM
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It is going to be an adventure and you will learn a lot... just take lots of pictures, take your time and go slow and it will all turn out great.

Good luck!

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post #3 of 15 Old 06-03-2010, 07:58 AM
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Good luck!! Keep us posted on your adventure.
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post #4 of 15 Old 06-03-2010, 07:59 AM
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Hope you enjoy this project! You'll really have accomplished something when you get done.


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post #5 of 15 Old 06-03-2010, 09:05 AM
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Just a helpful tip, when separating the steering column from the lower steering shaft using a pickling fork makes an easy job of it. Just be sure not to run the fork down on the splines of the steering column. Use a little penetrating oil and tap away with the fork (tie rod end spreader, whatever you want to call it)

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post #6 of 15 Old 06-05-2010, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danheit View Post
Just a helpful tip, when separating the steering column from the lower steering shaft using a pickling fork makes an easy job of it. Just be sure not to run the fork down on the splines of the steering column. Use a little penetrating oil and tap away with the fork (tie rod end spreader, whatever you want to call it)

I sprayed the splined area down with PB today, then went at it with the fork+hammer, but still got nowhere. I think I beat the hell out of the column, and through trying to jerk it out of the dash broke the RPM gauge housing. Of course, this all eventually culminated into me getting pissed off and just hitting the thing with a hammer, which accomplished nothing but make me feel a tad better. I really have no idea how the hell to get the damn steering column apart.

So I really accomplished nothing today.
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post #7 of 15 Old 06-05-2010, 09:41 PM
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Are you going to upgrade the steering shaft to one with u-joints on both ends? If so, do what I did.... sawzall the shaft in half. Remove bolt from upper coupler, pb blaster, little heat to expand things and then tapped it off with a hammer on the yoke.
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post #8 of 15 Old 07-08-2010, 04:35 PM Thread Starter
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As far as the steering column went, I had assumed just loosening the bolt would suffice, but after I removed the bolt completely, the steering wheel and column came out without any effort whatsoever. (Because the bolt sits in a channel in the shaft, who knew?)

Anyway, I finally got back out there today to take body bolts out. The front right three came out with no effort, but the back right's captive nut has rusted loose and just spins inside there. Same thing with the two on the front left of the Jeep. (The left side bolt under the rusted out rollbar area is stripped.)

I'm guessing I'm going to have to cut holes in the Jeep to get at the captive nut to keep it from moving so I can remove the bolts?

What's another hole in this Jeep.
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post #9 of 15 Old 09-02-2010, 10:06 PM
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Yeah, when I removed my tub....I had to sawzall the heck out of three or four bolts...Needless to say, I have to figure out what I am going to do to get the body mounted back on to the frame. Also, my floor supports that allow the tub to bolt to the frame are rusted out...So I have to go buy some new supports and weld those babys on. Its all a learning process and my brain hurts now! LOL

If it's that important to do on a Friday, it can wait until Monday...

Last edited by 81CJUSMC; 09-02-2010 at 10:06 PM. Reason: mispelled words
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post #10 of 15 Old 09-04-2010, 09:28 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 81CJUSMC View Post
Yeah, when I removed my tub....I had to sawzall the heck out of three or four bolts...Needless to say, I have to figure out what I am going to do to get the body mounted back on to the frame. Also, my floor supports that allow the tub to bolt to the frame are rusted out...So I have to go buy some new supports and weld those babys on. Its all a learning process and my brain hurts now! LOL

I'm about to head out there right now and see if I can make something happen on this body. I might just chisel the heads off the body mounts, then drill'em out and through the top of the body. Or I'll just buy a better looking body and say the hell with this rusted tub.
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post #11 of 15 Old 01-11-2011, 04:47 AM Thread Starter
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Haven't taken pictures in forever, and haven't really had a chance to work on the jeep with college and work, but I eventually sawzall'd the bolts that wouldn't come out, and got the body off.

Then I took the frame and drive train to my dad's shop and we stripped it bare. Here's the only picture I have, taken of the trailer full of parts. Air tools make a world of difference, and we probably went from a full roller to bare frame in 3 hours.



The frame itself looks pretty decent except for some pretty bad rot near the rear crossmember area and a couple body mount holes that are either broken through or rough.

Reading up on some Coiz and EagleKeeper threads to look at the way they repaired their frames/body and taking notes. They both really make me want to repair my body instead of buying a YJ tub.
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post #12 of 15 Old 06-13-2012, 09:03 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, it has been a year since I originally tore down the Jeep. Since then I added onto my garage so I have half ATVs and Dirtbikes, and half Jeep/Charger.

So now that I actually have a place to work on the Jeep, I'm torn on how to approach repairing the frame, as I have no experience prior to this.

Here is what I'm working with -






I had these made before I knew quite how bad the rot was. I originally thought I might be able to get away with boxing in the frame and leaving it at that, but it isn't quite strong enough for just welding those on.

I'm going to start with removing the rear crossmember if I can figure out how with my current tools, and then dump the years of rust out of the frame rails.

Just ordered a new rear crossmember and a full set of the Crabtree Spring Hanger Set. Can't say I'm in any hurry to have them arrive though.

Last edited by Conflict; 06-13-2012 at 09:13 PM.
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post #13 of 15 Old 06-13-2012, 11:50 PM
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The trick to a major frame repair is to know where it is to end up and mark that position.

You have the bits cut out to make the frame rail but you need to get that crossmember fixed in position first and get it all tack welded together in the right position.

If you can rig a jig or template and cross measure to the floor for the height of the current crossmember you should be able to get it all cut out back to sound metal and then weld in the new sections.

I suggest cardboard templates, cut to match the existing rails about 3' long. This will allow you to get the new section set up. But it is crucial you get the crossmember at the rght height off the floor and distance to the rear. As long as the mounting points are all spot on some minor deviation in the rail will not matter.

Godo luck with it, it seems more difficult than it really is. If in doubt cut it out, do not bother to try to weld on to rusty steel.

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post #14 of 15 Old 06-14-2012, 05:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Conflict View Post
I sprayed the splined area down with PB today, then went at it with the fork+hammer, but still got nowhere. I think I beat the hell out of the column, and through trying to jerk it out of the dash broke the RPM gauge housing. Of course, this all eventually culminated into me getting pissed off and just hitting the thing with a hammer, which accomplished nothing but make me feel a tad better. I really have no idea how the hell to get the damn steering column apart.

So I really accomplished nothing today.
I have a feeling you are going to hate this project if you have already broken parts and started beating on it with a hammer. You may have to completely remove the cross-bolt to separate the column from the lower shaft.

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post #15 of 15 Old 06-14-2012, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BagusJeep View Post
Good luck with it, it seems more difficult than it really is. If in doubt cut it out, do not bother to try to weld on to rusty steel.
Thanks for the post, it gave me a lot of insight into what I needed to do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 243 View Post
I have a feeling you are going to hate this project if you have already broken parts and started beating on it with a hammer. You may have to completely remove the cross-bolt to separate the column from the lower shaft.
I felt like an idiot after all the pulling and hitting when I actually removed the entire bolt instead of just loosening it.


Anyway, I went out there tonight and filled a couple pieces of paper with different measurements and drawings of the rear of my frame.

Once I got that done, I took some cardboard and made templates of the rear of the frame to get a picture of what I need to look like.

After I had everything finished I broke out the reciprocating saw and tore into the cross-member.

I didn't "support" the frame, but I'm aware that when I removed the cross-member the frame came together about a quarter inch, but that shouldn't be a problem.

Here are some pictures for what they're worth.


Just the Passenger side again, without cross-member.


Driver side. Not quite as bad, but still needs a lot of metal replaced.


Cross-member aftermath. It was pretty difficult to get in there with the reciprocating saw so I had to cut it out in stages.


And finally a picture of parts waiting patiently.



Tomorrow I'll have to dump out the years of crud in the frame and go get some steel to see about patching this frame up, as I don't like the pieces I originally had made.
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