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USA Standard Chromoly Front Axle Shaft Kits with Dana 30 4Eliminate Hood Flutter!!!Offset Tie Rod Kit From RuffStuff!

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Unread 03-24-2013, 12:52 PM   #1
Stormpaw
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1983 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Dutch Harbor, Alaska
Posts: 107
1983 CJ7 Project

I have been lurking about the forum here for years, and thought it was about time I tried to contribute. I figured I would share the things I have been working on. Keep in mind I am no expert, but maybe someone can learn from my mistakes.

Firsts the basics: The Jeep is a 1983 CJ7. The drive train consists of a 1978 Chevy 350 engine, 1972 SM465 transmission, Dana300 transfer case, Dana30 front axle and a AMC20 rear axle. My overall goal it to keep the Jeep street worthy while restoring it to a somewhat original appearance and improving performance whenever possible. It may see some difficult terrain from time to time, but but mostly it is a daily driver.

I bought the Jeep back in 2010. After a little maintenance (and a transmission swap), we went for a quick drive drive (4500 miles) up the Alcan highway and a four day ferry ride to my island home (in Alaska).





When I bought the Jeep the T5 was pretending to be a T4 (overdrive was shot) so I bought and rebuilt a SM465 and an adapter (from Novak.) After a lot of cursing and more than a little blood it fit right in.

Oddly enough the Jeep was still geared a little high with the 3.31:1 axle gear ratio (soon to be changed.) No wonder the overdrive went out. Other than the fact that it was a T5 behind a Chevy 350 (as if that wasn't enough) in overdrive (.86) at 2500 RPM with 32" tires it should have be going around 85mph according to my calculations. In other words way to high.


Here you can see my hack job to make the SM465 fit.



A couple years later, you can see why that was a bad idea.

Note the big crack next to the mount bolts.


More to come....

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Unread 03-24-2013, 03:07 PM   #2
Stormpaw
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1983 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Dutch Harbor, Alaska
Posts: 107
So after a bit of searching around I realized my only option since I can't weld (no welder) was to have a new bracket made. I took some measurements and contacted the gentlemen at Throttle Down Kustoms, who sells custom brackets made to fit a Jeep.


A few weeks later I had this monster.




Here it is getting primed and painted.




...and there goes the paint....




After a bit of work and some cursing I realized I had given the guys at TDK incorrect measurements. The old bracket had become so weak it was sagging over an inch at the mount. Great. As a temporary fix I went and bought a stack of washer to take up the gap. I also had to pry the transmission toward the drivers side about a half inch. I am not exactly sure why. Either way I had to loosen the transmission shifter plate to leave enough room. I will have to re-cut the holes, but It seems to be a much better position overall and will prevent the dual T-case shifters I installed when I swapped the transmissions from rubbing on the tub.


Yep, it doesn't fit, but the washers seem to be working for now.




The shifter plate will need the holes enlarged before in can be screwed back down.




Oh I also tried drilling out one of the broken bolts.


I managed to get it out with an extraction tool, but damaged the threads... so much for that. Maybe, I will re-tap it later.


More later....

Last edited by Stormpaw; 03-24-2013 at 04:50 PM..
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Unread 03-24-2013, 03:33 PM   #3
skizriz
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1978 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: , Pa
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Some day, somewhere, somehow, every thing will go right.
If you are one of those people who goes off the hook and starts throwing tools, you have no business owning a CJ. Working on them is a lesson in patience.

Nice job or recovering on the fly. I had a similar problem when I made a cardboard template of my belly pan to transfer on to my replacement frame. Only one of six bolts lined up when I went to install it.
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Unread 03-24-2013, 05:33 PM   #4
Stormpaw
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Location: Dutch Harbor, Alaska
Posts: 107
Heh, yes. Patience is not an option. It is mandatory.
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Unread 03-26-2013, 06:15 PM   #5
Stormpaw
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1983 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Dutch Harbor, Alaska
Posts: 107
Next up: The Wiring Harness (or How has this thing not burned to the ground?)

Last fall I started looking into ways to improve the brightness of the Jeep's headlights. I had already replaced the old sealed beams with H2s. They were better, but not as bright as I was hoping for. After a bit of searching I ran into Jeephammer's great write up on headlight upgrades.

Extremely impressed, I proceeded to read every post I could find about wiring by Jeephammer including his posts on dedicated grounds, basic wiring, and alternator wiring.

It was about this point when I, once again, realized the PO who installed the engine had no idea what he was doing (the engine is also poorly placed causing the distributor to rub the firewall.)

Circuit protection? I don't need no... wait... yes... yes I do....


So the headlight project is now on a back burner (though I already have the relays). Instead, I am giving the wiring harness I complete overhaul and upgrade including dedicated grounds.

Laying the ground work (buss bars from VTE.)

Also note the hand drill.... Yep, I am to cheap to buy an electric drill....

The ground buss bar may not be in a very good place, but I think it will work.


Dash ground buss bar... and a horrible mess of wires that will be getting cleaned up in the process.


More later....
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Unread 04-25-2013, 09:20 PM   #6
brian613
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1977 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: doolittle, missouri
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looks good man i had to "trim" my skid so my np435 would fit. i didnt have to trim nearly as much as you did though..

as far as wiring i bought a kit from EZ wiring and couldnt be happier with it. the wires are labeled every few inches and are correct size or larger for the load demand. i did have to put my own ends on but it came with headlight and ignition modual connectors but for the price difference for a painless i can put my own ends on..lol
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Unread 09-09-2013, 11:18 AM   #7
Stormpaw
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1983 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Dutch Harbor, Alaska
Posts: 107
If anyone ever wondered what happened to me, here is a (sort of) quick update.

Back in September of 2012, after coming down out of the mountains low on oil (my filter had sprung a leak), I stopped at a stop sign and heard a strange sound. I dropped it into first gear and... nothing happened. I looked under the Jeep, but everything seemed fine. I then tried four wheel drive. The jeep took off no problem... for about 100'. Then the back end started making a horrible noise and felt like the wheel had fallen off. In fact, the wheel was still there, but it was sticking out about a foot further than is should have been. The rear passenger side axle shaft (and wheel) were coming out.

I had it towed to a near by shop. After an aggravating 3 months of waiting and one failed attempt at the repair I paid the (rather high) bill and drove it home. I replaced the oil filter, and noticed the axle seal was leaking. I took it back and was told they had put the seals in backwards. They took it back and after another month they were done. I was very happy to have my only means of transportation back.

About a year later in December, and after probably less than 200 miles (I live on a small island) the axle shaft once again came out while I was driving to the post office in a gale. This time I had it towed to a different shop. I no longer trusted the first shop and didn't want to wait another 4 months. I discussed it with the head mechanic and decided to have the axle gears changed this time while it was apart. He told me it had been put together wrong and that he was surprised it hadn't fail sooner. However, while the CJ7 was at the shop it managed to get knocked off of the jack stands it had been left sitting on while they worked on the axle (by a customer). I was off the island at the time, but had to deal with the insurance company even though I hadn't seen the accident or the damage.

In the end the insurance company said there was no damage. When I got back I found the gas tank skid plate dented in, the welds that hold the bumper on broken and the tire carrier cracked. However, the case had already been closed.

After 6 months I finally got the jeep back. The only problem was (aside from the many others I mentioned) they had only worked on the rear axle. So it had different gear ratios in the front and rear. The head mechanic had quit, and the others didn't seem to realize what was going on. The man who had left decided to go into business for himself, and offered to finish it for me at his home. He had done an excellent job with the rear axle and was a nice guy so I agreed. So a week later I left the jeep in his care once again. After another month I left the island again (I travel a lot) hoping it would be finished when I returned.

If you haven't guessed by now... no... no, it wasn't finished. He hadn't even started. His neighbors had complained to the town that he was running a business out of his home and forced him to stop. He is still working on getting that straightened out. So after 10 months I finally have my Jeep back. It may have different axle gear ratios in the front and rear, but at least I have it....

That's all for now....
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