1985 CJ-7 Family Jeep Build - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 3 Old 10-22-2012, 06:41 PM Thread Starter
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1985 CJ7 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Lancaster/Forksville/Doylestown
Posts: 61
1985 CJ-7 Family Jeep Build

Well, I guess it's about time to start a build thread since we are about as far down to bare bones as we can get. A little background information:

My Grandfather purchased this CJ new in 1985. It was used for a long time in the family surveying business, taking usually my grandfather, uncle, and dad and their equipment where they needed to go. They surveyed lot's of large properties (Farms and forest) in the area for many years, so it was obviously used as a Jeep instead of a sunday driver. My grandfather passed before I had the chance to meet him, but the jeep stayed in the family when my uncle bought the business. It was never really garage kept until my uncle built his sometime in the late 90's or early 2000's, and somewhere in and around that time, it did not pass inspection and was taken off the road where it sat…and sat. I had a Chevy Blazer that blew a transmission…again…so it was decided it was time to invest some time and money into the Jeep. That was Junior or Senior year in High School. I'm now a Junior in college. Ah well it's getting there now more then ever. Here's how it looked after some basic disassembly was done:

When we originally started, we, like most jeep projects…were only going to do one thing:

Replace the body. When you can stick your fist through the side of the old tub, you wonder how it DID pass inspection in years prior..lets just say theres lots of patching on the old tub. No problems with that…it kept the jeep on the road.

Obviously, as we all know, things never go as planned.

One saturday afternoon we just went hog wild and stripped the jeep down to the frame. After years of sitting outside and in the nice Pennsylvania winters (thanks PennDot for your excessive use of salt) we discovered the frame was not as in good a shape as we thought. The Frame to body mounts were almost rusted through and the rear crossmember was trash.

Here it is halfway through the process:

And here are the holes you could throw a baseball through:

Yes, that really is a hole the size of my foot where the roll bar meets the tub and in an area close to a body mount.

Once everything was removed body wise, we took the chassis to a friend of ours and he welded on a new rear cross member that I had ordered as well as new frame to body mounts. I wish I had a welder of my own but I haven't broken down and gotten one yet as all money has been going towards the Jeep. I'll put those pictures on once I get home for a weekend from college and can grab the camera those pictures are on.

At some point in the middle of all that, I found out a friend of mine was selling a galvanized YJ tub he didn't need anymore. I bought it, and got it sandblasted. Of course, like every other tub out there, the floorboard on the drivers side was rotted out so that was replaced. There were a some other minor patching that needed to be done so they were done and it was shot with a coat of primer. At the same time all salvageable sheet metal, which was mostly everything except for the tub such as fenders, grill, etc. was also sand blasted and given a coat of primer.

Here they are:

New to me tub

Same Tub after a trip to the sandblasters:

Fenders and grill after sandblasting and a coat of primer:

That's the start of it. I'll add more progress a bit later tonight along with my "dream list" of to-do's. So far so good…minus the bank account.

Proud Member of the Firefighters Jeep Club.
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post #2 of 3 Old 10-22-2012, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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1985 CJ7 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Lancaster/Forksville/Doylestown
Posts: 61
Here's the breakdown of what's been accomplished and what I would like to do in the future.

So far, we've:

Dissasembly of all body parts
Swapped an old, rust bucket of a tub for a newer, refurbished Galvanized YJ Tub.
Replaced Frame-to-Body mounts as well as rear crossmember
Bought (have yet to install) BDS 4" suspension lift as well as new 1" body lift body mounts

What I'd like to do in the near future:

Bedline the interior and underside of the new tub. I have Upol Raptor Liner but I just haven't gotten around to using it yet.

Install said 4" BDS Suspension lift with new 1" Body Lift
Add 33" tires

Reassembly to running/road worthy condition, pass inspection, and get it back on the road.

Forest Green shaded paint (Anyone have an exact color chip or code of something specific? Still looking for that exact part so I can order paint)

New Exhaust (old one is all but gone)

Build custom switch box using the "old style" on/off toggle switches and LED lighting for on/off display for auxiliary lighting, cb/scanner, other components that need switches etc.

Build center console that contains said switch box, with space for CB, Scanner, and change/knick knacks

Install Hella 500 driving lights that I picked up for a steal at a show I was at.

Add 2 side toolboxes for interior above wheel wells.

Things I would like to add in the long run:

Custom (Aka homemade) rear bumper with space for 2 jerry cans, hi-lift jack, cb/scanner antennas, recessed back-up lighting, with the possibility of integrating an on-board air tank into the bumper.

Custom front bumper with brush guard and space for driving/fog auxiliary lighting, and place for:

Warn 8274 or similar winch with synthetic line.

DIY Tube Fenders

Dual Battery set up with extra solenoid and cockpit jump switch.

On-Board air of some type, most likely using an engine driven compressor

M416 or similar trailer complete with supplies for repair and/or camping with tarp or lid.

I want the Jeep to be as autonomous as possible when it comes to repair. I intend to use it to an extent as a farm support vehicle, so I need to be able to use it out in the field and it needs to be reliable. I also want it to be able to be an "adventure" vehicle as I'd like to travel for a 4+ week trip sometime to explore the country. All come in due time…and money. It'll get there.

Most everything I do will be done as affordable (A Scout is Thrifty…) as possible, using old parts, found parts, donated parts, parts I found for deals, etc. etc. as I am a college student and I don't exactly plan to own a bank right out of college either.

I am a Do-It-Yourselfer and I'm not a fan of bolt on parts that come from catalogs that just anyone can buy. I like to come up with my own solutions to problems or ideas I have and deal with them accordingly. I think it's really neat when someone sees something and says "wow, thats cool! I wish I could do that" I guess you can accuse me of doing things the "old school" way, and I'm ok with that.

Slowly but surely it's getting there…I'll try to keep this updated as things are done.

Proud Member of the Firefighters Jeep Club.
stearman42 is offline  
post #3 of 3 Old 02-18-2013, 04:05 PM
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1980 CJ7 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: EUSTIS
Posts: 143
Subscribed! Can't wait to see the rear bumper sounds like an awesome idea, im about to make my center console with space for a head unit, cb and storage for other in and outs
orange80cj7 is offline  

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