Yeah, it wasn't easy, especially after knowing the blue color is so rare nowadays and mine is still pretty flawless... er, was!
While waiting for the weather to be good enough to paint I was able to make those skids as well as these sliders. What I originally wanted was a sturdy set of 3” nerf bars that I could also tie my front roll bar to. However the limited selection out there nowadays didn’t seem to be for anything other than looks. I tried to find some shops around that not only had 3” (or I’d settle for 2 ½”) ERW or DOM tubing but also had a tube bender. I searched to no avail. So I had some 2”x2”x1/4” tube and could easily get more, so I decided to make it out of that. Definitely sturdy enough for a cage tie-in. So I cut 2 pcs. to 53”, cut 45 angles on the ends, and then cut ¾” of the point off. I cut an end cap out of 16 ga. metal so that it was about an 1/8” shy of covering the edges of the tube. This will allow room to grind the weld with a small radius and not be into the 16ga. cap.
And here it is welded, done with partial welds so it didn’t warp the small piece of metal.
And then made to look better with a grinder and flap disk. Some POR should make it look even better but I’ll wait till I at least have the 3 returns back to the frame welded on. Which I can’t cut to length till the body is close to being done and setting on the new frame for fitting. These babies are heavy too. I’m going to use 2”x2”x3/16” for the return pieces. I’ll also be putting some angled 1” pipe steps / sliders out and down from these to once I get some pipe bent.
I also had to make some rear shock studs because the frame didn’t come with them. It was an option for 1941-81 frames (not sure why not newer ones) but at $15 a pop I’ll make my own. I bought two 5/8"x2 1/2" allen head shoulder bolt and some 5/8"id plate washers. Two bolts and a pak of 10 washers for $14+ at Fastenal. I had the 1/2"x13 nylon locknuts already. I tacked together 3 of the washers for the spacer portion (see my stock stud pictured) and tacked one to the head which will be on the backside of the mount, then I’ll slide the spacer on the shock side. Then the shock, a washer, and the locknut.
The shoulder bolt was an allen head cap screw so I tacked a hex nut to the top to fit a socket over for removal if the washer with a slight flat on the edge doesn’t hold it while loosening / tightening it. Then some BlackCote. This way the stud is removable and easy to replace, should I need to. The stock stud was pushed through the shock side and welded, which broke off within months of owning the Jeep.
And wouldn't you know.... my stonework on the house and garage is finally done, so now I can wrap up my last "honey-do" project outside.... and it snows! It ended up being less than predicted because it didn't get quite cold enough and it ended up being a wet snow, but it was melting and dripping right where I needed to work at. So that further delays me putting the Jeep in the garage to start the tear down. Oh well. July's finish date probably isn't going to happen anyhow.
It’s been drying now for a few weeks or so and I’ve been doing little odds and ends to it, which of course brings up new issues but at least I can start addressing them. Better now than later. I took the thread taps back thru all the welded nuts on the frame. Even though I put a bolt in every hole, some of the liquids I just bathed it in seeped down the threads and removed that “finger tightening” ability.
Then I got out my new steering box mounting bracket I bought to work with my existing box brace. These will overcome one of the CJ’s weak points, the factory box mount. I originally bought a Rusty’s brand mount but after mocking it up the holes were pretty far off, only 2 of 5 were lining up.
Now granted it wasn’t all due to that brand because I am using an aftermarket frame, but having read of some poor fitment issues on some other sites I didn’t want to take another chance, plus I’d then have to return it yet a second time. I had a spare steering box with a factory mount on it that I tried for fitment and that was a no go also, but not as bad. So since Qtec carried the M.O.R.E. brand mounts for the same price, I had them send me one of those for a replacement. Well it fit better… but not exact. I could get 3 out of 5 holes to line up and some slight oblonging would line the other 2 up. One of the problems was an issue with all 3 mounts and that was the front 2 (of 3) holes where the shackle mount attaches, had the rear one off by about 3/16”.
Now I couldn’t move the nutsert within the frame so I had to oblong the center matching hole towards the front. Not so easy in ½” zinc plated steel. I found that a stone grinding bit in a die grinder worked best, but wore the bit down quickly. Luckily the other hole needing oblonging is in the frames crossmember which is only 3/16” steel. I also found that the spacer that M.O.R.E. provides for the rear hole (2 are shown in the pic but the front 2 holes would normally have the shackle mount there) is 3/16" thick but the stock shackle mount is 5/16" thick. Makes you wonder if any of these places have any QC (quality control) in place.
However, that brought another issue due to the frame to my attention. If the brackets frame mount is attached securely to the frame plane, the portion of the bracket that mounts to the crossmember from the underside is out of plane slightly and will need a shim or some different sized spacers or washers. I'm not sure if it's the frame or the bracket thats at fault for that one. The mount bracket does come drilled and tapped for an additional third bolt to be used at the crossmember but I’m not sure I’ll even use it since it’ll be a feat all it’s own to locate and drill a new hole to line up with it because access from the bottom where the hole is, is impossible. But having the existing brace will still add even more strength so I’m not concerned. Besides, I’m not building a rock crawler on 37’s! Some guys only use the brace instead of the mount, and if you’ve ever removed and replaced a steering box on the vehicle you’ll know why! PITA
My rear bumper / tire carrier came via Santa’s big brown truck. I got a Smittybilt SRC classic rock crawler with the spare tire carrier, receiver hitch and 2 D-rings and clevis’s. I know some of you out there don’t care for this brand but it suits my purpose. Yes I know, a beserk custom bumper would’ve been nice, and much better built. The reason I got it is cost ($377 to my doorstep) and it matches my front ProComp bumper (go figure huh! Can you say Transamerican?), plus it’s the only bumper/receiver hitch that claims a tow rating in print (5k class 3). It’s actually for a Wrangler YJ and in talking with Smittybilt on the phone, their R&D are working on an adapter so they will fit Jeeps, but I figured I could make it fit on my own. He said it was basically another plate of steel due to the stock Jeep’s thin rear crossmember, but mines a ¼” slab of TDK metal! It seems to be a beefy product though quality craftsmanship of the welds didn’t seem to be included in the price. But it suits me. The bolts are only 8.8 metric grade (which is roughly grade 5) so I’ll upgrade them to grade 8 American bolts! There was only one finish available and it’s textured black. Not sure that I like it so I’m going to try some BlackCote on the back of it and see how well that fills in the texture. It should at least match the color difference. And maybe I'll just paint over the bumper portion and leave the tire carrier textured. What say you? Anyone ever tried painting over a textured finish?
The rear crossmember of a yj has a different empty hole pattern than the CJ does. The two inside ones are only off by about ½” but the outside ones don’t even exist. The frame’s rear is also wider, as the two tabs on the bottom sit outside of the CJ’s frame. I also don’t like how the ends of the bumper are left open so I’ll probably cover that with duck tape. just seeing if your awake. I’ll weld that shut unless someone has a better solution. I don’t know why the heck they would leave that open for a mud/dirt catcher right behind the tire??? I’m thinking maybe I can incorporate some corner protection against that tree or rock I can’t see and back into! Maybe a stub of 2”x2” out at the 45 degree, mitered, then a short stub headed forward for 2 or 3”. It would match the sliders and be about the same level. I’ll sleep on it.
So I measured the inner threaded holes in the bumper and transferred them to my frame, drilled those 4 holes and then bolted it on to make sure it fit. Then removed it and placed bolts thru those holes and used the supplied template to mark the two outer holes. The template has 1/2” holes in it to locate 3/8” bolt holes! Go figure! That almost guarantees some grinding to align the holes. Ask me how I know! I did have to grind some of the backer plates bottom edge due to it not lying flat because of a weld on the frame.
Notice the one outside bottom hole hits right on the taper out at the end. I’ll still be able to put the supplied backing plate on it to sandwich the crossmember, so it will still contribute as an attachment point. As for the bottom tabs that were supposed to screw up into the bottom of the frame; I made some angle brackets which will bolt on and provide some resistance to force pulling from the rear. What sucks is this bumper can only be removed by first lowering the gas tank!
I’m not so sure I like this angle on the tabs, now that I put it together so I might just drill and tap a hole in the bumper thru the existing CJ slots. And then just cut those tabs off. But then again I only have 3/16" of metal to tap threads into. Can't reach it to add a nut, plus it will be sealed off anyhow.
Another thing I want to mock up before the frame gets set aside is the front bumper and the winch plate, which utilized existing holes in the frame. The TDK came with no extra holes so I’m going to have to locate and drill these. The rear hole uses a steel sleeve and a 5/8” bolt so I’ll have to drill a 7/8” hole on the outside and an 5/8” hole on the inside. I’ll drill both holes from the outside, not only to keep them lined up but the drill won’t fit level on the inside due to the crossmember. The front hole uses a shorter 5/8” bolt because the stock frame is just a “c” channel from the crossmember forward, however mine is boxed to the end but I can reach it being so close to the end. I’m also going to add a third bolt for added strength in between. I’m using a ½” bolt simply because it’s less drilling and I found a ½”x13 square nut that I can weld to the inside of the frame.
I also had another idea while mocking the winch plates fit with the bumper in place. The bumper is 3/16” steel and attaches at the top and bottom of the frame rails. The D-rings welded to the front of the bumper are in line with the frame so I made a piece of ¼” that I can weld to the back of the D-ring and then bolt it, in the direct line of force, to the side of the frame. Drilled a ½” hole in both and welded a nut to the inside of the frame. Three attachment points are better than two, right!
Well the frame should be good to go so I did some touch up with POR-15 and BlackCote on newly drilled holes, bare metal parts, and bolt heads. Then put the frame outside under a tarp to make room to finally pull the Jeep inside. I have enough room inside to tear down the Jeep and separate the tub, but not enough for both chassis's.
The next time this plate goes back on…. It will be completed. As I said, I’m shooting for next summer but you know how these builds sometimes go. It’s the ideas along the way that can slow things down.
Funny you should say that. That was last summers project. See the pics with my frame being etched with Metal Ready. I built an 8'x12' shed and it's pretty well full. That's where both sets of my doors are at. I tried the "I think we need a bigger garage so you have a place to park... dear". She shot that idea down! Same with the 2-story garage idea!
As soon as you said you got transferred to Lewistown I thought ARGH! Carolinas, Cali, any now the salt covered rustbelt that is Pa. Right @ that point I KNEW there would be frame/rust issues. I wanted a TDK frame, but found an '86 w/D44 rear for $600+ $600 for sandblast & Powdercoat. I'm about @ the same stage you are. BTW. What's the engine plan, or did I miss that?
No, I didn't really mention it here in this thread. With all the work ahead of me I wasn't attacking that item to much, it's a future issue. Right now I will be replacing the leaking rear main, replacing the valve cover gasket, a new int/exh gasket (so I can paint the manifolds), new freeze plugs, new flowkooler water pump, new Weber carb, and painting the engine. Most likely I'll replace the timing chain and sprockets too, I was debating that one. So I'm not looking to put alot of time in the engine. It runs fine now. I just want to do some small things to take advantage of the engine being out.
This engine has approx 150k on it. The speedo reads 139k but the tires got changed early on. I had the head resurfaced and a valve job done probably around the 80k mark due to a leaking head gasket. It's been a good engine, the major issue over the years has been the carb. I could probably rebuild a carter bbd blindfolded by now.
This is the fun part, removing parts and pieces. So far, and I’ll probably jinx this, bolts have cooperated pretty well. I used anti-seize and dielectric grease on a lot of threads when I re-assembled things back in 1996. Glad I did so. This also gives me a chance to see how well things from my last redo of the body held up. If the bolts cooperate a Jeep’s interior tear's down pretty easily. My stereo and speakers were one of the first things removed to get some wiring out of the way. My Alpine equalizer was mounted to the center console so theres a bunch of wiring under the factory front carpet plus the cb and external speaker wires. Here’s the stereo I bought while in Japan in 1983 and has been in the dash ever since I got back. Notice my last floor patch with stainless steel. It’s still good but everything around it isn’t!
It was high end at the time but that was before the arrival of the compact disc! It was tied to an Alpine amp/eq, 2 Jensen Triax’s in walnut boxes I made and 2 Blaupunkt tweeters in the dash. It all still works but it hasn’t got much use in recent years other than the radio. Not sure what will go back in but something with a usb port. What was I listening to last? Well the cassette box is still in the console.
One thing I was hoping held up well was the windshield frame. I replaced it in ’96 and it damn near fell apart due to rust. One of the leak points then was the driving light brackets so I addressed that with RTV Blue when I re-assb. It and I’m glad to say it worked well. The screw heads rusted and there was a little rust staining but nothing major.
The bottom of the frame looked good and the cowl rubber and my use of RTV Blue worked well there too, with only some slight moisture getting to a couple screws. Most of the rust stains wipe away with a dry towel. I also think I found where most of the counties stink bugs were hibernating for the winter. Between the windshield and dash pad! (we have a big stink bug problem in this state for the past 2 years) The back of the dash pad had minimal rust and a wire brush and rust converter should take care of that.
The hinges weren’t too bad, at least on the top half, I haven’t completely removed them yet. They were taken off and painted separately last time so there was two coats of paint between them.
And out of curiosity I put a new tire up against the old tire, which is the same tire but a slightly different tread design. I guess they had some wear!They were on my wifes ’84 and bought new in the late 90’s!
Nice Jeep! there aren't many of us who have held on to our jeeps. I am an original owner owner too. Its funny how I can associate the different stages in my life with my jeep. We should start a cj original owners thread. Great story love hearing all the stories
Told my girl I just had to forget her, Rather buy me a new cartburettor,
So she made tracks sayin' ths is the end now, Cars don't talk back they're just four wheeled friends now
I also think I found where most of the counties stink bugs were hibernating for the winter. Between the windshield and dash pad! (we have a big stink bug problem in this state for the past 2 years)]
We get the same bugs here in Doylestown PA. The solution to keeping them out of your Jeep, as well as mice and spiders, is to put small bowls of Moth Balls around. When my Jeep was in storage for 11years between 1996 and 2007, I had a mice problem in our old and drafty garage. They ate my OEM cardboard glove box and rubber shifter boots the first two years. I then put bowls of Moth Balls in the engine compartment and interior and never had a problem with mice, spiders and now the Stink bugs, after that. I read an article in Hemmings about storing cars and about 90% of the owners swore by Moth Balls. Apparently the little creatures don't like the smell as I have moth balls in my basement office as well and haven't seen a spider since.