78 cj7 build thread - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 17 Old 09-24-2010, 01:40 AM Thread Starter
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1978 CJ7 
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Location: Elma, NY
Posts: 45
78 cj7 build thread

well i figured id make a build thread sense it wont be done for about a year

im 18 just graduated highschool i have always enjoyed working on cars, trucks etc. i leave my cj to sit alone for 6 months on nov. 8th cause i joined the army to be a diesel mechanic. and this is my new toy and i cant wait to finish it

this is my first jeep build and i love it

so a little back ground... used to have a 99 ranger lifted on 35s bought that when i was 16 built that up and got into offroading had a little run in with the law so after that my dad found out i was offroading he called a stupid idiot and told me if i really wanted to offroad go buy a jeep and build it up to offroad. so the day after i started searching so i called my buddy up who basically bought a different jeep every day beat on it then sold it for $200 more and he had an old 78 cj7 sitting around that he got for $300 off one of his dads friends it didnt run had the straight 6 in it and the tub was rotted to hell as was the frame. i asked him how much he wanted for it and he told me $200 so i proposed a deal to him that if i strip the jeep and give him enough scrap to make $200 and he agreed which was kind of stupid on my part because he ended up getting $450 for scrap. so ever since ive been building my cj7.

my plans:
chevy 350 create engine
9" lift SOA 4" spring 2" shackle 1/2 " body (done)
40-44" swampers
black beadlock wheels
changed all the gears (done)
rear disc brake conversion kit (done)
warn lock out hubs(done)
poison spyder front bumper
warn winch on front and rear
fabbing up own back bumper
tube fenders on front
comp cut back fenders
suspension seats
and the rest of the reg. interior


pushing it in the garage with my kioti cause all the brakes were locked up hah

and the tear down begins/ how it looked when i first got it

all the scrap i gave to my buddy also gave him the tranny tcase and straight 6

beggining to wire wheel the frame while the front axle was still being ripped out with a little help from my friends

the frame all cleaned up and primed with rustoleum ... the frame was rotted all along the back near the rear cross member so my dad being a welder patched it up along with all the body mounts

all painted and some homemade wheels that failed 10 min after the picture

picked up a 94 yj tub from the local junkyard for $200
its hard to see but there are rotted holes on both sides right below the stamped jeep logo im patching it on the inside and getting black steel diamond plater to run down the side of the jeep only the bottom 6 inches or so

the floors of the jeep are rotted out but i ordered new floors from quadratec we are just going to weld in

started sanding so i could have it all ready for primer after i get the floors in

flipped it over to wire wheel the bottom so i can rhino line the bottom

i picked up a cj tailgate from a local guy who gave up on his cj project
also got a hood, grill and windshield frame all in perfect condition

right now im in the process of welding the floors in and rhino lining the bottom then primer is going on ill be painting the jeep either military tan, military green, or the olive green that comes on the new wranglers. after that is create engine tranny and tcase. but have to wait till i come back from basic training and ait so i have the money to throw into it considering all the money ive saved up during the past year has all been spent on this if you have any suggestions feel free

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post #2 of 17 Old 09-24-2010, 01:55 AM
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1978 CJ7 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Warner Robins
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Good work and good luck with your Jeep. I bought a 78 CJ7 in July and I'm catching hell trying to fix it up. Right now its kinda on hold...Jeep's broke and I'm broke. J.E.E.P. (Just Empty Every Pocket).
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post #3 of 17 Old 09-24-2010, 02:25 AM Thread Starter
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1978 CJ7 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Elma, NY
Posts: 45
thanks. you too. and yea ive been keeping all my receipts and im already up to about $1600 just in parts not including all the supplies like paint wire wheels sand paper all that b.s. and also bud light to keep me moving

im estimating about another $15,000 by the time i finish it
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post #4 of 17 Old 09-24-2010, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
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1978 CJ7 
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Location: Elma, NY
Posts: 45
yes the jeeps upside down its not too good of a pic but ill have better to come when i flip it over after i rhino line the bottom. but i decided i am going to extend the wheel base 8 inches in the rear so i comp cut my fenders and they turned out pretty nice considering i had a grinder and jig saw and a couple of hammers to bend down a 1/2 inch lip to match the rest of the wheel well

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post #5 of 17 Old 09-25-2010, 07:16 AM
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sweet, keep up the good work.
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post #6 of 17 Old 09-25-2010, 07:49 AM
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1983 CJ7 
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Location: North Andover, MA.
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looks good and keep up the good work. I like the extended wheelbase....that should be a serious machine!!

Do yourself a favor though, and read up on lifts, specifically SOA. With those open shackles, you might have handling issues (unless it's "strictly" off-road, but even then....).

Also your first post reads "changed all the gears-done" do you mean front/rear end gearing? Others can chime in, but turning 40-42" tires will be a chore for stock axles. While it's still apart, might want to think about beefing that up too.

There's a lot of knowledge here, from people who have "been there, done that". It's cheaper to learn from their adventures, than doing it on your own (so to speak).

Oh yeah, when I was 18, I prolly wouldn't have put the wrenches down to read (although the web didn't exist) or learn from another's experience.

Just my $.02

Last edited by JeePete; 09-25-2010 at 07:50 AM. Reason: i8]7g
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post #7 of 17 Old 09-25-2010, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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1978 CJ7 
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Location: Elma, NY
Posts: 45
i just love gettin the ideas and all off this cause i wasnt going to extend the wheelbase untill i researched it all on here

and yea i changed the gears and put one piece axle shafts in to make then a little more durable a lot of people have been telling me they will fail eventually and if they do ill go to the junkyard and rip out some chevy full width axles and throw them in wont cost me that much so if they fail in the future i have a back up plan.
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post #8 of 17 Old 09-27-2010, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
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1978 CJ7 
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Location: Elma, NY
Posts: 45

rhino lined the bottom turned out real nice

better pic of the comp cut fenders

steel diamond plate on both sides
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post #9 of 17 Old 09-27-2010, 09:31 PM
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I got done ripping the diamond plate OFF my rockers. Seeing new goes on makes me cringe BUT, to each his own.

I do think, other than the plate, it will be one hell of a beast!!

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post #10 of 17 Old 09-27-2010, 09:43 PM
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I don't have what it takes to comp cut my fenders, but I love the way a Jeep looks with it done. You've gotten quite a bit done in a short time. I'm enjoying watching the build. Keep up the good work.

Go Fish! <*////><

But the right word at the right time... "Hey, give me a little hug!" That's the difference between lightning and a harmless lightning bug!
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post #11 of 17 Old 09-27-2010, 09:43 PM
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good job keep up the good work
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post #12 of 17 Old 09-28-2010, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
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1978 CJ7 
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Location: Elma, NY
Posts: 45
im in the process of body filling a couple of real minoe low spots and then the primer goes on after that is extending the wheel base cutting the back leaf mount off the frame and moving it back 8 inches and building back bumper to weld the back shackles onto thats my goal set before i leave on november 8th
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post #13 of 17 Old 10-20-2010, 05:25 PM Thread Starter
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1978 CJ7 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Elma, NY
Posts: 45

a little bondo work and ended up fabbing up a spare tire carrier out of the old yj hinges and a couple pieces of scrap metal still working on that.

all primered the dash is in which is half old half new so i can use the new glove box

put the body on to put it away in storage for the 6 months im gone but i do love how high it sits i still have to extend the wheel base 8 inches in the back thats why it looks so off. but i can easily fit 44's
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post #14 of 17 Old 03-05-2011, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
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1978 CJ7 
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Posts: 45

thats how it sits at home now with the rear axle extended 10" and the hood on also got the tube fenders with 3 inch flare waiting to go on
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post #15 of 17 Old 03-06-2011, 08:04 AM
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I see in your first post you are planning on running 40 - 44 swampers. The factory style swing tire mount on the rear of the CJ tub is a weak point with the stock tire that rode back there. The sheet metal pulls and tears out. I would think over you plans on the swing out tire carrier you are building. To pull around a spare of that size the carrier should be bumper mounted and swing from the bumper.

Other than that look great so far!
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