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Unread 03-01-2011, 04:58 PM   #1
Outlaw1
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Anyone With A CJ-7 On A TJ Chassis?

Yes, I know it's a strange question....and I've used the search button.

My brother has an '80 CJ-7 that he bought brand new. It's been sitting for ~15 years now and he's ready to go through it and make it a nice driver that he can 'wheel on the weekends. After driving several different Jeeps, I think I'd like to swap his body onto a TJ chassis. I've seen several for sale with D44's, long arm suspensions, etc that will fit into his build budget, so finding a donor shouldn't be too hard.

I'm no stranger to complete builds, I've just never had the opportunity to look at a CJ and a TJ side by side.

Any leads?

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Unread 03-01-2011, 05:41 PM   #2
Pathkiller
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The TJ frame is wider. It would take some fabrication to make it work but probably isn't impossible. But the question is why? What would you gain from this?
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Unread 03-01-2011, 06:28 PM   #3
brownbagg
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huh, maybe a cool looking jeep that rides good, huh maybe
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Unread 03-01-2011, 06:55 PM   #4
JeepnBlake
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I would honestly try to do a CJ grill swap onto a TJ before trying a full on Tub swap, probably difficult, but not impossible.
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Unread 03-01-2011, 07:26 PM   #5
CJ Chet
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You need a TDK Hybrid frame. It's a CJ7 frame with a TJ suspension.

http://throttledownkustoms.com/framesHybrid.html
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Unread 03-01-2011, 07:30 PM   #6
brownbagg
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let see 3000 for a frame and then still have to add the suspension. I do what the orignal poster wants in a hearbeat. body mounts aint **** to do. couple hundred at the most.
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Unread 03-01-2011, 08:15 PM   #7
Outlaw1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pathkiller View Post
The TJ frame is wider. It would take some fabrication to make it work but probably isn't impossible. But the question is why? What would you gain from this?
I already tried to talk him into building a TJ, but he wants his CJ back on the road and he wants it updated. If we're starting fresh, I can't think of any reason to keep the CJ chassis, they don't drive anywhere near as good as TJ's.

Locally I found a clean '97 TJ for $6k with a 4.0/5-speed, mild lift, fresh tires, etc that would make a good donor. Trying to get a 30 year old chassis into shape after it's been sitting for 15 years will get up to $6k real quick like...and you'll still have a 30 year old, outdated chassis. The CJ body will get sent off to get media blasted, the rust repaired, lined and painted regardless of the chassis, so that part of the budget is what it is. Rough estimating, he can still stay ~$15k'ish for the whole build.

Just a few of the 'whys' of a TJ chassis in no particular order.

Stronger frame.
Power steering.
Power brakes.
Front swaybar.
MUCH better ride quality.
Bolt-on long arm suspensions.
Easy to find bolt-in Dana 44's.
Fuel injected 4.0 w/overdrive transmission.
Cruise control.
Air conditioner.

The list goes on and on....
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Unread 03-01-2011, 08:23 PM   #8
Outlaw1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brownbagg View Post
let see 3000 for a frame and then still have to add the suspension. I do what the orignal poster wants in a hearbeat. body mounts aint **** to do. couple hundred at the most.
Agreed.

I'm just wondering about all the little things that will nickle and dime my time fabricating stuff. For instance, clutch pedal mounting for the hydraulic master, steering column, brake booster mounting, etc.

I found a couple of guys that have done it before, I'm just waiting on replies.
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Unread 03-01-2011, 09:57 PM   #9
JeepnBlake
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Outlaw1 View Post
I already tried to talk him into building a TJ, but he wants his CJ back on the road and he wants it updated. If we're starting fresh, I can't think of any reason to keep the CJ chassis, they don't drive anywhere near as good as TJ's.

Locally I found a clean '97 TJ for $6k with a 4.0/5-speed, mild lift, fresh tires, etc that would make a good donor. Trying to get a 30 year old chassis into shape after it's been sitting for 15 years will get up to $6k real quick like...and you'll still have a 30 year old, outdated chassis. The CJ body will get sent off to get media blasted, the rust repaired, lined and painted regardless of the chassis, so that part of the budget is what it is. Rough estimating, he can still stay ~$15k'ish for the whole build.

Just a few of the 'whys' of a TJ chassis in no particular order.

Stronger frame.
Power steering.
Power brakes.
Front swaybar.
MUCH better ride quality.
Bolt-on long arm suspensions.
Easy to find bolt-in Dana 44's.
Fuel injected 4.0 w/overdrive transmission.
Cruise control.
Air conditioner.

The list goes on and on....

Power steering, brakes, front sway bar, ride quality are all possible and stock for many CJs.

I personally love the look of the CJ, but I DD a TJ and FI, OD, AC, CC are all very nice, but if you want all those things you may end up finding you'll have to move a lot of stuff over to the CJ. (HVAC, and all its controls/knobs, much if not most of the wiring, computer, fuel tank, plumbing etc.)


If you're planning to do bolt in 44s and a long arm kit it might be just as easy doing all of which to the CJ, since you'll already have the tub off, it wouldn't be hard to fix up/mod the frame since nearly all of it will be exposed anyway.

My $0.02, take if for what it's worth.
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Unread 03-01-2011, 11:01 PM   #10
Outlaw1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepnBlake View Post
Power steering, brakes, front sway bar, ride quality are all possible and stock for many CJs.

I personally love the look of the CJ, but I DD a TJ and FI, OD, AC, CC are all very nice, but if you want all those things you may end up finding you'll have to move a lot of stuff over to the CJ. (HVAC, and all its controls/knobs, much if not most of the wiring, computer, fuel tank, plumbing etc.)


If you're planning to do bolt in 44s and a long arm kit it might be just as easy doing all of which to the CJ, since you'll already have the tub off, it wouldn't be hard to fix up/mod the frame since nearly all of it will be exposed anyway.

My $0.02, take if for what it's worth.
Sorry, this thread is turning into a debate, not a tech thread like I was hoping. What I was looking for was some specifics from anyone who has done this swap. I know I'll have to build body mounts, but I'm wondering about the steering column/shaft setup, brake booster/lines...all the little mechanical details. Electronics aren't an issue for me. From the schematics I've seen there shouldn't be many electronic issues, but I've been doing late model fuel injection swaps into hot rods and tuning them since the mid 90's, so I feel pretty comfortable around a wiring harness.

I'll try to explain a little more why I'm looking into this.

Currently the 1980 CJ has no power options and has been sitting rusting away for 15 years. Not only is it rusty, nearly every bit of rubber has rotted away. That includes belts, hoses, brake lines, wiring, etc. It all has to be replaced regardless. He would like to have some power options and have a reasonably nice ride. From a dollar and cents point of view, the later model chassis makes way more sense. By the time the original frame is stripped down & repaired (it's rusty as hell, imagine that...), axles rebuilt, suspension replaced, brakes rebuilt, steering updated, fuel system replaced, engine rebuilt, transmission rebuilt, transfercase rebuilt, cooling system, etc. replaced not only will still be a rebuilt outdated chassis but it will cost more than $6k by a long shot. I'm not sure if you've looked at any of the long arm conversions for a CJ, but they're VERY expensive just by themselves and they seem to be more geared towards serious crawlers.

He's dead set on having fuel injection, so there's no way of getting around wiring, fuel system, etc.

On another note, I'm looking for a TJ to build for myself after my brother's CJ is done. I have a spare mild LS7, 4L80E, some D60's and several other goodies that I've been gathering up here and there. His idea of a 'mild' build is way different than mine. Then again, when I'm home I daily drive a 732RWHP C6 Z06 and when I'm away I drive a 650+RWHP MegaCab dually.
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Unread 03-02-2011, 05:11 AM   #11
T_TT
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Just a thought. What about finding a YJ. Seems a lot of people have used the tub of the YJ to replace their rusted out CJ tub. You could just do the opposite and swap the CJ body onto the YJ.
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Unread 03-02-2011, 05:23 AM   #12
243
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Outlaw1 View Post
Sorry, this thread is turning into a debate, not a tech thread like I was hoping. What I was looking for was some specifics from anyone who has done this swap.
It is turning into a debate because nobody on this forum has put a CJ body on a TJ frame. If your brother wants to do the project, post a build thread and get busy and be the first.

I downloaded the CJ and TJ frame drawings and tried to pre-visualize the problems but gave up. For me, I would need to get a TJ and strip it to the frame, drop the CJ tub on the frame and start cutting and welding.
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Unread 03-02-2011, 05:56 AM   #13
brownbagg
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if you was thinking you could pull this off for 15k, it be cheaper, smarter to buy a used rubicon for 15k. now if you can do it for 2k then go for it but anything over 3k finish product is a waste of time and money because it still will only be worth 3k
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Unread 03-02-2011, 09:25 AM   #14
JeepnBlake
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Outlaw1 View Post
Sorry, this thread is turning into a debate, not a tech thread like I was hoping. What I was looking for was some specifics from anyone who has done this swap. I know I'll have to build body mounts, but I'm wondering about the steering column/shaft setup, brake booster/lines...all the little mechanical details. Electronics aren't an issue for me. From the schematics I've seen there shouldn't be many electronic issues, but I've been doing late model fuel injection swaps into hot rods and tuning them since the mid 90's, so I feel pretty comfortable around a wiring harness.

I'll try to explain a little more why I'm looking into this.

Currently the 1980 CJ has no power options and has been sitting rusting away for 15 years. Not only is it rusty, nearly every bit of rubber has rotted away. That includes belts, hoses, brake lines, wiring, etc. It all has to be replaced regardless. He would like to have some power options and have a reasonably nice ride. From a dollar and cents point of view, the later model chassis makes way more sense. By the time the original frame is stripped down & repaired (it's rusty as hell, imagine that...), axles rebuilt, suspension replaced, brakes rebuilt, steering updated, fuel system replaced, engine rebuilt, transmission rebuilt, transfercase rebuilt, cooling system, etc. replaced not only will still be a rebuilt outdated chassis but it will cost more than $6k by a long shot. I'm not sure if you've looked at any of the long arm conversions for a CJ, but they're VERY expensive just by themselves and they seem to be more geared towards serious crawlers.

He's dead set on having fuel injection, so there's no way of getting around wiring, fuel system, etc.

On another note, I'm looking for a TJ to build for myself after my brother's CJ is done. I have a spare mild LS7, 4L80E, some D60's and several other goodies that I've been gathering up here and there. His idea of a 'mild' build is way different than mine. Then again, when I'm home I daily drive a 732RWHP C6 Z06 and when I'm away I drive a 650+RWHP MegaCab dually.

Makes sense to me.
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Unread 03-02-2011, 01:10 PM   #15
Outlaw1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T_TT View Post
Just a thought. What about finding a YJ. Seems a lot of people have used the tub of the YJ to replace their rusted out CJ tub. You could just do the opposite and swap the CJ body onto the YJ.
I've actually found several threads about a CJ on YJ chassis. The YJ still has a leaf spring suspension. It's better than the YJ, but not nearly as good as a TJ.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 243 View Post
It is turning into a debate because nobody on this forum has put a CJ body on a TJ frame. If your brother wants to do the project, post a build thread and get busy and be the first.

I downloaded the CJ and TJ frame drawings and tried to pre-visualize the problems but gave up. For me, I would need to get a TJ and strip it to the frame, drop the CJ tub on the frame and start cutting and welding.
To a certain extent that's what I'm going to do, but I've actually found some people that have done this swap. Now I'm waiting to hear back from them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brownbagg View Post
if you was thinking you could pull this off for 15k, it be cheaper, smarter to buy a used rubicon for 15k. now if you can do it for 2k then go for it but anything over 3k finish product is a waste of time and money because it still will only be worth 3k
He bought this Jeep brand new in October of 1979. It's his first vehicle and he has no intentions of ever getting rid of it, regardless of price. Your point about the resale value is valid, but not in this particular situation. $2k won't even get a halfway decent paint job, much less bodywork.
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