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Unread 05-04-2010, 03:03 PM   #1
bigredisb
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1979 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 804
Bigredisb's 1979 CJ7 Build

First off I would like to say thanks for all the support from members of JF. I probably would not have the courage to perform this build if it weren't for the great info posted on JF. I thought I would add to the base of info just in case they help someone else out.

Anyway I bought a 1979 CJ7 with the 304 V-8, TH400 tranny, and quadratrac about a year ago. The Jeep already had a fiberglass 4wd Tub, fiberglass windsheild frame, and front fenders. The bad news was the body was thrown on top of the existing frame that had been used as a plow vehicle with repairs made. After the body was on the jeep was then parked in a back yard to marinate for the next 5 years. I new the frame was not that great so I wasnt surprised when it really started to crumble this spring. Over the last year I have been finishing the interior, cleaning up the new wiring harness that was thrown into it and fixing many things that have been overlooked for years. That being said I am posting my pics from the day I got it up to the latest frame swap I am performing.


Here she is the day I got her. It did run but really rough. The wife (who has never owned anything outside of warranty) thought I was completely crazy when I pulled into the driveway.



As you can see the interior was non existent with the entire dash being held in with 1 bolt. The first project was rattle canning the hood white as well as finding a new grille as the original was completely gone around the mount.



The next project was replacing the dash with a damaged stainless dash from morris. I think I paid 50 bucks for it and with a little work she was all straightened out.



I went with all new knobs, switches, indicators, and gauges. After I finished it up I noticed my oil pressure was extremely low (10 psi) so I put a flat face pressure tap from parker in and found out I am pulling 40 psi at idle hot. Even after matching the sending unit, gauge, and checking resistance of the wire it still reads inaccurate to this day (I believe its a crown part).


I wanted to keep my factory Levi seats but decided to put them in the attic and found a pair of used bestop seats with a yj fold and tumble rear seat for 50 bucks. I am slowly getting around to getting the seat covers to match.



The factory 304 V-8 was spewing oil through the valve covers rust holes so I actually had a excuse to add chrome valve covers. Compression was good but the engine had a mean miss to it all over the range of cylinders. I could not pin point which cylinder. The plug wire needed to be changed so I went with new belden extreme wires, a ford TFI adapter and cap, new MSD coil and still had the miss. The PO had a home made extension harness from the ignition module (mounted to my firewall) running to my pickup on the distributer. I was reading a Jeephammer post one night where he had mentioned to keep the pickup wires away from plug wires so I investigated. That was it! Well that and the speaker wire being used for wiring come to find out.


Later since compression is good I decided to add a edelbrock performer intake a and a 6AL MSD box I found on craigs list for 50 bucks. I ended up using a 600cfm edelbrock carb that was given to me because I will be eventually going to a 360 or a Cummins 4BT. My 304 runs good enough now that I am not in a rush to change it out for my current project. I also decided to change the water pump, heater core, hoses, radiator, and install a used electric fan I had laying around.





Now that I had that done I moved on to the trans. It shifted SUPER harsh into gear (even with brand new U joints and a good chain in my Quadratrac). So I pulled the modulator (the factory bent style) and noticed that the little lever was missing between the modulator and trans. I was lucky enough to find one in the Bucket O' parts that came with the jeep. Now it shifts much smoother in to gear as well as it downshifts now. The factory kick down switch and bracket were missing so I picked them up on ebay for 15 bucks.


Because my CJ is a older 4wd glass tub I don't have a tailgate. I just never liked the look of the non tailgate back end so I bought a clearance procomp rear bumper with a receiver in it to replace the factory style hitch. Again I paid 50 bucks for it and fabricated my own spare tire mount out of square tubing. It would have been easier to buy a complete swing out bumper but since I don't have a tailgate I wasn't going to spend the money.



I stumbled across a family style cage in great shape for 25 bucks on craigs list and snatched it up. Here you can see it installed but I have not installed the stringers up to the windshield yet. The cage dropped in perfect with no issues at all. I also started fabricating plates and tubes to tie it into the frame when I noticed that a ball peen hammer would sink anywhere in to my frame! On to that later.


For the suspension I noticed the usual worn tie rods, ball joints and so on. I decided to refresh my springs with new rough country 2.5 inch springs (they fit perfect with no issues and good shackle angle) as well as new pro comp es 1000 shocks as well as all new ball joints, wheel bearings, quick disconnect sway bar links, bushings, and tie rods. While I was doing that I stumbled acorss a set of factory aluminum slots on craigslist for 75 bucks and had my 32 inch MTR's mounted up on them. While this was going on I also noticed that the bad rattle in my front end that I had been chasing was my motor mounts were shot and the engine and trans slid back a inch or so.




More to come just need to give my fingers a rest!!

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1979 CJ7 aka "Christine" Build Thread: [url]http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f8/bigredisbs-1979-cj7-build-1025854/[/url]

2013 Rubicon Unlimited build thread:[url]http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f96/bigredisbs-jkur-build-1456541/#post14700472[/url]
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Unread 05-04-2010, 03:12 PM   #2
kickingprop
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1985 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 2,042
Careful with that bikini top, I have read the fiberglass windshield frames dont handle stress from those very well. Great looking rig though...Super Clean!
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1985 CJ7 Project
Phase One : 5.3L Vortec/4L60E, Moser axles for AMC20, Twin Stick'd Dana300 - Completed
Phase Two: Bedliner, Rollcage, Seats, BESRK Rear Bumper w/ tire swing, Soft Top, and a few other goodies - Mostly Complete
Phase Three: Waggy 44 front, Scout D44 Rear, 4.56's, ARB's (F/R) SOA with YJ Springs, 35x12.50x15 BFG MT - Not Even Close to beginning

Also a mostly rust-free 1970 Scout 800A That I'll get to start working on someday...

Quote:
Chrome won't get you home...BUT Rattle Can Black may just get you back"
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Unread 05-04-2010, 03:31 PM   #3
bigredisb
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1979 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 804
Since I found out just how rotten my frame was I decided recently (2 weeks ago) to swap the frame out on my jeep. Originally I had posted many times how I would only buy a TDK frame but with shipping included in the price I just didnt have enough in the ol slush fund to swing it. The other thing that I have always been told by my Dad is to figure a number up of what it will cost for the complete project and multiply by 3. With that being said I decided to go with a 84 CJ7 frame I found on CL for 100 bucks. Frame was in much better shape than mine and only had one soft spot near the rear crossmember that was rotted at all.




I decided to cut out and repair the rotted area even though I was going to add the Auto Rust repair sections to the back end of the frame with a new rear crossmember as well.


Here are a few shots of the auto rust repair sections installed and POR15'd. Overall I was not thrilled with the sections as they do not fit up that well and the retaining hardware that they weld in for the rear shackle hangers are what appear to be grade 2 hardware. After I got them fitted as good as possible I fully welded them in using one inch welds spread out to dissipate heat.





I also decided to cut out the top areas of the body mounts and plate them so that I can drill them to fit the fiberglass body style mounts.


I sand blasted, degreased, applied metal ready, and 2 coats of por15 to the frame. Overall I am super impressed with the POR. I know some guys have had some issues with it but since I sold my hardtop I dont ever drive it in the rain / mud. My wheeling consists of mild rockcrawling and cruising around our families private wheeling property that used to be a old quarry. So I dont believe moisture will be a huge issue in the future.



I have already started my assembly. I am basically swapping components over in a 2 car garage. Nothing fancy believe me. I started with the axles and suspension and come to find out my steering box mount was all rusted through. So I have installed new factory style ones (yeah I know I should have went with the good stuff!) and a steering brace as well as all new hangers and all grade 8 hardware.


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1979 CJ7 aka "Christine" Build Thread: [url]http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f8/bigredisbs-1979-cj7-build-1025854/[/url]

2013 Rubicon Unlimited build thread:[url]http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f96/bigredisbs-jkur-build-1456541/#post14700472[/url]
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Unread 05-04-2010, 03:34 PM   #4
bigredisb
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1979 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Wisconsin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kickingprop View Post
Careful with that bikini top, I have read the fiberglass windshield frames dont handle stress from those very well. Great looking rig though...Super Clean!
Its funny you say that. I was always nervous about it and thought that a soft top would also be really tough on it. Thats why I really wanted a family style cage so that I could add the stringers in for support. How does yours handle the soft top? With the new cage on mine I will have to be shopping for a new bikini. Thanks for the tip and comments!
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1979 CJ7 aka "Christine" Build Thread: [url]http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f8/bigredisbs-1979-cj7-build-1025854/[/url]

2013 Rubicon Unlimited build thread:[url]http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f96/bigredisbs-jkur-build-1456541/#post14700472[/url]
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Unread 05-04-2010, 03:47 PM   #5
bigredisb
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1979 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 804
I just got my tranny out the other night and it was PAIN!! Because I have no body mount spacing currently (its about a 1/8 inch piece of belting) the bellhousing is super tight to the doghouse of the tub. So about halfway through I decided to zip the body mounts out to lift her a bit and then finally got it out. I am not going though the tranny at this point because the fluid stays super clean, it shifts great, and no funny noises or excessive slop.


I am also adding stainless steel brake lines, stainless steel fuel supply lines, and all new hoses. The PO did it right as for the brakes and installed all new calipers, rotors, pads, actuators in the rear, new springs, drums, and shoes. I need to do some fine tuning on the lines to the rear for brakes at this point. I just have them hung on to see how and if they will fit.


Last night I decided to pull the fenders and paint the insides of them. I am not a fan of the natural fiberglass look so I went all out and washed them up good. Scuffed them a bit, degreased them and rolled on rustoleum gloss black. I think they turned out pretty good so far. Up next will be pulling the rest of the wiring off and yanking the 304. My plans are to install new valve seals, clean the block up and paint, as well as install all new frost plugs as mine are really rotten.


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1979 CJ7 aka "Christine" Build Thread: [url]http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f8/bigredisbs-1979-cj7-build-1025854/[/url]

2013 Rubicon Unlimited build thread:[url]http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f96/bigredisbs-jkur-build-1456541/#post14700472[/url]
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Unread 05-04-2010, 04:09 PM   #6
Jim1611
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1985 CJ7 
 
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Looks like things are coming along nicely. Really looks good. I see you have a glass tub. Anything you see wrong with it?
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Unread 05-04-2010, 04:20 PM   #7
bigredisb
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1979 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 804
Nope nothing wrong with it, the tub is still in great shape for being a older version. I noticed last night that the PO had a pair of body mounts (the middle mount) that were not even attached to the frame and I would have figured that would have added some additional stress. After looking around ?I dont have one crack in the gel coat anywhere. The only drawback to the glass is when I was trying to pull the tranny your arms really get to itching when your reaching in tough spots. I ordered the 4wd body mount kit specifically for my tub to make sure its done right this time.

I pulled the fuel tank late last night and was met by a shower of gas through pin holes of rust. The skid plate has quarter size holes all over it as well.
Question for you guys, should I put something in between the fuel tank and skid plate like a few strips of weather stripping? My tank had a plastic liner that the tank sat it like a bath tub and it was full of water. The PO had changed the tank prior to the 5 year outdoor storage but I was till surprised to see it rotted. Oh well 4wd.com here I come again!!
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1979 CJ7 aka "Christine" Build Thread: [url]http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f8/bigredisbs-1979-cj7-build-1025854/[/url]

2013 Rubicon Unlimited build thread:[url]http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f96/bigredisbs-jkur-build-1456541/#post14700472[/url]
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Unread 05-04-2010, 04:27 PM   #8
L12graffix
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1986 CJ7 
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Virginia
Posts: 118
Very nice build so far
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Unread 05-04-2010, 05:57 PM   #9
243
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1983 CJ7 
 
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Posts: 3,249
It looks great and now I have a great example of what my CJ will look like painted white with factory slots

I like your tow rig, my last was a red 01 QC 4x4 and a 99 QC 4x4 before that, loved the truck but could not feed it...

BTW PUF, you missed a plate
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Unread 05-04-2010, 06:38 PM   #10
coach_rose
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1986 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: N Texas
Posts: 76
I love your rims. I'm asking everyone I see with that style, where did you find them and what are they called? Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Great looking jeep, you have really done a nice job.
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Unread 05-04-2010, 06:57 PM   #11
JeepnBlake
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Did you groove the tires?
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Build Thread: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/j...thread-985907/
Dad's Build Thread: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/d...build-1474170/
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Unread 05-04-2010, 07:02 PM   #12
bigredisb
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1979 CJ7 
 
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Location: Wisconsin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coach_rose View Post
I love your rims. I'm asking everyone I see with that style, where did you find them and what are they called? Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Great looking jeep, you have really done a nice job.
I found my wheels by searching craigslist for "jeep parts". If you leave your searches more general it's much easier to find the stuff you want. I also see a lot of them called slot mags as well. If you have a iPhone with craigspro it saves searches for multiple cities at once.

243 I knew I would miss one! Thanks I will edit it later.
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1979 CJ7 aka "Christine" Build Thread: [url]http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f8/bigredisbs-1979-cj7-build-1025854/[/url]

2013 Rubicon Unlimited build thread:[url]http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f96/bigredisbs-jkur-build-1456541/#post14700472[/url]
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Unread 05-04-2010, 07:07 PM   #13
bigredisb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepnBlake View Post
Did you groove the tires?
They are grooved and came on the jeep that way. Some guys around here groove mud terrains for a better bite in the snow. They did a really good job because they balance with very little weight. I personally would not have cut them.
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1979 CJ7 aka "Christine" Build Thread: [url]http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f8/bigredisbs-1979-cj7-build-1025854/[/url]

2013 Rubicon Unlimited build thread:[url]http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f96/bigredisbs-jkur-build-1456541/#post14700472[/url]
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Unread 05-04-2010, 08:02 PM   #14
JeepnBlake
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They look good, i thought they were the new ones with kevlar for a minute.
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Build Thread: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/j...thread-985907/
Dad's Build Thread: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/d...build-1474170/
OEM Fog Light Connectors, Conversions, and Extension Info:http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f20/o...ngler-1008928/
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Unread 05-05-2010, 07:49 PM   #15
bigredisb
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I need a little help with a question. Should I install something between the new fuel tank and new skid plate? The old one had a plastic liner that appeared to hold water.

Where exactly is the liquid valve and roll over check valve supposed to be mounted? My cj has neither of them and I need to install them. I am assuming on the drivers side firewall near the charcoal canister right?

FYI for those of you that have or am planning on swapping a narrowtrac frame for a widetrac the trans crossmember is nowhere close to fitting. I guess I understand as they didn't have my trans and transfer case in the widetrac models.

Thanks for the help!
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1979 CJ7 aka "Christine" Build Thread: [url]http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f8/bigredisbs-1979-cj7-build-1025854/[/url]

2013 Rubicon Unlimited build thread:[url]http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f96/bigredisbs-jkur-build-1456541/#post14700472[/url]
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