Build Thread for my '84 CJ
Part I, the purchase.
So I got my first Jeep in high school, I wanted a CJ then but couldn’t find one. Ended up with a 94 YJ, that I kept all of high school and most of college. I had to part with her my Senior year because I couldn’t afford to keep up the maintenance. It was a sad day when I sold her and I still think about her from time to time (ha ha). So fast forward 5 years to last Summer when I got bit by the Jeep bug again. I looked around for months, everything I looked at was either too rusty to recognize as a jeep, not operational, too expensive, or just had way too much wrong with it to deal with. I gotta say that all of my Jeep buddies, while egging me on, were mostly trying to get me to get anything other than a CJ. They warned and admonished, but I was freeking hard headed and didn’t listen.
Early October of 2007, a friend sends me a craigslist add….
“1984 CJ7, runs great, not too much rust, leaky power steering box, paint chipping off of the diamond plate,etc. $2500.00”
So I go look at it, managed to talk the guy down to $2000 and bought it. This is what she looked like when I picked her up……
So here you can see all the paint flaking off the diamond plate, you think that’s bad? Wait till you see what’s underneath!
Notice here the brand new best top seats he had just installed, one of the many reasons I ended up buying this one. Stupid reason I know, but it helped me justify it to the wife.
Now for the engine shots, Clifford 6:8 aluminum valve cover, Holley carb, K&N air filter, all on the original 250 IL 6….
Filled her up with power steering fluid and drive the CJ home, ran great the entire way. All of my buddies come over to take a look and seem to think it was a good deal. The next couple weeks spent getting her ready for emissions inspection. Here in Virginia only certain counties have to pass emissions, Spotsylvania county where I purchased the Jeep doesn’t, but Fairfax county where I live does. The previous owner had installed a Holley carb some years ago, and when he did that he didn’t hook up the emissions stuff to it again, as a matter of fact the emissions stuff was almost completely gone. After calling around to locate a charcoal canister and other parts and diagrams we got her emissions complaint. Took her up and passed the test so I could title and tag her.
Part II, the deconstruction.
Here is the part you have all been waiting for but I am afraid I don’t have much time left today. For now I will leave you with a preview of what was beneath the diamond plate……
Mine looked the same way after I took the diamond plate off. The only difference was that the PO/Idiot decided to cover it fiber mesh tape and some sheetrock mud. Thats right I said sheet rock mud!!!!!!!!! Have fun with the body repairs:2thumbsup:
Thats pretty solid minus the parts behind that diamond plate.
How are you going to go about fixing it? Remove the rust and re diamond plate or fix it all the way?
Nice find Eric.
So you got this 8 months ago, something tells me you've been busy and we're in for a treat. :2thumbsup:
Look forward to watching this thread!
Welcome to the forums.
Where in Fx Co? I left out of Clifton in 96 for NC and grew up in Vienna / Oakton area.
Welcome to the forum. Looks like you have a pretty good starting point. Sorry you have some body rot, but at least you got a proper Jeep.:D Goodluck with your Jeep.
So on to part II……
This is the part where my friends and I found out that the phrase “not too much rust” can be interpreted several ways. I could bore you with a long and drawn out play by play but I’d rather show the pictures. Keep in mind this happened over the course of several weeks and I am fast forwarding this a bit to get to the really interesting part, where I am right now—right smack dab in the middle of re construction.
Lets start with the tub, I already gave you a preview of where some of the diamond plate came off but not the rest. The driver's side floor pan had been replaced with really shoddy, thin sheet metal, that was pop riveted on. Not only was the metal rotted in large spots but so were most of the places on the tub where it was attached. This was also the case for the drivers side rear clip, when you shut the driver’s door the entire side of the tub would shutter because it was so flimsy. Bottom line, after we took a hard look at this tub we determined that it would need replaced.
Driver’s floor pan
Passenger floor pan, this doesn’t look bad at all in the photo but trust me it wasn’t in great shape. I dropped a socket wrench and it fell through and took a good sized piece of metal with it. Of course I neglected to get a picture of that but anyways you get the idea.
Here are some shots where the roll bar connected to the tub, hard to tell from the pictures but it was so rotted out you could pull off chunks with your fingers.
Here is that driver’s side clip I was talking about, went to take the corner guard off and it came off as well!
Another good shot, notice here the crack in the corner of the wheel well. There were a ton of spots like this on the tub, where the surrounding area looked ok but the seams were done for.
AHHHH!!! An up close look through where some of the side diamond plate was located, see the seatbelt?
The CJ after several week’s worth of deconstruction work, notice even some spots on the firewall almost rusted through, tagging/bagging parts and taking pictures the whole time.
Here is some video of us attempting to pull the tub off and put it on a trailer, success only after trying 3 times, we kept getting hung up. Click to view, attempt # 2 is kind of funny.
Attempt # 2
Now down to the frame
3 total completely rotted body mounts, one of which is pictured here
Rear cross member completely rotted on both sides where it attached to the frame but ok in the middle
That’s it for now, I am still organizing pictures since we now have the frame painted I will get those in soon.
I live in Centreville, I did the reverse of you, grew up in SC and migrated north becuase this is where the jobs are. Thanks for the welcome Fatman, I havent posted here much but have been a lurker for quite a while, you got a darn good build thread yourself.
Part III, the reconstruction
I am still fast forwarding this a little bit in order to get to where I am now so bear with me.
New parts!! Early on, my friends and I had a ton of discussions about the axles. Should I keep the 20/30 combo that came stock on the Jeep? Should I go with a different set up? Took a hard look at the axles….they were pretty rusted, had a few leaks, and just generally needed a lot of work. The other draw back was that for serious playing in the woods I needed to replace the 2 piece axle shaft in the rear to the one piece, and swap out the 2.73 gears for something more heavy duty. Looked into it and didn’t like what I found out about cost/setup. About the time we were looking into all of this my buddy Adam saw a post from a guy who was selling a gear matched set of axles off of his wrecked Jeep. Dana 44 front/Ford 9” Rear, 4.11 gears, professionally set up, heavy duty steering set up, lock right locker in the rear, etc…..$800. Hopped on it, went and picked them up out in West Va….about 4 hours away.
We get the axles back to the garage and then we realize, uhh ohhh full size axles….. hmmmmm extra weight? Might need a new transmission/transfer case combo, I know….excuses excuses!! After looking into quite a few, we went with the GM SM465/NP205 combo. I looked around here in VA for several weeks but couldn’t touch them for less than $600-$700, so I looked to eBay. Got the combo off of a guy in Massachusetts for $140!!!! Fortunately for me, my wife has family up there very near where we had to go get the parts, so I didn’t get into too much trouble.
Here is a shot of the tranny and t-case in the bed of my pickup the Day I picked it up.
The nice thing about this combo is that Novak Adaptors makes a great kit that mates it right up to the 258, or any other AMC engine for that matter.
Here is a shot of the new bell housing that came with the Novak Kit.
Fast forward a few weeks and here is the transmission cleaned up, with all new seals, and the adaptor kit attached.
Up high with my gigantor pile of axles and parts we haven’t worked on yet in the back ground….pardon my messy garage!
Finally, a shot of the NP205 Transfer case with the twin stick kit from JKW off road installed
At this point all we have to do is mate the tranny/tcase back together and paint them up, haven’t had much time to mess with them because we have been putting a ton of effort into the frame.
Speaking of the frame, earlier I posted a few pictures of it…it was in fairly good shape for almost 30 years old! I had to cut off three bad body mounts, and the rear cross member and weld on new. We spent days with a wire wheel, pressure washer, scrub brush, etc cleaning it up and prepping it for paint. We coated it with POR-15 inside and out. One note about POR-15 if you have never used it, follow the directions and wear gloves, it doesn’t come off! We coated the frame weeks ago and I still have specks of it all over my arms.
Here is shot of the frame pre-paint but with all the new stuff attached.
Originally I was just going to paint the frame with POR-15 and coat it with chassis black…but all of my friends who have been helping me these past months gave me a bunch of crap about it. “Your supposed to paint the frame a different color man, so people can see how much work you put into it, didn’t you know?” Well I didn’t, but I was informed. So I settled on yellow, don’t ask me why I thought it would look cool.
Here is what it looked like when I started….
I got almost the entire frame coated and looking good, then my engine came back. The guys at the shop painted it old Ford Blue, which according to them was used on AMC trucks in the 70’s. I am not sure if it was, always thought AMC used a lighter blue, but it looked great so I didn’t complain. Anyways….of course the frame and the engine didn’t match. Enter my friends on Wednesday night (always the night to gather and work on Jeeps) who proceed to give me a bunch of crap until I change the color!!
Here are some shots of the frame with the new paint.
Another with me in the background…
I still have to paint the other side, and second coat this one but I think it looks pretty good! You can see in this shot one of the new Ford shock towers I welded on, supposed to get me more flex on the trail—we’ll see.
Well folks, that’s about it for now. More to come in the following weeks!
Looking good. You should post some pictures of any really fat guys that have assisted. Not that I know you, or any of your fat friends...
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