BUILD THREAD: Project "Ghetto Fabulous"
Well, here I go again. This is CJ7 #3 for me and here's the story behind it and the title of the build.
For the past 7 years I have worked in the "Ghetto" and have driven past this one house that had this CJ7 parked along side the house for probably longer than 7 years. I would pass this thing numerous times a day and always check to see if this fellow Jeeper has made any progress on it. It never changed, it sat in the same spot the entire time never to be worked on again....until last week when I drove by again and there was a 4 sale sign on the grill. I called that day and went to take a look at it.
It "is" a 76 frame with an 83 tub, a chevy 350/ muncie 4 speed/ dana 20, stock axles, P/S. P/B with a custom cage and lots of extra parts.The tub has two minor areas with surface rust, solid floors and windshield frame. The chassis/frame looks new and all of the body mounts are solid. The guy asked $700.00 so I jumped on it (I wanted to build a $crambler, but what the hell) :thumbsup:.
So not only did I get a great deal but the guy trailered it to my house and helped me unload it into my garage!! :
The Jeep sat in the desert heat for years, so after vacuuming the desert off of the floorbaords (and the black widows) I was pleasantly surprised to see their like new condition. Nothing more than surface rust that will easily come off with a wire wheel or media blast.
So this turned out to be a "fabulous" find in the "ghetto", hence the build title.
Here's some pics:
The plan is to build a wheeler that will see street use:
#1. dump the stock axles for Currie 9 inch housings front and rear with detroit lockers and discs all around.
#2. dump the stock suspension and lift shackles for a quality 4.5 inch lift.
#3. install tube fenders up front and TJ flares out back to clear 35's.
#4. install Vanco hydraboost brakes and a high pressure P/S system.
#5. strip the body and line the interior and underside. the body will be painted either orange or camo. I already have a token red jeep :laugh:
#6. install rock sliders and bumpers with a tire carrier
#7. install new wiring harness
#8. tear down the motor, trans and xfer case and freshen them up because they sat open in the desert for years, probably got scorpions living in them, or completely replace everything.
#9. custom exhaust
Now here comes the big decision, do I keep the 350/muncie/dana 20 or install my worked 304/th400/dana 20 that I also have from another Jeep and put Fuel Injection on it? I'm an AMC kinda guy and I like to keep my CJ's mostly AMC/Jeep when I can (everyone and their mother can run a chevy, but an AMC takes a little TLC).
This project will take me quite a while cause I'm in no rush, so please bare with me and I'll post updates and lots of photos.
If anyone has any suggestions feel free to let me know.
I may put blacked out rims with some bling bling chrome center caps to keep with the "Ghetto Fabulous" theme. Cause in the Ghetto camoflauge and chrome match.
I think we have the same roll bar. Can you take a picture of how the front 2 posts of the roll bar is bolted to the tub? Is there a plate under the tub as well? Thanks!
Are you sure about the frame and tub years? I'm pretty sure that from is a 1980 or newer b/c of the front shock towers. My frame is a 79 and mine were welded to the frame. Someone will know for sure but I think it was 80 or 81 before they went to the bolt on towers.
woah! sweet find! but Jeeps are a whole lot better with rust...:D
any story on the "all state" on the tailgate?
any story on the "all state" on the tailgate?[/QUOTE]
The guy told me the tub was swapped from an 83' that was apparently salvaged from a wreck. There were no blood stains in it when I got it so I didn't probe any deeper. :teehee:
Sweet find! That is an incredible deal and you have an excellent base to work from. Getting such a good deal like that helps you to be able to justify puttin a little extra money in there. I like the engine and transmission you got in there but i might consider swapping in a dana 300 xfer case if your gonna be tearin all that apart anyways.
2 n a half sets a fenders - wow - if yer dumpin the ranchos - let me know - need somethin for mock up on my current build
ya got a suweeeeeet deal - but oyu know that hahah
Serial number, not the complete VIN, on an 85 is stamped on top of the frame about the rear wheel passenger side.
Thanks for the pic's!
Disassembly day #1
I had a few hours to burn after doing the Saturday family things so I dove into disassembly.
I pulled off the windshield frame and brackets, the dash, steering and everything on the firewall inside and out. The only problem I ran into was a stuck TORX Bolt on the drivers side door hinge:mad:.
I found minor surface rust under the windshield brackets, everything else is solid. The wiring harness is hacked up and will be replaced with new. I did find some minor bondo spots, namely on the drivers rear corner. I reached up inside that rear corner and felt a small dent that I'll pound out. The right hood mount to the cowl is alittle recessed, also needs to be worked back into shape.
The dash looks like it just needs to be stripped and painted, but I think I'd like to start with a blank slate and aftermarket gauges, I'll have to do some research on that topic.
Everything that should be under the dash was there, heater box and ductwork etc... so I'll go through and check it all out.
I pulled the steeringwheel/column/shaft out as one unit.
I put everything in their own little piles with all the hardware so I can bag and tag them tomorrow (didn't have the bags on hand today). Next up will be the disassembly of the remaining tub accessories and tailgate...Oh yeah and the removal of that one stubborn TORX Bolt.
Here's some pics:
Bondo on left rear corner:
Rust under windshield brackets:
Driver side firewall:
Right hood bracket mount to cowl:
Right side firewall:
Driver floor pan:
Disassembly day #2
Had some time today again so I dove back in. I got out the stuck door hinge torx bolt by drilling out the center and hammering an allen wrench of near equal size into the center and unscrewing it. That left me with two more stuck Cage Torx bolts. One came out easy after a few days of lubing it. The other, well lets just say my grinder took care of it. All FN' Torx bolts will definately be replaced with hex head bolts on this project.
Anyway I pulled off the cage and stripped the rest of the tub. I unbolted the tub and checked the mounts again to find that they are solid all around. The floors under the cage mounting plates are solid too, just some minor surface rust.
I found a repair weld on the front right frame rail. Doesn't look bad, if I grind it down to smooth it out will it weaken it?
I took a deeper look at the left rear corner bondo spot and chiseled away at it. It is alot bigger than I thought but the metal underneath seems workable. looks like I'll learn some metal work on this one. The driver side kick panel under the door is the only place I found that is rusted through, about the size of a quarter.
The left rear wheel tub seems separated from the body panels at the seams in the damaged area so I'll have to work that out also and weld it back up.
I've been kicking it around and I think I'm gonna pull the 350/muncie/dana 20 and put in my 304/th400/dana20. I just don't want to shift in the 115 degree heat we get here during the summer, I like my amc's and my autos.
The 350 has an edelbrock performer intake, aluminum valve covers and what looks to be an HEI distributor. It's been sitting for some time out in the desert climate without exhaust manifolds and I can see the valves have just as much dirt inside as the motor has outside. It will need to be torn down and freshened up anyway, the muncie and the dana 20 look newly rebuilt but I haven't looked inside of them yet.
Here's some pics:
Driver kick panel rust through:
Left rear bondo #1;
Left rear bondo #2:
Front right frame rail repair weld:
Same body mount:
Left rear interior corner:
Left rear interior corner:
Now I gotta make some room in the garage so I can pull the tub.
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