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Iron Cross Customer JK and TJ Wrangler Bumpers now at ROCKZONE 4.25" combo lift for TJ available at Rockridge4wROCKRIDGE4WD Introduces a NEW Jeep Wrangler JK *led* tail

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Unread 01-30-2014, 12:00 AM   #1
XJ2CJ
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1981 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Ridgecrest, California
Posts: 164
CJ-7 Project

I have had an XJ for about 9 years and decided to move into the CJ line by buying a non-running CJ and then fixing it up the way that I want it. I ended up buying a 1981 CJ7 for about 1200.00 and have started removing the scrap that the PO though looked good (square tube bumper and such) and cleaning out the tub. My plan is to take it down to the frame, do an SOA conversion, swap in the engine and FI from my 96 XJ, find an NV3550 or AX15 or a good 4 speed auto and mate that to the Dana 300. I'm still undecided about keeping the stock axles or upgrading. I'm not planning on anything bigger than 33" tires, but I like the idea of FSJ D44 axles to pick up a little more side to side stability and not have to swap out the rear shafts for one piece units.

I'm also hoping to make it 4 wheel disc brakes and to put in a safari type roll cage as I'll have back seat passengers and the stock roll bar looks like it's there as decoration or to protect against low hanging branches.

At this point I'm looking for bumper ideas, automatic transmission suggestions, and wrangler springs for the SOA conversion

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Unread 01-30-2014, 01:23 AM   #2
dg6772
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1986 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Muskegon, Michigan
Posts: 1,701
Sounds like your on your way!! I have both a CJ7 and an XJ. I love them both. I don't think I'd be able to lose my XJ though. Its only slightly lifted with 31's,but here it's better for winter than my lifted CJ. Warmer too!

Depending on what your doing; the stock axles will take some abuse. My friends 83 CJ7 has had the stock d20 in it all along. It has stood up against the sbc350 and a built up sbc400 with only the solid axle conversion and disc brakes.

My 86 has 74 d30 and d44 with 4.10's and I have a sbc350 with 700R4 mated to my d300. I'm happy with it all around. Road manners are ok and light off-road trails are no big deal. I hope to try a little more aggressive trails this year,after I help a couple of friends get their jeeps back in operation.

Dave in Muskegon using JeepForum
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Unread 01-30-2014, 01:29 PM   #3
XJ2CJ
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1981 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Ridgecrest, California
Posts: 164
So after some cleaning and looking, I will soon be taking out and selling a 4.2L I6 and an SR4 transmission. I thought about building a stroker out of the 4.2 but right now I have other things to worry about.

On a side note, which automatic (4spd) or manual (5spd) would be best? Just trying to find out which one is best suited for 35" (or smaller) tires and the 4.0 I6 engine.
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Unread 02-01-2014, 07:20 PM   #4
XJ2CJ
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1981 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Ridgecrest, California
Posts: 164
Just peeled off the bogus rear corner covers and found the remnants of a Laredo paint job. That and the tilting steering column are good signs. On the other hand the rest of their paint job looks like they used house paint.
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Unread 03-30-2014, 01:33 PM   #5
XJ2CJ
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1981 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Ridgecrest, California
Posts: 164
Updates as to where it is at.

Drivetrain:
-Narrowed Chevy D44 Front
-Exploder 8.8 Rear (disc)
-4.10 Gears
-NP435 Transmission
-Dana 300 T-case

Engine
-5.0 V8 (1997 Explorer donor) GT40P heads

Suspension
-YJ Stock Leafs (used)
-Front Shackle Swap (MJ spring shackles in the rear hanger)

Tires
-33x10.5 MT's

Extra
-20g Fuel Tank

If I can get it sitting on the axles with the engine and transmission in place this year I will be very happy.

Updated this to show where it is going now. I'm pulling the exploder apart for the engine and hopefully will have the front axle ready to go under the frame about the same time that I get the 302 out of the explorer and start getting it ready for the CJ
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Unread 09-30-2014, 12:44 AM   #6
XJ2CJ
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1981 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Ridgecrest, California
Posts: 164
Recently picked up a Detroit locker and a 4.10 gear set and just need to get the shafts and rotors drilled for 5 on 5.5. Finished the front bumper and hopefully I'll have the rear bumper finished in a week or two.
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