Hey ... I've got a '78 CJ and have done only minor repairs (replaced a brake line and brakes, the alternator, etc.). It has severe frame rust just behind the rear wheels -- I'm not even sure it can be patched, so I might need a whole new frame. I was considering having a shop add a lift while replacing the frame. I'd appreciate any advice you have for a newbie ... what do I need for just a few inches of lift? And will it have to be a combo of different types, like suspension lift plus body lift? Is it really a good idea to have both jobs done at the same time? Thanks!
It all depends on what you want. You can get 2.5" and 4" kits for about $300-$350 on up. I would personally go for a 2.5" kit but that is my opinion. It all depends on what kind of ride you want as well as what size tires. Good luck.
The bottom line is that everything will be off of your Jeep, so why re-attach something you will replace anyway. This is the time for a body lift, although I'm not a fan - one inch would be good though.
A lot of us on this board like to do stuff ourselves, and a mild lift on a CJ is about the easiest thing to do, but again, why put your old springs on the new frame just to drive it home and swap new ones in. Do as much as you can afford while putting the jeep back together from the frame swap.
__________________ '82 Scrambler - NV4500/4.5" lift/33" Toyo MTs/4.0/twin stick, and my windshield washers work! Full 1/2 cab Cage
2004 Grand Limited 4.7 HO - OH Boy!
2010 Grand Laredo 5.7 Hemi - SICK - work vehicle -gone - replaced by an 08 Tahoe - nice ride.
"Both my Doberman and my Jeep can accurately be described as 'black and rust.'"
"I got a fever . . . and the only prescription is more cowbell"
Why don't you give the frame swap a shot. Its really not that hard, I went into a full frame up restoration without knowing how to do a tune up. All you really have to do is remember how to put something togeter. The reason it is taking me so long is becuase I took every bolt apart, and replaced everything that was even a little bit worn. If you end up doing it yourself and have a problem you could email me or post on the board. Who knows how much a shop would charge to change a frame I would thing maybe the $600-700 range(I think), and think about all the stuff you could do with that money you don't spend on labor. Also the nice thing about doing all that work, is that you truly understand how your Jeep works, and how everything goes together so if you need to fix something it will be a snap. Here is what I would reccomend doing.
1. put axles on new frame and old Jeep on blocks
2. put engine/trann/tcase/d-shafts on new frame without disturbing the wiring
3. lift body off old frame and put it on new.
There is a bunch of other stuff you need to do inbetween, but that is the general order I would do things if you decide to take that route.
I hope some of this will help you make a desicion, and if you need anymore info on anything just send me a email and I will do whatever I can to help you out.
BTW is not what you buy, its what you build!
Found a 85 CJ7 tub in good shape with
minimal rust. The resto continues....
Thanks, everybody, for the advice. It seemed like heresy to mention taking the Jeep to a shop, but I'm still getting started with working on a vehicle. In terms of tires, I'd be fine with 33s, with just a little bit of Jeep height and better clearance. I do think the denim Levis seats are cool -- does anyone know whether those were stock in many models?
this is just an idea but you might want to try a 1" body lift along with an add-a-leaf to get the needed height.
'84 CJ-7 Junkyard TBI 360/T18/D300, 4" 4WDH Lift, D44 front with ARB and HS/D44 Rear w/ Detroit, 4.56s, 36" Iroks, TFI, TJ flares, Homemade rocker guards and bumpers with swing out, Optima Yellow Top, M8000, York OBA, 6pt cage
"when you're up to your *** in alligators, it is hard to remember that your original intention is to drain the swamp"