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Unread 05-06-2013, 10:40 PM   #1
dsemar
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Dan's 1985 CJ7 Rebuild Project

Hi guys, I've been a troll here for a while now. I've been a closet Jeep Freak for years and it's finally time to come out of the closet and empty my wallet!

For years I've been waiting on the perfect deal to get me into a project CJ7. I had one when I was 16 and LOVED it! In a moment of wanting spending money I decided to sell it (for $500) and since then I've been kicking myself. So I've kept my eyes and ears open over the years, and every time I thought I had enough money saved up I would get serious on the hunt for a CJ. Then something or other would come up (Marriage, Kids, etc.) that would take that money away and leave me standing yet again.

Anyways, I FINALLY put together the money, and the moon was perfectly aligned with Jupiter and I found a deal I couldn't pass up on Craigslist!

I know all sorts of folks do their build threads on here, and I wanted to share my progress and create a forum where I could hopefully tap into some of the greater Jeep minds in the universe when I had issues I didn't know how to tackle up front.

So let's get to it. Pictures. I've got a photo set on Flickr, I'll see how well I can get them pasted in here so you can see what I'm looking at.



The interior was in decent shape, it actually has the Air Conditioning under-dash unit. Still needs the compressor and Accumulator, but those are easy once the A/C unit is already there.



The engine bay looks pretty good too. No major rust, no heavy oil deposits on anything. Looks to be fairly stock.....well, except for that Weber up there.




As far as the Hard Top goes, its not in horrible shape. It's got it's fair share of dings and gel coat cracks, but I've done Jet Ski hull repairs in the past, I'm not too intimidated by fixing a few cracks in a fiberglass top.



So far It seems I've scored a pretty nice find! Then we start looking into the rust. As we all know, Diamond plate is generally put on to hide rust. I knew that when buying, and was expecting it. So once I got it home and started pulling stuff off to do a more thorough inspection You can see what I found. I believe MOST of the rusting on this Jeep stemmed from the Windshield frame giving up the ghost first. You can see some of the rust around it.




Just below the windshield hinges you can see how the top cowl has been totally eaten through. I can see the foot pedals inside the cab through this gem of a cancerous tumor. The passenger side looks the same.





So next up, let's take a look under the moisture sucking, rust incubating carpet and see what we can find! Just as I expected! RUST! And lots of it!



So then I figured I'd better just go ahead and pull out EVERYTHING on the floor. Seats, carpets, etc. here's what I found.



As you can see, sadly the cancer isn't just on the floor pans, it's worked its way into the side panels too.





It's also up into the full door window frames. I don't know how I'm gonna fix those.



So first things first, I wanted to stop as much of the rusting in it's tracks as possible. On the passenger side, for the moment I've just taken a flapper disc and sanded away as much rust as it would allow me to do. During this process I discovered that someone like Bondo......LOTS of Bondo!



Additionally underneath all that bondo I found a tacked in patch panel that was a GREAT incubator for more RUST!



I didn't prime or paint any of it yet, because I'm not quite sure how I'm going to tackle this in the end. I'm thinking about the 4 piece floor tin set from Quadratec Along with the Classic Enterprises rocker panels. I already have the Omix top cowling and the Windshield frame that the guy I bought it from was so kind as to throw into the deal when I bought the Jeep.



On the Driver's side floorboard I started cutting. I wanted to get rid of as much rust as possible but still leave room to weld in new floor pans. Here's a few pics of the progress I made this afternoon.







As you can see, MOST of the major rusting has been contained in the rocker panels and front floorboards. There is one spot on the passenger side wheel well inside the cab and one spot under the hard top on the driver's side near the rear of the top also. But those I can probably just weld over once I hit good metal with a grinding wheel and wire brush.

All in all, I'm SUPER excited about the project in front of me, and it looks like my summer is going to be absolutely great with all the new things I'll be learning in this process.

So there it is, post #1. I'll be gone all this week in Vegas for work, but when I get back I hope to have the floor pans in and start fitting them for welding. Speaking of which, any advice on that? I've never done anything like it before.

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Unread 05-06-2013, 10:59 PM   #2
DYontheForum
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Your rust spots look a lot like mine, it must be the color we share that breeds rust.
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Unread 05-07-2013, 09:17 AM   #3
adrose211
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Subscribed! I'm interested to see how it goes. I feel like going out to lift my carpet up just to check now...
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Unread 05-07-2013, 09:21 AM   #4
Samabramson
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Subscribed as well. My passenger seat is wobbly and loose and i think it is because of my rusty floor pans.
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Unread 05-07-2013, 10:20 AM   #5
dsemar
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I wish the parts were here already and I didn't have to go to Vegas! I'd cut more out, but I'm waiting to find out how large these panels are exactly so I don't cut out too much material and have to figure out how to add more back in. Maybe everything will be here when I get home Monday and I'll be able to do more. Anyone have any recommendations on a good windshield glass gasket? Are they all the same? Is there one out there that is better than the others?
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Unread 05-07-2013, 11:17 AM   #6
Renegade82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DYontheForum View Post
Your rust spots look a lot like mine, it must be the color we share that breeds rust.
Heeyyyy... my rust was brown too. You may be on to something!

Boy you got your work cut out for you desmar. (pun intended) I say that from experience. Don't skimp on the floor panels. Buy the heavier ones and treat everything with some good rust preventative paint after the welding is done and the metal is etched.
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Unread 05-07-2013, 01:56 PM   #7
dsemar
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I'm buying the 18 gauge panels from Quadratec. They're made by a company called Key Parts. Here's a link.

http://www.quadratec.com/vendor/Key+...Inc./index.htm

I liked the fact that all the holes are already drilled in the panels which will make placing them in the right spots a LOT easier. I can just bolt the seat bolts through the panel and I'll know for sure it's lined up properly.

I saw where I could get the whole unit as a one piece but it wasn't pre-drilled or anything. I want this to line up as close to the original floor tins as possible, so I went with the individual ones instead.
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Unread 05-07-2013, 08:39 PM   #8
dsemar
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So while I'm sitting here in Vegas being eat up with the Jeep Bug, I was looking into some other things on the list of repairs to be made for this ole' 7. Currently I have the under dash A/C unit installed and the blower motor is wired and what not. It seems to be working as an air handler fairly well. What's needed though is all the under hood components. Compressor, drier, accumulator, mounting brackets, etc.

I've done some searching around and found www.jeepair.com and they seem to have EVERYTHING I need to make it all work again, but then I got to thinking. Does anyone else maybe have some of these needed parts taking up shelf space in their shops? Maybe they'd like to pass them on (for a fee on my part obviously) to put them back into circulation?

If so definitely shoot me a message and I'll be as prompt on my replies as I can be.
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Unread 05-07-2013, 08:57 PM   #9
DYontheForum
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I would highly recommend Classic Enterprises.
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Unread 05-07-2013, 08:59 PM   #10
DYontheForum
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renegade82 View Post
Heeyyyy... my rust was brown too. You may be on to something!

Boy you got your work cut out for you desmar. (pun intended) I say that from experience. Don't skimp on the floor panels. Buy the heavier ones and treat everything with some good rust preventative paint after the welding is done and the metal is etched.
Lol I was talking about the color of the jeep.
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Unread 05-08-2013, 08:33 AM   #11
Renegade82
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Originally Posted by DYontheForum View Post
Lol I was talking about the color of the jeep.
I know, just razzin' ya. I'm a wise azz by habit and I find it tough to let some things slide. It's all good.
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The end of a defining era.... JEEP R.I.P. 1941-1986
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Unread 05-08-2013, 08:37 AM   #12
Samabramson
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Did you by any chance have to replace your floor support brace underneath?
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Unread 05-08-2013, 11:00 AM   #13
dsemar
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As of right now I don't think I'm going to have to. I think it literally rusted from the top down and I caught it before it got into the supports.
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Unread 05-08-2013, 11:22 AM   #14
Renegade82
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Classic Enterprises sells the inner and outer supports as well as the transverse support and toeboards. They have almost all the parts and pieces for the Jeep.
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The end of a defining era.... JEEP R.I.P. 1941-1986
My frame off Re-Build: (still in progress....)
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f8/30...e-off-1280850/
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Unread 05-08-2013, 12:01 PM   #15
Samabramson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renegade82
Classic Enterprises sells the inner and outer supports as well as the transverse support and toeboards. They have almost all the parts and pieces for the Jeep.
Thank you, very complicated replacement i'm guessing?
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