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.