Doing frame off restoration and would like opinions.
Let me start by saying that I am finally doing what I have wanted to do for about 20 years. I am doing a frame off restoration of my very first car from when I was 16. I bought a 77 CJ7 as a teenager from my buddy's dad and loved it. About 5 years later I decided to get married and the CJ was no longer practical so I was forced to sell it to a friend. We agreed that i would have first right to buy it back if he ever sold it. 15 years later, he finally gave in to my requests and my wife bought it back for me as a birthday present. So here I go trying to do something I have always wanted to do.
I have the body off and all metal is at the body shop getting welded and painted. Seats are re-upholstered and waiting.
I have consulted with OK 4WD and they helped me with my parts for the restoration. They were absolutely great to deal with and I have most of what I need sitting here in boxes.
HERE is my situation that I would like some opinions on.
My 258 was rebuilt about 5,000 miles ago. The cylinders were bored over size, installed a Competition Cam, Offenhauser Alum Intake with Holley 390CFM 4 BBL Carb. I also have Hedman Hedders (Dual Port) running dual exhaust.
I have a T18 trans with a Dana 20 TCase and AMC 20 rear end with 3:73 gears.
I plan to install the twin stick on the Dana 20 from Novak Conversions. I will also install the AGR Higher Ratio Steering Box and I also have the York Onboard Air system ready to install as well. I also have the YJ Power Brake Booster ready to go. I will install the 2.5" Old Man EMU suspension/lift and YJ Springs.
My goal is NOT to build a Rock Crawler. I just like to hunt/fish/trail ride and get back in the mountains and deserts. I want a set up with decent power and still a stump puller. I also want it built solid with quality upgrades. Not a daily driver either.
I am about to start painting the frame and working my way up (finally) instead of down.
Is there anything that you can see in my set-up/parts that may be a problem? I don't mean minor installation issues. I guess what I am looking for is an opinion as to the direction I am going. Like I said, I have already purchased all this stuff and can't afford to start all over. But if you think that there is something I have that could be problematic, please let me know. I will not get offended.
I'd go with PSC for the steering vs. AGR, mount it to the frame with a heavy duty steering box mount & steering brace, and run a Borgeson or Flaming River steering shaft. Everyone 'in the know' uses PSC nowadays...the guy who owns it is the original owner of AGR. When he sold AGR, the quality went down in favor of mass production/profit, so once his non-compete expired he started PSC. Are you planning on 1-piece shafts for the AMC 20 rear (if not, you should)? Good luck with the build and take pics & start a build thread.
'86 CJ-7 Laredo: 4.2,T-999,D300,D30/D44,'94 YJ tub, full cage, Shrockworks rockers, OYR corners, AC,cruise,restored seats,3 tops,2.5" Superlift,F-T shackle reversal, RS9000x's,35" Dunlop Mud Rovers.
'83 Scrambler: time & money pit under construction with parts from CJ's,YJ's,TJ's,FSJ's,GM,Ford,IH,Honda,Toyota and a whole lotta aftermarket & custom stuff. http://www.jeepskate.net
Jeepskate - Thanks. I actually do have the PSC steering and not the AGR like I thought. It was late when I posted this thread. I also have the heavy duty mount bracket, modified pitman arm and heavy duty rods. I do need a new steering shaft because the 33 year old stock one looks so whimpy next to all the other heavy duty stuff. Not to mention it feels worn out and sloppy.
Southshore - I have heard great things from D300 owners with their twin sticks. This is the only part of my upgrade that I have not purchased yet so I could save the money here. I just thought since I am down to the frame now, this would be the time to do it. I probably will not be a Moab Crawler type of guy, but it looks like a cool concept and my original TCase shift lever was cut short to fit my old A/C (which i have now thrown away). I need a new lever anyway.
Only in a Jeep CJ - Thanks for the brake pedal suggestion. I will pick one up. I had no idea that this could be a problem. I am worried about the master cylinder clearing the intake and air cleaner on the Holley carb. If it doesn't clear, I may be selling a brand new power brake booster and going back to manual brakes.
I will upgrade to a JeepForum membership that allows me to post pics. I am sure that I will have some questions for you guys with this experience. Sorry to sound like an excited little kid, but I guess I have just went back to my teens with this project!
Don't throw anything away. The 76-77 CJ's are unique in a few ways from the 78-86 models, and not all parts are readily available on the aftermarket. Meaning you will have to 'modify, modify, modify'. Two examples are heaters and gas tanks/hoses.
With 3.54 gears, and your desire for some 'stump pullin', I wouldn't go beyond a 32" tire. You normally won't be spending a lot of time in that T18's 'granny gear', but rather using it as a 3spd.
1-piece axles for the AMC 20 are a must, IMO. You can spend a heck of a lot of money on a 30/20 combo, so don't let the MAWs run your bill up.
Unless you plan a rebuild of the Tcase, I wouldn't put the TwinStik kit in. If you're doing a rebuild, then MAW put in the TeraLow kit with it.
The 'quality upgrade' statement, can really run your bill up. I would save some money for a decent rollcage, bumpers, and winch.
I would ad the steering flip kit from OK 4WD instead of the drop pitman arm. I bought my kit from them and it is of good quality. I would also recommend a front shackle flip and use Currie boomerang shackles. Use some F250 front shock mounts and you can run much longer front shocks for a better ride and more travel.
I'm with everyone else about the twin stick as it's not needed. I would also recommend a HD steering box brace if you go with larger tires.
Thanks guys for the advice. This is the kind of stuff I was hoping for. I need to look at my entire shipment list from OK4WD. Jim at OK was very helpful when I made this order last year. He sold me the PSC steering box (not the AGR like I thought) and the HD bracket and tie rods. Honestly, a lot of the stuff that you guys may recommend may be in boxes in my garage already. My apologies for no knowing everything that I have, but it has been a while since I ordered it.
You guys are right about the twin stick. I have considered doing the rebuild of the tranny and tcase even though they seem pretty solid still. For what I will be doing, the standard single lever will probably be fine. I have watched enough YouTube videos of the hardcore guys banging their machines up and rolling them down hills. I think that is cool stuff, but I would die if I hammered my machine up like that. So trails and mild stuff for me.
I want to replace my stock leaky valve cover with an aluminum on that looks better and seals better. I like the Clifford one. I have also noticed many others in 4WD Catalog that look similar, BUT they are all for 81 and newer in line 6 cylinders that had an original plastic valve cover. Do the bolt holes not line up?? Why would these not work on my 77 year 258? I just know I do not like the stock one that I have been with forever.
I believe the valve cover will not fit because you need to drill and tap your head for rocker bridges and then install them to make it work. I guess it's no big deal if you take your time and do it right.
Black954 - THanks for the info on the valve cover. I guess that the Clifford valve cover may be my only option then. It looks like they sell one that is supposed to fit my 1977 258. My stock one doesn't leak right now. I guess I have just always hated how it looks after discovering the bold squared off look of that aluminum Clifford one.
Another question: I took the time to label everything on my wiring harness and I removed it very carefully. I see that the Painless harness is about $550. The 1977 seems pretty simple on electronics. Is there another brand that I can buy that is still good quality. I would think that I could use my old labeled harness to clear up any confusion that instructions would not describe, right? Anyone know of another good harness for less money?
joetlc.com has a 14 circuit harness for $199, and Jegs sells the painless harness for $383. As long as your harness is in decent shape, I would only replace the questionable wires and the loom cover and save yourself $150 or so. The painless harnesses are very very nice, but on a jeep with carburation, the harness is so basic, it hardly seems worth the $$$$$