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Ken4444 05-27-2010 08:23 PM

Ken's 1985 CJ7 refurbishment thread
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My intent is not to rebuild this CJ. I don't have the time, money, or patience for that. I want to drive my CJ.

But, like most CJs, this one needs work. While it generally looks OK and has a generally solid frame, it has some common problems.

Here's the thread I posted when I first found this Jeep. It has lots of photos and details:

Here's the thread I posted after buying her:

So, this thread will catalog the work I on this CJ. I will attempt to post photos to keep it interesting.

This will not be a frame off restore. My intent is to fix and refurbish things as I go along, slowly improving the looks, performance, and reliability. I hope for this CJ to be a 50% daily diriver.
EDIT 4/19/2011: I have included an index to the major work I've done on this Jeep. Here's the page with the index:
Ken B.


DCHCJ7 05-27-2010 08:53 PM

first thing i would do before anything else is drain all fluids and replace them,
gear oil in the diffs is gear oil (do not think it matters much unless you have a LS)
Gear oil in the Trans has to be GL4 i believe.
Engine oil up to you.

After that, have fun. I went though my CJ with a fine tooth comb and decided the paint was last.
I made a list then reorganized it in order of priority. For example The window defrost in mine does not work (flapper is stuck i think) but as it was 94 here today it was not that important unlike the AC , I wear business cloths to work, so AC on the way to work and top down on the way home.

What are you going to do on the floor?
I ran Herculiner (rolled it on) and it turned out great. Set of rubber mats in the front (i have a Tuffy Large box in the back) and it looks fantastic.

After that and after i fixed the years of neglect items like tie rod ends, i am down to the minor stuff like oil leaks and the steering box.
Took me 2 months and about 2k to do it. But i put a lift on it and new bumper front and rear and a new top. You have all of that so yours should be cheap as hell, that and your tub is in alot better shape than mine (have a new windshield frame on mine to)

Ken4444 05-27-2010 09:03 PM

929 Attachment(s)
So far I've had the Jeep 3 days. I've done some general cleaning inside and removed some of the wiring from the non-functioning car stereo. I removed the lights and wiring from the light bar and am still working to get one of the 4 screws out.

I have parts on order for the TeamRush. I also have oil and a filter. I'm also waiting for: shift knob with shift pattern, turn indicator lever, shims/clip to secure the shift lever to the transmission, shifer boot, rust converter, and a few other things. I have also lined up the necessary parts for a valve cover gasket replacement (gasket, RTV, and carb cleaner).

Tonight I finally had a couple of hours to get started on the chalky white paint finish. I have been washing and waxing cars since I was a kid and have been eager to see what I could do with this CJ.

I worked only on the hood. That seemed like a good place to start. The basic procedure was: wash with dish soap, scrub off large deposits, dry, claybar, speed glaze, cleaner, polish, and wax. I am partial to Meguiars products, since they have always worked well for me.

Here's what I started with:

I put my arm in the shot to give it some reference.

Here are the after shots, about 2 hours later:

Don't spend your money on Meguar's microfiber cloths. You can get a bag or 25 or 50 microfiber rags on Ebay for maybe 80% less than the name brand ones.

The results were good, but not night and day. I took the after photos in very dim light so perhaps it will shine more in the sun.

However, I am pleased with the results and hope to do the remainder tomorrow.

I think the completed job on the paint will give the Jeep an added head-turning dimension.

In other news, I got my first official Jeep Wave today. I was driving through an intersection and saw a red TJ waiting at the light. I waved at the driver and immediately got one back.

I have some rust converter and will start cleaning/treating the body rust spots. This clearly is a temporary measure until the body panels can be replaced or fixed at an unknown point in the future.

oh, I also replaced the wiper motor fuse, but only had a 15A, not a 20A. Add one more thing to buy :)

DCHCJ7 05-27-2010 09:07 PM

Looks nice....

Ken4444 05-27-2010 09:30 PM

929 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by DCHCJ7 (Post 9535657)
What are you going to do on the floor?
I ran Herculiner (rolled it on) and it turned out great. Set of rubber mats in the front (i have a Tuffy Large box in the back) and it looks fantastic.

My plan on the floor is to strip it down to the bare metal, POR-15 it, and repaint it with something that resembles the factory white. As far as the small rust holes, I'm not sure about the best way to handle those. I suppose that welding in new metal is the best method but that's out of my league at this point. I'm a big DIY'er and have no problem learning though. I did find a local guy who teaches welding classes.

Everyone seems to love the Herculiner route, and I can see the value there. but for some reason at this point I'm wanting just white metal with rubber floor mats.

The original interior appears to have had red. The back seat is red. The vinyl dashboard is red, but has a black coating over it. I can see these velcro-like things that were probably there to hold in place the original carpet. But the engine bay is all white so I suppose that was the original paint color.

The hood clearly has remnants of the original Renegade lettering, although this is so faint that I was not able to get a photo to depict this.

DCHCJ7 05-27-2010 10:26 PM

It would depend on the size of the rust holes. anything a dime or even up to a quarter in size, , wire wheel it and then use rust converter and then use some fiberglass filler to fill it. Either use an aluminum filler after that or just sand it down and use a lightweight filler to smooth it out. That will hold you for a number of years and should be fine.
For larger holes (i cut about 6" x 3" out of my passenger side rear quarter and a hole 8"x 4" by my from a pillar) i would cut the rust out and weld new metal in.

As for POR15, great stuff just remember it does not like sunlight, so you need a top coat, it will look nice with the white.

My interior was Tan. It is now black. Black front seats, black dyed rear seat and the crash pad is in the trash, I left mine off and i think they look ugly, and the CJ looks so much better without it.
I just put a black wiper motor cover on.

Skerr 05-27-2010 11:43 PM

Yahoo! Another thread. Your refinishing pics are going to be useful. Thanks for posting them. :thumbsup: Uh... what is a claybar?

Badshot 05-28-2010 12:35 AM

Got the same year model, but it don't look near as good as that. I like the white.

rixcj 05-28-2010 05:16 AM


Originally Posted by Skerr (Post 9536402)
Yahoo! Another thread. Your refinishing pics are going to be useful. Thanks for posting them. :thumbsup: Uh... what is a claybar?

Z-18 ClayBar: Zaino Store


neals80 05-28-2010 05:41 AM

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I have rep'ed Meguiars products for 30 years in the marine & Industrial and aviation markets and it is nice to see others use and like the product..The only filler I use on small repairs or medium for that matter is a waterproof filler like USC's duraglass or pro-glass..a ton better than regular fillers and lasts forever, very nice looking jeep...

PS meguiars makes some of the best clay bars and just use with the detailer and you get great results...

here is my 80 after a Meguiars do over, I was in the woods all day and you could not see out the windsheilds..

keith460 05-28-2010 06:02 AM


Originally Posted by neals80 (Post 9536829)
here is my 80 after a Meguiars do over, I was in the woods all day and you could not see out the windsheilds..

Looks like you could use a new cowl gasket for the windshield frame.

jbanyas 05-28-2010 07:33 AM

The Jeep will look good. Keep it up. The best way to learn how to weld is to start welding.

sgtbookie 05-28-2010 08:12 AM

Ken your Jeep looks great. Nothing like a white CJ. TeamRush was an amazing change on my 82, one of those things I wish i would have done day one. Another thing to research is the MC 2100 carb. The combo of the TR and MC2100 really wakes up the 258, and lets you remove a few miles of vaccum lines from the engine bay.

Skerr 05-28-2010 08:12 AM


Originally Posted by rixcj (Post 9536791)

Thanks :thumbsup:

JoonHoss 05-28-2010 09:01 AM

Good start right there... as I mentioned in your other post, a little elbow grase (along with meguiars) can go along way.

I also used the rust converter, and had a local paint shop mix me a quart of single stage paint for touch up BEFORE I rubbed everything out. touch up all the rust/chip spots first, then go to town. no one will mistake it for a new paint job up close, but it REALLY cleans up the overall look. it was amazing how much of a difference that little extra step makes overall.

keep it up!:thumbsup:


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