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Introducing MONSTALINER™ UV Permanent DIY Roll On Bed Line~Artec JK 1 TON SWAP~Advance Adapters SYE Kits

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Unread 12-10-2013, 07:35 PM   #1591
Ken4444
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Front repair

I finally dropped the CJ off at Offroad Unlimited today. As always, it was a fun place to visit. As soon as some of the mechanics saw the CJ, they walked out front and were discussing the possibilities about repairing it.

Tom, the owner, is full of stories and talked my ears off. The best story was about the Toyota Tacoma with a 6" lift and 35" tires. It was owned by a teenage kid whose dad owned a gas station, apparently. The lift was installed at the end of the week. When the shop opened the following week, the Toyota was parked out front with the front wheels completely off kilter. After pondering the possibility that there was some human error with the lift install, the teenage kid revealed that he had jumped the truck very enthusiastically, and very hard. All of the lift kit brackets were slightly bent. I'm assuming the owner had to pay for a new lift, but I didn't ask.

In the the back of the shop I saw a good batch of projects in progress. They were working on everything from really old Jeeps to a Hummer H2 with about 16" of lift and 49" tires to a new pickup.

The H2 owner happened to be there and he was more than happy to talk and talk about the H2. He was very proud of it and was telling me about the ongoing work. He was very friendly and didn't seem like the kind of guy who'd drop $60K on a project like this. He wasn't married.

Here are a few cell phone pics:

offroad-unlimited-hummer-h2-1.jpg

offroad-unlimited-hummer-h2-2.jpg

offroad-unlimited-jeep-cj-1.jpg

offroad-unlimited-jeep-cj-2.jpg

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Unread 12-10-2013, 09:01 PM   #1592
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Great pics Ken. I'll have to check that shop out. Good luck with the repair.
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TAMC85 CJ7
Still Original: Tub, Rollbar; Frame; 258 Block; T176; DANA300; Steering; DANA30; AMC20; Drive Shafts; Wheels; Tank; Altenator; Fan; Frt Bumper; Speedo; Heater Box; Spare Carrier; Seat risers
Replaced: Radiator; Valve Cover; Clutch linkage; Taillights; Frt Brake Calipers; Fuel, Tmp, and Oil Pressure Gauges; Exhaust line; Seat Belts; Paint
Mods: Mopar MPI(in progress); 4.0 Al Cylinder Head; OME YJ Suspension; MC Seats; Tub liner; 31" Tires
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Unread 12-10-2013, 09:12 PM   #1593
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Sorry to hear about your fender bender Ken. Glad everyone is safe and sound.
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Unread 12-11-2013, 05:54 PM   #1594
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Ken, sorry to hear you were out playing bumper cars last month.

When I was driving Dodges, big 4x4 diesels with unbelievable issues from one end to the other, adding injectors and black boxes and turbos and such, all the while fearing the fight with dealerships concerning warranties...a quote became quite common.

We are, our own warranty station...

Other than straightening the frame, I bet you can do it better, faster and cheaper than any shop.
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Unread 01-06-2014, 11:17 AM   #1595
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Happy new year and a belated Merry Christmas to everyone! I took 2 weeks off for Christmas and was out of town for most of that, so the CJ was on the back burner.

The frame damage is repaired. Offroad Unlimited banged the bent frame end back into position and made a short weld between the frame and front crossmember. It's 99% back to normal. The bent bumper was also fixed by dropping it on the concrete floor: apparently the bumper popped back into its original shape after hitting the concrete, so they reinstalled it.

One of the J hooks I had installed in the front was damaged and not viable to repair. For Christmas I got a set of "D" rings and mounting blocks for those. I ordered some grade 8 hardware to get them mounted.

I ordered a new Jeep Front Frame Cover (AMC part number J5762341). Who knew you could buy these?



The old one was banged up and faded from years of neglect. For $40 I figured I'd try a new one.

I ordered a new brass radiator from RadiatorExpress.com.

After I get the radiator installed, I will order a new 2.5" Softride lift and try to get that installed before the warm weather moves back to Houston in March.
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Unread 01-11-2014, 05:51 PM   #1596
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New radiator install - Solving the mystery of the 433063 radiator

After ending up with a plastic and aluminum radiator locally last year, and returning it (see this post in my thread) I was hesitant to buy another one that wasn't local. However I had a difficult time sourcing one that was reasonably priced and had a good guarantee and seemed to have a decent chance of fitting correctly.

Finally I bit the bullet and got one from RadiatorExpress.com. They don't seem to use model numbers up front, but this is the item I purchased:
1985 JEEP CJ7 - 4.2 liter L6 RADIATOR Copper/Brass Stock w/ Filler on Driver Side
Their FAQ section is informative and has one entry that essentially says your radiator will ship from one of several different places (companies).

The good news is that the thing showed up only a couple of days after I ordered it. It was made in Mexico by a place called Thermal Solutions Manufacturing. I'm not sure if you can buy direct from them or not, but when you browse their online catalog, at least some of the images are stamped with the "VistaPro" watermark which is the same radiator brand you see all of the auto parts stores selling. So it gives me the feeling that just like with most other auto parts, there is one company making the part and it's sold through all kinds of retailers and middlemen, each marking up the price.

The radiator seemed to be a very good replacement for the old one. It's made of brass and cooper. It was about as heavy and the mounting holes lined up perfectly, with the long distance between the hole centers about 26 and 3/8". This is the standard 2 row radiator. Interestingly, the new one has 60 tubes and the old one has 52. I don't know if this means it will cool more efficiently or not, but my old one never had trouble cooling as long as the system had enough water in it.

The face of the new radiator was may be 1/8" closer to the engine fan, but this did not appear to be a problem. I could have tilted the grille forward slightly if needed to gain more clearance, I think, but this wasn't needed.

The new radiator came with 2 brass adapters to (I think) allow the connection of a different size line to the transmission cooler fittings. I of course won't need those.

Installing a new radiator in a CJ is pretty simple and there's not much interesting to photograph. So these images all focus on the details of the new radiator.

The radiator shipped in a box with the below label. If you google that part number (433063) and "radiator", you will see the part number sold all over the place, sometimes for much cheaper than what Radiator Express is charging. Here's one example:

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/pli-433063

I went back and checked and that's the same part number I ordered locally (last year) when the wrong radiator was in the box. (see link at the top of this post)



This label was also on the box:



Old and new, side by side:





Here you see the mounting holes lined up perfectly compared to the old one:





This metal tag was imbedded in the cores. You will note that it's the same part number that's on the box, and the same part number used everywhere for this radiator:



The radiator came with a plastic cap installed, probably to keep stuff from getting into the inside:



My fan shroud was cracked near the lower driver's side mounting hole. It was like that form the PO. I mended it with a nylon tie:



The actual install procedure is pretty easy:
  1. Drain coolant
  2. Disconnect lower hose
  3. Disconnecet upper hose, and swing out of the way
  4. Disconnect overflow hose
  5. Remove the 4 mounting bolts that hold the shroud and radiator to the grille.
  6. Push the shroud back toward the engine to get it out of the way
  7. Lift out radiator. More coolant will likely spill out.
  8. Installation is the reverse of removal.

Always use distilled water, not tap water. Don't waste your money buying 50/50 "pre-mixed" coolant because you're wasting your money when distilled water is only a dollar a gallon.

SO, the bottom line on this 433063 radiator is that it's a great replacement for my old one. I think it would work fine in any late model CJ with the 258 as long as your radiator cap is in the same place.

You need not buy 433063 from Radiator Express, although I had no problems with their service. You can buy 433063 from any number of vendors.

So, that's a big item off my to-do list. No more weekly coolant refills for me.
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Unread 01-11-2014, 06:06 PM   #1597
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Frame cover and D ring install

Like the radiator install, the plastic frame cover and D ring installs don't lend themselves to photos showing how the work is done. Instead, the photos show you the details of the parts (or part, in this case).

The surprising thing here is that the Jeep CJ "Front Frame Cover" is an official Mopar part. I was surprised about this until I realized it says "Jeep" on it, and Chrysler is very protective of that copyright, and anything you buy that says "Jeep" is made by them or for them.

Here's the part with a new Mopar sticker on it:



Back side:



Sticker and hand writing on back side:



Sticker on front side:



The back side has all kinds of imprints in the plastic that lead me to believe they're using the same mold that was used back in the 80's. Fantastically, this part is stamped "Made in USA". Hopefully it really is.



Here's the imprint showing the AMC part number:



This imprint shows the earliest date I could find. There were other grids showing years in the late 80's up to 2006.



Here we see the new radiator, new front frame cover, and D-rings with the mounting blocks:



That's all for now. I need to get the leaf springs ordered. I have done a lot of research on that and will post details in a later post.
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Unread 01-11-2014, 06:16 PM   #1598
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Nice job, as usual, Ken. Everything looks good, and hopefully everything will perform equally as well.


Rich
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Unread 01-11-2014, 07:19 PM   #1599
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Skyjacker suspension lift pricing research

Originally I was tempted by the products from Alcan Spring because they make springs to meet your vehicle's individual requirements, however their prices are higher I suspect because everything they do is a one-off. There is not much economy of scale.

Having heard good things about Skyjacker's Softride springs, I'm going to go that route. Skyjacker is also a sponsor of the Duck Commander folks which is nice. Interestingly, the Skyjacker offices are a short drive from the Duck Commander headquarters.

If you start looking up pricing and part numbers for the Skyjacker Softride springs, it's easy to get lost in the details of what exactly you're getting. The confusion stems from the fact that you can buy all of the parts individually, or you can buy a kit that includes the springs and mounting hardware, or you can buy a kit that includes shocks and there are 3 different types of shocks. Also consider the fact that these springs are offered in both 2.5 and 4.5" height and of course you have to get longer shocks for the taller springs. And, some vendors (like Summit Racing) don't sell the full kit; they only sell the spring kit, but that kit also includes the mounting hardware kit. So that all adds up to a lot of different parts numbers and combinations. When you spread that all across various resellers and vendors, then pining down the right seller can be confusing.

The other factor is that you start wondering which route is cheaper: To buy the parts individually (springs, hardware kit, shocks), or buy the kit with the springs and hardware, or buy the kit with everything. The answer to this, based on my research, is that there is little or no savings to be had one way or the other. In other words, you can buy the individual parts or the kits and the price is essentially the same.

Also, no vendor that I've found offers these products at a substantial discount. Jegs has the J20K kit (springs and hardware, no shocks) for $15 cheaper than Summit, but that was the only real difference I found with the sellers I checked.

The one area in which you could end up spending more money is sales tax and shipping. Even though some vendors offer "Free shipping" (Quadratec and others), they tack on a $24.99 weight surcharge.

My plan at this point is to go with Jegs. They have truly free shipping, no sales tax where I live, and do not impose an overweight fee. Jegs doesn't have the full J20K-H kit, so I will have to buy the J20K kit (springs, hardware) and the 4 shocks (2 each of H7012 and H7023) separately. The total will be $742.28 for ground shipping. (For comparison, Summit charges $754.29 for the same stuff. Jegs has a lower price on the kit, but charges slightly more the shocks.)

I'd rather buy from Summit than Jegs just out of Loyalty, but Summit indicates the springs are "special order" whereas Jegs is showing shipping dates of early next week. So Jegs wins with the slightly lower price and a good chance the parts will show up quickly.

I have a stock pitman arm lined up but need to borrow or buy a puller. Lastly, I am not 100% sure about the need for shims. The true answer is to measure the pinion angle after the new springs are installed and see if any adjustment is needed, but I'm thinking that a 2.5" lift doesn't typically require shims. Any comments on that?
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Unread 01-12-2014, 05:30 PM   #1600
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Ken...I just replaced the suspension on my jeep, along with adding a rear bumper / swing out spare tire carrier. I figured that I would do these together, because the springs will change how the jeep sits, and so will the bumper.

Here are the springs I used...

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f8/yj...y-cj5-1492796/

Here is the rear bumper...

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f37/a...build-1959754/

Anyway...the reason I'm telling you this, is to share the unexpected issues that came with this project. I did not know what effect the springs would have on my suspension. They added about 3" of lift. Also, I went from stock front/rear CJ shackles to YJ conversion shackles. The mounting holes went from 3" center-to center, to 5" c.t.c.

This drastically changed my rear pinion angle, as well as my front caster angle. So, I had to get them corrected. Not a 5-minute job. I made my own 6 degree shims (angle was off by 12 degrees), because they had to be 8" long, to match my spring perches. No one sells them 8" long.

This corrected my rear pinion angle. I added 2 degree shims to my front axle to end up with 7.5 degrees of caster angle.

I also had to end up ordering a new (Tatton) front driveshaft. The original one was now, not long enough.

I did a drag link rod flip, so I could use my stock pitman arm. In the end, the drag link ended up being lower at the pitman arm than the tie rod. This created an angle that was the opposite of what usually occurs, so I ended up reversing the flip (back to normal), and going with a dropped pitman arm. The rods are perfectly parallel with each other.

I left the new rear shackles alone (5" c.t.c.) but ended up removing the new front shackles, and building my own (with 3.5" c.t.c.).

I have a 'glass tub, so I ended up cutting all new body mounts and re-leveling the body. You probably won't have this issue.

Because of the body mount change,I had to change the length of my clutch rod. This shouldn't affect your project if you don't change your frame/body relationship.

My point is...there is a whole other set of issues when adding a suspension lift.

BUT....in the end, I'm very, very happy with the upgrade.


Rich
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Unread 01-12-2014, 07:32 PM   #1601
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rixcj View Post
...My point is...there is a whole other set of issues when adding a suspension lift.
I'm going from a 4.5" lift to a 2.5" lift, so I'm thinking that this won't be too difficult. You raise some good points, however.
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Unread 01-14-2014, 06:24 PM   #1602
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The new radiator has been great. I added small amounts of coolant and water the first 2 days of driving it, but after that the level has been totally stable. It's amazing how consistent and stable the temperature gauge reads after the cooling system has no air in it
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Unread 02-26-2014, 11:09 AM   #1603
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Skyjacker Springs

The Skyjacker Softride springs and hardware arrived earlier this week. I have the new shocks. Right now I am waiting on a 1 5/16" socket to arrive. I need this for the pitman arm nut, although I could probably use an adjustable wrench on it if needed.

The Softride springs drop shipped from Skyjacker in Louisiana. The springs look to have a poor fit and finish. They have a somewhat thick black coating that dripped in some areas.

The springs shipped unboxed, so that also caused some dings in the finish. See pic below showing UPS shipping labels attached to s prings.

Yes, they are leaf springs and they're going to get dirty and grimy, so the poor fit and finish probably doesn't really matter. I believe the springs will work fine. No big deal.

The accompanying hardware kit (nuts, bushings, u bolts) was boxed and that stuff looks great.

I plan to borrow a second set of jack stands from a neighbor this weekend and hopefully get the springs installed on Saturday. I have been reviewing the install directions and it looks to be a very simple process.

I will get proper photos before, during, and after the install. I am really hoping that these new springs offer much improved ride quality over the old Superlift springs.
skyjacker-softride-springs-cellphone-pic-1-800px.jpg

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Unread 03-02-2014, 06:58 PM   #1604
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Springs install 1

I got started on installing the new springs today. There was one major unexpected hurdle which I will detail down at the end of the post.

Here we see the parts kit:



Here we can see the one larger U-bolt which is installed near the Dana 30 differential housing:



Notice any thing odd?



Here we see the poor, sloppy paint job:





Here's one of the plastic (teflon?) inserts between the leaves:



Pitman arm puller and 1-5/16" socket for the nut:



I printed out the Skyjacker directions and was following them. They are mostly straightforward.

http://skyjacker.com/images/pdf/J20K-H.pdf

First, they have you park on level ground and measure from the ground to the fenders at each wheel and record the height. Then you do the same after the new lift is installed so you can see how things changed.

Working on the front, I pulled the wheels off:



I put a second set of jack stands under the front axle to support it after the u-bolts are removed. Next the shocks, and then u-bolts came off. It took a while to get the u-bolts off because the threads are so fine. An air wrench would have been handy.

One note on the u-bolts: Each u-bolt has 2 nuts (one of each end of the "U"). If one nut is too tight, try loosening the other one. Once one is loose, then the tension from the bolt is removed, and the second nut will require much less torque to remove.







Then I got started on the pitman arm.



Pin removed from castle nut:



Castle nut off:



Arm removed from steering box:



The tie rod end is OK but the boot is cracked and it should probably be replaced. I will probably leave it in, clean it up and pump more grease into it and hope it lasts a few more years.

I ended up using the pitman arm puller to remove the arm from the tie rod too. It was spaced just barely narrow enough to fit.

The one vague part of the Skyjacker directions is that it says, "Loosen but do not remove, the bolts attached to the sway bar." It never says which bolts, and there are no diagrams. No huge deal, but can anyone shed any light on which bolts should be loosened?

So, the problem:

Somewhere around this time I realized there was a huge problem: My springs were all the same (2.5" wide), but clearly the CJ won't take 2.5" springs in the front: It has to have 2" in the front.

Here we see the labels that were applied to each spring, banged up from having shipped without any protective packaging. You can see each label clearly indicates via model number (J20RS) (R=rear) or the word "REAR" that they're all rear springs and not front springs. You can also almost see that the white labels were applied over silver labels for some reason.



Oddly enough, one of the attached UPS labels does indicate the correct part number, J20FS ("Front Spring")



At first I panicked and thought I ordered the wrong parts, but I checked my JEGS order details and saw that I did order the "J20K" which is the kit. Looking around online at different places ultimately reveals that this kit should contain front and rear springs, and the front springs are 2" wide.

I called JEGS and they're going to call Skyjacker tomorrow to see what can be done. The parts all drop shipped from Skyjacker, so it seems odd that they'd screw up like that.

Now that it looks like the CJ Will be off the road for a few days, luckily I got the new O2 sensor installed in my Jetta and that should prevent the check engine light code I've been getting for the last several months. I also determined that a *missing* fuse was the source of all of the electrical gremlins I've had lately in the Jetta. Once I installed fuse #5, it cleared up all of the problems except that the "antenna base" needs to be replaced again because the radio reception is lousy.
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Unread 03-02-2014, 07:58 PM   #1605
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I think the plastic in between the springs make them glide along one another instead of binding when compressed.
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