Ok fellas here's the deal
I bought a manual '86 CJ-7 about two and half months ago and now I'm ready to do something with it. Here's what I know I would like to do so far, but I need some more info on how, what, and where I should do it. I know I want to put some 33'' AT's on it and from what I've read, a 4'' suspension lift is the way to go. What about a body lift? 1''? For the suspension lift should I go with the Skyjacker? Everything is stock and I bought it with from the original owner and she only had about 59,000 miles on it so that can tell you how much it was driven. Also, it has some rust (now holes) in the backseat where the seatbelts used to bolt down as well as in the floorboards. How do I go about getting that taken care of? Should I get that taken care of before I do any lifting?
I'm kinda in the same predicament, choosing between necessity and pleasure, lol. One thing I've learned is to get everything on your jeep in working condition before you start modifying (walk before you run). So, I'd say to get some sheet metal and get to welding your floor back in, then fix up your seatbelt problem for your rear seat. You'll be happier in the long run.
1984 CJ7-31" BF Goodrich AT Tires, Auto, 258 ci, Pioneer sound, 2 barrel Weber carb, undergoing some body work and exhaust work sometime soon.
"pop the hood, POP THE HOOD!"
- a phrase commonly heard in my garage
First of all, I agree, I'd worry about fixing up your floor. Cut out all the bad spots and weld new steel in. SEAL THE EDGES with a quality "Seam-Sealer" (before painting) wherever you make a patch, it will save the repair for many years over not sealing it. You can get good seam-sealer at your local auto parts store. It's not cheap, but it's worth it.
As far as the seatbelts, the rear seatbelts are attached to the Frame of the Rear Seat, not directly to the floor. Do you mean the seat frame is rotted itself where the belts are attached? If so, if it is really bad, you may want to just get another seat in good shape, it's sometimes not worth trying to patch something like that.
You won't need a 1" body lift for 33s, a 4" suspension lift will do very nicely, and, yes, I would recommend the Skyjacker kit (check with Quadratec, they have a totally complete kit for around $600 roughly). I had great luck with a 2.5" Skyjacker kit for 8 years before passing it on in a partial trade a few months ago, when I parted my old Jeep out. The new "owner" of the kit loves it! You're gonna probably get some posts from others that it is junk, etc., and to buy all these other heavy duty kits. That may be fine if you off-road all the time, hard core, and rock crawl, but if you don't, you may find the other kits a bit of overkill and rough-riding. The Skyjacker gives a super-smooth ride, my 2.5" kit rode much better than stock. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" />
Thanks for the advice. About the seatbelts: I meant to say that the drivers seatbelt isn't bolted down to the floor anymore- not that the backseat passenger's seatbelts were rotted. Although you havent's seen the Jeep, what do you think a rough estimate of the welding would be?
I couldn't even wager a guess, sorry. That kind of work is very variable as far as cost. Depends on the extent of rust, how many areas, what areas, etc. Also depends on the place you have it done.
I can say it won't be too cheap, welding shops get a decent coin usually. I have a MIG Welder & Torches and do my own repairs, so I can't tell you exactly. Your best bet is get some prices from some guys near you, or find a friend or someone who can do it "on the side". <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" />
As far as body rust goes -
Here are some pics of an extremely rusty CJ5 that we replaced the bed and wheelhouses on - all we really intended to do was upgrade his rollcage but figured what's the sense if there's nothing to bolt it to!