Need help planning my CJ build -
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post #1 of 6 Old 06-05-2014, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Chicago
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Need help planning my CJ build

Hey guys I have a 79 Cj7 that i'm going to modify. I wish I could tell you all the specs but all I have some basic things. It's on 31s right now, no rust, rhino lined interior floor and an automatic trans. Right now I'm planning on painting it olive drab and basing it off of a cj I saw in the roll call area. I will tell you which one when I find it again and post a picture of my jeep currently. It's my first car and will be a daily driver. I love the ruggedness and how simple these jeeps are even though they can be a little rough of a ride. It would be fine to leave the underside how it is but the transmission just blew and it can't really get above 55. So thats where I need help.

The jeep won't be offroad that much and when it is offroad it will mostly be for hunting and trail trips. No rocks or tons of mud. It needs to be good for the road mainly. Every once in a while I would it will be used for a road trip, about 500 miles and 65mph. I'm fine with the bumps and everything as long as its safe and not tossing me off the road.

So back to planning it. I will probably put on 33s and do the simple things to improve steering. My dad was thinking about swapping a 4.0 into it and coil springs to make it more comfortable. We don't know how you go about doing the coil springs but someone else would be doing it. The thing I don't like about this is that I feel like it's changing it to a Yj and taking away the simplicity that I love.

What I need help with is what transmission we put into it and what are your recommendations about the rest of it.

Sorry about the long post and thanks a lot if you've read it all! I'll get the picture up tomorrow.

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post #2 of 6 Old 06-06-2014, 04:57 AM
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1986 CJ7 
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Location: Muskegon
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Recommendations are kinda tough,especially when its your first. How about I just show and tell about mine. Then take what you want and toss the rest.

I have a 86 CJ7 with a tbi 350, 700R4 transmission mated to a D300 t/c. My axles are narrow tracks. It has a Dana 30 front axle,with Spartan locker and 4.10 gears. The rear is a Dana 44 with a factory limited slip although I'm not sure what it its exactly. I'm sitting on 33x12.5x15 Firestone Destination MT's.
It doesn't do badly on or off road. I'm getting 16 mpg. Longest trip so far is about 400 miles on and off road combined without much issues.

This is just a surface scratch of it. I've done many other mods. 4" lift,quad disc brakes,in-tank fuel pump to name some.

There its a lot you could do or not. Pretty much up to you,your ambitions,current skill level and willingness to try things only to fail and redo them.

Its a jeep thing----- live it! love it! Good luck! Have fun......

Ohhhh yeah! We're big on pictures here. Good or bad.

Dave in Muskegon using JeepForum
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post #3 of 6 Old 06-06-2014, 10:12 AM Thread Starter
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Here she is! It's hard to tell but the PO added a bar from the roll bar to the windshield. Kinda looks cool and hopefully adds some protection maybe.

Thanks for the response Dave! I don't know what everything you mentioned is but it gives me some stuff to read about.

BTW I'm driving past Muskegon just after the 4th of July. If someone gives you the wave out of a Honda, it's probably me
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post #4 of 6 Old 06-06-2014, 10:31 AM
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1955 CJ3B 
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Originally Posted by Kaspar825 View Post
The jeep won't be offroad that much and when it is offroad it will mostly be for hunting and trail trips. No rocks or tons of mud. It needs to be good for the road mainly.
Forget the coils. Their primary usefulness is the greater amount of travel they will give you and that's most useful in the rocks where you will not be. Also, having a qualified shop do this will very likely be more money than you presently have in the Jeep. Suspension wise, I think all you will need to do is make sure the spring bushings are good or replace them and a good set of shocks. I'd probably go with a set of adjustables like the Rancho RS9000's.

Steering? Not bad stock. Again, just make sure it is all up to snuff.

What is the current engine/transmission and how much poop do you want? A 4.0 should be an easy swap, have decent torque, get good mileage, and live a long time. If it was mine, I'd probably not transplant an AMC V8 even if they are a near bolt-in just because I have never gotten anything close to decent mileage from one and that may be important for a DD. If I was going for something bigger than the 4.0 my choice would be a Chevy 5.3-with a NV4500 behind it.

1955 CJ 3B, 381cid sbc (441cid all aluminum sbc coming soon), AGE M22W, Teralows, Warn OD, OBA, Premier Power welder, Warn 8274
1968 CJ 5, factory 225" w/ headers/450 cfm Holley, T86AA, Belleview winch, Warn OD
2012 Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited, Warn 9.5 xp-s winch
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post #5 of 6 Old 06-06-2014, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for clarifying the use of coils. I don't know a ton about cars and will be using the jeep to learn a lot too.

My steering is pretty bad right now but it can probably be fixed by replacing some of the parts.

I just need it to be decent for highway driving. There wont be much of it but when it does go on the highway it will be a fairly long trip. If the 4.2 can do this after changing the transmission then I'm probably not doing the swap. Otherwise I'd go with the 4.0. My brother had a TJ and that was definitely fine on the highway and made the same trip I'll be going and he did it a lot.

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post #6 of 6 Old 06-06-2014, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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Is it ok to post someone else's pictures? I saved the picture but can't find the post. He had the name "1979CJ7" or very close but I can't find him now. He was inactive.
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