I bought this 1980 CJ7 last week. It is in really good shape, has zero rust. It has the 258 6 cylinder engine and 4 speed transmission. It needs a little TLC. I am not sure what all I am going to do it. I will see how it runs and drives and go from there.
Its hard to drive the jeep because it goes into reverse so easily. You think you are putting it in third and it grinds on the reverse gear. I took the transmission tunnel cover off and discovered that it has a 77-79 T-18. I will have to take the shifter cover off and replace the reverse plunger spring. I had to do this on "Tanktop".
I pulled the shifter out to put a new reverse plunger spring in it. First I knocked the middle end cap out. I hit it from the inside and knocked it out. This is the only way to do it. The only linkage that needs to be removed is the middle, and only half way. I knocked out the lock pin, and slid the middle rod back. The pin and spring will come out. Next, take out the cotter pin and pull out the srpring and ball from the plunger. Take off the end clip and the plunger will come out. You can see that the reverse plunger spring was broken into several pieces. This was preventing any resistance when shifting into reverse. I bought a new spring with the same diameter as the old one. The new one was longer so I cut it off.
I had to make a new tunnel cover for the transmission. I guess the po put in the T18 because the tunnel cover was homemade with 1/4 steel that did not fit. They did not cut the hole big enough for the transfer shifter and it would not go into 4 low. I used an old "No Parking" sign and it worked pretty good.
I took the rocker chrome off and most of the nuts broke off. I cut off some bolts and welded them to the ends.
That welded end is going to be right up against the paint. Ditch those old bolts & get some elevator bolts from the hardware store. I just put mine back on using them. I don't recall off the top of my head what size I used but you can read it in my thread. They worked perfectly.
I worked on the front suspension today. There is quite a bit of play in the steering. The front tie rods were very loose. Also, one tie rod arm was severley bent. I had an old front differential lying around so I used the rods off of it. The steering shaft also had play in the bushing so I ordered a new one along with a coupler. The shaft bearing was also bad. You can see the difference in the new one in the picture.
I installed my new steering shaft today. I took the column loose and pulled it back to fit the shaft in. Had a problem because when I started tapping on the shaft to get it on the cloumn shaft, the column shaft moved up under the outside tube. Had to start a new thread to see what was going on. Found out the shaft inside the column is made to move in and out. I took vice grips and clamped on the column shaft and beat it back down. The new shaft really tightend up the steering.
Since I have the old jeep just about mechanically sound, I have started the body work. It has several layers of paint so I am taking all of it off. The quarter panel has bondo and it was busted because the body support on the inside of the door was broken loose. I welded it and sanded out the cracked bondo.