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Unread 07-17-2014, 10:20 PM   #1
NewdRiver_
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1985 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Mokena, IL
Posts: 1,140
NewdRiver's CJ-7 Build

Intro

Decided to put together a build thread of the work on my 85 CJ7. Finally got back into the swing of working on it after a couple years of down time. It's been a long-term project and I've never driven it on the street. First up is the backlog of my past work. Feels good to be working on it again!

Background:

Purchased it in 2007 or 2008 while I was in high school. Was looking for a project Jeep with an SBC, preferably with a glass body. This one had both. I paid $5,000 for it and drove it home. Hard to believe it used to be driveable!

As purchased:

1985 CJ7, originally 4.2L with a manual
350 SBC, Quadrajet, TH400, D300
AMC20/D30 (with 2.73s!)
4"ish SUA lift, Brand new (still prickly) 35x12.5R15 Pro Comp Xtreme M/T on brand new Eagle Alloys.
90s production 4WD Hardware brand fiberglass tub, fenders, hood. Bare white gelcoat.
Sketchy roll cage, not tied into frame. 95 Civic seats mounted to it.
90s production Bestop Supertop and full soft doors, pretty good condition


I think this one was on the day I bought it.


"Custom"


Not too too shabby.

First thing I can remember doing to it was replacing the rotted out steel windshield frame. Went with a 4WD Hardware brand one.

Did some fiberglass work repairing a crack by the driver's side lower door hinge, and straightening out the airbox that the PO had mounted crooked. I recall the latter job being a total PITA. Still have some work to do on the hood and fenders (if I decide to use the glass fenders), but the tub is just about perfect.


After fiberglass work on the tub, with new windshield frame.

Then I decided it needed some color, so I shot it with some primer and Aervoe semi gloss OD and attempted to wetsand it down to get it smooth. Older me has since decided that this was dumb, and has decided on going with a real paint job.


Still surprised how good I used to be with rattle cans.


Excuse the wetsanding dust.

Decided to make a new dash because the PO's was ugly and didn't have airbox controls. Ordered a sheet of 6061 and came up with this.


Made some mistakes here that still have to be corrected...

Then it sat in the garage of my old house for a few years while I was away at college. Family moved to a bigger house (with a bigger garage!) in 2010, and my dad trailered it over. Drove it under its own power off the flatbed and straight into the garage, where it has been living since.

I was still planning on just prettying it up a bit and driving it, so the next major project was Raptor Liner. Sanded the crap out of the PO's rattle can bedliner, down into the gelcoat. Itchy, but worth it. That Raptor Liner isn't going to be peeling off anytime this century. Throughout my many projects, I've gotten to use just about every brand of every type of paint and surface coating a DIYer is likely to encounter. Raptor is probably my second favorite, right under POR-15. You'll see more of it used soon


You do not want to know how long this took.


Love this stuff.

(to be continued)

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Unread 07-17-2014, 10:20 PM   #2
NewdRiver_
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1985 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Mokena, IL
Posts: 1,140
My next undertaking in 2011ish was going to be cleaning up the engine, and painting it and the front of the frame. Good thing I decided to pull the heads during this process, because this is what I found. No idea how water/coolant got in there because it had just been sitting in the garage being neglected most of the time. I had been planning on building up a new motor and just swapping them, but decided to tackle that job immediately.


Oh no, Fram!


Sigh.


Vortec kickin' in yo.


Oooh


Aaah


Pretty

I was on a budget at the time of the build, and skipped/skimped on some things I would have done in the present. It was the first motor I ever built from scratch. I am still very happy with the final specs. She's got it where it counts! Specs/parts/work done

Bored 0.030 over
99 Vortec heads with valve job
New old crank done 10/10 instead of the 30/30 mine would have needed
Clevite P series bearings all the way around
Keith Black pistons. Static compression is 9.3:1. Basic Summit ring set.
Eagle rods in lieu of refurbishing stock rods
Balanced
Edelbrock Performer intake
Comp 12-318-4. 268/276 seat to seat, .464/.464 lift, 110* separation
New Comp springs and lifters. Reused Vortec rockers and pushrods.
Rebuilt the Q-Jet with some goodies and mods

Had I known my crank was basically unusable, and that I would be buying new rods instead of reconditioning the old ones (not much of a price difference), I would have just thrown in a 400 crank and ordered different rods/pistons to make a 383. Probably would have shot for 10:1 compression with forged flattops. I should have gotten the new heads setup for more lift (stock Vortecs are only good to .460-.480. My combo is good with ample spring space and no binding), and done screw-in studs. Oh well. The drivetrain also got:

New more shiny fuel pump
New more shiny dress-up bits
New high-volume oil pump
New stock-style oil pan with studs
2400 RPM B&M stall converter.
New vacuum modulator and trans dip stick (old ones leaked)
Serpentine setup with new reverse rotation water pump. Rebuilt the PS pump
Fresh paint on everything

I regret the torque converter. The budget B&M's are just loosened up stockers. Really didn't want to drop the money on a fancier converter for a TH400 at the time. If I had more money back then, I would have put in a 700R4 with a 3000 stall lock-up converter. These days, I've got an itch for a manual with overdrive.

Since the motor was out, I took a grinder to the front frame and smothered it in POR-15 and ChassisCoat Black. Phosphoric acid works well for etching the metal. The POR itself is basically indestructable and unscratchable, but I don't care for the ChassisCoat. It bubbles, shows brushmakrs, takes about a week to harden, and is about as durable as standard paint.


Clean.


Much better.

Somewhere along this 6 year undertaking, some odds and ends have gotten worked on too. Steering column was totally rebuilt, repainted, and "de-column-shifter-ed". All that brake pedal braket stuff was blasted and painted. Basically anything that was metal and got unbolted got blasted, primered, and painted satin black. Trying to keep my black paints consistent. Some things will have to be repainted so it all matches and has the best quality coating I can put on myself. I wish I had a powdercoating setup.

(to be continued)
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Unread 07-17-2014, 10:29 PM   #3
NewdRiver_
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1985 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Mokena, IL
Posts: 1,140
Then I decided that I wanted to POR-15 the rest of the frame too. Upon removing the rear bumper, I found this mess :O


Is that...a bolt?!

That's a bolt welded in as filler for half-*** patched frame rail ends. Addressing this issue required the body to come off, so off it came.


No body knows...

And it sat like that from early 2012 until around June 2013. I don't have a welder, no welding experience, and the electrical system of the house and its layout does not permit the installation of 220 to the garage. I tried friends/family/welding shops but nothing panned out for over a year. In the hiatus, I found some minor projects to address. Ordered a set of shackles from Jim at Crabtree Tool and Die (Hi Jim!), ripped out all the horribly bent/routed brake and fuel lines, installed a Contour/Mystique electric fan on the radiator along with an external trans cooler, and probably a bunch of other things I can't remember while I waited for an opportunity to present itself. Oh yeah, I found out my axles both have open 2.73 gearsets in them. Woo. Must have driven it home in 4lo after buying it. Present me wants to strangle younger me.

Found a local guy willing to do the work, and I found out about these Safe-T-Caps.

Finally! CJ got to go on a little adventure on a U-Haul dolley to his shop down the street. Did a great job welding those in. Solid as a rock now. He also patched the hole by the stock exhaust hanger, and welded in some angle iron for what will be dual exhaust hangers.


Framed.

Of course, had to finish the POR on the back half. I also took the time to rebuild the rear leafs, since they were a rusted-together mess. Pulled them apart, flap wheeled all the leaves, riveted on new clips, graphite paint on the inside, paint on the outside.


Proper.

And now you're all caught up with where the CJ7 is at now. I used to have time but not money to work on it. Now I've got money but not enough daytime hours to make loud noises during. Stay tuned for updates on what I'm working on!
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Unread 07-17-2014, 10:45 PM   #4
NewdRiver_
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1985 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Mokena, IL
Posts: 1,140
Here is a link to all of my pictures.

There were (and are going to be) a lot more than what you see here for the sake of brevity.
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Unread 07-18-2014, 04:57 PM   #5
NewdRiver_
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Mokena, IL
Posts: 1,140
7/18/14

Woo, first real-time update.

Today's haul:


Best use of a workbench, stacking parts.

9", date code on the third member says it was cast Feb 15, 1968. C7AW-E casting. 3.50 gears on a 28 spline factory posi.

Housing is a big end, 3.25" tubes taper to 3.00" at the ends. Looks like it was setup for 58" WMS to WMS.

A̶n̶y̶o̶n̶e̶ ̶h̶a̶v̶e̶ ̶a̶ ̶c̶l̶u̶e̶ ̶w̶h̶a̶t̶ ̶t̶h̶i̶s̶ ̶m̶i̶g̶h̶t̶ ̶h̶a̶v̶e̶ ̶c̶o̶m̶e̶ ̶o̶u̶t̶ ̶o̶f̶?̶
The housing is 1978 Lincoln Versailles, the disc brakes are factory. I might be ten years off on the third member's date code.

Crate of disk brake stuff came with it to boot.

Plan is to have it narrowed to wide-track width (54.5", or whatever my AMC20 measures), 31 spline axles, Detroit Truetrac, and I'm thinking 4.11's.
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Unread 07-18-2014, 07:31 PM   #6
Jim1611
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1985 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 5,435
Nice work on the dash and engine.
__________________
www.crabtreetool.com (Crabtree Shackle Hangers)

My build thread
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f8/ji...build-1093702/
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Unread 07-18-2014, 08:02 PM   #7
Dborns
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1983 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Kansas City, MO
Posts: 1,404
Looks great, keep it coming!! For a minute I thought I was looking at the frame Im working with. PO did the same type of frame "Repair" in the rear of mine. Boxed it with 1/4" steel from the crossmember all the way back. He threw some treadplate in there too for good measure...
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Unread 07-18-2014, 08:04 PM   #8
Dborns
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Kansas City, MO
Posts: 1,404
Im going with the Raptor also. Did you spray it on or roll it?
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Unread 07-20-2014, 08:36 PM   #9
NewdRiver_
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Mokena, IL
Posts: 1,140
7/20/14

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dborns View Post
Im going with the Raptor also. Did you spray it on or roll it?
Sprayed on. Only way I believe it can be applied.

---

First of all, shoutout to BESRK for sending me another pair of these brackets. Class A dude.


Where rusted sheet metal comes out, 1/4" steel goes on.

This weekend:

POR and Chassis Coat Black on the middle section of the frame. Outside of the frame is now fully coated.


Many, many hours with wire wheels have finally paid out.

Now to address the inside...

The inside of the frame is filled with out an inch of 20 year-old dirt and flakes of rusted steel. I'll pick out what I can, hit it with air to break it up, then pressure wash the inside.

As for coatings for the inside, I'm thinking Eastwood internal frame coating, then boiled linseed oil on top.
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