I need to get back in the swing of updating. Been busy with life, but did get work done on the Jeep.
Jeff came back from his trip to Arkansas (where his home is) and brought down his miller stick welder. His goal was to use it for frame repair of his CJ8, but not before I could get my grubby hands on it.
Well Jeff decided he was going to show me how to work it on my frame (I needed to redo many of the welds I had made on it). Unfortunately Jeff can't see the welding arc very well anymore and he punched some holes in the soft side of the frame.
I spent a good amount of time trying to fix them, but I ended up in a happy spot.
Here is a shot of Jeff showing me how to use the stick welder:
Once I was practiced on some scrap metal, and filled in/grounded off the holes in the frame, I finished the rear cross member mods. I needed to adjust it to be compatible with CJ7 springs. I got it welded on, and with the cleanest welds I have made yet. They were picture perfect due to the proper placement of metal, conditions, luck, etc. The difference between a pro and my welds is that a pro can do it 100% of the time...its just luck with me.
With the frame welded up, it was time to get the axels finished so I could stick them under it!
Wire brushed, sanded, scraped, pressure washed, marine cleaned, then metal ready =
Starting to POR15...
I needed to get the frame up higher so I could work on the suspension, so I used my jack...this thing was worth the cost already and I still have more to use it for:
Jeff came over to play at this point in the day and helped me drag the axels under the frame:
Installing the RE 4.5" lift on the front end went pretty easy without a Jeep on top of the frame. We didn't have any surprises at this point, though I should mention that the front greaseable shackle bolts were a bit mislabled but I sorted them out.
Then we got a chair to lift up the back end:
Which let me bolt in the rear hangers with grade 8 bolts:
I sealed the bolts with loctite and with a protective coating of POR15 on top I think I can avoid rust in that area for a good while.
I dont have a rolling chassis quite yet, but it still is a good time to do the brake lines. I started off by cleaning up the brake junction box...this thing was a solid brick of caked on grease, dirt, and paint. A good long while with a wire brush and chemicals made it nice and new:
Various other parts got to spend valuable time with the brush as well:
The rear springs required some hammertime persuasion...but they went in with grease and a few whallops. I recommend two people if you have't done this before:
I went around town searching for brake lines...eventually a found a place that carried them in the right sizes and fittings (Advanced Auto). These were real nice teflon coated pipes and the lengths were about right.
There was only one problem with the brake lines. The rear delivery tube is 1/4" to 1/4". However it needed to be a 1/4" to 3/16" because the Rubicon Express SS brake line (they call it an extension, but its just a brake line) is 3/16". Because of the flanged nature of the pipes, I couldn't just use a air compressor adapter...it had to be a brake line fitting. I did eventually find one that was available for sale. Buy this if you are buying a RE 4.5" lift kit for your CJ7:
If there are any noobs like me out there who are reading this preparing for your build, take notes.
Jeff gave me an anatomy lesson on a drum brake ( I was unfamiliar).
After removing everything to replace the brake cylinder (or w/e they are called) I was cut up, bruised, and abused. I recommend safety goggles to aid in retaining your eyeballs in their sockets. Also gloves. I did both sides.
I went to attach the parking brake cables to the T joiner post on the frame (not sure what the real name for it is either). The passenger side cable was more than long enough to be relocated and attach to the T no worries. The driver's side was not. Duh. I had lifted the vehicle almost 5".
I did some research and it seems some people order a passenger side line for the driver's side....that seems clunky--it is going to be way to long for my comfort. Some others suggested a CJ8 cable as they are supposeadly 10" longer...but I haven't been able to prove this to myself from online parts descriptions. I am still debating what to do here.
Over the next couple days I will be finishing the brake lines, and installing my new front calipers. My old ones were pretty much junk. I heard that the brake lines need to be isolated from vibration because they can wear out and fail. I will be using permanent adhesive foam on my prepped frame, along with rubber shielded clamps.
I will try to be better about updates, but for now I will close with this shot of where I am at the time of this post: