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Unread 03-27-2009, 08:53 AM   #1
canyon47
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Possible CJ8 Build up....

So while I was out to dinner the other day I started talking to on of my sister's friends about Jeeps. He mentioned a CJ8 he has that needs to pretty much be rebuilt. Well long story short I volunteered to do it for him as long as he covers parts and gives me some time to work on it. Below is his respones...

"The Jeep is a frame with axles attached which needs some welding. I was going to replace the frame with a great one I got on eBay. I had been working on that behind my dad's machine shop until some *$&hole stole it for its scrap value. So now it's either repair the existing frame or hunt for another. I'm not sure how Jeepy you are, but CJ-8's are rare - and great - but frames are hard to come by.

I have the original 4-cyl engine (not running), and an AMC 360 (unknown condition), but it might make sense to put something more modern in.

I have a nice t-18 transmission.

The body is a separate piece of stuff. It's rusty enough to need work too. The front fenders are bolted to the front grill - which is a seperate piece of stuff.

So this is not a small job. CJs are probably the easiest cars to build,
but this one needs about everything done.

If - after this introduction - you still think it might be the adventure for you, you should come see what I have. I imagine a deal where you get the Jeep for four years, and return it to me in roadworthy condition. We'd have to figure out the details. I'm open to other ideas"


This could be a sweet learning expierence as well as a great chance to save another classic. Aside from my complete lack of a welder/access to a welder/welding skills. Would there be any other major issues with undertaking this task? I have always wanted to do something like this and am mechanically inclined I just lack some of the tools and expierence required.

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Unread 03-27-2009, 09:50 AM   #2
certifiablejeep
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Have you ever worked on a rusty CJ before?
If not, this sounds a bit more work then you might think.
I am not saying not to do it, heck, I would love to build an 8, but I think depending on your available time, 4 years might not be enough... LOL.

It took me 3 years to do the latest build up. I wanted to do it in 6 months.
It cost a ton of cash as well.

Basically, if he is funding it, it will only be able to be worked on when he has the cash... it is a simple economic principle, when you have time, he won't have money, when he has money, you won't have time... it is just the way it works.

So, that said. Outsourcing hte welding, or having him buy you a welder is your options I suppose. Also, buying a new frame and a new body is a way to go. If you do that, in the long run, you might be ahead. NOt sure what kind of cash you were talking for this build, but it isn't just a couple grand here...

Just my $.02

cb
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Unread 03-27-2009, 11:47 AM   #3
only in a jeep cj
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The reality of it is when you add up the cost of a new frame, a new body (or fixing the body right, not just bondo the holes ), and all the little parts.....you could be looking at the same price OR MORE than if you took the next few months and found one in way better shape for less than the total. I would rather start off with a 6 grand scrambler that has a good body and frame (but maybe a blown engine) and is ALL there, then spend 10 grand to get there.
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Unread 03-27-2009, 12:11 PM   #4
certifiablejeep
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I have to ask the obvious question here... what do you get out of this? From what I read, it is experience. Was there any money talk? I only ask because after 200-300 hours into the project an a year has gone by and IF you are doing it for FREE, you are going to be wanting something for all your effort.

It was a harsh reality to me when I built one thinking I would be able to sell it for all this money and when it came down to it, I sold it, made on average about 4 bucks an hour for all the work I put into it... I was lucky I guess as I got something out of it, but in reality, it is tough to get motivated to build something for someone else, especially if it is for free (this of course does not include your own kids... or spouse... you can get excited to do that for them)

cb
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Unread 03-27-2009, 12:19 PM   #5
mssldn
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If it was just cleaning it up and what not I would say have a blast. But what would you be doing for him if you can't weld? If he or someone else was willing to teach go for it. Outsourcing the welding to someone else will eat his budget real fast.
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Unread 03-27-2009, 01:28 PM   #6
jeepskate
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This has 'bad idea' written all over it. Doesn't sound like either one of you has the skills to do this right now and you're walking into it essentially assuming a boatload of responsibility & liability and really getting nothing out of it to speak of for someone who you don't even really know.
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Unread 03-30-2009, 05:18 AM   #7
canyon47
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You have all basically said the same thing as everyone else I talked to about this. Well everyone that has experience doing frame up restores anyway. I think I am going to drive out there and take a look at how bad of shape the CJ8 is really in. Then I will ask about financials and a build time table so I can see exactly what he is expecting. At the very least I will take a bunch of pics and post them here so you all can see how bad it is as well. Thanks for the feedback, I really appreciate it!
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Unread 03-30-2009, 08:08 AM   #8
danheit
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Canyon, I am right in the middle of a build, and let me tell you, it's not what you think. Frustrations galore, lack of time, lack of $$, etc. Keep in mind, even if you think you have enough time to do small projects here and there, you don't. Mocking up the suspension and driveline angles isn't something you want to have to leave half way through because of work/school/whatever. Also doesn't sound like you have the necessary tools/skills (welding) to do it right. Also, taking on a project like that takes up A LOT more space than you think it does. This will engulf a two car garage immediately, and you will find yourself working outside. OK during spring and fall, but -10 and 110 temps aren't fun to work in all the time. I also agree with CB that you are going to resent not getting anything out of this after a few hundred hours or so.
Now, I am not saying to not take this project on, as I certainly would without thinking, but you need to understand what it takes to do a full build AND repair. Are you familiar with wiring? Do you know motors/tranny's/t-cases/axles? What are you going to do about all of the small specialty parts that the guy lost? (trust me, there will be alot) Just be prepared to ask yourself these questions and give an HONEST answer. Aside from that, if you still feel comfortable, (and it sounds like you have already made your mind up anyways) I say go for it. Just don't say we didn't try to warn you! Good Luck, and as always, we are all happy to help with anything we can!
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Unread 03-30-2009, 10:14 AM   #9
jeepskate
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Remember...you're assuming the responsibility & liability. This guy drives off and the brakes fail, guess who's getting sued? When something breaks, doesn't work quite right, he doesn't know how something works or was done, or it won't start when he's leaving the club at 2:00 am, guess who's getting a phone call?
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'83 Scrambler: time & money pit under construction with parts from CJ's,YJ's,TJ's,FSJ's,GM,Ford,IH,Honda,Toyota and a whole lotta aftermarket & custom stuff.
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Unread 04-08-2009, 09:14 AM   #10
canyon47
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Well I have been sufficiently scared off. Thanks for all the input and helping me realize that "This has bad idea all over it." I would have probably taken it on if I actually had a garage to put things in and if he would have sold it to me for not much money. Thanks for the input and or adivce, I really appreciate it!
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