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Unread 09-27-2012, 09:28 PM   #1
locked-up-XJ
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Project "Bentsome"

Hey guys, I wanted to start this thread so I can share the experience of this project with everyone.

Ok a little history, I acquired this 1986 CJ-7 through a little horse trading. When I went to pick it up there was no front grill or sheet metal on it, it was all in the bed. Also the motor had been tore down and there was just the bottom end left in the frame. We brought it home and unloaded it in the garage and started to reassemble it to see what we had. It was immediately obvious there was an issue with the frame when we started putting the front fenders on. After looking it over I found that the front of the frame was bent up about 2 1/2" at the front grill mount. At this point my fiancÚ had fallen in love with the jeep and given it its name... "Bentsome". It was from this point I realized that this was going to be my next big project.

After thinking the situation over I figured I would throw it in a frame jig and straighten it out, this turned out to not be a good idea and wound up kinking the frame severely.

I had been wanting to do a 5.3 swap in something for awhile now and decided that this project would be perfect. I found a totaled 2003 Tahoe and bought the entire chassis for $400. I decided to keep the D300 that was in the jeep and run the 4L60E so I bought an adapter from AA to make this happen. Now that I had the whole drivetrain put together and sitting in the garage it was time to address that frame issue.... After hours of looking at the frame pondering what to do and looking at the hideous kinks I had put in the frame a sawzall wound up in my hand and the entire front end ended up on the ground.

This brings us today, I have a stick of 2"x4"x3 1/6" rectangle tubing laying in the garage and am ready to start the construction of the new front end. Heres the plans for this jeep,

03' 5.3 Vortec
4L60e
D300
AMC 20 (for now)
D30
2.5" Lift that's already on it
33"x12.50x15 MT Baja claws
UPOL liner on the under carriage and inside
Full custom cage
Beard seats


More updates to come as I find time to work on it.

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1999 TJ Custom 3 Link, 2.5" FOA Coilovers, 4.88 gears, Trussed D30, Locrite lockers, 35" MTR's

85' CJ7 Project "Bentsome"
In Progress
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Unread 09-27-2012, 09:39 PM   #2
locked-up-XJ
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The last few pictures are when me and my buddy straightened the tub out with some hydraulic assistance, it worked rather well.
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1999 TJ Custom 3 Link, 2.5" FOA Coilovers, 4.88 gears, Trussed D30, Locrite lockers, 35" MTR's

85' CJ7 Project "Bentsome"
In Progress
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Unread 09-28-2012, 06:41 AM   #3
CJeep
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Looks good. Also looks like a lot of work. But since you are custom making the front of the frame, you can make it more Vortec friendly. Maybe even reuse the stock Tahoe motor mounts and such.

Good luck.
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Unread 09-28-2012, 06:51 AM   #4
243
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It looks like a lot of work and a real challenge, so if fit's the profile of a Jeep CJ build
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Unread 09-28-2012, 07:51 AM   #5
stamp32
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I bet someone thought it would be a good idea and tried to jump that thing and ended up nosediving into the dirt and bent the frame upwards.
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Unread 09-30-2012, 11:26 AM   #6
locked-up-XJ
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Well front frame is done, suspension and steering mounted and motor is in place. I also re mounted the front sheet metal, The only problem is I forgot to take any pictures. Everything looks great and is lining up perfect (well as good as a jeep can I guess). I will get pictures after this weekend.
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1999 TJ Custom 3 Link, 2.5" FOA Coilovers, 4.88 gears, Trussed D30, Locrite lockers, 35" MTR's

85' CJ7 Project "Bentsome"
In Progress
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Unread 09-30-2012, 11:41 AM   #7
Oldcraneguy
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Boy that eng/trans/TC Combo looks long, gonna fit? ...keepin fingers crossed for ya...ocg
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Unread 12-10-2012, 10:24 PM   #8
locked-up-XJ
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Well it has been awhile since i posted some updates

The new front frame section is built, I used 2x4 tubing to build it. I still need to finish weld it and add gusset plates. Also i stretched the wheel base about 3" to better center the wheel in the fender. The motor is mounted and fits alot better than i had anticipated. Here are some pics of the progress










The front fenders are unrepairable so i got lucky and scored a mint condition set off an Renagade for super cheap, I also scored a hard top and full hard doors from the same guy. Hoping to get the new sheet metal hung and fitted next week and start building the full cage.
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1999 TJ Custom 3 Link, 2.5" FOA Coilovers, 4.88 gears, Trussed D30, Locrite lockers, 35" MTR's

85' CJ7 Project "Bentsome"
In Progress
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Unread 12-10-2012, 11:24 PM   #9
hutch1200
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WOW, I thought I was the only one who pulled the top end of the engine to do frame/body work.
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Unread 04-20-2013, 09:14 PM   #10
locked-up-XJ
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Well I'm finally back on this project.


I was able to score a set of wagoneer 44's and a set of ATX Beadlocks. Since I scored these I figured I might as well go 3 link with coilovers up front

Here's some pics of what I've done, I did the shock hoops today but forgot to get any pics.
Don't mind the 2x2 lower links, my heims didn't come in when they were suppose to so I had to improvise. Also here's some pics of my other jeep.
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1999 TJ Custom 3 Link, 2.5" FOA Coilovers, 4.88 gears, Trussed D30, Locrite lockers, 35" MTR's

85' CJ7 Project "Bentsome"
In Progress
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Unread 04-21-2013, 08:50 AM   #11
locked-up-XJ
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Here's some of the shock hoops
image-2532332435.jpg   image-2201805985.jpg  
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1999 TJ Custom 3 Link, 2.5" FOA Coilovers, 4.88 gears, Trussed D30, Locrite lockers, 35" MTR's

85' CJ7 Project "Bentsome"
In Progress
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Unread 05-04-2013, 11:06 AM   #12
locked-up-XJ
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3 link is finished and I'm happy on how it turned out. I used 1 3/4x.250 DOM for the lowers and 7/8 heims on all links.
image-3417223447.jpg   image-939567950.jpg   image-479727076.jpg   image-1161688655.jpg   image-2089541413.jpg  

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1999 TJ Custom 3 Link, 2.5" FOA Coilovers, 4.88 gears, Trussed D30, Locrite lockers, 35" MTR's

85' CJ7 Project "Bentsome"
In Progress
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Unread 05-04-2013, 12:18 PM   #13
243
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Boy, that took a turn from rebuild to "wicked build"
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Unread 05-16-2013, 04:28 PM   #14
locked-up-XJ
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Made some progress over the past few days.













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1999 TJ Custom 3 Link, 2.5" FOA Coilovers, 4.88 gears, Trussed D30, Locrite lockers, 35" MTR's

85' CJ7 Project "Bentsome"
In Progress
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Unread 05-16-2013, 04:29 PM   #15
locked-up-XJ
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1999 TJ Custom 3 Link, 2.5" FOA Coilovers, 4.88 gears, Trussed D30, Locrite lockers, 35" MTR's

85' CJ7 Project "Bentsome"
In Progress
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