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
AMC 20 (for now)
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
More updates to come as I find time to work on it.
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.
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.
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.