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Cutlass327 06-04-2011 10:36 PM

Rick's 'build' thread - 78 CJ5
Well, since I have been on here for a few years now, I figure I might as well start my own thread for my CJ. I'm not much for taking pics, so sorry if there aren't as many as others post. I'll do my best though.

I bought it over in PA, drove it the hour or so drive home. Realized after I paid the money, gotten the temp tag. and fired it up to drive it home, that I never even test drove it! Oh well, drove great once I got used to the noise of the soft top, the feeling of about to fall thru the soft doors, the loose manual steering box, and the manual brakes. The guy had put a 'glass tub, 'glass fenders, repainted it, and new BFG All-terrain T/A 31's on it.

Since I've bought it, I put Hella lights on the front brush guard, installed a cheap CD player with 2 6x9s in boxes on the rear fender wells, had the Bestop restitched, new windows put in the top since some punk thought he'd be cool and slash the rear window, upgraded the ignition, and some other maintenance for a vehicle that has sat in a garage for a few years - brakes, some fluid changes, exhaust leaks, etc. I also had to reweld the rear bumper on, since the previous weld let go trying to pull a swing set out of the ground.

After daily driving it for the past couple years, the small rust holes in the frame have become gaping holes, some big enough to put my hand thru. The one behind the steering brackets went from a small crack to no more metal behind the box. I've tried taking pics, but they just don't really show up too well from the angles they were taken at. This rust issue prompted me to save for another frame. I was originally thinking of finding a used frame, replacing bad spots and restoring an old frame for swapping into the CJ, but I decided I'd rather go all new. I know my luck. All that work to repair a frame, and Ohio DOT would rust it out within a few years again with their salt on the roads.I bought a frame from TDK - galvanized, SRS, winch plate, and shipped to me, around $3400. 2 coats of POR15 and then 2 more of Chassis Black, I was able to put the new stock height springs on last week. FYI - if you go with a TDK frame, for the SRS they use YJ front frame bushings for the shackles. The CJ ones fit right thru the tube in the frame..

I'll open a photobucket account to post my pics, so probably in the next day or so I'll try to post some pics.

Cutlass327 06-04-2011 10:59 PM

Here's a couple pics. I know they may be repeats from other threads. but oh well ;)

Cutlass327 06-04-2011 11:04 PM

Anyone know where this goes? I removed the small screws on the lock-out hub, removed it. Then removed the 6 bolts from the hub, removed it. I found this and the spindle jam nut on the end on the stub shaft. I've got to get a new spindle nut kit now, since there are no useable threads on the jam nut, they're all smoothed over from riding on the shaft for a while. I was just fortunate that the inner nut held the bearings tight enough and that the wheel never fell off!

forgive the grass clippings, they weren't in the hub. I had dropped the clip and didn't clean it off yet..

Skerr 06-05-2011 07:14 AM

Looking forward to your build Rick. It's awesome to have a galvanized frame! I've no idea on the ring. It's been too long since I repacked my spindles/hubs. I don't remember a flat washer like that one in there?

Cutlass327 06-05-2011 11:01 AM

It's more of a snap ring. look around the 4:00 position you'll see the gap.

Coiz 06-05-2011 11:06 AM

Looks like the snap ring that goes in the groove on end of the axle.

Cutlass327 06-05-2011 11:28 AM

Ther was one on the very end, it held the inner lock-out 'dog' onto the stub. Is there one up close to the spindle on the stub too?

Coiz 06-05-2011 11:35 AM


Originally Posted by Cutlass327 (Post 11657509)
Ther was one on the very end, it held the inner lock-out 'dog' onto the stub. Is there one up close to the spindle on the stub too?

No, just the one that goes on the very end there.

Cutlass327 06-05-2011 11:20 PM

Ok, another question. Looking at the front mount of the grille, there is a metal 'disc' about an inch thick welded to the frame crossmember. It does have a 1" body lift on it, but I thought that was all in the bushings. Am I going to need that with the new frame? If so, I guess I'll have to grind out the weld and reuse it. As you can see on the pic of the new frame, right behind the "TDK" in it there is the dropped area where the mount sits, and this is where that metal piece is. I just want to know it this is a part of the OEM frame or if it was an add-on. I'll get a pic later this week when I get back out to the Jeep to fix the front bearing issue.

Cutlass327 06-11-2011 04:47 PM

Ok, here's the pic of the front body mount under the grille I am wondering about. Is that metal piece welded to the front part under the rubber bushing an add-on? If so, am I going to have to have one made, or is it available as part of a kit i can maybe order from a kit manufacturer?

And then this is the front part of my new frame, no metal spacer piece..

jcalhoon84 06-11-2011 04:58 PM

Someone welded that on...maybe they replaced the mount and needed a spacer for fitting.

Cutlass327 06-11-2011 11:43 PM

Well, can anyone out there that can fab well make one of these? I'll pay shipping and cost of the part.

I'm guessing that since it has a 1" body lift that the metal piece is 1" thick..

Cutlass327 06-23-2011 01:52 AM

Well, I ended up just cutting the old one off and re-using it, worked fine.

Well Got it done. Started on Tuesday of last week, finished by driving it home Saturday night. First day, pulled the fenders, hood, bumpers, nerf bars, and body. Got the front axle out and onto the new frame:

How we supported the body - we did minimal interior removal, only had 5 days to get it done, and I only was going to have help on Tuesday and Friday:

Probably not the most ideal way to lift the engine, but it worked. Took a log chain, wrapped it down under the bellhousing area of the transmission, and then the other end went down and under the oil pan. I put a couple 2x4 scraps between the chain and the pan to prevent any crushing of the pan. It worked like a charm:

In the background of the pic above, you can see the Ranger that was to be my DD during this and my parts-runner. Too bad it blew the middle drive shaft yoke was I was leaving 4WDH on the Monday before I started this! Its new yoke came in on Friday. This is what happens when you more than double the torque of engine from it's original design - 80hp from the original 2.3 compared to the 195+ hp of the 2.3 turbo that is in it now. I don't remember the tq ratings - it's an 88 Turbo Coupe engine with the manual trans LA3 ECU..

Back to my '5....
Removing the front axle:

A "just for fun" shot - all he needs is the triangular straw hat:

Cutlass327 06-23-2011 01:58 AM

Here's the whole reason for this thread:

Notice the steering box bracket in this next pic. The Top rear bolt was MIA, the top front bolt was rusted solid, and not tight. The bottom front bolt's washer had broken in half, and the half that was there was just snug. The bottom rear bolt hole as you can see if broken off, and the half of bracket there is getting chewed thinner from the box moving. Then the rust in the frame just to the rear of the steering mount area is a good example of what was behind the box too:

Cutlass327 06-23-2011 02:02 AM

The brake lines and fuel lines, as we were tearing it apart, were just crumbling and breaking. I was so glad I was able to get this done when I did, and this is also why I didn't do anything too extreme in my CJ. I was afraid it would break in half, or worse yet - the steering box fall out on the highway!

This is where we ended on the first day:

The time now is 06:12 PM.

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