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Unread 08-26-2013, 08:18 PM   #1
GOJOman
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1978 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Cleveland, OH
Posts: 130
Taming the Beast

This thread picks up where the Laverne vs Shirley thread ended. This will recount -- and solicit LOTS of advice on -- the work I have ahead of me.

This is a 78 cj7 that I found outside of Pittsburgh. It was a project jeep for a guy who had done tons of work on it as a frame off restoration project while living in NC. (It's an NC jeep -- never seen snow or salt.). He put a bunch of time an $$ into it, and then found himself with a baby on the way, etc. He hadn't had any action after a month of trying to sell it, so we were able to cut a good deal. Here's a summary...

- 154k miles. PO says it may actually be 54k, but I'm working with the assumption it's 154. Title is mileage exempt.
- original tub, hood and grill. Fenders have been replaced with new metal. The body isn't perfect -- there are some minor dents you can see up close and his home paint job leaves a lot a be desired, but from 10 ft away it looks pretty great. The inside of the tub is RhinoLined.
- frame is very clean, both the body and the frame were sprayed with POR15 while it was disassembled
- 3 speed, 304 V8 both original and in good shape as far as I can tell (the tranny was recently rebuilt)
- all new electrical system, new stainless steel brake lines and fuel line, new aluminum radiator
- 3 inch suspension lift and another 1 inch lift on the frame
- brand new Goodyear 33" Wrangler Duratrac tires
- Edelbrock carb and intake manifolds, HEI distributor less ignition
- power break conversion
- seats are in good condition, as is the soft top and doors.
- it also came with a brand new bikini top ( ... also a hard top and doors, but those will be major projects themselves) and a sporty sound system for the roll bar

Not a bad place to start. So why is is thread called Taming the Beast? Because even though it looks pretty, it's a bit of a loud and nasty mess to drive right now.

Not a bad place to Here are some of the things on the punch list:
- the exhaust system is a mess. It sounds like a group of Hells Angels pounding into town on big ballsy model T's. Probably needs to get re worked all the way back to the headers.
- the steering is also a mess. Initial inspection by some buds who know a lot about cars didn't indicate the problem, but it's sloppy as hell. (I had it trailered to Cleveland from Pittsb because it's really not safe right now.)
- it has a YJ roll bar that's only partially installed
- there are some open holes in the dash -- like where the sound system, the glove box and the clock should be -- and the other gauges aren't installed securely
- it works really hard to crank and turn over, very hard to re-start when it's warm
- and there are about 20 smaller items, like installing the back seat.

Even thou it looks pretty sharp, it's a loud and nasty drive right now! Some stuff I will likely job out -- Iike a new exhaust system -- but I'm going to try to do a lot by myself (with your help).

Today's learning: it's a b-buster getting wrenches up in there to adjust the clutch pedal!

Tomorrow I will start posting project pix and questions. Thanks in advance for your guidance.

Marty. ( ... In case you're wondering, I paid $7500 for it.)

image-1007178126.jpg

image-494833798.jpg

image-1347888455.jpg

image-1080364695.jpg

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Unread 08-26-2013, 08:55 PM   #2
kovic
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1983 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 604
More pics please

kov
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Unread 08-26-2013, 09:15 PM   #3
BagusJeep
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1981 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Bali, Indonesia
Posts: 4,401
Looks like a great start, someone else has done the hard dirty work for you!!!

Exhausts are relatively easy to work on. As long as you can get the leaks in the manifold joints sealed up it is only a question of fitting the right mufflers, getting the tailpipe to point out sideways and down through the rear springs so the gas not come back in and suspending it so that it does not bang on the bodywork. My local muffler guy has a range of generic mufflers, I just choose the largest and quietest recirculating one on the basis that being large must mean it is doing a lot of muffling, straight through loud mufflers are good for a giggle but get annoying after a few miles. This is welded on in a few minutes and an appropiate finishing piece on the tail, usually costs around $30 each and lasts about 5 years of abuse.

Yeah I know that the performance guys will fit headers, large pipes, free flow mufflers etc but I have a 32 year old CJ that rarely sees 2500rpm. Loud noise is not performance!!!!!
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Unread 08-26-2013, 10:38 PM   #4
LeePrather
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1978 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Jefferson, Ga
Posts: 619
Quote:
Originally Posted by GOJOman
This thread picks up where the Laverne vs Shirley thread ended. This will recount -- and solicit LOTS of advice on -- the work I have ahead of me.

This is a 78 cj7 that I found outside of Pittsburgh. It was a project jeep for a guy who had done tons of work on it as a frame off restoration project while living in NC. (It's an NC jeep -- never seen snow or salt.). He put a bunch of time an $$ into it, and then found himself with a baby on the way, etc. He hadn't had any action after a month of trying to sell it, so we were able to cut a good deal. Here's a summary...

- 154k miles. PO says it may actually be 54k, but I'm working with the assumption it's 154. Title is mileage exempt.
- original tub, hood and grill. Fenders have been replaced with new metal. The body isn't perfect -- there are some minor dents you can see up close and his home paint job leaves a lot a be desired, but from 10 ft away it looks pretty great. The inside of the tub is RhinoLined.
- frame is very clean, both the body and the frame were sprayed with POR15 while it was disassembled
- 3 speed, 304 V8 both original and in good shape as far as I can tell (the tranny was recently rebuilt)
- all new electrical system, new stainless steel brake lines and fuel line, new aluminum radiator
- 3 inch suspension lift and another 1 inch lift on the frame
- brand new Goodyear 33" Wrangler Duratrac tires
- Edelbrock carb and intake manifolds, HEI distributor less ignition
- power break conversion
- seats are in good condition, as is the soft top and doors.
- it also came with a brand new bikini top ( ... also a hard top and doors, but those will be major projects themselves) and a sporty sound system for the roll bar

Not a bad place to start. So why is is thread called Taming the Beast? Because even though it looks pretty, it's a bit of a loud and nasty mess to drive right now.

Not a bad place to Here are some of the things on the punch list:
- the exhaust system is a mess. It sounds like a group of Hells Angels pounding into town on big ballsy model T's. Probably needs to get re worked all the way back to the headers.
- the steering is also a mess. Initial inspection by some buds who know a lot about cars didn't indicate the problem, but it's sloppy as hell. (I had it trailered to Cleveland from Pittsb because it's really not safe right now.)
- it has a YJ roll bar that's only partially installed
- there are some open holes in the dash -- like where the sound system, the glove box and the clock should be -- and the other gauges aren't installed securely
- it works really hard to crank and turn over, very hard to re-start when it's warm
- and there are about 20 smaller items, like installing the back seat.

Even thou it looks pretty sharp, it's a loud and nasty drive right now! Some stuff I will likely job out -- Iike a new exhaust system -- but I'm going to try to do a lot by myself (with your help).

Today's learning: it's a b-buster getting wrenches up in there to adjust the clutch pedal!

Tomorrow I will start posting project pix and questions. Thanks in advance for your guidance.

Marty. ( ... In case you're wondering, I paid $7500 for it.)
Are those runck bumpers?
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Unread 08-27-2013, 06:18 AM   #5
GOJOman
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1978 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Cleveland, OH
Posts: 130
I guess they are Runk bumpers. I haven't heard of that brand -- but that would explain the big R on the top of each post. They are pretty cool, though, and heaven help the person that I rear end in this jeep! Thanks for pointing that out

Marty
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Unread 08-27-2013, 06:32 AM   #6
LeePrather
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1978 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Jefferson, Ga
Posts: 619
Do a little research on them. A lot of people really hate the look of them. They really are heavy duty. If you ever take one off you will know it...lol they ain't light!
image-3804722451.jpg

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Unread 09-02-2013, 08:00 PM   #7
GOJOman
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1978 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Cleveland, OH
Posts: 130
The Taming of the Beast exercise is going pretty well right out of the gate.

When I bought it I didn't appreciate how much work the PO had done and how many new parts he had already invested in. Most all of major mechanical stuff really has been done already. Beyond that, there were a bunch of things I thought I was going to need to buy, and I found about half of them in the boxes of stuff that came with the jeep.

I've been making progress pretty quickly on cosmetic fixing just by installing what I inherited -- not pimping it out, replacing things that are obviously missing, like the glove box. And I just ordered a pile of things on Amazon. I've done some minor mechanical like adjusting the clutch, but nothing too heavy. In truth, this is proving to be a good fit for me, as my work life is pretty consuming. I do have a mess in the steering that needs to be attended to and a bit of a mess in the dashboard, and I'm determined to do that work myself. All told, I'm having a ball. The only problem is that my wife gets pissed about me spending so much time in the garage...

Since this isn't really a tear down / make-over project I realize that it doesn't merit a running thread like the projects of guys who are doing the really ambitious stuff. I'm not going to maintain this thread, then. I'm going to just be posting specific questions and topics as I encounter them. I hope everyone will continue to be generous with advice!

Marty ... and Go Browns! :-)
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Unread 09-03-2013, 06:52 AM   #8
waterdowg
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1984 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: nj
Posts: 2,231
Do a search on this forum for Death Wobble for your steering issue. I would take it to an aligment shop and have them check it out. Make sure they check the caster as well. This may be were you issue is with the lift. They can add some wedges to correct it.
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Unread 09-03-2013, 09:14 AM   #9
GOJOman
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1978 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Cleveland, OH
Posts: 130
Next stop -- the alignment shop. This steering problem is pretty severe. That could be a big step in the right direction. Thanks!
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Unread 09-04-2013, 06:31 AM   #10
aggiejon
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1979 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Temple, TX
Posts: 585
Quote:
Originally Posted by GOJOman
only problem is that my wife gets pissed about me spending so much time in the garage...
Welcome to the club, and get used to that. There's a reason that jeeps get referred to as "the girlfriend" or "the other woman"!
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