Teardown and Repair my 1985 CJ-7 Laredo - JeepForum.com
Search  
Sign Up   Today's Posts
User: Pass: Remember?
Advertise Here
Jeep Home Jeep Forum Jeep Classifieds Jeep Registry JeepSpace Jeep Reviews Jeep Gallery Jeep Clubs Jeep Groups Jeep Videos Jeep Events Jeep Articles
Go Back JeepForum.com > Models > Jeep CJ Forum > Teardown and Repair my 1985 CJ-7 Laredo

Introducing MONSTALINER™ UV Permanent DIY Roll On Bed LineYear End Clearance Sale! Save 20%Warn, Smitybilt, Engo, Rugged Ridge Winches at CCOR

Reply
Unread 06-06-2012, 03:34 PM   #1
BlkCJ7Laredo
Web Wheeler
 
BlkCJ7Laredo's Avatar
1985 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Potsdam, NY
Posts: 1,043
Teardown and Repair my 1985 CJ-7 Laredo

8/10/12

Just a note to anyone starting to read the thread. I started out in one direction thinking that I was just going to make a few simple repairs and a new paint job and decals but after digging into it a little bit I have decided to go for broke (hopefully not literally) and try to mostly restore the Jeep to like-new condition with the exception of the 3" Black Diamond lift, 33" tires/wheels and the changing of the differential gears from the OEM 2.73 to 3.73. Also my engine is not original, it is a 258 from a 1988 YJ Wrangler that was rebuilt by me about 30,000 miles ago.

I hope everyone enjoys watching the progress as I try to bring my Jeep back to better days and anyone who has any advice or pointers you're welcomed to chime in. Cheers.

.................................................. .......


Here we go. Now I'm joining the ranks of a few of the others here doing a teardown, repairs, and put it back together again. I won't be doing a complete frame-off on the Jeep at this time as I already did that once 12 years ago. My goal over the next month and a half is to bring the Jeep back to CJ specs (I used a YJ tub), fix a few of the places that have went bad since I did the teardown in 1998, and upgrade some of the problem prone areas so I can get a little more enjoyment out of the Jeep before completely tearing it down again to completely restore/resto-mod it to be as good or better than it was when it rolled out of the AMC dealer new in November 1984.

Here's where I'm starting today. The biggest visual problem is I have developed rust between the cowl reinforcement, cowl, and side panel on the driver's side. I've started by folding down the windshield, removing the whole dash and wiring harness, and starting to grind out the rust to see what I'm up against here.






What I have come to find here is that water came in thru the windshield hinges and ran down the inside of the panel and behind/between the reinforcement and the cowl and side panel and it rusted from the inside out. I've already called Classic Enterprises this afternoon as they now list the cown reinforcement on their website but the guy there tells me that it will be about a month before they are ready and that someone jumped the gun and put it on the website too early. I really don't want to wait that long and this really should be fixed somewhat the right way even though I plan on starting the full teardown either this winter or next winter.

I'm going to shape some sheetmetal to fix the outside but not sure what to do with the reinforcement. I just don't want it to be flimsy or look like crap for the meanwhile.

Has anyone ever removed/replaced this cowl reinforcement other than the bottom of it that just about everyone has done? what holds it in?

__________________
'85 CJ-7 Laredo currently under construction.

My Rebuild/Restoration Thread, In Progress
BlkCJ7Laredo is online now   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 06-06-2012, 04:49 PM   #2
BlkCJ7Laredo
Web Wheeler
 
BlkCJ7Laredo's Avatar
1985 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Potsdam, NY
Posts: 1,043
Went back out to the garage to take more stuff apart and low and behold I find more rust. I do believe all my rust problems are only on the driver's side of the Jeep. If I find any more issue here then I'm just going to find another tub.

The whole left side panel needs to be replaced I figure since there is the reinforcement issue and removing the step/flare turned up a bunch more cancer.






Going back out now to pull the flare on the other side and if I find more rust then I'm stopping here and finding a rust free tub. You can't stop rust once it starts no matter what anyone tells you unless you separate every seam, weld, reinforcement, etc and sandblast and clean both sides to fresh bare metal then properly topcoat it.
__________________
'85 CJ-7 Laredo currently under construction.

My Rebuild/Restoration Thread, In Progress
BlkCJ7Laredo is online now   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 06-06-2012, 05:08 PM   #3
Matt1981CJ7
Web Wheeler
 
Matt1981CJ7's Avatar
1981 CJ7 
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Elbert, CO
Posts: 10,990
May I suggest a product called Phosphoric Prep & Etch (Home Depot - $16)

It's a rust neutralizer made from phosphoric acid. Just spray it on, let it seep into all the nooks and crannies, then let it sit over night.

Here's a few pieces I've used it on.

Matt
exhaustmanifold1.jpg   exhaustmanifolds3.jpg   exhaustmanifolds6.jpg   oilpan1.jpg   oilpan2.jpg  

oilpan3.jpg   exhaustmanifolds5.jpg  
Matt1981CJ7 is online now   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 06-06-2012, 05:17 PM   #4
yippie21
Member
 
yippie21's Avatar
1979 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Arlington, TEXAS
Posts: 471
Can you leave that Prep n' Etch on , or does it have to been washed back off again, ie, just spraying / treating exhaust manifold, etc... ??
__________________
'79 CJ7
'09 JK Unlimited Sahara ( sold )
'97 TJ (sold )
yippie21 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 06-06-2012, 05:44 PM   #5
BlkCJ7Laredo
Web Wheeler
 
BlkCJ7Laredo's Avatar
1985 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Potsdam, NY
Posts: 1,043
That Prep N Etch must be fairly similar to POR 15's Metal Ready. That is all fine and dandy and I'd use that if all I had was a little surface rust but there's severe deterioration in the cowl reinforcement and side panel front, center, and rear. Floors are all in great condition no holes. RH side has a cancer spot in the normal spot between the reinforcement and side panel just under the Joop stamping and also a spot just behind where the tub meets the fender.

I do not like the idea of patching up anything so I do believe after finding that I do have issues on the RH side, although not as severe, that I'm going to go on the search for a new tub. As it is, the replacement side panel with Jeep stamped in it is gonna be probably $400 and all the extra work and time involved cutting the old one off and welding the new one on, and we know the fit is questionable with the MD Juan produced panels.

I'll update as the work progresses unless someone here has some better ideas.

Also, if I do go the route of getting another tub this one will be for sale. I know to a lot of you guys this is not severe at all and would salvage it but I just don't have the time or patience to undertake that much body work.

__________________
'85 CJ-7 Laredo currently under construction.

My Rebuild/Restoration Thread, In Progress
BlkCJ7Laredo is online now   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 06-06-2012, 06:48 PM   #6
Matt1981CJ7
Web Wheeler
 
Matt1981CJ7's Avatar
1981 CJ7 
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Elbert, CO
Posts: 10,990
Yippie,

At full strength, the Prep & Etch will leave a sticky residue that needs to be washed off. A good wire-brushing and power-wash was all the manifolds took to be ready for paint. That was after two over-night soakings with P&E.

The idea is to neutralize all the rust before working the metal. On a tub restore, the beauty of P&E is that you can spray it into all those seams and impossible to reach places. Since there's no way to effectively restore those areas, at least you will slow down, or stop, the rotting for a while.

BlkCJ7Laredo, have you priced out the costs of the nicer new aftermarket tubs? Not the cheap stuff. I hope you REALLY like your CJ....$$$$$!!

Matt
Matt1981CJ7 is online now   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 06-06-2012, 06:53 PM   #7
BlkCJ7Laredo
Web Wheeler
 
BlkCJ7Laredo's Avatar
1985 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Potsdam, NY
Posts: 1,043
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt1981CJ7 View Post
BlkCJ7Laredo, have you priced out the costs of the nicer new aftermarket tubs? Not the cheap stuff. I hope you REALLY like your CJ....$$$$$!!

Matt
Yes, I know what a Repli-Tub costs. Not taking that route. Why pay $4large for an ill fitting tub that will take tons of work to make fit?

What I'm looking for is a YJ tub that's not rotten. This one came from NH in 1998 and it's an '89 tub so it was doused with salt for 9 years before I got it. I found one on craigslist in Miami for $1000 but I'm sure there's others out there possibly cheaper.

I've called out a couple friends to search for one for me and put a wanted ad up here and hopefully I get lucky.
__________________
'85 CJ-7 Laredo currently under construction.

My Rebuild/Restoration Thread, In Progress
BlkCJ7Laredo is online now   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 06-06-2012, 08:17 PM   #8
keith460
Jeep. There's Only One
 
keith460's Avatar
1984 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Doylestown, PA
Posts: 5,031
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlkCJ7Laredo View Post
Yes, I know what a Repli-Tub costs. Not taking that route. Why pay $4large for an ill fitting tub that will take tons of work to make fit?
That's an understatement if I ever read one! Yes, tons of work and you still get an ill fitting tub in the end. Panels that aren't flat, cowl lines that don't match OEM hood lines, tub that is 3/8" out of square from one corner to the other, Toe boards that are higher on one side then the other and a rear flange that must be removed and reworked to fit over the factory gas tank.


The only positive outcome is I only paid $1800 and have zero rust but all the prep work cost me another $1000.

YJ tub for me also if I ever do another project again!
__________________
.
1984 CJ-7 Renegade
__________________

Restoration Thread:http://www.jeepsunlimited.com/forums...d.php?t=434226
keith460 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 06-06-2012, 08:26 PM   #9
BlkCJ7Laredo
Web Wheeler
 
BlkCJ7Laredo's Avatar
1985 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Potsdam, NY
Posts: 1,043
Quote:
Originally Posted by keith460 View Post
That's an understatement if I ever read one! Yes, tons of work and you still get an ill fitting tub in the end. Panels that aren't flat, cowl lines that don't match OEM hood lines, tub that is 3/8" out of square from one corner to the other, Toe boards that are higher on one side then the other and a rear flange that must be removed and reworked to fit over the factory gas tank.


The only positive outcome is I only paid $1800 and have zero rust but all the prep work cost me another $1000.

YJ tub for me also if I ever do another project again!
Thanks for joining my thread Keith! After reading your restore thread over and over about 20 times now I've seen all the shortcomings of the MD Juan tubs. I really didn't think that my tub had the issues that it does, but after removing the YJ rocker flares/steps today it all reared it's ugly head.

I've also looked at Coiz's and 243's restore threads over and over and I just don't want to undertake the work they have to try and bring this tub back to life. Anything that I've ever seen that's been cut, patched, etc the rust has come right back a couple years later.

I know I could get away with just replacing the left side panel and patch the two small spots on the right, but that would be a considerable amount of work and expense (just the side panel is $400) and it's likely that I can sell this tub to someone who is willing to cut and patch to recoup a little bit of the expense.

I have two friends (who are brothers) that are searching for a rust free YJ tub for me in South Carolina and in Arizona. Hopefully between them and my wanted ad here, and searching Craigslist I can find one soon so I can get this project underway.

I really wanted to have it prettied up at least somewhat to bring it to the PA Jeep Show but I don't think that's going to happen now
__________________
'85 CJ-7 Laredo currently under construction.

My Rebuild/Restoration Thread, In Progress
BlkCJ7Laredo is online now   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 06-06-2012, 08:39 PM   #10
keith460
Jeep. There's Only One
 
keith460's Avatar
1984 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Doylestown, PA
Posts: 5,031
Well I hope you find a rust free YJ tub because they rust just as bad as a CJ tub around here. Hopefully you get one that a woman use to own and never took it off road and was scared to death to drive it in the snow, that ought to be a rust free one!

Your right about old patch work that comes back to haunt you. Did that before on my old tub and after about 5 years, it all came back. No amount of sandblasting and welding patch panels in place stopped the old cancer from returning so I sent that tub to its grave.

__________________
.
1984 CJ-7 Renegade
__________________

Restoration Thread:http://www.jeepsunlimited.com/forums...d.php?t=434226
keith460 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 06-06-2012, 08:44 PM   #11
BlkCJ7Laredo
Web Wheeler
 
BlkCJ7Laredo's Avatar
1985 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Potsdam, NY
Posts: 1,043
Ya, you aren't much better off in PA than here in NY. You guys probably don't use calcium as much there though. There was the guy that '83 or '84 Renegade tub or whole Jeep from AZ. I'd love to find something like that. No modifying at all, and just keep it parked in a dry place so it never rusts. I would have to use my frame and drivetrain though so that it stays "my Jeep"
__________________
'85 CJ-7 Laredo currently under construction.

My Rebuild/Restoration Thread, In Progress
BlkCJ7Laredo is online now   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 06-07-2012, 07:39 PM   #12
BlkCJ7Laredo
Web Wheeler
 
BlkCJ7Laredo's Avatar
1985 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Potsdam, NY
Posts: 1,043
Since I've got nothing to lose here I did a little more work on it tonight after work.

Rust from the inside out where the cowl brace is spot welded against the side panel:



Traced out, cut, sanded down, spot welds drilled:



Started removing the piece. Missed the welds a little. Needed a tiny bit of chiseling:



Rusted piece removed to reveal rusting cowl reinforcement. I'll need to cut out further up to get to clean metal I guess:



This is the problem with rust. How far do I go to reach the clean stuff? I don't want any rust left on the cowl reinforcement that will just do the same thing to my new patch a couple years down the road. This is why I'm debating getting another tub. As far as I can tell the floor lips are clean as I go back away from the cowl reinforcement a couple inches. I'll cut a little more out and see where I'm at. I don't want to get up into the "Joop" stamping as that kills the Jeep if you know what I mean.
__________________
'85 CJ-7 Laredo currently under construction.

My Rebuild/Restoration Thread, In Progress
BlkCJ7Laredo is online now   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 06-07-2012, 08:20 PM   #13
Matt1981CJ7
Web Wheeler
 
Matt1981CJ7's Avatar
1981 CJ7 
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Elbert, CO
Posts: 10,990
FIX THAT *****!!!

If I can do it, having never done it before, so can you.

Matt
patch2-3.jpg   patch2-7.jpg   patchfinal.jpg  
Matt1981CJ7 is online now   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 06-07-2012, 08:32 PM   #14
Matt1981CJ7
Web Wheeler
 
Matt1981CJ7's Avatar
1981 CJ7 
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Elbert, CO
Posts: 10,990
I failed to mention...

The inner brace and floor piece are easily patched, as well.

Matt
weld1.jpg   weld2.jpg   weld3.jpg   weld4.jpg  
Matt1981CJ7 is online now   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 06-07-2012, 09:23 PM   #15
BlkCJ7Laredo
Web Wheeler
 
BlkCJ7Laredo's Avatar
1985 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Potsdam, NY
Posts: 1,043
I'm trying, I'm trying. The way I figure it... Doing this is free or next to free. The side panels are 16ga right? I can grab a sheet of that at Tractor Supply for like $10 big enough to do these patches. I only fear that I'll have to keep cutting and cutting and cutting to get far enough up that brace without rust that I'll be chopping up the Joop stamping. If it gets that far I'm not sure what direction I'm going to take.

The left side has so many problems in so many spots that I may just order up a whole side panel. It has rust in the seam to the cowl, rust in that door opening, that reinforcement is all rusted out and comes on the new side panel so I think thats the right thing to do. I found one for $365 shipped with the Jeep logo stamped in it so I'll probably still be into this a lot less than another YJ tub which I'm sure would be at least $500 for a good one plus however much to ship it since it would likely need to come from the deep south or southwest. Thats why I'm attacking the RH side first. If I screw that up then I'll go new tub route but if it goes well then I'll attack the left side.
__________________
'85 CJ-7 Laredo currently under construction.

My Rebuild/Restoration Thread, In Progress
BlkCJ7Laredo is online now   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the JeepForum.com forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid e-mail address for yourself.
Note: All free e-mails have been banned due to mis-use. (Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, etc.)
Don't have a non-free e-mail address? Click here for a solution: Manual Account Creation
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Thread Tools


Suggested Threads





Jeep, Wrangler, Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, and other models are copyrighted and trademarked to Jeep/Chrysler Corporation. JeepForum.com is not in any way associated with Jeep or the Chrysler Corp.