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Unread 05-02-2012, 04:06 PM   #1
jscherb
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CJ Grille Conversion Kit for the TJ/LJ: Project Build Thread

This is a technical build thread *

I really like the classic styling of the CJ grille and front end, but having had a daily driver CJ-8 Scrambler for five years, I can say that I definitely prefer a more modern vehicle like my '06 LJ as my daily driver.

My current DD LJ and the Scrambler that was my DD before the LJ...



I love my LJ, but I do miss the classic CJ styling, so I've decided it's time to make it possible to install a CJ grille on the LJ.

I've seen several attempts at putting a CJ grille, hood and fenders on a TJ, but I haven't seen one where all the differences between the lines and curves of the CJ and TJ have been dealt with in a factory-quality way. It's a hard thing to do, because there are many differences between the models and manyways in which the parts don't line up if you just try to bolt a CJ front clip onto a TJ tub.

So in this project thread I'll be building a bolt-on "CJ Grille Conversion Kit for the TJ/LJ", with the necessary custom fiberglass body panels to make the installation of a CJ grille on a TJ or LJ look like it came from the factory that way.

I've collected a bunch of CJ and TJ hoods, fenders and even the front sections of both CJ and TJ tubs to provide materials for this project, this photo shows just some of the pile of raw materials that I've collected for this project:



I've done a detailed design and developed a build plan for dealing with all of differences between the shape, lines, and dimensions of the TJ cowl and the CJ grille/hood so that everything lines up properly, and I'll cover the design and technical details of the project in this thread.


* I'm saying up front this is a technical build thread because this is my second attempt to start a thread on this subject. The first time, the moderators moved the thread to the Wrangler General Discussion area, I guess because the posts I made the first day in the thread weren't technical enough. Moderators: this thread will definitely be technical.

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Unread 05-02-2012, 04:07 PM   #2
jscherb
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Here's basically what the project will entail:

- A factory CJ grille will be installed on a TJ. Some minor trimming will be necessary on the bottom of the grille to clear the TJ frame rails and power steering lines.

- A custom CJ hood will be made from fiberglass to adapt all of the curves and lines of the TJ cowl and CJ grille so everything lines up in a factory way. This hood will look mostly like a CJ hood, especially in the more flat top than the TJ and the CJ ridge running up to the front of the hood, but it will be shaped in the rear to match the TJ tub. In addition to the hood, a replacement for the TJ's removable cowl panel will be made which will eliminate the hump in the center of the TJ's hood/cowl and make the cowl match the profile of the CJ hood.

- New front fenders will be made that are the proper length for the TJ's engine compartment, but have CJ styling. They'll have TJ inner fenders so all TJ engine compartment accessories can bolt right up without modification.

- This is designed as a "bolt-on kit", meaning everything installs with normal hand tools, and no modification is required on the TJ that isn't easily reversible. In other words, you won't have to hack up an expensive TJ to install this, and if you decided to put the TJ back to stock someday, you could unbolt this kit and bolt the factory TJ parts back on. The goal is an easy install done with ordinary tools that most people would be able to accomplish in their driveway.

- I'll create a set of molds for building the custom parts in fiberglass, and I'll build one or more proof-of-concept kits to test on actual TJ's/LJ's. My current plan is to install one of the kits on my LJ. I might make a test kit or two available if someone has a special Jeep build that this kit would be perfect for.

and...

- My projects often end up spawning related "side projects", so I've done some designs for other options I'm thinking I might build along the way, such as fiberglass flat fenders, hiline fenders, and some other custom parts. As long as I'll be building the molds for CJ fenders and TJ inner fenders, there are a lot of other potential uses for those molds . If you've got any suggestions for interesting types of fenders you'd like to see, let me know...
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Visit my Jeep Projects site for info on my custom Jeep projects:
  • Retro Wrangler pickup
  • Gaucho CJ pickup
  • Safari Cab custom modular hardtop
  • Fiberglass Jeep-tub trailer kit
  • CJ Grille Conversion Kit for the TJ/LJ
  • Fiberglass Military Replica Trailer Kit
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Unread 05-02-2012, 04:17 PM   #3
Meh
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must say I am intrigued. Subscribed. Wish I had the know how to take on such an endeavor. I too love the classic styling of the cjs and would love to have my rubi with a cj body on it.
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Unread 05-02-2012, 04:26 PM   #4
Yucca-man
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Can't wait to see where this goes, and especially which "side projects" will be spawned from this one!
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Unread 05-02-2012, 04:26 PM   #5
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While I personally wouldn't do the swap myself, your work intrigues me and I'm amazed at how you pull this stuff off. With no knowledge on this type of thing in the least, it's most definitely "tech" for me. Looking forward to updates. Looks like a fun project.

Best of Luck,

Mike
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Unread 05-02-2012, 04:34 PM   #6
MotoSoul
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I've never been a big fan of the CJ front end, but I'm sure you will pull it off perfectly as always. I wouldn't mind a set of half door though :P
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Unread 05-02-2012, 04:50 PM   #7
jscherb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meh View Post
must say I am intrigued. Subscribed. Wish I had the know how to take on such an endeavor. I too love the classic styling of the cjs and would love to have my rubi with a cj body on it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 55willystruck View Post
...your work intrigues me and I'm amazed at how you pull this stuff off. With no knowledge on this type of thing in the least, it's most definitely "tech" for me. Looking forward to updates. Looks like a fun project.
I'll document the steps as I go, and if there's some step or process I don't explain well enough along the way, just ask and I'll try to provide more information.
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Visit my Jeep Projects site for info on my custom Jeep projects:
  • Retro Wrangler pickup
  • Gaucho CJ pickup
  • Safari Cab custom modular hardtop
  • Fiberglass Jeep-tub trailer kit
  • CJ Grille Conversion Kit for the TJ/LJ
  • Fiberglass Military Replica Trailer Kit
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Unread 05-02-2012, 04:55 PM   #8
jscherb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yucca-man View Post
Can't wait to see where this goes, and especially which "side projects" will be spawned from this one!
At this moment, the one I'd say I'm most likely to do would be fiberglass flat fenders. Once I get the basic "CJ style" fenders done along with the TJ inner fender molds, it will be pretty straightforward implement the flat fender design I've been working on.

And who knows what other projects people will suggest along the way... usually in the course of one of my projects someone comes up with a suggestion I can't resist implementing .
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"Whether you think you can do something or you think you can't, you are right" - Henry Ford

Visit my Jeep Projects site for info on my custom Jeep projects:
  • Retro Wrangler pickup
  • Gaucho CJ pickup
  • Safari Cab custom modular hardtop
  • Fiberglass Jeep-tub trailer kit
  • CJ Grille Conversion Kit for the TJ/LJ
  • Fiberglass Military Replica Trailer Kit
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Unread 05-02-2012, 05:25 PM   #9
redjeep1992
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OMG I can't wait to see what you come up with I may actually buy this keep up the good work work Jeff
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Unread 05-02-2012, 05:47 PM   #10
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I can't wait to see this one. If it's anything like your previous projects, it's gonna be
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Unread 05-02-2012, 06:36 PM   #11
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Done yet?
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[COLOR="Blue"]My build: [url]http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/fuzzbucket-build-1126577/[/url][/COLOR]
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Unread 05-03-2012, 06:02 AM   #12
mike_dippert
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Since this will inevitably end up being another 1000 post thread. I'm requesting you put updates in the first post, or links to the update posts in your first post. I loose all interest when there's 5 pages of new posts in a day, and none of them are an update from you.
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Unread 05-03-2012, 06:06 AM   #13
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cmoore did this on his TJ a little over 2 years ago, and it turned out awesome.
Thread: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f9/pu...ill-tj-940581/

After following your builds and being amazed at your skills, I look forward to seeing what you come up with.
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Unread 05-03-2012, 06:11 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unlimited04 View Post
cmoore did this on his TJ a little over 2 years ago, and it turned out awesome.
Thread: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f9/pu...ill-tj-940581/

After following your builds and being amazed at your skills, I look forward to seeing what you come up with.
The build you quote is quite different than what Jeff will be doing. cmoore modified the grill and I believe that Jeff will be using a factory CJ grill and incorporating a custom hood/fenders to transition to the TJ tub.
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Unread 05-03-2012, 06:17 AM   #15
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Jeff, your work is masterful, I learn much from each of your projects.

Looking forward to following along.

John
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