83 CJ7 Finally out of storage - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 53 Old 08-15-2021, 07:57 AM Thread Starter
Rkuehljr
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83 CJ7 Finally out of storage

I have had this Jeep since 85. Title says I am the original owner but there is a story that Maurice Cheeks bought it for his girlfriend in Texas and put plates from an old VW on it. In 85 he traded it with the same dealer who delivered a Camaro to Texas and drove this Jeep back to Indiana. As I recall, it had like 5,000 miles on it when I bought it. Anyway, it was my daily driver until 92í and got parked in the garage in 1998 with terminal skin cancer.

In July 2019, I finally had the time, motivation, and budget to start the restoration I had alway planned. So I rebuilt the carb, bought a battery, and bungee corded a gas can to the grill with some plastic tubing for fuel lines and fired it up.






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post #2 of 53 Old 08-15-2021, 11:42 PM
BagusJeep
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Jeepers, that is some rust!!

What is the frame like?

BagusJeep lives in Bali with far too many 4x4s:
1981 CJ7 258ci - Bagusjeep
1984 CJ7 258ci - Puthijeep
1981 J20 258ci - Gladys
1951 Willys CJ3A/MB/M38 - Little Willy
1995 Cherokee 4.0 - CHEROKEE
1980 Land Rover Series III 109" troop carrier - ROVER
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post #3 of 53 Old 08-16-2021, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
Rkuehljr
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At this point, I thought the frame was in decent shape except for the tails and rear cross member. The body mounts looked solid and there was just some surface rust. It only has 67,000 miles and was mechanically sound when I parked it 21 years earlier.

So Iím thinking a simple body swap and maybe a Sniper FI. But before the tear down can begin, I need to take it for a drive because my daughter has never seen it move.

After the short drive, I started tearing it apart. I was pleasantly surprised how quickly it came apart. Ya know, a big enough impact and the bolts either come out or break, and most of the time it doesnít matter.

With it stripped down to bare frame, then I could start repairing, cleaning, and putting it back together.







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post #4 of 53 Old 08-17-2021, 03:26 AM
keith460
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rkuehljr View Post
Anyway, it was my daily driver until 92’ and got parked in the garage in 1998 with terminal skin cancer.

In July 2019, I finally had the time, motivation, and budget to start the restoration I had alway planned.

I have the same story on my 84' Renegade. Bought new in 1984, drove until 1996 and then got parked since I could not drive a open floor Flintstones mobile in SE Pa anymore. Then 2007 -2011 a restoration took place....

That is some serious cancer you got going on there. Tub is not worth saving IMHO and should be replaced, and check the frame. The good news is, the front end pieces probably have minor rust and can be transferred to a new Repli-Tub or YJ body. And all the good OEM pieces you will want to save because aftermarket parts are never as good as OEM.

.
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post #5 of 53 Old 08-18-2021, 07:29 PM
JoonHoss
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Oh my! Yeah, that tub...well....isnt!

Look forward to your progress!

Hoss

I used to be a people person, until people ruined it...
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post #6 of 53 Old 08-20-2021, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
Rkuehljr
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So with the frame back in pretty good shape, exterior painted with POR15 and the inside with interior frame paint Iím thinking I need some rear recovery points. Now I have never warmed to bolting a bumper onto the back of a CJ, so I drop the gas tank back out and cut the rear crossmember so I can weld in a couple.


Then I get the idea that a 2Ē receiver would be handy for hauling my bikes. For good measure, I go ahead and box the rear crossmember to stiffen it up.
I donít really plan to ever tow anything with it.

Iím hoping the holes I left are adequate for fishing the wiring through.


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post #7 of 53 Old 08-22-2021, 06:37 AM Thread Starter
Rkuehljr
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Taking stock of what condition the sheet metal is in; I have my work cut out.
The hood is rust free, but it has some dings and all of the adhesive on the reinforcements has failed
The front fenders are a bright spot. No rust and no obvious bends that arenít supposed to be there.
The grill is undamaged and the rust is limited to the bottom channel and doesnít appear to be extensive.
The windshield frame was replaced in the 90ís because the wiper bosses had torn out and of coarse there was rust around the hinges.
The dash is pristine, no rust, no dents, and unmolested.
Three of the four mounting plates on the roll bar are rusted through. The 4th plate is rust free and none of the rust has extended to the tubes. Why that plate didnít rust is beyond my comprehension?
Hard doors; both have rust in the skins that can be replaced. The drivers door however has rust in the window hoop. Iím going to have to think about how that can be fixed.
The tailgate has rust in the skin. The Jeep logo has some rust just to complicate things.
The tubÖ well Ö. Letís just say I need one. I pulled it off in 4 pieces and only had to cut a total of about 6Ē of metal. Iím saving the firewall and cowl to use as a template.
All the tubing is rotted on the side steps and there is surface rust all over. I donít think I have the skills or equipment to fix these so on the scrap pile they go.

They say the way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time, so the easiest fix looks to be the roll bar. Oh, did I mention that I have never done and body work and most of my welding experience was 30 years ago replacing the rims on the lids on electric induction melt furnaces. That was 1Ē thick plate that I was welding with a rod that could have also been used as a baseball bat! I take a sawzaw and cut the 3 cancerous plates off. I find a local steel shop to cut/bend replacement plates and then I weld them on. I shoot some rattle can primer on to prevent rust and hang it up in the garage out of the way.

About this time I start watching the YouTube channel ďTrevís BlogĒ. He is a very talented and funny English bloke sharing his body working skills in home garage. He inspires me to take on a door skin. So I used a router with a flush trim bit to make a plywood form of the bottom of the door and aquire a sheet of 18 ga steel. I then use a hammer to start forming the rolled edge.


Then it was cut, fit, fit, fit, fit, weld and finish rolling the edge over with hammer and dolly.



More hammer/dolly work to reduce the heat distortion and a bit of body filler to smooth things up before taking it to a body shop for primer.

At this point Iím feeling pretty good about my developing skills and I am making progress.


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post #8 of 53 Old 08-27-2021, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
Rkuehljr
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So I decide to take on the grill next. It looked mostly rust free until I took the radiator out and looked at the Z-channel running across the bottom. I thought about using Corroseal on it like I did the frame, but the body mount nut was missing most of the threads. SoÖ drilled out the spot welds and removed the whole channel.


I made a new Z-channel to replace the rusted one. I tried to locate the captive nut to no avail, so I made a new nut out of some 1/4Ē steel and fabricated a new cage to hold it. Welded it all back together and some filler to make all those plug welds along the bottom disappear.

The tailgate was next. The rust in my original left serious pitting on the Jeep logo. I think the vinyl letters trapped moisture. I didnít think my metal skills were up to the task of replacing the embossed Jeep logo. I considered ordering an aftermarket tailgate, but I was concerned about the quality and thickness of the steel. Then I found a tailgate on marketplace from a 75 for a good price that I did feel comfortable in repairing.

I was able to salvage some of my original tailgate to use in the repair of one of the 3 spots. I guess you could say that I was able to repair my original, Ha ha ha. Anyway, following a bunch of fitting, welding, and straightening, I think it looks pretty good.


By now, my brother-in-law has convinced me that I should also do my own priming. So I create a spray booth of sorts in the garage, buy some etch primer and 2k urethane primer (holy c*** that stuff can be expensive, especially when you donít know any better). I break out the old Craftsman HVLP gun I bought in the 90ís and go to town.





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post #9 of 53 Old 08-27-2021, 05:32 PM Thread Starter
Rkuehljr
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Quote:
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So I decide to take on the grill next. It looked mostly rust free until I took the radiator out and looked at the Z-channel running across the bottom. I thought about using Corroseal on it like I did the frame, but the body mount nut was missing most of the threads. SoÖ drilled out the spot welds and removed the whole channel.


I made a new Z-channel to replace the rusted one. I tried to locate the captive nut to no avail, so I made a new nut out of some 1/4Ē steel and fabricated a new cage to hold it. Welded it all back together and some filler to make all those plug welds along the bottom disappear.

The tailgate was next. The rust in my original left serious pitting on the Jeep logo. I think the vinyl letters trapped moisture. I didnít think my metal skills were up to the task of replacing the embossed Jeep logo. I considered ordering an aftermarket tailgate, but I was concerned about the quality and thickness of the steel. Then I found a tailgate on marketplace from a 75 for a good price that I did feel comfortable in repairing.

I was able to salvage some of my original tailgate to use in the repair of one of the 3 spots. I guess you could say that I was able to repair my original, Ha ha ha. Anyway, following a bunch of fitting, welding, and straightening, I think it looks pretty good.


By now, my brother-in-law has convinced me that I should also do my own priming. So I create a spray booth of sorts in the garage, buy some etch primer and 2k urethane primer (holy c*** that stuff can be expensive, especially when you donít know any better). I break out the old Craftsman HVLP gun I bought in the 90ís and go to town.





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So I have been searching for an original tub because I have been hearing how bad the replacement tub quality is. They call the mid-West the rust belt for a reason. Maybe Iím not any good at scrounging, but I am coming up empty. So I pull the trigger in November and order a repli-tub from the guy 60 miles South that says he fixes them for you. Find out the COVID has made them unobtaium and it will be several months to get it. I guess I will keep fixing pieces .

Dash, windshield adjustment hood are next. At least there is no rust to fix since I had replaced the windshield frame in the 90ís! After stripping the paint off the hood, I find that all the adhesive has failed that is supposed to hold the reinforcements on. I dug out what was left of the adhesive and used a 3M structural epoxy to glue the back. If anybody else does this, be cautious when clamping to not deform the surface and make sure it isnít twisted. I also glued in a reinforcement of my own design down the center, just in case I decide to walk on the hood. Put it in primer and decide to block it flat. Seems like 12 iterations later, the hood is dead flat and ready for paint.

A similar treatment for the dash is in order, but all those things sticking out on the back are making it impossible. So I grab some plywood and make jig to hold the dash in place and flat so that I can block it dead flat. I guess I learned something from the hood because it took fewer iterations of filling blocking and priming.

Windshield frame was pretty uneventful. I had no aspirations of making it flat with those d*** ribs running across it. Just had a couple spots to improve. I used a 3M brushable seam sealer to seal all but the bottom seam up.






At this point I have figured out that none of the body shops around are interested in doing anything related to a restoration. They said that canít get enough people to do the collision work they have. So with the encouragement of a co-worker, I set out to start painting the pieces myself.





Iím am mostly satisfied with my work, although there has been more than one piece painted twice.


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post #10 of 53 Old 08-27-2021, 05:36 PM
MrButterfield
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Wow, that rust has a small body problem! Looks like you have your hands full. Great job so far!
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post #11 of 53 Old 08-27-2021, 05:59 PM
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Great job so far.

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post #12 of 53 Old 08-27-2021, 08:43 PM
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Curious as to what kind of paint you're using, is it a base coat clear coat or a single stage? I have to say you body work looks fantastic as well as your welding skills too! Something tells me this isn't your first rodeo .....

1984 CJ7 Renegade
4.2 with 4 speed
researching other details!
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post #13 of 53 Old 08-28-2021, 05:46 AM Thread Starter
Rkuehljr
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Quote:
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Curious as to what kind of paint you're using, is it a base coat clear coat or a single stage? I have to say you body work looks fantastic as well as your welding skills too! Something tells me this isn't your first rodeo .....

Fibersport the paint is a urethane base and clear and thanks for the kind words. This is my first time doing any bodywork. I have watched a lot of YouTube to get an idea of what to do. And I have had to do several things over and over to get a satisfactory result. I also know from experience that having the right tool makes a difference, so my tool box has definitely grown through this project.


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post #14 of 53 Old 08-29-2021, 08:02 AM Thread Starter
Rkuehljr
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I prepped the front fenders for paint and didnít find any rust. Unfortunately Iím starting to feel too comfortable painting. I sprayed the sealer and it looked awesome. Cleaned my old primer gun and set up to go ahead and spray color and clear. Iím spraying the color and it is going on beautifully but I need to refill the cup. When I turn around with the gun full of paint, I get nauseous. The paint is literally sliding off. The color I snít running, it is sliding off! The sealer looks like it was still wet and the weight of the color is causing it to slip! Upon reflection and in figuring out what went wrong I realize that I had used the stabilizer for the color when mixing the sealer instead of the hardener. So after being angry with myself for being a bone head and licking my wounds for several days, I couldnít bring myself to fix them and set them back to the side.


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post #15 of 53 Old 08-29-2021, 01:19 PM
Rsb201
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ManÖÖ.that totally sucks.

1986 CJ7 4.2 Weber T176 D300
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