Bmann412's 1978 CJ7 Renegade Restoration - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 63 Old 07-16-2017, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
Bmann412
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Bmann412's 1978 CJ7 Renegade Restoration

through the many hours spent searching on Craigslist for parts for my Tj build, I stumbled upon a new project. I guess one project vehicle is not enough. It is a 1978 CJ7 Renegade with the AMC 304 V8 and a 3 speed transmission. It also has the levi's interior package although its missing the original front seats. The Jeep has sat for a good bit of its life while the previous owners planed to restore it but never ended up getting around to actually starting. So the Jeep has only 40,000 miles.

Here are some pictures from the day I brought it home.

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The first thing that needed to be done besides cleaning out the Jeep was to fix the brake lines since one had a hole in it. I decide to replace them all so I want with the classic tubes stainless steel set and picked up a Yj booster and master cylinder to help improve braking. During this time I picked a set of cheap 31's off a friend so the jeep would be easier to move around. With the brakes repair I was able to finally test drive the Jeep! For not being driven much the jeep runs and drive pretty well. I drove the jeep up and down the street a few time before the fuel line burst. Turns out the fuel tank was pretty well rust inside. so removed it and the jeep sat over the winter while my frame and v8 swap in my Tj took place.

This about brings us to today I have been collecting parts here and there like a dash in better shape then my current on a 20 gallon poly tank which I might trade out for a 15 gallon later on. Now for the major piece to the puzzle. I picked up a Yj tub that is in very good condition and most of the metal work has been done. I was originally planning to repair the Cj tub but the more I look at it the worse it got. There are very few salvageable panels besides the front clip. I was never a big fan of fiber glass and I hear mixed reviews on the repli-tubs. I don't plan to offroad this Jeep, just something to cruise around in and take to local car shows and jeep events. I am looking to make it as close cosmetically to a Cj7 as possible and retain as many of the original parts as I can. At the end of the day it doesn't have to be concurs level just resemble an OEM Cj enough that the untrained eye cannot tell the difference.

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post #2 of 63 Old 08-19-2017, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
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Been a while since I last updated on the CJ. I have mainly been working to get the whole jeep stripped down. It is very tedious labeling everything and put all the hardware in bags. Hopefully it is worth it when I reassemble everything. Now I have the tub off of the frame and it is pretty much ready to be sent to the scrap yard. I hate to do it but there is not enough salvageable on the tub for it to be worth anything. Pretty much every panel would have to be replaced. Next on my ever going list of things to do is pull the engine and get everything off of the frame. After looking at the frame closer it seems to be in worse shape then I had originally thought. I think I am going to buy a rust free frame from a guy I know that brings them up from down south. This way I will have a solid foundation to start with and not waste time and money trying to patch this frame. This jeep is almost turining into just a parts vehicle with all the stuff that will have to be replaced.

For anyone that has done a yj tub swap. What did you do about seat belts? My jeep came with lap belts and I am not sure how they would work in a yj tub. I am considering changing to a later roll bar and do the 3 point harness. However that would cause me to lose my roll bar and that would affect the appearance of my jeep since the 78 and earlier had the torx bolts down the side.
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1998 TJ 5.9l
1978 CJ7 Renegade
2013 JK
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post #3 of 63 Old 08-19-2017, 09:12 PM
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With a little effort you can get a YJ tub so close to a CJ that only a knowledgeable eye can tell the difference.

I replaced my rotted out lap belts with -> lap belts.
Buy the quality made in USA Beams belts.
JC Whitney amongst others carries them and all the accessories you need.

Note also I just put a 3/8 pan head screw where the YJ roll bar mounted in the tub because I used a '76 top of wheel well roll bar.


I call it a distributor, not a dizzy.
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post #4 of 63 Old 08-20-2017, 05:49 PM
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I swapped in a 90s "family cage" mainly to have front and rear shoulder belts...don't skimp on seat belts!!

A 55 '5 and a 77 '7
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post #5 of 63 Old 09-15-2017, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
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Been a while since I have updated last. I have been making progress on the Jeep. I have it completely torn down at this point. I have been taking lots of pictures of locations of holes on the original tub as well as measuring and marking the YJ tub. It is kind of sad getting rid of the original tub. It was just too far gone to justify trying to save it. There wasn't a single panel that wouldn't have to be replaced. including the floors and all the body mount channels. As far as the frame goes I am leaning towards replacing. I have a line on a rust free frame for a good price. didn't realize the extent of the frame rust until the body was off. even though I am replacing the tub and frame I managed to save as many of the original parts off of this Jeep. It will never be numbers matching original but that's ok with me. I want to be able to drive it and enjoy it not just leave it in a garage collecting dust.

I start to strip the axles in preparation for sand blasting. haven't decide if I will remove ring and pinion before blasting or just clean extremely well after I get the axles back. Once I clean the garage up a bit and build a cart for the Tub I will begin prepping the tub. I have decide to go with the older YJ or later CJ roll bar and 3 point harness. I might still and the bolts down the side of the Jeep for ascetics only. Also deciding if I want to add a 2.5" lift or stock height. leaning toward the OME lift but its quite pricey. I want to run 31" AT's when its all done.

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post #6 of 63 Old 09-15-2017, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
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Misc. pictures of tear down and working on Yj tub.

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Last edited by Bmann412; 01-09-2018 at 11:00 AM. Reason: Fixed Flipped Images
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post #7 of 63 Old 09-16-2017, 06:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bmann412 View Post


*** Keeping uploading upside ***
Turn off your Ant-Gravity device, pics are hard to look at.

Nice project though and reminds me of mine. I did a Repli-tub and some minor upgrades but Jeep still retains that OEM look and feel that can't be beat. Your on the right track.

Teardown is time consuming, as you now know. Bagging and tagging is key to getting everything back in its place as well as taking as many pictures you can. In this digital world we live in, taking 100's of pictures to refer back to is one of the benefits than yesteryear's Polaroid era camera's.

Nice work.
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post #8 of 63 Old 09-17-2017, 10:02 AM
stgil
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Cj

Hi!

Are you in the south hemisphere? : the pics, as Keith says, are in the wrong way

Anyway nice job ! keep going !!!

Regards,

Gilles

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post #9 of 63 Old 12-19-2017, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
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Hopefully i can get these pictures to come out the correct way. Itís been awhile since I have last updated. I have been making some progress on the tub. First I started by recreating a movable stand that is a bit more sturdy with spare wood and moving carts I had laying around the house. To make working on the tub and storing it easier.

The first major project that I tackled was changing the defrost vent in the yj tub to the oval cut outs of the Cjís. How I went about this was I cut out pretty much the entire Channel from the old tub. I did this to retain more of the Cj dash mounting locations. By doing this I was also able to keep the Cj windshield bolt location using this method. Where others either convert to a yj windshield frame or drill and welded a nut in the Cj location. Once the channel was cut out of the yj tub, I tacked it into place and check to make sure it was level and the dash lined up. Once that was all verified I fully welded it into place and ground it as smooth as I could get it. I am by no means a professional welder. However I think it came out pretty good for being my first major body panel repair.




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1998 TJ 5.9l
1978 CJ7 Renegade
2013 JK
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post #10 of 63 Old 12-19-2017, 08:46 PM
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Nice work!

I call it a distributor, not a dizzy.
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post #11 of 63 Old 01-09-2018, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
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Got some work done to the CJ in the past few weeks. I am still working on the YJ tub fixing the few trouble spots here and there. While trying to make it resemble a CJ as much as possible. After getting the CJ Channel welded on to the YJ tub I decided to tackle the passenger side front floor pan. The PO patched it in a few places. I decided to just pick up a replacement floor pan from 4wd to spare the headache of fixing it up. unfortunately I don't have many pictures from the process however its pretty straight forward. Cut the floor out. Cut the replacement to fit and weld it up. While the Passenger floor was out I figured it was a good time to replace the floor brace with a new one that the PO included with the tub.
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Still need to do some smoothing out of the welds and straightening the pinch seem. will also have to sand away primer later. just trying to prevent rust for the time being.
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post #12 of 63 Old 01-25-2018, 07:09 AM Thread Starter
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Made a little progress with the couple warmer days we have had. I am starting to get everything bolted and mocked up. Waiting on weld through primer to finish patching the few remaining spots.

I decide to start with the roll bar but that is proving to be more difficult then expected. I got the holes for the lower brackets drilled. However I am missing the hardware for it and several other bolts that had to be cut out when removing the bar from the old tub. Does any one know where to get button head torx bolts? Found a kit for the bolts along the tub but not the brackets I have pictured. Now I am debating filling in the holes I drilled and find a later model roll bar that will bolt in to the pre existing holes on the yj tub.

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1978 CJ7 Renegade
2013 JK
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post #13 of 63 Old 01-29-2018, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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Decided to keep the early style roll bar and ordered the hardware finish it. While I wait for the bolts to come in I decided to tackle the rear half of the Jeep. I started by getting all the brackets for the stock tire carrier mounted. There was little modification that needed to be done to get it setup on the yj tub. A total of 4 holes were drilled. 2 on the drivers side for the tire carrier latch. The other 2 holes we by each of the yj hinge mounts since the holes on the hinges we too far apart. With all the drilling out of the way I test fit the carrier and made sure its level. img_1359.jpg
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Next up I plan to try and get the tailgate mounted and gas filler cut out and the rear half of the Cj should be done. With the exception of filling a couple holes.


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1998 TJ 5.9l
1978 CJ7 Renegade
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post #14 of 63 Old 03-05-2018, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
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Been awhile since I have last updated. Work on the body has been slow. I was able to get the rear gas filler cut out of the tub and finished filling any holes that were not needed.
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Next I decided to tackle the front vin plate and one of the last remaining patches.unfortunately I didnít get many pictures of repairing the hole and driver side fender mount. After the fender mount was completed. I started grinding away the rust on the firewall and vin plate. I hit both the firewall and vin plate with weld through primer and filled the spot welds.

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Considering this is my first real project welding sheet metal I think I did alright. It makes me appreciate those who are good at body work.


All that is left is to drill out the remaining holes for the roll bars and fender flares. Fix the passenger side Jeep logo and test fit all major parts that attach to the body. Then I should be ready for body filler. I would really appreciate any feedback on this subject. This is something I have never done before and would like to learn. I figure it would cost to much to have a shop do this. So I plan to get as much as I can get done myself and have someone else do final details and paint.


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post #15 of 63 Old 03-06-2018, 06:59 PM
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Nice work, and the cjs are a labor of love. I'm mostly impressed that all the photos work. Over half the threads on this site have broken pictures. Keep up the good work!
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