Bob's 1985 CJ-7 Pseudo Resto - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 31 Old 02-04-2020, 01:14 PM Thread Starter
brink2
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Bob's 1985 CJ-7 Pseudo Resto

Hello all,

Like others, I thought I'd start a thread on documenting my attempt at fixing up my newly acquired 1985 CJ-7. I purchased it in late August and have been stalking all of the threads on fixes to get it running, so thank you to all who contribute to this great website! The previous owner had it since 1996, ran it into the ground and finally parked it in a garage for the last 10+ years. I hauled it home and immediately focused on getting it running just to get a little bit of enjoyment out of it before the cold weather came. I had to drain the fuel tank, disassemble and thoroughly clean the carb, troubleshoot a fuel delivery issue that was pinpointed to the fuel sending unit/pickup tube looking like swiss cheese, and replace the master cylinder. Got it running, only to find out the front u joints were seized and causing me to dart into oncoming traffic... I ended up having to cut one out due to how bad it was. I ended up replacing the front axle seals and new brakes/rotors while I had everything apart up front. Weather turned up here in MN, so started focusing on getting the snowmobiles ready for the season. The tub is completely shot, but frame seems good, as well as front clip. I ended up finding a heck of a treasure locally while scouting for a new tub. Found a 99.9% rust free, '78 tub, front clip, and hard top pulled from a vehicle from North Carolina. I realized once I got it home that it appears the hood must have flown up and slammed into the windshield at some point, as there is a huge crease in the hood and the windshield frame is slightly collapsed and bent back where it contacts the tub. My current windshield has is mostly rust, so not sure if I'll try to grind down all the rust and try to salvage it, or somehow make the replacement windshield work. Or just replace altogether. I also scored a YJ family bar while visiting relatives in Iowa during Christmas. Strapped it to the top of the SUV and traveled 200 miles back home with people staring at me.

My intention is to get the CJ fixed up and treated for rust. I'm not looking to accomplish a full restoration, but more of something that is reliable and won't continue to rust away. There's not many places to wheel near Minneapolis, so I really don't intend to take it off roading much. More of a "barbie Jeep", just something for fair weather naked cruising (the Jeep, not me. ).

I finally found some time last night to start the disassembly process, I ended up getting the front clip removed before calling it quits a couple hours in. Attaching a slew of pics, my apologies in advance.

Bob

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post #2 of 31 Old 02-04-2020, 03:25 PM Thread Starter
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Oops, only got one pic attached. here are the others.
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post #3 of 31 Old 02-04-2020, 09:57 PM
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At first I thought, that looks great!!!

The 1976-79 CJ7 are slightly different to the later ones so you may have some issues in swapping stuff over. Most of us use the newer Wrangler tubs, which are also slightly different, just because they are better rust protected. As you will appreciate, NO RUST WINS.

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1981 CJ7 258ci - Bagusjeep
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post #4 of 31 Old 02-05-2020, 01:37 AM
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Garage
Looks like it had an OEM style stripe on the hood at one time. A sport steering wheel, the plastic “Jeep” overlay on the front frame, and OEM wheels too. Does it have a lot of options?

1985 CJ-7 Red with white hardtop, 258 auto
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post #5 of 31 Old 02-05-2020, 05:14 AM
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Judging by some of the pictures, it may have been a Renegade or even a Laredo model. Laredo has the dark tinted glass on the hardtop.
Easy to determine though. Decor and Convenience group included with Renegade that have rocker guards, front frame and dash panel overlay, sport steering wheel, intermittent wipers, under dash courtesy and hood lights, day/night mirror, locking center console and glove box. Tach and clock? = Laredo but could have been optioned. But with "white" wagon wheels, that's Renegade.


Nice project anyway, and it reminds me of mine went it went into the basement workshop for 4 years with the same amount of rust, if not more.

.
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post #6 of 31 Old 02-05-2020, 10:00 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, BagusJeep- thanks for the heads up on the tub, I was curious based on what I've read if I would have issues lining up stuff. I was hunting for a wrangler body with the galvanization from factory over the past few months, but nothing nearby... I didn't feel like driving 12 hours round trip to pick one up from farther away. This one fell in my lap and I couldn't pass it up. The body has switched ownership a couple of times, but at some point someone went through the trouble of bedlining the interior and under side. Only surface rust in a couple places, e.g. where fenders bolt up to tub. I have a feeling it won't see much adverse weather or mud since there's not much for off roading publicly nearby, It will probably just be a county highway cruiser and an errand runner. I have two young kids, so there's no chance to keep anything "nice" around here... plus I'm not planning on winning any beauty contests with it- which leads me to either leave the new body as is with scratches, (might try to straighten out a few dents), or attempt to prep and spray it a flat color or even just rhino line the whole thing for added rust security.

Axhammer and Keith - Not sure on all the options, I do know it is a Renegade option as you mentioned with the previous striping, you can also see the fading where "Renegade" was on the sides of the hood. PO peeled off all the stickers and stripes. And attempted to brush paint the "jeep" logo with white paint. He also put in the cheap aftermarket lamps on the front, and new headlamps that took a newer h4 style bulb and some weird accent led style bulb in a hole on the side of the lamp. Did absolutely nothing for forward lighting, just made the headlight itself look more blue. He also installed that ugly switch setup below the dash to control the accent light and driving lights... Needless to say all of that will be disappearing. I'll throw in a picture of the dash for you guys, I'm not sure what the different options would be across models. I do wish it had a tilting steering column. It did not have a console, so I'll be hunting one down or just buy an aftermarket one to throw in.
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post #7 of 31 Old 02-05-2020, 11:05 AM
John Strenk
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Looks like it came with a T-176 or 177

img_20200205_104343.jpg


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I drive a Prius to save money and buy more Jeep Parts....
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post #8 of 31 Old 02-05-2020, 11:57 PM Thread Starter
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Yep, I believe it's one of those based on an eyeball identification for looking up fluid capacity specs when I picked it up.

Tonight I didn't get as far as planned... Top removed and lugged out to the side yard by myself. Pretty sure my neighbors think I'm crazy. 😆 I was planning on removing rollbar and seats, but ended up having to cut off every single bolt holding the roll bar on, and had to cut through the rear wheel well on top and vertical sheet underneath. Went through a couple discs and a lot of cuss words. Seats tomorrow hopefully. Then windshield, then everything involving the dash. I suppose a lot more cuss words will be thrown out.
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post #9 of 31 Old 02-07-2020, 12:50 AM Thread Starter
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Tonight I got the seats, windshield, steering wheel and dash pulled. I still need to start the process of yanking wiring/cables from the dash. The windshield is more rusted than I thought... one of the bolts was seized and after taking to the propane torch to it, the rusted metal opened up with holes with just a little heat. A new windshield frame seems to be in order since the donor one is damaged.
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post #10 of 31 Old 02-11-2020, 12:33 AM Thread Starter
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It's been a few nights since I've had time to work on the CJ. I managed a couple hours tonight to finish labeling all the wires running to the dash and yanking the dash. I also yanked the master cylinder, pedal support, and finally the wiring fuse block. I can smell the end of the initial tub pull- HVAC and misc wiring left on firewall, parking brake, gas tank plumbing, and yanking remaining tub bits to be transferred over to the new tub.
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post #11 of 31 Old 02-13-2020, 12:49 AM Thread Starter
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Another night with a couple hours free. I pulled all the remaining wiring from both sides of the firewall, pulled the venting system, parking brake, other odds and ends. Really close to yanking the tub, just have to pull everything I want to keep off the tub along with rear gas hoses, tailgate and taillights. I'd rather get that done in the heated shop than yank the tub prematurely and have to deal with these outside temps of -4 degrees.🤢��
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post #12 of 31 Old 02-27-2020, 11:54 PM Thread Starter
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I've been really busy, plus a small family reunion so haven't had time to work on it much the last couple weeks. I finally pulled all the bits and pieces off the body. The body bolts proved to be a challenge as well- only 3 came out clean. 2 broke off, and 3 had the nut plate break loose inside the tub supports. Grinder and recip saw action took care of those.

The plan was to lift the tub up with straps and scoot the rolling frame underneath, then swing the flatbed trailer in the garage to drop the tub on. Luckily before lifting, I realized I'd have to pull the tub up to the rafters to clear the engine, so therefore I ended up manhandling the tub off to the side of the Jeep. LOTS of flex which made it easy to do (I wonder why&#x1f606. When I initially purchased the Jeep, I thought I could just do some sheet metal work to repair. As the pictures show, it was a good thing I finally decided to replace the tub. Next step is to dive into the T176 trans- planning on picking up a rebuild kit as I'm pretty sure the input shaft bearing is shot, so figured I might as well do a proper overhaul. Hopefully I can find some time to disassemble it this weekend.
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post #13 of 31 Old 02-29-2020, 07:02 AM
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I’m not sure what you’re talking about? A little Bondo on those holes and you should be “good to go!”
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post #14 of 31 Old 03-14-2020, 07:48 PM Thread Starter
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I've found some small timeframes over the past few weeks to putz with the continued teardown. A couple weeks ago after tub removal, I managed to remove the transfer case and transmission. There was a considerable amount of noise from something in the drivetrain when it was running, and I came to the thought that the input shaft bearing on the transmission was bad, based on research. I confirmed that to be true. After many calls, I ended up taking the t176 in to the only place I could find that still worked on manuals to get the input and output shaft bearings pulled as I could not get them out without ordering expensive pullers. After looking through the gears, all look good except the sliding reverse gear. I ordered a rebuild kit along with the new gear today. This past weekend I rented a hoist and yanked the engine from the frame. I started disassembly of the engine which was swapped out a number of years ago. Not sure why, I didn't ask. Odometer is only in the 90's. I keep finding sketchy things with the engine swap (exhaust manifold flange at about a 30 degree angle- not even tight on one side, along with a few manifold bolts completely loose), so I figured I might was well continue with full teardown, along with fixing the rear main seal leak. After getting the engine on a stand, I pulled all the remaining accessories along with the head. I mic'd all the cylinders, unfortunately I had a couple that were just out of spec. A few of the brand new plugs were completely covered in oil as well. I'll probably be taking the block in to get hot tanked and bored. I still need to pull the crank and mic it as well, hoping for better results on that. Then I'll start with checking out valves on head.
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post #15 of 31 Old 03-15-2020, 01:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brink2 View Post
I mic'd all the cylinders, unfortunately I had a couple that were just out of spec. A few of the brand new plugs were completely covered in oil as well. I'll probably be taking the block in to get hot tanked and bored. I still need to pull the crank and mic it as well, hoping for better results on that.
How were the cylinders out of spec? There is still enough material left to bore them? Are you going to have the shop go through the head as well?
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