Cj7 frame off rebuild - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 198 Old 01-11-2020, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
83tinkerer
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CURRENT STAGE: ENGINE BUILD

Awhile back, I casually started a project fixer upper cj7. Of course it didn't go quite as planned and turned into a frame off rebuild. Shortly after it turned into "I need a new frame". That was three years ago. I've been gathering the big pieces and working on it sporadically ever since. I'm finally getting serious with this project and thought I would share some of my progress and hopefully learn from some people who have done this before.

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post #2 of 198 Old 01-11-2020, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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So I got started with the search for a frame. In hind sight, I should have bought a throttle down kustoms frame and been done with it. Instead, I thought "I can build one of these". So off we went researching material, taking a ton of measurements, some help from a fellow jeep enthusiast who just so happens to be an engineer, and a burn table from the company I work for. And voila, we have pieces of a frame.
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post #3 of 198 Old 01-11-2020, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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After a lot of fitting and welding it's starting to look like something here.
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post #4 of 198 Old 01-11-2020, 06:53 PM Thread Starter
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And ready for paint
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post #5 of 198 Old 01-12-2020, 02:30 AM
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...Simply fantastic! Very good!

Would be nice to know a few more details, especially for the construction of "C" channels in curved areas.
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post #6 of 198 Old 01-12-2020, 05:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevenseejay View Post
...Simply fantastic! Very good!

That's an understatement in the very least. Awesome work and I can't remember if anyone here on the forum has built their own frame from scratch!

That is top notch work in my book, especially when I see the string line that marks centerline. Can't go wrong with measurements taken from a centerline.
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post #7 of 198 Old 01-12-2020, 06:27 AM Thread Starter
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The straight sections were formed and the tabs / void areas you see here were rolled and welded in place inside and out. The material is 3/16 a572.
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post #8 of 198 Old 01-12-2020, 06:53 AM Thread Starter
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E-coated and gloss black powder coat to finish it off. Coating by Bfg manufacturing in Punxsutawney, Pa. They did an awesome job and were the only place I found that had an e-coat tank big enough to fit the piece.
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post #9 of 198 Old 01-12-2020, 07:31 AM Thread Starter
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Next chapter: new tub. After a lot of thought, I decided I wanted to go steel replacement ilo fiberglass. To anyone considering the MD Juan/ mopar replacement, be prepared for a lot of body work. I had heard they were rough, but I didn't think it would be as bad as it was. Numerous holes off, poor fit up, barely tacked together, etc. Maybe I'm just too particular, but in my opinion it takes some TLC to make this thing nice. I actually cut the front cowl out my original tub because I couldn't get the hood to fit up at all. No paint or body filler yet, waiting until I can test fit with the engine and transmission in place first.
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post #10 of 198 Old 01-12-2020, 07:33 AM
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Did you make your rear cross member frame or buy it?

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post #11 of 198 Old 01-12-2020, 07:48 AM Thread Starter
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I kinda lucked out (I think) on the transmission and transfer case. I didn't know what I was buying when I got the jeep, but turned out to be a t-18 and dana 20. Full rebuild kits were sourced from Novak and installed. Novak may not be the cheapest place you can buy this type of stuff, but they were patient and helpful with my questions so it was worth it to me. Note to self: uncaged needle bearings get old after a hundred or so. Some epoxy primer and gloss black puts the finishing touch on things.
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post #12 of 198 Old 01-12-2020, 07:51 AM Thread Starter
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One more picture
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post #13 of 198 Old 01-12-2020, 07:55 AM Thread Starter
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I reused the spring hangers, shock mounts, the bracket for the front axle bumper, and the front crossmember. Everything else was fabricated.
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post #14 of 198 Old 01-12-2020, 08:10 AM Thread Starter
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Engine time! The engine in the jeep was a running but tired 304. Of course I could have rebuilt it, but since overkill rules here nothing less than a 360 would do. I found a "parts" cj5 with a 360 and began dissecting it. What I found was a beautiful crankshaft that only needed polishing, and decent heads and
cylinders. Nothing a .30 over wouldn't fix so off to the machine shop. A month later I get a call and I'm told my block is cracked. Back on the hunt.
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post #15 of 198 Old 01-12-2020, 08:20 AM Thread Starter
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After beating the bushes for awhile, I got a line on a block a few hours from me. Half a day on the road and $150 later, we're back in business. The heads have been reworked, with stock springs for now. Probably going to have to change them out. Block needed a. 30 over and the rotating assembly was balanced. Starting to reassemble here. It's my first V8 so moving slowly and checking everything twice.
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