MMGoat's 1985 CJ7 Build - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 106 Old 03-07-2019, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
MetalMountainGoat
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1985 CJ7 
 
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MMGoat's 1985 CJ7 Build

1985 Jeep CJ7
I have had three jeeps in the past, but only one CJ7 (the other 2 were TJs). I really liked the TJs, but have always wanted another CJ7 to cruise around in. My father had an old Ford Fairlane 500, that he bought with plans to fix it up. Needless to say, I had no interest in the car. He decided to sell it, to get a project that he and I could both enjoy. We wanted something that needed a little work, but was able to be a running and driving project. I suggested an old CJ, and he jumped at the chance. Dad had purchased a 1978 Golden Eagle brand new from Hinkleís Jeep Sales in Pickens, SC in 1978. He had if for a few years, and had always wanted another one. The Jeep search began!
I found a 1985 CJ7 in the middle of Atlanta, GA. The Jeep had once been a tub off restoration and itís original 258 inline 6 was swapped for 350 Chevrolet with AX15 transmission and Dana 300 transfer case. All of this connected together with Novak Adapters. The Jeep appeared to be in good shape, and ran awesome. I contacted the person and we set up a time to meet.
I drove down on a Sunday February 24, and met the guy and took the Jeep out for a spin.
1. Terrible steering and control
2. Cosmetic items were missing or unfinished.
3. No front driveshaft
4. Frame was perfect
5. Engine perfect
6. Trans shifted good
7. Tub appeared to have no rust
8. Had hard top and hard doors
I notice that the Jeep had some kind of sticky dyno mat stuff all over the floor. This should have me turn and walk away, but I just could not. It ran too good.
I talked the guy down a bit in price, and bought it.
Got it home, and began the inspection. It was definitely a frame off resto (at some point in time), but there was some shoddy workmanship involved. Tub was patched and rusty, the suspension and steering was a complete joke. Terrible attempt at an SOA lift. After looking at it, I thought I might have been burned. Turns out, it was just enough work to keep us both interested in it.
Donít have a pic of when first got it, but this was the best part of it.
I will update this build thread as I do things to the Jeep.

Started stripping down the interior and pulling up the dyno mat, and ended up with this. Also discovered that this tub may be from a late 70s model, because it has the slap door strikers instead of the posts and the holes running down the side where the original roll bar bolted on top of the fender wells, and through the side of the tub.


Iíve decided to leave the angle iron in the back. I am going to make sure that this back area is reinforced. This Jeep will never be a show jeep and never carry passengers in back, so the rear area didnít really concern me too much.
A rusty mess for sure.
Passenger side panel tacked in. I donít claim to be a professional welder, and this is my first time with body work, so donít be too harsh on my booger welds. Driver side panel fitment.



Driver side panel burned in. I cut all the rust out and lap welded these panels. Seemed easier since it was my first time with body work. The welds arenít the prettiest, but I am going to rhino line the tub so the welds wonít be noticeable.

The outer edges of the tub were still good, so instead of removing the good metal, I cut down the patch pans and welded them to the good metal.
Fenderwell rust cut out, and new patch being butt welded in.

Same thing was on the other side, but I donít have a picture of it.
Filled in the majority of the holes that were in this crappy patch from the PO. This patch looked like it was probably the first patch this Jeep ever had. It was solid, just needed holes filled and a new bead ran around the outside.

All welds finished and grinded. Tub cleaned of debris (grinding dust, weld wire, slag, etc.)


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post #2 of 106 Old 03-07-2019, 04:51 PM Thread Starter
MetalMountainGoat
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1985 CJ7 
 
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Seam sealer starting to go in.
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post #3 of 106 Old 03-07-2019, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
MetalMountainGoat
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That brings us to today (March 7, 2019). While this entire rust repair was going on, I have been parts hording getting ready to lower this thing from its ridiculous 6.5Ē lift height down to 2.5Ē. The Jeep is on YJ springs right now, so I am staying with them. Have sitting in the shop waiting to be put on:
1. YJ 2.5Ē lift springs
2. M.O.R.E. steering box brace
3. New front spring perches
4. New shifter knobs (billiard balls)
5. Grille to cowl rods
6. AX15 shifter rebuild kit.
7. Factory driveshafts
8. Tailgate hardware.
9. New u-bolts
10. Original CJ seats (this one had Subaru impreza seats in it)
11. Bikini top
Some shots of the awful suspension and steering setup. I will be remedying this shortly.
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post #4 of 106 Old 03-08-2019, 03:59 AM
julienpatrick
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Seam sealer starting to go in.
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post #5 of 106 Old 03-08-2019, 07:58 AM
bob4703
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Location: Easley
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If you haven't done so already drive up to Pickens and make friends with the folks at Ironman Restorations. Ironman was a mechanic at Hinkle's and he and his family have wealth of salvage Jeeps. They don't have website, but has a Facebook page. Google will find him.

Good luck!

-----

Paved roads are prime examples of government over spending!
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post #6 of 106 Old 03-08-2019, 01:56 PM Thread Starter
MetalMountainGoat
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Yes, I know of Ironman Restorations. He has been around a long time.
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post #7 of 106 Old 03-08-2019, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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Today, I got the floor primed up. It is drying now, then will be ready for Herculiner.

I also worked on the shifter. It was super sloppy because it was worn out, and the homemade shifter was heavy. After I got the shift lever rebuild kit installed, I put my billiard ball shift knobs on. Adds 100 horsepower with just that mod. I highly recommend it.
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post #8 of 106 Old 03-08-2019, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
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I also discovered that I am going to have some wiring issues. The PO pretty much cut everything out from under the dash. I'm thinking it will require a wiring harness. Is Painless Performance the only place to get one from? Also, what will I need to move the ignition back to steering column? Am I in for a full Column rebuild?
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post #9 of 106 Old 03-10-2019, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
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The front fenders were a little shaky, so I ordered up a set of original grill rods off of ebay and installed them. Tightened the entire front end up.
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post #10 of 106 Old 03-10-2019, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
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Spent a little time yesterday, and Dad and I got the Herculiner installed. It complete hid most of my booger welds. The Herculiner changed the entire look of the Jeep. I am going to roll another coat on tomorrow, but I wanted this one to harden completely before coat number 2 goes on.
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post #11 of 106 Old 03-11-2019, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
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Got the second Coat on today and pulled the tape off. It is going to look great. Just have to put everything back together. I got my hands on some stock seats, so we are going to either recover them or just slap some cheap seat covers on them before they go in. Still undecided on that.
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post #12 of 106 Old 03-11-2019, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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Removed the rear wheels and got it sitting on jack stands in preperation for the SOA to SUA conversion. We are going to rebuild the jeep's brakes at the same time and go through the axles although I think they are fine. Still don't know if the 35s are going to fit after lowering it. But if they don't, I will trade them off to someone for some 33s.
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post #13 of 106 Old 03-11-2019, 02:47 PM
garet.friedrich
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Garage
That turned out pretty good! I'm planning on using the Herculinar for the inside of my tub as well so I'm glad to see that it can turn out well.

1979 CJ5 AMC 304
1986 CJ7 AMC 258
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post #14 of 106 Old 03-11-2019, 02:53 PM Thread Starter
MetalMountainGoat
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Just a heads up. If you use the herculiner, buy the 90 dollar kit. Comes with 1 gallon of herculiner, and the rollers that you use to put it down. The roller is what makes it textured and gives it the best look. This stuff would look like black paint if you used a regular roller.
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post #15 of 106 Old 03-12-2019, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
MetalMountainGoat
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Removed the brake drums today. The rear brakes were pretty much toast. It also appeared that something had broken loose in the driver's side and scored the inside of the drum. Sent the drums off to be turned while I continued pulling the axle in order to install my new leaf springs. Changed it over from a SOA setup to SUA setup using Pro Comp 2.5" YJ lift springs. I have it all sitting in place, but was delayed by new U bolts not arriving in time. Hopefully they will be here today, so I can get it all buttoned up and move on to the front.

It is definitely going to sit a lot lower and this will greatly improve the ride and handling of the Jeep.
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