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1983 CJ7 258 T4 all stock. 1984 CJ7 258 Automatic Howell Fuel Injected
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just a brief backstory, apologies if it's too long... I have an all original 83 cj7 I bought after high school in 1998 that I still own, maintain, and drive regularly in the summer. I have purchased an non running 84 cj7 within the last year as a gift for my Dad and am in the process of restoration and looking for some expert advice from this awesome forum that has helped so much over the years. I was told the 258 engine was rebuilt and was in good running condition with the Howell fuel injection when it was parked 7 years ago, but when I started changing fluids I found some issues. There was coolant in the oil first thing, so I have removed the head, had it machined and magnafluxed and reinstalled with a new felpro head gasket and ARP head bolts hoping that it was just a bad gasket when parked years ago. Also removed the oil pan to clean out the sludge, replaced the gasket and replaced the rear main seal. All other fluids so far have looked ok. The 20g gas tank was near full when parked so all the old fuel was removed, poly tank cleaned, and new metal supply and return lines installed. Haven't installed the tank yet. Recently added fresh oil and spark plugs, turned the engine over by hand several times with some marvel mystery oil on top of the pistons and attempted it's first start just to see if the mess of wiring would work as is and to diagnose any other issues or to try and determine if the motor was shot. I turned the key on several times so the electric fuel pump was primed and made sure the gas was clean before hooking it to the throttle body. I was pretty surprised that it actually fired up on the first try. Only ran a few seconds but it started every time after that and eventually would run for a few minutes, but the idle was too high and eventually it would just die but I was able to get the engine warm and am satisfied for now and can address the running issues later, I don't know how to diagnose this Howell system yet. SO I'm in the process of removing the sheet metal to turn over to a body and paint guy that is going to work on the typical rust issues and paint it as a side job over the next probably several months while I work on the rest.
Well when I removed the windshield frame and took off the cowl seal it looked pretty bad. Do you think this frame is fixable or trash? I have read that the aftermarket ones have issues and finding a rust free original is getting pretty hard. Any advice is appreciated and feel free to chime in on any other topics. Thanks!
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That's pretty awesome that you're putting one together for your pops!

That looks pretty toast to me...I don't have a ton of experience in that department though. There are quite a few places that part out the older jeeps so you should be able to get a used in good shape windshield frame for 250-600 depending on where you live. Your other option is to convert it to a early YJ model windshield...87-93 (google to verify the ending year, I can't remember...might be up to 95...someone will come along and correct me).

Used jeep parts:
deadjeep.com
There's also a guy I know in SoCal that has runs a jeep dismantler...you can find him on Facebook by googling "Sgt. Jeep Facebook"...I'm pretty sure he ships country wide.

More concerning would be the rust on the dash/body side of the tub where the windshield rests... and what other rust might be lurking in other places on the tub to that degree.
 

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.Is it just the bottom or does the front side look like that too? Depending on how much you want to spend a good restoration shop could cut out and replace with new metal. As mentioned, Rudy's or SGT Jeep will have originals. All YJ and aftermarket will have two support ribs across the front and will be recognized as a retro fit from a mile away.
 

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Contact these folks. They have a hillside of donor Jeeps. They won't sell you junk. They will ship to you but won't take credit cards but will take a check. A member here bought a part and had it shipped to NJ. He received the part before his check cleared the bank.

Ironman Jeep Restorations
1599 Midway Rd, Pickens, SC 29671

(864) 878-2903
 

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I wouldn’t hesitate in modifying a newer rust free 1987-1995 YJ WS frame. Yes, the newer frames have two raised ribs that make it a stronger & better WS frame, compared to a CJ frame, but it’s only noticeable if you are looking for it. A non purist would never notice the double ribbed frame of a YJ frame on a CJ.

If you are a purist, and insist on running CJ only parts, then look for a good used one, that old one is toast, unless you have fab skills, or want to pay someone to salvage it. Either way is fine, your choice, but the newer frame has that extra rib for a reason, and it definitely makes it a more rigid frame.

Additionally, often the used YJ frames will come with the YJ wiper parts still in place. The YJ parts are better, they have been improved, they are more robust, so they will work better than the original frail CJ wiper parts. If you install silver colored YJ wiper arms, it would be hard to tell they are YJ arms at a glance.

Again, it depends on whether or not you are a purist, and want CJ only parts, or you want newer better working parts. Only a purist would be able to spot YJ wiper parts as being non-CJ parts.
 

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I second Ax's comments. I retrofitted a YJ WS frame for my CJ and it turned out amazing. As mentioned the YJ frame is stronger and the wiper linkage is beefier too. Be prepared for some work though. I have about 20-25 hours of work in mine and that was starting with a really good YJ frame. Here is an excellent thread on how to do it: Installing a YJ windshield frame on a CJ write up

If you decide to get a donor CJ frame and spruce it up, this is a great thread for that: Windshield frame restoration...sit back!!

Good luck!
 

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Unfortunately, two ribs usually signals "replica", not a YJ conversion. Stay away from off shore replicas. They use 2 ribs because the sheet metal is thinner and low quality. There are other problems well documented on this forum, including no internal baffles causing condensation and rust, incorrect flange dimensions, hinge mounting holes out of spec and incorrect corner radius leading to glass cracking at corners.
 

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I know Sgt. Jeep has the YJ windshields all day long (they usually do come with wiper motors and arms). But some of his parts move pretty fast...I have one of his YJ windshields in my garage in red...and then a stock one came into his yard that's the exact (almost) color of my Jeep so now I want to trade him so I don't have to paint haha. I've known him for years so he said he would whenever someone buys the top off the same jeep and he can get to the windshield. Eventually I'll do that swap...hopefully before the rains starts. Speaking of I really need to get ahold of him.
 

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Mine is maybe 1% of the way yours is a looking.

I'm, getting the rusting hither and yon around the glass area, a hard place to repair.

I hate rust--I hate chasing rust--With steel, You might always be chasing it.

I also have a "MacGyyver-ed" issue on the frontside of mine, where the "alligator/ frog eyes" stick up

for the windshield wiper axles to come through. Before I got "Mr. Jeep" (my CJ-5) in 1991, somehow the original owner,

got the wiper linkage all out ow whack and the driver's side "eye" got stressed/ weakened/ started tearing loose.

Eventually the wipers bound up and would not move, hence the "MacGyver fix"

The fix? 2 pieces whacked out of and shaped from a donor window frame, and riveted over the old eyes,

just to get me by for a while, now years!

It works well, is not awful to look at, but it just ain't right and only unique to mine.

As far as a "perfect look" nothing/ ribs at all/ correct rib count, do not enter my mind

Funtionability, a correct lookness, no rust, thickness are my concerns. "Thin" promotes the "weak Alligator eye issue" with a steel unit.

This would also give me peace of mind that every time i dropped my windshield, I would never have "your issue" staring back at me,

I do drive with it down quite often during the summer......Why?....Because I can!

I don't have but a here and there bit of rust on the body, chasing that ain't so bad to fix.

"Settling with" (giving up--letting it ride) and "Happy with" (wonderful!!!!--don't change a thing) Are totally different outlooks.

I'm opting for a fiberglass window frame for my CJ-5---I've seen 'em on other CJs, and would never have known, unless

I was told. I just gotta get the domestic over-spender to cooperate one of these days to make it happen.

Don't even try to say "Glass" is inferior or does not look right--"Willy" (my CJ2A) and I have been a team since 1991,

and in the public eye since 1993. His Grill and Windshield frame are steel, EVERYTHING else is glass.

99.9% of folks never can't tell until told, most really like him, but most of all, My folks love him to death.

In the end---I must be the happy one---not the critiquers.

JEEPFELLER

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1983 CJ7 258 T4 all stock. 1984 CJ7 258 Automatic Howell Fuel Injected
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
ranger83 the rust on the front isn't as bad but it's not great. The PO had tried caulking I think
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Thanks for all the advice, it sounds like I will start checking around with the suggested dealers for a frame in decent shape, color doesn't matter since it's getting painted anyway. Seems like that may be a more cost effective and time saving route to go versus trying to save this one.

What is the best thing to do about the VIN tag and plate it's attacjed to? Should I drill out the rivets and transfer it to the new frame?

Here is a pic of the 84 I'm working on and the progress so far. Has the hard top and doors included. Gonna be a fun, bolt snapping, project. I'm sure I'll have lots more questions along the way.
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And just for fun here is the one I've had since 1998. It's nice to have one next to it to look at when I'm not sure where something goes.
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I think the hours involved and cost to repair your frame your better off just finding a replacement frame. Anyone of the used jeep parts places listed here are fine I do prefer Rudy's. Even though they are a little expensive you can also contact Collins Brother Jeep in Texas. If you are not a purist and don't mind using an aftermarket frame I have used the Crown frames several times and they do fit well and maybe slightly thinner metal and I have had no problem with them but costs have gone up and think you can find a good used OEM frame for the same cost.
 

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I wouldn't waste time on a used replacement. You can buy a whole frame with gaskets and everything to install the windshield for less than $300 Quadratec
I totally with ganglin3665 as far as using the replacement frame from Quadratec. The only problem I have with the entire kit is I do not like the Omix and Crown gaskets and seals that come with the kit. I prefer the Fairchild Industries gaskets and seals but that's my own personal opinion from past experience using them but others may have used them with no problem.
 

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The windshield frame is toast. Don't waste your time trying to repair it. You are not restoring a port hole T-Bird or a classic Corvette - it is a Jeep. Swap it out and paint it. That much rust in the windshield frame? I'd strip the Jeep down and find out where the other rust is and repair or replace as you go. While you are that far into the dash area check out the wiring. Over the years many times people will go crazy cutting and splicing ridiculous wires. You may want to get to those wires now while you have easy access to them.
 

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I would take the frame off and have a look behind the hinges. They rust like crazy just there. It can be fixed on the cowl and quite neatly as it is hidden by the hinge but on the frame, it is just one more repair.

You could try repairing that bottom edge, but the trick is to get it super flat so the cowl seal can seal and the front lip needs to be perfectly straight, not easy. Here is an original, the edge so badly eaten that a piece of tape was needed

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Here is a rusty example, looked fine on the outside but the entire hinge area was rotten.


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I have changed several windshield frames for new aftermarket ones. The last one weighed something like 8 lbs.

Notwithstanding this, the design has changed over the years. I did one about 13 years ago and it had the double rib, worked perfectly. The second one I did about 6 years ago and had a single rib and was almost identical to the original in look, again worked perfectly.

So they are much lighter but were a lot cheaper. I paid about $100 for the last one plus shipping (that was a killer, most places quoted "heavy lift" due to its size). They are now around $200 to $250. All in with glass and seals is pushing $500.

Here is the older one, with double rib
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And the newer one, which is more stock.

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This is what mine looked like before and after. Not quite as bad as yours but it can be repaired. However, I am not a straight up purist, I just don't want to put Chinese made stuff on my Jeep if I don't have to. Also, I had to take off the plate holding my VIN number due to rust between it and the windshield frame. Two new rivets and no one is the wiser.
 

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This is what mine looked like before and after. Not quite as bad as yours but it can be repaired. However, I am not a straight up purist, I just don't want to put Chinese made stuff on my Jeep if I don't have to. Also, I had to take off the plate holding my VIN number due to rust between it and the windshield frame. Two new rivets and no one is the wiser.
 

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One thing we have to look at if you read his first post he did state that he is handing over all the rust repairs to his body shop guy he is not doing the repairs himself. He needs to bring in the windshield frame over to the body shop and see what they say. I'm sure a shop can do the repairs but he has to look at the cost of what the repairs would be. It may be cheaper if he just looked for a replacement OEM frame or a new one. Those that can do the repairs themselves that can do the welding it may be worth doing the repairs but he is not doing any of the repairs.
 

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Yep, good point. Spending $200 to start with clean new metal for painting would be a better investment than welding up, sanding down and fettling a 40 year old rusty one.

I was not worried about the cost when I swapped mine out, just that the rust would come back and it was not a long term solution and that I wanted to get the CJ to the point where I could lower the windshield without worrying it would snap off.

15 years on, the first one is perfect.

And they are mostly not made by the Chicomm, but in the Philippines.
 
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