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  1. #1
    PoliceMonkey161's Avatar
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    86 Laredo resto/mod

    Hello Everyone!
    I've been busy with my restoration project of what started life as a 1986 CJ7 Laredo. I figured I'd take a few minutes and upload some photos. It's hard to tell by the starting photos but the two owners before me loved this Jeep. 27 years of use, storage and for the past few years use as a farm truck just started to catch up with it. Once I started tearing it down, it was obvious that the other guys did what they could to preserve the Jeep. This was originally going to be a graduation gift for my 18 year old, but he prefers my old Chevy pickup.....Go figure? So I was going to just do some repairs,re-paint, etc so he could use it, but after finding that a CJ7 is not his style, I decided to do a frame off resto/mod to it. Most of the original Laredo equipment had been replaced or upgraded (not sure if that the right term?) by the PO's. I will restore it to something between a base CJ and a Laredo. Would you believe that this Jeep had the OEM hardtop still on it and it had never been removed?It's true!

    86 Laredo resto/mod-hard-top-014.jpg86 Laredo resto/mod-dsc_0003.jpg

    86 Laredo resto/mod-dsc_0015.jpg 86 Laredo resto/mod-dsc_0005.jpg

    Since I knew it would be stored outside for the winter, I did a quick paint job on the tub and lined the inside with bedliner.
    I started with rebuilding a 258 for it, the original ran fine but had ~ 120,000 miles on it. I did not go with a crate engine, I choose to rebuild this one the way I wanted. It's .040 over with a Crane cam, HEI and I fully ported the heads. The remaining long block parts are stock equivalents.It will eventually have a Clifford intake, Borla headers and a Weber 38/38.

    86 Laredo resto/mod-dsc_0004.jpg86 Laredo resto/mod-dsc_0007.jpg
    86 Laredo resto/mod-dsc_0008.jpg
    86 Laredo resto/mod-dsc_0010.jpg
    86 Laredo resto/mod-dsc_0054.jpg86 Laredo resto/mod-dsc_0057.jpg
    86 Laredo resto/mod-dsc_0058.jpgClick image for larger version. 

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    In the last photo you can see the AMC designed oil bypass inside the oil filter galley. It was a real challenge tracking those parts down! When Chrysler bought out AMC, the 87 (87-90?) Wrangler had a 258 but they did away with the built in bypass and used an integrated filter. The person I bought this block from must have figured it was optional???? He did not re-install it during the previous rebuild. The crank was galled and torn up from the oil circulating without going through the filter. My hats off to Moses Ludel, in his book (Jeep Rebuilds Manual, I think?) he outlined the important of this bypass.

  2. #2
    69jeepcj's Avatar
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    Re: 86 Laredo resto/mod

    Engine looks awesome!!

  3. #3
    PoliceMonkey161's Avatar
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    Re: 86 Laredo resto/mod

    Quote Originally Posted by 69jeepcj View Post
    Engine looks awesome!!
    Thank you Sir! Means even more coming from a friend.

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    PoliceMonkey161's Avatar
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    Re: 86 Laredo resto/mod

    At this stage, I have removed everything from the chassis. The tub has had some repairs to it, the firewall, fender wells and area under the dash have been coated with bedliner as well. The under-carriage seams have been sealed and fully undercoated. The frame needed to have two of the body mounts replaced and two needed to be repaired, rust treated and top coated; all in all neither the frame or tub where in bad shape. There really is no original surface that has not been treated and recoated at this point (special thanks to the Eastwood Company!). In the last photo you can see that I have laid out all of my new hardware in the bed...... Re-assembly begins. I choose to invest in all stainless steel hardware (courtesy of Totally Stainless).

    86 Laredo resto/mod-tub-frame.jpg86 Laredo resto/mod-frame.jpg
    86 Laredo resto/mod-firewall.jpg86 Laredo resto/mod-reassembly.jpg

  5. #5
    TerryMason's Avatar
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    Re: 86 Laredo resto/mod

    I like all the stainless hardware. It's coming along nicely.
    My 2005 Wrangler Build Thread

    “He who is without oil shall throw the first rod.” -Compressions 8.7:1

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    PoliceMonkey161's Avatar
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    Re: 86 Laredo resto/mod

    Quote Originally Posted by TerryMason View Post
    I like all the stainless hardware. It's coming along nicely.

    Thanks Terry!!!!

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    PoliceMonkey161's Avatar
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    Re: 86 Laredo resto/mod

    So, I had a (second one for me) rotator cuff surgery and I'm about 14 weeks post op. Starting to get some use of my right arm/shoulder back so I've been working on my build. This past weekend I got the engine/trans installed, the hyd. clutch installed, brake booster and heater pellium put back in.


    86 Laredo resto/mod-dsc_0013.jpg86 Laredo resto/mod-dsc_0014.jpg86 Laredo resto/mod-dsc_0015.jpg

    86 Laredo resto/mod-dsc_0016.jpg 86 Laredo resto/mod-dsc_0018.jpg 86 Laredo resto/mod-dsc_0019.jpg
    86 Laredo resto/mod-dsc_0017.jpg86 Laredo resto/mod-dsc_0020.jpg

  8. #8
    flatie46's Avatar
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    Re: 86 Laredo resto/mod

    Man it all looks great. I'm thinking your son will change his mind when he sees this thing comming together. You have great attention to detail on this project it will pay off big in the end. I hate that your surgery has held you up, I'm sure you were chompin at the bit to work on this. Keep us posted on this!

    Looks like you've been a good student of Moses Ludel.

  9. #9
    69jeepcj's Avatar
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    Re: 86 Laredo resto/mod

    More, More, More!!!

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    TerryMason's Avatar
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    Re: 86 Laredo resto/mod

    Wow, that looks sweet!
    My 2005 Wrangler Build Thread

    “He who is without oil shall throw the first rod.” -Compressions 8.7:1

  11. #11
    SteelHeadz's Avatar
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    That is awesome! .. Nice work..
    Confucious says: Don't eat the snow where the huskies go!

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    Re: 86 Laredo resto/mod

    For the past couple of weeks, I've been working on the brake lines, fuel supply and return, linkage for the Weber and re-building the transfer case. I went crazy with the T-case with stainless hardware and a sight tube for the gear oil.


    86 Laredo resto/mod-brake-1.jpg 86 Laredo resto/mod-brake-2.jpg86 Laredo resto/mod-brake-3.jpg
    86 Laredo resto/mod-brake-4.jpg86 Laredo resto/mod-fuel-fuel.jpg86 Laredo resto/mod-fuel-lines.jpg86 Laredo resto/mod-linkage.jpg

    For the T-case, I disassembled the unit, cleaned and painted the case. I decieded halfway through to use stainless hardware so that delayed the completion while the parts where on order. The sight tube worked out well....


    86 Laredo resto/mod-d300-parts.jpg86 Laredo resto/mod-old-case.jpg86 Laredo resto/mod-im-gear-w-needles.jpg86 Laredo resto/mod-im-gear-w-wood-dowel.jpg86 Laredo resto/mod-inserrting-main.jpg

    86 Laredo resto/mod-t-case1.jpg86 Laredo resto/mod-t-case-2.jpg

  13. #13
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    Re: 86 Laredo resto/mod

    Happy to hear your coming along after your surgeries ! They may have put you behind schedule but you are moving right along and I will agree , your doing a fabulous job ! I totally appreciate your attention to detail . Everything is so well thought out . I really like the direction your taking this build . It really is going to be one hot looking CJ ! A 258 and an AX15 , I like that combo .
    Take,it at your pace brother , I know your having a great time building it . Great pictures . This jeep ought to be in video ! Great job !
    Last edited by greg92jeepxj; 02-09-2014 at 08:50 PM.
    Never overlook the obvious . It's usually right in front of us

  14. #14
    flatie46's Avatar
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    Re: 86 Laredo resto/mod

    Did you use the baby fresh scent petrolium jelly to hold the needle bearings in? That's what I primed my oil pump with. Lol

  15. #15
    PoliceMonkey161's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flatie46 View Post
    Did you use the baby fresh scent petrolium jelly to hold the needle bearings in? That's what I primed my oil pump with. Lol
    Maybe sooooo........ That would explain the "fresh scent" in the shop!

  16. #16
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    Re: 86 Laredo resto/mod

    Just updating since I got most of the interior basics done. What started out as just front diamond tread floor pans turn out to be a little more once I got fabbing. So including the tread plating, I've installed the YJ rollbar, re-did the dash, re-installed the steering column and got the back half of the wiring done. The cold and snow is slowing my progress, I still need to finish the body work on the front fenders and grill. Once those are installed, I can finish the engine and harness.


    86 Laredo resto/mod-1.jpg 86 Laredo resto/mod-2.jpg86 Laredo resto/mod-3.jpg86 Laredo resto/mod-4.jpg86 Laredo resto/mod-5.jpg
    86 Laredo resto/mod-6.jpgClick image for larger version. 

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  17. #17
    SteelHeadz's Avatar
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    That looks awesome!!!

    Sent from my iPad using Jeepz
    Confucious says: Don't eat the snow where the huskies go!

  18. #18
    flatie46's Avatar
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    Re: 86 Laredo resto/mod

    That looks great plus it will last and wear well!

  19. #19
    PoliceMonkey161's Avatar
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    I finished the body work and painted/clear-coated the front clip. All that real estate under the hood won't last long!

    86 Laredo resto/mod-image-1410093719.jpg



    86 Laredo resto/mod-image-3205970102.jpg



    86 Laredo resto/mod-image-4281872461.jpg

    I managed to get the new radiator shoehorned in..... Regardless of what I was told, it was not a direct replacement of the OEM system.


    86 Laredo resto/mod-image-3455902524.jpg

    I decided to add a P/S fluid cooler as well.



    86 Laredo resto/mod-image-845141801.jpg

    Also got most of the harness done, the fuel regulator/return line plumbed in and most of the hoses fit.



    86 Laredo resto/mod-image-1029404639.jpg

  20. #20
    PoliceMonkey161's Avatar
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    Re: 86 Laredo resto/mod

    So, it's been a while since I've updated this post. The frame-off resto of the CJ7 Laredo is complete for the most part, there are some upgrades that are "above and beyond" coming in the months ahead. It's completely drivable and safe at this point. The break-in of the rebuilt motor went well with the exception of having to replace the head gasket after about two hours of running during initial start-up due to a blowout. But what can you do, it happens. I have just about 2000 miles on it, most of which is hilly back road driving between my home in Maryland and our summer place in Gettysburg PA. Barring some minor problems like a fuel regulator which decided that likes to work itself closed during mountain trips, a leaky master cylinder cover (which ate off some of my paint in the engine bay and rusted the cylinder itself) and the normal jetting trials with Weber carbs, all went good.

    All in, my fuel economy is satisfying at 14-14.5mpg and idle is acceptable considering the large cam I went with. It will go from idling at 650 rpm's to the redline mark of 5000 in an instant. The engine is extremely beefy on both torque and horsepower but that came at a cost: I've lost some streetablity in exchange for the gains. Some small things like a vacuum reserve can for the P/B, a lumpy idle (both trade off's for cam) and the use of high octane fuel (due to cam and high compression ratio). When I acquired the engine block for this project from the guy who had enough of "fooling" with it, it included some new and used parts that all came as a package deal. In the deal was a brand new EMPI 38/38 carb still in the box (it's a "work alike" of the Weber) . I started out with it and ran it for the first few hundred miles and I will report that the EMPI version of Weber carbs do work, but not like a genuine Weber. The old adage of "you get what you pay for is true" (especially since it was pretty much free for me), if you research the EMPI carb, you will find that they cost about 1/3 to 1/2 less than a Weber. I had an older Weber 38/38 from a Alpha Romano in the shop which I re-jetted for the Jeep and it provided better economy and infinite adjustability that Weber's are famous for. After a few calls to DUI/Performance Distributors (Davis Unified), they could not sell me on the whole concept of manifold vacuum for the advance. I understand that they set theirs up that way and it's a proven technology, but after many failed trials with various curves at their recommendations, I returned it to the ported vacuum I'm accustom too after changing out the pre-set advance can that comes with the DUI setup with a Crane Cam's adjustable can with a limiter. Worked out great.

    86 Laredo resto/mod-dsc_0071.jpg 86 Laredo resto/mod-dsc_0095.jpg


    86 Laredo resto/mod-dsc_0075.jpg 86 Laredo resto/mod-dsc_0079.jpg
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    And , Have a Nice Jeep Kinda Day!

    86 Laredo resto/mod-dsc_0074.jpg

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