1. #1
    78cj71ton's Avatar
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    78 cj7 back in 2009

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    MY LIST

    1978 cj7 with amc 360, t18 with dana 20 transfer case, amc 20 rear axle, dana 30 front axle. Narrow track, 4:56 gears. With rag top$1700.

    -Used Fiberglass tub 600 bucks and glass fenders on the original jeep
    -New windshield frame found online 150 bucks
    -Replaced frame with used good one. Welded 2 inch body lift in, wish I didn't, not needed.
    - Frame ends were extended and welded 3x5x 3/16 wall rectangular tube steel to them. They same width as body
    -Welded up every hole in the frame that wasn't being used
    -Salvaged steering column, clutch and brake pedal assembly
    -Salvaged heat ducts windshield wiper motor and dash components ( keep your old dash in asafe place it has your VIN on it)
    -Heater fan from 1973 full size chevy blazer. Way more air. Had to open hole some
    -New heater core
    -Later put plastic fuel cell behind the seat
    -Hard top from YJ
    -Used yj family style roll bar $ 150
    -Aluminum dash found on line 120 bucks
    - Used. 304 stainless steel fasteners every where possible.😀 I hate rust.
    -After it was done I didn't like the way it drove on expressway. It wandered mostly because of the way the spring bushings and shackles were designed from factory.
    I blew the rear axle pulling a boat out of the water.
    -Replaced axles with full width Chevy 14 bolt rear and Dana 60 front with 1350 u joints. I used a heavy duty welded differential cover found on EBay. Try to find a 14 bolt with rear disc already on it. It's easier
    -New 1973- 1987 52 inch chevy springs front and back they rated at 1875 lbs 6 (5/1) 5 leafs with overload on bottom. pack thickness 2 1/8 inches. 2 1/2 wide and 26 inches to center. 26/26. I bought mine thru General Spring for $110 a pack. I removed 2 springs out of each pack. Replace bushings with urethane bushings if you want the most flex and travel possible. The stock rubber bushings bind the suspension but can be used. You see the difference between the bushings by leaving the bolts loose and jumping on rear bumper. Try it with bolts tight and loose. When tight the rubber vulcanized bushings bind suspension. Urethane bushings are real bushings not snubbers.
    -Made front spring plates with 5/8 plate then reinforced the plates by welding rails on ends. A 1 inch offset hole will allow you to jockey springs forward or back. You can buy these front and rear but they still need to be reinforced. Once reinforced they can handle torque of u bolts.
    - Shackles were bought on line through one of the spring suppliers
    - Made the steering link from the box to the passenger side knuckle out 1.250 tubing,. 250 wall thickness, 19.5 inches long. Yours might be different. Drilled and tapped both ends for 7/8-18 right hand thread. This allows you to use standard chevy 1 ton tierod ends.
    -Steering box brace
    -Steering arm acquired at junk yard is off an old Cadillac 1968 if I remember? Check pics
    -High steer arm on pass side tapered larger at bottom.
    - Link between knuckles is standard 1 ton chevy
    -Replaced oil burning 360 with AMC 401
    -1994 4x4 1/2 ton dodge nv4500 23 spline output shaft over drive 5 speed transmission I had to heat and bend shifter so it would be in proper driver position. It's tall and very comfortable. The transmission shifts smooth as butter it's one of the best shifting transmission I ever drove. Effortless
    -Dana 300 transfer case 23 spline input. It bolts right up to the Dodge transmission. This set up is 6 inches longer than the t18 set up. It is easier to find th chevy NV 4500 and 205 transfer case, stronger but it is longer. If you push rear axle back further with 56 inch springs it won't be an issue.
    -Made an adapter plate for amc bell housing to dodge nv4500 transmission. Can be purchased. This whole set up would be much easier to go with all chevy stuff including engine.
    - Hydroboost brake master cylinder from a heavy duty chevy van. Steering pump lines to Hydroboost and steer box STOPS ON A DIME. Hydroboost is the way to go NO DOUBT
    -New aluminum radiator found on eBay $110 no kidding I bought 2 of them
    -New steel locking center counsel with stereo option at front
    -Replace the suspension seat with leather electric seats front an audi. That was a pain. But cool once finished
    - Plastic 6 inch flat fender flares buy Bushwacker. Fronts are YJ and pretty sure rears are TJ. On the rear one or the other is longer and taller. These flares are flexible and easy to elongate when fitting a stretched wheel base.
    -37x12.5x16.5 Goodyear Mt wrangler military Oz tires. D rating 8 ply $600. mounted on 16.5x10 centerline aluminum rims. $250 Used
    -I have a very heavy duty winch mount for front that I can hang the jeep and a couple more. just needs to be bolted on.
    -I bought used fiberglass full doors and like new fiberglass half doors for it
    -Found new fiberglass hood on line $200. No rust😀
    -Need to build heavy duty crash plates.
    - I.have front section of roll bar which I need to tie to the frame and reinforce with a few trusses.
    -Need light bar and LED's for under carriage.
    -Need bigger fuel cell. Possibly remove rear seat.


    Next big upgrade. Build 304 stainless steel rectangular tube steel frame. NO RUST. I HATE RUST😯
    Last edited by 78cj71ton; 01-15-2017 at 01:54 PM. Reason: Add details

  2. #2
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    Re: 78 cj7 back in 2009

    78 cj7 back in 2009-dsc_0900.jpg78 cj7 back in 2009-dsc_0903.jpg

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    Re: 78 cj7 back in 2009

    Full width axle swap was done about 3 years ago. The jeep went through 2 winters. Next up grade is hydraulic assist steering and I plan on building a stainless steel rectangular tube steel frame for it. Sick of the rust.

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  4. #4
    TerryMason's Avatar
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    Re: 78 cj7 back in 2009

    Very cool!
    Is that a new fiberglass tub that you put on it?

    Man I miss my 85 CJ7 ...

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    Re: 78 cj7 back in 2009

    I found it used for 600 bucks down the road from my house. What are the chances of that happening. It's a really thick tub. Don't know who made it.

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    Re: 78 cj7 back in 2009

    The jeep had fiberglass fenders when I bought it

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    Re: 78 cj7 back in 2009

    I notice it looks like you cut the frame in half??? what was going on there? is that how you stretched the wheel base. im thinking of just moving my spring mounts forward in the front the the edge of the bumper as you did, and doing the same in the back. I figure that will get me around 4-5" stretch with out doing major work. im currently fighting a hydraulic clutch issue.

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    Re: 78 cj7 back in 2009

    The frame was not cut. I used longer 52 inch chevy springs

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    Re: 78 cj7 back in 2009

    The stock springs are narrow and center point is one like 22 inches from front eye. I'm going to post everything I can here

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    Re: 78 cj7 back in 2009

    If you go with the chevy 56 inch springs you can get more stretch. They will have more travel and keep spring memory. Just remember to the springs that have thinner, higher number of springs. My leafs were a little over 1/4 thick each. If you get thick leafs your suspension won't move. I will post I used here.

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    Re: 78 cj7 back in 2009

    Oh one thing you have to watch for is make sure your front diff doesn't contact the steering link. My steer arm is a little long but it turned out ok. If you don't mind cutting your rear quarters you can get rear wheels way back. The 52 inch Springs will move you about 4 inches each end total of 8 front and back. Depending on what your Springs centers are now. Remember to use Chevy, ford or dodge style shackles and bushings. Similar to mine, that make it run straight on the road

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