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  1. #21
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    Re: My $120 CJ7 build

    My 1.5" lift Rubicon Express spring over YJ springs also came in. Not sure who to be mad at (I got them through Summit Racing) but stupid Fed-Ex put big bar-code stickers right on the springs that won't come off. They're all scratched to hell too. They weren't even boxed. I'm supposed to be the one who gets to scratch up my new springs... on the trail... Sure, people love big stickers on the products they pay for... Lucky for them I'm doing a military tribute, and they will get painted anyway. If this was a normal custom build, or a resto-mod, I'd be making calls and chewing people out telling them they owe me to have them repainted.




  2. #22
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    Re: My $120 CJ7 build

    Did some grinding of the frame to get off the leftover parts where I cut the front main spring mount off. Drilled into the frame for the first time on the build. Nerve wracking for an amateur, but I got them relatively straight. Speaking of nerves... the nerve damage in my neck haunted me, with my weak grip. I lost control of the drill when the bit caught. It twisted right out of my hands and I snapped off the 1/2" bit... in the frame. Thank God the hole was almost done, and I was able to just bang the broken piece inside the frame. Still have to enlarge the holes on the outside of the frame to 3/4" to allow for the spacers, but I was too sore to try that tonight. I'm using YJ springs and am supposed to make the spring eyes 44" apart, but could only move the rear bracket enough to get 43 1/2" Close enough for me... It already has to be widened 3/8" to fit the Dodge Dana 44, and I didn't want to have to get into the body mount too, so here it will sit.









  3. #23
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    Re: My $120 CJ7 build

    Tough time finding some 3/8" steel for a spacer for the front of the Dave's Custom kit, but I finally came across a semi trailer kingpin plate at a scrap yard that was 3/8". After much cutting, and drilling a couple holes in each... they fit. Still have to grind off a bit and sand blast them, and the front of the frame, and we're off to the welder.

















    The rear was much easier as it's made of 1/4" and I had some of that laying around. I just needed to do up a piece that was 3/8, plus the width of the cut. I think I got pretty close.







    If my welder guy gets back to me, I should have this mounted solid this week. Rear springs are on order, and have shipped. Just waiting on brown santa. Next step, blast and paint the entire frame.

  4. #24
    ndnatty's Avatar
    ndnatty is offline Senior Member
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    Re: My $120 CJ7 build

    Looks good. Makes me want to learn how to weld. Maybe when I retire.


    Sent from my iPad using Jeepz.com mobile app

  5. #25
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    Re: My $120 CJ7 build

    I'd like to learn to weld too... I have a little 120v Lincoln Weldpack 100, but it's not heavy duty enough to do this kind of work, and I'm not good enough to trust my work on something that will support this kind of weight. I've had it 17 years, and only used it maybe 4 or 5 times. It's like anything, you don't get good if you don't practice. Maybe one day I'll get the gas kit for it, and practice more with it. If I'm doing sheet metal, 50% chance I'll blow a hole in it. If it's heavy metal, this machine can't do it in one pass, so 70% chance it won't penetrate enough to stick. I hate having to use the flux core wire too, it splatters all over the place.
    Last edited by daddyusmaximus; 05-23-2018 at 11:55 AM.

  6. #26
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    Re: My $120 CJ7 build

    Well, I managed to get the frame to the welder. Of course things did not go as planned. One of his buddies he lets use his shop had left his gas on... no mig. Had to stick weld it. Not as pretty, but should be just as strong. Interesting side note: the work was free. I traded the work for an old welder I was given for helping a friend last year on his project. I don't have 220v in my garage, and don't know how to weld very well anyway... He used his free machine to do my free work.







    I bolted the front adapter and the 3/8" spacer to the frame, and he stitched both together, and to the frame.














    Then he put the rear pieces together, stitched the side plates to the frame, and added the gussets.














    Next morning, I shot it all with some black rattle can to keep the orange beast at bay until I can get to the rest of the frame. It's still on the trailer for now. I did some garage clean up today. Didn't get back til after 10pm the other night. Got rear springs on the way. Won't be doing much to it for a while though. Got a bunch of VA appointments coming up, plus the traveling Vietnam memorial wall is in town starting today, plus Memorial Day weekend, and as the local VFW commander, I'm a bit busy.

  7. #27
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    Re: My $120 CJ7 build

    Decided to tinker today. I'm planing to run the Dana 300 T-case because everybody says it's the better case. The Jeep I got the drivetrain out of was running the Dana 20. It was working, but not well. It was a bear to shift with. I got to measuring the TF 999 in the CJ7 and the TF 727 that was in the CJ5 behind the Mopar 360. Same family of transmission from what I can tell only the 727 is a much stronger unit. The bolt pattern at the tail housing is the same and I got to wondering if the adapter for the Dana 300 would fit on the 727. Maybe I'd need a new output shaft, but it looks like it will bolt up. No such luck finding out. I got the adapter and T-case off the 999, but can't get the adaptor off the stupid 727... Bolts are out, but that baby ain't coming apart.







    Also curious as to what this cogged wheel is on the Dana 300. Anyone know? Looks like some kind of brake to lock up the unit.








    They are getting rebuilt anyway before they go back in. I know the 727 runs, I was driving the CJ5 for a couple months before I tore it down. The Dana 300 is a crap shoot as it had been sitting for years. I was kinda hoping to know if this was going to work or if I was gonna have to spring for a new adapter.



  8. #28
    ndnatty's Avatar
    ndnatty is offline Senior Member
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    Re: My $120 CJ7 build

    Quote Originally Posted by daddyusmaximus View Post
    Decided to tinker today. I'm planing to run the Dana 300 T-case because everybody says it's the better case. The Jeep I got the drivetrain out of was running the Dana 20. It was working, but not well. It was a bear to shift with. I got to measuring the TF 999 in the CJ7 and the TF 727 that was in the CJ5 behind the Mopar 360. Same family of transmission from what I can tell only the 727 is a much stronger unit. The bolt pattern at the tail housing is the same and I got to wondering if the adapter for the Dana 300 would fit on the 727. Maybe I'd need a new output shaft, but it looks like it will bolt up. No such luck finding out. I got the adapter and T-case off the 999, but can't get the adaptor off the stupid 727... Bolts are out, but that baby ain't coming apart.







    Also curious as to what this cogged wheel is on the Dana 300. Anyone know? Looks like some kind of brake to lock up the unit.








    They are getting rebuilt anyway before they go back in. I know the 727 runs, I was driving the CJ5 for a couple months before I tore it down. The Dana 300 is a crap shoot as it had been sitting for years. I was kinda hoping to know if this was going to work or if I was gonna have to spring for a new adapter.


    No clue. Mine has the t150 and Dana 20 and besides clutch replacement never had to break into them. Runs smooth.


    Sent from my iPad using Jeepz.com mobile app

  9. #29
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    Re: My $120 CJ7 build

    My wife is a teacher's aid. No school in the summer, so we're down a paycheck. That coupled with my not-so-great VA disability income means no parts buying over the summer. Also, I don't get along with 90 degree weather, and have been doing some pretty intense physical therapy on my bad shoulder. MRI next week, so I'll get to see what kind of damage is in there now. Been years since the last operation. Anyway... after taking the summer off working on the Jeep, I'm back at it... sort of.


    Now for a guy still in the bare frame stage, this is gonna sound strange, but my first big spend was for a new back bumper. When I was mocking up the new springs, I found the Rubicon Express YJ springs to be a bit longer. The rear shackles ended up being angled too far back, and I was gonna have to move the rear shackle mount back a couple inches or there wouldn't be enough room for movement once there was weight on it. After deliberating on weather to build or buy, I found one online that looked very strong, and decided to go for it, knowing I'd probably have to modify how it attached to the frame. I ordered the LOD Expedition series bumper and tire carrier, and the optional frame tie ins.







    Now I had to figure out a way to mount the bumper so that it is strong enough that I can move the rear shackle back and have it resting on the bumper, as a frame extension. The bumpers optional frame tie ins, are only for the outside of the frame. There are only two. They do not sandwich the frame. for the bolts on the inside of the frame, you get only backing plates.





    First off, I can't imagine anyone NOT getting the frame tie ins. Too many videos out there of people trying to get unstuck, and ripping the rear bumper off a vehicle. Second, I need this strong enough to be a frame extension, as the shackle will be moved back one hole. I remembered taking some brackets off my old Super Duty when I first got it years ago. (it had a 5th wheel hitch I didn't need) I dug into my scrap pile and started making the pieces to a second pair of frame tie ins, using these, and the backing plates LOD sent. These will go on the inside, and sandwich the frame. I'll have to get longer bolts. LOD also sent grade 5 bolts. I'll get grade 8.





    There is a tab on the bottom of the bumper that had a hole that corresponds with the rear shackle mount hole. (that will now be the front shackle mount hole) This will work out perfectly, but will still need further reinforcement under it. I'll cut the original rear bumper, install a sleeve, (kinda like a trailer hitch in a reciever) and it will go inside the frame.The bolts will go through the frame tie ins, the frame, and the sleeve, that will be welded to the rear of the LOD bumper under the tab, so it will support the rear shackle mount.





    Should be plenty strong.


    Sucky thing is now that we're back to a two income family... the timing chain broke in my daily driver (2003 Marauder) pretty sure I bent a bunch of valves too. I'm looking at a big repair bill. probably a total rebuild. I have to do the things that don't require a lot of cash outlay. I can do the frame painting and the rest of the bumper mounting without much additional cost in the mean time. I'll be able to get the springs mounted, flip her back over, and get the axles back under her without a lot of cost. Maybe I can start working on the tub in my no money spare time till after I get the car up and running again.

  10. #30
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    Re: My $120 CJ7 build

    Crap... If it isn't one thing, it's another. My daily driver (2003 Mercury Marauder) is down. Timing chain jumped, and she bent some valves. 160K miles on her. Probably should have replaced it as a preventive measure, but she was running fine... So that put a $4,000 dent in the Jeep budget.


    Anyway, I have been able to spend a little time working out the kinks in the rear bumper install, and how far back to move the rear spring shackle eyes. Pretty sure I won't have to flip them around like I had them in the previous post. Moving them one hole back should do the trick. I test fitted the springs, and the angle of the shackles look like they should be OK. I guess I'll find out when she's on the ground.


    Gave it the first coat of desert sand, so you an get the idea of the "Army Jeep" look she'll have.





    Here you see the frame tie in brackets that I got (paid extra) with the bumper. Still think it's cheesy they only sent two, so you can't sandwich the frame.





    Here you see the finished frame tie ins I did for the inside. NOW I can sandwich the frame. I also replace the grade 5 hardware they sent, with grade 8. Notice how now that I moved the shackle eye back, they sit on top of the original rear crossmember. This leaves them up a bit, and not directly sitting on the frame, so I'll have to insert a piece of steel to fill the gap right under the eye to keep it from flexing under load. Kinda screwed up on those home made tie ins. My side supports were so close I didn't leave enough room for a socket. Had to hold the nut with an open end wrench, and tighten the bolt from the other side. Very hard to get to.





    Overall, I think it should be strong enough to do the job...



  11. #31
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    Re: My $120 CJ7 build

    Put the front springs on today. I was gonna paint the front of the frame, but got overheated. maybe later in the evening or tomorrow. A little concerned about the angle of the shackles. They are over the 90* mark with no weight on them at all. The Rubicon express YJ SOA springs are suppose to ride nice, but are a bit longer. I can't move either of the shackle mounts without a lot of custom fab work.










    The Dave's Customs Unlimited kit mounts the rear right in front of the body mount, so there's no moving it back. Wouldn't want to go back anyway. The front uses factory holes, so moving it forward would mean paying somebody to cut and weld on what I paid them to engineer. I already had to space them out for the Dodge truck axles. I'm thinking that there should be enough room for the spring to compress without having it bang on the frame. I'll have to make my own bump stops anyway, as the factory ones won't match up with the Dodge Dana 44.







    Side note: I had ordered two new sets of greasable shackles and now somehow I don't have enough bolts to mount both the front and rear springs. They give you the greasable bolts for the shackles, but regular bolts for the pivot end of the springs. Maybe I'm being OCD, but I want greasable bolts everywhere there is a bushing... so I'm ordering another kit.

  12. #32
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    Re: My $120 CJ7 build

    Did a bit of wire brushing and painting on the frame today. Managed to finish the front half back to the skid plate. Shoulders on fire...


    Here's what I started with...



    Had to make a trip to the hardware store for a new brush after a while...



    Now half of the frame is black.



    I couldn't find POR 15 in any of the stores around here, but I found this stuff. The question is, will Chassis Saver save my chassis? Time will tell.



    Gotta take the skid plate off to progress rearward. That, is for another day... I need a shower, nap, the wife has plans for dinner with friends, and I have to get back to the VFW to do a Treasure Hunt drawing.

  13. #33
    JPNinPA's Avatar
    JPNinPA is offline Senior Member
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    Re: My $120 CJ7 build

    POR-15 also works

    https://www.por15.com/POR-15-FAQS_ep_61.html


    Regards,
    JPNinPA

    Sent using TapTalk
    "Never look down on anybody unless you're helping him up" - Jesse Jackson

  14. #34
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    Re: My $120 CJ7 build

    Quote Originally Posted by JPNinPA View Post
    POR-15 also works

    https://www.por15.com/POR-15-FAQS_ep_61.html


    Regards,
    JPNinPA

    Sent using TapTalk
    Except I went to 5 or 6 places, and nobody had any...

  15. #35
    JPNinPA's Avatar
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    Re: My $120 CJ7 build

    Amazon plus they have a store locator.
    https://locate.por15.com/
    Not saying you made a bad choice. I was throwing another well liked product out there.


    Regards,
    JPNinPA

    Sent using TapTalk
    "Never look down on anybody unless you're helping him up" - Jesse Jackson

  16. #36
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    Re: My $120 CJ7 build

    Just wear gloves with the stuff!

  17. #37
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    Re: My $120 CJ7 build

    Quote Originally Posted by TerryMason View Post
    Just wear gloves with the stuff!
    Toxic or difficult to come off?


    JPNinPA
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    "Never look down on anybody unless you're helping him up" - Jesse Jackson

  18. #38
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    Re: My $120 CJ7 build

    I've gotten POR15 on my hands before, and you just have to wait for the skin to wear off. It just wouldn't let go.

  19. #39
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    Re: My $120 CJ7 build

    Had to get the skidplate off to finish the frame scraping and painting. Guess what? Yup, broke another 38 year old bolt. Is there anything more infuriating than drilling out damn broken bolts? Can I get an Amen?





    However, I finally got the rest of the frame Chassis Saver black. (well, at least the bottom and sides) I'll let her dry for a few days, then hit her with the rattle can desert sand. Soon after, I'll flip her over, get on her wheels, and do the top of the frame.



  20. #40
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    Re: My $120 CJ7 build

    First coat of desert sand in on the frame...



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