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  1. #61

    Re: My $120 CJ7 build

    Got the spring plate back from the machine shop the other day. They wanted to get the bracket off in good shape so they ended up digging into the plate a bit to get the factory weld off, but they filled it all back in. Once turned around, they burned in in place and all is well.

    Home, and on to test the fit... everything lines up just fine. I'll be using the factory sway bar with my Dodge truck Dana 44... God likes me.

    About an hr ago, I got a call from the other machine shop. The fuel tank skid plate is done. They had called me and warned me that it would be much more expensive to do it in one piece. The guy asked If I was ok with a welded two piece one, and I OK'd it. I also went with 3/16ths rather than 1/4, not only to save some $ but some weight.

    This is a lot more confidence inspiring than a naked aluminium fuel tank.

    I'm wondering now if I should maybe paint the inside of the skid plate with underliner to help cushion between the surfaces. Anyone think there would be a problem with the tank rubbing on the skid plate. Should I have made then contour it so closely to the tank? I will put a couple washers between them to space it down, but nothing I can do about the sides. I had to have the mounting tabs match. I wouldn't think there'd be a problem. Lots of tanks are mounted with straps, but those are so tight there is no movement...

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Virginia Beach VA

    Re: My $120 CJ7 build

    Frankentruck! I like it.

  3. #63
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Dayton Ohio Area

    Re: My $120 CJ7 build

    Do you really think paint will help over the long run?
    Does any good come from "jeep" parts rubbing together over time.

    Sorry had to clarify.

    Could you use something like the chalk test on tires to determine where they rub then place glue on rubber spacers or even a cut bicycle tube. Good old carbon paper would do wonders.


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

  4. #64

    Re: My $120 CJ7 build

    I was thinking about the old innertube idea after I posted, then someone else said it on another forum too...

  5. #65

    Re: My $120 CJ7 build

    It's been a busy time with my family due to my mother-in-law having a serious bout with pneumonia. We've spent a lot of time traveling back, and forth to the hospital, and now the rehab center. Top that off with very cold weather (today it was 20 below zero) and nothing is getting done on the Jeep.

    However, I did hear from my transmission guy yesterday. It seems that whoever rebuilt the trans the last time didn't put some thrust washer in it and the main shaft bounced back, and forth inside and pretty much ruined the whole damn thing. It was mushroomed on the end, and he couldn't get the planetary off. Some of the clutches were welded together... He was questioning the fact that I was driving it before I took it out of the Jeep. Long story short, I'm looking at $1,400 or so to rebuilt it. Pretty much the entire thing other than the case, and the valve body is toast.

    So I'm gonna have to look around junkyards for a good core. I'm also thinking about changing plans to a small block Chevy/700R4 swap if one can be found.

    It would be easier to find an LS these days, but that's more money, and more electronics. I'm not rolling in money, and not great at electronics, but I'm considering it. The parts availability and good mileage and power would be nice. At least there is good aftermarket support.

  6. #66

    Re: My $120 CJ7 build

    Well, it has been forever since I have been able to get anything done on the Jeep. Being a cripple makes life interesting. I have a lot of issues, and my left shoulder has been a big one since last spring. The VA has been dancing around the issue with shots, physical therapy, and the like, but I go under the knife on the 2nd. Lefts see if if gets fixed.

    My mother-in-law was very sick since right after Christmas. Bronchitis, then Pneumonia, and finally Congestive Heat Failure. We buried her a week ago today. This left us in a cash bind with the wife being off work taking care of her.

    Of course it had to be during this time that our furnace caught fire. We've been heating with a propane powered Mr Buddy, and a Kerosene heater, and a couple electric ones. Our $5,000 deductible insurance doesn't help any...

    So... The transmission guy called me a while back, and said there were some big problems. Just because I was driving the '79 CJ5 around prior to tearing it down doesn't mean it was gonna be an easy refresh. Well, I had told him that I wanted it to be 100% so that once it goes in this time, it won't have to come out again...

    First thing is he couldn't get the dang thing apart. The output shaft was mushroomed on the end and he couldn't get the planetary and front drum off. There was supposed to be some kind of thrust washer there that was missing.

    The pump was scored, as was one other part. (I forget)

    I ended up buying a core trans at a junk yard for parts. The output shaft was harder to find. Had to go to Ebay for that. Turns out my "Dodge truck" TF 727 is actually out of an old International. Apparently IH put Mopar stuff in some of their trucks back in the day. This also means there will be no changing over to the Dana 300.

    The Dana 20 was gone through, and there were some problems here as well. One of the shift rails was boogered up. I had a spare Dana 20 and a rail was swapped out. One of the shafts was scored from bad roller bearings, but the spare case shaft was also bad so had to buy one. Then I had to get a repair sleeve for the front output yoke on the T-case. There was a groove from the seal on the old one, and my spare T-case is a Jeep model. The IH one is 26 spline, and the Jeep is 10 spline, so I couldn't use that yoke.

    He ended up using the core case, as my original case also has 3 different size bolts in the pan from past owners messing things up... It's much cleaner so that will make painting it easier. The interlock pills have been taken out of the t-case so I'll be able to use my twin stick cable shifter. I have both the short IH and the longer Dodge shifter, and kickdown arms for the trans, so I should be able to get whatever shifter I find to work.

    Here they are as I picked them up.

    A cripple needs the cherry picker to unload when he's all by himself...

    For now, I'll just set the unit on a dolly and roll it out of the way.

    After I get all healed up from my surgery, I hope to get the engine cleaned up. Then I can mate the power pack together, paint it, get the motor mounts, and trans mounts put in, and have it all sitting in the frame.

    Right now I have to hurry up and build a golf hole for Barstool golf for the VFW. I started on that tonight. It's Jeep themed as well, but no photos til it's done.

  7. #67

    Re: My $120 CJ7 build

    Probably should have got this a year ago when I started this odyssey, but I finally picked up one of these.

    Not sure how much it will help seeing as how there won't be much "Jeep" left in the thing by the time I get her done...

  8. #68
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Dayton Ohio Area

    My $120 CJ7 build

    Factory service manual is better.
    Check Novak for engine trans combo...

    Sent from my iPhone using mobile app
    Last edited by JPNinPA; 03-23-2019 at 03:48 PM.
    "Never look down on anybody unless you're helping him up" - Jesse Jackson

  9. #69

    Re: My $120 CJ7 build

    It's 58 out, and sunny... Perfect day to display my rather ordinary rattle can skills on the fuel tank and skidplate. Straight flat surfaces help.

    This is exactly what I was afraid was going to happen. Spring was going to come, and the VA was going to schedule my shoulder surgery (on the 2nd) so as to coincide my recovery with the nice weather... After all, we can't have me doing work on my Jeep now can we?

    I did get finished with the Jeep related barstool golf hole at my VFW. Of course, as the Commander, I'll be there Saturday for the event. As a matter of fact, I'll be keeping score of the teams as they file through. I put it away soon as I finished it, because we have a fish fry Fri night, but I'll get photos of it Sat.

  10. #70

    Re: My $120 CJ7 build

    Eureka! The fuel tank and skidplate are in. That may seem like a relatively small milestone to the experienced builder, but to a first time novice like me, I'm very happy. This thing gave me fits today... I started on it myself, but warned my son (home on spring break) I may need some help once I get to the point of lifting it up, as it will swing around on the cherry picker.

    First off, my idea of putting some rubber between the aluminum fuel tank, and the steel skidplate didn't work out too well. The machine shop followed my instructions all too well. I had told them make it to follow the lines of the tank. They did, but it fit so closely, I was worried about it rubbing. Enter the pieces of truck inner tube.

    Perfect for cushion. Also perfect for spreading out the skidplate just far enough so the holes no longer matched up... They weren't elongated like those in the tank. I ended up taking them out and just putting one in the bottom.

    As if that wasn't enough, my test fit was with the tank only. It has individual tabs. The skidplate is bent with one long tab. That means the straps I was using to lift it with the cherry picker were hitting the last crossmember... She wouldn't go up into place. I had to lower it and re-strap it sideways.

    At this point, I told my son this whole mess has pretty much been trial, and error. I've had to repair vehicles before. I've modified them before a bit, but this is the first time I've ever been so bold as to attempt to build one from the frame up.

    OK, So it's re-strapped, an up in place. Still won't go. Guess what? Those one piece tabs again. This time on the front edge of the tank. I wasn't thinking about how the crossmember turns down at the outside edges. I just told them to build it that way because it would be more simple. (less expensive)

    OK, kid (he's 22) hand me the big grinder with the cut off wheel... He wanted to do it in place, and I almost let him, but the dad got the better of me, and we took it back down. Last thing I need was the wheel getting tweeked and exploding a month or two before he graduates college. He was never interested in learning before, as he was a band kid in high school, and plus I was gone a lot on deployments, so we did this the right way.

    Took a long notch out of the passenger side and a tiny one out of the driver side.

    Here's where it got bad. After we got that fixed I went arount to the rear to tighten up those, and you guessed it... the one piece tab again. However, it was just w tiny bit where the bumper connects to the rear crossmember, and there would be no having to reach over the rear axle, so I broke my own rule and did it in place. Yes I did a "Do as I say, not as I do." dad thing... Just took like 20 seconds to nip off the corner.

    However... It's in.

    Probably be the last thing I get to do for a month or two as my shoulder surgery is Tuesday, but I'll probably be trying to tinker a bit on one thing or another... I just hope it works so I can get to fixin' stuff once I'm healed.

  11. #71

    Re: My $120 CJ7 build

    Well, the fish fry is over for tonight, and we set up the hole for Barstool Golf in the morning.

    Here she is... "Jeep" themed as promised.

    I took the fenders, grill, and hood from my old CJ5, and did a M38A1 like paint job on it. The bumper numbers are VFW Post 1279 rather than unit, and vehicle number. They came off the Jeep that the drivetrain came off I'm using for this build. I was going to keep them as spares in case I bang one up on the trail, but they weren't that great anyhow, and being the VFW Commander kinda means you do a bit more... so I donated them.

    When the hole isn't set up we put it under this wood carving as a display. We already got lots of remarks on it tonight. This was the first fish fry it was up for.

    The hole goes up on end, and rolls away for easy storage in one big piece.

  12. #72

    Re: My $120 CJ7 build

    The healing process on the shoulder is going slow, but I have to do something.... I decided to go tinker in the garage today. Spring weather got me thinking about summer heat, so I installed a new (old furnace) garage fan. I used some parts from a fan that was originally installed in a Army expandable shelter. (big folding conex) Now I have a much better exhaust fan, with both high and low. Scrap lumber, and an assortment of different sized screws were on hand, so the cost was only my time.

  13. #73
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Virginia Beach VA

    Re: My $120 CJ7 build

    That's pretty awesome. Do you just crack a window on the other side of the room, then turn that guy on high?

  14. #74

    Re: My $120 CJ7 build

    Quote Originally Posted by TerryMason View Post
    That's pretty awesome. Do you just crack a window on the other side of the room, then turn that guy on high?
    Sorry, haven't been back in a while...

    That, (two side windows) or open one of the big doors. Have only needed low so far.

  15. #75

    Re: My $120 CJ7 build

    Shoulder surgery did not go as planned. Recovery has been more painful than the last time. I am 20 yeas older, and I may have done a bit too much too early, but it's starting to settle down a bit, so Today I went out to the garage to tinker on the Jeep for the first time in what seems like forever.

    Nothing real heavy. I drilled, and tapped 8 holes in my rear bumper. These will be for mounting the bumperettes that the bumper numbers will go on to complete the M38A1 look this needs to pull off the military tribute.

    I ran into one problem... the tow clevis mounts. If I put the bumperetts on, I can't use the recovery points. Lucky for me, I have American ingenuity to make up for actual mechanical skills. I cut slots in the mounting holes in the bumperetts. Now I just have to loosen the bolts up a turn or two, pull one end off, (they are very flexible) then slide off the other end. Bingo... recovery points.

    I also decided to mount the tire carrier to the bumper, as it's been sitting around for months.. Had to sand the paint off the spindle though. the bushing is a very precise fit. I'll have to wait till payday to get some degreaser so I can paint it.

    That was about all I could handle for today, so I called it quits, and went in. Felt good to get something done on it though.

  16. #76

    Re: My $120 CJ7 build

    I managed to locate my torque arm bolt I thought was missing. Hell, I don't even remember taking it off, and it wasn't what I was looking for at the time... lol. Why don't I remember taking it off? Because I didn't. I went to move the skid plate, and there it was... giving me the finger.

    Good deal, God loves me. I ordered up a bushing set, so we'll see what happens when that gets here.

    Then, I went to take the purple motor mounts off my green engine...

    Whoever built that CJ5 I got this drivetrain from had awful taste in colors.

    So, I'll soon be putting the drivetrain back in the frame, (soon, as in "this summer") and I got to thinking about the engine itself. It was running strong when I pulled it from the CJ5, but it's been sitting on an engine stand for over a year now. It did have some issues, but nothing I was worried about at the time.

    1. It got bad fuel mileage. Duh, a Mopar 360, 4.88 gears, no overdrive, and 33s.
    2. It did have a very slow leak at the weep hole of the water pump. (easy fix)
    3. It was difficult to start during cold weather. Duh again, big ole v-8, 4 barrel with no choke.

    Other than that, she ran like a striped ape. I'm concerned about the fact that it has sat for such a long time. I'll be hand cranking it... and all that. I never really paid attention before when I was tearing the CJ5 down, but now I notice that the drivers side of the engine is dry, and the passenger side is all oily... All 40 year old engines burn a little, or leak a bit, but I never noticed it when I was driving the green I'm kinda worried, but I don't want to have to open her up, and kill my budget. if I don't have to. I have other expensive crap to get like fuel injection.

    Here is more of that wonderful purple that will be going away...

    I also picked up a gallon of simple green in preparation for getting a neighbor kid to help scrub the engine down this week....

  17. #77

    Re: My $120 CJ7 build

    I made a little progress today. A little. I went out to paint the tire carrier as I was worried about it being still bare steel. Did the bumperettes as well. I also found a slightly darker color, (Khaki). It's closer to what out vehicles looked like in Iraq, so I'll be going with that.

    Now normally (being a redneck) I just shake the spray can, and shoot. However, with this being my first frame up vehicle build... I decided to use some of that prep stuff first to clean the metal... Then, I shot it with some primer... Them I shot it with paint... Then for the first time ever, I got more than just my normal runs from putting it on too heavy. I got cracks. This didn't happen with the frame, or the bumper... Maybe because I hit that with the chassis saver first...

    Not a big deal breaker, but enough to **** me off a bit. First time painting bare steel, so maybe there's a trick to it... I'm normally painting over stuff. I'll paint over it again in a day or so, and see how it comes out... It's going to be a rough looking military build anyway... In 28 years, I ain't never had a pristine military vehicle, besides, I want it so that when it gets dinged up on the trail, I can come home, and spray paint the scratches.

    Second thing is I'm looking to get the powertrain in this week. This means I had to clean the skid plate. Oh, how I wish I had taken a before shot of it. That thing was caked with, in places, over 1/4" of crud. Putty knife, brush, simple green, water hose, and my shoulders are on fire. BUT, it's clean... ish.

    I got some names of some mobile welders, so I'm hoping to get one of them to come out and weld in the motor mounts, and ford truck shock towers I'm using this later this week.

    I also figured out a little bracket that will hold the tire carrier open so it won't swing around if it's opened on uneven ground. One thing LOD neglected to put into their design. The welder will have to do that as well.

  18. #78

    Re: My $120 CJ7 build

    Well, this was a long, hot, rainy day. However, I spent it in the garage with my best girl, and my Jeep, so tired, and sore though I may be, I'm happy.

    After getting in contact with a couple area mobile welding guys, I thought it best to see how close I could get the engine to line up to where I need it to be. Today was all about test fitting the powertrain. First thing to go in was the skid plate. When you're a cripple working alone, and you're still nursing a sore shoulder, you do what you have to. I used my big labor saving device... the cherry picker.

    Next came the trans, and t-case.

    Now the sucky part. I have to put the tub back on, to make sure I have clearance... Here I discovered something. The stupid old cherry picker I've been wrestling with is a real PITA to move around, so I just left it in place and rolled the Jeep under it... The rollers it's on are much newer, and roll easier. Plus I don't have a swing load...

    Perfect fit, or it looks that way. I was worried because the jeep this all came out of had home made motor mounts, and trans cross member all welded in solid... I'm using the Jeep trans mounts, and Advanced Adapters Dodge V-8 weld in kit.

    Then I run into a bit of a hiccup. It seems the Advanced Adapters kit isn't so advanced... there is about a 1/2" gap between the mount and frame on the drivers side, and about a 2 1/2 in gap on the passenger side. the welder will have to build it up some. I don't want to send them back, I like the big rubber bushings, and the plates that mount on the engine. I go in and look them up online... They had sent me the mounts for a TJ... I hope I can get them to sen out the correct ones in a rush... I've had these sitting in the garage all winter... Just need to change out the motor plate part. The CJ part goes wider and has several holes to adjust for the width.

    I stretched a chain across the frame to rest the engine on for a couple days till I can get the welder here. Don't want him here till my new torque arm bushing comes in the mail anyway... The engine will be a bit offset to the drivers side. It did squat the springs a bit when I took the weight off the cherry picker...

    Next I marked the locations for the shock towers. I'm gonna have the welder knock those out while he's here.

    As I was getting ready to turn off the lights Brandy started getting excited. she tend to get bored out in the garage with nothing to do but watch me work... funny she doesn't get bored inside with nothing to do except watch me watch TV... or at the VFW with nothing to do except watch me do paperwork and fill the gaming machines...

    I just had to snap this shot of her staring at me...

  19. #79

    Re: My $120 CJ7 build

    Good news. Steve from Advance adapters says he's gonna send me out the correct parts I need got the engine mount kit. I explained what I have. He wanted photos of my kit, and the instruction sheet, as they couldn't find my order in the computer. I had cleaned out my e-mail, so I couldn't even tell when I got the kit until I came back to my build thread to see when I posted the kit arriving at my house... Back in Oct. Turns out they only sold 2 of those kits at that time... to Summit racing. Sounds about right. I do order from them a lot. Still, it's their kit, so they back it, and it had the wrong parts, so I'm grateful for the correct parts getting shipped out.

    Not so good news. When I got the Jeep it had a complete basket case for a tub, so I found another. It's better, but still has quite a few issues. I managed to find (what seemed to be, or so I was told) an even better one on a facebook jeep page. Photos weren't high res, but looked good. So, I drive 3 hrs taking only one break (for about an hr, and a half in an Auto Zone parking lot to replace one set of my trailer wheel bearings, and hub) only to find out the Jeep tub was a rusty piece of shit. 1/8th " steel welded on the floor right over the Swiss cheese rust. No support, a couple body mounts missing... Completely rusted away. Yeah, I had to pass.

    But hey, I like wasting 7 hrs of my time, $50 in fuel, having to replace wheel bearings on a trailer, and driving home at midnight in the rain for nothing.

    Auto Zone tool loan program doesn't include a jack, so I now have an EXTRA new bottle jack I only needed once. That will probably go back tomorrow at my Auto Zone.

    Felt like slapping the little snot nosed brat, but I didn't. The wife would be proud of my restraint.

  20. Re: My $120 CJ7 build

    Some days we got chickens, some days we got feathers. Really sucks getting wet feathers.
    Needs to go yonder.

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