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Thread: How to build a Jeep CJ7 bug out vehicle.

  1. #81
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    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... Maybe some strips of an old innertube.
    Last edited by daddyusmaximus; 12-29-18 at 00:42.
    You know what I like best about most people?

    Their dogs.

  2. #82
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    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.
    You know what I like best about most people?

    Their dogs.

  3. #83
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    This thread makes me want a Jeep.

  4. #84
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    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.
    You know what I like best about most people?

    Their dogs.

  5. #85
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    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...
    You know what I like best about most people?

    Their dogs.

  6. #86
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    Haynes is good for identifying SOME of your vehicles parts... and little else. It completely left the cold air idle valve out of illustrations for my '92 Ramcharger, because RC's only came with the 318 Magnum the last 2 years of American production. MOST of the illustrations are for carb & throttle body - NOT, MPFI!
    - Either you're part of the problem or you're part of the solution or you're just part of the landscape - Sam (Robert DeNiro) in, "Ronin" -

  7. #87
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    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.
    You know what I like best about most people?

    Their dogs.

  8. #88
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    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.
    You know what I like best about most people?

    Their dogs.

  9. #89
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    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.
    You know what I like best about most people?

    Their dogs.

  10. #90
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    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.





    You know what I like best about most people?

    Their dogs.

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