Sunday, April 27, 2014

CJ7 Build Thread

Rather than duplicating all of my efforts with the posting of this build thread here, I have decided just to keep it on Jeep Forum.  You can read the thread here.  If you aren't already a member, and you're a Jeep fan, it is a great resource for all things related to every model of Jeep, from CJs to TJs, XJs, JKs, Willys, AMC, and Kaiser, etc.

If you're wondering how I know how to rebuild Jeeps, if it wasn't for that forum, and my uber-smart Uncle Terry, I wouldn't be able to do it.  :)  See you at the forum.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

First Pics and the Purchase

I had heard about this Jeep from a friend who purchased it from a mutual friend's parents.  Although this mutual friend knew I was a Jeep guy, I guess she never thought I would be interested in the old CJ7 rotting away up at her parents' farm.  So, I never even knew about it until he told me he purchased it.  When I heard, I told him that if he ever wanted to sell it, to please let me know.

Turned out that he didn't have the time nor the inclination (thanks Terry for the phraseology) to do a rebuild on it since it needed quite a bit of work.  I saw it in his garage one day and just shook my head at it.  It was a platform that had great potential, but I could see it would need a ton of work.

Well, the fellow ended up having to move, and he decided to move one less thing, so I got the call.  Here were the pictures he sent.

 Forgive the blurry cellphone pics

As you can see, there's a whole heap of potential and the risk of a little tetanus too.  At least I could supplement my license plate collection with some nice crusty vintage maroon Missouri plates!

I borrowed a trailer and brought it home with me.  The intention was a low-dollar mechanical once-over, and drive it while ignoring the rust, but that didn't end up being what happened.

At home in my garage
I discovered that one of the reasons he hadn't been able to get it to start was because it wasn't getting any fuel.  Turns out that the fuel lines coming from the tank had rusted in half.  I picked up a new battery, and checked out the electrics.  When they checked out okay, I took a water bottle full of gasoline and attached some new fuel line to the mechanical fuel pump, which I then discovered was leaking.  A quick trip to NAPA got a new fuel pump.  I just wanted to see if it was going to run before I put another dollar into it.  I was already committed to the CJ5 project, and didn't want to get into a second Jeep if it was beyond saving.  He'd had it for several months and wasn't even able to get it to start, so I didn't know what I was getting into by purchasing it.

I wanted to at least take it for a short drive if possible, and make sure that the transmission shifted well and that the engine ran.

Showing redneck-engineered fuel system
Not optional with "redneck fuel tank" system.  It's a must.

 When doing the "redneck fuel cell trick" make sure that you feed the return line back into the bottle, else you won't get far, and you'll surely leave a huge puddle of fresh expensive gasoline behind you in the garage.  Don't ask me how I found that out.

I will be posting this to as well under this thread: JFab's 1983 Jeep CJ7 Limited Rebuild Thread.  The thread might be updated more often than this blog in the hopes that the pictures and info might help others as the forum has helped me in the past.

Finally... An update!

I've been a bit sidetracked on the CJ5 project lately. Have not even posted here for nearly two years. But it's not because I've not been working on Jeeps... I just haven't been doing much to the CJ5.

It all started last July when I picked up a 1983 CJ7 "Limited" in need of a tremendous amount of TLC. It has the 4.2L, Auto, Air Conditioning, hard top with factory headliner, color-matched wheels and fender flares, extra sound insulation throughout, and even real leather seats. The Limited was a relatively low-production submodel of the CJ7, and they only made them for two years. When I came across this one, I hadn't ever even heard of a Limited, and I thought that I knew Jeeps.  I thought that the Laredo was the top option package ever offered, and the Limited truly was limited!

This one had been a Colorado Jeep, and had rust repair over the years, but it was clearly losing the battle. It had been sitting outside for ten years on a farm unused, and I thought it could be a quick-and-dirty, in and out mechanical refresh and just drive the '7, warts and all.

As it sat.

I used to own a 1983 CJ7, with manual everything and a T-4 4 speed. It was the second vehicle I ever owned at age 18, and I loved that Jeep! Though I've owned a few other jeeps, that's one that I really loved, and I was getting a chance to own one again.  I couldn't pass it up.

I'll start at the beginning, but I need to stop typing this on the iPad.  It's taking forever. I'll fill you all in on the goings-on of the last couple of years along the way. Stay tuned for updates.