Join Date: Oct 2002
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Info on my Jeep Project
I have posted a few times and mentioned my Jeep project and I thought I should post an outline of the project so you will all know what Im up to.
First a little information about me. I was an auto technician for 15 years but due to a back injury requiring surgery I had to make a career change and am going to college for PC/LAN. I bought my first Jeep at 18 and fixed it up over the years have been hooked ever since. I still own that Jeep but after a body/frame rust out and finding a used frame but no $ for body it was made into a swamp buggy when I lived in Naples Florida. (Ill post pics sometime) Ive also built a VW rail buggy and a few other cars and trucks. Since moving back to Minnesota I always longed for another Jeep. About a month ago my wish came true when a buddy of mine gave me a Jeep for doing some work on his other one. So now me and my son have a project.
Its nothing fancy it was basically a rust bucket with fenders hanging off any everything. It already has had the 55 gal drum of bondo put all over it. Its an 81 CJ-7 with the GM 151, 4 speed, D-300, D-30, AMC-20 according to the axle code it has 4:11s. It will end up being strictly a trail vehicle and not see highway use. With me not working this is going to be a low budget project so nothing shinny or fancy if it doesnt help off road performance I dont need it. Did I forget to say I have the world greatest wife because she is working 2 jobs and gave me the go ahead on this project and she hates 4-wheeling.The goals of this project are as follows:
1. Extremely low budget $1000 - $1500
2. Build a unique trail worthy, dependable, strictly business, off road only vehicle
3. Will be locked F&R and have 31x15.50x15 Terra tires
4. Will have family roll cage
5. Hand build as much as possible
6. Reuse as much of old body as possible to keep the Jeep look
After taking a sawzall to the body all that I will reuse or is reusable is the grill, hood, windshield frame (already fiberglass), The front fenders will be repaired and given the flat look, the firewall and the trans tunnel will be repaired and also reused but from the firewall back will be all custom. More on the body when I get to that point.
As you probably already guessed the frame is rusted out in the usual spots (rear spring front mounts, rear 15&#8221; of frame) but is being repaired. I want some lift but because of budget a lift kit is out so my solution is to drop all the spring mounts 3 inches, yes a SOA would be cheap too but I didnt want the wrap up troubles and with the frame needing repair anyway I decided to go the drop route. The front mounts are done and I also had to make my own steering box mounts and I also made my own double tubular brace that tie into the pass. side frame from the 2 extra bosses on the box. The back of the frame was cut off and replaced with 3/16 tubing the bad spots by the rear spring mounts was cut out and replaced with 3/16 plate then the 3&#8221; tubing for the lift over the top of that. The rear half of frame from 1 foot in front of the rear spring front mount to the back will be boxed with 3/16 plate but the inside will have plate run to the motor mounts. The rear of the frame was also lengthened 6 inches to make more storage space behind the back seat. The rear part of the frame is about half done at this point.
To date with 2 trips to the scrape yard for steel the total cost is $32.68 and I should have enough to almost finish the frame. I will post some pics when I get them developed and I will keep posting updates as I progress. Any and all questions, comments and suggestions are welcome.