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post #1 of (permalink) Old 11-19-2007, 02:17 AM Thread Starter
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Smile New project - 1979 CJ7 - UPDATE


I'm back at the forum after a long period of being busy

My new project is a 1979 CJ7 with the 304/TH400/quadra

I will some opinions regarding the buildup process.

Here's info on the 7:

1. Body is shot - fiberglass or steel? (yup, searched threads first)
2. Keep the 304? I don't need 300hp
3. YJ leaf spring conversion?
4. One-piece front end?
5. Tires? (NOT TSL/SX since the jeep is going to be an asphalt warrior)
6. Color on the tub?
7. Seats
8. I'm not doing a SBC swap. Everybody does that.

The buildup progress will be posted in this forum, and the input from you Jeep-freaks (meant in a positive way) will be taken very serious and into consideration.

Looking forward to hearing from you

UPDATE march 9 2008 with pics: - renovering af en CJ7

Last edited by 454cj5; 03-12-2008 at 04:42 AM.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 11-19-2007, 04:26 AM
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I got a used METAL Tub for my 82 for $500, No rust, nothing... It was a 89 Tub so I had to change a few mounting areas... But that alone saved me a lot of money.
Rebuild the 304 and make it more mechanically efficent.
I'd go YJ or Waggy Springs.
Front end (Fiberglass One Piece, Hood and Fenders) .
Axles, keep them stock seeing that it's for street use.
BFG's are a good street tire (All Terrains).
Color? What-ever you choose.
Anything bucket...
Do it right the first time!
post #3 of (permalink) Old 11-19-2007, 06:31 AM
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Fiberglass doesn't do much for me. I think your best bet is to look for a YJ tub. They're easy to adapt to a CJ frame and are galvanized,so many are in good condition.

What's the attraction for 1-piece front ends? I just don't get it.

EVERYTHING's easy for the guy who doesn't have to do it.
B. Dash Fabrication
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 11-19-2007, 09:00 AM
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I'm running a fiberglass tub. I got it used, so the choice was easy. Nobody was giving me a metal tub.

I like the fiberglass because there is no rust. There is nothing special about it other than the electrical issues. But if you have a rusty tub, it's likely that you have just as many demons in your jeep. Get a good quality harness, and you are set.

I don't get the one piece front ends either. Seem to be a major pain in the butt. That's a lot of weight on the hinges. I've never seen one that didn't seem flimsy. And there's some interference issues if you have a winch. Plus, if you hit a tree, break a fender, you are replacing the whole thing. Keep it simple, and go with the fenders, and hood, and grill.

The color isn't a big deal. Not to mention its a decision that is FAR down the road if you are doing a build up. Just keep the jeep in the back of your mind, then cruise some car lots, picking colors. It'll change a few times before you're ready to paint, so don't sweat it.

BFGs are a good tire. But I prefer the mud terrains. Either way you go, you'll be fine. I'm running Super Swampers right now, and like them the best.

If you already have the 304, I'd keep it. There isn't an "easy" engine swap. And that engine will make all the HP you need. Just water proof the electrical, and make sure all the connections are tight. Then get out there and get muddy!
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 11-19-2007, 11:16 AM
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That changes the picture a little....expensive gas, lots of wet weather...and great beer....

Because of the weather, the glass tub would be attractive...unless you can find a YJ tub...strip it down, undercoat it real well...ect. in either case, I would be wanting to strip down the frame as well and make sure it will survive the harsh weather.

Engine - I would go with something a bit more fuel problem you have is that the Quadratrc is an offset design so anything newer you put in will also require the rear axle to be changed....(maybe not a bad thing). Unless you have a good source of jeep engine parts, I would slap in a fuel injected engine that is easy for you to get...diesel?

SOA using YJ springs would be a good lift.

1 Piece front? If you go fiberglass, why not....

Tires - BFG AT's

Color - Red....easier to find it in the snow and mud

Seats - What ever is comfortable....since your re-doing the tub, might as well do a roll cage at the same time and mount the seats to the cage.

SBC swap....see above

AKA DDawg16
84 CJ7, SOA, 5.7LTBI, 4L60E, 35"x12.5, 4.10 gears, F/Det, R/ARB, Full Roll Cage,
D44 Flat top in progress...
Link to my Frame up Restore
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 11-20-2007, 09:58 PM
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Although I haven't done it myself yet, I'd definitely go fiberglass one piece front end. I'm eager to see the feedback you get on this one. I've always wanted to do a fiberglass ine piece front end, and hindge it forward like a semi-truck. It'll take some re-enforcement, but if it'll work for anything from a dump truck to a school bus hood, why not my CJ. Biggest advantage I see is it should make working on the engine a breeze. Here's my thoughts:

- Build a static support for the radiator and lights
- Mount all electronics etc. on the firewall
- Ensure there's plenty of support where the hood meets the firewall/body
- Use a couple of over size hinges with easily removable pins
- You might even be able to use lifting struts like those on a minivan lift gate

If you're really ambitious, consider radically re-enforcing the hood to fenders area and mounting the grill separately in place. (Mack trucks do this.) Then you have clearance for a winch or push bar.

My 77 has a SBC mated to the stock TH400, Quadratrack, and stock (I think) axles. The engine is offset a few inches, but doesn't seem to be a problem. SBC parts are cheap and easy to come by; but if I were doing the swap, I've always wanted one of those Jeep I-6 "tractor" engines.

FT-847 with ATAS-100 & 77 CJ-7 ground plane.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 11-20-2007, 11:37 PM
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I've been to Denmark and lived in Norway. The weather is not that much different than the Pacific Northwest; rain, snow, ice, mixed with some sun. Well, the western side of the Cascade Mountain range anyway.

Not much could get me to go fiberglass. The fiberglass one piece fronts are nice in that you can get to the spark plugs easier but that's about it. You have to give up the winch so the front can be opened, but if it's a pavement pounder that may not be an issue.

I am a traditionalist and believe in keeping your Jeep, Jeep. Having said that, the price of gas can't be dismissed; if you can't afford to run it, what good is it? Diesel maybe?

1978 CJ5, AMC 401, CJ T18, Scout D300, 2 1/2" Lift, Locked Front/Back
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 11-21-2007, 09:25 AM
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Here are a couple of pics of a fiberglass front-end (This guy is from Up-State NY).

post #9 of (permalink) Old 11-21-2007, 09:43 AM
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Ok, I have never seen a fiberglass front end that did not tip forward. The winch stays.

1978 CJ5, AMC 401, CJ T18, Scout D300, 2 1/2" Lift, Locked Front/Back
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 11-22-2007, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for all your replies. Just what I was looking for. As in so many other questions in life, there are biased opinions regarding the fiberglass parts and especially the one-piece front. I have decided to try the one-piece when I get this far.

Just a thought: how do you mount the radiator when using the one-piece? And how do you hinge it? Both in the front and to the body? Pics anyone?

I'm going to stay with the 304. A great allround engine with the cool hillbilly sound. Although I live in Denmark, where gas price is 7$ a gallon, there's no way in h*ll I'm doing a diesel swap! One of the great things about the CJ's is the V8!
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