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Thread: CJ Frame-Off restoration

  1. #1
    Administrator korisu56's Avatar
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    Default CJ Frame-Off restoration

    So it's been decided. I'm going to buy a JK and do a frame off of the CJ. The JK will be the daily and adventure travel/moderate wheeler vehicle and the CJ will be getting a rebuild.

    It won't be going down for about a year, but I want to plan the shit out of it so it doesn't become one of those projects that I wind up selling for pennies on the dollar in boxes.

    Has anyone done one before? Pretty sure highlander-CJ has done one, so I hope he chips in here. I'm looking for advice and required reading. Also, any insight into things to accumulate over the next year would be great.

  2. #2
    Time n Money Ghost00TJ's Avatar
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    In the middle of this myself, plan it.. plan it… and you can still miss stuff. If you are restoring back to the present configuration it won’t be as bad as our current engine swap and lift project. I have to order parts and fit thing to a 6cyl manual 83 Cj5, using an 83 WJ motor and auto tranny, 75 CJ (V8)parts etc. Plus this is the first time I have gone this far in fixing something up. All in all just keeping track of what you need/ have on hand in a practical order so it all comes together with good timing.
    what I did, sort of, sure I missed some stuff but wanted to hear myself give advice during lunch.
    1. Strip it all down to whatever level you want to start from, I had just the frame on stands so I could patch it and bed line it.
    -Axles off to shop getting locked and re-geared.
    - Tub off getting patched up and bed lined.
    - Motor off to shop for cleaning, bored, polished, valve job, cam etc. order gasket kits for motor and tranny xfer case.
    - Order parts for lift, armor, whatever else you want.
    2. Axles back under frame with YJ lift springs, front YJ conversion. Roller tires and rims put on.
    - Made the mistake of trying a SOA and lift springs, wasted money and time toooo high for me.
    -Reassembling motor, matching to CJ frame (MORE motor mounts) some problems with wiring, fuel lines, vacuum matching up (6cyl to V8) standard to auto.
    -Motor and tranny in frame, finishing tub (what to paint it with) diy or shop? I’m using desert tan bed liner.
    - get motor running before tub goes on, more room to work is the plan.
    3. Finish plumbing; Tub fit, tub back on, I still have 5 original body mounts that are good on the frame so the others will need drilled and fit. Most of the tub mounts are “fixed” and need drilled out.
    - paint tub, install tub
    4. Roll bar assembly (6 point Spyder)
    - wire tub, heater, seats, dash etc
    - cut holes in fixed tub for frame mount roll bar.
    - paint roll bar
    - test drive,
    - wheel the snot out of it
    F'it, aint my Jeep!
    Beer does a Jeep Good

  3. #3
    Administrator korisu56's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'm having it down to the frame on stands. Will have the axles locked and geared. I will only be running 33's with the Black Diamond 3" lift and tube fenders. I will keep it on CJ springs because I want to keep it simple. I don't want to have to remember a bunch of shit when I go to the parts store. The engine only has 1500 miles on it, the tranny has been rebuilt, so I won't be dumping either of those either.

  4. #4
    project Roadkill brian613's Avatar
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    Its a little intimidating when you first start ripping it apart but its not as bad as it seams. All you have to remember is don't get overwhelmed it takes lots of time and patients or mistakes can be made. Best of luck in ur project and post lots of pic's
    project Road Kill
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  5. #5
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    I was in a wreck a couple of years ago that totaled my CJ, so I had to rebuild starting with a new (bare) frame. Just have a clear vision of what your end goal is. CJ's are easy.

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    Tattooed Jeeper Irish_Assassin's Avatar
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    Good luck!
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  7. #7
    On your SIX! highlandercj-7's Avatar
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    I'm here. I have turned every bolt on my CJ probally atleast twice lol. Ask if you have any questions.
    HighlanderCJ-7

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  8. #8
    Senior Member HillBillE's Avatar
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    When I tore mine down (more than a few times now!) I used Ziploc freezer bags, and put nuts/bolts/small parts in them, and label the bag with a Sharpy.

    Makes it so much easier when it's time to reassemble.

    I also took pics of things, and then could reference the pics for proper sequence when putting it back together. (the mind gets a bit fuzzy after 6-8 months LOL)

    I've been really happy with the Black Diamond 3" CJ lift. (plus 1" body lift) I have close to 20K on it now.

    Also plan ahead for any mods or upgrades, and fit them in while doing the resto. (things like the heater motor upgrade, clocking the T-case, etc.)


    And whatever you do, DON'T LOOSE THE WINDSHIELD WASHER SQUIRT THINGY!! They are almost impossible to find a replacement!


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  9. #9
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    youre best bet for doing a "frame off" resto is to take every nut, bolt, wire off the thing and put it in a large bucket, im serious. when you go to reassemble the thing use new fasteners, wires, lines, hoses. i see so many nice ass resto jobs done and then you look under it and see old rusty fuel lines or old ass 1/8" brake lines that should have been upgraded to 3/16" stainless.

    ive got quite a few of these under my belt so far including a couple cars. its always a mess when you first start. organize, invest in LOTS O tupperware containers of various sizes that are stackable. unless you find a hellacious deal on big things like axles, tires, engine i would wait to purchase these until body work and "hard parts" are in place. unless you have a crap load of storage or a place to keep stuff, indoors itll get in the way throughout the tedious stages of rebuild. i for one am a horder, stockpiler, and will NOT throw away an axle, hard part, gears, whatever because i typically move more vehicles than the used car lot around the corner from my house.

  10. #10
    project Roadkill brian613's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillBillE View Post
    And whatever you do, DON'T LOOSE THE WINDSHIELD WASHER SQUIRT THINGY!! They are almost impossible to find a replacement!
    Really? What are they worth I might have a couple...
    project Road Kill
    Quote Originally Posted by DevilDogSoldier View Post
    NOTHING good happens after 10pm, except in the bedroom.
    http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Doolittle-Rural-Fire-Protection-District/170759052726

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