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1984 CJ-8 Project...here we go

1984CJ-EIGHT

Member
City
Austin
State
TX
Just picked up a 1984 CJ-8 project for 5k. It has a 258 straight 6 with a T5 5-spd, all original, 134K miles.

I owned an 1981 Cj-7 25 years ago and I always wanted another. With 4 kids and my wife, the CJ-8 fit the bill since I can fit all 6 inside, semi-comfortably. I'll need to locate another rear seat. I've been looking at getting 2 Corbeau Baja 36" seats with headrests to replace the old single jeep bench. Anyone ever use these?

Anyways, the Jeep is a bit rough, needs some body work, including rust repair to the front rockers, behind rear fender well, and the passengers side floorpan. The frame is pretty solid all around. I just got the replacement metal in from Classic industries and plan to get started there. It also had a nasty color matched bedliner in it, which I am stripping out now using Citrus strip, which is working pretty well, just creates a huge mess. I plan to get a plain black Line-X liner after getting the old stuff out, the pans welded in and the rust fixed. BFG M/T Tires are decent but probably 4-5 years old. Dash wiring is a rat nest, I hope to sort out or replace.

The Jeep runs and drives (enough to get it off the trailer), but I hesitate to run it for more that a minute or two since it has been sitting for probably 4-5 years. I have run a compression test, which shows 125, 110, 125, 120, 118, and 122. I realize these numbers are pretty low, but the engine was cold, so I am hoping they move up in the 130-140 range once I am able to get it warmed up.

So far I have sprayed the frame and rust with metal etching acid, and I am planning to change the oil, replace the carb, fuel pump, water pump, fuel filter, starter solenoid (gave me fits), radiator, belts, swap the distributor with an HEI unit with new plugs and wires, drain and refill the diff oil and tranny oil, swap the tailights/headlights with LEDs, and, when I am able to remove the body to detail and paint the frame, replace the gas tank, sending unit, and body mounts. I will also replace the master cylinder and brake lines, and install new brake pads. I think I will be able to drive it at that point, to assess what else it needs. I love how easy it is to work on these vehicles, and how anyone with a basic knowledge can swap most of this stuff out, for about 1K, and lots of labor (not including paint and seats). Am I missing anything? Yes, I will eventually have a driver quality paint job on it.

Anyway, here are pics, any advice is welcome and appreciated. Oops...only 1 pic allowed I guess.

Thanks in advance!

OJ

IMG_5799.JPG
 

Randyzzz

Blown Budget
BENEFACTOR
Gold Member
Lifetime Member
SOA Member
City
Redmond
State
OR
Looks like a great place to start! Welcome!
 

wm69

Scrambler Junkie
Silver Member
Lifetime Member
City
God's Country
State
AR
Welcome aboard!
 

Randyzzz

Blown Budget
BENEFACTOR
Gold Member
Lifetime Member
SOA Member
City
Redmond
State
OR
Thanks, I checked out your build. Did you finish it? How's it coming along? I'll post updates as I go...
Still plugging away. I’m at that stage where everything slows down- plumbing brakes and cooling system. My least favorite so I’ve been letting myself get distracted by the XJ.
 

Scramblin Man

Beyond help
Lifetime Member
City
Woodway
State
Tx
You pick that one up in Burnett, Tx ? Looks like one I looked at a couple of years ago.
 

GreatCJ8

Charter Member
Gold Member
City
Lynchburg
State
VA
THAT'S a GREATCJ8 for 5 grand! Congrats dude!
Well, they ALL are GreatCJ8s but as my Dad used to say, "Such a deal!"
As far as the 1 piece rear axles, it looks flat faced & non stock so I'd guess they are 1 piece, too.
Some prior owner probably did what I and many other CJ owners did. Spun (broke) the little key holding the 2 piece axles in unison & .... upgraded 😉
I call any breakage an upgrade opportunity 👍

Following to watch the progress :headbang:
 

1984CJ-EIGHT

Member
City
Austin
State
TX
THAT'S a GREATCJ8 for 5 grand! Congrats dude!
Well, they ALL are GreatCJ8s but as my Dad used to say, "Such a deal!"
As far as the 1 piece rear axles, it looks flat faced & non stock so I'd guess they are 1 piece, too.
Some prior owner probably did what I and many other CJ owners did. Spun (broke) the little key holding the 2 piece axles in unison & .... upgraded 😉
I call any breakage an upgrade opportunity 👍

Following to watch the progress :headbang:
Thanks!
I'll be checking out your build thread too..

Update,
Replaced water pump, belts, radiator (repl with aluminum), radiator hoses, installed HEI ignition, flushed out coolant, and fired her up. Runs great but has a bit of an oil leak towards the rear of the valve cover, and leaking onto the head and manifold, causing the burning oil smell I remember from my old CJ7. I guess these straight 6 valve covers will always leak, even with the aluminum valve cover. I think I also have a small coolant leak at the temp sensor towards the rear of the head. I can see a tiny bit of water forming around the sensor.

Anyway, tomorrow I will be the replacing the carb, starter solenoid, valve cover gasket, pcv valve, headlights/taillights, and adding power brakes if I have time. I'll also be changing the engine oil, gearbox oil, transfer case oil, and diff oil, plus sorting through the rat nest of wires under the dash. If all goes well I'll be taking it for the first drive in years. It will probably take me a couple days to get it all done. will post pics as it progresses....

Found the seats I will be installing once the body work is done....has anyone upgraded to these? I'll be putting two rear rows in, for a total of 4 rear passengers.

Bestop TrailMax II Fold & Tumble Rear Bench Seat​


Good night!
 

sdsupilot

CJ-8 Member
Member
City
OKC
State
OK
I have one of those seats in my 8. It works pretty well overall. Only concern is the height of the seat back as the passengers get taller. The back is rather short. Since my passengers are in car seats it isn't much of a concern yet.

I would highly recommend a dual diaphragm brake booster. Put one in a friends 8 and the braking action is much better than my factory power brakes.

That is a great looking project. I would also recommend making a family style roll cage as the factory bar doesn't provide much protection for rear seat passengers. Especially those in the far back seat.
 

joshvt

Scrambler Enthusiast
Lifetime Member
City
charlotte
State
nc
Runs great but has a bit of an oil leak towards the rear of the valve cover, and leaking onto the head and manifold, causing the burning oil smell I remember from my old CJ7. I guess these straight 6 valve covers will always leak, even with the aluminum valve cover. I
Try a Real Gaskets valve cover gasket.


Solved my problem (so far)
 

1984CJ-EIGHT

Member
City
Austin
State
TX
I have one of those seats in my 8. It works pretty well overall. Only concern is the height of the seat back as the passengers get taller. The back is rather short. Since my passengers are in car seats it isn't much of a concern yet.

I would highly recommend a dual diaphragm brake booster. Put one in a friends 8 and the braking action is much better than my factory power brakes.

That is a great looking project. I would also recommend making a family style roll cage as the factory bar doesn't provide much protection for rear seat passengers. Especially those in the far back seat.
Thanks! Yeah, I don't expect to have full sized seats in the back, most of our travels will be on city roads, slow cruising, but I'd like a basic upgrade like having the headrests that are adjustable in case of a rear end collision.

I bought a Jeep Wrangler YJ 91-95 Power Brake Booster Master Cylinder on Ebay, hope that will work okay.

Yes, I plan to weld up a cage for the back. The hardest things to find were weldable 3" tube clamps for the Scrambler's 3" rollbar. I will put a rollcage hoop in the rear and weld some 1.75" roll cage tubing together to form 4 front to rear support braces.
 
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