bigwalton Postal teardown/rebuild - what would you do?

bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
#21
Everything takes at least twice as long as you expect it to. Being married and having a family limits the amount of work time you will have. I personally think the aluminum tub is the choice for a much quicker rebuild.
Yep. See my comment about maybe being ready for the 2031 National Scramble ;)
 

don87401

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
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City
Farmington
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NM
#22
I say fix the tub. I went after my CJ6 with almost not body work experience. You have tinkered enough to figure it out. If you have an issue there is enough experience on here to couch you through it.
 

Ron84cj

Scrambler Junkie
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CJ-8.com Member
City
West Bend
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WI
#23
As far as the body goes, I guess it depends on how bad the old one is. There so much stuff on there right now that I don't know what it looks like. I saw the pics way back from when you first got it. I think I remember it saying D dog or something? Other than that I really don't remember how it good or bad it is. I would need to see pics.

As far as the engine goes... I very firmly believe you NEED a small V8 with a GOOD efi system. Meaning a 4.8 or 5.3ls or something along those lines. Nothing with tbi, there is nothing efficient about those outdated pieces of crap. Based on previous trip reports you have made having to "fight" strong head winds and drafting semis just to maintain speed, you really need a V8. I'm not really against the stroker if you can get one for a really good price, but more often than not it's just as expensive if not more than to just swap in a really good V8 with modern EFI. I'm not a fan of turbos especially if it sees off road use. Just more things to go wrong and premium gas really adds up.

Speaking of gas... How much bigger do you intend on going? Just be mindful that gas weighs 6.3 lbs per gallon. Depending on how big you go the weight does add up quick.
 

Belizeit

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
River Ridge
State
La
#24
If I was confident that I wouldn't completely screw it up, that would be the only answer :rotfl:
I didn't mean for you to screw it up. I ment get someone competent. :evil: Maybe you could find a vo tek school to take it on as a project.
 

bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
#25
As far as the body goes, I guess it depends on how bad the old one is. There so much stuff on there right now that I don't know what it looks like. I saw the pics way back from when you first got it. I think I remember it saying D dog or something? Other than that I really don't remember how it good or bad it is. I would need to see pics.

As far as the engine goes... I very firmly believe you NEED a small V8 with a GOOD efi system. Meaning a 4.8 or 5.3ls or something along those lines. Nothing with tbi, there is nothing efficient about those outdated pieces of crap. Based on previous trip reports you have made having to "fight" strong head winds and drafting semis just to maintain speed, you really need a V8. I'm not really against the stroker if you can get one for a really good price, but more often than not it's just as expensive if not more than to just swap in a really good V8 with modern EFI. I'm not a fan of turbos especially if it sees off road use. Just more things to go wrong and premium gas really adds up.

Speaking of gas... How much bigger do you intend on going? Just be mindful that gas weighs 6.3 lbs per gallon. Depending on how big you go the weight does add up quick.
No V8. Sorry.
 

Belizeit

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
River Ridge
State
La
#27
it’s me or nothing ;)
Go aluminum ! Then you can drive in the salt winters. Otherwise you might be 70 before you get back on the road, and only driving in the summer means about 2 years of driving before you are toast. Sorry just being realistic :shrug:
 

bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
#28
Go aluminum ! Then you can drive in the salt winters. Otherwise you might be 70 before you get back on the road, and only driving in the summer means about 2 years of driving before you are toast. Sorry just being realistic :shrug:
:rolleyes:

Pessimist. If I make the call to fix it myself, I’m going whole hog into it, believe me on that. My thought is that if I find my ability to do it doesn’t work, I can always go aluminum. That’s why I’m leaning to fixing it myself.

it won’t see winter here regardless, so that’s irrelevant. The frame and everything else isn’t aluminum.
 

designerRob

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
Allen Park
State
MI
#32
Aluminum tub
Stroker motor
X2.
Sounds like you have the body comparability worked out with Aqualu and Mr. Beep can hook you up with a stroker motor. Maybe Barnes 4x4 for a skid plate. And I've thought Transit or Sprinter van seats w/ integrated restraints would be great for the back of the Jeep. You'd just have to figure out mounting brackets. And you wouldn't have to cut the inner fenders for those. Spring for the 3-spd tcase if you can swing it. That would be REAL nice to have.

Maybe save some cash by tweaking the BDS vs new and selling your body to offset the cost of the Aqualu. I should clarify, I meant the Jeep body and not yours. :rotfl:
 
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spankrjs

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
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City
Biloxi
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MS
#33
Things that definitely stay:
Axles (D44/HD20 with 4.88 gears and ARB lockers): the brakes have always been great and I love this pair for what I do. Clean up and repaint, if desired. Maybe wheel bearing maintenance, if necessary. Bearing maintenance could be performed after the "big build" to save time.

Dual diaphragm MC: Vanco unit that's been awesome If happy, leave it

Frame: I do have front reinforcement plates from chiefwaho that I want to get on and I want to do the rear ones as well as fixing any other issues I find At minimum, blast/clean/repaint the inside/outside of the frame, check factory welds/lack of welds at the seams

Wheels/tires: no reason to change, no intention of ever going beyond 35s Leave alone

Interior: Outside of the rear seat mentioned below, there's nothing really wrong with the interior. Clean up/repair as needed and reuse

Cage: I've been thrilled with the cage and aside from making the feet in the front floorboards work for whatever new floor ends up in there, it should be fine with a coat of paint. Paint and leave it alone

Things that could go:
Motor: I have abused the CRAP out of this poor 4.0. I did the swap to this motor so that I could drop in a stroker in a weekend. The recent turbo developments for the 4.0 had me wondering about that route too. I wonder if @MrBeep if going to let me have my stroker motor and exhaust finally :) Get the Toby engine, easy swap into what you have, you are familiar/happy with it, done deal

Body: This is the BIG one. Fiberglass is out. It is MANDATORY that whatever I do work with the World Cab (that needs restoration of its own). That means that the top lip has to be right and able to accept the World Cab flange. With what I've seen of the Phillipine units, I don't think they'll work. I spoke with the owner of Aqualu for over an hour standing in front of the Postal at EJS and he is 100% confident that they can make a body that will work exactly right as everything they do is CAD driven. A few measurements and we could confirm it for certain and if adjustments were needed, they'd make them. I can't get over the idea of scrapping the original tub and it's not THAT far gone. Sadly, I have zero experience with sheet metal work and I'm worried that what I do won't look good or last if I go the repair route. It's also going to slow everything down enormously... This is the tough one, and only you can make the call once it is stripped down/exposed. Comes down to time/money crunch. I would love to see you reuse the original, BUT if it is too far gone/requires too many repairs/has a bunch of stress cracks in the sheet metal, makes the decision to swap easier. Even with a swap, still a lot of time to ensure everything fits, plus having to make all the holes in the replacement body. Ideally, you are able to find a local shop to repair what you have for reasonable money/time frame. IF you decide to fix it yourself, budget in money/time for acquiring/learning how to use a bunch of new tools. Kind of expensive in time/money to acquire tools/skills to repair one body? Hopefully, you can repair your existing body, either a local/reasonable/quality shop, OR send it to JeeperDD!!!!!! This will also probably be your most expensive/time consuming part of the project. I have not had any experience in 10 years with this sort of work at a shop, BUT either repair what you have or new, I would conservatively budget 10k.

Suspension: I have the rear BDS leaves where I'm happy but need to play with the front. I've always said I'd like to get corner weights and go with a custom set of Alcan/Deaver/etc. springs to finally get things exactly right. I will get these weights before this project starts just in case. Leave the BDS for now, complete your rebuild/mods, then consider custom spring packs. Get the Jeep/mods finished, then weigh it, then get the custom springs, if necessary. I would not weigh it now for custom springs, who knows what might change over the course of the rebuild?

Tcase: I dream of a 3/4-speed Atlas/STAK/etc. unit but the price will likely kill this. (Not into the idea of doublers.) Leave/clean/reseal (if necessary)/repaint (if desired) the Dana 300 for now. You can change transfer cases/drive shafts later. Save you money/time for now, easy enough to swap out later.

Crossmember: I have an XJ trans mount under the AW4 with holes drilled for it in the CJ crossmember, it's way taller than I need it to be. I'd like to suck up the crossmember and go with some other, shorter trans mount to take up the difference. Change it now or later, let your money/time budget dictate minor improvements like this?

Things that have to be done:
Rear seat: need one with head rests and want to move it back. Matt Trout's recent third row seat install looks pretty killer. Wait to see if you will repair your existing body, or swap on a new tub, before custom making a rear seat/associated brackets?

Fuel system: Need more gas for my road trips and fuel lines should be replaced. I'd like to clean up the regulator/pump mounting while I'm in there and add a spare pump in parallel for easy fixes when one dies. Need a proper skid plate. I've destroyed one side of the stock unit. Clean out tank, swap in sender, all new flexible/hard fuel lines everywhere. Leave external pump, make a simple bracket to mount a spare pump along side the current pump.

Body replacement or fixes (see above):
I could take in/down the wheel wells with my lift and wider axles while doing the rust repair. New body mounts all around while I'm at it. New mounts for sure, on either repaired/new tub. Also, blast/repair/repaint grill, fenders, hood.

Outboard rear shocks/u-bolt flip:
I finally had to weld the lower shock mounts into the Rubicon Express U-bolt skid plates I have. They're total rock anchors and I bend/break one per wheeling trip on average. This would allow me to make/install a u-bolt flip so I can finally ditch the stupid skids that further kill ground clearance. Do it, take notes and pictures, I need to do the same.

CB delete: get rid of this entirely, it's GMRS or nothing from now on, I haven't used it in years. Easy

Steering box placement/pitman change: I have slight interference between the end of the pitman TRE and the tie rod at full, even compression. This needs to be addressed once and for all I'll let someone with more knowledge advise here. I get slight contact between my thicker/flipped tie rod/drag link. I always tear the pitman arm tie rod end boot. No binding. I just change boots once a year. On mine, I could probably move the box forward, you have a totally different front axle/suspension set up then mine. I'm out here.

Wiring: time to start over and rethink things now that I pretty much have added every possible 12V thing that this Jeep will ever see. I'd like to get rid of the XJ PDC I mounted under the hood on my driver's fender. Maybe a painless large harness and Trail Rocker or similar. Oops, one final addition, I need a 12V outlet in the bed for my fridge. I don't know how I haven't done this yet. Replace entire harness, ditch the under hood stuff, add the Trail Rocker. You already got this part figured out.

OBA system: Replace the tubing for everything and clean up/refine. May go electric rather than the converted Sanden setup I have in my LJ now for simplicity. Other than occasional leaks and holes in the air line I used, I've been happy with this otherwise. Ditto

IMO, your body work/swap/decision is the most critical/time/money issue.

1) Frame is good, clean up, weld on plates, done.
2) Axles/brakes are complete/good shape/happy with, done.
3) Swap in the Toby engine, keep you current transmission/transfer case, drive shafts, for now. You can swap either/or later, if deemed necessary, once the big project is over.
4) Do all new wiring/brake/fuel lines while it is apart. Clean up/paint all your existing/reused parts.
5) Comes back to the body, which IMO, is going to be the toughest decision to make, and the biggest time/money issue. I would love for you to repair/repaint/reuse what you have, but will totally understand if it is not feasible.


Just my thoughts :twocents: :shrug:
 

Wandering

Basic User
City
Hookstown
State
PA
#35
Some ideas.

What are you going to do with it, appears that you have already basicly a buggy if you are going to continue down that road have you considered a trailer then go hog wild.

If you want a cross country driver.
First the strip and square up the frame then reinforce the frame then have it dipped. Even if you don't plan on winter driving the three days that I had driving the length of Padre Island resulted in more rust than ten years in the postal routes in Alaska.

The tub is likely a lost cause mine had all of the typical postal rust the unrepairable part of the body damage that I found in mine, each of the channels of the on the tub above the body mount is distorted or collapsed clearly from a life of being overloaded. Just not sure if it is worth it. Have you considered these guys https://www.willysoverland.com/repli-tubs
Fuel tanks aerotank http://www.aerotanks.com/inventory/1921a.html
Some people complain about breaking the tanks but the more ridged you frame is the less flex lower chance of beakage.

Stay away from oem replacement Waring harnesses. Your jeep is too modified to benift from it get a basic streetrod harness and an auxiliary fuse box for under the hood by the battery it will eliminate unused wires. I found the Speedway twelve curcit harness was great. To do over again I would use a harness build domesticly by a specialty company, Centech or Painless.

I am sure how you would consider a turbo but no
LSkeeping LS of course I believe that real jeeps have inline engines, or Buicks. People have made some "adequate power" out of the stroker or go really wild and get a Mexican block and really go wild.

As far as the three wide back seat I did it infer the top by putting a square body Blazer back seat in top of the wheel wells it fits like a glove with the armrests . The world can gives you the head room, I am 6'5"+ and could sit in the back. My plan was always to use the third seat out of a square body suburban and weld the latchb system into the wheelwells so it could be taken outh without tools

These guys have done great ideas. https://www.rocky-road.com/cj-ome.html

Or these guys with the rocky road conversion system is what I am likely going to do

http://www.parabolicsuspension.com/jeep/yj.htm
 
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Ron84cj

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
West Bend
State
WI
#36
Do you have any pics of the blazer back seat in your Jeep? That sounds like it would be more spacious and comfortable than the little cj back seat.
 

Wandering

Basic User
City
Hookstown
State
PA
#37
Do you have any pics of the blazer back seat in your Jeep? That sounds like it would be more spacious and comfortable than the little cj back seat.
I will see my I did it when my kids we pre school age and now my youngest is a sophomore in college. Basicly I bolted a 24x6 inch 1/4 plate to each fender the used factory bolt holes on the seat through the plate. The seat for tight armrest to armrest. The top of the postal is designed to be high enough for adults to sit on the wheel wells the only pictures that I may have was during a driving the loop around the Yukon, overlanding before it was glamping.
 
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Wandering

Basic User
City
Hookstown
State
PA
#38
Do you have any pics of the blazer back seat in your Jeep? That sounds like it would be more spacious and comfortable than the little cj back seat.
a $300 postal, still looking for pics of the Blazer seat installed.
IMG_20200807_193543451.jpg
 
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bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
#39
What are you going to do with it, appears that you have already basicly a buggy...

If you want a cross country driver.
Ummm, nowhere remotely close to a buggy.

It is a cross country driver. I dare say more than any other Scrambler ever :shrug:

Painless would be my go-to for a harness/harnesses
 
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