It's a wreck

City
Tulsa
State
OK
#1
Well I am doing a restoration of an 85 CJ-8. I am a member of multiple forums but never, ever post. I really like the CJ-8.com folks and think there are some highly intelligent members on this site so I figured I would go ahead and do a build thread. I haven't been very good at taking pics so far but will begin today so that you can see where I am at.

Ok I will start by saying my first vehicle was a 76 CJ-5. Me and my grandpa refreshened the 304 in it put some new brakes on it and my dad paid the bodyshop for my 16th birthday. I made a huge mistake and sold that gem when I was 18 and joined the military(selling the jeep was the mistake not the military, that was a great 4 years).

20 Years later I still had the itch for another CJ so I have been looking hard for a Scrambler(I have always loved the look of the scrambler). I have a family of 5 and thought this might be the only possible way to get us all loaded up. I searched and searched and it is unreal what kind of value these machines will hold. A rust bucket in my area(Tulsa) will go for about 4k. A somewhat rust free running vehicle around here has been selling for around 8k. If someone has done any serious work they want 15K and your first born. Well I am a full time firefighter who the Good Lord has blessed with three daughters, so as you guessed it, money is somewhat tight.

Well after months of looking I decided to start looking at auctions and found an 85 that looked to be pretty rough but had some serious potential. I bid on it and won. I was overly excited and scared of my beautiful brides reaction at the same time. Her initial response, "You bought a Scrambler 7 hours away that has been wrecked and you have never seen it for how much?!!!".



After a 14 hour trip to Abilene and home she comes out and shakes her head, but I know deep down inside she supports me and my enthusiasm. I will say I was not happy with the online auction company that I used "Copart". They have lots of small print hidden fees that add up quick and added about 900 dollars to my total which I thought was a little outrageous but thats the way the world works. I know this jeep has some frame damage prior to going to get it but I wasn't overly worried about that. Here are some more pics from the auction site that I downloaded.




So I wasn't aware that I was going to be doing a build thread so I haven't taken many pics but will start from here on. First order of business was pulling the front end and seeing how bad the frame damage was. the fenders, grill, hood and motor out in less than 4 hours and I was really surprised that there was no more rust than there was. The entire engine compartment was covered in oil and dirt. During this beasts accident it appears to have torn the skid plate off of the oil pan, leaving 4 nice little holes for all the oil to come out during the tow to the yard, effectively coating everything in sight. I guess that the yard is a dusty place and made a nice goo on anything and everything under the hood and cab.

The frame is bent a little more than I was wanting but I loaded it up and took it to a guy in West Tulsa, Acme Wheel and aligning(I am pretty sure his name is Greg). He came recommended from the guys at Sams Offroad and a diesel mechanic friend of mine. He was a friendly guy who was actually kind of excited to see an old scrambler, which gave me a little better feeling about it. Both front frame rails were actually bend about 10 inches out at the front forks and there were creases and folds in the frame metal. I was expecting him to say that it was toast and I would be shopping for another frame but nope, his response was "No Problem". He had it out in a week and it was straight as could be and you can't really tell that there was ever an issue unless you look really hard. He also said I have a year to bring it back and he will pull on it or put it on the alignment rack for free. He was excited for me when I picked it up.

Hauled it back home and put it in the garage and stripped the front end of everything else to bare frame. Was happy with the condition of the springs(Rancho 2.5 CJ). Cleaned it up with a wire wheel and painted it. I started with a rattle can of rust prevent bare metal primer and followed it up with the Rustoleum Hammered. I wasn't overly happy with the result and color of the rustoleum so I came back over it with a satin black implement epoxy from Atwoods(Farm and Ranch Store). If I had it to do over again I would have waited and painted the whole thing at once with my HVLP but space is limited in my garage right now and I was impatient. Wire wheeled and painted every part that goes on the front end(springs, axle housing, shock mounts, sway bar and components). Ordered new drag link, and front shocks(Rancho 5000), and new front shackles. One of the shackles were tweaked and I ordered a new set from summit. The new set arrived and it is not what I thought I was ordering and was about 3 inches longer than the 1.5" lift shackles that it already had and I was happy with the stance of.

So the shackles went back to summit and I stopped by Sams offroad and he had exactly the same size shackle that was previously on it on the shelf, for half the price of summit at that(I love staying local if I can and will not stray again). Also picked up a Daystar Polyurethane body mount, front and rear suspension, motor mount and trans mount bushing kit in the color red.


I am not putting anything back on this Jeep until it has been taken off and sanded or wire wheeled clean and painted with a couple of coats of something. I can't stand rust and will avoid it at all cost. Well that is it for this post I will follow up in a bit with some more if I have time.

Moderators, if my pics are too big I apologize. Let me know and I will fix them. I copied links from photobucket.
 
City
Tulsa
State
OK
#2
BUSTED NUTS!

Ok so where I left off was not really where I am at in this project but I will keep getting caught up to my present stage.

So in the attempt to pull the power steering gearbox all the internal frame nuts twisted out and I ended up cutting them off at the bolt. I had completely forgotten this until I started putting things back together and had already cleaned and painted that corner of the frame(oops). So out came the cutting wheel and new grade 8 bolts in the holes and welded.

Don't be judging my welds either, I am no welder or mechanic by any means but I feel like if you don't try, you won't ever know. I have a little Lincoln 110v flux/gas that is very "moody". I know the welds are ugly and the hole in the frame is huge but oh well, I have a grinder and flap wheel to clean up anything anyone will see anyway and I can tell you that those nuts are solid in there and not going anywhere. I got a good glob on three or four sides of each of them.


Welded my plate back on and grind down my sloppy welds to flat and repainted, you'll never know.
 

jerseyjeeps

Crazy about AMC Jeeps
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Landing
State
NJ
#5
Welcome to the forum and you are already well liked - we like LOTS of pics and you have not let us down. :thumbsup:

Great to see another one saved. And I know what you mean about copart, I bought a CJ-7 once from there and while the fees were very high, in the end I got what I wanted at a good price.

Keep up the good work, and your welds look fine, too :)
 

jeepmonkster

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
tulsa
State
ok
#8
Great to know there is another Scrambler owner in T town. I am new to the Scrambler world I bought one last January, and I bought a second one this past December neither are currently running. If you have any questions I would be glad to share what i know, This is a great board, and some great people here that are always willing to help.
 
City
Tulsa
State
OK
#9
Welcome to the forum and you are already well liked - we like LOTS of pics and you have not let us down. :thumbsup:

Great to see another one saved. And I know what you mean about copart, I bought a CJ-7 once from there and while the fees were very high, in the end I got what I wanted at a good price.

Keep up the good work, and your welds look fine, too :)
Thanks, I agree it is exactly what I wanted and would have probably paid the same amount anyway but the shock of the fees was one thing. I wasn't really pleased with the service or attitude of the office personnel in Abilene either. Either way I am glad I found this one. I think I would purchase from Copart again but would definitely have to be able to preview it in person before I bought.
 
City
Tulsa
State
OK
#10
Great to know there is another Scrambler owner in T town. I am new to the Scrambler world I bought one last January, and I bought a second one this past December neither are currently running. If you have any questions I would be glad to share what i know, This is a great board, and some great people here that are always willing to help.
I have only seen maybe three scramblers in the last few years actually driving around in Tulsa.
 

skiptown

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Madison
State
WI
#11
Well it looks like it has a great set of tires on it anyway! Good luck and have fun....
 
City
Tulsa
State
OK
#12
Ok time for more. Last week I unbolted the tub and the amount of dirt that came from the bushings was blinding. I started to pull the tub but then changed my mind as I wasn't ready to give up my whole garage floor yet and I grabbed the grinder and cut off wheel and went to town on the crushed passenger corner. I didn't take a good before pic but here is what it looked like:

And after:

Some closer pics



Kinda rough but it wasn't going to buff out.
 

jerseyjeeps

Crazy about AMC Jeeps
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Landing
State
NJ
#13
Thanks, I agree it is exactly what I wanted and would have probably paid the same amount anyway but the shock of the fees was one thing. I wasn't really pleased with the service or attitude of the office personnel in Abilene either. Either way I am glad I found this one. I think I would purchase from Copart again but would definitely have to be able to preview it in person before I bought.
Totally Agee as well with my experience in Connecticut. Not only was the attitude wrong overall when I got there with my own car trailer, out comes this huge forklift that just picked it up like it was a small toy cutting two tires in the process. they are used to scrapping these things and not really caring about what the "little guys" are buying.

Back to your jeep wow you really are tearing into it hard-core, just cutting things apart and making it right. incredibly awesome I'm definitely tuned into this one :thumbsup:
 
City
Tulsa
State
OK
#14
Here's a pic of the front end as of tonight.


I am waiting on a set of outer tie rod ends and need to paint the new tie rod and also waiting on the GoFerIt.com tie rod flip insert. I will document that install on here even though it's been documented on every forum. Speaking of the insert, I didn't have much garage time today but got to watch my first grader get some awards at her school for integrity and leadership (always makes me so proud) but afterwards I went to find a 3/4 inch bit to drill the hole for the tie rod flip insert and they are tough to find. Located one at Napa but I refuse to pay $34.00 for a bit I may never use again. I ran to harbor freight and no luck there either. I did find this beauty on the open box rack though for 25 bucks.

Not a bad find if I do say so myself. So I will find a bit Sunday after church.
 
City
Tulsa
State
OK
#15
Ok so now here's a question for you experts out there.

These are the cruddy bolts holding my calipers bracket to the outer knuckle

Does anyone see anything wrong with replacing these with regular grade 8 bolts and possibly a flat or lock washer?

How about the Allen heads that attach the actual caliper to the bracket

Can I get rid of those for a regular bolt? I just like to be able to fix anything that comes up with minimal tools and I think if I can just carry a set of wrenches it would simplify things. Any thoughts?
 

macguyver

Legacy Registered User
City
everett
State
wa
#16
You can replace the lower bolt with a regular bolt but the caliper bolt will need to be the same as the caliper slides over it.
 

cruser

Legacy Registered User
City
Buffalo Gap
State
TX
#17
Wow. When I started reading this thread and saw the picture + saw it was in Abilene Texas, wrecked and at a auction I freaked out, ran out to the garage and checked to see if my Scrambler was still there ! Sheez.... the similarities caught me off guard and that was besides the fact I live 11 miles from Abilene, Texas. There are 2 Scramblers on the road in the Abilene area as well as 3 that are growing old in peoples backyard and that was not one of them. You sure did not waste time getting to the bottom of things. Great thread ! GOOD LUCK with the build.... I bet it will be great !!:smokin:
IMG_0108.JPG
 
Last edited:
City
Tulsa
State
OK
#18
Wow. When I started reading this thread and saw the picture + saw it was in Abilene Texas, wrecked and at a auction I freaked out, ran out to the garage and checked to see if my Scrambler was still there ! Sheez.... the similarities caught me off guard and that was besides the fact I live 11 miles from Abilene, Texas. There are 2 Scramblers on the road in the Abilene area as well as 3 that are growing old in peoples backyard and that was not one of them. You sure did not waste time getting to the bottom of things. Great thread ! GOOD LUCK with the build.... I bet it will be great !!:smokin:
View attachment 39019
That is crazy how close they look. I actually have the PO's name and looked him up on the internet to try to get any info I could on this motor, with no success. It appears to have been rebuilt and looks clean. The odometer on the dash reads 37,243 and there is writing on the oil filter that says next change at 38k. I assume this is either a new odometer or been rolled over. Who knows though. I really don't care and it would be awesome if it is a good strong motor but if not that will give me an excuse to do a swap to something a little more powerful and economical.

That is a very nice looking rig on that trailer.
 

Randyzzz

Blown Budget
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Redmond
State
OR
#19
This thread is full of WIN! Awesome! Glad to see one brought back from the brink.

Going to keep watching. Looks like you're doing everything right!
 
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