Meet Red, my 81 Restomod Build

Randyzzz

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Redmond
State
OR
It’s in. I just paid to have this driveshaft lengthened a couple months ago to fit the front of the J-20. Now I’m going to have to pay to have it shortened!

E331BEB6-FD11-40E8-844A-61672D2AB32D.jpeg 12FC662B-1FE0-4C1C-91A9-BA188258ED58.jpeg
 

sdsupilot

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
OKC
State
OK
Looks great! My rear driveshaft was 24.5". Have you measured yours yet? Are you planning on running the stock GM front output flange or switching to a yoke?
 

Randyzzz

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Redmond
State
OR
Looks great! My rear driveshaft was 24.5". Have you measured yours yet? Are you planning on running the stock GM front output flange or switching to a yoke?
Haven’t measured the rear yet, I need to get the permanent rear axle in there first. But it looks like about 24-25”. Keeping the front flange, there’s plenty of conversion companion flanges available. I could have gone to a yoke but non cv yokes take a special seal and I wanted to keep parts as easy to find as possible.
 

Randyzzz

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Redmond
State
OR

Randyzzz

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Redmond
State
OR
Back at it! First a tool recommendation. I have been slowly going from air tools to Milwaukee Fuel 12v and 18v. Today I picked up a tool that is AMAZING! It’s their 12v right angle die grinder. This thing makes life so much easier! No dragging air hoses! No high pitched whine! 4 speeds, top is 24,500 RPM! Just grab and go! I love it. It is a battery drainer though. 10 mins runtime on top speed running a biscuit. Here’s some pics.

Leaves a clean surface, and it’s pretty compact. E6449D6D-62D0-4470-8711-847DC9CDAD3D.jpeg


This took under 30 seconds. (This is the only rusty body mount on the whole tub!) BBB8CFD2-342D-4599-A888-03826DE24763.jpeg
 

Randyzzz

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Redmond
State
OR
On to the good stuff. I had to figure out a way to brace the frame over the new tank and replace the crossmember I had removed. I started with removing the inner portion of the rear frame rails. It’s amazing how poor the welds are, and how uneven everything is. C5B3E590-5605-46B7-A270-93CD04D6731E.jpeg 301BBA08-33F6-4D7E-9408-46D87FE13088.jpeg 3673FCEE-52D2-49F0-B91B-707E4942444E.jpeg 80C3DC0F-A07C-4210-BC3F-6F8BA13E513F.jpeg

Looking down from the top. Not a straight line to be found. I think the same crew that built the cowl was helping on the frame.

2E44FBC4-6CEF-475F-881C-930A3719B4D9.jpeg FA297AD2-60A0-4787-85C8-C48E714E1A4B.jpeg

Got into the cutting and fitting and forgot to get in between pics- but here is the final product.

9ADE4CD5-D105-42E6-9C8A-3FDF5167667D.jpeg F642D00C-0691-4BDD-ABC0-C710E81C6A4E.jpeg 3B7FA2F9-1358-4897-A8CF-3603065713D4.jpeg

The side brackets go into the opened up frame channel and will be welded on all 3 areas that are touching. The top piece is 1x3x.120 so it should be plenty strong, and add considerable strength. I need to weld all the seams up, and then cut new pieces to re-box the open frame channel.
 

HighSierra CJ

Scrambler Enthusiast
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Ducor
State
Ca
On to the good stuff. I had to figure out a way to brace the frame over the new tank and replace the crossmember I had removed. I started with removing the inner portion of the rear frame rails. It’s amazing how poor the welds are, and how uneven everything is. View attachment 79469 View attachment 79470 View attachment 79471 View attachment 79472

Looking down from the top. Not a straight line to be found. I think the same crew that built the cowl was helping on the frame.

View attachment 79473 View attachment 79474

Got into the cutting and fitting and forgot to get in between pics- but here is the final product.

View attachment 79475 View attachment 79476 View attachment 79477

The side brackets go into the opened up frame channel and will be welded on all 3 areas that are touching. The top piece is 1x3x.120 so it should be plenty strong, and add considerable strength. I need to weld all the seams up, and then cut new pieces to re-box the open frame channel.
Great thread! Seems like you are having a lot of fun with this build. I’m enjoying watching it come together. Thanks for sharing.
 

ag4ever

Average Nut
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Richmond
State
TX
How necessary is boxing the frame rear of the shackles?

If that was left open you could more easily clean out the frame.

If the cross member was moved forward to near the rear shackles, the only load on that frame would be the rear body mounts, bumper, trailer hitch, and possibly a tire carrier if bumper mounted. That is assuming the cross member would clear the bed supports near the shackles.
 

Randyzzz

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Redmond
State
OR
How necessary is boxing the frame rear of the shackles?

If that was left open you could more easily clean out the frame.

If the cross member was moved forward to near the rear shackles, the only load on that frame would be the rear body mounts, bumper, trailer hitch, and possibly a tire carrier if bumper mounted. That is assuming the cross member would clear the bed supports near the shackles.
The cross member needs to be that far back to clear the fuel pump module. I would have liked it to be between the shackle hangers, but that would mean the gas tank would have to be 1”-2” lower. Not a worthwhile trade-off. I’m not too worried about junk in the frame- it’s easy to flush out there and they don’t salt the roads here.
 

Jeepskate

Insane in the Membrane
City
Lexington
State
OH
On to the good stuff. I had to figure out a way to brace the frame over the new tank and replace the crossmember I had removed. I started with removing the inner portion of the rear frame rails. It’s amazing how poor the welds are, and how uneven everything is.
What I found most interesting about that area is that there appears to have been no standard for how it was done. Both of my Scramblers were '83's but that area was executed completely differently between the two of them. Jeepskate II/XL was done very nicely, JPSK8 looks like yours.
 

Randyzzz

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Redmond
State
OR
What I found most interesting about that area is that there appears to have been no standard for how it was done. Both of my Scramblers were '83's but that area was executed completely differently between the two of them. Jeepskate II/XL was done very nicely, JPSK8 looks like yours.
My 82 looked a lot better back there if I remember correctly. The left rail on this one was bent in ever so slightly, but everything is square to the body mounts. The right rear inner boxing piece was not fully inserted into the outer frame rail before welding. Everything squared up again at the rear tank hanger crossmember (the one I removed) but then the crossmember that doubles as the front tank hanger and body mounts was slightly V’d forward in the middle and the lip where the date was stamped was kinked down in the middle. I got that all straight with a bit of dead blow hammer persuasion. The other thing I noticed was the body mount outrigger aren’t anywhere near level off the top of the frame. None of this has any evidence of an accident or post-paint damage. Combined with the abnormal weld on the cowl under the windshield frame, I’m wondering if this wasn’t an “ end of run, what can we throw together “ Scrambler. Maybe they were running short on orders so they went out to the parts piles that didn’t pass initial inspection and picked the best of the worst. It was built 6/17/81 (a Wednesday) but it looks more like a Friday job.

No matter what the backstory, it will be a gem once I’m done with it.
 

Randyzzz

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Redmond
State
OR
Well, I guess I’ll chalk up my slow rate of progress to being old and slow. Or something like that. I will say, working out in the shop with KOH on was a hoot. Here’s what I accomplished. I started out with cutting some tube up to make replacements for the inner frame boxing that I had removed to put the cross brace in. They turned out well. I made the front seam at the junction where the old cross member was welded inside the frame rail. I’ll add fishplates once the frame is bare again and I can put it up on its side.
42FDA9DF-D293-4B9C-B3EC-9B6FCE02FE6D.jpeg
Then I addressed how to secure the straps to the frame. I put come c-channel in the rear crossmember, and then welded some tabs to it. The front of the straps will bolt up to the spot where the old tank mounted. 93C7AFD1-F876-44CB-9C56-08FED3F8BC01.jpeg
Here’s an overview of the installed tank. I still have to make some perimeter braces to keep the tank securely in place. I’ll make the rear one large enough to protect the tank from being punctured by the hanger tabs in case I get rear-ended.
D476F083-E156-45DB-BCA0-5DED64B91967.jpeg Once that’s done I can get the exhaust figured out and routed. I also have to get my rear end ordered. So many choices there. Any Ford 9” experts here? I’ve been researching until I’m cross-eyed. Are 31 spline alloy axles beefy enough? Will a true-track be a sufficient traction device? Is a re-drilled Explorer disc setup my best choice for rear discs with parking brakes? Like I said, any advice is appreciated.
 
Last edited:

barrys

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
East Norriton
State
PA
I believe 31 spline will be strong enough
That is what was used in most of the 9" under Ford trucks. '70 Torinos with 429 Super Cobra Jets drag packs options(very underated at 370hp ) had a 9" rear with 31 splines, 4.30 gears, and a Detroit locker from the factory.
 

tower210

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Olathe
State
KS
Pretty sure Truetrac was originally designed for the drag strip and muscle cars...also recommended for heavy duty applications such as dump trucks and ambulances..... Pretty sure you'll be fine
 

don87401

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Farmington
State
NM
Ran a Curie 9" inch for years, finely broke the low pinion case on a ledge, put in their high pinion case to replace it. Run 35s and 4.56 gears ARB locker 31 spline axles
 

barrys

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
East Norriton
State
PA
When in doubt go 40 spline??:headbang:
Way overkill and a 9" 40 spline ARB is only $2200.
 
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