My 85' Restoration

wjtstudios

1985 CJ 8
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Rochester
State
Mi
#1
After years of planning, dreaming and saving the restoration and build of my Scrambler started today. My CJ-8 was the first car I bought when I was 19 and have been lucky enough to hold onto it.

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In 1997, I had wanted a Jeep CJ and preferably a scrambler since I was a little kid and finally made that dream happen. Luckily, I found a guy that just moved to Michigan from Arizona and hadn’t even had a chance bring his CJ-8 up and I bought it from him, site unseen, and shipped it up here. I drove it as a daily driver for 4 years through Michigan’s salty winters before I was able to buy a second vehicle and park the 8 in the winters. But the salt took it’s toll. Fast forward 22 years and rust had eaten its way through the floor pan in three locations. That started the planning, dreaming, and unfortunately budgeting.

The goal of the build is to keep it looking exactly as it does today, just built to run. The entire body will be walnut blasted down to bare metal, any rust repaired, and then epoxy primer. Then back to Black. The venerable but leaky 258 that served it faithfully for 166,000 miles will be upgraded to an 1974 AMC 360 fully rebuilt and upgraded with a new cam and Eldenbrock performer intake. Everything from the body down will be built around that engine. New hydraulic clutch, AX15 trans and a re-built Dana 300 t case. By the time we would have stripped the frame, rewelded all new suspension and motor mounts and added reinforcements to the weak areas of the frame, it was easier and not much more to have a custom frame built. TDK built this beautiful frame to spec and the had it galvanized and will be powder coated black. This will also give me the ability to sell a complete, minus the T case, rolling chassis to someone that wants to build a more factory correct restoration. I'll post that up once we have the body off and its ready.


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Dana 44s from either fusion 4x4 or ECG will be ordered soon with ARB lockers. Alcan will build the YJ width springs and I’ll probably use rancho’s shocks. Custom DS and steering linkages and a PSC steering gear will follow.



In the end, she’ll be a brand new Scrambler built to last generations and keep up on the trail. Here she is heading off to the shop, Hopefully to be back mid summer. A sad and exiting day all in one!

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designerRob

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
Allen Park
State
MI
#2
So cool that it was your first vehicle. So sad that it's seen our crappy salted winters. But happy again that you're able to restore it to better than new. 😂 You sure will have an amazing machine when complete. Good luck and can't wait to see her done! 👍
 

mhinchliffe

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
W-S
State
NC
#3
And so it begins...........Keep us posted. I'm curious about the walnut blast results. Good luck and good plan.
 

wjtstudios

1985 CJ 8
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Rochester
State
Mi
#5
So cool that it was your first vehicle. So sad that it's seen our crappy salted winters. But happy again that you're able to restore it to better than new. 😂 You sure will have an amazing machine when complete. Good luck and can't wait to see her done! 👍
And so it begins...........Keep us posted. I'm curious about the walnut blast results. Good luck and good plan.
Awesome backstory - definitely look forward to following your progress!
Thank you! I will post up pictures every step of the way. I'm sure I'll have a million questions as we go thru this process.
 

wjtstudios

1985 CJ 8
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Rochester
State
Mi
#8
I need to do a better job updating this thread.

We are making progress, slowly. Most of the body panels with exception on the tub have been removed, dipped, and epoxy primed. They have all been in surprisingly good shape.
 

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wjtstudios

1985 CJ 8
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Rochester
State
Mi
#9
The fusion axles, psc steering, gentech gas tank, Alcan springs and a bunch of other parts are in. We should be able to set up a rolling chassis in the next couple of weeks.
 

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wjtstudios

1985 CJ 8
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Rochester
State
Mi
#10
The tub has a few bad rust spots and should be coming off the frame in June some time. It will get walnut blasted, that will really show what we are working with. Hopefully they will just be the couple of small repairs that we have found so far.
 

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wjtstudios

1985 CJ 8
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Rochester
State
Mi
#11
Sometime in July I should be ready to post up for sale the original rolling chassis minus the Tcase and wheels and tires. Other than a leaky valve cover, the motor ran great and the frame is in good shape. I really have no idea if it’s better to sell it as a whole or part it out.
 

jammer1

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Maple Hts.
State
Oh
#12
Looking good, the tub is always the fun part. If advertise it as all together and also broken down (chassis and motor) separate.
 

sdsupilot

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
OKC
State
OK
#14
My tub had the same crack where the spare tire carrier mounted (passenger upper). Make sure the brace on the inside of the tub fits flush against the tub. Mine was poorly made from the factory. When it tightened down it forced the tub to flex to meet the brace on the inside. I welded some new 2" wide 3/16" thick strap steel, it was good to go after that.
 

wjtstudios

1985 CJ 8
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Rochester
State
Mi
#15
My tub had the same crack where the spare tire carrier mounted (passenger upper). Make sure the brace on the inside of the tub fits flush against the tub. Mine was poorly made from the factory. When it tightened down it forced the tub to flex to meet the brace on the inside. I welded some new 2" wide 3/16" thick strap steel, it was good to go after that.
Yeah, before we even begun removing the paint, we knew that it cracked there. Can you shoot me a couple pictures of the reinforcement that you added into it?

Thanks for the heads up!
 
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