"Oscar" the '86 CJ-7

IAFFCJ

Scrambler Junkie
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City
Manassas
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VA
#1
Let me introduce "Oscar" as my wife calls him, my 1986 CJ-7. (She calls him Oscar because she thinks he belongs in the trash with Oscar the Grouch). Even with those feelings she has put up with Oscar in two different garages and only rarely complains about him encroaching on her side of the garage.



I picked Oscar up about 7 years ago and thought I had gotten my hands on a solid CJ that only needed a few little rust spots fixed and he would be good to go.





Heck those don't look that bad.
 

IAFFCJ

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#2
Couldn't resist playing with my new toy and went out with a buddy up to George Washington national forest.

Had a pretty good day and Oscar was running great.


Then I let someone talk me into this little mud puddle off the side of the trail.


Still having a good day once we pull Oscar out and get ready to head on out. Well now he wont start, starter had pooped out after getting full of mud. No problem just pop started and off we go. Well half way down to the main road the clutch stops engaging. So with no movement under his own power here we sit waiting for the tow truck to take us back home.
 

IAFFCJ

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#3
With Oscar home and being a little let down that the first trip he came back on a wreacker it was time to figure out the clutch issue. Turns out that packing mud in the fingers of your pressure plate is not a suggested practice.



Well with the trans and transfer case out it was time for some upgrades.


Cleaned everything up and installed a 4 to 1 kit in the D300. (sorry can't find the pics). Then back together everything goes just in time to move to a new house. Had to have a friend come and tow Oscar to the new place as I was unable to get him registered after the first year. Being lucky enough to live in an area that requires emissions testing and being that none of those systems were still on Oscar registration would have to wait 2 more years until he was officially and antique vehicle and no longer needed emissions.

Well no better time to fix those few rust spots right? So the tear down commenced.
 

IAFFCJ

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#4
It is truly amazing how fast Oscar came apart and the vast difference in how long it has taken to get him back together.

Pretty much striped out.


And off comes the tub.



Found some more rust as I pulled him apart. Still wasn't worried it doesn't look that bad. Oh if I only knew what lay in store for me.
 

IAFFCJ

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#5
Continued to dissemble until I was down to just the frame. Looks pretty solid I thought. And it wasn't bad once I go into it but did find some rust holes. Glad I pulled it this far down now.



Little fuzzy but there are similar rust holes on both sides of the frame in the same spots. Guess those will need patched.

 

IAFFCJ

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#6
With the axles and springs pulled apart I noticed something that seemed odd to me one spring looked significantly different than the others. With almost an inch and a half difference in spring height I am still not sure how Oscar sat as level as he did.



But I dismissed it as that was a problem for another day and I was not reusing the springs anyway. Procured a set of 4 in lift springs from Jason at Nationals many years ago. So problem solved.
 

IAFFCJ

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#7
Next step was to tear into the axles. Pulled them all the way apart and cleaned and inspected everything. Was surprised that all looked to be good and with a little paint and eventually a brake job they were good to go.



 

IAFFCJ

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#8
On to the frame. After many a day with a grinder and a wire wheel I tried my hand at sandblasting. It looks real nice but the time it was taking was astronomical. Back to the wire wheel.



With the frame cleaning up the rust spots were much more visible.


Rebuilt this little support. Start of my fabrication and first welds on Oscar.
 

IAFFCJ

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#9
With the outside of the frame clean I pressure washed the inside out the back where I had cut off the rear cross member. Truck had made a nozzle for this and it worked great.

Then I cut out the bad spots and welded in some patches.


Not wanting the patches to weaken the frame I added some plates in the area as well.
 

IAFFCJ

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#10
With the frame and axles pretty close to ready to be put back together I moved on to the engine. When pulled the 258 ran strong so all I did was strip it down clean it up and paint it. Then I acquired a junkyard fuel injection so I deleted the fuel pump.





 

IAFFCJ

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#11
If you have been paying attention to the date stamps on the pictures I am sure you can tell I have lost motivation on this project more than once. Projects around the house and just life seemed to be getting in the way. So for the main purpose to make some more room in the garage because my commuter car had blown a head gasket and I needed a bay to work on it without banishing the wife's car to the driveway I finally got the rolling chassis back together.



Then the final piece another item from Jason the rear cross-member.
 

IAFFCJ

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#12
This brings us pretty much to the present. It has been a long trip with a lot of set backs in the motivation world. The next step is to get the tub to a state that it can be reunited with the chassis. Truck was kind enough to let me use his shop and his new rotisserie to tackle this project. With no experience in sheet metal or body work it has been a slow and tedious joury to even get the few patches I have done completed. However each one gets easier and finishes nicer, by the end I may even have a slight idea what I am doing.

If you have read the beginning of this thread you may remember the few rust spots that needed fixed. Well a few turned out to be a huge amount of rust hidden under fiberglass and bondo. Little by little I am rebuilding this old tub and hope to have it back together soon as the scrambler I purchased (also completely dissembled) is calling and I only have 257 days until nationals to get it built.

The patching story in Pictures.


 

John N

Addicted....Ex-SOA VP
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#15
Keep at it Jake, you'll get there. What you've done looks great.
 

IAFFCJ

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#20
Please do, so we can follow his build on the Scrambler!
Yeah man. We all want that build to start. Trying to stay focused and get one at least running before I dive into the next. Not an easy task my ADD is really acting up.
 
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