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Taking Built CJ7 apart to make CJ8 For Winter Use

jammer1

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
#1
I rebuilt my cj7 for the second time in 2009. Built the CJ7 like I'm building the CJ8 in a different tread. Only difference was I used a rebuilt chevy 350 (built by Engine Factory), a new TDK frame. The body was a fiberglass body the previous owner installed that I repaired the cracks and the boxed steel where the tailgate hinges bolted to. Original plan was to install a new body when the CJ8 build was completed (stress cracks from body drying out are taking it's toll). Problem is in 8 years I've only put 5,000mi. on the jeep. Jeep has never seen snow and the amount of time it's seen ran can be counted on 2 hands. I can't bring myself to drive the jeep in the winter much less in the rain. So last summer I got a idea I want to try. If I put a lot of work into the jeep I'll never drive it (especially in winter snow and salt). Having the CJ8 that's in my tread (http://www.cj-8.com/forum/showthread.php?43650-Never-Ending-Scrambler-Build) in 80% done, I'll have 2 jeeps that I never drive. I'm 56 yrs old and only would have the chance to drive in winter (work 7 days a week in summer, no time to drive) it makes sense to use the cj7 to make a new cj8 with a fiberglass body. Plan is to not go into as much detail so hopefully it will be something I can enjoy driving and not feel guilty about what I'm doing with it. Here's the pics of the cj7.
 

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jammer1

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
#2
I met finorman when he went to pick up his cj8 project to be in Ohio and bought the fiberglass body that was part of his purchase. Franks a top notch guy, enjoyed meeting him and Matt (the previous owner). The frame is the first frame I bought bought for the original cj8 build I did. Wasn't happy with the frame (for the quality I was going to do with that cj8) so I found a frame with no rust damage. The frame I'm going to use had been sand blasted and the damaged sections pieces were cut and welded in. When doing the cj8 project I took both frames to Indy to have acid dipped. When I got them back I found more rust (pin holes) and welded patch on the frame. Then epoxy primer and painted both the inside and outside. Pulled the frame off the shelf and welded angle iron for the body mounts and made a cross member for one of the inter cross member/body mounts. Then I used epoxy primer and paint on the inside and outside to make the frame better able to survive our winters.
 

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jammer1

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
#3
Also decided to mock up the body and a roll cage that I bought years ago and never used. Didn't like the way the layout of the cab roll bar was. Front bars were too far from the dash and the cross bar too high for a cj with lap seat belts. The roll bar was mounted through the body to plates that were bolted to the frame with a rocker slider bar to protect the rockers. The original owner must have removed the leaf springs and went to a 4 point suspension because the mounts for the slider were where the rear spring hangers are. Ended up cutting and reshaping the mounts. I welded and bolted the mounts. I'll use them for a stock roll bar.
 

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jammer1

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
#4
I made body mounts like I did for the cj7 (Rubber hockey pucks work well), drill and temp mounted everything together. I also got a new grill. What a piece of sh**. If this was a good build I would have returned it and got another. Where the spot welds are it's like they used a hammer to crease where the spot welds are.
 

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jammer1

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
#5
After the frame moved on to the tub. 4WD makes 2 different qualities. The cheaper one doesn't have reinforcements in the front body mount brackets. On the better tubs the exposed edge is curved to help strengthen the mount. Firewall is thinner along with the floor. Where the hood hinges mount and the rest of the cowl is only 1.8" thick. I'm going to reinforce these areas to minimize cracks. Also going to fiberglass the extra holes the previous owner cut.
 

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jammer1

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
#6
For the body mounts I glassed in a piece of 1/8" flat steel to spread the weight of the tub. The under side of the cowl where the hood hinges mount to I glassed in pieces of fiberglass matt, bringing it out into the cowl. Layed 3 to 4 layers of matt.
 

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jammer1

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
#7
Where the windshield mounts to the cowl the fiberglass where the defrost goes is always off. Usually sags in the center and dips toward the front of the jeep. This ones is off by just under 3/8". Where the dash mounts the fiberglass is so thin that you can lift it in the center to the correct height and it still sags on each side till it gets to about 8 inches from the sides.
 

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jammer1

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#8
Pic of cj7 4wd fiberglass, the better tubs have the reinforcement (mounts have double the fiberglass and wood between the fiberglass and a lip to strengthen ).
 

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jammer1

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
#9
Ended up using jack and 2 x 4 to hold cowl in position. I cut a 1 x 1 x 1/8" aluminum angle to fit across, under the cowl. I glassed the cowl, installed angle using rivets to hold angle till the glass set. Then glassed over the angle to lock in place. I cut the angle to the shape of the defrost vent holes. Then used a 40 grit carbon blade wheel to scuff all sides of the angle before installing. I also used the wheel to scuff the 1/8" steel plates before installing in front tub mounts.
 

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Shark Bait

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
#12
I can't tell from the pictures, do they put wood or metal to secure/reinforce where the seats mount to keep them from pulling through in an accident? Nice attention to details on your part.
 

jammer1

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
#13
On the deluxe cj7 tub (the one that's been going bad when I got the jeep) it has a 2x4 boxed steel where the tail gate hinges mount, I believe metal braces going up the sides of the tailgate. On the basic tub (the one I'm reinforcing) has metal around the tailgate (not sure if boxed where hinges mount), wood where body mounts go (except front mounts and rear mounts, already showed pics of front mount, rear looks like 1" thick, don't know whats in center). Wood in places under seat (1/4") included pic. Wood where body mount under seat is probably 3/4" piece approx 6" x 7-8" size. Thickness of tub where body mount is behind seat (same spot the seat belt goes for lap belt) is probably 1", pic enclosed. Where other end of seat belt goes tub is probably less than 1/2". The thickness of the bed is 1/4", two 1/8" pieces of fiberglass, glassed together. It's like walking on a 4x8 sheet of 1/4" plywood, only supported at sides. Think of a drag race car with thin fiberglass panels put on for aerodynamics, made to shatter on impact. This tub weighs less than the cj7 tub I have, two guys can lift and carry.
 

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jammer1

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
#14
In this pic you can see the wood where the body mount where the front of the seat mounts into. Was always careful about driving the cj7 in case of a roll over. Cj7 is even harder to mount roll bar to frame. Cj8 will be easier to mount to frame (longer frame, more room to mount). One of the reasons for doing cj8 verses the cj7.
 

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jammer1

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
#16
Thank everyone, I enjoy all of the builds everyone's doing. Much of the info. you can't get and the manufacture of the parts never tell you the real world how and whys of the parts we use to improve out rides. Love the learning you get from watching (even if I don't post as often as I should).
 

jammer1

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
#17
Bouncing around on the order of work done. I finished straightening out the cowl where the windshield gasket sits. Ruffed up the fiberglass and used Dura Glass to level out the cowl both from side to side and also front to back. Did it in two passes. Most people can't believe how far off the fiberglass bodys are off. When done it's flat at the ends where the windshield hinges sit, leveled out across. Also the front is about 3/8" thick in the center and 1/8" thick at the cab side (deepest is where the center of the defrost holes are. This is after the inside cab dash lip was raised to about 1/8" low. Wanted to get enough for dura glass for strength. Dura glass is waterproof so leaks or condensation won't be absorbed and dura glass gets a better bond than filler (which absorbs water).
 

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jammer1

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
#18
Still correcting mistakes the previous owner did when he got the body and manufacture short comings. Both the vent hole and fuel filler holes were not cut square to the body. Filler was cut about 1/4" at a angle (part of reason he was a little too close to tailgate, didn't check underside to see glassed in reinforcement. Cowl vent hole was off a good 1/4". Cowl is a easy fix, I previously made 2 solid vent covers since the vents not used with the vintage air setup and the vent makes install and maintenance easier. Otherwise I would have glassed over the hole. 2nd cover is for the original cj8 build for after I get it going I'll probably do a vintage air setup (few years down the line).
 

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jammer1

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
#19
Yesterday I did the cowl dura glass, filler and cowl vent. I also sanded down the tub and ended up correcting where the manufacture had dry spots and pitting. Also corrected what the previous owner did. He sanded the outside with what looks like 40 or 60 grit sanding paper by hand. Looks like he used it to try to get good adhesion but actually cut through the gel coat. Then he tried to do a thin layer of body fill to try to smooth the body out (waves). Then used 80 grit to sand the filler. Problem is filler was so thin that he didn't need to shape it and ended putting large scratches including large gashes. Then went over with primer trying to fill the gashes and scratches. He never got the body level (which was the purpose of the filler). When sanding with the DA, found 2 different fillers (probably used different color hardeners) and where he sanded the filler thin, the bad gel coat was exposed, finish was like someone spot sandblasted. Sanded out and smoothed the filler and blemishes. Drivers side he had problems with, Pass side he learned not to use the lower grit, smooth but still wavy. It's not a corvette, not worried about the wave. I also started sanding the inside of tub. Found he sanded the floor good but barely sanded the sides, primer just chipped off with the DA. Decided to go overboard on the inside. Don't like the way they did seams and used pop rivets to hold together (they also glued the pieces with fiberglass bonding adhesive) I'm going to epoxy primer than while wet (after flashing off) spray Rapture bedliner. Give it some durability and help deaden the sound. I need to epoxy primer the outside and then filler primer to make sure I got all the scratches and flaws I may not see
 

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