I ended up cutting a piece of 1/8" flat and welded in to help box it some and add some strength. I have 33" tires on the jeep and minimal off road, so shouldn't have the torque that 35" tires would produce.
Also have to warn you that the bolts they send with the kit (4 for mounting gear to bracket are not long enough with the spacers they send to align the gear in the bracket. The 3 bolts that mount the top of the mount to the cross member could be longer also. They use a flat washer and lock washer which leaves only just over 1/8" going into the threaded moles of the mount. The metal welded in isn't the prettiest but should work.
Pulled the engine/trans/transfer case out and installed as one. Used a ratchet strap to support the rear in the cj8 frame. Went to mock up the tdk skid plate (I purchased together with cj7's tdk frame) to the scrambler frame and the holes don't come anywhere near where they should be. Out of the 3 mounts on each frame rail, the rear 2 will work (allowing the skid plate to protect the transfer case and allow the trans pan to be dropped with a little finesse). On this jeep since this frame has some spots cut out and welded/patched I may drill a hole in the bottom of the frame for the bolts. I'll cut a hole in the side, large enough to slide a 1" x 4" piece of flat steel (with a nut spot welded on). I'll weld a patch on the entrance hole I cut on the side of the frame. If I'm lucky the frame will have a horizontal hole (or one I can enlarge) just down the frame that I can work the flat steel through the frame into place. With the engine out, I changed the m.o.r.e engine mount bushings out and replaced with new ones. Last year after having the transfer case pulled and rebuilt the trans started pushing fluid out the vent and fill tube. Mechanic and trans shop couldn't figure it out so had them rebuild the trans (original trans in the 79 cj7). Worked well for a few runs, parked and 2 mths. later when moving into heated section jeep has a shutter and did the same`leaks with the trans. Long story short, found out people were having problems with the trans shop work. Went to my landlords guy and he couldn't find anything. Had him rebuild again and change trans body from amc version of th400 to chevy version. Works great, still have the shutter. Engine runs good, only thing I can think of is all the removal and installs of the trans and transfer case may have elongated the poly bushing. The skid plate is mounted with 2 bolts per side, ready to make a new trans mount bracket.
I also removed the tire carrier and mounted on the cj8.
All the above that I posted today was done last week. On Friday I went back it with the goal of building the mount and welding it to the skid plate, doing the 2 new frame mount holes for the skid plate and removing and placing the exhaust from the cj7 to the cj8. I got the mount made and drilled, ready to do the last fitting and welding and everything went wrong. Sound funny unless it happens to you. I have a mount/adapter that I use on the floor jack. The arms can extend to catch each side of the axle tubes. While walking by it the shoe lace loop (right foot) caught one of the ends of the jack. As I fell forward my left foot was behind my body and while going forward left foot toe caught behind the right foot. I ended going down driving my left knee into the concrete floor. I knew it was bad when I because I hit the concrete it was a solid hit. Started swelling immediately. Was able to get the mount in place and transfer case lowered on it (about 15 minutes) and the knee was the size of a football. That point I got out of the shop and home. Three hrs later after x-rays found out I have a crack in the knee cap that actually is a split in the knee cap. Orthopedic surgeon's were already gone so was put in a immobilizer and late monday talked to the surgeon. 2 cracks that formed a Y, lucky that the split didn't go higher up (could have sheared the knee cap in half). Unfortunately I'm looking at 6 to 8 weeks before I can get back to the jeep.
I was in such a hurry it get home before the knee got too bad that I didn't take a pic of the mount in place. Was able to get out today to pay the shop rent and get the tow motor to my mechanic before today's shot of snow. While I was there I got a pic of the mount in it's position, ready to get welded. Also got the plates to move the rear axle forward (to make sure it clears the fuel tank).
Wow, that brings back memories (the fall/kneecap). I was carrying parts out to the Postal in a box that needed both hands and tripped over another box on the floor. Had no way to break my fall, went down very hard with all my weight right on my right kneecap. I was sure I'd broken it, hurt like all holy hell and I could feel a dent. X-rays were shockingly negative but I still have the dent to this day.
Heal well, sorry to hear about it. You were making amazing progress!
I used those same plates on my rear end for the same reason.
Thanks, l'm glad yours didn't break (I bet it hurt like hell for quite a while). I was looking forward to having the switch done (including a new neat dash) by March. Really miss driving the jeep. Not much time to work on the jeep and drive her when the weather breaks.
Between the knee and hernia surgery I was able to do a few things. Got the trans mount welded in and painted. Finished tightening the motor and trans mounts. Made and welded in the plates for the new nuts for the skid plate and painted.
Was going to put the plates in to move the rearend forward 3/4" when I realized that when I put the new spring mounts in (M.O.R.E mounts) they had holes for 3 positions. Jacked up the chassis and pulled the U bolts. U bolts were in no condition to reuse. Moved the rear end forward 1". Looks like it should clear the fuel tank fine. They do make a awesome spring mount. Had a local shop make new U bolts.
I got the U-bolts installed, should be plenty of from for the differential. Also installed the M.O.R.E shackle mounts. The rear end differential cover had a leak so now seemed a good time to pull the cover and replace the gasket. I have problems if I put the jack under the differential. Seems to create a leak (cover hangs just a hair lower than differential).
Was hoping that I could take the cj7 exhaust system and put on the cj8. Was hoping I would have to cut and extend the exhaust after the skid plate and behind the rear axle. Didn't work out that way. There is a difference between the cj7 and cj8 in spacing from the engine mount to skid plate. I had to move the skid plate and drill a extra mounting bolt hole. I also had to shorten the exhaust pipe in front of the skid plate. Used 3 1/2" pieces of pipe to slide over the pipes and then welded them together. Cut the pipes from the muffler and remounted the muffler. I'll let the exhaust shop finish the exhaust when the jeeps done. Also didn't like the way the hard trans lines were lining up with the engine mount so removed and re-bent them to run over the mount. At this point chassis is done, ready to roll out and bring in the 2 tubs to start the switch over.
Got to test out my Christmas gift to my self. This hood is Awesome. It's amazing what I can now see before I strike and during the weld. Also for all that know I harp about the rust inside the frame that sandblasting doesn't get (anyplace the sand doesn't hit). With this frame being acid dipped to clean the inside as well as the outside it still doesn't get all the rust. With the frame being 2 pieces welded together the rust still remains where the pieces overlap. Found that out when drilling/tapping a hole for the trans line clips. The brown is rust that came out from between the metal pieces that overlapped.
The rear differential had a slight leak (putting the jack under the differential creates the leak) so removed the cover and installed a new gasket. Also I had to pull the steering column out with the steering shaft (set screw broke off). I bought 2 carbon drill bits , needed both to drill out the bolt. Two hours later I got it out. Also found the cover holding the u-bolt in the steering shaft cracked where the retaining bolt was. Installed washer to span the gap (missing piece of cover).
Pulled both chassis out and rolled in both tubs. Started removing the dash and wiring. Labeled the wiring as I went. Took much longer than I remembered. Found it was easier to cut out the wiring going to the extra fuse blocks. I'll run new wire, much faster. Pulled out the vintage air system and mounted it in the new tub along with the accelerator petal. Mount I made for heater box fit pretty close in the cj8 tub as the cj7. I lost 1/2" of space with the cj8 tub. Didn't realize it was going to bite me in the ass till I would start on the steering/brake mount.
Here's the steering/brake mount. Ended up cutting part of the mount so the flat plate of the mount was on the outside of the cowl that the dash mounts. If you remember I glassed in a aluminum angle on the other side of the inside of the cowl (where the dash mounts). I drilled and tapped the angle to support the steering mount and also for the dash.
I took pics of the new dash mounted on the tub. Unfortunately the phone didn't take the pic's. Here's the vintage air mounted and the wiring laid out. Also got the fuse box, battery tray mounted. Finished drilling holes in the dash for switches, cleaned and epoxy primered the dash.