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The "It came home in buckets" build - a frame-off on an '81

AdamH

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
#1
So a quick explanation of the title. My father-n-law bought and restored an old A model Ford that he bought literally in buckets - too many to remember really. My Scrambler was about in the same shape. The guy was the 2nd owner and took it completely apart with intentions of a frame off. Well, 3 years later he realized it was never gonna happen.

As with my other builds, I take 100s of pictures so if you ever need something just ask and I probably have it.

I will include pics that I had in my intro thread so I can have it all in one spot.

I bought it about 2.5 hours away from Charlotte so I had to ensure I got it all in one day. I went up there with my Commander pulling a u-haul auto transport as well a F150 pulling a 5x10 trailer.

The most interesting thing about this is how it found me. My sister and brother-n-law own a used car dealership up that way and had my 2007 heavily modified JKUR on their lot to sell for me since I was done with it. The guy stopped in and asked about it and if they knew who did the work. They told him about me and he said "Give him my name and number, I have a Jeep truck he might be interested in since he's done with that." They shared this with me and I expected to call and hear about a J10 or something. Little did I know...
 
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AdamH

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
#2
Here are a few pics of the first time I drove up to see what the guy had. He said he hadn't uncovered it in 2 years! I was scared as to what I was gonna find.

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AdamH

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
#3
After searching through a garage and finding all the parts, we shook on the deal and I drove back to Charlotte thinking about how I was gonna get everything home. Talked a buddy into riding up with me and my mom and sister drove the truck and trailer. We headed back up later that same week. It was March with questionable weather so in our non-stop work to get everything loaded and back on the road I have 0 pictures of the loading process.

The guy sold the factory engine early on but gave me a running 304. I am going to have my engine guy go through it and rebuild it if needed.
 
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AdamH

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
#4
This is where the timeline gets interesting. It just so happened that at the time that I bought the Scrambler, my wife and I were building a new house and our current house had sold. So I had to get the Jeep put "together" so I could easily move it to my new house in about a month. Yes, so I would be putting it back together to then tear it apart 6 months later.

Some pics of when I got home. And for future reference, a half hard top DOES fit in the back of a Commander. That blew my mind. My '65 Vette was probably cursing me under her cover for bringing "that thing" in here.

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AdamH

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
#5
a few pics of me getting it back together so I could transport it to the new house a few weeks later. The final pic is when I showed up with it at the new house and then all safe and snug in the garage. As with my last neighborhood, some thought it was cool to see a project vehicle and other neighbors quickly turned their nose up. Oh well. :wave:

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AdamH

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
#7
so that catches us up to October. I feel comfortable enough with the projects I have completed with the new house that I can start the deconstruction of the 8. I built shelves in the garage to store parts on as well as have tons of parts stored in my basement. This was the result 2 weeks ago. A keen eye will notice the factory tonneau cover rolled up under the rollbar as well as some of my Jeep art. The blue grill is from a CJ5 that I wired in can lights and was my pool table light in my last house. Not sure what it will be here. I also have tailgates that hinge down from the wall to be used as shelves for beverages when playing pool or foosball.

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AdamH

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
#8
Took a week break to install a new lift on the LJ Rubi so no work last weekend but I was able to get some time in on the Scrambler yesterday. Here are my results. I am SO thankful at the very little rust this thing has. My '76 CJ7 and '65 Scout 80 were rust buckets. Anything can be fixed but after those two I vowed to start with something in much better shape. I am lucky with what I found with this 8. The rust has been cut out already and I have patch panels to be made out of scrap tub parts from an old CJ5.

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AdamH

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
#10
Thanks. I really don't understand why the previous owner blew it apart considering he drove it home when he bought it. The very few rust spots could have easily been fixed. Oh well, something to keep me busy and has made for a fun experience. :D
 

Gpers99

Legacy Registered User
#12
Looks like a great starting point. I'm jealous I wish mine started out that solid. My basement looks like that too I can't wait to get the parts out of it.
 

AdamH

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
#13
I also have the original wood rails that look really good for their age. Going to clean them up and use them as-is. May not look the greatest alongside the fresh paint that will be on it but for some reason I like the idea.
 

walkerhoundvm

Typical Know-it-all
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
#14
They most certainly will. I'd advise sanding them down to bare wood if you can, then do either of a few different things. 1) stain with a minwax stain that goes by "natural." 2) take an acetylene torch and run it back and forth for a while on the board, never too long in one spot. It selectively burns the grain, giving it a dark brown-black color while leaving the rest a natural color...then stain. 3) pick a stain of your choosing, lighter tends to look better. After one of those choices, seal with a polyurethane or outdoor polyacrylic, multiple coats, then sand a little, and recoat.

How do they look now?

I also have the original wood rails that look really good for their age. Going to clean them up and use them as-is. May not look the greatest alongside the fresh paint that will be on it but for some reason I like the idea.
 

walkerhoundvm

Typical Know-it-all
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
#16
I think they look pretty good, too :thumbsup: with a little work, they'll fit great with a freshly painted CJ. The rear supports look like they need to be replaced. There are instructions out there on how to make those up, or I could look to see what I have in the garage to build you a set :)

Thanks for the advice. I think they look pretty good considering.

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AdamH

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
#18
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All body parts are to my paint guy. He will weld up a few random holes the PO put in it plus the 3 patch panels that need to be filled. Next comes soda blasting then paint. The color will be close to factory but maybe a shade darker than the gray that's on it. In the pics above, the front fenders and roll bar are inside the tub. Everything else is in the back of the Commander (hood, doors, bulkhead, windshield frame, grill, dash). He estimated 6 weeks to complete (he's a NASCAR body man by day and has his own shop for nights and weekends).

Next is to get the engine to my engine guy and strip the frame. The frame needs 4 body mounts fixed but other than that, no rust to speak of. I am once again lucky with this 8.
 

AdamH

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
#19
Ran the engine up to my engine guy early this morning. Hope to have the frame completely stripped by the weekend. Sorry for the crappy pics. Used my phone so as to not wake the wife at 5AM this morning going back in and getting a camera.

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AdamH

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
#20
Working for a bank I had the day off today so I spent it on the frame. Got everything stripped off then cut off the rusty body mounts and pressure washed the frame. Hope to have the new mounts welded on later this week.

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