How to build a Jeep CJ7 bug out vehicle.

MarinePMI

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  • Jun 3, 2010
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    I used to have a YJ (as in, the first year, '87, when they were half AMC and half Chrysler). It was a blast to drive around the logging trails in, but was a PITA maintenance wise. It has some serious electrical and coolant issues.

    I had always pondered why no one made a bolt on turret ring, that sat above the rear seat. It'd make a perfect varminting rig (especially if the ring was flat enough to fit under the canvas top or hard top when not in use). Make an attachable/drop in via pin, rifle rest into the ring and voila! Prairie dogmobile express....
     

    Daddyusmaximus

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    4 Wheel Parts is taking forever to get my stupid gears set up in my axle, and it really starting to piss me off. I called them LAST Friday, they say they've been trying to work on it in between jobs, and it should be done by Mon, or Tues. I don't hear nothing... I call today, the next Friday... guy says let me check, and I'll call you back. So... two and a half hrs later, I end up calling them wondering why it takes so damn long to go in the back and find out... They don't have enough shims. They claim they can't get any... unless they order an entire new install kit. Guess who would be on the hook for the cost of that? The assholes already hit me for new gears claiming they will not install customer provided gears... Gears were good, it's a damn front axle from a stock truck... It probably never got used, and they never bothered to inspect them anyhow. Well, I have a shim kit, just didn't leave it with them, because I gave them a bran new never opened install kit I had ordered from Summit Racing when I dropped off the axle... didn't figured they'd need it with the new gears they made me buy...

    SO... I'm driving 2 hrs to Indy tomorrow morning to take them the shim kit, they're gonna finish the axle, and I'm bringing it home. In fact, one way or the other, it's coming home tomorrow.

    I did, however do a bit more on the sub enclosure. The sub will be down firing, and sit like this...

    ZppUwmG.jpg


    That means that the center rear isolator mount had to go. the 10" sub is so big, it overlaps where the mount is. The RT 524A that goes in the mount in a military application is like a 65 pound radio, so my little sub enclosure will do fine with 4 of the isolator mounts.

    g4nqt2b.jpg


    I did have to replace one of the others however. The left rear one was bad. The new one has green isolators, but no one will care. This kind of replacement happens all the time. I do have 3 more of the green, but not enough of the new bolts to do them all with. Debating if I should do them, and just have some of them with hardware store bolts...

    RoyVgFj.jpg



    I also had to cut a rather large portion out of the bottom of the mount for the sub to have clearance. Starting to think I should have went with an 8" sub, but she'll fit now.

    MobKYWY.jpg


    Got some more bits coming for the outside of it, knobs, antenna hook up, speaker & mike plugs, handles top cover... should look very convincing when it's done. (Not that it will be going in for a while.)

    Started planning with how I wanted to layout the dash. Nothing set yet though. It's still a fresh, uncut panel.
     
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    thejeep

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  • Aug 30, 2008
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    For the life of me I can’t remember who the axle shop that jerked me around for a month getting arbs in my cruiser diffs,They were big name and low price in ga, had to get a card company involved. Ended up using Hudlow axle in Rossville tn. They were fast.
     

    Daddyusmaximus

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    Got the shim pack delivered. Got the axle home. Also got a new yoke. Seems mine was a bit boogered up, so there's an extra $50...

    Started in on assembly. Did the long side spindle twice seeing as I stood up to find the thrust washer on the floor behind me... Oh joy. Didn't go any farther. was getting too sore. Called it a night.




    kC4Qs75.jpg
     

    Daddyusmaximus

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    What are you going to do for a winch?
    Don't know yet. I do tend to bounce around, working on things I already have parts for, or can get quickly, but I don't have the front together yet, or the bumper built yet. I do have ideas on how I want it designed, so I'll have to go shopping to see what fits one day. I haven't ruled out hydraulic, but most likely an electric just for simplicity. I'll want a reputable name like Smittybuilt or Warn. I want low profile, without a big fancy plastic hood. Has to have a somewhat military look (it will get painted) even though it won't be a PTO. I do know I want synthetic line. I'm too banged up to be wrestling with heavy-ass steel cable.
     

    Jgunner

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  • Jul 29, 2019
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    Lotta hard work going on here! I would like to have seen the 2.8 cummins go into it, but its like 8k , so prob out of budget, but able to get 25+ mpg and decent power and torque in a small package is really nice. But v8 power and more easily accessible parts is prob better here.
     

    Daddyusmaximus

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    Lotta hard work going on here! I would like to have seen the 2.8 cummins go into it, but its like 8k , so prob out of budget, but able to get 25+ mpg and decent power and torque in a small package is really nice. But v8 power and more easily accessible parts is prob better here.
    I would have LOVED to have called up the Cummins repower team and ordered one of those... But yeah, $$$, and me being on that VA disability budget plan... The guy that used to give me an unofficial "veterans discount" at 4 Wheel Parts isn't even there any more, so I paid full price today. I'm gonna shop around for a shop to do the rear axle set up. There people are good, no doubt, but costly.

    Getting parts... yes, you're right. It's as simple as my local NAPA for an old Mopar 360. Even my small rural farming town of 1,300 people has a NAPA.

    Also, it you watched that video of it running... she sounds so, I mean, SO much better than some little 4 banger diesel would.
     
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    Ravenworks

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  • Feb 8, 2019
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    Don't put anything but an American made winch on it,otherwise it's an insult.
    Look on CL for dead ones and fix them,they are stupid easy and relatively cheap to repair.
    Bumpers-keep it simple and what ever you do don't put one of those worthless Stingers on it.

    Seeing how you already did 99% of the work getting the seals,gears installed shouldn't be any more than $500
     

    Jgunner

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    I would have LOVED to have called up the Cummins repower team and ordered one of those... But yeah, $$$, and me being on that VA disability budget plan... The guy that used to give me an unofficial "veterans discount" at 4 Wheel Parts isn't even there any more, so I paid full price today. I'm gonna shop around for a shop to do the rear axle set up. There people are good, no doubt, but costly.

    Getting parts... yes, you're right. It's as simple as my local NAPA for an old Mopar 360. Even my small rural farming town of 1,300 people has a NAPA.

    Also, it you watched that video of it running... she sounds so, I mean, SO much better than some little 4 banger diesel would.
    Wayyyyy better sounding! But 8mpg has to get old, plus you could in theory make your own diesel fuel if the need should arise.
     

    Daddyusmaximus

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    Don't put anything but an American made winch on it,otherwise it's an insult.
    Look on CL for dead ones and fix them,they are stupid easy and relatively cheap to repair.
    Bumpers-keep it simple and what ever you do don't put one of those worthless Stingers on it.

    Seeing how you already did 99% of the work getting the seals,gears installed shouldn't be any more than $500

    NO. this will not be getting any stupid ass stinger...
     

    Scott037

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    Mar 13, 2017
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    Remember those front spring plates where I had a machine shop modify one so I could use the factory swaybar? Well, that wasn't gonna work. It did bolt up right, but on the passenger side that made it in the way of where the U-bolt comes up. Dodge truck Dana 44 too different. Had the shop weld tabs on them to move the mounting spot a bit forward, then painted them. Want to be able to mount them up once the axle comes back and goes together.

    sCIuym6.jpg


    Also trying to think ahead for once, and get ready for winter, so I took the tub out to the car wash to spray off the mud so I can work on it. Once home I set it up on my horses rather than down low on blocks. Cage almost hits the rafters... I'll be rolling it out on rims with no tires when I get done... lol.

    fPL6ubq.jpg


    NMquFHG.jpg
    The old person seat is awesome. The times i could have not sat on the floor trying to figure out how much shit was broken.
     

    oneshot86

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    Jul 13, 2001
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    Got the shim pack delivered. Got the axle home. Also got a new yoke. Seems mine was a bit boogered up, so there's an extra $50...

    Started in on assembly. Did the long side spindle twice seeing as I stood up to find the thrust washer on the floor behind me... Oh joy. Didn't go any farther. was getting too sore. Called it a night.




    kC4Qs75.jpg

    keep up the good work, very studly
     

    Daddyusmaximus

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    Yeah, but it takes two people to go anywhere. One person to drive and the other on the fiddy.

    This vehicle will only get one seat. First off, being a cripple living on VA disability, I can't afford the fiddy... Secondly, and related to being the cripple, I have a service dog that goes everywhere with me.

    She's a magnificent animal... or as the wife calls her... (the other woman)
    53ySS93.jpg

    dfS6cBk.jpg

    2jzCieS.jpg


    There's also the matter of the wife being too scared to go off roading with me, being afraid we're gonna roll. Could be I got a bit tippy once many moons ago way up on a hill in my old Suburban with her back at Ft Lost-in-the-woods. I could go a lot of places in that thing because it just looked like a big 4 door cucv.

    This photo was at Knox.
    Z8GWGF6.jpg


    The "passenger seat" will be a custom made dog bed for Brandy, my dog. She's a German Shepherd, and a bit big to be comfy laying down in a bucket seat. I made one for her in the CJ5 I got the drivetrain out of for this project, but it was a rather hasty affair. I'll take that concept, and do the same thing, but better executed. I just did that real quick because were were heading out on a club run that weekend.

    fHn0uxS.jpg
     

    Daddyusmaximus

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    Ordered the Tru Trac for the rear today. I also found a veteran owned shop that will do the rear axle for me for quite a bit less, so I'm dropping it off there next week. I gave Summit Racing the shop address to ship the Tru Trac directly there. I'll be set to do stuff like work on the tub, brake lines, fuel lines, and the like over the winter.
     
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    Daddyusmaximus

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    No photos, but the rear has been done and back for a while. I got it put under the Jeep, but it isn't painted the final color yet, just black right now. Also I won't know if the pinion angle is right till I get the tub back on it and get more weight on it. It was rotated upwards on the CJ5 by the previous builder, and I'm sure it was tilted up too high, so I'll probably need to shim it down some.

    Found a fabricator to weld me up a new fuel tank. Turns out the YJ tank I got with the tub will NOT fit in the CJ7 frame. So much for having the filler on the driver side the easy way. He's coming buy Wed to take measurements.
     
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    Daddyusmaximus

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    Got steel in for the fuel tank. Man, steel has gone up almost as bad as ammo... Been playing around with laying out the dash. Not really taking after any particular model, (M151A1 & M38A1 influenced) but it will have the military vehicle flavor for sure. The outside will even have some deuce & a half cues. (you'll get to see later)

    9l.JPG9m.JPG9n.JPG9o.JPG9p.JPG
     
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    Daddyusmaximus

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    My headers are wrong... Gonna have to go with the block hugger type. Sucks trying to engineer a Mopar 360 into a Jeep frame. I'm not staying with the old fender exit headers, that's for sure.

    9q.JPG9r.JPG
     
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    Force_Multiplier

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  • May 22, 2008
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    Enjoying this thread...

    I also have a project
     

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    Texasflyer

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    I bought mine for 300 and had to spin the distributor 180, fired right up. Worst bit so far was king pins, apparently the u.s. mail used their own parts, had to special order a reamer to make em work, but they are in and new lol.
     

    Daddyusmaximus

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    I bought mine for 300 and had to spin the distributor 180, fired right up. Worst bit so far was king pins, apparently the u.s. mail used their own parts, had to special order a reamer to make em work, but they are in and new lol.
    Leave it to the government to use one off parts on a commercial vehicle...
     
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    MarinePMI

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  • Jun 3, 2010
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    Leave it to the government to use one off parts on a commercial vehicle...
    Meh, it limits parts walking out the back door.

    That was the big reason the CUCV's were phased out. Too many Chevy parts walking out the backdoor of all the MotorT units...
     
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    Texasflyer

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    Leave it to the government to use one off parts on a commercial vehicle...
    Well, apparently being a postal mechanic was a thing back then.
    Meh, it limits parts walking out the back door.

    That was the big reason the CUCV's were phased out. Too many Chevy parts walking out the backdoor of all the MotorT units...
    The rear springs and suspention are basically a 2wd jeepster suspention. I have been thinking of getting one and swapping everything over for a 4x4. But that is the only vehicle it shares much with. Think i would prefer the 327 over the 232 strait six.
     

    Daddyusmaximus

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    New headers are Summit Racing brand. Better fit, less expensive, ceramic coated. I forgot to include the flanges when I sent back the old headers, so now I have the straight set that came with the Summit brand, and the angled set that came with the Sanderson headers. Whatever ones work best...

    9t.JPG9u.JPG
     
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    Daddyusmaximus

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    Finished the front axle... finally. Put the outters on, and the new Warn premium locking hubs.

    9v.JPG9w.JPG9x.JPG
     

    Daddyusmaximus

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    I want to run a 15x10 wheel, but the 4.5" backspacing on them sets them a mite close. The 8" wheels that came off the old Jeep I got the axles off have 4" backspace, but damn... these look so good. I'll be running 35x12.50 tires, so maybe a 1/8 or 1/4 inch spacer...? Thing is, this baby is already a CJ with full size axles, so they're gonna be sticking out pretty far as is.


    9y.JPG9z.JPG
     

    Daddyusmaximus

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    Got around to painting the rear axle. Didn't bother to take it out and drag it out to the driveway though... Just crawled under, and sprayed the crap out of it. Getting to the point where I'm starting to take shortcuts because I want to get this thing done before the world collapses into chaos.

    10a.JPG10b.JPG
     

    Daddyusmaximus

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    I found one. After a little more than 2 years looking... I found my unicorn.

    It all started when I saw this photo on the internet.

    47485841_2179296865652128_7611878218378772480_n.jpg


    A Jeep top with sides that can swing open, and even be removed with the top staying on. Perfect for fat, old, crippled soldiers who don't feel like climbing over seats to grab gear out of the back, or for having that open air Jeep feel, while still having hard top shade.

    Ladies, and gentlemen... I give you my Jeep top. Of course, I have to get to Texas to pick it up, but I'm so happy right now.

    God loves me.


    10c.PNG10d.PNG10e.PNG10f.PNG10h.PNG10g.PNG
     

    Jim Out

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    I found one. After a little more than 2 years looking... I found my unicorn.

    It all started when I saw this photo on the internet.

    View attachment 7614432


    A Jeep top with sides that can swing open, and even be removed with the top staying on. Perfect for fat, old, crippled soldiers who don't feel like climbing over seats to grab gear out of the back, or for having that open air Jeep feel, while still having hard top shade.

    Ladies, and gentlemen... I give you my Jeep top. Of course, I have to get to Texas to pick it up, but I'm so happy right now.

    God loves me.


    View attachment 7614435View attachment 7614436View attachment 7614438View attachment 7614439View attachment 7614441View attachment 7614440
    Awesome find, what year and model is this from or is it some kind of custom?

    ......and yes, God loves you.....


    ......even if you wheel an *eep....I personally believe that God is most likely a Toyota guy....

    ...because omniscience and infinite wisdom ;)

    Also because the FJ40 was a Chevy first before it became Japanese due to "military intelligence" of the time.
     
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    Daddyusmaximus

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    Awesome find, what year and model is this from or is it some kind of custom?

    ......and yes, God loves you.....


    ......even if you wheel an *eep....I personally believe that God is most likely a Toyota guy....

    ...because omniscience and infinite wisdom ;)

    Also because the FJ40 was a Chevy first before it became Japanese due to "military intelligence" of the time.
    No clue what model it's from. I've heard some guys call them a Tecumseh top. Anyway, I may have to cancel the buy. If you look at the top photo, you'll see there is a bracket that goes on the tub, and one that goes down the side of the windshield. He doesn't have these. Without them, especially the one on the tub, it will never seal against the weather in the Indiana winters. These will be impossible to find.
     

    Jim Out

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    No clue what model it's from. I've heard some guys call them a Tecumseh top. Anyway, I may have to cancel the buy. If you look at the top photo, you'll see there is a bracket that goes on the tub, and one that goes down the side of the windshield. He doesn't have these. Without them, especially the one on the tub, it will never seal against the weather in the Indiana winters. These will be impossible to find.
    Dude, you should buy that no matter what.

    It can't be difficult to seal to the tub with just standard camper shell seal, add a little silicone and you should be good to go. If that doesn't work I guarantee windshield adhesive will cover a multitude of sins (and still comes off with acetone). If you need lip for the edge wind deflection I would think either lexan, HDPE or FRP could be bent to shape with a heat gun and look close enough to factory.

    I've never heard of a Tecumseh Top, but the bracketry can't be hard to fab up in aluminum or steel if that's all that's missing.

    Here's a pic of another one off pintrest, it doesn't look that complicated.

    e83cd7b00f6b123a2cb4a13fd802ddc5.jpg




    I wish I was closer and I'd whip something together for you, might be able to help anyway if you can get good pics and measurements.

    Ideally it would be great to see if you can find some info on the original.