1980 CJ7 build

daddyusmaximus

Explorer
Started in on what is without a doubt going to probably be one of the more challenging parts of the entire build. The windshield. Now this doesn't seem like a particular interesting part of a Jeep CJ, but I have a certain idea on this I'm gonna try to implement if I can. When you're in a vehicle, it's the driver's seat where you spend all that time. That's why I didn't think twice about going all out on making an old seat from a Mitsubishi Montero fit. Yeah sure, I already had it... but it's also a much newer, and more comfy, and adjustable seat than is normally found in a CJ. The fact that the color is close to what I need was just a fluke, a bonus, a sign that God loves me. (Just kidding. I knew that already.) This CJ7 will get a tilt wheel too. And just what do you look through all those hrs spent driving your vehicle? The windshield of course.

As mentioned before. I am a military veteran, and this is a military tribute build. Regardless of your job (or even branch) if there's any vehicle anyone ever drove in any military service back in my day, (and 28 years covers a lot of days) it was either a Jeep, or a deuce and a half. Damn near everyone drove one, or both of these at one time, or another. Lots of fond memories behind the wheel of a 151 (Jeep) but the deuce was always my favorite for some reason. Big, noisy, and slow... yeah, but also very fun, and pretty capable for it's size and weight given aired down tires, and a good driver.

One real fond memory is cruising down the interstate in convoys with all the civilians waving at us as they drive past. (I did mention they were kinds slow right?) If it was nice weather, I always had the windshield tilted open. No AC, but with 50 mph wind coming in straight at you from under the windshield, it was almost like being on a bike. And with no cupholders... my canteen sat right out on the hood under the glass, the only flat surface available to me.

I want that windshield tilted up feel (and look) for this build. I want to remember those times as I tool down the road in this thing. "Bla, bla... old man living in the past..." The trick is gonna be to make my NOS deuce & a half windshield, fit into where a CJ windshield used to. It only has to be narrowed a couple inches once you get the extra side brackets off, but once done I'll also need to figure out how to do the same to both driver's, and passenger's windshield sides... PLUS figure out a windshield wiper system that mounts from the top... but isn't a stupid vacuum operated deal. Memories aside, I ain't going through THAT anymore. Of course the doors, and my very hard to find old school aluminum top will need to fit...

If I can manage to pull this off without just ending up buying a new Jeep windshield... I'll truly have a one of a kind CJ7.

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daddyusmaximus

Explorer
Forgot what it was like to work outside in 80 degree temps...
I didn't last long today, but I did finally get the fuel tank in for what I hope is the last time.
One step closet to dropping the tub on in any case.
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daddyusmaximus

Explorer
Nice day. Warm, but not hot. Got a lot of crap cleaned out in the garage. Always leaves blowing in when I'm out there with the door up... and I had about a year or more worth of clutter to clear out of the tub that has been serving as a catch all.

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Next was coating the inside of the frame to prevent it from rusting out once I get it all done. Took about a can, and a half.

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daddyusmaximus

Explorer
Gave the frame a final coat, and shot the transmission, and transfer case with high temp engine paint as close to the same color as I could find. Once I get the nasty engine out, cleaned, painted, and back in... I can put the tub on, and start on thing like wiring, and pluming. Plan is to have the tub on within the next couple weeks. (God willing)


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daddyusmaximus

Explorer
Took a nap, went out, and set the tub. Gonna make doing the engine harder, but I got impatient. I didn't bolt it down, do I can always lift an end up to make things easier if need be. Besides, I'm real sick of it being on those rickety old saw horses, plus now I have more room in the garage.


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daddyusmaximus

Explorer
How to deal with the whole full size axles sticking out thing.

[IMG]




Sure they're stronger, and they even kinda look cool if your into that sort of thing. However, first trip through the mud, and you get covered. Can't see out your mirrors, got it all over the vehicle, the windshield. If it's nice weather, and you have the doors off... Sweet Lord, what a mess! Same for snow & slush. Well, except you most likely won't have the doors off.

Sorry boys & girls, I'm too old for that crap.

Enter, the trailer fender.

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Not 100% on the fronts yet, but I'm thinking just have two sets (yes, I have them) put together for one wider version. This, however will have to be done by somebody at a body shop, or with much better welding skills than mine. Funny how I keep putting off practicing to get better when I need it to be right... lol.
 

daddyusmaximus

Explorer
How to deal with the whole full size axles sticking out thing.

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Sure they're stronger, and they even kinda look cool if your into that sort of thing. However, first trip through the mud, and you get covered. Can't see out your mirrors, got it all over the vehicle, the windshield. If it's nice weather, and you have the doors off... Sweet Lord, what a mess! Same for snow & slush. Well, except you most likely won't have the doors off.

Sorry boys & girls, I'm too old for that crap.

Enter, the trailer fender.

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Not 100% on the fronts yet, but I'm thinking just have two sets (yes, I have them) put together for one wider version. This, however will have to be done by somebody at a body shop, or with much better welding skills than mine. Funny how I keep putting off practicing to get better when I need it to be right... lol.
 

daddyusmaximus

Explorer
Not too hip on working outside when it's ninety-eleven degrees, but had to get something done this week on her. decided to fab up the exhaust stack shrouds. Yes, you read that right... Stacks. That's the red-neck in me coming through a bit sure, but more important, any veteran who's ever driven a Deuce-and-a-half, at some point in the last 50 years can surely identify these things... Difference is this thing has a bit of a hot rod Mopar 360, so it's getting one on each side. They bolt right through the tub at the bottom, then I made a little bracket to hold them at the top.


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daddyusmaximus

Explorer
Again with the doing what I can with what I have on hand without any new parts... Today I worked a bit on fitting the military radio / sub enclosure to the tub. Mock up looks to be just about right. Probably be putting the finishing touches on that before too long. At least I'm pretty sure I have the stuff I need to do so already on hand, so that's one thing I could get knocked out.


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daddyusmaximus

Explorer
Been spending some time out in the garage last few days. I did get SOME of one order in. My front shocks. No rear shocks, or limit straps yet. I did run into a problem however... I have been using an old Fox Racing 2.0 shock I got used as a mock up. Seems they have changed their design in the last few years. The mock up shock is exactly like the ones I had on my 1999 F-250, and I was expecting this style. My order was shocks that had to fit according to the collapsed, and extended length I need, but the ends are not the same.

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Old style fits fine...

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New style... yup... ever so slightly... too wide.

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As if that's not enough, they upped the bolt size to 9/16. Soooo, I have to drill the holes bigger. If you go back to that first photo you can see the holes are not the same.

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Long story short, drilling out these mounts wasn't easy for my little 20v DeWalt, and I had to take a grinder to my bran-new $173 apiece shocks to narrow the bushing sleeve that little bit on each end. In the end, I got them on like e true red-neck.

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daddyusmaximus

Explorer
I also did some work with some of the Army parts I have already.

Toolbox will mount over the left rear fender like a sponson box on a tank, and the taillights went on.
Next, fenders came off to be undercoated, and got the first coat of paint.

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daddyusmaximus

Explorer
Of course then as I was looking at it from the front end admiring my new shocks... I noticed something. Thinking back to how I got the engine out of a sand toy Jeep, that had been stripped down, I didn't have a heater. I'll have to unplug the holes where the heater hoses go once I get to that point.


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billiebob

Well-known member
All I ask before I die is to please get to park/camp beside you and share a case of beer. This is one of the best builds ever.

Not sure if it'll be an "overlander" for "camping" but a trailer will fix that.

I really want to see the finished windshield.
 
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daddyusmaximus

Explorer
All I ask before I die is to please get to park/camp beside you and share a case of beer. This is one of the best builds ever.

Not sure if it'll be an "overlander" for "camping" but a trailer will fix that.

I really want to see the finished windshield.
Me too. Machine shop guy called me in to go over it the other day. Seems there is a slowdown in their regular work, and they are gonna be starting in on it as "fill-in" work in between jobs. Wasn't expecting them to even touch it til July or Aug. As far as the beer goes... I'll take a Ginger Ale. I quit like almost 30 years ago. I was actually building this as an overlanding rig, but with today's fuel prices... it may end up being more of a weekend trip toy. One thing's for sure, it will get daily driven as often as possible.
 

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