1980 CJ7 build


So, I jumped on the cragslist, and facebook sale groups in my area last night looking for a hatch for a CJ7 hard top. I figured I could sell my YJ top later to make up for buying one. Hell, I don't even remember how I got sidetracked into looking into tops, when I'm supposed to be buying parts for the front axle... I guess my TBI gave me some ADHD, but it's in my head now.

Never did find one, but I stumbled on something that made me think I may not need a CJ7 hatch... a YJ tub. This was 3 hrs away, but it was in way better shape than the CJ7 tub I went 3 states away to get. With the YJ style tailgate, I can just use my YJ top that came on my CJ, AND not have all those rust holes to fix. There's one issue, the trans tunnel has a little section missing because he was running a 700 HP big block Ford, C6, and 1 tons, but everything else is solid. Oh, and the glass is cracked in the windshield, but I have a 2 CJ windshields.

Talked to the guy, and he took it off the frame last night. I went down today and picked it up, along with the gas tank, since it feeds from the drivers side. Got the roll bar, power brake upgrade... and the chance to take apart, and clean a tub all over again.

Now I will be selling my CJ7 tub, and some associated parts to help offset what I just spent. (new kitchen roof money) In the end, I thing this will work out a lot better. I suppose I could still use the freebie CJ hard top. Seeing as the hatch is FUBAR, I could take it off, and the side glass out, and have a hard bikini top for the summer. Gotta have my shade.



I hear you on made in USA stuff, it's hard to find. Timken seems to be about the best bet but you can't find it everywhere because it does cost more. I usually use a bearing house in Spokane that has more seals and bearings than you can count.
Even a lot of Timken stuff is made overseas these days... I ordered from NAPA. Some of them from Spain, and such, but that has to be better than china or mexico,and they have a 3 year warranty.


I'm still missing 1 seal, and 1 race, (both on order) and the rotors are still getting new studs pressed in, but I've just about got what I need to reassemble the main axle. I ran out of money, so no new brake pads or calipers... yet. Not like I'm going anywhere in it soon. Down in the back pretty bad though right now, so probably take some time off before I get to cleaning, and prepping the housing anyway.


Recommended books for Overlanding


Well, still waiting... A friend who has set up gears before is going to show me how to do it, but he's been working a lot of hrs these days, so the axles hasn't been put back together as of yet. I have decided to spend some time working on the new tub. Looked real nice online... Looked good when I went to pick it up too.

Now keep in mind, when I say "good" I mean "not rusted all to hell". It was, however, used as a mud toy. An open top... mud toy. Yeah, it's gonna take some cleaning...

This thing has so much mud in it, I was finding mud inside the windshield frame all around the wiper arms... In fact, I found 2 Bic lighters in there, and one still worked.

On the plus side, the tub has been bed lined, so it's in good shape for the most part.

Oh, by the way, I also had to fix the trailer too. Got home with the tub, and discovered this... Lucky I made it home...



Next up. Lets see if I can make the old doors fit.

They do, sort of.

Bit of a gap at the front...

Not gonna be rain tight... Great, now I have to mess with those stupid star drive door hinge screws. Broke 2 bits so far...

I've used this old B&D Workmate as a portable work station, but it's not really the best solution. A bit too low, doesn't roll around, fluids soak in the top.

Found this cool steel table in the facebook classifieds that holds storage bins. It only came with 6 bins, but I had a bunch, so good deal for me.

This bad boy should come in real handy.


Things busy as hell at the VFW. Trying to hire new bartenders to replace ones that didn't come back... Putting in a new outdoor patio... Can't get fencing because those companies are all shut down... Both HVAC systems **** the bed in the last 6 months... Now I'm hitting the gun show circuit selling raffle tickets trying to raise money every weekend...

BUT... I went out to try to prep the front axle for re-assembly today some. got the housing primed, and the first coat of color on. Also got the knuckles, and brake caliper brackets primed. Lot of cleaning and scrubbing...


Heading Out

Just stumbled on your build, Nice too see another old Jeep being revived.
is that your Merauder? almost picked up a silver one when I bought my Grand Marquis