Jeep CJ-7 Year 5-8
In 2000 I was pretty busy with work and moving into a new
When I moved to a new state, I didn't put the CJ on the road because I
was worried about the inspection. The CJ was pretty rusty and
scads of patches all over the place. I was sure it was a safe
vehicle, but I heard Connecticut inspections were legendary for
bizarrely nit picky rust inspections. (I heard first hand
accounts of them wanting factory drain holes welded up because, "well,
those are holes and we have the ULTIMATE POWER to decide!!!!")
After a year of sitting in my garage, I found out that CT did away with
saftey inspections, but required emissions inspections. So I
it on the road. It failed for the first emissions inspection
because after sitting in 90 degree heat and idling for 20 minutes, it
left a DROP of oil under the engine and they failed me on the
spot. (pun intended) They wouldn't even test it.
So I grit my teeth and decided to do a bunch of work. I
the oil pan and installed a new rear main seal, high volume oil pump,
timing chain and gears
the Dana 44 rear I had lying around. I also installed used
2.5 springs. I sandblasted the rear and installed new outer
bearings and resealed the whole thing. Luckily, the ratio was
same as my front Dana 30. They say the Jeepster Commando rear
perches are the same width as the early CJ, but I found that the
perches were about an inch wider. I fudged a bit with the
shackles with spacers to make up the difference.
When I find the pictures, I'll post them!!!!
The CJ lift was real nice after the new springs were
rear was sweeeeet sounding after having to listen to the clankity clunk
grinding of the old AMC 20 rear. I'm surprised that thing
blew up. It was that noisy.
I also painted the top black. I was tired of the glaring
white. I installed the new fiberglass rear liftgate
I'll detail how I did it with the nasty fiberglass sometime
(Basically, you have to trim and sand the crap out of the flange where
the gasket goes so the gasket will fit over and not bulge
Lots of trimming to fit the glass in too.)
While working underneath the Jeep I really got a good look at the frame
rust and I was not encouraged. It had no holes when I first
it in '95, but now there was a two foot wide hole on one side.
It was on the inside part where the frame is thin sheet metal anyway,
but the rot was spreading.
Another problem: advancing body cancer. There were bubbles
forming in the front fenders. I
knew this would happen, I just skimmed over the holes with
It needed new fenders. The tub was really starting to turn to
dust. More patching was needed, but I was running out of good
metal to attach new metal too. But in keeping with the spirit
yankee thriftiness, I searched for
old office furniture that yielded some sheet metal. Ha
really, I cut up an old metal bookshelf they tossed out at work and did
some patches. On top of some other patches. Yep.
I finally finished it and got it on the road. I drove it to
many days out of the week. Then, in 2003, the Wrangler
was introduced by Jeep. I
decided to trade my Nissan Crewcab for it and also get rid of the
CJ. I did this partly because I didn't like the Nissan, I
to keep having a Jeep, and I wanted to switch all my free time
attention to my GTO rather than a losing battle with the CJ rust.