86 CJ7

deminimis

Explorer
For whatever empty-headed reason, I decided to grab an '86 CJ7 (258 auto w/ factory 20 gallon tank) to drag to Baja for an upcoming trip. Pretty much stock, but a lot of deferred maintenance. Non-stock are the horrible low back seats (boo), Webber 38 (yay) and a points distributor with Pertronix (boo). Parts rolling in this week are BFG 30x9.50 A/T K02 tires, shocks, stabilizer, all u-joints, front wheel bearings, seals, spindle bearings and seals, fuel pump, HEI dizzy, plug wires, plugs, correct fuel filter, Mile Marker hubs, and whatever else I thought needed immediate attention. Haven't decided on which beefier tie rod and drag link upgrade, but will need to get that going quick.
Upon return, I'll either sell it or, more likely, it will continue as a little side project. If so, rear end is next (either single piece axles, tube weld and build a tube gusset OR Dana 44 from a Scout II and have the front re-geared to match), body-off resto, frame reinforcement, fresh springs, probably KTM orange paint for the body, plus some decent front seats, bed line the floors instead of carpet and whatever else. No lift, no big meats, no V8. Will go for solid, reliable and sano. The Boy wants a project and I figure this might be a good one for him to cut his teeth on.
 

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deminimis

Explorer
As I stated, the points dizzy was non-stock. And no, only the end run of the '86s got the d44 as they ran out of the AMC20. Mine was built just shy of that unfortunately.
 

deminimis

Explorer
Yea, the PO. Not sure about that character. Older guy, so guessing he went with what he liked when a young'n. At least he didn't do anything that can't easily be undone (the seat thing is a bit more costly to remedy though).
 

toylandcruiser

Expedition Leader
Yea, the PO. Not sure about that character. Older guy, so guessing he went with what he liked when a young'n. At least he didn't do anything that can't easily be undone (the seat thing is a bit more costly to remedy though).

Well cool. Good luck with everything.
 

deminimis

Explorer
Thanks. Lots of work on it starting today (PJ Blaster on everything last weekend and blasted the underside with my washer last night). Going to be a process.
 

Happy Joe

Apprentice Geezer
Looks like an excellent builder!
...Now you just have to deal with the PO's (and factory) F' ups...
...needs a bikini top...
...and a few other things as you mentioned... unless you are intending too do extreme trails (not really possible with 30" all terrains); it does not need reinforced tie rods/links (unless you really want them).
Hopefully its not quadra track or an automatic tranny (or an SR series manual).
'86 could have a "wide" rear Dana 44 (very rare & desirable).
Enjoy!
(edit); too bad you are not closer I could give you a lot of "stuff (like a good OEM dizzy and a high flow 4.0 L head), header etc.
 

deminimis

Explorer
Thanks. I have a bikini and sun top, plus half doors too.

It has the TF999. That's a strong, tried and true trans (and rebuildable by the likes of me). 60+ years (55-'07) of that transmission, in one form or another, suggests it's a keeper. No Quadranonsense, thankfully.

No reason not to build stronger rods. The factory ones are ridiculous and I have the 4130 on the way (thought I had more 1.25 in the shop, but don't). I'll also internally sleeve the 1.25 with 1" .095. Thought I'd save some $ and just jump to the Chev rod ends, but I'd still have to order up a pair of LH bungs as I only have extra RH ones and get a reamer and hope I can get it all done in time for departure. Decided the factory style Moog ends, and sleeved 1.25 tube will do me just fine. In Baja you don't have to do anything serious to have things break. Heck, we've been airborne in a 3500 D-max with a Bigfoot camper (about a ton over GVWR) unexpectedly on pavement. I had built that D-max like I was going to off-road it, so it did not blink and eye when that happened (Camper maxed out the tie downs and came down on a corner, denting the bed pretty nicely, but it popped right back into place with a 3-pounder and 2x4). I once Dukes of Hazard'd a rental car down there (road just disappeared due to prior rains). Lost a VW engine hood once just from countless miles of washboard. That place can be hard on rigs and a little extra insurance goes a long way. Even so.....(see attached)
3154639497_078a2462ff_z.jpg


I've thought long and hard about the Scout II D44 swap. If I could find a late 86 CJ d44, it would be a no-brainer, but that will never happen I suspect. Think I'll probably stick with the AMC20, get the one-piece axles, stitch weld the tubes and build a tube gusset. I have some extra 1.75 4130 that I'm not using, so that will make for a nice tube gusset (plus perhaps some 1.5 tube triangulated little gussets near the pumpkin to be safe). That's easy and won't take much effort. If I go Scout, no big deal making that work out back. I'd still have to get the front re-geared to match it and I'd have to order up some spacers from Fred to get the track width proper in comparison to the rear. No interest in doing a front Scout D44 swap (camber fixing, outboarding the springs, etc.). This thing is just a little diversion and money I dump into it doesn't go where it needs to go (into my buggy build). Still, it should be a fun little project, but won't be anything special. Just trying to make it relatively stout/reliable and clean....But it's got to be KTM orange when done.
 

deminimis

Explorer
Did I mention less than 80k on the clock? Should have lots of life left in that 258. That thing purrs. A 4.0 head and injection woudl be sweet, however. I have a 3.5 Honda on the stand (stand alone) and The Boy keeps asking why I don't install that. With 240hp and 240 torque, it would be nice, but sacrilege and no adapter for such a combo. I do wish the 258 engine had a little more snot and was more efficient by today's standards, but it will do just fine for our purposes.
 

Happy Joe

Apprentice Geezer
At 80K its around half used up, maybe a bit less depending on the maintenance its seen.
Had an 87 YJ 258 that had a better engine version (1/2 inch head bolts, as opposed to 7/16) than my 81 (never checked the 85) AMC seemed to make several changes over the years (wish that I had never gotten rid of the 87 258; would cruise part throttle at 90mph all day (after I installed Ford 300 multipoint injection) so the 258 has mucho untapped potiential... the 4.0 Liter "h"o that I installed in the 85 has never been anything special; although it has better performance @ ~ 190 hp with the T-5 than the slow original 258 ever did with the automatic ...

I did go to an earlier 15 gallon fuel tank, with a decent skid plate, to help departure angle/ground clearance)... since then I always wondered if a YJ fuel tank skid would fit the CJ 20 gallon tank...
My, been forever on the back burner, intent has been to raise the tranny and clock the transfer for a flat belly.
I got rid of the AMC 20 rear early on (went to a much better narrow post office jeep (1/2 ton?) D44 flanged axle rear) and used a narrow D30 disk brake front to match; for merely difficult trails and 35s its fine (with care, I'm pretty sure the anemic 4.0l has helped axle joint longevity).
Have a set of Scout 2 44s but haven't seen the need to go through the hassle of putting them in... & don't really care for the tires sticking out look, all that much.
Pulled that floppy uncomfortable rear seat along with the carpet and haven't thought about it since...
Installed "super seat" buckets for much better side bolstering and comfort.
Over the years with carburetors (and fuel injection) an MSD6 has helped ignition even with HEI equipped GM engines.
Enjoy!
 
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Happy Joe

Apprentice Geezer
Question; have you checked the gear ratio in the axles yet (and do you have the limited slip sticker on the inside of your glove compartment door)?

Enjoy!
 

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