86 CJ7


Blasted, then primed two wheels. Top coat will look about the same. Much improved.


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2.73? Wow!

Gearing is completely subjective to the type of driving you do, but 2.73 is good for one thing only. Highway.

Sounds like you're on a budget, but have you looked into a custom width new axle? They really aren't as expensive as you might think. You could also get a full width D44 and have it cut down to fit the CJ D44 axle shafts. All in, I bet that option wouldn't cost $1000. And if it came with the gears you want, even less.


For whatever reason, I dove into this head first and just can't seem to stop or want to sell it. Despite trying to address the most common things that could leave me stranded, the Jeep did not make the trip to Baja. I really needed a few more weeks to go through everything. Rear brake problem (turned out be be a broken adjusting cable), but couldn't address it for the trip as was already 3hrs behind when I decided to unhook it from the truck and leave it at home. Really disappointing. Since home: All new rear brakes and p-brake cables. All new exhaust (wow, what a mess that was). Now trying to decide if I want to do a 2.5" lift or not. Just replacing the 31 year old springs with stock springs would cost the same as a basic 2.5" lift. Still on the fence regarding whether I'm going to keep it or not, otherwise, I would be spending a lot on a 2.5" lift (BDS or OME YJ conversion). Regardless it's a bummer as I put all new stock length shocks on already (only maybe 40 miles on them now, half when being towed behind my truck). I have almost no reason to keep this Jeep, but it's got its damn claws into me somehow.


Added a turn down tail piece to my new exhaust. Although everythign is aluminized, I decided to get after the tip with header primer and paint. The reason is I brought the tip a bit further out (turns down at approx the edge of the body) to keep from having exhaust fumes roll up from out back with the top off. To do this, the tip is exposed to gravel comign up from the rear tire. Figure a few coats of paint will help it last longer. Ugh, that old exhaust (orig down tube, then an assortment of random pieces cobbled together and very poorly welded). The old exhaust started leaking at the tube to manifold flange and all the way back. Some folks should not own welders.


Had to modify a Wagner hanger to get the end high enough. Cumbersome, but solid.



Oh yea, did all front bearings, seals, u-joints, built custom 4130 rod and drag link, along with all new ends, new locking hubs, replaced fluids in diffs, TF, etc., new sneakers, blasted the rims and went with a nice satin black, fixed the Weber Whistle, etc., etc., etc.


Happy Joe

Apprentice Geezer
Welcome to the wonderful world of Jeep addiction...
At times it will seem like a never ending chore (making up for all of the TLC/maintenance that previous owners ignored and poorly executed mods) but if you stick with it, and make the right decisions, you will end up with a great dual purpose on road/off road vehicle... and it will be fun to drive too! ('though a bit cold in the winter due to the soft top).

Its a Love/hate relationship...


JEEP: Junk, Each and Every Part. Those are the words said to me today. Not sure about that but damn they used some crappy bolts back then. I'd really have to sit down and write it out, but the Jeep is vehicle #31+ for me (doesn't not take into account Wife's vehicles). Many of those vehicles are/were older than this '86, but none, and I mean none, have had such crappy bolts. Welded nuts on another pair of broken off shackle hanger bolts this past weekend so I could get them out. All nice and new Gr8.

Replaced front shackle bushings this weekend. Cake. Made my own 4130 bushing spacers. Just doing that, I went form 55mph white-knuckled driving to 65 not as white-knuckled driving. Once I have all the bushings swapped out, I'm hoping for easy highway speeds. Rears, of course, were another story, but pretty much done now. I'll deal with main eye bushings after the current mods are complete. I have a gut feeling I'm shy a few degrees in the caster world. I'll address that after all the bushing are fresh.

Dropped the tank. Sender unit issue. Good time to clean the skid plate and clean up as needed. Getting rid of that pathetic rear crossmember for a 3/16 version. I was going to build my own rear frame reinforcing plates, but decided to just buy the MORE plates. Going to use them to layout reinforcing plates for the inside of the frame as well Seems weird they don't make those). I figured, since the tank is out, I may as well go a little nuts on the rear end. I opened up the rear of the frame (cut square holes through the orig crossmember for access). Cleaned out the dirt and sand. Surprisingly, frame big enough that I could get in there with my pressure washer with rotary nozzle. Blasted the living hell out of the inside of the frame with 3500PSI of in-your-face and kept blasting and blasting until I thought I had most of the frame cleaned up. Once done with the rear frame mods, I'll be coating the inside with Eastwood (from axle arch back). After that, I'll pull the Jeep away, raise the front and blast from front to rear as I think with some extensions, I should be able to get back to the rear axle arch (although not with the rotary nozzle most likely). Then the works will get coated on the inside and the outside will be done up right too. After that, I think I'm gong to call it for at least the Summer, if not longer. I've got to get after other projects.


This thing. I've been putting way too much time and $ into it. So I decided I wanted a real hitch. I know the rear frames on these are weak, as is the rear crossmember. So made my own inner frame reinforcement (from the orig crossmember -ha, I recycled!). Used MORE outer and under frame reinforcement plates. Install a custom 3/16" crossmember, improved my rear exhaust situation (factory exhaust hanger perch won't work with the hitch, so welded a 3/8 piece of 4130 tube on top of the frame for a mount and tacked the tailpipe in place for a clean look), all new lines and hoses a the tank (and new sender that reads 1/2-5/8 when full) and a 4000/400 2" receiver hitch (overkill, but makes a good bumper too). Cleaned, blasted, flushed then coated the inside of the frame as well (slathered Rust Bullet inside the rear part of the frame up to the axle humps and the works got Eastwood interior frame coating).

Bottom 1/4" thick plate:





A lot of metal went into this. 1/8" inner plates and 3/16" outer plates. Then, 3/16" mounting tabs for the crossmember (inner and outer). Then, 3/16" mounting tabs ("L" shape) for the hitch. All gr8 bolts. Had to do a little bolt trimming to get the factory 20 gal tank and skiddy back in place, but it worked. Sorry, no pic with the tank installed, but very pleased.

Threw the dice and got a pair of YJ factory metal half doors off eHell. They are amazing. Real lucky as so many have rust, dings, etc. Came with perfect mirrors too. Since from a Sahara, they have the lower pockets as well. Kentrol door strikers are still a week out, but that will give me time to prep (remove the Sahara green paint) and shoot them in satin black (a temporary color until I shoot the whole CJ at some future point).

I had hoped to do a BDS 2.5" YJ conversion lift next month, Bilsteins, along with some Corbeau seats and bedliner the interior. No such luck. My daughter's damn CRV head is seeing to that (I have zero desire to remove that head, so having it done at a shop). It's always something.


Where did we leave off? Let's see... Changed out the main eye bushings and sway bar bushings, which made huge improvements in driveability. Eventually I'll do the BDS YJ spring swap and a J20, or the like, steering box.

YJ half doors painted (temp) and installed. The newer Chrysler/Jeep mirrors actually work (and work great). DUI ignition arrives later this week and it's time to clean up the engine bay.




Man this thing. Finally turned my attention to the engine compartment a month or so back. What a PITA it has been and I still have a way to go. Let me just say never buy an old Jeep from an old couple that barely putted around in it, had the carb dumping fuel into the engine during idle (and probably during their low driving speeds as well), a sub-par ignition system and retarded timing. Needless to say, I'm having to run 92 octane and, through some trial and error, heavier springs with the new DUI HEI distributor (at least I'm at 10 degrees initial and I can finally drive this thing).

How do ya'll feel about Bedliner?
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