1. Welcome to Jeeps.net!

    You are currently viewing as a guest! To get full-access, you need to register for a FREE account.

    As a registered member, you’ll be able to:
    • Participate in all Jeep discussion topics
    • Transfer over your build thread from a different forum to this one
    • Communicate privately with other Jeep owners from around the world
    • Post your own photos in our Members Gallery
    • Access all special features of the site

Need advice on first project (1985 CJ7)

Discussion in 'CJ' started by leagleagle, Sep 22, 2021.

  1. Sep 22, 2021 at 9:25 AM
    #1
    leagleagle

    leagleagle [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2021
    Member:
    #5884
    Messages:
    4
    Gender:
    Male
    Vehicle:
    1985 CJ7
    new owner
    I recently picked up a 1985 CJ7. Overall it is pretty clean. Rust needs attention where the front roll bar mounts but other than that, rust is very minimal.

    I am trying to get myself a game plan figured out on how to approach this, what to give attention to first and in what order to attack things.

    It has a chevy 350, spring over lift and is running 33" tires. It has the Dana 30 front and two piece AMC 20 in the rear. My goal isn't to turn it into a serious off-road jeep, though it will be off pavement some. What I would really like is to have a reliable, safe driver that I'm not afraid to hit the road with. It will be plenty off-road capable for what I will be using it for in that respect, hunting, etc.

    Things that I would like to do and feel like should be priorities are:
    to go through the engine (new gaskets, fluids, etc.)
    take care of whatever rust there is and perhaps bed line the interior of the tub
    check and replace any suspension issues there may be
    switch out the rear axles to one piece??
    Change the gears as it seems as it is geared a little high at the moment (rear differential looks like a B code so 3.31 gears)

    I realize this is a really open ended question, but I'm looking for direction on the most sensible way to approach it. I would prefer to do as much work as possible on my own and keep it as cost effective as possible. I'm not necessarily in a huge rush to get some final version of this done as I am happy to make it a work in progress as I'm sure it will be for years to come. I have a young son that I am looking forward to having help me on this and learn to turn a wrench.

    I'd really appreciate any thoughts, suggestions, advice from those who have already done a similar project on what to prioritize and things that I probably haven't even considered.

    20210902_084133.jpg
    20210902_084157.jpg
     
    aggrex likes this.
  2. Sep 22, 2021 at 5:16 PM
    #2
    Groundfault

    Groundfault Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2021
    Member:
    #5769
    Messages:
    91
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Tim
    Vehicle:
    87 Wrangler, kind of...
    5.7 V8 with Whipple Supercharger, TH350 w/B&M Shifter, NP205 TC, Dana 60 front 4.56, GM 14 bolt 10.5 rear 4.56, 4 wheel discs, Bilstein shocks, 6" lift on 37's, Autometer gauges, all led lighting and a few other things.
    Nice CJ. What transmission and transfer case hooked up to the 350?
    Sounds like you're on the right track. Make sure it's mechanically and electrically sound first and has clean fluids throughout.
    Suspension and steering work just depends on how it drives now on the highway. Replace anything that's worn out and grease up the rest.
    Axles don't sound like a must have in your case. A set of Dana 44's would be a good upgrade, but not really urgent. Something you could keep an eye out for a good deal.
    Decide if you're going to change either axle before you re-gear. You'll want front and rear geared the same. I'm running 4.56 with 37's.
    Bedliner is the way to go on the tub. Pretty tough, sticks well, easy to apply and inexpensive. I used the Raptor kits on mine inside and out, but your paint looks great in the photos. I like the orange and it won't get shot during deer season.
    Great project, looking forward to seeing lots of pictures of the progress.
     
  3. Sep 23, 2021 at 1:58 PM
    #3
    leagleagle

    leagleagle [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2021
    Member:
    #5884
    Messages:
    4
    Gender:
    Male
    Vehicle:
    1985 CJ7
    new owner
    The paint is in good shape so I don't intend to do anything with it for the time being. I would like to line the interior of the tub. It has some kind of black on it now, but it isn't a bedliner and I don't think it is just paint either. It seems like maybe some sort of undercoating material or something but I'm not sure. It is starting to flake here and there so I intend to get it back down to metal, fix any rust and line it...hopefully later this fall/winter when I really start digging into it.

    Did you roll on or spray your liner and do you remember how much the interior took?

    As for the axles, we will see what I do. Seems like the switch out to the one piece is almost a no-brainer. Seems like a no downside change for reasonable money if I do it myself. I've got a buddy that has front and rear Dana 60 axles with 4.56 gears and ARB lockers that are just collecting dust. I can pick them up from him, I just don't know if there is any reason at all to go that extreme for what I'm realistically going to be doing with it.

    It appears to have the T5 transmission and Dana 300 Tcase but I honestly need to crawl under and make sure that is correct.
     
  4. Sep 23, 2021 at 3:22 PM
    #4
    Groundfault

    Groundfault Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2021
    Member:
    #5769
    Messages:
    91
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Tim
    Vehicle:
    87 Wrangler, kind of...
    5.7 V8 with Whipple Supercharger, TH350 w/B&M Shifter, NP205 TC, Dana 60 front 4.56, GM 14 bolt 10.5 rear 4.56, 4 wheel discs, Bilstein shocks, 6" lift on 37's, Autometer gauges, all led lighting and a few other things.
    6 liter Raptor kit did the exterior including hard top. Tub won't use over 2 liters. Simple to use, pour the hardener into the bottle of tinted bed line. Put the cap back on and shake for 2 min. Screw the spray gun on top of the bottle and spray. Pretty low pressure, so you don't need a very big compressor. 4 liter kit with gun is about $140 on Amazon, 2 liter with gun purchased separately will be about $100. Left overs work great on underbody, axles, etc. Comes in colors also, or you can get the tintable stuff and add urethane tint for custom color.
    Haven't tried the roll on, but from what I've read it works well.
    Bed Liner aplication is pretty forgiving. You'll want to scuff painted surfaces and buy a gallon of laquer thinner to wipe everything down first.
     
  5. Sep 23, 2021 at 5:10 PM
    #5
    Groundfault

    Groundfault Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2021
    Member:
    #5769
    Messages:
    91
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Tim
    Vehicle:
    87 Wrangler, kind of...
    5.7 V8 with Whipple Supercharger, TH350 w/B&M Shifter, NP205 TC, Dana 60 front 4.56, GM 14 bolt 10.5 rear 4.56, 4 wheel discs, Bilstein shocks, 6" lift on 37's, Autometer gauges, all led lighting and a few other things.
    Dana 300 is a great transfer case.
    My opinion: Snag those Dana 60's. Strong axles, gearing and lockers already installed.
    Costs about $1000 for front and rear gears for any axle and over $2200 for ARB lockers.
    (Air Lockers?)
    ARB air locker compressor kit runs about $220 and is small enough to mount under hood. Comes with wiring harness and switches.
    Is rear dana 60 set up for disc brakes? If so, better than drums but you'll lose your parking brake. There are options for parking brake with discs though.
    Axle swap usually requires different drive shafts.
    Dana 60 front will most likely need different drag link and tie rod setup.
    Going to need different wheels for the lug pattern but that can be the case with any different year/type axle swap..
    Also going to have to look at leaf spring perches and shock mounts for just about any axle you swap. The axle on a YJ are 2" wider than a CJ, so the leaf spring perches on the YJ dana 30/35 aren't in the right spot for the CJ. Dana 44 rear off late '86 CJ7 should be a bolt in replacement ( not sure about drive shaft though). Later years dana 44's were set up for coil springs.
    Dana 60's would be a bombproof setup, but not without its challenges. About any axle swap is going to require changing other components. Just depends on how far you want to take it.
    A supercharger will fit under the stock hood on top of that 350:)
     
    aggrex likes this.
To Top