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It had to happen sooner or later. AMC CJ 7 added to "Collection"

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Well, I have continued to look for a CJ 7 and I have finally found one. I will have more about it once I can verify a few things, but it is in fair shape for a rust-o-ration. It has the 258 Straight 6. All I have is one picture from the PO's ad on Craig's List.


Yes, this is the good side. It is all there, and all steel. Oh sure there is some rust on this side too, but overall it's a good base to work with.

OK, so I paid $325.00 for it. I knew I wanted a project and I got one. It's gonna be a heck of a ride, but I have a few consolation prizes.


You're looking at floor pans and other metal parts that came with the Jeep. I already have those and I'll rent a trailer and pick up the CJ on Monday.All the parts came from Quadratec so I guess they're good parts. I'll have more on this project Jeep after I get it into my yard and take my own professional pictures. :D

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You know, now that I have a 1979 I had to get this book to go with it.


I hope the author doesn't mind the use of the picture. His name is Moses Ludel. Whoever that is. :D

So now I have 1946 to 1971 and 1972 to 1986. Soon I'll have a complete set. Well, if things keep going the way they have been. I'm working my way to getting the Jeep Owner's Bible. I wonder if there's such a thing as an autographed edition? Oh well, it's a while before I can really work on my daughters Cherokee, so I guess I've got time to find one.

Would the Shop Manual for the '79 be an invaluable addition to completely strip down and get this CJ-7 in original condition? I realize I will have to replace some things and find others, but at least I know who to ask about compatibility.

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So, interesting or not I thought I would post some pictures of my cheap Jeep. This is a real project. It's a lot of work, but that's the challenge. As long as there are ways to work through the individual problems without having someone get involved to the point it becomes a financial burden, then it will be my own build, my own masterpiece. I may have to swallow my pride and ask for help, but I want instruction, not someone to do it for me. I have to admit, as much as I thought the show was a bit of a con job, Cuban Chrome has influenced me to try to do what our families did in the earlier years. With all that we have around us, why can't we use what we have to do what we need to do without paying a premium? I have the equipment and some skills. It starts here.







As you can see there are some good things and some bad, but that's always the way. I already posted the price I paid, and I did get some replacement parts in that price, so I consider myself ahead. Whatever else I need I will try to get the least expensive way I can. So, let the American ingenuity flow and the hard work begin.


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BadDriver4x4...So I go off to the 50th Anniversary Easter Jeep Safari at Moab, Utah and come back to this!  Actually, I get your point, there is a lot of originality in this Jeep CJ-7, which is a good thing.  I'm also aware of your keen interest in the flux-core/MIG welder and new Lincoln stick welder, and here is your opportunity to put them both to work!  The plasma cutter might be useful, too.

Rust aside, you have a great place to start.  If rust is not intimidating, have at it, this one has potential!  We've gone full-circle to your original ambition.  You now have that "PROJECT" in capital letters!  

Keep us posted...The metal work/restoration will be of great interest to many owners of vintage vehicles.


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I know that the best air compressor that I can get is what I should aim for, but is there a smaller portable alternative that I could use for multiple purposes such as a source for a plasma cutter so that I can afford a plasma cutter like the one you directed me to earlier? I'm not convinced that the plasma cutters with the built in compressors can really do the job and the prices of the Hobart units at Tractor Supply seem to have jumped significantly. Also, I think it would have to be able to supply a media blaster. Impossible, or just a matter of trying a little harder to find an inexpensive used compressor that can meet my needs? I'm more convinced than ever that I need a dedicated space to work on these projects. 

Maybe. We'll see what the future brings in the way of work and storage options where I'm at.

Well, I'm looking at an air compressor tomorrow, but it's an unknown that seems to be too expensive. It certainly hasn't been snapped up yet.

I'm going to be picking your brain as I learn more about every aspect of this build. I'm pretty sure I have a Spicer 20 transfer case connected to Dana 30s. It is all going to need work and is there any business you know of who replicates the interior VIN sticker that was scrubbed off of my dash by the former snow plow controller? I want as much of this Jeep to be as real as I can make it.

Thanks for the help.

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BadDriver4x4...The factory workshop manual would be the perfect companion for my Jeep CJ Rebuilder's Manual: 1972-86 that you have in hand.  You'll like the seamless movement between these two books, and the factory manual will help with wiring diagrams, body details and smaller electrical chores.  I'm a strong advocate for first generation factory manuals, and in that era, the AMC/Jeep books were reliable.  eBay can be a good source for a used factory service manual.  A 1976-79 Jeep CJ factory shop manual would reflect your model, obviously 1979 would be best.

1979 is a good model year:  disc front brakes, Spicer 20 transfer case, AMC Model 20 rear axle and Dana 30 low-pinion front.  Does the Jeep have power steering?  Is the engine an original 258 single-barrel (YF) carburetor or a two-barrel BBD?  It is a 258 and not a 232, right?

As for the shop, you never have enough space but can often do well with less.  I had 1800 square feet of actual shop floor space and dropped to 480 square feet.  This took creativity and requires constant vigilance about picking up after myself.  I use Nexel movable storage racks which enable "repositioning" the shop/studio for various projects and filming chores.  The only thing I'm lacking is my former 9K-pound Forward twin-post hoist, and that is a loss, frankly.  I've considered an OTC roll under axle lift (looks like a bumper jack with long under-arms) in either 10-ton or 20-ton capacity alongside the use of my 6-ton stands.  Currently, my 4-ton floor jacks and safety stands work.

Don't compromise on the compressor.  I did get by with bead blasting and a two-stage (iron cylinder) DeVilbiss 80-gallon 6 h.p. upright compressor that put out around 17 cfm with its high speed pulley arrangement.  This was actually a gem that cost only $800 during its brief availability at Costco in the mid-'nineties.  It worked, I did some serious cabinet blasting with that machine.  However, nothing will match my used 120 gallon, 23 cfm large Champion compressor that gets the job done at only 700 rpm.  See what's out there.  Frankly, Harbor Freight, unless something dramatic has changed, does not have much to offer in U.S. General compressors.  Stick with Champion, DeVilbiss and other shop-oriented designs and builds.



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I have found a rather adequate sized commercial style compressor that has a leak in the tank. I don't know the make or model. I have the owner looking for more information. Here's his picture. The Sear Craftsman tank comes with it.

Compressor and Tank_001.jpg

If the original tank can be welded, and I know a great person for the job, could I use the extra tank for an expansion tank? I would really hate to try to stick the old compressor on the new tank. The asking price for everything is $200.00

Thanks Moses.

More Jeep CJ - 7 content coming soon.

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OK, so I made some headway on the Jeep today. I really don't like plows on Jeeps and since the plow hardware was coming off to do all the work I need to do, I got the hydraulics off it today, and really looked over the rest of the Jeep seeing where all the weaknesses are. It's amazing how much you miss or don't want to think about when you pay a small price for a vehicle. Is there more work than I expected a few days ago? Of course there is. But take a look at what I've uncovered so far and what would you do with a nearly unmolested classic like this.


My Red CJ 7_006-400.jpg


My Red CJ 7_320.jpg

I wanted to get a picture as soon as I could so I took one as it was getting dark. I will take a better picture tomorrow. Now, to answer the question of what this Jeep CJ-7 is supposed to be. Here is a picture of the firewall mounted VIN plate and I will decipher it below the picture.

My Red CJ 7_011.jpg

Jeep CJ-7 Serial Number decode J9F93EC848377


J = Jeep (Jeep Corp)


9 = 1979


F = 3 Speed


93 = CJ-7


E = 4150 lbs (Gross Vehicle Weight)


C = 258ci. 2 bbl Engine


Serial Number 848377


The more independent I become on this project the more I consider what I want to do with it. Then, I think about what I can do if I find something even better. I really love the classics. I think the AMC Jeeps are as new as I want to go for myself, and maybe I will move backwards through time as I have seen a package deal for old Willys at a decent price. However, they were disassembled or otherwise inoperative and would be much harder to transport as is. First things first. Let's get this one done and in the books.

To Be Continued.....

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Nice breakout of the VIN, BadDriver4x4!  As for the compressor, I like it.  This is similar to my beast.  Needs a belt guard to keep fingers and kids intact.  

My unit came out of a body shop that was doing what you propose:  piggy-backing an auxiliary tank, which makes the compressor work a bit more on the build-up air stage but dramatically increases capacity for high volume chores like a blasting cabinet.  Use rated (compressed air approved) pipe or scheduled tubing.  I prefer black pipe, but if moisture is an issue in your area, rust can be a problem with pipe.  A water trap system is a mandatory if you have humidity.  My system was always filtered due to body shop and painting use.  That's a big plus.  If you do weld this tank, be sure to pressure test for leaks and seepage after the repair.

Your CJ-7 Jeep has decent OEM equipment, a good model year as I shared earlier.  I like the spark of originality...You're onto something if you can grapple with the rusted sheet metal.  We're all waiting for your endeavor here...That's pressure to bear!



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OK, so, I got some better pictures, found some more rust. Yeah, like that wasn't going to happen and I got some free stuff that will help in the future and just make the Jeep a little more interesting. 

First some daylight pictures of the Jeep without the plow hydraulics in place.

My Red CJ 7_013.jpg

My Red CJ 7_014.jpg

A "what if" picture of a possible future look. Thanks to the plow hardware still being on the Jeep there were some holes to fool around with.

My Red CJ 7_015-640.jpg

Now, for one of the things I found in a FREE listing on Craig's List. This is a Jerry Can that just happens to match the color of my Jeep. (Well, it's red too.) I also brought home 100 ft. of air hose. 2 - 6K jack stands, some flashing (other projects?), and an Edelbrock Air Cleaner. (I don't know if it will fit my Jeep, but it was free and cool.) 

Jerry Can_001.jpg

OK, so I might have to do some updates on my daughter's 2001 Cherokee Sport for a while, but I just can't keep my hands off of this old girl if I have the time to spare. I have to get to the Salvage Yard and get some of the essentials that I need.

Slightly unrelated, here's something I picked up a little while ago that may help with space.

Rolling Shop or Storage_001.jpg

Rolling Shop or Storage_002.jpg

Rolling Shop or Storage_003.jpg

Rolling Shop or Storage_004.jpg

So, if I hadn't said it before I have had a storage unit full of my tools for about 14 years now. It was broken into once, (Well, twice really, they returned for more stuff after stealing the top of my tool chest.) and if I can fill this thing, or better yet, have a little room to work in, I may have a tiny shop for doing something out of the weather. At least I will eliminate $65.00 a month in storage fees. (Yeah, I don't want to add up how much that has cost me either.)(I say me most of the time, I actually want to say our family. Unless I really mean me.)

So let's kick this up into high gear, when the arctic air mass passes, and really work at getting some real progress somewhere. Oh, I'll be posting some pictures of how I'm supporting all of this as things go along. You gotta have that little extra to do these things you know. (Unless you have a source of free parts.)

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Oh yeah, if you're a bolt head that wants to go out of shape and make me mad, just watch out or I'll turn you into this:

Mad-at-bolt head.jpg

As the expert Doug Marcaida on Forged in Fire likes to say, "It will cut!". Well, this is what my little torch will do. I left the hole in the steel beneath it perfectly round and untouched. I told you I have had some experience with a torch. :D :D :D

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  • 2 weeks later...

You'll do plenty of reading and research to get a project in shape. Here's the Shop Manual now. I hope you'll check out Faxon Auto Literature http://www.faxonautolit.com if you need to find a quality reproduction shop manual for your vehicle.

CJ7 Shop Manual.jpg

More to follow.....

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