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Old School CJ7

4981 Views 8 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  herculestex
We love all Jeeps in my family (have 3 JK's currently, and have owned a KJ and and XJ).

But our very first Jeep was an '85 CJ7 my wife bought when she was in college at Texas A&M in '90 (well before I knew her).

She daily drove it pretty much stock until about '95, when we put a Rancho 2.5" lift (including Rancho 5000 shocks) and 33" tires on it. It was interesting to drive at that point - very very stiff and wandering steering made it a challenge. I daily drove it for about a year (with 2 months of that during a stint in Corpus Christi Tx with many trips down north Padre Island).

We lent the Jeep to a friend that was carless, and when we got it back it didn't run well. Very shortly afterward it threw a rod in the old I-6. Thus began the LONG and harrowing journey to its current state.

I started piecing together parts for a major restomod upgrade.

Plans were to do a crate motor V8/nv4500/atlas with new axles etc.

I tore down the jeep and got started, only to have life and 3 moves and a long hours job/lifestyle get in the way.

After languishing in the garage and storage for far too long, I gathered all the parts and trailered the Jeep to a "friend" to complete the project. Some work was eventually done, but when the time frame reached >3 years I decided to go fetch the Jeep and take it to a pro to finish it up (and essentially redo all the previous work).

Matt Peterson at Rockware in Colorado Springs obliged me and took on the project.

Matt and his crew typically work on cutting edge rock buggies for competition, but he and I have known each other for many years and I had absolute trust in his skills and insight to make this CJ whole.

We had some lengthy discussions about what was intended for the Jeep (daily driveable, able to do moderate to hard trails (we already have 2 extreme wheelers), bullet proof, and old school CJ looks. The real CJ7 restomod was restarted.

Here is the parts list:

GM Goodwrench crate 350 with L82 cam - 80's TBI
Atlas 4.3 2 speed case
Front D60 with an ARB 4.56 gears
Rear Currie 9" HD housing - 9+ Race Case - Detroit Locker
4" Deaver Leaf Spring SUA
Rancho Shocks
Refurbished Warn 8274
35" MTR's on chrome wagon wheels
CV Driveshafts
Rockware front and rear bumpers and sliders

The project is nearly complete with just some minor things to fiddle with. We are heading up to Colorado Springs next weekend to pick it up. It hasn't run under its own power since about '98.

Here are some picts.


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I'm not sure how it is that you even want to keep that thing.

I would think that you would feel like driving it to... oh I dunno... Austin Texas maybe... and then putting it up for sale... but ONLY to perspective buyers named Anthony or to Jeep website moderators.

Something tells me that that's probably not what you're going to do, but still... never hurts to listen to suggestions.

Absolutely beautiful CJ. :beer:
Thanks :)

I think it might self immolate if it lived in Austin :p
Nice.. prior to the JK I had an 86 with those same wheels !
WOW. That is perfect old school awesomeness. Congrats.
Some engine bay shots.


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Nice Jeep
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