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CJ7 Build Menu

Bringing Home The CJ7

1986 CJ7 home
Figure 1

Figure 1. In 2015, I came across a 1986 CJ7 Jeep for sale, at a very reasonable price.The engine had been rebuilt, and had less than 10,000 miles on it, and the suspension was all new with a 2 inch lift. The downside is the body is extremely rusty. I purchased it, then sat down to make plans on what to do with it.

While the mechanicals of the CJ are sound, the body is too far gone to be saved.The photo above does not show it but the quarter panels on both sides are completely rotten, the floors are gone, and the lower part of both front fenders are rusted out.The upper door hinge mounts are also rusted out. It has an inline six engine with an automatic.

2002 Suburban 5.3L and 4L60E
Figure 2

Figure 2. After much reading on the web, it was decided to do a 5.3L v8 swap to it. This engine is a vortec L59 Flex-Fuel truck engine out of a 2002 Suburban, along with the 4L60E transmission. The suburban had 200,000 miles on it so this will be rebuilt to freshen it up, and maybe make a little more horsepower. The Novak Conversions motor mount kit was purchased to put this engine in the jeep. You can find this kit at Novak Conversions.

Checking out  a Shell Valley CJ7 Fiberglass Tub
Figure 3

Figure 3. Since the body was in very bad shape, it was necessary to locate a new tub. The search took several months, but a fiberglass tub was located in the town where we live that was for sale. The unit has been rhino lined inside and underneath. The gentleman who this was purchased from did very good work. The photos here are from where it was when it was acquired. This body is from Shell Valley, and is the kevlar heavy duty version.

Inside of Shell Valley Fiberglass Tub
Figure 4

Figure 4. A new body mount kit has also been purchased from Shell Valley.

Bringing the Shell Valley Fiberglass Tub Home
Figure 5

Figure 5. The body is now brought home. It was put on its side on a couple furniture moving dollies, then strapped to them.

Rhino lined fiberglass CJ7 Tub
Figure 6

Figure 6. As can be seen here, the inside and bottom of the tub has been treated with Rhino Truck Bed Liner.

Looking at the Rhino Lining on the CJ7 Tub
Figure 7

Figure 7. The underside of the body is also treated with Rhino Truck Bed Liner.

The CJ7 tub stored in the garage
Figure 8

Figure 8. The body is now safely stored inside the garage until such time as it can be swapped out with the rusted out steel tub.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is how I did it. I strongly urge you to do your own research and make sure you do it right. No claim is made that the information provided is the only way it should be done, or that you should follow my work without verifying for yourself that it is correct. You are free to do as you choose with the information shared here, but you do so at your own risk.