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Old 10-30-2016, 06:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Inherited CJ7, some noob Jeep questions

Wife inherited her dad's old 79 Jeep CJ7. No engine, unsure of what trans or transfer case. So here are my questions:

1. How much should I expect to pay, (just a ballpark figure) to have the body and frame sand blasted, then sealed? This project is going to span years so I'd like to have all the surface rust blasted off and have a good strong coating put on the whole thing, that I can still work with later when its time to paint. But given how much the rest is going to cost, I'd like to not have to pay through the nose for this part.

2. How much should I pay for a windshield glass, replacement metal doors, and a tailgate? Is there anything special I should know about these items?

3. Is there any reason I shouldn't use a 5.3L GM engine in the jeep? What engine would you recommend? Keep in mind I currently do not have an engine.

4. Does anyone know if one of those 6 speed GM transmissions will fit in the CJ7? I think its called the 6L80e. Depending on the gears I need to run, that transmission may become desirable.

You'll probably want to ask why I'd ever need a 6 speed, and since these are noob questions, I can honestly say I don't know. Other than the fact that I would like the thing to have some semblance of road manners, because I'd like to be able to actually drive it to the offroad parks. And not have to trailer it there. So if I'm needing to run 4:56 gears for the offroading part, then when it comes to driving the jeep to the trail, having a couple extra gears for the highway might be kind of nice. Hopefully someone can fill me in on how all this would translate into reality. Dunno, maybe all I need is the 4L80e for a 5.3L

Last edited by photonfanatic; 10-30-2016 at 06:55 PM.
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Old 10-31-2016, 12:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Is your wife attached to it, or are you thinking this is a cost effective way to get a trail rig? The reason I ask is I've never heard of anybody sand blasting and sealing a Jeep body. Most likely, the rust goes beyond the surface to include the frame. And since you are asking about doors, tailgate and driveline, I assume we are looking at a basket case.

So, if there is no attachment, don't touch it. Save your money and buy a rig somebody else has already gotten trail ready and slowly upgrade that.

Other thoughts:
Generally speaking, you only need doors for a daily driver.

Most, but not all, primers are not waterproof and will rust if not top coated before exposed to water.

These are short vehicles, modern automatics are too long and you end up with a 18" long driveshaft. Novak has a good site for identifying transmissions, transfer cases and suggesting swaps that work well.

Seriously, unless there is emotional attachment here, walk away.
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Old 10-31-2016, 01:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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#1 don't even bother with. If it has rust, deal with it when it's ready to be dealt with (paint time).
#2 Get online and lookup prices. Call a local windshield shop regarding the glass.
#3 How much money do you want to spend paying someone else to do it or how much time do you want to invest in learning what it takes to swap in an LS engine? There are lots of reasons not to, all of which are personal in nature.
#4 Anything can be made to "fit". It depends on tools, talent, or a willingness to pay someone else.

Based on the questions asked, sell it.
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Old 10-31-2016, 04:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Can't sell it, all I could do is just not take delivery of it. Its something of a family heirloom, you might say. They want to keep it in the family. Even if her dad never did a thing with it, he wants it sitting on his property rather than selling it. Apparently this is something they were big into, when she was a kid. So no matter who has possession of it, I can definitely say that it will not be sold.


It doesn't have any rust rot cancer, if that is what you are referring to. It only has surface rust. I come from the place of automotive... restoration. Something like this, a basket case, doesn't really bother me. Its a lot of work, sure. Most of which I'll be doing myself. But that doesn't bother me. I was only asking about the surface blasting because that would put me way far ahead in the project, imo. But if its too expensive, I'll be doing that myself, too.


I have to say I'm surprised at the lack of DIY enthusiasm here. Sure it will take a long time. Sure it will take a lot of money. But then again, not too much money, as nearly all of the work will be done by me.
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Old 10-31-2016, 05:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The lack of enthusiasm for your project stems from your seemingly limited automotive repair and fabrication knowledge and experience as demonstrated by the ridiculous questions asked in you original post. You asked, just saying.

I'd keep it simple, learn, and get an appreciation for the Jeep's mechanicals by building it close to the way it was. Just about every part is available from the aftermarket or a jeep graveyard and a good repair manual, youtube videos, and asking questions on a jeep site will help you build and install. I'm sure your father-in-law would appreciate reviving the old Jeep and the memories.
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Old 10-31-2016, 08:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photonfanatic View Post
I come from the place of automotive... restoration.
If that's the case why are you asking the automobile 101 questions?

If it only has surface rust after 37 years, it isn't going to turn into rot and cancerous holes before you get to painting it. You should know that if you're into automotive restoration.
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Old 10-31-2016, 09:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Asking if a 6L80e could potentially fit in a CJ7 isn't an automotive 101 question lol. That sir, is actually ridiculous. As for the restoration comment, typically people understand the 3 dots. The 3 dots were there to signify that it just might not be the right word, but I couldn't think of it right then, and needed to plug something in there. Most people know this.

And you guys do realize you're in the non hardcore forum, right? It says right there, in the forum description, right before you click on it, that its to talk about the basics. What part of that, don't you understand?

Last edited by photonfanatic; 10-31-2016 at 09:06 PM.
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Old 10-31-2016, 09:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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You asked four questions.

So tell us, what is the right word if restoration wasn't? I smell....BS.
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Old 11-03-2016, 10:57 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photonfanatic View Post
Wife inherited her dad's old 79 Jeep CJ7. No engine, unsure of what trans or transfer case. So here are my questions:

1. How much should I expect to pay, (just a ballpark figure) to have the body and frame sand blasted, then sealed? This project is going to span years so I'd like to have all the surface rust blasted off and have a good strong coating put on the whole thing, that I can still work with later when its time to paint. But given how much the rest is going to cost, I'd like to not have to pay through the nose for this part.

2. How much should I pay for a windshield glass, replacement metal doors, and a tailgate? Is there anything special I should know about these items?

3. Is there any reason I shouldn't use a 5.3L GM engine in the jeep? What engine would you recommend? Keep in mind I currently do not have an engine.

4. Does anyone know if one of those 6 speed GM transmissions will fit in the CJ7? I think its called the 6L80e. Depending on the gears I need to run, that transmission may become desirable.

You'll probably want to ask why I'd ever need a 6 speed, and since these are noob questions, I can honestly say I don't know. Other than the fact that I would like the thing to have some semblance of road manners, because I'd like to be able to actually drive it to the offroad parks. And not have to trailer it there. So if I'm needing to run 4:56 gears for the offroading part, then when it comes to driving the jeep to the trail, having a couple extra gears for the highway might be kind of nice. Hopefully someone can fill me in on how all this would translate into reality. Dunno, maybe all I need is the 4L80e for a 5.3L
1. Given that it is just surface rust, I recommend you skip this step and just paint the frame after you are done with fabrication and the body after you get it running - depending on tire size and amount of lift you might end up trimming the body.

2. Glass is going to be about $150, tailgate about $250, doors about $500. You are going to need $150-$200 worth of weather seals. There are a number of brackets, latches and hinges that can drive the price up from there. www.4wd.com and Ebay are good sources.

3. The factory engine is going to be easier and cheaper, depending on how much you still have (motor mounts, fan shroud, alternator...) but the 5.3 is a very popular swap - no reason not to do it assuming emissions are not a problem.

4. Novak has a good write up on this tranny: https://www.novak-adapt.com/catalog/...80-to/kit-6l81. I would heed their warning about keeping it low (and possibly stretching the wheelbase a few inches) which provides better stability off road. I would recommend you get the engine/transmission from the same donor so they play well together. I would also recommend a 1988-1993 Dodge NP241 transfer case as they are pretty stout and the output is on the passenger side. Novak's adapter doesn't play well with the Dana 20 transfer case in your Jeep, but no big loss.

Now, how about posting up some of your restoration projects so we can see where you are coming from?
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