Well, it's been a few years since I made any changes on my 77 CJ7, and that's too long. So I once again I got out my tools, MIG welder and gas wrench { cutting torch } and began remodeling and repairing my CJ7 { aka Big Red }. The first thing that needed attention was the wiring, there was a phantom short some where near the fuse box that would cause the rear signal lights to do some truly strange things. The short was in the last remnants of the factory wiring harness, and after spending hours looking for the phantom I just gave up and ordered a new wiring harness. While I was ripping the old wire out of my beloved Jeep I decided to upgrade the whole electrical system as well as fix just one or two things. I removed the stock ignition and distributor so I could put in a new self contained ignition. Left Front
Right Front Well since I was doing that I decided to pull the front cover off the motor and have the oil pump machined to get it back into spec. It all went by the numbers until { you Jeepers knew there going to be an " until " right ?} I replaced the front cover on the 304 engine. I was not at all happy with the installation, the sealing surfaces had to be forced in place around the oil pan and I just knew sooner or later the would start to leak, it is a Jeep after all. So took the whole mess apart again, dropped the oil pan and reinstalled the front cover. It went on beautifully, it was not UNTIL { theres that word again }
I tried to reinstall the oil pan, so after a whole bunch of adverbs, a few tools thrown around my garage I came to the conclusion that the only good way to get that damn after market oil pan back on was to remove one motor mount, but I would have to raise up the engine to do it. So off came the flywheel cover, exhaust etc... Jack the whole mess up by the exhaust manifolds, reinstalled the oil pan, perfect! I am done ! So I gave everything a final inspection looking for lose bolts leaks etcetera, every thing look good, UNTIL I got back to the transmission, hmm a bolt seems to be missing and another looks lose. This is not a good sign, upon closer inspection I discovered that the threads in the bell housing had stripped, two of them in fact. It turns out they had at one time had Heli Coils installed in the bell housing, and they had come lose, and pulled out or something. Front Roll Bar
Front Roll Bar So I spent a few day contemplating the best way to fix the problem, welding the holes closed, then re drilling and tapping was the first option but the holes were so torn up already getting the new hole in the exact right place for good transmission alignment would be a challenge. Then a friend of mine that owns a body shop said " do you have room to put studs in the bell housing ". The lights flashed and the thunder rolled--- that was the fix I needed !!I immediately left his shop, feeling like I should go back to kindergarten for not thinking of using necked down studs myself. The hunt was on for some studs that would work, luckily my friend had told of a place that might have what I was looking for too. I found just what I needed, that bell housing would be stronger that it had ever been.
Left Rear So the transmission went back into the jeep, even the skid plat that serves as the transmission mount got some of its own oversized studs to eliminate the worn out threads in the frame. I was done again, well maybe not. Since I had everything out of the Jeep except the engine and drive train I could paint it again, Yep that's what I'll do. :) Here we go again < sigh > Since I was going to paint it again why not make a few repairs on the body, to make a long story short I replaced the windshield frame, the hood, and stuck some YJ Jeep fenders on to my CJ, then cut the body up to fit TJ fender flares so I could have more tire clearance. Then since the Jeep was still apart I decided to have a front roll bar custom built and installed. Since my Jeep won't be Red anymore I need to find a new name for it, maybe I'll name it Critter, since it's such a mutant .
Well, its finished! ........
for a while anyway.
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Mark Allen - All rights reserved
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visitor # 1411 since 7/23/02