1983 Jeep CJ7 Tub Swap Job

Thanks to Donnelly Automotive Machine (local CarQuest Dealer) for helping find those hard to locate parts.

Thanks to 4 Wheel Drive Hardware (4WD) for all the parts and service.

Thanks to O'Reilly Auto Parts, they were convent and helpful.

Thanks to NAPA for their great service.

There were also some items bought from ebay, Bolt Depot and Jegs and local stores like Rural King and Ace Hardware


The Tub swap was done over a 27 days and it took a 150 hours.  Granted there was more than just a Tub Swap performed (new brake and fuel lines, winch added, new front tube fenders ...), all the additional work performed was needed to ensure a good working on and off-road Jeep.  I enjoyed doing it, and this was the first Jeep job I've ever done.  It's not too unlike all the Power Wagon work I've done, but parts were much easer to locate and get.


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  Made Room in the Shop and parked the CJ7and New Tub in the work area.  Now to start the Job  2011-01-26

  Started the Tub swap process today.  Started by pulling the windshield off the YJ tub.  Ran into two fasteners that would not come out.  Even broke 2 Torx bits!  Ended up drilling them out, fortuity no damage to the windshield threads.  Pulled the CJ's Hood, no problems.  Since the CJ's windshield hinges were broke, it's removal was fairly easy.  Started pulling the fenders off the CJ, and again a stubborn fastener.  Then went to pull dash pad, and again two stuck screws, got one out but one won't budge, and refuses to be drilled.  Next moved to the make shift cage removal, a sawzall and it's out.  Then pulled the seats, and again a stubborn fastener that had to be cut off.  As for the 8 (of the 10) tub bolts, well one came out, three broke off, and the remaining 4, well they aren't holding anything so they will be cut out after the tub is off.  2011-01-27

  Completed day 2 of work on the Tub Swap.  Started out by removing that last screw holding the dash pad, then removed the dash.  Spent quite a bit of time disconnecting and removing dash items and wires (inside and out).  Once I was sure I had (almost) everything left connecting the tub to the chassis I started by lifting the front, then the back.  With each lift checking for missed connections.  Well, I missed a ground wire, and two body bolts (the ones on each side of the fuel tank).  All this before lunch.  Got the tub up about 6" and resting on blocks and made one more check before using the engine hoist to remove the tub.  Well with only one hoist and doing it by myself, it wasn't that easy, but I had it off by 1:00.  I'll need a second hoist and probably an extra set of hands to put the new tub on though.  Next I tackled removing the old stock 6 cylinder wiring from the engine side.  Man what a mess.  I'll be spending some quality time with some almost to fine to read schematics when I re-wire it.  Next removed the brake and fuel lines.  I then went to the tubs and started the removal and preparing to transfer items from the old tub, to the new one.  Even though the new tub is a YJ, I will with only adding one hole be able to use the CJ's heater.  There just won't be any defroster for the windshield.  I'll have to do a little work to get the battery tray to fit, and will also need to weld up a few extra holes in the new tub.  Tried to remove the old seat belts, but new ones will be in order.  2011-01-28


Only a half days work on the tubs today.  This is the slow progress part, cutting new holes, filling not needed ones.  Also pulled the pedal assembly out of the old tub and removed the brake booster/master cylinder.  I added 4 holes to the firewall, and welded nuts to the back side to hold the CJ's battery Tray.  I had to add one hole the the battery tray for one of the YJ's studs.  I also added the fan power lead hole to the tub as well.  I've also cleaned the battery tray and gas pedal.  After removing the left behind tub mounting bolts from the frame, I've got to repair the rear frame for the as the tub mounts are rusted out.  This won't be a big deal as I had to modify them anyway for the YJ tub.  2011-01-29

  Another half day, and progress continues visually slow.  Finished cleaning and prepping the firewall.  Pulled the chassis out and hosed off the big gunk and stuff, this should help reduce the amount of dust and dirt I spread around the shop when I clean the frame.  You can see the rear most tub mounts rusted out, no big deal, as I had to move them outboard anyway.  I did clean and paint the battery tray, booster/MC assembly and pedal assembly, as well as cleaned up the heater assembly.  It's amazing how many rocks there were in the lower assembly.  2011-01-30

  Another days work.  Drained and pulled the Fuel Tank, then started the rear frame cross member clean up.  Removed the rear facing extras, then started measuring and cleaning to install new plates for the tub mounts.  With the condition of the area, I elected to to plate the area with a 1/8" by 3" plate.  I measured and pre-drilled the 1/2" and body mount holes.  I added a little metal to the frame rail so I'd have a flat area for the 3" wide plate.  I know the extra 1/8", will raise the tub in this area, and I will do the same to all 10 mounts as I have three others that are in bad shape and need to be patched.  The gray primer is a weldable primer I sprayed on both parts to help reduce the rust.  I then started going through the wiring harnesses.  I've got a few odd wires on the dash side that I'm not sure what they are, but the engine side is pretty good, once I removed the computer harness.  I won't have the engine side complete until I get near the end, as there are several wires I won't need.  2011-01-31

  Completed the better part of a days work on the Jeep.  With the power continuing the flicker in the ice/snow storm, I held off on anything that was power tool, or welder related.  Didn't want to be in the middle of something and loose power, and potentially have problems as a result.  I assembled the inner and outer firewall items (Heater, Accelerator Pedal, Brake/Clutch Pedals, column pass-through, Battery Tray, Brake booster and Master Cylinder, and the inner wiring harness and fuse block/connector.  His Farm Service Use Winch and Receiver Cradle came in, and I assembled them as well.  I'll fabricate a front receiver hitch so he can use it on the Jeep as well as his Farm Service Truck.  Then came the disassembly of the dash, and last today, I stripped most of the dash paint.  2011-02-01
  Only just over a half days work today.  Spent 4 hours cleaning ice and show off the driveways and digging two neighbors out.  I finished stripping the paint from the dash and glove box, and cleaning up the rust.  Nest for them will be to weld shut the extra holes, and then paint.  I also finished cleaning the rear 2/3's for the CJ's frame, and as soon as I get to town will pick up a new 1-5.16" hole saw and finish repairing the mounts and then give it a coat of paint.  I have discovered, that I will need to add a new hole the the tub firewall for the speedometer cable, and will need to fill in the YJ's defroster duct passage points and provide three more dash mounting screw holes.  2011-01-02

  Just under a half days work today after doing some part chasing this morning.  I enlarged the previous hole above the wiper switch that was used for a push button started, to now house the cigarette lighter.  This should help clean up the under dash area where it normally resided.  Got a good coat of primer on the dash and glove box door.  I also got a coat of paint on the frame, and started re-installing the fuel cell, turned a 180 degrees so the filler is on the correct side.  The large diameter washers I need enlarged to repair the body mounts will be machined out this weekend, until they are welded in place I can't finish painting the frame.  The exhaust is painted in BBQ/Stove High Temperature paint.  2011-01-03

  About a half of a days work, after a grocery run.  I finished mounting the fuel tank, it should work out OK turned this way.  Once the new hoses arrive, I will have to make a connector and ensure their routing when I mount the tub.  I placed the first coat of paint to the glove box door inner side.  This should give us a good idea of the colors.  Last, I started the brake lines.  The rear axle is complete, and I've ran the line to the right front wheel.  Next will be the main rear line, but I won't be able to connect it to the proportioning block, until after I get the tube mounted, as I will need to rout the lines into the tub to install the Brake Shut-Off Valve.  I've also started a punk list, of all the things left to do.  I will compile it and post the link to it at the top of this column, it was longer than I expected.  2011-02-04

  Well, we got about 3-4" of snow, that I had to clean off the thick sheet of ice on the driveways.  So about a half days work, not moving as fast at this stage of the job.  Finished the front brake lines, and ran the one main line for the rear.  You know, there are two brake lines I hate, 3/8" & 3/16".  Bending the 3/8" is just never pretty or easy, and I have the most difficulty getting a good double flair on a 3/16" line.  Why can't everything use 1/4" lines?  The final brake lines will have to wait on me picking up a couple more lines, and setting the tub.  I also ran the 3/8" supply, and 1/4" return lines for the fuel system as well.  Oh, before you say anything, the one rear brake line on top of the exhaust support, will be mounted though it when I'm done. I need to puck up a couple of brake hose retainers, and get rid of my temporary zip ties as well.   I've now pulled the lines back off, and given them a first coat of paint, see if that will help slow the rusting problems.  2011-02-05

  Short day today.  I picked up the washers from a local friend of a friend who opened up the ID on a lathe to 1.032"  Thanks Richard M. for the fine work.  I reinstalled the brake lines after having given them a coat of paint last night, then I gave the dash it's first coat of paint.  2011-02-06

  Another days progress.  Pulled the rear differential cover and drained the ugly smelly fluid.  Cleaned the surfaces and installed new gasket and fluid.  I welded the tub mount washers to the frame.  Finished all but three brake lines, one to the MC, and the two to the tub Brake Shut-Off Valve.  Installed the fuel lines to the engine, and figured out how I'll mount the fuel pump.  I gave the rear of the frame it's final paint.  I pulled the windshields wiper motors and started the swap process.  I fabricated the rear bumper fastener plates for inside the rear frame cross member.  And last but not least, I had aggravation with the grab handle.  Apparently between the 1st (old style) can of paint I used for the first coat, and the second (newer style, but exact same brand/kind) can of paint something changed.  The second coat caused bubbling and it lifted the 1st coat and primer!  I had to re-strip and clean it, and start the painting over.  2011-02-07

  More work completed.  I mounted the fuel Pump and connected the final lines.  I also re-wired the pump and ran the line to the front harness.  I completed swapping the wiper motor over to the YJ Windsheid.  Fabricated the rear bumper mounting pads, they are gray because they are painted in weldable primer.  Wet sanded the dash and glove box in preparation for the next coat of paint, had to remove a few imperfections (don't know why).  Discovered in addition to the center three mounting points I had to address, I also had to address the upper two on each side.  The outer upper corner required that I adjust the hole in the dash.  the next hole in I had to drill and will use a nut on the back side.  I fabricated some fillers for part of the YJ defroster duct area, and installed threaded connectors for the dash and welded it to the Tub.  Since I had the duct, and a little space I fitted the CJ's defroster to what was left of the YJ's opening.  It won't work well, especially with a YJ windshield, but it's there.  Last but not least, I re-painted the dash and glove box.  2011-02-08

  Good Progress today.  Fabricated a new tunnel shifter cover.  Will still need to cut the shifter holes, but will do that later when I know the correct locations.  Well, with the aid of a 2nd Engine Hoist (Thanks LaVelle H.) I lifted and set the YJ tub on the CJ this morning by myself.  It went on easy and with no issues (hopefully that's a good sign).  I pulled the rear wheels off so the hoist would slide in, and because I need to measure, mark, and cut the wheel well openings to clear the 35's.  Pieced together a new fuel filler and vent hoses for the YJ filler opening to fill the CJ's 180 degree rotated fuel tank.  Should work out well.  Installed the fuel tank and axle vent lines onto the new tub.  I also removed and transferred the CJ's rear wiring harness to the YJ tub.  I then welded up two cuts and three cracks in the TJ tub  I started the installation of the CJ's Tail Gate onto the YJ tub.  I've marked the holes, and fabricated the backing plates needed to mount the hinges.  Still need to fabricate the strap brackets though.  2011-02-09

  After a quick part run I finished the tailgate mounting plates (flange nuts welded to a 1/8" strap) and figured out how to "fish" them into place and bolt the tailgate on and in place.  still need to complete the latch/cable plates tough.  I may cut the old ones off the old tub and see about re-suing them, or fabricate new ones.  I finished connecting the fuel filler hoses and bolted the tub in place.  Had to bias the tub to the rear to keep the clutch rod from touching the header, but everything sets pretty good.  After a lot of measuring and planning, I've planned the tub wheel well trim lines.  I'm 2" larger than the tires and right up against the inner panels, just about as large as you can get with out extending the wheelbase.  I started on the front receiver mount that will hold the portable winch.  I've still got to weld the additional plate but it looks like it should work out.  2011-02-10

  Another day of great progress.  I removed the old tailgate latches from the CJ tub, and welded them into the YJ tub.  The tail gate lines up nicely, and latches nice and snug.  It turned out better than I thought it might.  I finished welding the extra plate to the front 2" reviver hitch.  I then cleaned the front portion of the frame, and painted both.  The winch looks kind of weird setting up and out like that, but should work well.  I picked up the two remaining brake lines this morning and routed them through the tub mount plate and up through the floor.  The Brake Shot Off Valve arrived in the mail today, and I'll be able to plum it in to these lines now.  I finished connecting the brake lines to the master cylinder and installed the clutch rod boot.  And I repaired the grill body mount area, and should be able to install the grill tomorrow.  Starting the engine side wiring harness as well, so I think (hope) I'm on the down hill stretch, but still waiting on the new ignition switch, hope it comes off back order soon.  16 days into the Job, 92 actual hours.  2011-02-11

  About 3/4 of a good days works today.  I finished the cleaning of the Grill, and installed it onto the frame and reconnected the radiator and installed the grill support rods.  Assembled the dash and installed it into the tub.  Still waiting on the new headlight switch know, but everything else is there.  The new Spedo, had one less dash light, but everything else is OK, so for.  The fuel gauge works!  Won't know if the temperature sender is compatible until it's running again.  I've installed the old ignition switch, but it is bad, but can make it work for testing.  Everything else on the dash works.  Finished chasing some of the engine side wires, and all looks good.  the only problem so for is the horn button doesn't seem to work.  I can now finish the engine side wire termination, and then install the hood so I can start on the front fenders.  With the grill on, I re-test fit the winch, and will be able to move it back 3" so it doesn't stick as for out, but looks good mounted that high.  2011-02-12

  Just over a half days work.  I completed the Engine side wiring clean up.  Now to get some wire cover to swap it in.  Still need to connect the start relay, but will need the finders installed to do that.  I routed the Holley Pro-Jection harness into the tub, but not sure where I'll mount the controller.  I installed the hood and windshield.  I don't recommend the stainless steel hinges, the 90 bend isn't sharp enough.  The wipers work, but the park function doesn't.  I know the wiper motor was not tight and partially open, so I suspect something is wrong in the motor.  I also fabricated the Parking Brake valve bracket and lines, and once dry can install it as well.  2011-02-13

  A short day, but not by much.  It is Valentines Day ya Know.  Installed the Brake Shut Off Valve and the last two brake lines.  Then proceeded to use my new pressure bleeder to bleed the lines.  Well that didn't work, can't get a good seal to the top of the master cylinder.  Don't know why.  Did operate the brake pedal and found some leaks.  One set a union I forgot to tighten, the other two, well the last two brake lines.  The ones going to the brake shut off valve.  I have double flaring, especially those 3/16" lines.  Tried tightening the ends, but that did not stop it.  So I pulled the line sand grabbed the last two brake lines I had and bent new ones, cut and re-flared.  Well the ones seems to have some out OK, the other, well 4 flairs later and I gave up, the line was getting too short.  So I'll get a new brake line and perhaps a new flaring tool.  I cut the shifter openings out of the tranny cover and installed it, not too bad of a fit.  Now to just find the right shifter boots.  I spent most of the day fitting and welding the BTF Front Tube Fenders together.  they came out pretty good for my first set of tubes.  A lot of welding, and a little tweaking.  I tried to re-use the old inner fenders, but they won't work.   So I'll have to pick up some sheet metal and fabricate some new panels.  2011-02-14

  Well, only just over a half days work today.  Had a lengthy parts run and had to pickup and haul one of the son-in-laws vehicle so he could fix it.  Installed the new ignition switch, and then the steering wheel.  Managed to get two good brake flare jobs done, and installed the last two brake lines.  I also managed to get the brake bleeder to work, and bleed the brakes.  Still have a couple of small fitting leaks at the shut off valve, will pull the valve and check the fittings.  The left front brake caliper bleeder screw is stuck, big time, but got most of the air out, and the pedal feels good.  I finished cleaning and wrapping the engine side wiring and have decided where to mount the fuel injection module.  So I figured I'd see if she would run.  Well, not the first crank, be she does run!  I only have 6 volts at the coil, and that wasn't enough to power the fuel injection, so I'll have to make sure there aren't any problems and run the fuel system off another switched wire.  In the side view picture, the wheels are just up against the axles, and the jeep is still on jack stands.  Basically the main items left are the front inner fenders, rear wheel well opening, and install the seats and belts.  2011-02-15

  Well a nice long day today.  This morning I mounted the fuel injection unit under the dash, cleaned up the remaining lighting and tach feed wires.  With the exception of mounting the dimmer switch the dash side is done.  Discovered the 6 volts at the coil was because the previous owner or Jeep used a resistor wire in the harness.  So I pulled a new wire from another switched source in the engine bay and feed the fuel injection from it.  I had to undo my harness to add the new wire, but it came back out just as nice as it was when I finished it yesterday.  Engine starts and runs just like it did before I started this tub swap, great.  This afternoon and evening I fabricated the inner fenders for the BTF Tube Fenders.  I was pleased with how they came out, and that they almost match each other.  In an effort to ensure maximum tire clearance, I left the headers exposed.  This was based on frame and spring pack rub marks.  The rear panel on both fenders is a separate panel, and is left off during installation so that you can access the fender to tub bolts.  I filled the non-welded portion of the seams, as well as the tube to plate in the inner fender well areas.  2011-02-16

  Another good days work.  I tackled the rear fenders.  I re-marked, cut, bent and primed the larger wheel opening to accommodate the 35" tires.  It went easer than I expected and I was very please as to how it turned out.  The rear of the wheel well is opened up to a 18.75" radius, and is the most you can go with out moving or affecting the rear panel in the wheel well.  This is very close to the rough cut opening that was on the CJ's tub I removed.  I then mounted the seats, and seat belts.  I took the old T18's back-up light switch, and used a newer switch, and a nut I shaved to the right thickness, to make a replacement functional switch.  It came out pretty good, and works.  Essentially the old switch's plunger activates the new off the shelf switch.  I started the painting of the front fenders and had a surprise visitor.  By brother, Darrell (the Jeeps owner) came up and stopped in to check up on the work.  Thankfully he was nicely surprised.  2011-02-17

  With Darrell here, I only spent a couple of hours on it.  Basically installing the fenders after last nights painting.  Brakes still aren't right, and the MC leaks out the top.  So I'll be replacing the MC and re-bleeding the brake system.  I'm down to a true punch list of misc items to complete the job, they are:

- Change Brake Master Cylinder
- Fix NPT fitting brake leak at Brake Shut Off Valve
- Install Front Fender Side Lights
- Fix any Issue related to blown Fuel Gauge/Back-Up Light Fuse
- Install New Ignition Key Assembly
- Install Winch Power Leads
- Install Horn, and Fix Horn Button
- Install wire ends to Rear Dome Lamp Leads
- Fabricate Hydraulic Clutch Pass-through Plate and Install
- Install Fuel Injection Wire Loom Firewall Close Out Plug
- Touch up any of my Painting

Well, not too bad of a final list.  I've now spent about 138 hours over 22 days doing the tub swap.  2011-02-18

  Darrell and I spent a few hours Saturday taking care of a few things, but spent most of the time trying to figure out the front Flasher Issue.  It too me about an hour, but I finally figured out other than a loose connection at the harness bulk head, the replacement Crown Automotive Parking and Turn Signal Lambs were incorrectly wired when they were fabricated.  They had swapped the park/turn leads.  Once I corrected the wiring on the lights, everything worked great.  Today I finished up a few more loose ends, and cut the back off the old tub.  I'm now down to needing to replace the Brake Master Cylinder (hopefully this fix's the brake issue) and installing the missing horn parts in the steering column.  So I'm now waiting on parts, the MC is supposed to be here Tuesday, not sure how long it will take to get the horn/steering parts.  2011-02-20

  A few more hours of work, while parts lasted today.  The steering wheel is all back together, except for the horn button, hope to have those parts tomorrow.  I installed the hydraulic clutch close out plate I made and painted yesterday.  I also finished the winch wire and mounting.  Now if parts arrive tomorrow, I will install the new Brake Master Cylinder.  2011-02-21

  Installed the new Brake Master Cylinder, un-stuck the front calipers, adjusted the rear pads, and she now has good brakes.  Also discovered that the temperature sending unit in the 304 isn't compatible with the CJ's Gauge, so I'll install the correct sending unit to fix the fuse problem.  I installed a temporary horn button while I wait on the horn button spring that I had to order.    Also the brake shut off valve leak is fixed.  Now to do some paint touch up and deliver it to my brother.  2011-02-22

  Spent a good days work fabricating the rear bumper.  Tomorrow I'll clean and paint it.  2011-03-03

  Installed the freshly painted bumper, and took Darrell's Jeep to the MIJC Annual Inspection Event.  Had a great time, and a good start for what is hopefully a great year of wheeling.  2011-03-05
  Darrell now has fresh paint on the Jeep.  Time for some new padding on the bars and a few decals.  2012-08-14
  Darrell has named his Jeep, and now has decals made and installed.  2012-09-19

  Darrell installed the rear fender flairs, the roll bar pads and a bikini top. Only things left is the "Jeep" decals and painting the wheels.  2012-12-14


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