1981 CJ7 Restoration - 2018.09.23 - Leo Kahng

1981 CJ7 Restoration - 2018.09.23

After staring at the frame and attached axles for a couple of weeks, I decided I had better get to it - pitter patter!

Got the rear axle off today - the AMC 20 Narrow Track. I believe it is a 2.73 gearing, but will verify once I open up the differential case. The removal of the rear axles was not as involved as I thought it would be. The fasteners for the shocks and leaf springs came off without too much drama. 

At first glance it looks like not much changed, but it is completely free from the frame.


Two of the rear shackle hanger bolts, the rear-most ones, broke at the bolt head when I tried to remove them a while ago to get the draw bar off. The other two came out fairly easily, but I took care to use a shallow socket on a breaker bar to reduce the angular force applied to the bolt head, and it worked out. However, there were still two bolt studs fused into the frame.

One of the rear shackle hanger bolts with the head broken off.


I soaked these guys in penetrating oil for several hours then hit them with a blowtorch for a minute or two. I then put a small monkey wrench on the bolt stud and cranked it with a 3-foot cheater pipe. Much to my amazement, the stud didn't break at the frame and unscrewed out - whew!

I thought I was home free and started stripping everything that remained on the frame, like any remaining brake/fuel line brackets and bump stops. With the last bump stop, the bolt snapped at the frame - so disappointing. Well, after a drilling session with a cobalt drill bit, I got it drilled out and was able to just barely recover the threading with a tap. It's very loose since I drilled a bit too much after going too far at the wrong angle, but at least it's not a super critical bolt. I suppose I can helicoil it or just make the hole bigger and tap it for a bigger bolt. Nothing that will kill the project.

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