1981 CJ7 Restoration - 2019.10.13 - Leo Kahng

1981 CJ7 Restoration - 2019.10.13

To complete the wheels, I needed to find some replacement screws and lock washers to reattach the center caps. So, I figured a quick trip to Home Depot would do the trick. I found #10-24 stainless steel Allen head screws and these externally "toothed" lock washers - seemed like I was good to go.

The screws I bought were 3/4" long and I thought I had the clearance in the receiving end of the caps - bad assumption. I would have to use 3 washers in addition to the lock washer to get the correct fastening tension, which seemed like too much of a bodge, so I decided to cut the screws.

Anything longer than the original screws met resistance and would not pull the center caps flush to the wheel.

When cutting screws/bolts, one of the issues is the burr that is created from cutting, which makes it very difficult to thread the screw/bolt to where ever it is going. Before cutting, I screwed on a nut, which I'd unscrew after cutting to act as a die to clean and reshape the threads.

Matching nut to use as a die after cutting.

Cinched up in the vise.

At first I used a Dremel tool with a metal cutting wheel. Though effective, it generated a ton of heat and seemed like it was taking a while to cut through the screw. Out of curiosity, I tried a hacksaw on the next screw and much to my surprise, it cut through the screw in less than half the time it took me to cut one with the Dremel tool.

About 30 minutes later, I was done. This is much less time than it would take me to go to Home Depot and get shorter screws - if they had them (which they didn't).

The wheels are finally completely done!

After cutting and filing a bit, the new screws are just a tad shorter than the originals. I made them a bit shorter just to be certain that they'd engage all the way.

Finally, a complete set of wheels!

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