1981 CJ7 Restoration - 2021.09.12

Put in a full day today to take care of a bunch of odds and ends in preparation for the motor installation. If you took before and after photos from the morning and evening it would look like nothing got accomplished LOL.

I've been dragging my feet on installing the front brakes since I waited so long to paint the calipers, which were different colors. Also, it was very confusing, to me, which side these calipers go on. They are marked R and L, but all the photos and diagrams I've seen have them switched so that the bleed ports are at the highest point possible, and the banjo bolt connection is facing forward and high too. So, that's how I installed them, backwards according to their markings. They went on fine, but we'll see how it goes when I drive the Jeep for the first time.

I think this is right?

Seems like a crazy tight fit, but most calipers I've seen on cars are like this.

Another thing that has been in the back of my mind for over a year is the steering damper pin that gets sandwiched between the Dana 30 front axle and the leaf spring. I'd forgotten all about this piece, almost discarded it, then restored it a few days ago. I've been dreading this exercise, but I just got it done. Had to undo the U-bolts and use a jack to assist with holding things and to compress the shock absorber to reinstall everything. It's finally done.

It's about time I got this thing back on here.

My OCD got the better of me and I decided to get some transfer case lowering spacers to hopefully prevent drivetrain vibrations due to alignment issues since the leaf springs provide about a 2.5" lift. Though simple in concept, this was a real bitch to install on the passenger side since the skid plate hole dimensions were slightly off. I think with everything installed at the factory, there was some flex with a fully loaded frame that allowed it to fit fine back then, just a hunch. Anyway, I had to grind out the holes with a Dremel tool and a tungsten-carbide bit to get things back together, then torqued the bolts to 30 ft-lbs.

1" transfer case drop to counter the 2.5" leaf spring lift.

In attempting to declutter the shelves a bit, I decided to install the heavy-duty steering box mount onto the frame. This thing is so overbuilt that I have no doubt that the frame would bend or break before this mount deformed. The construction is incredibly robust - nice job M.O.R.E.

To mount this, one has to remove the bolts to the front driver's side front spring mount and replace them with longer bolts. This went well as the mount stayed in place with a jack underneath the leaf spring. Spacers are provided to address any gaps and all hardware is grade 8.

Front cross-member mounting (left) and underside view (right).

This is one serious mount. I'm sure I'll never test its limits.

Wrapping up the day, the last thing I wanted to do was shore up the frame-side engine mounts, again, parts from Mountain Off-Road Enterprises (M.O.R.E.). These super robust mounts are overkill, but I like the way they look and have total confidence that they will last forever.

The M.O.R.E. motor mounts use the factory mounting plates that connect directly to the engine block. Oddly, I have not been able to locate photos online of all the pieces attached, so I'll do my best to document how they go on and photograph the arrangement once I install the motor.

One thing I didn't document well enough with photos is that cross bar that attaches between the mounts. I believe this is the correct orientation, but I'll figure it out after I install the motor.

Frame-side motor mounts installed and bolts torqued to 30 ft-lbs. I may need to loosen them for engine mounting, but wanted to snug them up for now.

Things are setup to receive the engine.

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