1981 CJ7 Restoration - 2023.05.22

Nine months since I last touched the Jeep. I really need to figure out a way to balance my time since I go all-in when ski season hits, then it takes me some time to unwind and regroup from the end of the season. Anyway, I'm back on the Jeep and getting really close to hiring a body shop to do some light metal work and paint the body pieces.

One task I've been putting off is to repair 2 body supports on the frame that suffered some significant rust damage.

Rust-damaged body supports. Holes for the body mounts were blown out due to corrosion.

Using a diamond cut-off wheel on an angle grinder, I cut away the corroded steel while trying to keep the cuts clean and straight.

Notches cut out to take away corroded steel and expose good metal for welding.

The following photos are of the replacement body supports I got from Key Parts. I had originally purchased a set of body supports from Rusty's Off Road. They are very well made and robust body supports, but the metal is too thick to mate up with the originals. Great product, but I couldn't use it for my application.

The Key Parts supports are the same thickness as factory stock so welding will be more consistent, in theory.

Key Parts body supports for CJ7's - part number: 01-0479-300

For my next trick I cut the Key Parts supports to match my cut outs in the originals. One may wonder why I didn't just cut off the originals and weld the complete new ones to the frame?

I am a novice welder and wasn't confident enough to cut/grind the originals off the frame and start messing with welding to the frame. Maybe this isn't the right way to go about it, but I think it works for me.

New pieces cut to match the cut outs in the originals.

After exposing bare metal around the edges of the new pieces and the frame-mounted parts, welding commenced. Not very pretty, but they held up to some hammer strikes, so hopefully they're good enough.

New pieces welded in then ground flat.

After completing the welds I wiped down the exposed metal with rust converter/preventative, then painted with Eastwood Extreme Chassis Black. It took a couple of coats to get everything, but it seems to do the trick. Time will tell.

New body supports done!

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