1981 CJ7 Restoration - 2018.08.12

Today I took on the mission of getting the body (a.k.a. The Tub) off of the frame. From my last post, I'd stripped the body of nearly everything that could be connected to it, save for a few cable/hose supports on the underside. One of the biggest challenges was the removal of the rear-most body mount bolts. These bolts and the captured nuts they screw into were rusted together and when I tried to undo them, the retaining cage for the captured nuts broke loose and both the bolt and nut were spinning. On the driver's side of the body, I could grab the nut since the metal surrounding it was completely rusted away, and I got it undone with a fair degree of ease.

Driver's side rear body mount - completely rusted away.

The passenger side was much more challenging. The nut was spinning with the bolt, but I could not see the nut since the metal was still well intact around it. I tried lifting the body to see if it would just break loose - no such luck. So, I used a Dremel tool with a small cut-off wheel to cut into the surrounding sheet metal, then hammered it in to fold it inward so I could get access to the captured nut. This took a lot more effort than I anticipated, as the Dremel cut-off wheels disintegrated quickly against the 18-gauge sheet metal, so I used several wheels - good thing I had them on hand. I then grabbed the captured nut with Vise-Grips and proceeded to unscrew the body mount bolt until I could get it free.

Passenger side rear body mount nut, sheet metal cut away for access.

One thing I didn't mention was that prior to this step, I'd borrowed a friend's Sawz-All and burned up 2 of his metal cutting blades trying to saw off the body mount bolt, but I just couldn't get it done.

Anyway, after I got through the removal of this last bolt, the body came off.

Body off the frame!

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