1981 CJ7 Restoration - 2020.04.03

I was so excited to get the Jeep on 4 wheels that I forgot to check whether or not everything was going to fit, hahaha. The front locking hubs require one to manually engage the axles with the wheels to enable true four wheel drive. Pictured below are new Warn licking hubs, but notice how the hub body is perfectly round where it the center hole of the wheel goes around it.

New Warn locking hub.

Now note how the wheel center cap is shaped. There are inset areas that allow clearance to access the lug nuts without disassembling the wheel.

Front wheel center cap.

Those inset areas won't clear the hub body. You can even see scallops cut into the hubs to allow for some clearance.

No go.

Inspecting the hub clutches that go on the ends of the axle shafts, the new and original parts look to be identical and of identical dimensions. I figured why not keep the new clutches on, but use the original hub bodies?

Sorry there aren't any "before" photos, but the original hub bodies were black. I decided to strip them with an abrasive buff wheel attached to a Dremel tool. The original hub bodies are in good shape, but the paint was rather weathered and looked pretty beat up.

Original hub bodies disassembled and stripped.

As you can see above, the original hub bodies were scalloped vs. round, to allow clearance for the wheel center caps. I actually wanted to use the original hub bodies, but figured hey, I have these new Warn hubs, new is better right? Well, now I'll be restoring the original hub bodies and pairing them with the new hub clutches, then function testing them. Hope this works - would love to keep that original look.

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