Restoration Prep Advice for a 1981 BJ

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Hey guys,

Well I am in the process of putting my 1981 BJ4 Diesel up on blocks for some restoration work. The rust has finally gotten the best of her and I need to change the repair the rear deck, wheel wells, and front floor... As well I am using the opportunity to do some other much needed maintenance such as a full brake job, body mount replacement, all fluid changeout...

In order to do the rear deck work which will invovle basically cutting out the entire thing, fabbing up a new one and reinstalling, I will need to drop the fuel tank...

I have never prep for a restoration, nor have I done one before of this size but was wondering what steps I should do to prep the truck for the restoration so that I will be in good position to start it up and not create any damage to it...

I am not sure how long the truck will be out of commission but I suspect probably about 6 months...

Any suggestions for what I should do, be it little or big to prep the truck and engine for not running about 6 months...
 
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The best advice i can give is Document,document,document!!!!!!! Take pic's,measurements,keep a notebook with dimensions. Take measurements ridiculously. Weld braces and supports(overbuild) as the welding and heat transfer process WILL change things. You want everything to fit(f/doors.hardtop,r/amb.doors,r/seats,rollbar.etc.).Best of luck.
 
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Hey diesel, thanks... was in so much of a hurry I didn't think to document everything... I am taking a big step back now...

Hey got a question for you... do you know the dimension of the 2 rear cross members for the rear deck of your BJ42, you have an 83 right... I am asking because I will need to rebuild those and mine or so rotten I can't measure them up... These are the 2 rear members that go cross ways under the rear deck and provide 4 body mounts to the frame... My floor and members are toast...

I am also not sure if I should just cut the whole half of the tub and remove it from the truck or if I should just cut out the floor and go from there cutting out what is rotten... I am worried if I just cut the rear half of the tub off I will loose squareness and screw something up...

Any thoughts, ever take something on like this...
 

DanS HJ-45

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Seriously if you don't have one--buy a digital camera. You can't have enough pictures when you're putting it back together. I haven't even really started taking my HJ apart and I've got over a thousand pictures on the computer.

Also, let's see some pics of it now. That would be a big help in deciding just how much to cut off and how much to salvage...

Also--but a factory service manual. For the mechanical stuff--it's priceless. No Haynes or Chilton's can compare to it!

Dan
 
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Hey DanS,

Thanks for the advice on taking many pics... I have 2 digital cameras so I will make good use of them...

I have posted a couple pics of her when I first joined IH8mud and they can be found on my first post...

Not sure how to link a previous post on here but if you have trouble finding it, just let me know...

I was lucky, the PO had both OEM service manuals for it, he bought them with the truck in 81... They have already come in handy...
 
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My advice is to make sure you have enough time and Money to complete the job. Don't dismantle and disable your rig if you won't have the means to follow through to completion. Estimate that this will take twice as long and cost three times as much as you think.

good luck! :clap:
 
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thanks for all the good info guys...

Any advice on mechanical prep, ie. things that I need to prep the diesel engine or charging systems for being out of commission for 6 months... The fuel tank needs to be dropped so any ideas on what should be done to the fuel system to ensure that it starts backup without a major issue...
 

Weedhopper

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X3 on the pics.. Beg, borrow or steal copy paper boxes for parts... and a couple of black markers. I have a parts truck almost completely boxed away and labeled in copy boxes.
 
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thanks for all the good info guys...

Any advice on mechanical prep, ie. things that I need to prep the diesel engine or charging systems for being out of commission for 6 months... The fuel tank needs to be dropped so any ideas on what should be done to the fuel system to ensure that it starts backup without a major issue...

Store your battery on a wood base and buy an auto float charger if you don't have one. They are pretty cheap from wally world or Amazon. Shumacher is a common brand. Not that its a huge deal but preventive maintenance on your battery is easy, cheap and keeps it in top shape.

Probably mentioned but don't go into it blindly. Have a plan and stick to it. You are already guaranteed at spending more than you want to but you can at least keep the overspending minimal if you have a solid plan.

Tripper
 
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$$

dude

do not start this without some cash fundage to back it up with... i did that when i was younger and broker and i lost my beautiful green girl so sad:frown: i'm still choked. from the sounds of things you're canadian weight loss program resembles many of us and i do think the easiest way is to buy a new tub. yeah iknow it is pricey but how many hours will you spend fabbing up stuff and fudging around. if the floor braces/mounts is rotten how far away are the door sills/fender/floor etc etc. if you look on the bottom of the fuel tank there is a drain. drain it out use it to start campfires etc. mine was left 2 years with fuel in the tank and it still after 3 filter changes would drain down (in the tank) to the old fuel point and stutttrereredd stalled and i think took out the priming pump/ lift pump thingy drained tank, had big fire, no further issuse to date. i would not worry about the motor just give her new oil with a primed filter in 6mths or so before you start here. oh yeah show some pics. is she 24 volt or imported.
 
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i've done two and in the end it's not much cheeper to build your own.
less than two grand gets you a new steel half tub, ready to bolt down. and in the end you have a new tub as opposed to an old tub that has been repaired.
i got almost free materials and use of a full shop and it still cost about $3-400. and if i took the week or so i used to do and stayed at work not much savings...
i didn't take any pics(regretibly) but i used the metal i cut off as a template.
if you go with a new tub you just draw three lines and go nuts wth a grinder. an hour later there should be crumpled pile of rusty metal at your feet and some bare frame rails.
also i did not need to remove the fuel tank, leaving the vehicle movable.
hope this helps.
eric

p.s. were do you live?
 
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hey guys... all this advice is opening my eyes... thanks.. it is great...

couple of answers to your questions:

bluerock, it is a 24V system... had lots of learning when I replaced the 2 batteries a couple months ago

gettocruiser, I am in Breslau, Ontario... Little town just outside kitchener

couple of questions for you on some of your comments:

bluerock, is there a drain plug for the gas tank on the diesel trucks... I ddin't see one when I was looking earlier but that isn't to say I didn't miss it... Will definitely take your advice of draining the tank...

Gettocruiser, thanks so much for the advice on the 1/2 tub, I totally get your point and I know that is probably the way I should go and after I do this I will probably kick myself but there is something attracting me to cut and fab up my own pieces to restore the original bed... I will keep it in mind though because if I get into rust beyond belief with no good metal left to secure to then I will need to do... Wanted to ask you, how did you manage to cut and slash the rear deck and weld without dropping the tank... I am worried of a mishap and blowing or burning myself to bits.... did you drain the whole system, let it dry up and then get to work, being careful around the lines??? If so, did she prime up ok... I heard the LC diesels can be a real PITA to prime and get running after draining... Any thoughts...
 
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oh one other question I got, how do I startup a resto thread... will have lots of pictures and not sure if the standard way of posting pics in here is going to give me a enough...

any idea how some of the guys get the really long posts with thousands of pics...
 
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... if I get into rust beyond belief with no good metal left to secure to then I will need to do... Wanted to ask you, how did you manage to cut and slash the rear deck and weld without dropping the tank... I am worried of a mishap and blowing or burning myself to bits.... did you drain the whole system, let it dry up and then get to work, being careful around the lines??? If so, did she prime up ok... I heard the LC diesels can be a real PITA to prime and get running after draining... Any thoughts...


when i repaired my truck('81 bj42) i cut off the old tub from the seats/door post with 5" zip cut blade on a grinder. i built the new half tub in the shop and dropped it into place.
my other truck(also '81 bj 42) thought the same as you do "maybe i can cut out the rust and patch it... i ended up cutting out the entire wheelwells and the sides, could have cut out the bed and sill too...
managed to save the top lip, wrapped some aluminum sides on it, patched the rear deck. fabricated some new wheel wells(pita without brakepress)
i understand your attitude, even though i suggested you buy one i would still do it myself.
but i have to say if you are going to do it then do it. don't make it a 6 month project, finish it by may. you really want to have it for the summer, ever if it means throwing some fiberglass at it and starting it in the fall.
and as far as welding around diesel is concerned... make sure your tank is completely full, if in the truck. if there is no air in the tank(only fuel) there is very little to worry about... you could throw lit matches and cigarette butts in it all day and they would all go out. GASOLINE IS A DIFFERENT STORY!!!
when you let the tank straps go it will also drop afew inches.
good luck, eric
 

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