Toyhauler sized Jeep build

Aug 30, 2022
The wife wanted a lifted gas powered golf cart for the beach but how cool is a golf cart? So after some time spent pondering i came up with a plan. I will take a cj3a and build a beach jeep that will fit in my toyhauler. I sourced a 1953 cj3a first that was complete. Got it home, got it to run and immediately realized it wouldnt work as it sat. So i began looking at what needed to be done to get it where i wanted it. That meant a bit more power, a bit more room. Better steering, possibly an automatic so the wife could drive it (she refuses to learn to drive a manual

So the next step was sorting what i wanted that was budget friendly and practical. I started searching for 4.3 motors and a turbo 350 tranny. Found motors but kept striking out on transmissions. Then looking for donors that would have a tilt column, steering box and other odds and ends that i needed. Then it came to me everything i wanted for this jeep came in a jeep. So i began looking for another jeep. I stumbled apon a rough 78 cj7. It checked all the boxes. 304v8, tilt column, swinging pedals, and a bit longer frame. I had decided i need to stretch the body a few inches and was heavily looking for a cj5 but could never find one in the right price range with most of the things i needed. So now i need to clear some room in the shop and begin the process of deranching the garb off this cj7. Then pull the body and usable parts fpr the build.

Flipped up the body tub to adress the bracing that was rotten and some that i had removed or mangled. Ended up using some unistrut in place of the proper hat channel. The unistrut is about the same gauge as the original hat channel and about the same size. Also cut the lip off under the sides by the door and ran some 1" square tubing to help structurally as well as have some sort of basic rocker protection.





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Shortened the frame 9" in the middle to achieve a total legenth of 11 ft. The frame had almost a perfect spot in the middle that made it some what easy. The frame on the cj7 was 2 pieces of channel welded together the easiest way i could come up with was to use the closet size rectangle tubing and with a piece of 1/8th plate added to fill the gap. Then some plug welds and welding the frame back together. Also addressed some rotten spots and cracks in the frame. Had to pull and replace the motor mounts as well since i was at this point.


With the body mostly done and the frame mostly done i had been worried that it might not fit like i had originally planned. So i was at the point where i set the body on the frame to get body mounts built and piece the rest of the floor together. Im going to have to raise the body due to some issues at the firewall and rear shock mounts. The body still needs to move forward about 2". I may end up having to shift the motor forward a bit. Im pretty certain i am going to go with some sort of electric fans to save on hood/ fender legenth. Still sorting that part out but i think i can use a cj7 radiator still. Also decisions of trying to decide which type of body mounts to use, cj7, cj3a style or something else. As well as time to start figuring out the brake master cylinder setup, clutch pedal setup. Plus hood, fender and radiator placement. I plan to go swinging pedals and likely a gm style tilt colum. Also need to begind looking for seats that will work and look appropriately in a flat fender


She keeps the checkbook so quite often actually. If I kept the checkbook there would be more than one Jeep in my garage. In fact there would be a bigger garage too🫣🤣😎

She was upset at 3 jeeps a few weeks ago. Then once i had 2 disassembled, scrapped and parts sold i had less than 2 jeeps technically. Now im almost back to 2 jeeps a tj and a johnny cash jeep
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Thought the wife wanted an auto tranny?

Me crunching numbers is why it dosent yet have a automatic. Im on the hunt for either a 4x4 turbo 350 or tf999. Also looking for a dana 300. Depending on the trans i find Depends on the final motor. For the moment the 304 and 3 spd will make the project a running driving project.
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You have a lot more skills than I do that's for sure. I would have went this direction :ROFLMAO:

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Im making it up as i go. Ive watched probably more hours of powerblock and other various shows.... probably have a master degree in cobbling at this point. Plus this is a bit simpler to stretch than my tj which i plan to do at some point. If this goes horribly wrong i have almost nothing invested in some old parts jeeps.
I like the golf cart though that one looks alot cooler then the ones she keeps trying to talk me into buying
So what's the cargo capacity of your toy hauler?

I have wanted to take along different vehicles in mine, but about 1700lbs is the vehicle weight limit on mine.
So what's the cargo capacity of your toy hauler?

I have wanted to take along different vehicles in mine, but about 1700lbs is the vehicle weight limit on mine.

Its around 3k iirc. We usually take 3 atvs to colorado which should weight about as much as this jeep or a bit more. Curb weight on a cj7 is just over 2500lbs. Id wager the flattie tub weighs less than the cj tub. The biggest concern is legenth