CJ-7 Projects


Lightforce Lights - H.I.D. High-intensity discharge Upgrade

HEI Ignition System (GM Style) Installed in the AMC 360 V8
Getting rid of gremlins and improving performance

Installing 23,000 Volt Offroad Lights

Autogage Tachometer Installation

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 Centralia PA
Project CJ-7
Offroaders Guide
to Gearing up
for Offroad

From Basic Equipment to Well Equipped.  An extensive list guide to help you prepare your vehicle for the offroad.


Onboard Air
Converting a York
AC Compressor
to Pump Air

Trailering Safety and Trailer Hitch Information


Off-Road Truck Driving Techniques and Safety

Off-Road Lights
by LightForce Product Review / Installation.
from Off-Road Lights


Jeep Dana 300 TeraLow - 4:1 Gearset for the Dana 300 Transfer Case

AMC V8 Engines
GEN-1 Nash/Hudson/Rambler V-8s (1956-1966) through to the GEN-3 AMC Tall-deck (1970-1991)

Chevy Small-Block V8 Engines
Chevy Small-Block V8 Engines Manufactured by General Motors - Production: 1955?2002

Hemi Engine - All about the Hemi Engine

Ford Engines
4 Cylinder, 6 Cylinder, 8 Cylinder, 10 Cylinder, 12 Cylinder Ford Engines

Ford V8 Engines
8 Cylinder Engines manufactured by Ford

Ford 351 Cleveland V8 Engines
351 cubic inch V8 Engines manufactured by Ford

Chrysler Hemi Engine

AMC V8 hp/Torque, Compression & Bore/Stroke by year

Engine Size Conversion Table
Converting engine displacement from CID, Liters, C.C.

Engine Overheating Basics - 16 Common Causes of an Overheated Engine

Fan Clutch Diagnosis
How to tell if the Fan Clutch in your Cooling System is failing or has failed.

Automotive Gauges & Instrument Functions
Information they display & their importance.


From the
Department of Cheap   Tricks and Useful Tips

Ultra-Cool Hand Throttle for Free!

Jeep V8 Swap Tips

The Exploding Clutch

Radiator Protection using 6 bucks worth of material

Cracked Under Pressure - Fixing a smashed fingernail

A Cheap, effective alternative to undercoating

Home-built Saginaw Gearbox Brace for the cost of lunch!

Ammo Box Storage - Mounting Them for Quick Disconnect

Home-built Serious Skid-Plate protection for the Oil Pan for under 20 bucks!

Ramp Travel Index
RTI / Ramp Travel Index  What it is and how to calculate it, with and without the ramp.





Project Jeep CJ-7   
U-Bolt Skid Plates

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Fabricating Custom U-Bolt Plates with Skid Protection




With the job of a Dana 44 axle swap to the project CJ-7 came the need for new u-bolt plates.  Two things made stock u-bolt plates un-useable.  One was that the axle tube diameter of the Dana 44's were larger than the stock CJ-7 axle tubes and two, I was using Wrangler leaf springs (BDS 3½" springs).  This meant that the front springs that would have been 2" wide in a stock CJ (front springs only) were now 2½" and the axle tube that would have been 2¼" on a Dana 30 were now 2¾".  It was apparent that stock plate wouldn't cut it.  I probably could have used Wrangler u-bolt plates and reamed the holes into oblong holes but why would I pass up the opportunity to get creative.   

The first order of business was to get some basic plates cut so that I could mount the axles.  Months ago I had already grabbed some scrap metal thingers that looked like they could eventually be something.  One is pictured to the right.  They were ¼" steel and had bends in just about the right places.  Using these pieces of scrap steel the large flanges were cut off and holes drilled to match the axle tube width and the leaf spring widths.  Also a center hole was drilled for the leaf pack bolt.  They were bolted up and that's how it was for the past 6 months or so while frame work was being done.

Just recently it was time to finish up the job of fabricating some custom u-bolt plates.  One of the first things I did was buy some long bolts that had a shaft diameter that matched the bushing on the shocks.  Using the original CJ-7 u-bolt plates as a guide and adding a little modification to them I took measurements and test fitted on the Jeep.  The grade 8 bolts were then cut to the length I needed (basically cutting off the bolt head and excess threads).  These were then welded at either end (for the front) with the threads detruding out the end just as far as the stock shock bolts.  Also a large washer was welded to the bolt and plate to protect the shock bushing.  This takes care of the swap bar and the shocks.  While I was at it I welded in the flanges for the skid plate taking into consideration clearance for the u-bolt nuts.  I also figured out the minimal distance between the u-bolt plate and the skid plate.


Next order of business was to use a piece of aluminum to make a template for the skid plates for length and angle.  These skid plates would be bent on an angle upwards towards the leaf springs and bolted to the u-bolt plate.  More scrap steel was used for the skid plate. These pieces I found were the right width for the skid plates and only required to be cut to length.  I can't say enough about finding a local steel shop and inquiring about scrap metal.  Most shops will probably have a dumpster they use for disposing all sorts of scrap steel of various lengths and shapes.  You never know what you'll find.

Once the skid plate pieces were cut to length, I cut a relief cut into the steel where it was to be bent.  This cut was only half way though the steel and was on the inside of the bend. Then using a vice and a large adjust wrench, I made the bend.  when I had the bend at the angle I wanted, I ran a weld bead across the cut to close it up and strengthen it.  I could have ran it down to a local steel shop to have it bent but this method was quicker and I didn't have to bug the shop guys.


To the left is all 4 skid plates in different stages.  The rear plates were shorter the front plates.

With the skid plates bent, I then welded a few tabs onto the plate that fit inside the tabs of the u-bolt plate and holes were drilled.  That was pretty much it.  They were test fitted, removed, cleaned and painted.     

Finished Product.






Project Jeep CJ-7 ~ U-bolt Skid Plates

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Offroad Tire Info
Tire Terminology
Wheel Terminology
How to Pick the Right
Tires for your Truck
Truck Tire Info
Tires - What Hits What Fits
All Terrain  Mud Terrain
Tire Reviews & Info
Mud Terrain MT Tire Reviews
All Terrain AT Tire Reviews
Super Swamper Bogger
Super Swamper SSR
Super Swamper SX
Super Swamper Vortrac
Interco IROK TSL
Super Swamper LTB
Super Swamper TSL
Super Swamper TSL Radial
Super Swamper Narrow
Interco SS-M16 Swamper
Thornbird TSl Radial
Thornbird TSl Bias
Thornbird TSL
Parnelli Jone Dirt Grip
BFGoodrich Krawler
BFGoodrich MT T/A KM
BFGoodrich MT T/A KM2
BFGoodrich AT TA KO
BFGoodrich Mud King XT
Bridgestone Dueler MT
Cooper Discoverer ST
Cooper Discoverer STT
Cooper Discoverer ST/C
Firestone Destination MT
General Grabber MT
General Grabber AT2
Green Diamond Icelander
Ground Hawg Mud Tire
Hankook Dynapro MT
Hankook Dynamic MT RT01
Hercules Terra Trac MT
Hercules Trail Digger MT
Kelly-Springfield Safari DTR
Kelly-Springfield Safari MSR
Kumho Road Venture MT
Kumho Road Venture KL71
Kumho Road Venture AT
Dick Cepek Mud Country
Dick Cepek F-C II
Dick Cepek Fun Country II
Dick Cepek Fun Country Nylon
Dick Cepek Fun Country Kevlar
Mastercraft Courser MT
Mastercraft Courser HTR
Mastercraft Courser HTR Plus
Maxxis BigHorn Radial
Maxxis Creepy Crawler
Maxxis Trepador
Maxxis Buckshot Mudder
Maxxis MA-SW
Maxxis M-8080 Mudzilla
Maxxis MT-754 Buckshot
Maxxis MT-753 Bravo
Maxxis MA-751 Bravo
Maxxis MA-S2 Marauder II
Maxxis MA-S1 Marauder
Maxxis MT-762 BigHorn
Nitto Mud Grappler
Nitto Dune Grappler
Nokian Vatiiva MT
Pit Bull Rocker Extreme
Pit Bull Maddog
Pit Bull Growler
Goodyear Wrangler MT/R
Pro Comp Xterrain
Pro Comp All Terrain
Pro Comp Mud Terrain
Pro Comp Xtreme AT
Pro Comp Xtreme MT
Toyo Open Country MT
TrXus Mud Terrain
TrXus STS All Terrain
Mickey Thompson MTZ
Mickey Thompson MTX
Mickey Thompson Baja Claw
Mickey Thompson Baja Crusher
Competition Claw
Dunlop Mud Rover
Yokohama Geolandar

Latest trips Offroad
... trail reports with the Project CJ-7
click here.

Sounds System, Raised the Rear Seat
Storage below and a great place to mount 6x9 Speakers for Great Bass ... In a Jeep!

York AC Compressor Conversion.  What used to pump Freon, now pumps compressed air to the front and rear bumpers.  125 psi,  2 gallons of storage, air fittings at the bumpers, enough CFM to power air tools!.  Click Here for more  Details


Dick Cepek's 2008 F-250 Super Duty Project Vehicle ? Project CRUSHER

Warn X8000i
Winch Installation

ARB Air Locker Install
Jeep Wide Track Axles Swap

Mud Tire Reviews

Building a Garage?
Need a Garage Plan?

Reader's Rigs and Seriously Stucks!


Jeep Trans Swap Info
T-18A Transmission Rebuild & Short Shaft Conversion