This is one of our’ favorite restorations.
We did this 1982 Jeep CJ7 restoration for Kevin from Connecticut. He is a stockbroker, and he wanted to surprise his wife with a special present. And what can be more special than a fully restored CJ7, made with special care for a special person. As Kevin said, his wife did so much for him, and she deserved a surprise that she’s gonna love and never forget.
We always try to fulfill our clients’ expectations, but we were especially inspired by Kevin’s story this time. We were determined to exceed ourselves in this 1982 Jeep CJ7 restoration project.
I found one 1982 CJ7 Jeep in Colorado that was just like we wanted. It was a six-cylinder and automatic, just like Kevin’s wife would like to drive. I sent a UPS driver that brought it down to Florida, to our Palm Beach Customs workshop.
So we immediately started with the 1982 Jeep CJ7 restoration. We did not want to be late for Kevin’s wife’s birthday and ruin the surprise.
Beginning of the 1982 Jeep CJ7 restoration
The first step is always the same: striping off all interior, mechanical and electrical parts to get to the bare chassis and steel body. We were pleased that most parts were great, and the steel was almost completely rust-free. Over the years, we specialized in finding rust-free cars, but nobody could be 100% sure until you get to the bare metal.
We started with sandblasting. We stripped off all the paint to reveal the bare metal and discover any body imperfections that needed repair. After we finished all metalwork, we used a high-quality urethane-based primer to protect every metal inch. Then we applied a Reflex Bedliner on the whole bottom side, wheel archers, and inside, on the floor, tub and tailgate. It’s always a protective and durable solution that looks rugged and classy at the same time. In the next picture, you can see the new tailgate looks, connected with the new tailgate straps.
The next step was painting.
The painting in Kandy Apple Color
We painted this 1982 Jeep CJ7 in one exceptional color – Kandy Apple.
It was a 3 stage paint. It has a Cinder Red Base, Apple Candy, and high-grade Urethane Clear.
We used House of Kolor colors. They have high-quality products that we recommend and regularly use as a standard color solution.
The paint is always a delicate and precise part of the work. All other surfaces should be protected, so this part can’t be rushed. Every detail should be perfect.
We painted everything separately: the chassis, fenders, hood, tailgate, and front grill radiator support.
With a final coat of high-grade urethane clear, we made a high-gloss effect and protection for lower layers of paint.
This is one of the most satisfying parts of any restoration project. You finally get to see the shine and glitter of a new coat of paint and this CJ7 Jeep finally gets a new identity. One fitting for Kevin’s wife.
In the next step of 1982 Jeep CJ7 restoration, we did an ultrafine of all surfaces with 5000 grit, and everything looked so nice. Then we made the final 3 stages of buffing with foam pads to achieve a mirror finish of the newly painted CJ7 Jeep.
Words do no justice at how awesome this CJ7 looked like out in the sun.
When we finished painting, we could focus on other parts of the 1982 Jeep CJ7 restoration like the engine, mechanics parts, interior, and exterior.
How we harmonized the exterior design with the new color of the Jeep?
With such a beautiful color, Kevin chose a blackout package. It was a perfect match. We went with a new black denim soft Bestop that gave the Jeep an elegant and stylish look. All the trimmings, bumpers, rocker moldings, and a roll bar were covered with black satin paint. The same went for all four brand new flares that we put all around. On the new quiet and quality stainless exhaust, we put an additional black tip on. Even the new mirrors got the same black color treatment. And finally, a single hoop front bumper, a double hoop back bumper, and the side steps were all made with added black texture coating. It’s a solid, durable, and elegant solution.
We put a brand new 33” 15 5 BFG tires on the 15-inch wheels, made by US Wheels. They were pro-kind of wheels, and we did a 2-inch lift as a standard and proven solution. The rims were satin-black, as part of the Blackout Package.
The blackout package fits perfectly with Kandy Apple paint. You can see how cool and awesome the CJ7 looked outside in the daylight in the next picture!
Note how the doors aren’t your standard CJ7 doors. This was yet another customization request that makes this CJ7 Jeep restoration special.
Upgrading the dors was another significant improvement. The Hard Doors package means that we take out the old doors and replace them with brand-new ones, built tough for improved safety. All parts on the doors are brand new. Door locks, the inner lining, new body seal rubbers, and the new door panels. In the next picture, you can see the inside look of the door.
Restoring the interior of a 1982 CJ7 Jeep
In this 1982 Jeep CJ7 restoration, we completely rebuilt the dash. We put many new parts like a dash pad, all the gauges, the heat-off controls, all the bezels, and the indicator lights. On the youtube video at the end of the blog post, you can see how everything looks great with all the gauges and instrument clusters when all lights light-up at night.
To improve the driving experience and improve the control of the Jeep, we put a stylish new steering wheel with a horn button. Look how it jazzed up the dash and the interior.
In this 1982 Jeep CJ7 restoration, we put the new seats with black color, modern design, and comfortable touch. They were the central interior element, so they had to be perfect. It is good to mention that we also redid all the seat frames. We left nothing to chance.
Between the front seats, we installed the Tuffy lockbox. It provides a great storage place and perfectly fits for your coffee cup holders. Inside it, we put the Bluetooth Sony radio. I am a Tuffy big fan because it provides so many functionalities in the right place. And it fits great in the interior, keeping the radio and other stuff locked and secure when you are out of the CJ7.
Just behind the front seats, we put the pair of 6 x 9-inch wedge boxes with speakers. They fitted perfectly into the gaps back there, not reducing passengers’ comfort. The sound they produce matches the high quality and ruggedness of a jacked-up CJ7 with a paint job to die for.
On the floor, we installed Quadratec floor mats. They fit like a glove in the truck and look really cool. We also changed and put a new B&M shifter. It fitted perfectly into the interior environment.
Look at how detailed the interior restoration job is. Every inch of the surface is covered by either the kandy-apple red paint, bedliner, rubber mats and completely reupholstered parts.
In the image below, you can see how the interior looks like after all the work and trimmings are fitted snugly.
It’s calling your name to hop in and take it for a spin, doesn’t it?
Lots of new parts everywhere
Changing the windshield was another important part of the 1982 Jeep CJ7 restoration. We put a whole new windshield assembly: the windshield itself, the frame, the seals, hinges, wiper blades… Everything needed for a worry-free driving experience for years to come.
We replaced all lights with new ones, including the headlights and the indicator lights. With even the smallest details in mind, we replaced all the old hinges, and we used the new stainless. Longevity has always been on our minds.
When it comes to the engine bay and mechanicals in general, we usually don’t bother with repairs and just replace these important components with new ones. That way, we can be sure that the ownership experience will be as good as the looks of this CJ7 Jeep. The list of new parts is quite long, but here are the major parts:
- 6 cylinder 258 engine with 3 years time warranty
- brakes, rotors, and pads
- brake lines we upgraded into the stainless lines
- throttle barrel
- clutch kit and everything related to a clutch
The following picture shows the look of the engine compartment after we finished the complete 1982 Jeep CJ7 restoration:
This may be a CJ7 Jeep dating back to 1982, but as you can see, this is not an OLD vehicle. It’s as good as it was when it left the factory floor.
In the end, we were satisfied. When we looked at the new 1982 Jeep CJ7, we felt that we achieved something special. One forgotten old Jeep was turned into a new shining star on the road. Ready to put a smile on peoples’ faces for years to come.
And that’s what we always wanted: to make something good and quality and help people enjoy and be happy.
At Palm Beach Customs, we have been working in the restoration business since 1980. We have the knowledge and experience of that work. With over 1000 projects completed all across the US, we saw the magic behind the restoration process.
As we planned, we were on time for Kevin’s wife’s birthday. She loved the new CJ7, and Kevin succeeded to surprise her and to show his gratitude.
When they are happy, we all are happy.
And we… We started our new restoration project. If you wish, it could be your CJ7 restoration project.
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about our work.
Oh, and as mentioned above, here’s the youtube video of this restoration project. Enjoy!