Over the years, we have learned that each new restoration reveals a new story to us. And the following one was truly emotional.
We made this 1982 Jeep CJ7 restoration for Stephanie from Miami. The Jeep that she received from her relatives was previously owned by her, now passed away, uncle.
Stephany wanted to do a restoration in memory of him, and we were ready to do the best we could to help her. The story behind this 1982 Jeep CJ7 restoration didn’t leave us indifferent, so we wanted to do everything we can to help Stephanie in her mission.
Let’s get into more details and see how the 1982 Jeep CJ7 restoration was going step by step.
From Tough Rusty Start to a Shiny Body Finish
Since we already knew it was a Michigan Jeep in question, we were expecting to be very rusty when it came to our workshop in Florida.
But still, as we do with every car, we started to strip-off everything from the Jeep as the official start of the 1982 Jeep CJ7 restoration.
The picture below shows the Jeep’s condition when we were somewhere in the middle of the process.
After we stripped-off everything, we started focusing on each building block separately.
We did a bit of sandblasting on the chassis and the steel body, and we reassured ourselves that their condition was below our standards.
Here in Palm Beach Customs, full-body restorations are our regular assignment, so we knew exactly what we should do. We quickly found another body tub in great condition as a replacement for the old one and sandblasted it until we got to the bare metal. It perfectly matched the new front floor pans, so we were good to continue with this 1982 Jeep CJ7 restoration.
We carefully assessed and repaired any inch of sheet metal until everything looked shiny like it should be.
Then we applied urethane primer and sealed every nook and cranny on the body. Now we were ready to treat the inside and outside of the tub with a spray-on Bedliner. This is our practice since we know that a spray-on Bedliner is the most effective way of protecting the Jeep’s surfaces. It makes the body extremely durable, water-resistant, and highly-protected from any kind of mechanical impact.
As always, we used the Reflex Bedliner which we applied on the bottom side, the whole floor, the wheel arches, and the inside of the tailgate.
On the body’s outside, we applied a high-grade polyurethane black color. Painting is always a tricky part of the restoration since you need to make sure the paint doesn’t end up on the wrong surfaces. We carefully protected the inner parts and spray-on the paint. Everything was moving in the right direction for now.
Since Stephanie wanted the color to be the same as her uncle left it, we re-painted the Jeep with its original color – metallic blue. Stephanie was delighted when she saw it for the first time in daylight at the end of the 1982 Jeep CJ7 restoration. The reflection of the sunlight was magnificent.
But let’s get back to the 1982 Jeep CJ7 restoration process.
We proceeded further and performed the same restoration procedure on the chassis. Very soon, it got the desired renewed look and shine.
But that didn’t mean that we were finished with the 1982 Jeep CJ7 restoration. Now was time to put new parts everywhere needed.
New Parts All Over the Jeep!
All rusty, damaged, or obsolete parts of this Jeep had to be replaced. We completely rebuild the suspension, putting new leaf springs, bushings, and shackles.
All the hardware we were using was made from stainless steel. As with all restorations, we were determined to use nothing but high-quality parts in this 1982 Jeep CJ7 restoration.
The fuel tank and fuel delivery unit were among the first parts we replaced.
We completely rebuilt the transmission, and we added a new flywheel and a new clutch kit.
The wheels and the rims were Stephanie’s choices. We put BFGoodrich KO2 33 12.5 and 8 inches wide on 15 inches factory-style rims made by US Wheels. They were exactly as they should be – rough, strong, and stylish. They matched perfectly with the front and rear bumpers for which we used a factory styled stainless steel models.
At the back, we put a stock rear tire rack where a spare tire can be easily installed.
The brand new 6 cylinder 258 engine was one of the biggest improvements. It came with a 3-year unlimited miles warranty. It allowed Stephanie to be free from worries about any possible minor engine repairs and focused on the Jeep’s driving enjoyment.
At that point, we were ready for the body to meet the chassis.
We in the automotive industry love to use the term ‘marriage’ for the moment when the car steel body is mounted on the chassis 🙂
That’s the moment when the parts are no longer a bunch of metal stuff, but they start looking like a real vehicle again. We bolted down the two major components together again, using stainless steel hardware. The Jeep was alive again.
Lovely New Interior
We paid special attention to the look of the interior in this 1982 Jeep CJ7 restoration.
We used a brand new and high-quality Painless wiring harness. We carefully and precisely reconnected everything inside the Jeep, including the new dash panels, and then we put the new gauges on.
We completely rebuild the steering column. A factory-style Fossett steering wheel was a great choice since it is such a timeless and stylish detail.
The brown tone of the Bestop soft top was also Stephanie’s wish. So we installed the top with beautiful chestnut color and also used the same color for the pair of soft doors. The combination of this color and the metallic blue looked charming.
We used the same chestnut color as a pattern for the new Bestop Trailmax seats that we put inside the Jeep. They were so beautiful and cozy and instantly jazz up the interior. Take a look:
At the central console between the front seats, we put Tuffy lockbox. We installed a brand new stereo system inside, leaving enough space for winch control and a takeaway coffee cup.
We also installed wedge boxes behind the roll bar at the back seat level. That was the perfect spot to put stereo speakers, which we love doing on all of our CJ’s restorations. It’s a simple and compact solution that looks awesome at the same time.
At the end of this 1982 Jeep CJ7 restoration, the Jeep looked absolutely incredible. Stephanie was overjoyed. Not only she got the Jeep from her dreams, but she got to keep the memory of her uncle in a part of it.
And we were happy and proud that we succeeded to make someone’s dream come true, again.
In our workshop, we are usually working at the same time on so many CJ7, restoring them in many different ways. When we finished this 1982 Jeep CJ7 restoration, two others were also on the way. Each one with its own story and special look. You can see all three of them in the picture below.
What does the Jeep of your dreams look like? Tell us, maybe we can make your dream come true.
With more than 2100 successful restorations in the past 40 years, our team of experts has the knowledge and experience to deal with challenges of any kind.
So, feel free to contact us if you have any questions or you need additional information.
In 1979 I made a special order for a CJ5 Renegade in Morocco Buff with the blue Levi top and interior. The combination wasn’t available in the normal orders. The Jeep had a Three speed with a 258 cu engine. Do you think this CJ Can be reproduced from a donor Jeep?
Do you have access to a good donor Jeep’s?
Ron, we can build you anything,
The blue top might be difficult that would have to be custom made
best John Russo