Looong CJ

The Work:

The business next door to ours is a metal fabrication shop called WorthTex Custom Steel Fab. in Fort Worth, Texas. The owners/operators there have become friends over the years, and have done many custom fabrication projects on my Jeep and my father's Bronco.

While WorthTex is not an automotive shop, one of the owners, Jimmy Cox, has had some experience lengthening vehicles. We decided to try it on my Jeep. Having seen his work, I was confident he could do it right.

CJ Before
Before surgery.

Chopped Rear
Chopped rear.

After taking it over, we decided to cut & splice the vehicle just in front of the rear spring perches, behind the front seats. I told Jimmy that removing the front half of the body from the frame was out of the question. There was simply too much custom electrical work that would have to be undone, and the redone. He agreed to cut the body first and remove the back half, leaving the front half in place.

Split 1

Split 2
The extension is a piece of boxed channel frame, inserted between the front and back halves.

I first cut all of the fuel lines, brake lines, and electrical wires and removed the rear driveshaft and nerf bars. Jimmy then cut the body and removed the back half. Next, he cut the frame in the same location. He made some boxed channel frame pieces that were small enough to slide inside each frame rail on both sides. After squaring up the frame, he welded these pieces in place permanently. He then fabricated larger pieces of channel (the same size as the original frame material) and grafted them on over the "internal" frame members. Next, he added some cross bracing, and the frame was done. And, guaranteed to be stronger than the original frame.

Pluggin' The Holes

Editor's Notes: Rick Neil is the President of the FWD-FWD Club. Contact him at raneil@aol.com

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