TIM’S JEEP STRETCH
The chassis For a while now I had been wanting to gain some wheelbase over my stock cj7 wheelbase. Last year after breaking my frame at Harlan I knew that I needed to decide if I was going to sell my rig or build it into something more along the lines of what I wanted. Tom Knopp, John Stowe, and Wes Rollins all had stretched rigs where the jeep had been cut behind the front seats and stretched. To me, this was nice as I would not have to deal with the steering issues created when you push the front out. So, I decided to go this route on my cj7. I spoke to Tom and got the specifics on what he had done, and then consulted Brandon Moretz as he would be helping me, and we laid out a plan on what we were going to do. Ultimately, I will go to a front dana 60 and four link the suspension, but that is down the road. I decided to go out to around 110" wheelbase initially.  This last weekend we started on the project. I had already pulled the gas tank and gas lines. we met up with Rummage, JR, and Latt Moretz and got started. Here is the last picture before we started the teardown...
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Unloading it off the trailer...
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Then we pulled the rear driveshaft, seats, Trent's seat and storage box, and the roll cage...We laid out the cut lines and then out came the cutoff wheels and sawzall!!!!
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Here we are making the cuts....
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Here we are making the cuts....
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Once the cuts were made we were able to pull the two halves apart and then start to get it mocked up...
I ultimately decided to stretch it 18". This would put me at 112" wheelbase. I think that when it is linked and I go to a bigger tire size with the front 60, it will work pretty well...
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Here she is after she is all put back together. We put 2" by 4" tube inside the frame rails, and then the exterior was plated and diamond shaped plates were welded over the seam for extra strength. I think the frame will break somewhere else before this fails....
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So this was basically the end of day 1. We got it tore down, cut apart, and welded back together. Also, the cage was cut in preparation for it's modifications. I forgot to mention that on day 1 we made a template for the floor and then cut out the floor from 16 gauge sheet. Plans for day 2 were to focus on beefing up the cage and rebuilding the back half of the cage. We had already found a cage design we liked so we had an idea in our heads, but now it was time to start cutting and bending some tube. Meanwhile while we were doing this, Latt was able to cut the replacement body panels and also form the part of the body panel at the top of the tub, which was no small feat. So here is how she looked at the end of day 1....
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We kept the front portion of the cage and built off of it...
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More of the cage...
So I was very happy with how much progress we got in the first weekend. I will update when more work is done. My plan is to get the cage, body work, and other fabrication odds and ends wrapped up and get it back to Charlotte to install the fuel cell and fuel lines.....
Ok, so we have just gotten through the second weekend of the stretch project. Plans for this weekend included finishing the roll cage, installing the floor and body panels, having the driveshaft lengthened and reinstalled, rebuild the antiwrap bar for the rear axle, mount the fuel cell, and to mount Trent's seat. installing the floor.....
the roll cage begins to come together....
Finished roll cage, except for the addition of some gussets....
got the replacement body panel installed....
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The roll cage is tied to the frame through the fenderwell..
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got the fuel cell mocked into position....Also got Trent's seat re-installed.....
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So, here is how she sits, back in Charlotte. I don't have any pictures of the re-built antiwrap bar, but it is made out of 1 3/4 x .250 dom. I will have to re-do the fuel and brake lines, and eventually paint and body work....but we got a lot of work done. In two weekends we cut it in half, got it put back together, built a cage, and got it back to Charlotte. A big thanks to everyone's help, and hopefully I can get some help as I go forward in finishing it up... I am very happy with the results....
Oh, and this is how you load it when you realize you left your keys at home and the steering is locked....lol
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