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fiberglass body

Discussion in 'Intermediate CJ-5/6/7/8' started by 1stCJ, May 13, 2007.

  1. May 13, 2007

    1stCJ New Member

    clarion pa
    May 12, 2007
    hello all,just joined this site,seems pretty cool,i just bought a 75 cj 5 with a fiberglass body and one oiece fiberglass front end. what are your opinions on these bodies,seems ok to me but just wanted some input .
  2. May 13, 2007

    sparky done Staff Member Founder

    Toowoomba, QLD
    Sep 20, 2002

    What kind of information were you looking for regarding the fiberglass tubs in particular?

    Alot will depend on the brand.
  3. May 13, 2007

    1stCJ New Member

    clarion pa
    May 12, 2007
    as far as i can tell its a 4wheel drive hardware brand. do the bodys ever warp or twist? just put new energy suspension body mounts on it and had to shim rr corner alot more than the rest to get level.
    could possibly be my frame. i will post some pics as soon as i can
  4. May 13, 2007

    jeep6275 Member

    south east iowa
    Feb 14, 2007
    i bought a jc whitney body but have an install video for the 4wd hardware body.

    their should be four bolts in the tub basically at your feet. their should also be some stainless angles that go across the frame mounts in this location. the back to mounts you actually run the bolts through the stainless not the mount. (geez i hope that makes sense) basically the stainless angles allow you to move the back mounts (the ones under the front seats) forward a couple of inches.

    now with that being said these are the first 4 bolts you are supposed to put in. you are supposed to cut them to 2 inches long. (4wd hardware sends a sleeve of rubber you have to cut) the rest of the mounts are just supposed to be cut and shimmed as needed. i think that the front floor pan (where your seats mount) must be what the square the body off of?

    anyway if you can understand this i hope it helps!

    by the way my jc whitney body had to be shimmed more in the same place. maybe its a jeep thing:) glad i am not the only one.

    also the 4wd hardware tub is supposed to be top notch, unfortunately i couldnt talk them into makeing a tub for a cj6:(
  5. May 14, 2007

    High5 Member

    Urbandale, IA
    Jan 13, 2005
    For that year I don't believe you get the stainless pieces. I have a 4wd.com body and I like it just fine. If you live in the rust belt, you can't go wrong with a glass body. I have backed mine into a tree and didn't do any damage, just paint damage. The only pain is grounding everything. Can't ground to the body. I would like to do the wheel well notch, but I don't know how to fiberglass. My Dad thinks it would be easy, but I haven't tackled that project yet.

  6. May 14, 2007


    Aug 19, 2006
    I also put a 4WDHARDWARE body on my 75 (many years ago 1986 IIRC) . I have not had any problem with it at all. Actually, I didn't even have to paint it, the white gell coat takes a nice polish! grounding is a small problem,,, I ran a heavy ground strap to the metal dash. I agree with HIGH 5.. the stainless pieces didn't come with my body. I didn't want the one piece front end, as I have a snow plow installed in the winter.
  7. May 14, 2007

    MNTrailboss Member

    Minneapolis, MN
    Nov 10, 2003
    Have an AJs tub on mine with the color impregnated gel coat. It's been on my 74 for about 4 years now with major offroading every year -- note that the CJ frame flexes a bit and can stress the tub -- but nothing yet.
  8. May 14, 2007

    1stCJ New Member

    clarion pa
    May 12, 2007
    thanks for the info. im not crazy about the one piece front end. rattles around alot and seems kind of flimsy to me .thinking about changing it over to steel
  9. May 15, 2007

    JeepTherapy Sponsor

    Negaunee, Michigan
    Jun 29, 2006
    I have the 4wd hdwr body as I recall. Yes the bodies will warp. I bought my jeep with the body on. The PO tightened some bolts down through the body and distorted the panels. I have had the bolts loose for 2 years now and the body is starting to go back to shape. I have glass front fenders on mine and they have been very good. I have dealt with the glass windshield frames and they are a problem when tightening a soft top. I don't have mounting channels on mine. I will be adding some as roll bar and rock slider supports. In the years that I have had mine I have done no damage to it.

    As for doing fiberglass repairs, for me it is significantly easier than fixing metal. BUT! the mess and the inhalation dust will kill ya... be careful sanding it.
  10. May 15, 2007

    Shannon New Member

    Skippers, Va
    Jun 13, 2006
    I have a fiberglass tub and finding grounds is difficult,mine is warped a little from the seat mounts but its fixable.All in all not to bad though.
  11. May 15, 2007

    timgr Jeepin' Nerd 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
    Aug 10, 2003
    In general, people like the 'glass bodies, especially in the rust belt. They are less expensive than a new steel body, and the problems with them are minor and manageable usually. In the NE and midwest, it's hard to find a used steel body that is in good condition, though I think most people are overawed by rusty metal - steel Jeep bodies are more easily repaired than you might think.
  12. May 15, 2007

    wally SSSSTER

    upper merrimack...
    Jun 12, 2005
    i've got an old 4wd hardware body on my '75. i've been wheeling it moderately for over 12 years. only a few problems over that time, but balanced by the lack of rust that there would be with a metal body. fiberglas is very easy to work with, and is very forgiving. just wear a mask/gloves etc when cutting/drilling.

    the body hasn't noticeably warped, and hasn't shown stress cracks. i get a lot of flex with the old c-channel frame, but the body has been up to the task.

    wiring isn't that big a deal. i run a few extra big guage wires for grounds to the frame.

    i also have glass fenders, and they've held up very well, probably better than steel. the glass has some flex ability (as does steel), but it doesn't get the same dings/dents that steel fenders often do. my grille/hood/windshield frame are all steel, though. i don't like the flex on the windshield frame, so steel is a better alternative.

    having examined several one-piece frontends, i wouldn't choose to use them. i don't like the appearance, and they do seem floppy/flimsy/difficult to get to fit correctly, but depending on the application, they might be perfect for some users.

    one of the problems with my 'glas body was a friend's bachelor party. most of the guys wanted to go swimming. five of us didn't, so i offered to take 'em on some clsss vi roads for some moderate wheeling. the three riding in the back seat had a total weight exceeding 700 lbs :shock: so, during that ride, the rear body mounts punched through the floor. i had to repair those mounts, but it wasn't very difficult, and the repair has held up for 8 years.

    i like not having to worry about chasing rust in the body. i can keep up with any on the grille, hood, and windshield frame.
  13. May 15, 2007

    spud Nope..it's not finished!

    Augusta Co. Virginia
    Oct 27, 2003
    I also have the 4wd body on a '75. My only problem so far, was the mating surface to the dash panel was out of square. This was a pain at first, but with some extra effort it came around:twisted:

    One peice front ends remind me of race cars. I guess if you were under the hood alot in a compitition environment, it might be practical.
  14. May 18, 2007

    rixcj Member

    Rhode Island
    Nov 12, 2006
    Years ago I owned a CJ7. I bought it used, and during the 10 years that I owned it, I replaced the rusting body with a new steel body(along with a bunch of other renovations). I tried my best to prevent the new body from rusting. I sealed the seams in the rear wheelwells to prevent water from getting up in there , I sprayed drain oil under the whole vehicle yearly, but the jeep lived outside in New England, and eventually started to rust again. Very discouraging! Later on I sold it.
    This past year I bought a '79 CJ5 that had a fiberglass body on it already.I don't know the brand, but it seems like a pretty good one, so it may be a 4WD body. The P.O. seemed to just put it on and paint it. It's pretty ripply. What is the recommended procedure for smoothing these out? Is it just to sand it smooth, or to use a filler primer then sand it smooth? I'm not much of an auto body guy, so any info would be greatly appreciated, as I definitely want to correct this( it's painted black, to boot)! Thanks.

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