My Jeep body needs extensive rust repair and straightening. Is there an easier way to bring it back to perfection?
When it comes to automotive restoration, experts in the field say you'll have better luck and spend the least amount of money when you start by finding the best example of the year and model you're interested in. Sound advice – however, finding a high-quality Jeep CJ5, CJ6, or CJ7 in original condition is not so easy to do. High-quality originals in stock condition are rare, and ones that are command extremely high prices due to a widespread and fanatical fan base. Jeep enthusiasts themselves uniformly agree it's harder than ever these days to find one that hasn't rusted into powder form, been chopped and modified the wrong way, or been bent badly during off-roading.
And what if the only Jeep that matters is the one you already own? Perhaps yours is one that you've had personal history with that can't be bought at any price. Restoring a vehicle is a labor of love, and it's hard labor at times. Taking things apart, sourcing replacement parts, rebuilding mechanical items, reassembling, painting, then partially re-assembling again is daunting enough without performing bodywork.
While mechanical disassembly and re-assembly can be learned as you go, bodywork processes that involve cutting, welding, filling holes, smoothing surfaces, and painting are best left to experts if you want the best results – and no one wants mediocre results, right? We've created this article to help the Jeep enthusiast facing substantial body issues find an easier way to bring their chariot back to perfection again.
More About Jeep Restoration Parts
Looking across Jeep forum pages, there are many accounts of hidden body rust discoveries that were far worse than expected. Some expressed distress when seeing the full extent of how panels were chopped to provide clearance for off-road hardware, and realizing that numerous body panels may never line up again after the vehicle was forded across a frame-twisting stream bed or bounced off a series of large boulders.
For those realizing they're beyond minor body work, Jeep specialist Omix-Ada manufactures new steel replacement body tubs for Jeep CJs that are officially recognized by Mopar/Chrysler Corporation as official restoration parts.
Chrysler has determined that these are such accurate reproductions of the original that they allow trademarked "Jeep" or "Willys" logos to be stamped into the fender panels. Their seal of approval comes in the form of a "Mopar Official Licensed Product" branding that you won't find elsewhere.
Unlike fiberglass Jeep body shells that can be flimsy and hurt the value of your restored vehicle, Omix-Ada ones are crafted from thick 16- and 18-gauge steel that more accurately represents the strength and durability the original engineers had in mind. Body tubs are shipped pre-assembled, and can be ordered with or without front fenders, hood, grille panel, and tailgate panel.
Body tubs will include rear fenders, rear wheel housings, a front cowl panel, dash panel, and glove box. These separate components have been fitted, aligned, then welded in place. According to the Jeep owners who have installed them, areas of the body line up in perfect harmony to factory mounting spots. Tubs, or individual panels, go on easily without modification and line up nice and straight once installed.
Aftermarket Body Tubs Are The Way To Go
Omix-Ada body tubs and body parts are treated with a process that's far more extensive than original parts were. First, the metal is submerged in 5 separate tanks of chemical cleaners to strip any foreign contaminants away such as corrosion and dirt. After the metal is brought to as pure a state as possible, phosphate and acid rinse-off procedures add the corrosion protection layer and provide a surface for superior paint bonding.
When you're ready to drop that new body tub onto your chassis, our Jeep CJ Chassis Frames page includes must-have items such as body fastener kits, body mount kits, and body mounts. You'll also find an abundance of authentic Omix-Ada replacement parts necessary when reassembling your Jeep, including new springs, fuel tank, exhaust systems, and lighting.