CJ Grille Conversion Kit for the TJ/LJ

jscherb

Expedition Leader
This isn't an expedition-related project, so I'm not doing a build thread for it in this forum like I have with my other projects, but I thought some people might be interested in seeing this anyway...

I've been building some custom fiberglass parts that I'm calling a "CJ Grille Conversion kit for the TJ/LJ", which enables a CJ grille to be installed on a TJ/LJ. Here are some photos of the work in progress:











A key part of making all of this work is a new custom cowl panel - this eliminates the hump in the center that the stock TJ cowl panel has. The center section of this cowl panel is actually molded from a CJ tub, so it mates up to the center part of a CJ hood perfectly.



At the moment the hinges are mounted on TJ centers; in the final implementation they'll be spaced out a little wider to CJ spacing.
 

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jscherb

Expedition Leader
wow, flawless work as usual Jeff, was this a just for fun or a request?
Thanks Terry. I did it just for fun, I don't do requests :). But I did design it as a total bolt-on kit so that if it were to be manufactured, installing it would be within the reach of most people. If there's a lot of interest in it I'll probably see if I can find a company that's interested in marketing it. I already have a company interested in manufacturing it, so it would be easy to get to market if someone wanted to market it (not me).
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Simply awesome! Will the grill allow enough airflow and the use of the TJ A/C system?
The Wrangler radiator and A/C condenser are actually narrower than the CJ radiator, below is a photo showing a Wrangler radiator setting inside a CJ grille shell. I'll need to make up some extension ears for the radiator so it will bolt up to the CJ grille. I also made the custom hood and fenders the same length as the factory TJ parts (a factory CJ grille and fenders is almost 2" shorter) so the engine compartment stays the stock TJ size, which means that there's plenty of room to bolt in the Wrangler radiator and A/C condenser, and no fan clearance issues.



You'll also notice from the photo the lack of inner fenders, I'm beginning work on those right now. I'm making modified TJ inner fenders in fiberglass, so all of the TJ's engine compartment accessories will directly bolt up to the inner fenders.

Everything is designed to be a bolt-up, no changes are required to the TJ that can't be unbolted and easily reversed if one wanted to remove the kit and put the Jeep back to stock.
 
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squint

Adventurer
Looks fantastic Jeff! I have been waiting for this project for years. With you working on it, I know it will be perfect.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Looks fantastic Jeff! I have been waiting for this project for years. With you working on it, I know it will be perfect.
Thanks Squint! I don't know if it will be perfect, but I'll make it the best I can. My goal is to have it be good enough in design and fit/finish so even Jeep experts do a double-take and can't quite figure out what's going on. I want it to look like a factory design that never happened :).
 

jeepdreamer

Expedition Leader
Very cool! Maybe the next one should be a facelift for the YJ?? :) Also a couple other ideas to tease your brain with is a new front facia for an XJ that allows you to run Commander or Liberty headlights. Or a really new facia for an XJ that could look like a Gladiator grille! :))
 

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jscherb

Expedition Leader
I've finished up the construction of the inner fenders, here are some photos.

I've left the grille off in these first photos so you can see how the inners join up to the outers. Some final fitting and trimming is still required.





These inner fenders are a composite of both the TJ and CJ designs, so they fit correctly with the custom CJ fenders, but they also have all of the mounting locations for the TJ under-hood accessories, which will make the swap from stock to these parts a bolt-on job.

With the grille installed:

 
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