CJ Grille Conversion Kit for the TJ/LJ

Bad Karma

Adventurer
NICE!!! any chance you'll be making CJ inner fenders? (without all the TJ bumps)

I think inner fenders would sell like hot cakes since 99.9% of all aftermarket fenders require you to cut your factory fenders up to use the wheel wells.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
NICE!!! any chance you'll be making CJ inner fenders? (without all the TJ bumps)

I think inner fenders would sell like hot cakes since 99.9% of all aftermarket fenders require you to cut your factory fenders up to use the wheel wells.
You mean like these? :)



Actually I didn't mold those, they were part of the fiberglass CJ fenders I used as a starting point for making the custom fenders for this project. But it would be easy and inexpensive to make molds of them - it took me only a couple of hours to make a pair of molds for the TJ inners.

What I'm wondering is if this would be such a hot item, why hasn't anyone done it yet?

Maybe it's because people wouldn't be willing to pay enough for a pair to make it worthwhile to manufacture them?

This is one of the molds I made for the TJ inner fenders:



BTW the complete fenders I made for this project could also be fitted to CJ's, and unlike stock CJ fenders, they work nicely with TJ flares, so they could be a way to get larger wheel openings for bigger tires on CJ's... I made mine with TJ inners as you've seen in the photos but they could also be made with CJ inners taken from molds made from the inners pictured above.

 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Simply awesome! Will the grill allow enough airflow and the use of the TJ A/C system?
I've mounted the radiator, so here's more detail...

Since the Wrangler radiator is narrower than the CJ radiator, there will be plenty of airflow. To mount the Wrangler radiator in the CJ grille shell, mounting brackets are required. They're are pretty simple, a pair of sheet metal "z" brackets to recess the radiator about 1" into the shell. I made a pair from scraps of sheet metal left over from cutting up the factory TJ hood that I used in making the custom hood for this project. The brackets have holes for the radiator clip nuts. I'll probably need to adjust the final height of the radiator to match the engine fan when it gets installed, so all I'll have to do to is drill different holes for the clip nuts.

The brackets mount to the holes that already exist in the factory CJ grille shell:



Here's the whole thing in the mockup.



In the next shot you can see there's almost 1" between the front of the radiator and the grille shell, that's where the AC condenser goes. Also the tape measure is showing about 34" from the firewall to the radiator, which is the same measurement as on the factory TJ, so there won't be any fan-radiator clearance issues.



Can't see through the grille anymore :):



No new holes needed to be drilled in either the grille shell or the radiator, all it took to mount the Wrangler radiator in the CJ grille shell was the pair of z brackets.
 

Bad Karma

Adventurer
What I'm wondering is if this would be such a hot item, why hasn't anyone done it yet?

Maybe it's because people wouldn't be willing to pay enough for a pair to make it worthwhile to manufacture them?
price is definatly an issue. My problem, and the reason I havnt bought any after market fenders is there are no inner fenders. You have to cut your stocks one up. I'm not cutting mine up. Only place that offers inner wheel wells (i think) is T&T Customs. But I'm not a huge fan of their look. I wish some place you make steal versions of these fenders. (Never ever going to happen) I dont like fiberglass on my (wheeling) Jeep. I'd rather the fender bend than crack. If I had an LJ, I'd be all over this.
 

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jeepdreamer

Expedition Leader
I'm a bit old fashioned and love a good flatty. I have to admit that between your two high line concepts, I actually like the one with rounded fenders more. It seems to visually flow better and is much less obvious... very neat!
 

reece146

Automotive Artist
It would be interesting to see those flatty fenders with a YJ grille and hood. Convert the headlights to round with the same grille and that could look pretty trick while still being under the radar.

Otherwise I tend to agree about preferring the normal fenders even though these flat fenders don't look like a55 compared to most flat fender.
 

SquareLJ

Observer
I'd be all over something like this if it were made from metal. Though, I see that being a lot less feasible and a lot more expensive.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
One of my main goals in designing this kit is to make it a bolt-on conversion, with no modifications necessary to the TJ. With a few details I've just finished up, that goal has been achieved.

The TJ radiator and TJ A/C condenser bolt in to the TJ grille shell with a couple of simple mounting brackets. The TJ coolant overflow bottle mounts as stock on the side of the fan shroud. All other engine compartment accessories will bolt up to their stock locations on the top of the inner fenders.



As far as wiring goes, the headlights will plug into the TJ harness, and the stock TJ flare-mounted side marker lights will be used, so there's only one wiring harness issue that needs to be addressed when installing this kit - the CJ grille-mounted front marker lights. The CJ front marker lights take different plugs than the TJ ones do, and they need an extension to reach from where the TJ harness terminates under the fender to where the CJ marker lights mount in the grille shell. I made up a pair of wiring adapters - the front marker light plugs in the TJ harness plug into these, and then these run into the CJ grille shell and plug into the CJ front market lights. With these adapters, all of the wiring for the conversion is plug-and-play - the TJ harness does not have to be molested in any way.



With these details worked on, everything about the conversion will be a complete bolt-on/plug in, no modifications will be necessary to the TJ (and the kit could be removed and the TJ returned to stock if someone wanted to do that). The only thing that needs any modification to fit will be a little trimming on the bottom of the CJ grille shell to clear the TJ frame rails.
 
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jscherb

Expedition Leader
Project update: I'm in the process of making the final molds for the basic grille conversion kit, which consists of the custom hood, cowl panel, CJ-styled outer fenders and inner fenders. I've made modifications to the inner fender masters so they can work with either standard height or high line fenders, and I'm working on finalizing a possible high line fat fender design.

If I decide to go ahead and build these high line fenders, they could also be used on stock CJ-7's/Scramblers.

A few photo-edits of the high line fender design...

On the left is a rough photo-edit of what the high line fat fender would look like from the front, the right is the stock height fender.



And making the bad photo-edit a little worse, I've copied/flipped the modified fender to the other side to show what the full view with both fenders might look like.



You've seen this front 3/4 view of the high line design before, but I'll repeat it here for comparison to the front views above.

 

bluejeep

just a guy
HEY! How did I miss this jscherb project!!???
I make a motion we have a new forum section - "incredible jscherb stuff", so it's more visible, and months don't go by with me missing out on something!
Anyone second this motion?
:wings:
 
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