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  1. #1

    67 Jeepster Commando frame off build

    Well I am the proud owner of this! I will be picking it up in a couple weeks.

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    Hasn't run in 10 years, electrical is completely shot. Very little rust from what I can tell. The top is in great shape. It comes with bestop seats and a roll cage. Has the Buick Dauntless oddfire V6, TH400, and Dana 20.

    The hood has a huge dent in it. I might be able to fix that but if not anyone know where i can get one?

    Here is my dilemma... I have the almost perfect drivetrain in my current rig. 350tbi, th350, 203/205 doubler, Ford 10.25 rear, dana HP60 front. Do I part out everything but the drivetrain on my 88 Landcruiser? which by the way has some nasty rust in the doors, a-pillars, rear hatch, and who knows where else i can't see it. The frame is solid. no rust.

    I can implant all that in the Jeepster. OOOh which would be awesome. 1 ton Jeepster on 38's. I can then also sell the drivetrain from the Jeepster.

    OR....

    Sell my current rig as is and work with whatever $$$ I get and deals I can find.

    I know the Dana 20 is strong but it will cost me some $$$ to get it close to the 205 strength and only has 1310 u-joints. I want 37's on it at least. I don't think 1310 joints will hold up. Will they? will Dana 44's hold up? I know the drivetrain I have I will never think twice about going for it and popping it up hard when needed.

    This is going to be a complete low budget, but very resourceful build. I don't have $$$ to just throw at it.

    Chime in with ideas...

  2. #2
    Greg Berry in longmont who owns several of these and has restored several at the business he owns 4x4 Extreem.
    Greg should have a hood and ANYTHING else you might need.
    E-mail me if you want more info at www.raythehandyman.com

  3. #3
    Steven_Mc's Avatar
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    Wow! Definitely Unique Tony! I can't say I'm a big fan of the jeepsters, but if you are looking to replace the landcruiser with something of comparable capability and quality then I would just swap the drivetrain and sell what you can of the landcruiser to fund the needed additional items to complete the build.

    I can imagine the landcruiser currently provides ample space for the family and any gear for daily excursions and/or camping trips. The jeepster is going to be significantly smaller. I thought you had rust free pieces and parts that were needed to replace all the rust in the cruiser?

    All that being said, let me know how I can help!
    - Steven

  4. #4
    Wally's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 88chevota
    Here is my dilemma... I have the almost perfect drivetrain in my current rig. 350tbi, th350, 203/205 doubler, Ford 10.25 rear, dana HP60 front. Do I part out everything but the drivetrain on my 88 Landcruiser? which by the way has some nasty rust in the doors, a-pillars, rear hatch, and who knows where else i can't see it. The frame is solid. no rust......Chime in with ideas...
    My $.02 FWIW, if that landcruiser frame is in good shape, the entire driveline is already in place and running, I would yank the landcruiser body and just drop the comando body onto the landcruiser frame. I'm not sure about how strong those landcruiser frames are but i KNOW that jeepster frame is not something you want to hang one tons and a V8 off of with out some plating and bracing and even then it's questionable. Body mounts are fairly easy to build compared to swapping the driveline over to the jeepster.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Steven_Mc View Post
    Wow! Definitely Unique Tony! I can't say I'm a big fan of the jeepsters, but if you are looking to replace the landcruiser with something of comparable capability and quality then I would just swap the drivetrain and sell what you can of the landcruiser to fund the needed additional items to complete the build.

    I can imagine the landcruiser currently provides ample space for the family and any gear for daily excursions and/or camping trips. The jeepster is going to be significantly smaller. I thought you had rust free pieces and parts that were needed to replace all the rust in the cruiser?

    All that being said, let me know how I can help!
    I do have some rust free parts to repair some spots on the cruiser, but not enough. It seems to get worse by the day. The cruiser is big and has plenty of room, but that is also the problem. It's so long that its big butt keeps me from going up some things. I had considered chopping the top off the cruiser because I love the idea of wheeling open top in the summers, and a roll cage, but that would be pretty costly to do it right.

    Considering someone gave me the Jeepster , Well that's a pretty good deal. And it already has the rag top and a cage. I am definitely leaning towards implanting my drivetrain.

  6. #6
    Steven_Mc's Avatar
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    Let me know if/when you need a hand! If it comes to transplanting the tub like Wally suggests we can have a plasma cutting/tub lifting party! I can round up a couple of strong recruits, plus I have a cherry picker just collecting dust!

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Wally View Post
    My $.02 FWIW, if that landcruiser frame is in good shape, the entire driveline is already in place and running, I would yank the landcruiser body and just drop the comando body onto the landcruiser frame. I'm not sure about how strong those landcruiser frames are but i KNOW that jeepster frame is not something you want to hang one tons and a V8 off of with out some plating and bracing and even then it's questionable. Body mounts are fairly easy to build compared to swapping the driveline over to the jeepster.
    I considered that but the frame length an shape is definitely different enough It would require quite a bit of work as well. I plan on inspecting the frame very carefully and I have considered building my own frame. If I keep the jeepster frame it will need to be widened a little and I plan on beefing it up. I have read the jeepster frames have a tendency to crack. Definitely don't want that happening on the trail.

    Also if I build the frame or reinforce the current one then I still have something to wheel this summer. I am not going to rush this build. I have made some mistakes on the cruiser, It's gone through 3 suspension builds and 3 drivetrain changes.

    I tend to have different ideas but I am really shooting for a real clean build on this one, but still be very capable with good flex.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Steven_Mc View Post
    Let me know if/when you need a hand! If it comes to transplanting the tub like Wally suggests we can have a plasma cutting/tub lifting party! I can round up a couple of strong recruits, plus I have a cherry picker just collecting dust!
    For sure I'll let you know. My brother-in-law lives one street up and has a cherry picker. I picked up a plasma cutter so if we had a plasma cutting/tub lifting party we could knock it out real quick!

    You need to finish your rig too. If you keep helping everyone else you'll never get that thing done! I have to get over and hear that beast. When you working on it again?

  9. #9
    here is the cruiser as it sits now. 110" wheelbase. the jeepser is 104. I could maybe get away with stretching the jeepster to 106, but anything more would require a lot more work.

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  10. #10
    Steven_Mc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 88chevota View Post
    For sure I'll let you know. My brother-in-law lives one street up and has a cherry picker. I picked up a plasma cutter so if we had a plasma cutting/tub lifting party we could knock it out real quick!

    You need to finish your rig too. If you keep helping everyone else you'll never get that thing done! I have to get over and hear that beast. When you working on it again?
    I'll be at it tomorrow afternoon and hopefully at least a couple nights this next week. I have everything needed to knock out the cage and seat mounts, just need to put in the time. Driveshafts, exhaust, and brakes are all that's left outside of the laundry list of little items, but I've got to get the camper sold before I can spring for those as the budget is tapped out!!

  11. #11
    I am going tomorrow to pick it up!!!

  12. #12
    CJ/buggy,FI406,465,205,D60,14boltFF on beadlocked 39.50 swampers.See build.
    http://www.colorado4x4.org/vbb/showthread.php?t=134201
    '70Jeepster, 225,T-14,D20,10bolt,12bolt on 34/9.50/15 Swampers
    www.tubebuggies.com

  13. #13
    Great score! From a fellow commando owner I am happy to see one of these old relics be brought back to life. Good luck on the build!

    My commando has the 304, I put in a t-18a (wide ratio) 4 speed from a CJ, and dana 20. 44 front held up pretty pretty well to the 37" MTR's over the years until I started really flogging on it when it had a trailer to ride home on. Broke a few shafts here and there but I never had problems with any other part of the drivetrain. I was going to put in some alloy shafts and CTM joints but I never got around to it. If you box in the rear section of the frame and add a cross bracing/well built cage the frame will hold up just fine. At least mine has.

    That said, my new buggy is all chevy. 350-th400-205, D60, 14 bolt. Can't go wrong with chevy 1 ton goods!
    Last edited by commandoNate; March 5th, 2011 at 02:25 PM.
    1/2 ton Commando, 1/2 wit driver

  14. #14
    some pics from today


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  15. #15
    some more...

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  16. #16
    Nice.True convertible.

  17. #17
    well here are some pics for updates. I am going to use the landcruiser frame. overall it will save me loads of time. I also decided to extend the hood and fenders 5" to make more room for the V8.

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  18. #18
    couple more... I have some rust repairs to tend to as well...

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  19. #19
    i love commando's. miss mine so!
    Shit-farming is a way of life! it is the essance of my being.

  20. #20
    Steven_Mc's Avatar
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    A little motivation for ya:



    From pirate4x4.
    Last edited by Steven_Mc; April 17th, 2011 at 09:17 AM.

  21. #21
    You know you can use CJ hood and grille and get the 5".And a small V8 will fit under the stock hood.Just need to cut the shroud off the grille.

  22. #22
    If I can get it to turn out half that good I'll be pretty happy.



    Quote Originally Posted by Steven_Mc View Post
    A little motivation for ya:



    From pirate4x4.

  23. #23
    I knew that but I like the front grill of the jeepster.

    Quote Originally Posted by cheepin View Post
    You know you can use CJ hood and grille and get the 5".And a small V8 will fit under the stock hood.Just need to cut the shroud off the grille.

  24. #24

    frame...

    Well decided to go with the jeepster frame. lengthened it 5" and added reinforcements and welded up the rest of the front frame. I'll eventually get rid of all the stitch welds and finish up all the seams.


    couple pics...

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  25. #25
    my boy loves being out in the garage with me. He told my wife when he gets big he wants to weld. hopefully he will be better at it than me. I need to get the body off the frame. then I can set them frame any way I want. I can imagine it will be so much easier to weld standing up in a comfortable position...

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  26. #26
    Steven_Mc's Avatar
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    Looks good! At least this way you can still drive the yota while you build the jeepster.

  27. #27
    that's what I was thinking! Thanks.... you mean my booger welds actually look good?

  28. #28
    Steven_Mc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 88chevota View Post
    that's what I was thinking! Thanks.... you mean my booger welds actually look good?
    I'm no expert, looks like you are moving maybe a little fast, but I still see good heat penetration.

  29. #29
    heat is good for sure. the lens cover on my helmet is dirty as all get out. so I had a hard time seeing what I was doing. I kept messing with the settings to find the best heat and speed combo. I figured better to have it a little hot than not enough. Once I get the body off it will be easier too cause I'll be able to flip the frame around. Time to get a new lens cover too.

  30. #30
    Keep up the good work....looking forward to seeing this project come along.....

    Heat penetration looks good, as it seems to be cutting into the plate and showing the heat rings, but the weld seems to be standingup a bit which should be corrected by either hand movement speed or wire speed. I'd Slow down the wire speed in this case. I'm no expert though

    I too hate it when the lense won't lighten up enough for me to see. I have one helmet that gets close to me seeing well enough to be good at what I doing. Seems like about the time I get it dialed in, I switch thickness of metals and start the process over again.

    Good Luck

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Impaired View Post
    Keep up the good work....looking forward to seeing this project come along.....

    Heat penetration looks good, as it seems to be cutting into the plate and showing the heat rings, but the weld seems to be standingup a bit which should be corrected by either hand movement speed or wire speed. I'd Slow down the wire speed in this case. I'm no expert though

    I too hate it when the lense won't lighten up enough for me to see. I have one helmet that gets close to me seeing well enough to be good at what I doing. Seems like about the time I get it dialed in, I switch thickness of metals and start the process over again.

    Good Luck
    thanks.

    It was the thickness that messed me up for sure. almost everything I have done in the past has been 3/16 or 1/4. I have that pretty dialed. the thinner stuff is a little more tricky. I was using 1/8 for the side reinforcement plates. I didn't want to go too heavy because there is already a decent amount of thickness on the frame. just enough to add the needed strength.

  32. #32
    Steven,

    Where did you find that jeepster on pirate? Is there a build thread on it?

  33. #33
    Steven_Mc's Avatar
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    I found it in their EJS photo album. I'm not sure if there is a build thread or not.

  34. #34

    building my own frame

    Well, after pulling the body off the frame, finding a little more rust and looking at the work that I would put into this frame to get it cleaned off, fully seam welded and boxing in the rear, I decided it would be way better to just build my own frame. save soooo much time. prolly the same cost too. then I can seal up the frame and use it as an air supply for the compressor later!

    here are some pics...

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  35. #35
    Good call on building a new frame.These frame are junk from the factory.What size tube are you using?I used 2x3 1/8".Wish I would have used 2x5 for the belly.
    A couple of pics before I switched directions.Do yourself a favor and don't do the straight shot like I did in the front.Copy the frames ups and down.Gives more clearance for steering linkage.

    Last edited by cheepin; May 21st, 2011 at 08:20 PM.

  36. #36
    Steven_Mc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 88chevota View Post
    Well, after pulling the body off the frame, finding a little more rust and looking at the work that I would put into this frame to get it cleaned off, fully seam welded and boxing in the rear, I decided it would be way better to just build my own frame. save soooo much time. prolly the same cost too. then I can seal up the frame and use it as an air supply for the compressor later!

    here are some pics...

    AWESOME!! Now I'm definitely jealous! I already want to go back and build my own frame and I don't even have the jeep on the road yet!

  37. #37
    Cheepin, I saw your build thread and that is what gave me the idea. nice and clean!

    I am using 2x4 1/8" and I followed the bottom line on the front section and it is pretty much flat.

    Steven,

    You have a pretty solid frame though and already did all the work. Just get er done!

    I had a buddy come over last night and help me out. We got the rails done! pics to come soon...

  38. #38
    pics!

  39. #39

    pics

    ok so here are some pics of the frame progress...

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  40. #40
    more pics...

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