By Jon Maib
I think it's safe to say that I am coming to the end of this resto-mod of our 1985 CJ7. I have been doing some small upgrades here and there to push it to the finish line, then it's time to enjoy it for the spring and summer months. Still need to re-paint the hard top and completely strip the doors and get them painted, but that can wait.

As for updates, after getting the Jeep painted with the paint we got from Automotive Touch Up, it was time for retro stickers for the '85. Since this is a resto-mod, I wanted a Renegade package but I wasn't too excited with the '85 Renegade sticker as it has a big swoop in the rear that I just didn't like. So, I headed over to Phoenix Graphix and started looking at all of thier sticker packages from 1980-1986 to determine which I really liked the best. I landed on the 1980's Renegade package as it is the most symbolic of the retro 80's Jeep. I'm sure some purist out there is cringing, but most people won't really know. I had to decide on color and to be honest, I was leaning toward the silver package because I thought it would look really clean. After stumbling on a picture of a 1980 painted in Garnet with the orange package, I fell in love and ordered the orange 1980 Renegade package. The stickers from Phoenix Graphix are high quality and easier to put on than I thought they would be with the proper sticker application spray of course. (Phoenix sells sprays, but you can get them on Amazon too, but highly recommend getting a vinyl sticker application spray).

With the Jeep looking amazing, it was time to make it sound amazing. The previous owner cobbled an exhaust system together and it was barely functional. He apparently just used whatever he could find when he replaced the 4cyl for the 6cyl. I purchased the correct down pipe and rear tail section online. Then it was a matter of what muffler I wanted to go with. I ended up going with a Borla 40358 Pro XS muffler as I have had good luck with Borla in the past. Then it was just a matter of getting the fittings for everything to fit together. Was happy I could just piece together in my garage and not have to take to a muffler shop.

With the Jeep looking and sounding good, it was time for some of the small pieces no one but me will really notice. I replaced the rubber pedal pads on the brake, clutch and e-brake, replace the broken tail gate cables, added an old AMC Jeep logo to the rear and some Kentrol chrome entry guards.

Since the hardtop is not ready to go on, I felt I needed to have some protection just in case of random Texas weather. I purchased a Bestop trail top to keep with me just in case. I am little unimpressed with the over-all fitment though as I don't have a rail system for a soft top on my Jeep, so the rear has some gaps and no way to hook to the body. Wish they would have had another strap that could hook to the wheel well to help keep the rear sides down. And not too sure what the holes above the seats are, breathers maybe, but just seems like an easy way for water to get in, especially the strong down pours we get here in Texas, but I guess it's some protection.

Next steps are to finish up the hard top, that only needs to be repainted, and then finish stipping and painting the hard doors. Still have a few more plans for the Jeep, but those will be later down the line. For now it's time to play.