Today’s work

Several years ago I found a “deal” on a pair of Nor/Am wheelhouses, and have had them sitting in the box in my garage ever since. A couple days ago when I was test fitting the side panel I got them out and tried putting the passenger side one in place. It’s junk. The radius at the back that should match the body corner is wrong, one of them is 1/4″ wider than the other, and they are generally flimsy. You get what you pay for, and I guess I payed $50 + shipping for the opportunity to store this stuff in my garage for 5 years.

So today, I received my latest order. A Key Parts passenger side wheel housing, or wheel tub as they called it. It’s 18 gauge steel, and includes the baffle that none of the other ones I found do, and has nuts welded in for the roll bar and seat belts. Just carrying it out to the garage I could tell it’s much heavier than the first ones I tried. It is sold as fitting YJ and CJ7 Jeeps and not CJ5s, but I can’t see why I shouldn’t be able to modify them to fix a CJ5. I only ordered the one side so I can test it before buying the other.

Test fit Key Parts “CJ7/YJ” wheel well, MD Juan “CJ7” bed floor, and a supposedly Sherman brand “Cobra King” CJ5 side panel.

This evening I test fit the side panel and new wheel housing. There are a few things I will need to modify to use it, but in general it looks like a nice part. I’m going to add the tailgate, so I think the flange on the back is going the wrong way and will need changed, and the fit at the front brace will take some tinkering to get lined up.

I thought it was kind of funny that I had to trim the bottom rear corner to clear the rear crossmember. The rear crossmember all of the vendors claim is correct for a 76 – 83 CJ5 looked nothing like mine, so I am using what is sold as a CJ7 floor assembly with the CJ7 rear crossmember. Shouldn’t a CJ7 wheel housing fit the CJ7 floor and crossmember? But overall I’m happy with it, and placed my order for the drivers side one. Just my luck, they are no longer on sale, and I had to pay $30 more for the 2nd one.