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Posted: 1/29/2006 8:14:45 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/9/2006 5:27:22 PM EDT by AeroE]
I'm thinking about buying a CJ-5 project.

This is more or less a frame off rebuild. The lower half of the body was cut off and replaced with what looks like shop fabricated parts. It looks pretty good except at a couple of the welds where a little more grinder could have been used. (That cosmetic detail is unimportant.)

The chassis and body are painted and assembled, on the suspension, and the engine and transmission are installed. I didn't think to ask whether the clutch in installed. The engine needs a rocker arm that was bent in a roll over (!) in another vehicle; even if it needs to be rebuilt, that's not a huge deal. There is a spare engine.

It looks like every part to complete is there, including a new windshield frame and glass, and a fiberglass hood with fenders, new Recaro style seats, and tilt wheel steering column, lights, tires and wheels, brake components, and so on. A new wiring harness for the dash is needed and I might just wire the tail lights from scratch.

About the only change I would like to make is to switch the ignition to a modern high energy setup. Fuel injection would be nice, but that is probably a better project for the future. I think the only tools I need to buy are a new timing light and a tach/dwell meter (lost when I drove off after using it's tool box for a chock one night).

The nice part about this is that I don't have to fabricate anything major, just bolt the parts together, hence there is a prayer that I can get the thing assembled fairly soon, and I can actually get to the engine to work on it - what a novel idea!

I think the price is pretty good, at least it will be if he accepts my offer (<$3000). And that canary yellow body shor is purty.

The questions:
Any suggestions about unseen stuff I should look for?
Is the tilt column conversion a big deal?
Are brackets for the one piece hood and fenders available? (There are probably a set there, I didn't ask.)
Is the power steering pump hookup straight forward?
How aggravating is the linkage adjustment for the clutch and so on.
I think the shifter and selector mount directly to the gearbox - anything special to do or look for there?

I'm just trying to make sure I don't buy an unnecesarily large headache.

I would also appreciate links to parts suppliers - I've found a couple, but most are the type that sell mirrors and KC lamps, it's harder to find the bona fide parts needed to make the thing go.
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 8:24:06 AM EDT
It's an illness.

Just Empty Every Pocket


Plan to be broke for as long as you have it. You will never get it done and you'll just have to have the latest do-dad that comes along. 10,000 lbs winch? gotta have the 14,000 lbs next. 33 in M/T's? Gotta have the 38 Gumbo's next. Or 44 in aggessive tires...

Lockers, Dana 44's, fiberglass fenders, lighting, comms, soft tops, hard tops, bikini tops, covers for the cab...


IT NEVER ENDS!!!!!!!

DON'T DO IT! THINK OF YOUR CHILDREN!
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 4:16:13 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 5:34:06 PM EDT
The lower end of the body was cut off and new sheet metal spliced on. It's painted and has been stored at least two years since it was applied, and there weren't any obvious failures, so it's about impossible to judge the body condition to an absolute certainty.

There are brackets installed in the cab for the steering column - I don't know if they are for the tilt column or not. I can always put a stock column in, too.

Linkage bushings and other wear items are a natural to inspect, I'm looking for the real bad actors that can turn this into a pain.

I'm not going to modify the Jeep beyond what parts are already with the project. Well, except for adding a winch, and some other items for off roading some trails out west where I couldn't take my Super Crew.

These are a little like working on light airplanes - fairly straight forward if you don't stray too far from stock, except the parts are cheaper and easier to find.

I'm going to off $2600 and see what happens. He traded a benchrest rimfire rifle for the vehicle, so that's about what he has in it, he wants to move it, and he jumped at a $3000 offer from a minor that got shot down by dad.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 2:54:33 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/30/2006 2:59:16 PM EDT by GaryM]
I worked on jeeps for years, let me know what you want to do and I will help out if I can. Unfortunately I no longer have access to all those parts that I used to but I still know how to wrench them.

BTW, what year and engine does it have? Also please tell me you DO NOT have the AMC 30 (llok for a big nut holding the axle shaft to the wheel hub) rear axle. It really sucks ass.

Oh yeah another fun thing to know. a AMC 360 is an easy drop in if you already have the 304 in there heh heh heh.....

A few answers;
Hooking up the power steering is easy, nothing to it.
Shift linkage isn't bad as long as nothing is bent/missing/rusted to hell
Clutch linkage isn't too bad if I remember correctly
Can't tell you anything about the tilt conversion, never did one.
Swamps 4wd in south county either has or can get you just about any part you want. So can Bigfoot 4WD on lindbergh if you don't mind paying top dollar.
First Capitol 4WD in St. Charles is a good source also.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 8:15:18 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/31/2006 6:08:54 AM EDT by AeroE]
Hey Gary
Thanks for the info.

Did you ever fix up the rifle grenades? I would like to see those shoot again.

I hardly know a thing about Jeeps, so I'm trying to get up to speed on the basics pretty quick.

The Jeep has a straight six installed, I don't know which displacement. First question: Should I worry about using unleaded fuel, or just drive it? I sort of like the idea of the six cylinder engine because of the easy access - it's been a long time since I had a vehicle that had an engine compartment with just the bare bones basics.

Do the soft tops more or less fit the after market roll cages? I don't know if the factory sport bars are with the project, but I want to install a full cage or add a windshield roll bar anyway and I also want to be able to use a full soft top with doors. So far I'm not seeing positive info in the ads that say something like, "This top will fit our XYZ roll bar."

I'm also wondering about the one piece hood plus fenders and whether it matters which end gets hinged, or whether folks are just installing them with pins (that doesn't make sense for a driver). I didn't get a good look, and now I'm wondering if the grill is integral also.

I may check out First Capitol tomorrow night since I'll be over that direction anyway. The 4WD shop at Cave Springs didn't have much to offer in parts or info.

'Nuther question this morning - I wonder if the clutch linkage can be converted to cable with bolt on parts or reasonable simple shop fabed that I can weld up.
Link Posted: 1/31/2006 2:49:07 PM EDT
Nope, haven't fixed the grenades up yet, I do need to. It shouldn't be much work especially since I have the load data all figured out.
The straight six (258 CID/4.2ltr) is a damn good engine, one of the best ever made. They reaspond very well to intake/exhaust modifications. They are almost bullet proof and make plenty of torque down low. You can burn whatever gas you want in it, They run great on 87 octane and if you absolute had to you could probably mix in a bit of swamp water and it would do fine.
I can't tell you anything about aftermarket roll cages especially on the CJs, the best bet would get hold of the folks from the MidRiver Jeep Club one anyone of the other StL area jeep wacko groups and ask their local guru.
Hoods and grill;
The grill simply unbolts from the fenders, I think it is either 2 or 3 bolts on each side. Very easy to remove and replace. If you want to hinge a hood/grill assembly put the hinges in the back. That way there is no need to run limiting cables or such, just flip it back til it rest against the windshield frame. Also consider if you are stuck nose down in a ditch and have to jump start the beast, a forward flipper ain't gonna open.
If you want to change the clutch linkage (which is a good idea) look into a hydraulic set up. Might be a few more bucks but they are smoother and more reliable. If you want to cobble together a cable setup be sure to use a cable with seals especially on the tranny end. Jeeps quite often end up in the water and you really do not want water settling in your cable sheath.
Some of the best things about the jeeps are that they are so easy to modify. Loads of room under the hood for all sorts of engines and trannies (except for those darm CJ5s, can't fit a automatic in there, too damn short)
I still know a few fellers seriously into the jeep scene, let me see what I find out about various shops/suppliers in the St. Chuck area.
Oh, if you want a really awesome place to go four wheeling even if it is a fait distance away, check out www.rorp.com, I was there for the 2006 new years day run and it was a hoot!
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 4:25:08 PM EDT
Old CJs are about as easy to work on as a farm tractor! What year is the Jeep? Built a 75 CJ-5 many moons ago,on a bare bones budget. Tried to get it to look like an old CJ from the 1950s(it had NO roll bar!),put street radials on it,damned thing would go anywhere. Some company makes an electronic ignition setup,(can't remember the name,but it starts with a "P",real big with the English sportscar crowd,a simple drop-in setup)

BTW,had a Dana 44 rear end,handled the 304 bored .30 over without a problem.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 6:19:06 PM EDT
Finishing up my '94 YJ right now, getting ready to start the CJ7 project (SOA, 304) and have a CJ5 ready in the wings for a rebuild...

Jeeps are addictive!
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 8:17:29 PM EDT
This Jeep is a '72, I think. I'm going to try to look at it again on Saturday and take my light and mirror.
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 5:55:21 PM EDT
72 CJ=Easy as hell to work on.
Keep us updated!
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 6:27:04 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GaryM:
72 CJ=Easy as hell to work on.
Keep us updated!

YEP! Only problem I had with mine was the windshield frame.Mine was rusted out,and the replacements were only cheap Taiwanees thin steel. Had to weld it to keep it together(I would think they make better now!) You should have the Dana 44 rear-end.
Link Posted: 2/4/2006 4:52:27 AM EDT
One last question, for now -
Based on my description above, how does $2500 to $2800 sound for this project?

About all I can check out is the play in the axles and steering, and I have to hope there aren't big problems in the drive train and engine. I want a fun project, not a headache.
Link Posted: 2/4/2006 2:00:38 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AeroE:
One last question, for now -
Based on my description above, how does $2500 to $2800 sound for this project?

About all I can check out is the play in the axles and steering, and I have to hope there aren't big problems in the drive train and engine. I want a fun project, not a headache.



I'd pass. It's not running and has engine damage with a ton of work needed, but to me the biggest detractor is that it was already a project that was started butchered by someone else. Save your money for something better. You can find good running CJ's for that price that you can start driving while you plan for -and if necessary- save up for the upgrades you want.
Link Posted: 2/5/2006 10:36:27 AM EDT
Just unbolt the body and toss it or use it as a target. Get a 4wheel drive hardware body I have used these and they are awesome. I had a friend who had a driveshaft let go at about 45mph and it only put a hairline crack in the gelcoat.
Link Posted: 2/5/2006 9:06:09 PM EDT
If you need to check out parts, you could build the whole Jeep from www.Quadratec.com one piece at a time.
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 1:30:23 PM EDT

Originally Posted By oneshot1kill:

Originally Posted By AeroE:
One last question, for now -
Based on my description above, how does $2500 to $2800 sound for this project?

About all I can check out is the play in the axles and steering, and I have to hope there aren't big problems in the drive train and engine. I want a fun project, not a headache.



I'd pass. It's not running and has engine damage with a ton of work needed, but to me the biggest detractor is that it was already a project that was started butchered by someone else. Save your money for something better. You can find good running CJ's for that price that you can start driving while you plan for -and if necessary- save up for the upgrades you want.



I'd have to agree. The last jeep build I did (a few years ago) I spent about $2500 for a perfectly serviceable running CJ with a nicely warmed up rebuilt engine, good solid cage and no real problems other than some body rot, which we dealt with by torching out the rot and welding in new steel.

As has been said by others, expect to spend a lot of time and money on this beast. Jeeps have a way of taking a lot of both.
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 2:41:53 PM EDT
I've got a half finished Jeep in my yard right now because the owner ran out of money.
Started out as a 4cyl to SBC conversion. Got the motor in and drivetrain done, but now at a standstill due to lack of funds.

If it sits here much longer I'm 'gonna load it on a trailer and drop it in HIS yard.
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 5:26:47 PM EDT
Here's a photo of the project. This Jeep can be finished without buying any major parts.



I have other photos, but the quality of some aren't too hot.

Leg room is the big issue. I mocked a seat up, and it looks like I will have to cut a huge chunk out of the wheel house and shorten the gas pedal stem to get enough leg room. Everything else fits okay.

I backed off on the buy, but I haven't rule it out altogether, either.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 4:18:57 PM EDT
5's were never known for legroom(that's why the 7 was brought about),but that sure is a purdy project,wish mine had looked so good!
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 4:41:52 PM EDT
The CJ-5 is small, will get even smaller when you put the rollbar in you are talking about.

Also, that year had the narrow rear suspension, go with a later one with the rear springs set wider. (76 and later IIRC).
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 4:45:01 PM EDT
Have fun, Jeeps are sweet.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 5:56:43 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/22/2006 1:53:06 PM EDT
Just found this thread!

I've got a '79 CJ 5 that needs a new motor. I'm not trying to 'jack your thread, but if I posted a new thread, somebody would just say Dupe!

Anyone have any experience with Jasper engines? I'm thinking about that or just having the straight 6 that's in it rebuilt. The old one smokes like hell and doesn't want to start once it's been shut off and sometimes just dies going down the road!

Thanks.
Link Posted: 2/22/2006 7:39:49 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AeroE:
Here's a photo of the project. This Jeep can be finished without buying any major parts.

forums.sixgunner.com/albumtn.aspx/mid_3118-F02C901ED1F845ADA5A244662F2D6DBB.jpg

I have other photos, but the quality of some aren't too hot.

Leg room is the big issue. I mocked a seat up, and it looks like I will have to cut a huge chunk out of the wheel house and shorten the gas pedal stem to get enough leg room. Everything else fits okay.

I backed off on the buy, but I haven't rule it out altogether, either.



... That looks like an awesome start!
Link Posted: 2/23/2006 4:51:38 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Dusty6:
Just found this thread!

I've got a '79 CJ 5 that needs a new motor. I'm not trying to 'jack your thread, but if I posted a new thread, somebody would just say Dupe!

Anyone have any experience with Jasper engines? I'm thinking about that or just having the straight 6 that's in it rebuilt. The old one smokes like hell and doesn't want to start once it's been shut off and sometimes just dies going down the road!

Thanks.


Jasper engines....
I buy a couple of them a week now days.
I am the storekeeper (The guy who runs the stockroom) for a fleet garage and that is all we use. Not that they are our preffered choice but we have to buy them due to our national contract. That being said I will tell you they are a decent enough engine and we have few problems with them but do make sure it all looks good when it shows up at your door. If it looks good it probably is good. We have had a few rebuilts with bad head gaskets (and of course the engine we bought for a RWD and the block was a FWD, all those extra mounting bracket bosses looked funny but it did fit).
Kinda strange an old jeep staight six going bad, they usually last forever.
Link Posted: 2/25/2006 11:25:24 AM EDT
Thanks, Gary M

I have no idea how many miles are on that motor, but damn, it smokes. I may just look into having it rebuilt. It shouldn't be that expensive.
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