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Bilstein Shock Upgrade Kits, Jeep JK TJ XJ Wranglers and CJeep Wrangler Complete Gear Upgrade Kits with Installs andSave Now on Procomp Xtreme MT2 Tires !

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Unread 09-16-2009, 04:54 PM   #1
Trey73
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1973 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 74
1973 CJ 5 Build

My first attempt at posting something here, so appologies if it blows up. I'm a new member, so not sure when/where pictures will show up.

The back story: Have been a Jeep fan since childhood. I've owned CJ7, 91 Wrangler, 01 Wrangler, 05 Grand Cherokee and now a CJ5. I purchased the 5 about two years ago and it is being rebuilt right now.

The purchase of the Jeep was a nightmare. Couldn't get all of the paper work associated with an ebay purchase. Once it arrived, it was in real bad shape, but it was built the same month and year I was born which was an omen that I couldn't resist. I was lucky or unlucky depending on how you view the "mid" design Jeeps - some old style features, however with the I6 engine, but parts from the '76 to '95 CJ's just don't fit.

Anyway, right before I was going to get started on the Jeep, I moved to Europe with work. I looked at the car in my mothers back yard right before I left and decided that I couldn't let it sit there and rust for years while I was away. So, I looked for a mechanic willing to take it on while I was away.

As you will see, I was very lucky with the guy I found. He has done an outstanding job. Even though I am half a world away, I definitely have a hand in this - ordering parts, selecting colors, layout of interior, overall direction of the Jeep is what I've done. He has done a wonderful job of taking the direction I want and putting it into the Jeep.

The overall design intent was to have a more or less stock Jeep, with a nod to the history of the vehicle, but with a few upgrades to make it liveable. A mix of old and new, but to retain the simple, functional, fun design of the original vehicle.

Welcome feedback, advice, whatever.

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Unread 09-16-2009, 05:46 PM   #2
Trey73
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1973 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Louisiana
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First Installment

Breaking the Jeep apart. Frame was in very good shape, and a few pieces of the sheetmetal were in good shape. The body was rough.





Frame being sent to and returning from sandblasting. This re-build was basically to every last bolt....




Painting Frame



First modest steps of re-assembly. Getting the suspension and brakes installed. The spring packs are new, but are OEM replacement. Decided to keep the original drum brakes - I don't drive very fast anyway.




Made decision early to replace the tub and front fenders with fiberglass. Was real concerned about how this would work. So far, so good. We'll see how it holds up. This is the biggest change from OEM on the Jeep.




More to come.......
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Unread 09-16-2009, 05:50 PM   #3
Trey73
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By the way, if you want a quick preview of where this is headed, click on my profile and look in the galary. A few pictures of the Jeep as it is today are in there.
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Unread 09-17-2009, 04:54 AM   #4
04RedTJ
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That Jeep sure has come along way since you got it. Looks good so far.
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Unread 09-17-2009, 12:12 PM   #5
Trey73
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Take a pause here to provide a little more about the time and cost of this project. The photos from above were taken in August 2008. This is essentially a side project for a shop manager at the local Chevy/Jeep dealer. The original deal was that he would work on this at his house and it was between me and him. The reality is that it has been worked on at the dealer (not the cheapest option available) in his spare time and on evenings. A lot of the parts and labor are done at dealer rates....

That being said, and in fairness to the mechanic.... He quoted me a price and called me several times to make sure I understood what I was getting into. In my part of the country there just aren't many people willing to take on a project like this so if you find someone, gotta go with it.

The quoted price has turned out to be fairly accurate. I've added along the way some items that has made it more expensive. At the end of the day, a used TJ with a few parts would have been cheaper, but then it wouldn't be a Jeep as old as me. All in all, it is costing me about what I figured it would.

Also, the mechanics around the shop enjoy working on the car - a break from repairing fender benders on Chevy trucks!
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Unread 09-17-2009, 12:49 PM   #6
Trey73
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..... rrrrr I hate Vista, has to be the slowest thing ever....

Anyway, first thing done was to start sizing up the new body. These pics are from around September 08.

First the body with no guts




and then with the engine, tranny and transfer case. Found out the 'glass body would contact the tranny with the body spacers that were the same thickness as OEM. Had to add a bit to get everything to fit. Really don't like body lifts, but it wasn't much to add.





The steel plate on the inside of the firewall that has VIN info and also where everything passes through. This was saved to use with the fiberglass tub.



That is through September. Next update covers November work, where major progress was made on the Jeep..... Till a bit later
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Unread 09-17-2009, 04:20 PM   #7
Trey73
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From September to New Years

After removing the body and engine from the intial fitting on the frame, the serious work began.....



Got all of the bits out of the engine. Found one of the pistons split, but other than that the engine was in good shape. The cylinders were bored .03 to get everything nice and round and then the 258 was re-assembled.








The drive train was dropped into the frame and bolted up.




Orignal mounts. New bushings, boots, etc. installed.




Meanwhile, things were happening on the frame. Brake lines were plumbed, steering linkage was painted a nice yellow and installed. New dust covers were put on the linkages. Everything here is original to the jeep. Nothing has been replaced, just sand blasted, painted and re-installed.





Nice view of the work as it finished out 2009.... Engine and frame back together.



This was the last time I physically saw the jeep. I took these pictures when I returned to the US for x-mas. I must say at this point I was very happy with the work being done.
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Unread 09-17-2009, 04:37 PM   #8
Trey73
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So the Engine is the 258. The Transmission is the T-14 and a Dana 20 Transfer case. All of it was in good enough shape to be reused with minimal fuss. Clean, paint and install an overhaul kit was about it. No major fabrication or repairs other than boring the engine.

About this time I began reading up on the Howell EFI kits based off of the Chevy 4.3L engine. I met with the mechanic and we decided to go with this set up. To mount the EFI, a new intake manifold was needed. I searched for a setup that would work and we ended up with a Clifford intake and exhaust manifold.

To me this was a good approach. I wanted a 73 Jeep with the original engine, but I've lived with a carb CJ before and dealt with the stalls. This was a rather expensive approach, about $1,500 or more, and I could have probably gotten far with a larger engine (V8), but I really like the I6 and this seemed like a good compromise between remaining true to the '73 and making the jeep more reliable.

The factory manifolds will come off the engine and be replaced in future posts......
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Unread 09-18-2009, 12:03 PM   #9
Trey73
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Louisiana
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Jan 2009

Most of Jan was spent drilling holes to replace the tub.

Install of rear drive shaft



View of the front where most of the drilling took place.




And beginning work on the dash......

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Unread 09-18-2009, 12:18 PM   #10
Trey73
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Feb 2009

A distinguishing feature of the early 70's CJ 5's is that they still retained the tool box under the passenger seat and they have all of the neat, exposed bars that support the seats. Changing to a glass body usually means goodbye to all of this cool stuff... I wasn't really prepared for the level of work that the rebuild guy put into this particular area.


One problem with using the original seat brackets is that it rests on the edge of the door. With the glass body, there isn't really much support in that area to carry the weight. So, the solution was to install an inside support as well that goes to the floor. The area circled red here shows where the support will be positioned. You can see on the floor a little piece of metal that formed part of the final bracket.



and the toolbox...... I had written this thing off as a casualty of the glass body, but it was saved. Will detail the installation in future posts, but for now this is just the fitting of all the parts to make it work.



View of the driver side of the jeep. Notice all of the dash, and pedals have been placed for temporary fitting.



And a front view of the tool box



In the end we were able to save all of this and make it work with the new body.
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Unread 09-18-2009, 01:04 PM   #11
catalan
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very nice work! love to see somebody bring alive this kind of legend!
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Unread 09-18-2009, 03:37 PM   #12
Trey73
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March 2009

More fitting, cutting, sizing

Moved the light switch a few inches to make room for a set of speakers. The dash was already hacked up in this area, so didn't hurt too much to cut it. Had to have something to listen to.



A bit on the windshield, which had to be replaced was rotten real bad.




and.... ta da the new goodies on the engine installed. Most of the reviews that I read on this indicated that no major power gain, but a smoother running engine would result.... We'll see. Early reports are promising.



Back to the fabing on the seats. You can see here that there is an additional support that breaks down at a right angle on the seat bracket. You can see it real good in the second picture, it is the square piece of tubing a little to the right of the middle of the picture. This attaches to the floor and carries the load. The tie to the door is basically cosmetic.




The body coming together for fitting prior to final painting. You can see the little bit of sheet metal left from the original jeep. The dash, grill, and hood are what made it.





It's alive!!!!



Another view of the engine compartment, showing the battery and some of the holes drilled to allow for communication with the brains for the EFI.



Just seeing that round speedometer gives me chills. Haven't had a Jeep with one of those since I was 18. Also shows the hole cut for the radio installed and the right hand speaker cut out. The radio is one of the vintage vibe models. Wanted a retro feel with the radio. I'll rant on the speakers a little later.... :

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Unread 09-18-2009, 04:13 PM   #13
Trey73
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May 2009

Body removed for paint. Meanwhile a good chance to plumb up the fuel lines.




Rear shot of the jeep. I was a bit skeptical about the rather simple bumpers. The front and rear are exactly the same. First vision was to have something a bit beefier, but these are simple and fit with the Jeep in its final form. They are a bit more substantial than they appear in the photos, would put em up against most of the plastic jobs coming with cars today.



More shots of the engine, with good view of the new parts.


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Unread 09-18-2009, 04:33 PM   #14
Trey73
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 74
June 2009

A very slow month for the build, much like windows Vista

Lots of sanding and priming.




And the first coat of paint. The underside was painted yellow. The color is a Ford Yellow. I worked with the shop to come up with what would look good. I've owned black, white and tan. Black shows dust, white works well, but doesn't really pop out. A good strong yellow is a classic Jeep color and one done right just looks nice.



Get ready for the rocket ride of July till today. From this point forward, things started coming together fast.
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Unread 09-18-2009, 05:10 PM   #15
Trey73
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1973 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 74
July 2009

Beginning in July the Jeep really started coming together. Final paint, wiring and assembly began in ernest. This yellow is very bright!

Body coming out of paint.




Different views of the painted tub. You can see the installed tool box here. It is basically rivted in place, supported underneath with steel supports that will hold the seat. The box is sealed.





Primer on the hood, dash and front end.





Beginning the wiring....



Good shot of the bumper installed with body in the back ground.




The heater prior to being cleaned and installed.



EFI Brains



Identical bumper installed on the front.



... and the dash painted...




pieces/parts drying after paint. Each individual part was sand blasted to remove rust prior to primer and painting.

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