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Unread 12-15-2011, 12:10 PM   #1
WilsonZone
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1978 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 49
1978 Jeep CJ-5 frame-up build (lots of pictures)

Project current status picture (click picture to view):


While back I was towing my 2000 TJ using a tow-bar back from a run and blew out a tire on my tow vehicle, which caused my TJ to disconnect and barrel-roll into oncoming traffic (my mistake for not using safety chains). The accident ended up totaling both my TJ and my tow vehicle. Pictures of my TJ are here: www.wilsonzone.com/jeep/

I found a 1978 CJ-5 that was rolled and repaired and I bought it. The CJ-5 had all kinds of issues. It had a leak in the rear axle at the axle shaft. It had a SOA lift and the cross-member was being held up by dog chains, among a long list of other shortcuts. Drive-train is an AMC 360 V8, T-150 3-speed tranny and a Dana 20 transfer case. I knew the tub was bent but didn't realize the frame was bent until I started building a front bumper for it.

I found another 1978 CJ-5 with the same drive-train except it had a 304 from a 1970 AMC Javelin and the PO ran unleaded fuel in it burning up the valves. It also had a broken 2nd gear in the tranny. I bought it so I could build up one CJ-5 using both vehicles. I wanted to make it look real nice and also trail worthy.

Because I'm using body parts from both Jeeps (one is black and the other is yellow) I've been stripping the paint off the tub and body parts. I have the grill stripped down to the bare metal and I'm getting ready to paint or coat it.

I'm torn between POR-15 or bed-liner. Or do I use POR-15 as an undercoat and cover it with a bed-liner? I'm thinking POR-15 really can't be used as an undercoat, am I right?

Also if I'm to use a bed-liner, do I use a spray-on liner? Or would it be best to use a roller to apply the bed-liner? I want it to look about as good as a mall-crawler but still be able to take the abuse from the trails. I plan on keeping the 35 inch tires but I'm debating if I want to stick to a SOA or buy new springs.

Forgive any misspelled words here, I'm typing this out using my iPhone...


Last edited by WilsonZone; 03-26-2012 at 06:33 PM.. Reason: Add current status image
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Unread 12-15-2011, 12:37 PM   #2
EBIJeeps
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Auburn, NE
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First I would suggest using mar-hyde one-step after the removal of heavy rust then use a roll on bed-liner. I've done this many times on our builds here. It works well and lasts years. I would also suggest sticking with the SOA if you have an updated high steer conversion.
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Unread 12-18-2011, 09:57 PM   #3
blackhawk51
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1976 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Stafford, Virginia
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For your frame - check out Eastwood's rust inhibitor and chassis black. Used them on my frame and after two summers of driving around at the beach it still looks great.
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My CJ5 Restore and Build Thread
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/7...-build-992800/
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Unread 02-11-2012, 12:33 AM   #4
WilsonZone
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1978 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 49
1978 Jeep CJ-5 frame-up build

I guess I should share my build. I had a 2000 Wrangler that was totaled on my way home from a run to Clayton, Oklahoma.





A friend of mine had a friend who was trying to sell a 1978 CJ5 in Knoxville that needed a little work. We took a road trip and picked it up.






Last edited by WilsonZone; 02-21-2012 at 02:22 AM.. Reason: Add title.
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Unread 02-12-2012, 12:19 AM   #5
WilsonZone
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1978 CJ5 
 
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When I bought the CJ, I was told there were something wrong with the wiring that caused the battery to die so he'd just disconnect the battery when he wasn't driving. He also told me the rear seal was bad. The fuel filler hose was replaced with some PVC pipe and putting gas in it was a real pain.

After I got it home I found more issues with it, some were done before the PO bought it. There were loose wires everywhere. The tub was bent so the driver's side door wouldn't shut at all. The friction point on the clutch was so small and the springs were rusted together so driving on bumpy roads were a back-breaker. Plus there were issues with the brakes. Both driveshafts were shot so I built driveshafts using square tubing.

After taking it on a run the master cylinder had gotten so bad that the only way they would work was to pump it a few times first before stopping.





Thanks to the carburator, I had to use my starter to get the Jeep down.





I decided to add power brakes and tilt steering to the Jeep. The hood, fenders and windshield frame had been replaced before I bought it but they weren't painted, so I removed them to give them a quick coat of rattle-can paint.
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Unread 02-12-2012, 12:29 AM   #6
WilsonZone
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1978 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 49
At the same time I decided to build a bumper for it that would double as an air tank. I had this 3x8 rectangular tubing that was given to me and I picked up a York AC compressor from the local Pull-A-Part.





I initially just had a winch bolted to a cheap winch plate that I got from Steve's Wholesale.


After removing the winch and winch-plate, I worked on mounting it on my Jeep.



I added this hoop to the bumper, but ended up removing it because the fenders were in the way.




While figuring out how to attach the bumper to my Jeep I realized that the frame was bent as well.
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Unread 02-12-2012, 01:09 AM   #7
WilsonZone
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Posts: 49
A friend and his father had a 1978 CJ5 that they bought 26 years ago as a father-son project to keep at their cabin in Colorado. After replacing the blown engine with one from a 1970 AMC Javelin and other repairs they drove it for years until a few years ago when the engine and transmission had busted.






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Unread 02-12-2012, 01:44 AM   #8
WilsonZone
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My friend didn't have the time or resources to do the work needed but didn't want to give it up to just anyone so he sold it to me, knowing I'd take good care of it. So I loaded it onto my trailer and hauled it home.


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Unread 02-12-2012, 01:56 AM   #9
WilsonZone
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The plan was to repaint the yellow Jeep to black with red trim and swap the drive train. So my son and I started pulling the drive-train from the black Jeep.












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Unread 02-12-2012, 02:18 AM   #10
WilsonZone
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Next we removed the drive-train from the yellow CJ5. Discovered the cross-member was welded to the frame because the bolts had been broken off.






We started to install the drive-train from the black CJ5 into the yellow CJ5. At the time we were just going to swap the drive-train and not worry about the color, but that changed later.




Had to stop due to rain.


The old 304.


At first I built a homemade cross-member to replace the one that was welded to the frame:







The next day I realized I didn't account for the front drive shaft. : So I abandoned the replacement cross-member. I began drilling out the busted bolts in the frame.




The only place a bolt for the cross-member hadn't been snapped in the frame.


I made a bracket to hold the nut in place so I could weld it to the frame.
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Unread 02-12-2012, 02:32 AM   #11
WilsonZone
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The whole swap was taking place in my back yard because a guy living down the street would see me working on my Jeep and come over to help out. Normally I would welcome the help, but he usually made things worse. Anyway, because of the heat I decided to move my Jeep to the front of the house and just risk it.



The carpeting had been glued to the floor hiding the rust holes.


Sheet metal riveted to the floor to cover a large hole.


a lot of the "repairs" were done by using window screen and tons of body filler.




The guy from down the street? Yup, he showed up.
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Unread 02-12-2012, 02:52 AM   #12
WilsonZone
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I began using paint stripper on the body, which made things a LOT messier. Yes, there are two more Jeeps, they are our daily drivers.




For the fun of it I installed the 35 inch tires that came from the black Jeep.



This is where I'd stash my Jeep when I'm not working on it. I couldn't leave it in my driveway because the city would give me a 10-day notice to remove it.



My CJ5 sat in the garage for a month and when I came back to it I found some surface rust, so I decided to sand the old paint off and cover it with primer.






Found a large rust hole that was filled with body filler.




More sanding and primer.




Jeep




Looking a bit better, but will need to fix those rust holes.





Removing the body filler on the driver's side panel.


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Unread 02-12-2012, 03:13 AM   #13
WilsonZone
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While I had it all torn apart I decided I would rebuild the transfer case so I could install a twin-stick.






No matter how careful I was, I still lost a ball and spring for the transfer case! I had to order new ones from 4 Wheel Parts.



Because the transfer case looked great I decided to pull the engine and transmission, clean them up and paint them.


I was able to clean the motor up pretty good.





Notice the bumper I built is sitting on the yellow CJ5. It sat so long that it developed a bad surface rust, so I spent some time cleaning that up.




AMC 360 with the motor taped up and painted.





Valve covers painted and some of the tape removed. Damn, I should have taped better.


Added some black paint to the raised numbers on the block, and added some other items that were cleaned and painted.









Because of the weather and a certain someone complaining about the amount of time I've put on my CJ5 (*cough*wife*cough*), I'm holding off working on this for a couple days.

Anyway, this is where I'm at so far.
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Unread 02-16-2012, 01:39 PM   #14
WilsonZone
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The bolts holding the tub to the frame was really bad. I had to cut 6 out of 10 bolts to free the frame. The "nuts" (not real nuts, just blocks of threaded of metal) broke loose from the tub and are located in spots that will be tough to re-attach them to the tub, so I'm not sure what I'll need to be doing with them.


Tub pulled back from the frame. Had to wait for my son to come home from school to help move the tub off the frame and onto the trailer.


Tub off the frame with the help of my 18 year old son. We should have had more help though, the tub was not only awkward but heavy too.


Tub temporarily on my trailer. I wish I had a rotisserie to help do the body work on the tub.


Next I need to remove the axles from the frame.


Axles off the frame.


Time to remove steering gear box, brake lines, fuel lines and any other removable items from the frame.


Original rubber fuel hose with original clamp. The rubber line is brittle and needs to be replaced. I'm glad I decided to strip the Jeep down to the frame instead of just doing a power-train swap so I could see this and remove it.


This is hard to see, but apparently one of the previous owners decided to do this to repair a fuel leak in the metal line. The rubber hose is pretty brittle so it needed to go anyway.


Frame stripped of almost everything. Just a couple bolts and a bracket for the exhaust needs to be removed.

I decided to quickly power-wash the frame. My neighbor suggested sand-blasting the frame. Looking at some posts here about the cost and I'm guessing it would cost me about $150, which I really can't afford. I'm doing this build on a VERY limited budget, so I plan on doing what I can with the tools I already have.

I bought 4 cans of engine degreaser to put on the frame before I power-washed it. I bought these because they were on sale at $1.99 a can. One can could not cover one frame rail. No wonder it was so cheap! It took all 4 cans to coat the frame.


Frame power-washed. Because I can't afford to sand-blast the frame I'm going to use a wire wheel and sanding disc to clean the frame up as much as I can. I might as well remove the front spring bracket and build my own brackets for a shackle reversal. I have YJ springs to replace the front CJ springs. Plus I'm going to keep the SOA lift that I had on my old CJ5.


Now that I can flip the axle it will be easier to fix the threads needed to mount the crossmember to the frame. A PO broke 4 bolts into the frame so they welded the crossmember to the frame.


I found a broken bolt that holds the steering gear box on the frame, so I need to remove this.


I welded a grade-8 nut to the broken bolt so I could remove it.


Between lubricant and the heat from welding the nut it came right out without a problem.


I need to replace this crossmember on the frame. Has anyone done this kind of work before? I'm just wondering if I can replace it with angle iron or c-channel and drill the holes needed for the tub mounts. Has anyone replaced this on their frame? Or should I just straighten it out and weld where it is cracked or cut?


This is where I'm at so far. I bought a quart of POR15 to use on the frame and bumpers. Today I'm going to finish the threaded holes in the frame for the crossmember, remove the spring brackets and clean the frame to get it ready for POR15. I also need to replace the rear crossmember on the frame and start building my rear bumper so it will be ready for the POR15.
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Unread 02-19-2012, 10:00 PM   #15
WilsonZone
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Location: Oklahoma
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I started cleaning all the paint and rust off the frame.


Time to start working on this damaged rear crossmember.




Old crossmember cut off the frame.


Had some scrap 3/16 plate steel, so I began cutting what I needed to replace the crossmember.


Pieces cut, rust grinded off and welded together.







While working on the rear crossmember, I spotted what looked like rust damage in the frame. Did some grinding and sure enough, frame damage from rust.:



My next task is to repair the rust damage on my frame and finish cleaning the frame.
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