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Lifted96ZJ 08-08-2012 08:32 PM

1973 CJ5 Trail Rig/Hunting Rig Build
I want to document the small build that I'm doing on a 1973 Cj5 that I received for free. Of course, we always want to budget our builds and keep them cheap but we all know that rarely happens. My goal is to keep my build under $4k total. We'll see how that goes....

How I first received her, after sitting for 5+ years and not running

After a pressure wash, turns out she was white lol

Next I got a windshield and roll bar for free dollars. Just fitting the roll bar at this point

Got the roll bar bolted in and a test color spray canned on

Also, it turns out I got lucky and it already had 4" lift springs installed and also has the stock 4.27 option in the rear.

Lifted96ZJ 08-08-2012 08:35 PM

All of the above work was done in a 2 week time span. Then I began looking on CL for good deals for parts I needed. First was these set of 33" pro comp mud terrains I found with 40% tread left for $125 (Keep in mind this vehicle will never see asphalt)

Then I traded an old laptop I had sitting around for these seats. Perfect colors for the setup I have in my mind

Test fitting the seats

Lifted96ZJ 08-08-2012 08:39 PM

The seats aren't mounted yet because I need to fab a mounting bracket for the driver's side but they will be in the next few weeks.

The last 2-3 weeks I've been focusing on getting the old 304 to run again. Started with draining everything and refilling all the fluids in the engine bay, replacing the cap, spark plug wires, rotor, cap and points. Got a brand new radiator. Also dropped the tank, replaced the fuel sending unit, cleared out all the fuel lines and replaced the carb with rebuilt 2 bbl MC2100. (I have no pics of any of this)

I got her to finally turn over but had some issues with spark last week. Then we fixed the wiring and got it to start and idle. Now I just need to replace the plugs and mess with the timing and she'll be done in the engine bay for now.

It's not much right now but it's a start and I've a little around $500 in it so far. I pulled the black wheels shown in the first few pics and repainted them but I have yet to mount the 33s on them yet. That will be happening next week

Lifted96ZJ 08-08-2012 08:46 PM

Wheels painted flat black

Valve covers and air cleaner cover painted flat black

BradWilson101 08-08-2012 09:05 PM

Very nice. Keep up the good work

draperjojo 08-08-2012 09:44 PM

Hunting rig huh?

War_Eagle34 08-08-2012 10:41 PM

Ver interesting thread so far. Will be following.

Lifted96ZJ 08-08-2012 10:43 PM


Originally Posted by draperjojo (Post 13992016)

Nice! Thanks for the link!

cody4359 08-08-2012 10:44 PM

good score on the seats

Lifted96ZJ 08-15-2012 11:09 PM

Got my 33s mounted today so I slapped them on and I took a few more pics of the entire Jeep. Gives you a much better idea of how much work needs to be done to clean it up

Lifted96ZJ 08-23-2012 11:34 AM

Threw in a stock distributor with vac advance along with a new cap, rotor, points and condenser. Made a WORLD of difference in the way it runs. Smooth as a top now. Also picked up a new battery yesterday.

Tested the alternator and it's bad so I ordered a replacement, should be here tomorrow.

Went to fix my exhaust leak at the manifold collector and it looks like it's damaged pretty well so I tightened it up the best I could for now and it will have to wait until I order a set of headers.

And I drove it! Plopped in a 5 gallon bucket on the floor and put it in gear and drove it a few backwards a few feet and forwards a few feet. It wasn't a complete driveline functionality test because it has no brakes right now. I've everything to replace the entire brake system waiting to go on but haven't gotten there yet. She should be mechanically buttoned up in the next month or so then it's on to cosmetics

Read more:

Lifted96ZJ 09-13-2012 09:28 PM

Got a good amount of work done over the last few weeks.

Fixed my oil leak by replacing the oil pressure line. It was plastic and it had a hole in it so I switched it over to copper.

Picked up the other half of my roll cage that matches the one that I already have.

Got a new bumper, mounted it and painted it. Started drilling my winch plate to mount it.

Did some sanding in some areas on the body and the roll cage that had collected a touch of rust.

Fixed my exhaust leak

Replaced my rear differential gasket

And yesterday I started to tear down the rear brakes, I had to beat the drums off which took about 2 hours. Everything inside was rusted and pretty much broken. Drums couldn't be turned so I had to order new ones too. Missing a few small brake parts that are on order then as soon as I get them I'll be slapping them on

Getting close to all of the mechanical items being done. Then I'll be going through all of the wiring and gauges. Then it's on to bodywork and paint!

CJ258 09-14-2012 02:36 AM

Now would be a good time to rewire it. That model doesn't have a fuse box. My '74 had brittle wires with inline fuses and shorts everywhere. Then you could upgrade the headlight wiring to run relays for some real lights. I peeled the wires from the headlights back about a foot and the copper was black.

TmasCJ5 09-14-2012 06:37 PM

Looks like a fun project, will follow your posts. Are you putting stock brakes back on it? just curious, i've been gathering parts to covert my '77 to a rear-disc setup.

Lifted96ZJ 09-15-2012 11:12 AM


Originally Posted by CJ258 (Post 14165215)
Now would be a good time to rewire it. That model doesn't have a fuse box. My '74 had brittle wires with inline fuses and shorts everywhere. Then you could upgrade the headlight wiring to run relays for some real lights. I peeled the wires from the headlights back about a foot and the copper was black.

I'm undecided on whether I want to purchase a new wiring harness or just redo all of the current wiring. I kind of like that fact that the pre 75 don't have fuse blocks and are solid wiring. It will all come down to funds.

The time now is 12:04 PM.

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