1976 CJ5 build up/restoration - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 6 Old 08-27-2002, 06:43 PM Thread Starter
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1976 CJ5 
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1976 CJ5 build up/restoration

Hi all,

New to the forum and I have to say it is great to see all the info. I recently bought a 1976 CJ5 V8 307 3-speed manual transmission. The engine has been redone as well as the transmission. I went down and picked it up in VA and it ran fine to get it on the trailer. It has NO brakes and NO steering to speak of. I am at a point where I seriously need to think about what to do.

I could use some help in the area of steering and braking. I am planning to run 35X12.5X15 inch tires with a 4" suspension lift and a 3" body lift. I have most of the Jeep apart, I ripped it down in about 40 hours or so. I tossed the fenders and windshield as they were rotten. The hood and body are good, just need some attention in the floors. The motor will get dressed up and it needs a new gas tank.

What I would like to know is what if anything I should do. Should I convert to power steering? Should I put disc brakes in the front? I know that this is all subjective, however, I could use some advice from anyone that has done it. It currently has manual steering and manual brakes.

I plan on driving it in the summer mostly, not really in the winter. I have a 2001 Dodge Ram as a daily driver and in the snow up here in the Northeast it is fine. I have plenty of time to do this, but not plenty of money (probably like everyone else)

Any advice would be appreciated. Cost, labor, etc. would be great to know.

Also, after all this, any advice on some water proof high back seats would be great. The Jeep's interior was the first to go, it smelled like wet dog and the seats were falling apart. I don't plan to put carpets in it, but at most it will have a bikini top, not going to go with anything more then that, so it will get wet.

Thanks in advance.


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post #2 of 6 Old 08-27-2002, 10:05 PM
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Adding power steering and disc brakes makes all the difference in the world. Cost and labor is all dependant on how much work you do yourself and what your parts source is. I know that I can convert to power steering for under $150 with a steering pump, box, and bracketry from a junkyard. I also know what to look for in the junkyard which helps. Belts and hoses are going to be standard Jeep parts new from the parts store. I can do disc brakes for less than $200. Again, I know what parts fit and which don't, where to get them, and how it all goes together. I do use new parts for the calipers, pads, etc. Stainless Steel Brakes Corp. sells the same "disc brake conversion" in a kit form that I can piece together for about $1100 last time I looked. If you're seriously thinking about doing either of these yourself go to Yahoo.com or Google.com and search on "Jeep Power Steering Swap" and "Jeep Disc Brake Swap". You'll find lots of info and recipes for doing it yourself. Asking about it on forums like this will get you lots of conflicting info, much of it from people who have only read about it.

The biggest thing I can recommend for doing it yourself is lots of research. Many different makes of vehicles have parts which will work on your Jeep. For example AMC Eagles used the 258 engine and they are great donors for power steering pumps and brackets if you have a 258 in your CJ. They are plentiful in junkyards. Wagoneers (also lots in junkyards) are good donors for the steering box and pumps/brackets if you have a V8. My disc brakes use Chevy truck calipers and caliper brackets with Jeep rotors. If you limit yourself to just CJ's as parts donors expect to pay much more than if you research what other parts would work.
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post #3 of 6 Old 08-28-2002, 07:24 AM Thread Starter
Bicentennial Nickel
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Thanks for the info, I saw the big brake conversion and yes it is about a grand. It gives you power breakes overall and disc brakes up front. I think it is worth it, just not sure I can do it during the intial build up. It seems pretty straight forward that I can do it once everything is up and running. Need to get the Jeep down to the frame, put new body mounts on and get the body back on. As for the power steering, I am not sure. I see the aftermarket steering shafts and stuff that help considerably with the manual steering, but that doesn't solve my fears of that wearing out and constantly needing to replace the steering components.
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post #4 of 6 Old 08-28-2002, 06:23 PM
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look at the Bestop Aqua Sport seats they are pretty comfy and have a neoprene shell(waterproof).

stuff not together yet
almost done
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post #5 of 6 Old 08-30-2002, 09:17 AM
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power steering

I have a 1972 CJ-5 which when I bought it came completely torn apart. I have been converting everything to newer standards, and have a few suggestions.

for the power steering... the conversion job is not all that dificult because a lot of the parts from a newer style cj-5 or 7 will fit. I used the power steering pump that came off a amc 304, which you can also find off any amc v8, 304, 360, 390, or 401. The box and conecting rod was from the cj-7 and used the old steering colum from the 72 CJ5. I fabricated a bracket to hold the box up, but it is a lot like the heavy duty one that you can find in the 4wd catalog. there was a little bit of bending to do with the pump hose, but other than that a direct fit. the cost is cheap, and power steering is well worth it.
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post #6 of 6 Old 08-30-2002, 10:07 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info. I happened to be looking on EBAY the other night and someone had a complete power steering system out of a 77 or78 CJ 5 and it went for $200 so I think that I might be able to find something like that as well. It is a LOT cheaper then the $1500 kit I saw on-line at some after market place.

I also think I am going to convert the front brakes to disc and put in the power brakes. While it is apart it is definitely the time to do it. Hopefully I will get the tub off this weekend and I can see if there is anything under there that I wasn't able to see.

Thanks again.
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