78 CJ-5 Build-up - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 38 Old 08-31-2008, 08:50 AM Thread Starter
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1978 CJ5 
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78 CJ-5 Build-up (Updates with new pictures)

*UPDATE post 8*

Back in July I bought a 78 CJ-5 that I posted about a while back. Since then I've started tearing it down with plans to do a resto/trail rig build-up. I'll keep this thread updated as I do stuff.

This is what I started off with

Then in August I started tearing it down. First to go where the seats, hood, roll bar, and center console

That start of the pile of parts

Then the next weekend I pulled the feneders, grill, windshield frame, and part of the dash (had to go buy torx bits)

The pile of parts grows

You can see the brand new poly bushing kit that got thrown in with the jeep.

More pics can be found here
The more I tear into it, the more little things I find wrong with it. But that is half of the fun of a project like this.

I am going to do some more work to it this weekend and I'll be sure to post up pics when I do.

Last edited by Ebola; 05-24-2009 at 05:43 PM.
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post #2 of 38 Old 08-31-2008, 08:52 AM
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1973 XJ Cherokee 
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Great work...

Love to see how this goes, great to see a CJ come back from the brink...

Bertha: '91 XJ 4.5 RC, JCR stg 2 Sliders, JCR TC Skid, JCR Stg 3 Rear Bumper, 4.0 HO, Cragar V5's, 31 Dakota M/T, Custom Staff Caring Tubes, Wally World Driving Lights.
Kermit: '93, stock right now but will soon have all parts from Bertha.

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post #3 of 38 Old 08-31-2008, 01:00 PM
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1979 CJ5 
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Location: San Diego
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Keep us posted..............take lots of pics.

Jason "MJ" - 79 CJ-5 | SOA/HI-STEER | 304/T18A/D20 w/3:1 TeraLow | Holley Avenger Carb | Edelbrock Performer Intake Manifold | DUI Distributor | K&N Filter | Centerforce 2 Clutch | Waggy D44's | 4.11's | ARB's | Hydroboost | HAD Shafts | 35 Toyo MT's|
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post #4 of 38 Old 08-31-2008, 01:46 PM
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2015 JK Wrangler 
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Location: Alabama Roll Tide
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Looks Great! Keep on truckin!



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post #5 of 38 Old 02-09-2009, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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1978 CJ5 
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Location: Winter Park, FL
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UPS brought me some toys today.

Painless Wiring Kit

Floor Pans for in front and under the seats I got 3 of 4, the other pan is back ordered for at least a week.

Windshield frame and windshield. The glass is being drop shipped from the manufacturer.

I also have new seat belts and new taillights coming. I plan to cut out the old floor pans this weekend. I will post pictures after I do it.
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post #6 of 38 Old 02-23-2009, 03:34 PM Thread Starter
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1978 CJ5 
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Location: Winter Park, FL
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This weekend I made some progress on the Jeep. I replaced the transmission mount.While I was at it I painted the skid plate and the gas tank skid plate. I also welded in some patch panels for the floor. This weekend I am going to be rewiring it and then painting in the next few weeks.

The skid(it needs a few more coats)

The gas tank skid

The plates

There are more pics at:
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post #7 of 38 Old 02-24-2009, 06:17 AM
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My 87 has those same ugly wheels, they must of sold them at sears or something back in the day.

1987 wrangler, 258 I-6, 5-speed.
2007 liberty sport 4X4, automatic
2009 ford ranger 4x4 FX4 OFF/ROAD, 5-speed
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post #8 of 38 Old 05-24-2009, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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1978 CJ5 
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Location: Winter Park, FL
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Well I was finally able to get back to the Jeep this weekend after some set backs (lost my job, then my mom passed within a month of being diagnosed with cancer) I got the new dash bolted in. and all of the wiring except the rear done. Which leads me to my problem. I got everything hooked up and hooked the battery charger to the positive and negative battery cables (per painless' instructions) go to crank it and nothing. when I turn my key it goes to start, but doesn't return. to run, which leads me to believe that the ignition might be bad, but it won't fire when I jump the solenoid either. There are wires for a neutral safety switch that I did not hook up because the jeep does not have one and it ran before I tore the old harness out. I also do not have any of the gauge wires hooked up because my jeep came with manual gauges (oil and temp) and it is not in the cards to buy new gauges atm. Am I missing something? do I need that neutral safety switch for the painless kit to send power to the starting system? I will be calling painless in the morning (it's a pain that they aren't open on the weekend ) I was just hoping that maybe one of yall could give me some insight. The plan was to sand blast and prime next weekend and paint the weekend after. now that is getting pushed back at least another week because I need the jeep running to get it out of the barn and into the paint booth. Well on with the pictures.

New dash with steering column reinstalled

Pictures of the wiring process

Possible location of safety switch?


Gave my Jeep a black eye(broke the light pulling the old harness off)

Other picture can be found on my supermotors page

Thanks for looking and hopefully someone can shed some light on my issue.
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post #9 of 38 Old 05-25-2009, 08:07 AM
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1983 CJ5 
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It looks to me like your solenoid is wired wrong. This is how mine is wired up...

Just a disclaimer though...I just think I know how to work on my jeep.

83 CJ, yeah its a 5

1. Christopher Columbus did not need directions and neither do we.
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post #10 of 38 Old 05-25-2009, 09:40 AM
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1974 CJ5 
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Nice Jeep. FYI, there's no such thing as a neutral safety switch on a manual transmission. Only on automatics to prevent you from starting them in gear. The switches you've pointed out on your transmission are for the backup lights and the other is a timing retard switch (emissions-related) that retards timing when it's in 3rd gear.

What's with the user name Ebola? Fan of the hemorrhagic fever? Or named in honor of the river in the Democratic Republic of Congo?
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post #11 of 38 Old 06-14-2009, 08:55 PM Thread Starter
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1978 CJ5 
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I got her to crank today. It ended up being my battery charger wasn't putting out any power, that will teach me to leave my test light and multi-meter. I did end up having to buy a new ignition switch because the old one was brittle and broke when I was disconnecting the old harness. Next up is paint.

And the nickname was given to me by my friends after my biology teacher asked where I was (I had been absent for a week, I had a nasty flu) and my friend said I had Ebola, it stuck and the rest they say is history.
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post #12 of 38 Old 06-22-2009, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
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1978 CJ5 
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I picked up a set of new(to me) fenders today. They only have a little surface rust and no dents. The fenders that came on my jeep were more bondo than metal and dented all up. I was over in Clearwater and stopped in at Jeff's Jeep Yard and asked if they had any used CJ fenders and they did. Now I just need to find a good cheap sand blaster and someone who can weld weld my patch panels I made in. I have a welder, but I stink at it and this is something I don't want to practice on. On with the pics!

The only rust spots

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post #13 of 38 Old 06-22-2009, 04:48 PM
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good work! Keep us posted!
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post #14 of 38 Old 06-23-2009, 12:55 AM
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1978 CJ5 
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I'm thinking my harness has a jumper acros the Neutral switch connector.

Looking good though - have you ever thought of getting fiberglass fenders and such instead of the steel? I bought mine with fg tub and fenders. Anything I do to it, I replace with stainless or fg. I'd love a stainless frame, but that'd be too much $ for the metal to build one...


1978 CJ5 5.0HO/T177/D300, '86 D30/D44 WT axles, 'glass body, 31x10.5 BFG A/T, TDK galv'd frame - DD and weekend toy

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post #15 of 38 Old 07-05-2009, 10:23 AM Thread Starter
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Made some progress this weekend. I started getting ready to pull the body off of the frame. All of the nuts for the body bolts have broken free and are just spinning, so I tacked the nuts to the body on the bolts in the middle of the body. The ones in the front and ones in the rear I have to buy a holesaw to get to them from the top. I also removed the top plate from my transmission so I can pull the body, I am using the lift to pick the body up off of the frame, but it does not have enough lift height to clear the shifter. The lest thing to go yesterday was the heater box, the original unit was trashed, but I found a replacement at Jeff's Jeep Yard in Clearwater. While I was doing that, my dad was busy designing and building a body cart so I can roll the tub out to sand blast and then over to the paint booth. I was hoping to have the body off this weekend, but as usual nothing with "Jeep" involved goes according to plan, so my planned completion date has been pushed back another week. On to the pictures.

The cart, we started with a cart from Tractor Supply Company that has a 1500lbs capacity and then my dad built the frames

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