CJ Advice for new CJ owner on restoration project?
Hi everyone - I'm obviously new to the forum and I am hoping for some advice from all of the CJ owners out there. I recently purchased a 1977 CJ5 304 3speed that appears to be in excellent mechanical shape but I bought it as a project for $1000. That being said the engine starts right up, shifts great, suspension and steering feel good on the road (and off the road), it has the AMC 20 front axle and Dana 30 rear, no leaks. Other than that - it needs just about everything else - there is no gas tank, it has a platic auxillary tank in the rear it runs off of, none of the gauges work, speedo is disconnected, other than it starting, headlights working and turn signals working nothing else electrically works in it. The front fenders are in great shape with minimal surface rust, the hood is in good shape but the rest of the body from the windshield back is full of rot/rust. I don't think much of it is salvagable so was thinking about swapping out the tub of the 77 CJ5 with a decent tub I found from an early 80s CJ7 - don't know if that's an easy swap or feasible though. I am looking for advice from anyone out there if they have done similar projects, places to get new wiring, gauges, heat etc... and any DIY tips out there. I owned a 95 YJ a couple years ago that wasn't able to get out of it's own way but still fell in love with it and I've always loved the looks, feel and sound of the 70's CJs so figured this would be an awesome project. Thanks for taking the time to read this and thank you very much for any advice, opinions or ideas you can forward on about where to find parts, tips and what not without breaking the bank.
You need to think about how much time, effort, space and money you want to dedicate to the project. If you tear the thing down with the intent of rebuilding it and fixing the problems, then you're on the hook for a big project and the thing is going to be sitting in the garage for a while.
I have seen a lot of Jeeps that were bought as projects that were never completed. If you read a few build threads here, you'll see some fine looking Jeeps, but many of them are projects that play out over months and years.
I think many people pick up a $1000 Jeep with the intent of doing a project, but start getting sucked deeper and deeper into it as time goes on. As they strip off the layers they find more and more problems. That of course equates to more time and money, and more time of the Jeep sitting there, unuseable. One semi-common theme is the photo of a person sitting on a rolling frame, holding a steering wheel.
So it's a good idea to consider these possibilities up front and establish the scope of what you're willing to take on. I don't mean to be negative; just realistic
Hey guys thanks for the information - honestly I bought the jeep with the impression of driving it and working on it when not at work. The guy selling it is moving to the West coast and not brining it with him - drive train seems good - don't really see this becoming a show jeep anytime soon and not looking to dump thousands of dollars into it - just wanting to make it a good reliable and nice looking jeep - seems like I have a lot of work to do on it but there is also a lot still there to work with.
As you get into the project, be sure to post any questions that you run into that you don't see answers to in older threads. There are a great deal of friendly and knowledgeable folks here. When you post, be sure use a descriptive subject and you will probably get better replies to your question. Welcome aboard!
I am just wrapping up a rebuild on my 85 CJ7 which reminds me i need to update my build thread but... My advise is to plan, plan, plan ahead. Plan that you might need a new speedo. Plan that when you remove your tub the mounts might need replaced.. plan for por 15 plan for new bushings and or a mount kit. plan what your getting with your new tub and what your going to be using off the old one. Plan how that fit together. There is no simple solution. I have an 85 Cj7.. Just used a YJ tub and regardless of how many threads you see that say one thing or another. Your situation will be unique. Its little things that cost time and money. You dont plan on sinking thousands into your jeep? Your probably looking at the wrong vehicle for you. A decent tub will cost. All the bolts that you will need to replace will cost. Is it worth it in the end? DEFINATELY. I just started my jeep after starting my rebuild in Oct. And I had plenty of help from this forum and in family and friends. ( Thanks Rodney ) And advice. Assume everything you take off might need replaced and you'll be fine.