i found a '73 CJ5 with a 304 and 3 speed that has been completely disassembled. completely disassembled - there aren't two parts still attached. frame and body have v little rust. it was running before the tear down and the parts have been bagged and marked. i don't know which versions of the transfer case or diffs. the current owner has lost interest and wants it out of garage.
i have the time and space, but i'm looking for some insight into how difficult the rebuild will be. it's a lot easier to put things back together if you're the one who took them apart, so let me know what you think about getting into a project like this. will i be able to find enough literature and pics to put it back together again?
it supposedly ran but had electrical issues with no working lights or gauges. it's been sitting for 1 year in pieces. fiberglass tub, nearly rust free quarters, hood, grill, windshield, frame and bumpers, has all gauges and un-modded dash, cool old school steel hard top with hard doors. he's got a 4" lift kit in the box. the tires, seats and wheels are rotted/trash. what are your thoughts on a fair price for this too?
never rebuilt anything from scratch - much less without instructions. he does have a bunch of rolls of film that supposedly capture the disassembly - whatever that's worth.
I would offer him 500 and call it good. Even if you dont rebuild it you can get more than that out of the top and doors. Buy a couple of manuals and get to work. I would buy a complete working drive train and save the rest as spare parts or sell it. Either way expect alot of work and douoble the budget that you think it will cost. Sounds like a great project
If he offers you $250 to take it off his hands it might be worth thinking about, but I doubt it. New gaskets, worn out parts, missing parts, not knowing where things go, not knowing what's bad and what's good, time , effort, etc., etc. A completely stripped down vehicle, no two different parts still together? I say no.
Lift, frame, and good tub. Really sounds like a good start for a custom build, without all the pita teardown to be done. I'd do $500 assuming you don't have to take the torn down engine etc. $250 if you have to haul it all.
You guys kidding me, lets see a Fiberglass tub $1200 new and that maybe low. All the other misc. parts as well, if he would take $500 your stealing it. Bottom line your going to spend a lot any way you do a rebuild plus the time tearing it down and putting it back together, sounds like the hard part is done already.
If you have the time and space and know your way around CJ's pretty well, for a few hundred bucks I'd grab it. Just expect to double everything( cost, time, energy). As long as you realize that, and aren't on a time frame, I think it sounds like a great longterm project. Good Luck!
Where do I begin.. This is what I did and would never do it again. Was shopping for a CJ7 and up here in WI they are SCARCE. The ones I found I thought were too much money so along comes my Jeep in pieces. The guy began a restoration and got as far as disassembly and sandblasting/painting everything. He had bought the fiberglass tub, but there were not 2 pieces bolted together. "A great father/son project" I thought so 3 trucks and 2 trailers later this pile of parts is sitting in my garage. Since I didn't know how anything came apart I did not know which parts to bolt together. The first thing I did was buy an OEM service manual. It is 3 parts and was quite helpful, but even that did not show every part or how it gets bolted on. This forum was probably the most help of all. Also I have a relative with a junker (that he wouldn't sell me) that I could use as a reference. I took pictures and measurments of everything.
I did learn every piece of a CJ and what it's function was (well nearly every). But many things I did 4 or 5 times over because I simply didn't know and didn't do it right the first time. The project became an obstacle in my garage for 3 years and I am fortunate(I think) that I am still married since my wife had to scrape snow off windows for 2 complete winters when there was a perfectly good 2 car garage out back that was occupied. Also the honey-do list did not budge as I was hibernating out in the shop every night. And the sons that were supposed to help got bored with the project really quick and it became the family punchline at get-togethers.
All said and done, it was a great learning experience and knowing what I know now, I could easily complete it in less than half the time. Again my biggest problem was recognizing a good part from bad, what is repairable, and what should just be replaced. I would spend a week cleaning a part and then put it in only to find out later is was shot and had to be replaced with a new one anyway. I went way over budget and plans changed many times throughout so I would buy something, not use it, then sell it on e-bay for a loss.
Now I am not discouraging you from an ambitious undertaking, merely trying to help you see into the future and what lies ahead. Your family situation may be different and if you have the time and space, it is a great learning experience. But you need deep pockets. You can get a fairly decent CJ in parts of the country for around the $6k range and it is done. The one I first looked at was $5,500 and I thought that was too high. I stopped keeping track but I am well over that and had to do all the labor myself. Good luck on whatever you decide.
3 years later:
__________________ MINE: 1995 YJ/2.5L/115K/Completely Stock MY DAD's: 1978 CJ7/ AMC 360 .030" over/ Motorcraft 2100/ Edelbrock Performer/ Proform HEI Ignition/ Hedman Headers with dual Flowmaster 40's/ Taurus Fan/ FK-35 Control/ Painless Harness/ Rebuilt T150 & Dana 20/ 4" Lift/ 31" Procomp Mud Terrains/ All Fiberglass. (SOLD) MY BROTHER's: 1996 ZJ Limited/5.2L/117K & Completely Stock.(SOLD)
If you can get it for cheap, have the mechanical know-how and are patient, then I say go for it. I am actually in the same situation. My brother-in-law is notorious for doing just this, buy a car, take it apart and loose interest. Actually tomarrow I am driving up to Casper Wy to rescue a '56 CJ5 from him. Fortunately for me, since I told him I would take it, he has put alot of the body back together for transport. I have only seen one picture of the Jeep in one piece, but I am not discourage. The only thing I have going for me is that I know it ran before he tore into it, but it needed a new clutch, which has been replaced. Unfortunately in the process of replacing the clutch, he took the top off the T-90 and let the body of the tranny roll on its side and a bunch of small bearing rolled out, so a tranny rebuild is in order. But the frame is straigth and the body is about 95% rust free, someone had done a buick V6 swap and the interior parts, seats are almost perfect, has a aftermarket hardtop, but just needs a "true" jeepers loving touch. So tomarrow the adventure begins Of cousre one thing that really helps...an understanding wife.
My brother doesn't even get to the teardown stage. He buys a car that doesn't run "But the guy I bought it from says it's 'probably' just (fill in the part)" And that's about it. He has a nice collection of non-running boring cars (honda accord, ford probe etc)
My build so far, starting last fall... I started with an 80 cj5, rusty as all get out but started fine. Throttle wasn't hooked up and tcase was a ***** to try and shift. Goal was to get throttle hooked up, tcase free'd up and wheel it as is. I figured it was probably going to kiss a tree now and then so why mess with it? Secondary goal, lots of body work over the winter, but essentially a quicky toy.
Then I found jeep #2. #2 was a good body on frame, 304 (sitting out) and a few misc. parts. Everything else was pulled for another build. So I figure I'll combine #2body with #1 drivetrain. So I pull axles from #1 and install on #2. Then decide I don't want an AMC 20 (especially this one) and find a guy with a dana 44/30 combo, already geared to 4.10.
I get the axles and find the new 30 has drums, the old disc. So I swap knuckles, mangling a couple ball joints in the process. Lost 1.5 months getting them replaced (time and budget). New 30 is then swapped in.
Rear axle, I find has welded spiders and the brake hardware is toast. I decide to move to the tcase.
Tcase is pure hell getting apart because the shift rods are siezed. There goes 3 months (working on it sundays 'cuz new kid and I'm still remodelling the house). Finally get the tcase back together.
Back to the rear axle. Getting welded spider out is a huge pita. Plasma cutter helps quite a bit. Install aussie locker and order all new brake hardware. Rear axle is about 95% down as of now.
New rear main/oilpan/valve cover gaskets. Paint engine after knocking off some of the crud. I choose the most god awful flourescent john dear green. I think its funny Was going to clean it real well but 1. I know the 304 is temporary and 2. I don't know if it actually runs or not. Was told it did, but who knows? Then I break a header bolt off in the block (1 book says torque to 45, other 25. I guess 25 was the right one.)
Get busted bolt out, replace. Then I discover that the PO broke off all the actual bolts/studs in the manifold itself. So off they come, and now I'm looking for a set of headers.
So in summary, having started with 1 functional jeep (more or less) I still need to swap the tranny, find cheap longer brake lines, get fuel tank modded, install tcase, driveshafts, rewire the engine compt. do some quick body work and paint, install interior, remember the other 20 odd things I know I'm forgetting, and then hopefully drive the thing before winter hits since it has no top
Funny how a 1 month project just keeps on trucking along.
Well what I figure with my CJ project is it will probally take me 18-24 months, because even though I plan on working on it this summer, I still have to hit the trails with the TJ. My goal is to get the drivetrain back together by summers end and work on cleaning up the frame and suspension lift over the loooonnnggg winter, and start body work, electrical and interior next spring with the hope we are taking the CJ on its maiden voyage by next labor day. Of course that plan may go all to hell real quick
Where is the Jeep from, or where are you from? If you have never built one from the ground up, there is literature out there, but if it is that old, I would imagine there are things wrong with it that you can't see due to your newness to the Jeep building scene.
We're all in Virginia.
Here's a new piece of info: found someone who just listed a rusted out '75 CJ5 with rolling chassis. Has good frame, bumpers, dana 44 in the rear, a 30 in the front, straight 6, 3 speed, dana 20 t-case. has decent hood and grill, wheels, tires, seats, replacement gas tank. The body, rear fenders and dash are all rust trash. The engine doesn't run because has been sitting for almost 2 years. He's asking $700 OBO.
I think I could pick both of them up around $1100.
I could use the rusty '75 as a model while I put the '73 together. Use the best parts between the two.
Now what do you think? Should I just hold off and look for a super rusty but still running one for $1500-$2000?
Thanks for all the good replies.