major cj5 overhaul- what would you do? -
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post #1 of 5 Old 09-06-2012, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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major cj5 overhaul- what would you do?

I just got a CJ5 in not so good condition. The engine has good compression and seems to run fine however there are oil leaks arround the front of the engine, the valve cover and the oil pan. There is also a thermostat housing leak ( coolant) . Transmission and transfercase seem to work ok but there is a leak where the driveshaft goes into the diffrential. ( how do you change that seal? However the body is rusted out. So I dismantled the jeep today and pulled the tub off.
The frame has surface rust but doesn't seem to serious.

Since everything is now accessable I was thinking it would be a good time to put in a new clutch plate and reseal the engine ( valve cover, oil pan, timing cover.) New distributer, spark plugs and wires, hoses and belts, change fluids.
Then there is the problem of the frame rust. What about rust converters, rustoleum, por 15 ( expensive). Sandblasting is expensive ( and you still don't get to the inside of the frame)

What would you guys do in my case? I am on a very! tight budget. I don't need to restore the jeep to like new, I want to make the jeep in a good driveable condition.
Thanks for all your help!

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post #2 of 5 Old 09-08-2012, 01:37 PM
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1978 CJ5 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: San Antonio
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The first thing is to make a priority list. The problem is the best thing to do is the most expensive. Since you have the tub off it would be great to just go through it all ( that is the most expensive part). You could tackle all the dripping parts which is probably just worn out seals ( usually the cheapest). Grind down all the rust spots and get a primer on the affected areas to stop the rust. Then tackle your priority list. You need to figure out what your end game is for the Jeep. A rock crawler, trail rider, sand 4wd or just drive to work and back. This will help you with the decisions on upgrading and how far you get into something. If you are like me, my front seal was leaking so instead of just replacing the seal, I replaced the entire front end of the motor. Timing cover, water pump, timing chain and gears, oil pump, fuel pump, radiator, electric fan, hoses, belts and pullies. All for a small leak.
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post #3 of 5 Old 09-08-2012, 01:37 PM
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1978 CJ5 
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BTW welcome to the forum.
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post #4 of 5 Old 09-10-2012, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks JP75Cj5,

Made a list, that halped a lot. Will rebuilt engine and but a new clutch in as this is so easy now. Also new pinion seals and gaskets on front and rear axles and lockers. New u- joints, upper lower ball joints, new brakes....

At this point I think i want reliabilty ore than looks, so the body work will need to be on a real budget. Will grind the frame as good as possible and prime paint....
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post #5 of 5 Old 09-10-2012, 07:25 PM
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1992 YJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 726

I did a frame up on my YJ. Check out my signature below and look it up for some "real life help" in this department. Is your frame boxed? I thought all CJs were open channel frames and only the YJs and later used a box set up. With my frame, I bought an angle grinder and about ten flapping discs. That and about four hours and I had that frame down to the bare metal... I got all of those nasty welds smooth and the weld splatter was ground down. I then hit it with Rustoleum Primer I picked up at Walmart. That did a lot for me. I have many photos in my "build" if you are interested.

Jp78CJ5 gave you some excellent advice. I am glad you used it. Once you figure out what you want to do, then you figure out how much money you have to do it, then you refigure and so on, until you come up with a solid plan, financially supported. Then you attack. If you can afford it, now is the time to rebuild that engine and your drivetrain. You won't get an easier time with the tub off. If you can afford it and you don't rebuild, you will kick yourself in the butt later. It is so easy to restore everything while the tub is off... it is so unbelievably easy, it is hard not to just "do it, to it" unless you don't have the cash flow. With me, it was four years of waiting, saving, buying parts, storing parts in my garage until the day... (can I have a drum roll please?) Mine still isn't finished yet, but I am glad I spent the time to do it from the "frame up". It is worth it.

Please post many photos. I can't wait to see what you do to your jeep.

Take care,

Check out "YJ V6 Conversion" if you want to see a frame up restoration of my 1992 YJ.

Check out "WWII Jeep Photos AND Restoration of..." if you want to see the original JEEP in action...
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