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Unread 01-06-2014, 01:25 PM   #1
JayCJ5
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My sister's CJ-5 Ressurection

Hello All, my first post.

A short bit of background. I grew up around Jeeps most of my life and I currently have a 73 CJ-5 in perpetual restoration. I'll save that for another day.

Without getting all maudlin, my father passed away about a year ago. He always had jeeps including a CJ-6 and a CJ-5. His favorite place in Colorado was Mosquito Pass. He spent a ton of time there both in the summer and winter with his jeeps.
From my trip this fall (with his favorite hat):


My sister had been continuously bugging me to finish my jeep and give it to her. Fat chance of that happening I kept my eye on Craig's list and recently saw a 74 CJ-5 for sale, "make an offer". The only information we had was it wouldn't start. I told her to make him a small offer and see if he would take it. I would provide the labor to bring it back to life. About a day later, this showed up in my driveway (the Jeep, not the Lab, she is always there):

It was even my dad's favorite color.

The first day I went through the whole thing. Whoever had it before had done some work - new brakes, new lines, new steering box, differentials serviced, etc. It had a bit of surface rust in places but overall was very solid. I thought this would be a breeze. Hah!

If you turned the key, everything came on and it would kind of crank, but just one little lunge. I pulled the battery and the starter figuring they would be the basic culprits. No joy, it still would not crank.

I pulled the grill off to get a breaker bar on the crank pulley and see if the engine would turn. Dang, locked up solid. This was going to be more work than I thought.

The next step was pulling the motor:

Looked pretty clean. It looked like someone had rebuilt it before (new intake manifold, valve covers, oil pan cover). I started the walk around inspection and what did I find?

Hmm... that can't be good.

More joy:

This is really starting to look bad.

Continue tearing down the motor and more smoking guns:

Pretty sure #7 push rod should be straight.


#4 lifter shouldn't look like that.

Bottom end coming apart:
Crank damaged

Finally the culprit:


I'm almost positive the cam should be one piece

Finally, damage to the #7 and #8 cylinders.


Well, guess this engine is toast. I don't know what happened first, but the cam was in three pieces, lobes on the crank are all scarred up, the #8 connecting rod was shattered, #7 and #8 cylinder walls damaged, etc. It must have scared the heck out of the guy when it let go.

So I am off on the journey to find a re-manufactured 304 long block or at least a new engine block to start with. Anyone have any suggestions in the Denver area? I would settle for a good block to start from, but would prefer a long block. I have been reading the suggestions in other areas of the forum and starting to do research.

I'm sure I will have additional questions as I go and will keep up the notes. This is not going to be a full restoration, but basically getting back on the road for summer fun and mountain passes.

jay

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Unread 01-06-2014, 02:24 PM   #2
Matt1981CJ7
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Hi Jay, and welcome to the forum.

Here's a 304 in Loveland. Owner claims it runs and doesn't smoke. Price is right.

Here's another in Westminster that sounds a little iffy.

Good luck, neighbor.

Matt
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Unread 01-06-2014, 03:02 PM   #3
FLynes
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Can the 304 be re-sleeved? If it can, you might look into that option too.
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Unread 01-06-2014, 03:17 PM   #4
seabass1858
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FLynes View Post
Can the 304 be re-sleeved? If it can, you might look into that option too.
X2. i know the 258 can for sure.
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Unread 01-06-2014, 03:39 PM   #5
JayCJ5
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I hadn't thought about re-sleeving. I can look in to that. I'll have to check the other adds. I think I would still need a new crank or some serious balancing on the one I have. Any recommendations on solid machine shops in the Denver area?

jay
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Unread 01-06-2014, 04:15 PM   #6
seabass1858
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did a little poking around for you when it comes to engines. http://theamcforum.com/forum/sleevin...opic24655.html
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Unread 01-06-2014, 04:21 PM   #7
FLynes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seabass1858 View Post
did a little poking around for you when it comes to engines. http://theamcforum.com/forum/sleevin...opic24655.html
So, what I gathered from that thread is that it can be done, but it needs to be done by a machinist who knows what he's doing. If you only have to sleeve one cylinder, then I'd say it's more cost-effective than buying a new block, if your sister is on a budget.
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Unread 01-06-2014, 04:30 PM   #8
Matt1981CJ7
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Jay,

If I built another AMC engine, I'd use Spitfire Engine and Performance in Denver. They aren't the most professional shop you'll find, but they know AMC engines well, and have a proven record on local tracks.

Be advised, cash speaks loudly with these guys.

Good luck,

Matt
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Unread 01-06-2014, 08:04 PM   #9
MoC
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Hey Jay, welcome to the forums. We vacation from Louisiana to the western slope areas of Colorado every summer. Drove Mosquito Pass last year in July for the first time. --> Pictures Here <--
Great ride for sure! Good luck on you V8.
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Unread 01-06-2014, 08:13 PM   #10
COBRA5LADDICT
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Back when I built my first 304 you could pick up complete 360's from wagoneers all day long at pull and save off 33rd and Peoria. Back then a full engine complete was abou $150. Great core for a rebuild.
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Unread 01-07-2014, 09:04 AM   #11
JayCJ5
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Thanks all for the great advice. I had forgotten about Spitfire. I think those guys did the machine work on the 360 in my CJ-5 back in the day (late 90's)? I'll have to check with them.

jay
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Unread 01-13-2014, 03:00 PM   #12
JayCJ5
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Just a short update. Dropped off the block and crank at Spitfire on Friday. They think it can be re-sleeved (good news), but the crank is bent (bad news). So they are doing the machine work and getting the new crank. Should be done in a couple of weeks. Spent the weekend ordering additional parts so everything is ready to go back together. Can't wait!

Thanks all for the advice.

jay
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Unread 01-13-2014, 05:02 PM   #13
Matt1981CJ7
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Jay,

Good news. I hope the Spitfire boys treat you well.

Keep us updated.

Matt
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Unread 01-13-2014, 05:37 PM   #14
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Jay, that appears to be the coveted "3/4 race" cam.



Shawn
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Unread 01-13-2014, 06:58 PM   #15
lucdog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swatson454
Jay, that appears to be the coveted "3/4 race" cam.

Shawn
That's a good one Shawn, thanks buddy, ya made me smile. :-)

Bill
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