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Unread 02-14-2012, 10:03 AM   #1
ShowroomShine
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1998 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Louisburg, NC
Posts: 306
New to Jeep's, new to me CJ5. First steps?

Hello all. I'm new to Jeeps and traded into this 1976 CJ5. It has the 258ci 3-spd and some previous owners "custom" modifications.

It has not even been off the trailer yet, but I have a few questions before I start.

It obviously needs work, but it does run and drive and operates decent enough for its condition. I'm not looking to do a full on resto or pour a ton of money into. Just something to piddle with and fix up good enough to ride around the farm and some short trips (less than 20 miles).

I'm thinking first off do an oil, air and diff fluid change. I was thinking of doing a drain/fill on the transmission, however I'm not quite as confident with transmission work as I should be and I worry if putting in new fluid could cause new problems.

I'd like to remove the SOA lift and go down to 31" tires from the current 33's. I'd ideally like to keep the 2" shackle lift for some sort of lift, but the SOA seems to be a terrible way to lift a jeep from what I'm reading.

The wiring in the jeep seems to be a little on the "rigged" side. Turn signals and dash lights dont work, nor does the factory speedo or gas gauge.

As far as cosmetics go it needs new seats, new steering column and some other minor odds/ends. Like any Jeep I looked at, it has rust mainly on the windshield frame at the bottom and a few minor rust holes on the body. Nothing major on the frame or body and the diamond plates are actually not hiding rust.

Here are some pics with the previous owner.




So here she is and there is my list of things to do.

What are you guys suggestions? What other things need a good "going over" to make this thing a little more road worthy? Any suggestions of other steps to take on this thing?

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Unread 02-14-2012, 10:04 AM   #2
Balvar24
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1979 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Rock Ridge
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Change fluids. Maybe do a tune up. Drive it regularly. Fix what breaks.
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Unread 02-14-2012, 10:13 AM   #3
BigFire
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1979 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Black Hills, South Dakota
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If the SOA lift was done right, keep it. It's the way to go.
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Unread 02-14-2012, 11:15 AM   #4
WindKnot
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1977 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Kaibab Plateau, Northern Arizona
Posts: 3,099
The first step is always open your wallet and pull out the card.

Seriously, I'd check ALL the fluids and take a look at the brake system for problems. It's easy to stop a Jeep that won't start, but notsomuch after it's rolling!

Don't let the lack of knowledge scare you. Fortunately there is a PDF of the 1976 Jeep Technical Service Manual on line. Here it is: http://oljeep.com/edge_76_tsm.html

Just go to the index and find the appropriate section for fluid levels, etc. Jeeps are mostly farm boy simple. And that 258 has plenty of torque for most of us and is probably still going to be running after Judgement Day!

The other thing I'd do right away before going on any kind of adventure is to verify what ignition system you have under the hood. Is it the original Prestolite like mine was, or has it been upgraded? If it hasn't been upgraded you will probably want to do that. There are some really good threads on how to do that and it really is not hard to do if you pay attention to the threads and their directions. The rust can wait, but unless you have AAA, towing is expensive. (And they don't usually cover "off road" towing on the card anyways)

I've got a '77 with 31s and about a 2" lift. and I use my Jeep for exploring forest roads and unimproved roads with big rocks, some cross country (where permitted) for hunting and antler sheds, etc., and I haven't needed any more of a lift or moving my axles under. It's YOUR Jeep though. THAT'S the key. If you want to put your axles back, do it. We all do different things with our rigs, so the best judge will be you.

But most of all, welcome and have fun! the guys here are really knowledgeable and want to help.
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Unread 02-14-2012, 04:37 PM   #5
ShowroomShine
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1998 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Louisburg, NC
Posts: 306
^Great link, thanks!

Did a little more inspecting today. It has a little more rust than I thought, but overall still nothing major and its mostly just minor holes here and there.

I did discover the clutch will need replacing sooner rather than later, as in first thing. It didnt slip on my 5 mile test drive last night, however it is evident today that it will need replacing. Also the steering column which is not factory needs to be replaced asap.

Overall, a little more work than I was hoping for, but its a learning experience.
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