New to Jeep's, new to me CJ5. First steps? -
Sign Up   Today's Posts
User: Pass: Remember?
Advertise Here
Jeep Home Jeep Forum Jeep Classifieds Jeep Registry JeepSpace Jeep Reviews Jeep Gallery Jeep Clubs Jeep Groups Jeep Videos Jeep Events Jeep Articles
Go Back > Models > Jeep CJ Forum > New to Jeep's, new to me CJ5. First steps?

FS: Jeep Fog Light LED Bulbs! Several Brightness Options! 97-06 TJ 4-6" long arm upgrade **DEALS AT ROCKRIDGE4WSmittybilt Seat Covers and Tailgate Cover

Unread 02-14-2012, 09:03 AM   #1
Registered User
1998 TJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Louisburg, NC
Posts: 309
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?

ShowroomShine is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 02-14-2012, 09:04 AM   #2
Registered User
1979 CJ7 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Rock Ridge
Posts: 5,169
Change fluids. Maybe do a tune up. Drive it regularly. Fix what breaks.
"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard, grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
Balvar24 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 02-14-2012, 09:13 AM   #3
Registered User
1979 CJ7 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Black Hills, South Dakota
Posts: 426
If the SOA lift was done right, keep it. It's the way to go.
79' CJ7 "Project Black" Build thread here.
02' WJ, 4" Hybrid Lift, Custom Rub
BigFire is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 02-14-2012, 10:15 AM   #4
Web Wheeler
WindKnot's Avatar
1977 CJ7 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: , North Central Arizona
Posts: 3,569
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:

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.
I'd rather be lost on the trails than found at home!

Phoenix Rising- A Flame Off Restoration?
WindKnot is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 02-14-2012, 03:37 PM   #5
Registered User
1998 TJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Louisburg, NC
Posts: 309
^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.
ShowroomShine is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid e-mail address for yourself.
Note: All free e-mails have been banned due to mis-use. (Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, etc.)
Don't have a non-free e-mail address? Click here for a solution: Manual Account Creation
Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools

Suggested Threads

Jeep, Wrangler, Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, and other models are copyrighted and trademarked to Jeep/Chrysler Corporation. is not in any way associated with Jeep or the Chrysler Corp.