Rio Grande Budget Resto-Mod -
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post #1 of 3 Old 07-18-2021, 06:53 PM Thread Starter
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1976 CJ5 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Dubuque
Posts: 431
Rio Grande Budget Resto-Mod

Just picked up a 95 YJ Rio Grande w/ 160k miles last week for $2500 while on a camping trip. All the stars aligned and a cheap YJ popped up 10 miles from a camping spot we'd picked out weeks before. The frame is solid, but the body has the cancer in the normal spots.. The fenders and drivers floor are shot, and the rockers need some patching. I'm not doing a frame-off restoration since its just a YJ 4 banger, but I've always had a soft spot for special editions, especially with spice interior. I want to do occasional off-roading, but I'll be focusing on reliability/safety first. The jeep hadn't started in 2 years, but I made it home after driving 125 miles in a white knuckled drive through a storm back home.

I'm a dad on a budget, and spending the profits off my '76 CJ5 build which I bought for $700 and sold for $4500 (build thread).

The 4 angry squirrels are attached to a pep boys exhaust that ends under the driver's seat and vibrates the body like a cheap sub on a 92 Honda. My gas tank teeters on a metal strap while the gauge swings from 1/4 to 3/4 full. The seats are shot, and I can see more of the road through the floor pan than I'd like.

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post #2 of 3 Old 07-21-2021, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
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1976 CJ5 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Dubuque
Posts: 431
Tore off those ridiculous TJ fender flares and rock sliders covering up rust. I'm assessing the damage and a buddy just agreed to teach me to weld, which has been on my bucket list for years. Going to tackle the rust with a combo of replacing fenders, welding, and bondo. Learning from the last restoration, I'm going to clean up my shop daily so my wife doesn't divorce me.

I replaced the single mickey-moused scrap metal strap holding the gas tank on, which somehow I didn't notice during the pre-purchase inspection, with a proper skid plate. Also addressed the giant hole in the driver's floor, for now. I have a pan on the way, but didn't want to lose a toe in the meantime.
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post #3 of 3 Old 07-22-2021, 08:44 AM
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Nice Jeep. Good luck with this project.
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