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Hey folks! So my son and I acquired a CJ5 in pretty good, but raw condition, from my dad and are starting our rebuild on it. My son (14) is really starting to get into cars is "leading" this project (though let's be honest, he's 14 and struggles with motivation sometimes) and once we are done with the rebuild the CJ5 will be his if he puts time, effort, and money into it.

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Anyway, we are both pretty new to working on cars, I have a '05 TJ that I've fiddled with and done a few mechanical projects, but still feel overwhelmed with this CJ5 project. We are going to take our time on this build both to do the research and to spread the cost out over time, so it may take us a few years. Nevertheless, thought it would be fun to document our project on here, hope some of you can give tips and recommendations on how to approach this right and things to do, and I'll likely be posting a lot on the forum asking questions.

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So the Jeep's chassis and body are in great condition, the body has no rust and is just primer right now, there is no engine, the transmission is there, but I think it's been rained in and water logged, so I plan on doing a complete rebuild of it (especially because we will learn a ton). So my plan is to remove the body completely and build it on the frame. My high level project plan is to work on it in phases, this is what i'm thinking (taken from a recommendation I saw on another thread):

1. Setup: remove body, put on jackstands, etc.
2. Inspect Frame and Chassis and replace/fix elements.
3. Rear Axle, Brakes, and Suspension
4. Front Axle, Brakes and Suspension
5. Brake lines and Chassis Electrical
6. Transfer Case, Transmission, and Cross Member
7. Engine, Clutch and Mounts
8. Body and Wiring
9. Interior

So is this overall a good approach or should I switch things around? (Of course I need to get more detailed in my plan, but this gives me some structure at least).

Anyway, I'm gonna use this thread mostly to update anyone who wants to follow along with pics of our progress.

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I don't know, I'll be honest.... I don't know what a bell housing is. Time to go to the googles.
The part circled in red is your bell housing.

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This is a basic small block Chevy bell housing.



I think if you had a Buick V6 in there, your bell housing will have a similar bolt pattern.
 

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Definitely looks GM pattern, earlier style 2 piece bellhousing could possibly be cast iron, newer styles were aluminium fully enclosed as pictured. Possible trans could be a sm 420 or 465.

On edit: The trans could be a long shaft t18, looks like there may be an adapter attached.
 

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The part circled in red is your bell housing.

View attachment 3922159

This is a basic small block Chevy bell housing.



I think if you had a Buick V6 in there, your bell housing will have a similar bolt pattern.
The Buick uses a BOP bellhousing, which is different.
You need to figure out what engine you want to put in there. A Chevy 4.3 is a good option, however, depending on what transmission you have in there, you may need to upgrade that as well.
 
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I was wondering if that is a GM bell housing in there now.
With that "peak" at the top - it sure looks like a GM bell housing.

Swint - Focus on learning the components of each category of items you want to repair. Engine, trans, suspension, brakes, axles, etc. Every category is a little different for every jeep. Research the particulars and variations for your specific jeep and learn each part or assembly with each component of each category. I have no doubt that you will find the answers to any questions you have here. It has been done before.

Best of luck to you - That is a great Jeep to start with!
 
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