1970 Jeep CJ-5

Image of Jeep CJ-5

Here are a few pictures of the 1970 Kaiser Jeep CJ-5 that followed me home (well, it had help from my pickup and a tow strap...) in the summer of 2000. I want to rebuild an old Jeep someday, and the owner of this one made me a deal I couldn't turn down. Since I have years worth of projects already underway, this one isn't going to happen for a while.

Click the little picture to see the larger version
Side view, note roll-up windows. The one on the driver's side even works.
The Buick "Dauntless" 225ci V-6.
View of the driver's side interior.
Passenger side interior view. The condition of the floor visible in the picture is typical throughout the rest of the Jeep's floor. A previous owner put fiberglass over the rear of the tub, so I'm sure it is in rough shape.

The guy I got it from also bought it as a project, and only tried to start it up once. Reportedly it ran, but smoked badly, so the engine will probably need to be rebuilt. I think it actually wouldn't be too difficult to get it working, but due to the condition of the body I don't think it is a good idea. All of the body mounts on the passenger side are totally rusted away, and there isn't enough remaining material left onto which new ones could be welded. It would suck to make an evasive maneuver, and have the body leave the frame.

So it is going sit until such time as I am able to give it a full restoration with a new body. If I find an original steel body tub in good condition between now and then, I'll probably restore it to original spec. Otherwise, at this point I'm leaning towards stretching the chassis by 20" (which would give it the same wheelbase as the rarer CJ-6 model), and turning it either into a mini pickup or what I would term as a "Strange Rover." This would entail building a full SUV style body out of aluminum, which should be no sweat for anybody who thinks he can build an airplane from plans.

As far as the mechanicals go, I definitely want to keep the offset pumpkin Dana 44 rear axle (which happens to be the relatively rare 30 spline version with one piece shafts) and Dana 18 transfer case, which may get a Tera-Low kit when it is rebuilt. The dana 27 front axle will be shitcanned in favor of either a custom 44, or a model 30 off a later CJ. I'll be installing disc brakes all around and retaining the transfer case mounted drum parking brake. The stock 3 speed has to go and I'm toying with the idea of using an automatic transmission like a lot of the rockcrawlers are using these days. Failing that, I'm still on the lookout for a granny-low SM420 4 speed out of an old Chevy truck. For power, I will either rebuild the stock Buick 225 V-6 or convert to a 350 Chevy V-8. If I win the lottery (unlikely, since Alaska doesn't have one and I probably wouldn't enter it anyway) I'd love to install some sort of diesel engine.

Back to Jeeps