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  • cj 5 help advice, opinions

    hey guys, i am a little out of my element here, i just got ahold of a 76 cj 5 and pretty much, from the steering wheel back is rusted out, so i ripped it off. The frame is solid, but the exhuast was missing a pipe, so when it ran all the exhaust came in contact with the body, so pretty much all gone. its an I6 with a three speed. it has 83,000 original miles. I need a new body, and most likely carb, clutch, brakes, and body mounts. any ideas on what to do first, comments, words of encouragement, or opinions are appreciated.

    Also whats the best way to cut metal, a welder? Can you fit a different body on a cj5 frame, or does it have to be the same thing?
    thanks guys


  • #2
    my Jeep was like that at one buddy who i got it from a number of years back just slapped ribbed sheetmetal over what was left of the original body..mines a 74 CJ5 with a 304 and a 3sp. but for yours id say just get a cheap fiberglass body..thats what i did..ive got the tub sitting in my pole barn waiting for spring to come. i paid $500 for the tub, winshield with glass, doors and softtop (never been on the road) front fenders, gas tank, steering collum, dash and wiring harness. i got lucky and found it in the paper..


    • #3
      Unless you can find a good cheap used body, glass is the best way to go.
      When I cut steel I use all sorts of tools depending on the thickness of the steel. So from a dremel, to a hacksaw, to a gas axe, whatever it takes.


      • #4
        cutting tools

        you can go to harbor freight tools and get a good plasma cutter for cheap
        can cut darn near anything


        • #5


          You probably dont want to do this but the back of my YJ was rusted out so I am just gonna back half it with tube/cage and do a little flatbed.


          • #6
            I'd say whatever you do, keep the old body somewhere until you get the new body fab'd up and on the jeep. If you go glass you will need to make many templates for various things such as brake booster, steering colum, and whatever else is atached or goes through the firewall.

            I would start with the Body. Get it all mounted up and then tackle the engine. Next would be the seating and roll cage, then after that it's kinda whatever seems to happen, happens. Good luck and post some pics so we can see what your dealing with.


            • #7
              There are alot of benefits with the Glass tub, many of which involve no rusting, but having just completed a frame up build with a fiber body, I would have to say, go with metal.

              There were way too many issues, such as fiber thickness making all the grommets and bolts just useless. With the additional reinforcements you need to use, it is just not worth the trouble.

              Sure it wont rust but with all of the 'extra' parts needed to make the jeep get together, you would be better served buying another entire jeep and use it for parts.

              Sorry if this offends those who swear by their glass tubs, but if I were to do another build up, i would use metal. But hey the best thing to do is go with what gets your jeep on the road the fastest.

              All you really need are the stuff forward of the front seats anyways.

              Good luck with the restore, and keep us posted on your progress.


              • #8
                Whatever you do, don't forget to get the tag on the firewall that has all your jeep information.
                It is on the driverside.


                • #9
                  thanks to all that have posted, i am still trying to cut out the rust. Joe, mine looks somewhat like yours, if i can get a pick posted shortly i will, im not the best with computers. still tryin to figure this stuff out. it runs rather well, its just missin the body. The whole floor is rusted out. but the dash and windshield are great, and the front clip is good too. its just gettin the money to put into it. but ill work on the pics, thanks guys


                  • #10

                    1975 is one body style 1976 is another ,so make sure the tub you get is 1976 or newer. If you retro fit an older body tub not all the mounting holes line up there are more problems,but you get the idea.Do the big stuff first body, engine,interior,dash so on. s work pretty good. I hear

                    GOOD LUCK

                    p.s post pics along the way


                    • #11
                      plasma is the easiest. from there nothing beats a good sawzall with a bimetal blade.


                      • #12
                        Although I'm no expert, it would seem to me that with that much of the body gone, now would be a good time to check the frame for rust,weak spots and such. You also might want to paint or coat the frame.

                        How nice of a cut do you want? For saw cuts a sawzall is probably the neatest. If you have a steady hand, a oxy-acetlyne torch does fine, but a plasma cutter does the best job. Either way you will probably do a lot of grinding. Not only to knock down any burrs or edges that can gash a finger, but more so if you are going to weld two pieces together. The nicer the edges the better the weld looks and holds. You get better penetration with the weld. Good luck.


                        • #13
                          the time is right....

                          what an opportunity to check out the frame for problems, pull the engine and tranny and just fix everything you can before you put that new body on it. we all know how difficult it can be when the body and attachments get in the way of a frame repair.

                          Sometimes a problem could turn into a postive thing. i bought a 1978 jeep and started on the frame up build and got an experienced jeep guy over and said that the whole frame was shot and that it would kill the new fiberglass body I was putting on.

                          What I thought was my 1982 parts jeep turned out to be my now 1978 frame in my build. I took a lot of time getting the frame reinforced, sand blasted, primed and painted before i went through the assembly.

                          It took a whole lot more time, but now I know exactly what I have and can't wait to test it out in the spring.

                          good luck, and post some pics when you get a chance. it's nice to gauge your progress through pictures.


                          • #14
                            its just sheet metal.
                            I used a die grinder with a cut off wheel.

                            the first pic is the right rear. the "fender" was a bondo-steel mesh screen mix.

                            the last picture is with a final fit of the body armor and flare.

                            got the patch panels from 4WD.


                            • #15
                              This is not exactly what you are doing, but my brother needed a front clip and a new top. Solution bought a junker with a good hardtop and front clip for $500.00. Saved himself a lot of money and has already made almost a $100 back on selling the windshield frame. Should be able to come out even after he parts it out. Just a cheap way of doing it.