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Thread: CJ-5 Project Old School

  1. #1
    Nothing but a Thing AZ Explorer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    San Tan Valley, AZ

    CJ-5 Project Old School


    Well, this is happening way faster than I thought. I figured I would wait a couple of years and look for a project CJ and hope for a decent deal. Turns out, a great deal was sitting in a barn just southeast of me. I normally don't do much looking on Craigslist, but when I searched for Jeeps near me in AZ just to see what kind of prices I might need to save for, I found this gem. A 1979 CJ-5
    Most of the prices were pretty high and I kind of expected that, based on what I was seeing nationwide on Autotrader classics and such. When I saw this one in Queen Creek, Listed at $5500, I called and set up an appt. to check it out. When I got there the guy was really nice and accommodating. His barn had a concrete floor and he gave me a creeper and a flashlight and told me to take all the time I needed. After hearing it run and doing the inspections etc. I was sure it was exactly what I'd had in mind. We settled on 5K even and did the deal on the spot after a quick run to the bank.

    The frame and suspension looked like a 8-10 year old Jeep rather than a 38 year old one. Milage was original at 46,000 two days ago and is mostly original parts wise with the biggest thing missing being a top which is now on order (should be here sometime next week). The engine is a V8 304 2bbl with a 3 speed. Actually runs pretty darn good but I suspect it needs a carb rebuild or replacement along with some missing emissions stuff. It was originally a Prescott vehicle and exempt from emissions so they opted for power over emissions standards. As a side note, they did recently change the law for collector cars to be exempt requiring low miles driven, classic car insurance, and a storage unit or garage. I am currently investigating doing this for now but will probably bring it up to code in time anyhow.

    I wasn't sure how I was going to get it home though because my wife was at work and trying to get where I was once she did get out would have been a heavy traffic venture. The good news was the Jeep had a tow bar set up. The guy threw in a draw bar he had extra since I hadn't bought one yet, and so we hooked it up the the Ram. The trailer wiring didn't reach, so I ran the marker lights on the Jeep down to Tractor Supply which was about 2 or 3 miles away and got an extension 4 way flat. I hooked it up and everything worked so I was good to go for the hour drive home. The only snafu there was the old bikini top was so old and dry rotted, the straps broke and caused a flapping situation. Thank goodness for the snaps on each side. I pulled over and took it off then the rest of the trip went smoothly. (Picked up a new Bikini top today because it's still hot here during the day)

    I don't think I've had this much fun driving a car in a while. There is just something special about the classic stuff. This will be a much slower build than Maggie was in part because it needs much more work body-wise (Think Jane here) to get it where I want it to be plus mods. The body is mostly straight with a couple of minor dings and scratches pretty much on the rear driver side quarter panel. Keeping from doing 35's will be an ordeal in itself because, big tires. I think some 33's would be more practical for this Jeep plus it would allow for paddles at the dunes from time to time.

    My wife's response when I got it home was hysterical. She just crossed her arms and said "Huh, I'm not used to you buying vehicles that look this shitty." She apologized later thinking she hurt my feelings but really, I thought it was funny. To be fair, she is really used to newer cars since we've been together and hasn't gone through a restoration/rebuild. It will be a whole new experience for her, with luck she'll keep me around afterwards.

    I will keep most of the updates here as they happen and a few things I think will interest others with CJ's in the classic Jeep section along the way.
    Everyone I knew especially my wife was not at all surprised by this purchase. I think I was the only one that was skeptical.
    Last edited by AZ Explorer; 03-30-2019 at 05:14 PM.

  2. #2
    Meme King WJCO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Welcome back. Congrats on the Jeep. And a v8 too!
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  3. #3
    Nothing but a Thing TOPLESS's Avatar
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    Mar 2015
    Benton Harbor, Michigan
    Awesome! Love them CJ5’s 👍

  4. #4
    Addict GraniteCrystal's Avatar
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    Aug 2015
    Denver, CO
    Congrats! Looks good.

  5. #5
    Addict BaddestCross's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Palmdale, CA
    This is awesome! Congrats on the find and welcome back! 🍻

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  6. #6
    That dude from Mississippi notnalc68's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Madison, MS
    Nice find. Welcome back!
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  7. #7
    Addict JKbrick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Leo, Indiana
    Great find! And a good buy sounds like too. The v8 is an awesome bonus as well.

    Sent from my iPhone using WAYALIFE mobile app

  8. #8
    Nothing but a Thing Strodinator's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    That looks better all around than my 97 does. Great find.

    Sent from my Life One X2 using WAYALIFE mobile app
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  9. #9
    Knows a Thing or Two DeJkUnlimited's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Middletown, DE
    This is great to see, I’m anxious to see what the plans are. I’ll be keeping an eye on this thread.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Coeur d'Alene area Idaho
    Great find! I look forward to seeing what you do with it

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