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Old 11-15-2012, 03:40 AM   #1
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How Too??? CJ Build

Just got a new JK, but my interest in jeeps started a couple of months ago wanting to start a CJ project car with my son. Done plenty of car work in the past, so that is no obstacle. The question is where to start?

Where is the best place to start with a CJ project car?
Find a working CJ?
Start with just a Frame?
CJ that doesn't run, sitting a barn?

Where do you start or more appropriately, what is best to start with? Interested in everyone's experience and opinions on this.


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Old 11-15-2012, 07:31 PM   #2
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My dad and I started building my CJ5 when I was 14. It was running when we got it, but barely enough to drive. We started with the major things, brakes, engine, driveline, then on to a new top, seats, and such. I'm glad it was running so we could drive it or I believe I woulda lost interest being 14 and itching to drive. Dad passed on the jeep bug to me along with jeep trips to his stomping grounds when he was young, now me and my buddies take at least 2 trips a year, one of which being to the same place my dad took me riding as a kid. Gotta love them grand ole memories. I vote get one that is running so it will keep his interest. Good luck!

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Old 11-15-2012, 07:33 PM   #3
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Mine was something with a good motor and frame. I would suggest something that is 80% good and needs some tlc, I've dropped about 6k into this thing so far and I'm down to about 500 more. It also depends on how much you want to spend. The most expensive parts on a CJ are the frame and tub which will run about 5k a piece new and paint will run about 3-5 k. If I were to do it over again I would wait to find something with a blown transmission that's in pretty good shape. A used CJ transmission can be had very cheap and will knock a lot off of the sale price.
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:10 PM   #4
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There is only one way to know for sure where all the gremlins are is to take it completely apart and fix everything needed when you are putting it back together. That's also the best way to get everything treated and painted so that you stop any further rusting. I personally would buy a halfway decent one and drive it for a while and see what about it you find it in need of fixing. How good of one you start with is determined by how much $ you want to spend to start with. Avoid any rust buckets.
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Old 11-17-2012, 03:47 PM   #5
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Thanks. All good advice. I want to stay out of a rust bucket and having a working car I think will keep my son interested.
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Old 11-19-2012, 02:01 PM   #6
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If you have the $, you will be far ahead to find one that someone else lost a lot of money fixing up. Not difficult to end up with several thousand in just salvaging a rusted out tub-or purchasing a repli tub.

What is acceptable will also depend on what your plans are for it, ie, if you are going to swap the engine, no need to buy a running Jeep.

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