Build Thread IrmoDog's 80 CJ5 Rebuild

Build Thread IrmoDog's 80 CJ5 Rebuild


South Carolina
1980 CJ5 304V8 (Fun), 2003 F150 Supercrew (Family)
After being on the site for a couple of months, I figured it was time to share my rebuild project. Actually at first it was not a proejct, but a jeep that I purchased for my daughter. Being a good father, I decided to go over the jeep inside and out to make sure it was safe for her.

This was were the slope got slippery!

This is what it looked like when we got it. A 1980 CJ5 with a 304 V8. It has a 3" lift on the front and a 2-1/2" lift on the rear.

I started buy checking the motor (had multiple oil leaks) and brakes. I tuned the motor, replaced valve gaskets, rear main seal, and new shocks and steering stabillizer.

As I went through the jeep I kept finding more PO issues;
1) All fuel line were cracked
2) One hub on front fell off when I pulled the wheel (had wrong hub)
3) Emergency brake cables frozen
4) Wiring mess (electrical tape splices)
5) Rust holes in floor and around roll bar (this is common)
6) Excessive play in drive shafts (proably from lift)
Nice Jeep
Additional issues;

Steering was sloppy (you turn the wheel 2-3" before the wheels actually move)

So I cleaned out the garage. pulled in the jeep. The wife and daughter left to go shopping. I told them that a friend was coming over and we were going to just do some more minir repairs to the jeep. 5 hours later, they arrived home to find:

I paid $2500 for the jeep, but still feel like I got a good deal. So now I have the motor broke down and frame stripped. I have taken over 300+ pics as I ahve broken down the jeep (too old to remember everything :))

The frame is in good shape. I am using a wire brush in my grinder to clean the frame. once I it ready I am planning on using POR15 (after reading all the posts on this product), then a etching primre before spraying the entire frame black.

As for the motor I painted it Ford blue (I really hate the chrysler teal blue) and it is sitting on the frame.

On the front end I noticed I had coil springs which I have not seen on other jeeps. I assume this was from the lift kit?
those coils are some form of a conversion, and it does not look like a good one, post some pics of the 4 link system and tracking bar for that
My problem now is what to work on first and what order as this is my first project.

My plan outline (any suggestions would be greatly appreciated)

1) Prep / paint frame
2) Replace fuel / brake lines
3) Complete motor rebuild
4) Tub work ( Cut out rust and weld new metal)
5) POR15 on bottom, firewall and floor of tub (Raptor liner on Por15)
6) Remount tub on frame
7) Body work on tub
8) Complete motor rebuild
9) paint jeep
10) Reassemble front end
11) New seats (4pt) and electronics
12) Look for large mud hole
love the sound of number 12 :grinjeep:
never seen coils like that :confused:
My above post might have come off a little harsh. I didnt mean it to be. It looks like a prety nice foundation. I just cant understand what was going on with the suspension. I had shackles with a brace in the middle that was a piece of tube with a bolt through them.

At some point someone stole the brace and bolts from both of them. I have a CJ5 with a 360 and occasionally heavy foot it. Between steering it and the torque that that puts on the spings plus the heavy foot I was almost on the sidewalk by the time I gathered it up. Pretty sphincter puckering experience. The shackles looked just like yours. I bought ones like this then. They can still steal the grease fitting but the brace remains.

Front Greasable Super Shackles by Daystar and Other Jeep Parts and Jeep Accessories by 4 Wheel Drive Hardware
No offense taken. If there are issues or concerns, point them out as this is project for my daughter.

I think the coils help with the chassis bottoming out on the frame, but the steering is a pshincter tightnening sometimes, so while it is all down, I wnat to take my time and get it right.
I am with Cheap, that front end is scary looking and needs to be redone. What you are doing is depending on someones back yard engineering that you do not even know. In no way do those coils help but will inhibit articulation and proper spring movement, the way a leaf spring axle, and a coil spring axle move are totally different and I can see that coil popping loose and binding under the front end causing who knows what. Scary thinking the daughter wil bein the Jeep when it happens.
besides that it is a good looking jeep, just get a proper set of springs, shackles and shocks for the lift you want and bolt them on, should cost a good bit less than a grand and will be correct instead of designed by Bubba.
I'm with the rest, the coils have to go, they should NOT be there.
As for the build I would start with either the body or frame and go from there. mount all your new fuel and break lines to the frame do the engine, drivetrain, and suspension work before you remount the body, so it's not in your way.
Thanks for the feedback. A friend and I stood around scratching our headsover the coil springs. My daughter wants a lifted jeep, but safety first. I have been pricing a new lift kit, so that basically I could throw away the coils, leafs and shackles.

Any recommendations on lift kits. It is currently 3" on the front and 2.5" on the rear and we have 32 tires.

As for the rear it appears to be standard leaf springs and nothing like the front end.

I am going to do the frame and motor items before putting the tub back on. For ease of doing the final external bodywork, I will have to remount it. My garage is tight as part of my project deal is that the wife's car must fit back in teh garage every night.

I fabricated some roll braces so the tub is on its side to make it easy to work on the floor pans but also allows me to roll it up against the wall out of the way.

I noticed with this lift there is a lot of play in the front drive shaft (maybe due to the 3" lift?). Should do a complete front end rebuild? Shaft, pitman, tierods, etc?
Irmo, any cj is old enough to be an antique, with a lot of unanswered questions about what has been done and what has not.
I wrote a list of things to do in an order that you will understand.
I believe if you go by this list, and go about 1 project at a time you will have a jeep she will both be proud of and is safe.
as long as that tub is off, just n
make sure everything is solid and get dirt off everything and everything painted while it is exposed.
If I was building this for my daughter I would check and repair everything I could.

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