The restoration of a 1967 CJ-5. We purchased this Jeep from a person in Mentone Ca. in the summer of 2011. It was not running and had not been registered since 1980. The body was in fair condition with its share of rust, dents and holes from many attempts at fitting soft tops on it. The running train consisted of a V6 odd fire, T86 trans, Dana 18 transfer, D44 rear and D27 front with Dualmatic hubs. The engine was all together minus the radiator and a few other parts not worth mentioning. When we picked up the Jeep to bring home the seller did say it ran but as most of us know they all run when you buy them.
After the Jeep sat along our garage for some months I one day got an itch to tinker with it. After dropping in a battery and pouring some gas in the carb I turned the key and low and behold it fired up. Only running for a few seconds it was enough to get me started on the rebuild. I tore the CJ down to the bare frame placing the engine on a stand and disassembling the trans and transfer cases. Opening them presented me with a challenge I didn’t expect. Both cases had water in them with plenty of rust and locked up gears. After months of chasing down parts and gears and a hefty amount of cash I learned the hard way how to put it all back together.
The engine was not in the best of shape either, one cracked head and flat cam and an assortment of worn parts to boot. Three months later and another bundle of cash I finally got the engine back from the machine shop. New rings, cam, rod and main bearing, new cam, new lifters and heads rebuilt, new water pump, alternator, radiator and gasket kit. By then I had done most of the stripping of the frame and body and was in the process of body work and painting. Now I could actually see some progress in the rebuild as things started to go back together. I had ordered parts from Kaiser Willys a little at a time stock piling them up for the rebuild. Boxes of stored parts in the corner of the garage covered with dust finally got opened up and for the life of me had no idea of where they all belonged. With the frame and body painted and a complete rolling chassis I talked a few friends into helping put the body back on the frame. Now it looks like a Jeep again said my wife as she looked on thinking of when she could get the garage back to park her car in again. But after a few long nights of rewiring, turning wrenches, and a lot of prayers I got to turn the key on the new old Jeep. It started up without a hitch and with a few minor tweaks it ran like a top. After days of anticipation I backed the rig out of the garage and turned it out on the street. With a slow ride down the street of the neighborhood I finally was relieved that I put it back together right. Still in the break in period it runs well and I still have plenty left to do. The pride you get in accomplishing a task like this is all worth the effort in my book.
Kaiser Willys Jeep Blog Story – Darrel Parlapiano
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