CJ5 Resto-Mod Project

Thanks. The devil is definitely in the details. And another cliche' is also true: beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But if I had my way with that last one, I'd say that beauty is beauty, period. You can't fake attention to detail.
Nope. I've got to finish up a LS Swap on a Toyota Land Cruiser before I will have any time to get this Jeep project done.

I can offer you some words of wisdom from Jack Handey in the meantime.

"I hope if dogs ever take over the world, and they chose a king, they don't just go by size, because I bet there are some Chihuahuas with some good ideas." - Jack Handey
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Actually, I do have an update. I'm having a helluva time finding an appropriate steering wheel for this project. I thought we would use a three spoke wheel from a mid/late 70's CJ, the one with the cushioned horn button, but when I tried to fit up the new one I purchased, the splines were wrong. Turns out, the steering column I built for the Jeep is from an early Bronco (or other Ford truck). Now I need to find a Ford steering wheel that looks like a Jeep steering wheel.

Yeah, thought about that. I would have a tough time making it look like it wasn't modified though. The spokes aren't painted but brushed.

You did just give me an idea though. I wonder if I could cut the spline section out of the stock Jeep steering wheel and use a generic 3 bolt adapter to bolt it to. Have to have a look at that...
Funny you should ask. Just yesterday I got the steering wheel mounted.

I have actually made quite a bit of progress on this CJ5, so I need to get my butt in gear and get you guys some updates.

Maybe later today...
I tried like hell to get to this earlier this year. I even blacked out November and December to work on personal projects only, but delays on another job caused me to scrap that plan. Anyway, here I am with some updates.

We left off with the body just coming back from paint, and some basic reassembly. I left a few of the difficult tasks for last. One of them was the seat mounts. Finding the correct 1974 seat brackets proved futile, so I decided to make them. The driver side mount was ok, though I lowered it for more headroom, that meant making a matching passenger side mount from scratch. I only had a portion of the original, so I used it (and pics I found on the web) for reference.

Mocking up to formulate a plan.

Taking measurements.

Bending tubing.

Old and new.

Building the actual bracket that bolts to the seat.

I tried to keep the original design, but also took liberties to be able to make it low enough to match the driver side mount.

Here's the mostly finished seat mount. The feet need to be capped with rubber, but I have a few ideas to change the original design to make it look better.

Feet rubber options.

I chose the small screw on type, but the slip on type can be used without mods if the others don't work out.

On to the steering wheel. We purchased a reproduction 1975-ish steering wheel to give it a more finished appearance, but found that the splines in the column shaft were different. Turns out, the column is from a Ford Bronco or pickup. WIsh I would have known that before I put 25 ours into it. Anyway, the column looked great and right at home, but I couldn't find an appropriate looking wheel that fit the Ford column, so Idecided to modify the Jeep wheel to fit. Using a generic 3-bolt hub from Grant, I then machined the hub flat and drilled the holes. I then had to make some mods to the hub itself to get the turn signal cancel to work.

Her are some pics.

Two Grant hubs for the Ford column. The one on the right is the new one.

Scary time. Chucking it up in the lathe to cut the hub flat was tricky. I barely had any purchase in the three finger chuck, and the live center was in the way of a complete cut, so I got as much as I could and finished it with a cutoff wheel and sanding disc.

Mock up shows the resulting fit, though I still need to make a filler piece to cover the gap between the hub and column. More fun scary lathe work with thin aluminum tubing...

It's not totally in your face, but it does feel like driving a stock car.

More on the steering wheel. Had to machine the back of the hub to fit the turn signal cancel cam.

And then it needed a new cover as the ring on the Jeep wheel didn't cover the gap between the column and the back of the steering wheel.

Final fitment of the wiring and then wrapping it all up.

Install the powder coated pulleys.

Install radiator and fill with coolant.

Here is the mostly done engine bay. Just need to get the air cleaner fit and then it's complete.

When I first did all the repair to the frame, I didn't know what we were going to do for a rear bumper, and decided to make a rear crossmember that I thought would work with anything. Well, we ultimately decided to run a stock 1974 rear "crossmember" instead of a bulky bumper, which meant removing (or modifying) the rear crossmember I welded on in the beginning.

Here's what I did originally.

Removed that and welded in a crossmember support from Classic Enterprises.

The removable portion of the setup will be powder coated to match.