Building a Jeep CJ-5 Frame From ScratchPosted in Project Vehicles on August 1, 2011 0) (
Sometimes a deal is too good to pass up. Well, it probably wasn’t that good of a deal. Maybe we bought this Jeep because of all of those late night dreams of wheeling an early CJ-5. Maybe it’s because it’s good karma to take a Jeep that no one else wants and bring it back from the dead. Maybe it’s because after growing up on the east coast (where rust is a rule) it’s still absolutely mind-blowing that no one in Arizona seems to see the value of original, almost-complete, un-rusted, desert-patina’d sheetmetal. Any way you justify it, building a vintage Jeep from the ground up in this economy is not a great way to make any money. Actually, it’s probably a great way to end up with a Jeep that is worth less than the sum of its parts. It’s still fun and in the end we will have a very different early CJ-5 with a reliable drivetrain, bulletproof frame, and a more modern suspension that’s ready to drive practically anywhere on- or off-road.?>
The project started with an Internet ad for an almost complete ’56 CJ-5 body with a VIN plate and a title. The good news is that the body is really clean. The bad news is that all the little missing hardware is gonna nickel and dime us to death!?>
In this installment we’ll assemble our homebuilt frame and mount the body. In an upcoming installment we’ll toss in a 2.5L fuel-injected motor, five-speed tranny, NV231 T-case, a Dana 30 front axle, and a Chrysler Corporate 8.25 rear axle—all from a wrecked ’98 Cherokee SE.