Subscribe to a magazine

1956 Jeep CJ-5: Project Ground Up Part 5

Lower Radiator Hose
Verne Simons
| Senior Editor, Jp
Posted August 1, 2012

Cooling, shocking, and shifting

OK, we are not gonna lie to you. Occasionally a full ground-up Jeep build like Project Ground-Up starts to feel like a never-ending undertaking. The fact is that there are always 50 little things that you have to address just to get one more part bolted or welded on. Once you knock down those 50 little things and part X is firmly in place, you can step back and have a look. That look is what keeps a project like this going. Or maybe it’s getting to sit in the driver’s seat of an old patina’d, non-running Jeep and yanking the wheel, pushing a pedal, or throwing a shift lever even though its parked in the garage. Either way, it’s these little milestones that have to happen for these projects to ever get finished. Slowly, and we mean really slowly, the ’56 CJ-5 that is Project Ground-Up is getting closer to the day that we can turn the key and fire all four pistons of power, back out of the drive, and hit the road.

So far the old girl now has a full frame onto which the body is firmly mounted, seats, a rollcage, two out of three pedals, tires, wheels and so forth. As of this installment, we add in a set of four Rancho RS9000XL shocks with custom…er…garage-built shock mounts, a Novak NP231J shifter, and Crown upper and lower radiator hoses. We got all the parts from our friends at Quadratec. We also installed a Flex-a-lite electric fan to the slightly modified parts store TJ radiator to keep the retrotastic CJ-5 cool. Follow along as we get closer to the day that sometimes seems like it will never come—the day when Project Ground-Up is done.

We are pretty sure that the old ’56 CJ-5 was once owned by the forest service in Colorado or New Mexico. One way or another we know from the 1,000 little stress cracks in the body that this thing spent lots of time beating down bumpy roads and trails. We want a smooth ride in the future, so we got a set of four Rancho RS9000XL shocks for the old Jeep (PN RS999287) from Quadratec. These shocks are 30 inches extended, 18.5 inches collapsed, and have 1⁄2-inch id sleeves. We’ll mount them on Ground-Up with a 24-inch ride height.


View Photo Gallery


Rancho Suspension
Monroe, MI 48161
Fife, WA 98424
West Chester, PA 19380
Novak Conversions
Logan, UT 84321