Buying an Early CJ-5
A used and abused pile of parts
About a year ago I bought this basket case early 1962 CJ-5. I can't recommend you do what I did, 'cause this thing is rough, but know that if I could do it again today, I'd buy this Jeep just the same. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I have a Jeep and old 4x4 hoarding problem. I can justify it (in an unhealthy manner) because I work for the Four Wheeler network and thus need some fodder to create content. But I also definitely get an endorphin rush from looking at and owning what I think are cool old parts.
The truth is the early CJ-5 that is the focus of this article has been used in several tech articles on FourWheeler.com. In this article I added some flatfender rear springs to the front of this 1962 CJ-5. Here is another article related to the last one, where I showed how I made some high-clearance leaf spring U-bolt plates.
I also used this Jeep as an example of how to repair a very broken frame and added a late-model power steering box to one of the repaired frame horns.
The truth is the Jeep has been parked while I get to a more time-sensitive project build you'll hear more about soon, related to Ultimate Adventure, but I have some more cool ideas for this Jeep. A Jeep most would have had the good sense to have not bought. Here's the story of buying this well-used early CJ-5.
Buying the 1962 CJ-5 and a Video of the L-Head Running
I'd seen this Jeep for sale on the internet, and it was just odd enough that it caught my eye. It had clearly been used heavily and had some pretty epic patina. and rust, bad rust. But it also had a few visual cues that made me want to explore more about what it was. At the time, I messaged the seller, and at that time, he wanted too much for this basket case. But it still had some unusual parts that I'd noticed, and I was willing to bet that would throw other buyers off. For one, the engine was wrong. This Jeep should have a 134ci flathead four-cylinder, but it didn't. it clearly had an earlier 134ci Go Devil L-head four-cylinder. That's weird. Why would anyone swap back to an older engine? Still, as a purveyor of early Jeep parts, it's always nice to have an extra L-head around especially one that supposedly ran. Second, the Jeep clearly had four-shifters and a PTO shifter for a total of five. The Jeep also had a PTO driven winch. That tells me that the Jeep probably not only has an Overdrive (like a Warn, Huskey, or Saturn OD) but also probably has the rare and expensive bits to make a PTO drive connect through the overdrive to the back of the transfer case.
From there I was interested and kept in touch with the seller until he realized he wasn't going to make a mint off this particular old Jeep. With that and probably after about a year of being in contact with the seller, I was headed down, across town ('cause it seems like everything good is always for sale at the geographical opposite of where I live) with some cash, a camera, and a trailer. $600 later, here is what I got.