1977 Jeep CJ5


Keep er' Between the Ditches
I recently did a trade of my street legal xr400 and a sum of cash for a 1977 Jeep CJ5.

While the xr400 carried me through many a fun adventure over the last several years and many miles, the last adventure sent me on a nasty spill down a waterfall with shale embedded in my arm, and an alleged fracture which now gives me the super power of being able to tell when the weather is changing by way of a dull ache. I'm 33, have a small family and have come to the realization that my offroad riding skill hasn't matched the increased recovery time from the spills. My son is 5 1/2 years old, and my girlfriend has a 2 1/2 year old son, and while I have a sidecar mounted to a hardtail bobber, we we all want to go together on some open-air adventures that are beyond the scope of what I am comfortable with hanging either of them out in traffic for.

The jeep came from a really cool fella about 1.5 hours from me just south of Columbus. He had worked on the jeep with his father, who had unfortunately passed away mid project, and while he eventually got it on the road, he had also understandably fallen out of love with the project. We both got what we wanted out of the trade, which is always the best that things can go.

It has all the things I'd want in an old jeep, being as I have an archaic soul myself. It is motivated down the road by a plain Jane 258 straight 6 with a carter single barrel mated to a 4 speed manual. No power brakes, no power steering and it's sitting on a set of meaty 32's wrapped around a set of steel wagon wheels. The frame is really solid, which is no small thing in the salt lands of Ohio winters. The tub has had copious amounts of patch work done, and the whole thing is finished in a surprisingly respectable aerosol overhaul paint job, including the graphics, which the p.o. laid out and painted himself. It's the epitome of a 30/30 vehicle. At 30 feet away and 30 mph, it looks perfect
I plan to document the build and adventures on here. It's my favorite kind of project these days, one that can actively be driven and fixes and mods can have you back on the road the same day. The first of which was fixing up the steering. The cj5's were known to really wander down the road new and in stock form, and almost 50 years of wear as well as a beefy set of tires really made this thing a handful to keep between the ditches. I found that the steering shaft had slop at every moving connection, which added up to about 1/4 turn of the wheel in free play. I installed a borgeson steering shaft, which along with tightening up the steering box adjuster, made driving this thing a far less white knuckle experience.

I have a list started of things to go through as I get time. The u joints at the front axle knuckles are shot, and I'm working on modifying a bikini top to keep the sun off the boys in the back seat as well. Follow along if you like to see some more projects from hurcos garage....
Nice get! I spent days in a '75 or '76 virtually identical to this that my brother owned. I flew from PA to Milwaukee and then we took his jeep from there to New Mexico to do some backpacking in the Pecos Mountains. A universal joint on the rear drive shaft crapped out in Amarillo, TX and we took it on into NM w/ it in 4X4Hi w/ just the front wheels pulling us along. (That makes things very squirrely if you have to climb onto the brakes hard and fast!) Got a new U-joint and eventually made our way back to WI. What a trip
It's going to be super cute with those graphics and a dash full of ducks.
Jealous….i love the older ones but only could find a decent ish 97 tj. 2.5. 4 banger…booooo

Jealous….i love the older ones but only could find a decent ish 97 tj. 2.5. 4 banger…booooo

View attachment 239753View attachment 239754
Love it!
I had originally made a deal on a 93 with the same 2.5 4 banger... the guy brought it by the house, told me what he wanted for boot on top of the xr400 and everything. It was raining so we didn't complete the deal, and then he proceeded to ghost me... oh well, end of the day I'm happier with the cj5, even if I did have to put more cash on with the deal..
It's going to be super cute with those graphics and a dash full of ducks.
Not a Jeep follower and didn't know what he was talking about. Today I was on a out of town trip and saw three different Jeeps w/ dashes full of ducks then just now had another one pass the house. Must be a "Jeep Thing."
I don’t know how it started, people put ducks on your jeep when You aren’t looking, it’s supposed to be a positive friendly thing I guess…it really gets people riled up on the Facebook jeep pages lol.
I had a CJ5. Check the body mounts as floor board cracks can and will develop from loose/worn mounts. I should have put new poly mounts on when I bought it. Live and learn. Also watch you motor mounts as they have been known to break. Another life lesson. Fortunately the aftermarket has a lot of really good options and relatively cheap.
I didn't really realize how much of a thing the ducks were... after reading up, it's a fairly recent thing, started during covid. I think it's a bit of a ridiculous thing myself, but hey, if it makes people happy and smile, it's not hurting a thing. I've gotten a few already, but fortunately the cj5 doesn't have a "dash" to display them on haha.
About a week ago, Lenny and I took off in the jeep to do a bigger loop. About 60 miles in, we were luckily back to a town up the road about 10 miles, when a terrible noise started coming from the left rear brake. We got it limped home to do some exploratory surgery, and it's never a great feeling when brake parts fall out when you pull the drum....


I was reminded of how much I hate messing with drum brakes. I ended up getting a hardware kit and self adjuster rebuild and getting it back together... the 95+ degree temps made the job even more fun..

The jeep also came with a full "bestop" with doors and side/ rear panel. While it's fun to run around with the top clear off, the sun is absolutely brutal. I ended up spending an afternoon putting the top back on. Even though I never plan to put the panels and doors on, the top should help with much needed shade. Unfortunately while in storage at the p.o.'s place, some mice seem to have chewed a few holes in the top... oh well, at $1200 for a replacement, we'll live with them.

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