Default what to do after getting that CJ home 

Old 02-01-2010, 08:19 AM   #1
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First things first

A lot of guys buy an old CJ and ask me what they should do to if first. I usually tell them to inspect everything. However I thought I would write a list of things that need to be done no matter how great it looks on the outside. Remember you do not know how each previous owner took care of that rig.
So here goes:
I figure the most important item to address first is the brakes, I usually dig into these the first weekend. I will pull the drums to check the shoes and drum wear. I will look for leakage in the slave cylinder and missing springs or hardware. If they have disc, I inspect the pads and rotors, I also will try do decide what type of disc they are as any older jeep I buy usually never came with disc. Once inspected, and if needed a brake job done, I always flush and bleed the brake hydraulic system. Brakes are the hardest working system on a Jeep, a failure here can kill you and probably will get you in a liable position so do it right away.
Second I do steering check up, this involves going under the front of the jeep and checking out each joint in the steering system for wear. Too many Jeeps are running with a bit to much wobble in the steering as they are not driven that much and it was just put up with. However the steering is an easy project to handle and as far as wear and tear on tires and stuff, getting it correct is just to simple. Normally wheel alignment is ok it is just a tie rod end or something that has wear and needs replacement.
I consider those 2 item so important you should not drive the Jeep until they are done.
I will next flush the drive line fluids and replace, I pull both diff covers and look inside using a light weight oil in a spray can to clean up a lot of stuff in there. I then put the covers back on and refill with the recommended lubricant. I will drain the transmission and tcase and refill also. These are places so many PO’s do not check, small leaks over years can mean low levels and old unchanged fluids can be dirty or worn out. This is a needed check.
OK, time for the engine, oil change, radiator flush, check the tune up and decide if one is needed, check all the filters, gas, air, etc. and check the pcv valve. Hoses need to be inspected as well as vacuum hoses. Fuel system problems show up here and get addressed. Look for plugged up stuff and hoses going nowhere. Leaks in gaskets, those valve cover and oil pan gaskets are the main culprits. And how about a list of chrome goodies to dress this up a bit.
My next project is to check out, not redo yet, but check out the electrical wiring, I will repair small items and go around making it look good at this point. Rewiring a jeep is a project left for another day, right now I am looking to just get it running in good shape. I normally will be adding a few electrical projects such as lights, radio, horn, winch, and a few other items so I will leave a rewire as a project for the second year of ownership. That means no need to straiten up something really good you may be about to cut up. Plus when adding electrical accessories you usually do a bit of rewiring then to make things look good, reroute or just repair old wiring.
My next item is to clean up the tub and frame as good as I can so I know of all repairs needed there. Pressure washer time guys. Get into there and inspect for rust cancer and places that need attention fast.
OK, by this time you have had that Jeep a month or so and actually after the first few things have taken it out for parts runs and just to show off, so what do we do now?
I take it out for a beginners run and check the suspension out, it also gives me time to figure out how I want to build the puppy up. Plus, most important, the personality of the Jeep comes out and I get to name it.
This has been a first items list, but a very important one as you will know exactly what you have and you will have a lot of problems found. Plus the scheduled maintenance the PO never did is caught up on.
At this point you have a solid foundation to build on, or have decided to sell and buy a brand new Jeep.
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Last edited by BajaEdition; 02-01-2010 at 10:32 AM..

 

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Default Re: what to do after getting that CJ home 

Old 02-01-2010, 09:33 AM   #2
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May the jeep gods smile down on you for this great post.
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Default Re: what to do after getting that CJ home 

Old 02-01-2010, 09:43 AM   #3
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this would help alot of people buyin old jeeps. can i suggest a sticky for this
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Last edited by Cheepjeep85; 02-01-2010 at 10:08 AM..

 

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Default Re: what to do after getting that CJ home 

Old 02-05-2010, 04:22 PM   #4
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This definitely would've helped me when I first bought my latest cj. All I knew was that the oil hadn't been changed in what looked like a decade. Did that and a few more things but haven't even looked at the brakes!!! Don't know why I didn't think too. Thanks for the great post.

 

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Default Re: what to do after getting that CJ home 

Old 02-06-2010, 05:54 PM   #5
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Wow thanks alot!!! I just got my very first jeep yesterday and it sure does need alot of attention now that I got to inspect in day time! This site is great..

 

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Default Re: what to do after getting that CJ home 

Old 03-03-2010, 11:41 PM   #6
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Good Job Baja! I just read this and it should be made "requirred reading"!
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Default Re: what to do after getting that CJ home 

Old 03-19-2010, 09:03 PM   #7
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This is a fantastic post! Thanks!

I am curious about something...How often do people find that brake discs & drums need to be replaced on these old Jeeps, versus just replacing the disc pads and shoes? Do the discs and drums warp and wear easy, or are they pretty bulletproof? Obviously, replacing the pads and shoes is easier than the discs and drums (esp. the discs since the hubs have to be disassembled).

I want to be able to stop!!

 

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Default Re: what to do after getting that CJ home 

Old 03-20-2010, 04:50 PM   #8
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most pre 73 jeeps NEED a brake upgrade. After that it is up to the user, and what brakes came on the unit.
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If you really want to know if your a Jeeper, get a CJ. Spend months sourcing parts and restoring it with the sweat of your own work, or go out and get a Wrangler and be part of the cookie cutter Jeep crowd.

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Default Re: what to do after getting that CJ home 

Old 03-28-2010, 10:22 PM   #9
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i know that they didnt start front wheel disc on cj's untill late 77 (mine is early 77 and has drum fronts ) but i do believe it was a option for disc after that. however i really want some disc fronts on mine.

 

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Default Re: what to do after getting that CJ home 

Old 03-28-2010, 10:33 PM   #10
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CJ5 with drums in front, there is a kit for disc, PM me
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If you really want to know if your a Jeeper, get a CJ. Spend months sourcing parts and restoring it with the sweat of your own work, or go out and get a Wrangler and be part of the cookie cutter Jeep crowd.

BlueRibbon Coalition:
Preserving Our Natural Resources FOR the Public Instead of FROM the Public

http://www.sharetrails.org/
www.justgoodtrails.com

 

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