View Full Version : 1959 Willys CJ5

12-01-2014, 12:29 PM
I've been looking for a forum for all there is to know about Willy's jeeps and it looks like I've found it. Thought I'd introduce myself as I'm new to owning a classic jeep.

My father in law gifted me his 1959 jeep. It's a bit of a Frankenstein vehicle, powered by a 1970 GM V8 four bolt main. The jeep was originally from California, and moved to NJ. It's in need of a new top and some tires, and I've got a leaking radiator and master cylinder that will need attention in short order.

Moving the vehicle from Southern NJ to my home in MD.

Not sure what I'm getting into, or what the right approach to fixing the vehicle up- especially considering that I'm not incredibly mechanically inclined. Plan for now is to go over the brake system and other safety systems to get the jeep on the road and start enjoying the vehicle. From there who knows where we'll go.

Thought I would attach some photos as well.

Any guidance and advise would be greatly appreciated.

12-01-2014, 06:22 PM
looks in good shape, I just replaced the master and wheel cylinders on my 60 willys. still have to do the drums and shoes but it stops now. thats a plus ;)

02-17-2015, 10:17 AM
Project update- my cj5 has been home a little more than a month. I should have taken photos along the way but have been way to busy working on it in the winter cold to stop and take photos. I've put what I think is a lot of work into the vehicle and still have a long way to go. Carb has been rebuilt, new tires installed, new radiator was added and the coolant and heater hoses re-plumbed. Somewhere in the life of the vehicle, someone thought carpet would be a good addition. That has all been removed, and just in time as it looks like it was holding moisture and rotting the floorboards. Also replaced the alternator belt, alternator, and voltage regulator (but still can't get the dag gone electrical system to charge the battery!). Pulled the driver's seat and installed new gaskets on the fuel tank as well.

I feel like I need to take a bit of a break as I'm a little frustrated right now. The alternator not charging really has me scratching my head, and my carb rebuild seams to have its issues as well as it seems like the butterfly valve is hanging up on the air intake causing my rpm's to stay high intermittently after letting off the gas. I did take a quick drive through my neighborhood- which was premature as well- stalled the truck and the because of the alternator didn't have enough charge to start the jeep! First break down and push out of the way!

Questioning my sanity as repair costs go through the roof for a vehicle that doesn't have a tremendous amount of monetary value- but a lot of sentimental value. I think this process will be a good lesson in patience for me, but boy do I want to get this jeep reliable enough to take it out on the road a bit!

Go Joe
05-01-2015, 02:26 PM
If you are using a Delco alternator, here is a print to make sure it is wired correctly. For that resister, I used a 10 ohm, 10 watt resister but the size isn't real critical.870

51 CJ3
05-03-2015, 06:13 AM
I don't recall where I found it but maybe this will help. it covers most basic charging systems. An alternator only works if it has electricity running to it so that is where I like to start when troubleshooting charging systems. Since you have a voltage regulator I would check for battery voltage at the field terminal on the alternator with the key on. If you don't have voltage at the field then I would check the wire for continuity all the way to it's source. If it only runs to the voltage regulator then I would check the wire feeding the voltage regulator for voltage and/or continuity all the way to the key. If I have voltage at the field then I would start the jeep and check voltage at the output terminal and start chasing wires downstream unless I find a compelling reason to suspect a new part is bad. I have had to return to the store up to 3 times to get a good part. I think they just put the bad ones back on the self when they are returned.

07-21-2015, 09:22 AM
It's been some time since I've posted. Got the charging system straightened out on the jeep by switching to a one wire set up. That meant new pulleys, new mounts, etc- but in the end I think it was worth it. While at it, decided that the 350 would benefit from electronic ignition, so I switched the distributor for an MSD system.

Had a master cylinder die on me, and my Frankenstein jeep has a weird setup where the master cylinder runs both the clutch and the brakes. After an exhaustive search, I found the exact replacement (which came from a dodge swept line!). Since I was fooling around with the brake system, and experienced what it was like to drive my jeep with drum brakes out of adjustment- decided it would be a good time to convert to front disc brakes.

The jeep needed new rubber on the road, so replaced the tires and wheels- new BFG mud terrains look good, as do the black wagon wheel black rock rims!

Since we pulled the carpet and discovered some rot, or potential rot in the tub, I elected to POR15 the inside of the vehicle. Once that was completed, I figured it was time to coat the interior of the tub with bed liner, so I picked up some Monstaliner in a really dark gray. This did the trick, and while my jeep isn't show quality- I feel safe driving the vehicle. Although with out the carpet, the floorboards get ridiculously hot from the transmissionaand exhaust. Haven't melted my flip flops yet, but this past weekend was close to 100 degrees outside so I'm pretty sure I came close!

The wiring in the vehicle was wreck. Seems like previous owners, sorry dad-in-law, had just cut wires when not in use and left them in place. Everything that wasn't needed was removed, and everything that was needed was cleaned up.

Last but not least was a new best top. Which may have been my most stupid investment, as I haven't had the top or doors on the vehicle in months!

The wife and I have put about a 1000 miles on the jeep since we completed the work. Needless to say, I'm having more fun than I thought I everwould, and love stopping at gas stations and stop lights, since everyone wants to talk to me about my jeep! If I get a chance I'll post some pics soon, and would love any feedback on my project.

07-23-2015, 01:59 PM
Pictures to date930931932933934

07-23-2015, 02:00 PM
One More935

Go Joe
07-23-2015, 05:55 PM
I'm glad you got it working. It sounds like you are having fun. I don't have my 56 CJ5 on the road yet but I'm getting close. Mine has a very good engine and drive train but the rest is pretty rough. The body is really bad. I may put a fiberglass body on it in a year or two. The previous owner of my Jeep started to switch it over to 12 volt. He did a very sloppy job of installing an alternator and then he cut every single wire out of it, under the dash and everything. Then he realized he didn't know how to rewire it. Wiring is what I do best. I traded a shotgun and $100.00 for it. I've had to do a lot of little things to it. Now I'm replacing the brake system. It's too old and rusty. I don't trust it. I like your paint job. My jeep is just an old farm Jeep and it's been painted 3 or 4 times. I've always wanted an Army Jeep so I painted it olive drab green even though it isn't a military Jeep. Aside from the updated electrical system, I keeping is stock.