1965 CJ5 Jeep


Finally got the soft top for it and was debating about putting it on or returning it unopened for a refund (due to the cost) until a little kid rode by on his bike while I was outside working on the rear view mirror. He said it was a cool old truck, was it a mail truck? I immediately began taking the doors off and 4 1/2 hours later the hardtop was history, I no longer cared how much the soft top had cost me!


I ran it around a little with the top off and the windshield down.   This was very fun, but it’s so hot here that you really have to have something on top to keep the sun off of you.

Interior with top down


Under the hood it has the original 4 cylinder Hurricane F-head engine in it which runs pretty good. I’ve had the 1 barrel Carter carb rebuilt, but I finally had to just replace it with a new Solex to get it working right.  Also had work done on the tranny, generator and radiator. Pulled the carb, generator and radiator myself but had the rebuilds done by others.

Engine compartment

I’ve replaced the brakes and cylinders, the entire exhaust system, hoses, belts, coil, distributor, plugs, wires, ballast resistor, all the vacuum hoses, parking brake cable, speedometer cable, heater control cable, U-joints, and shocks. I reworked the vacuum wiper mechanisms, the turn signal assembly, and rebuilt the speedometer too. The thing’s been a real project. Didn’t think it would be but that’s how Jeeps (especially old Jeeps) are.  For a Jeep this old it was actually in very good shape, but sitting unused for years definitely took its toll.

I have to thank an old buddy of mine by the name of Chris who gave me some desperately needed help.  His knowledge of the “old technology” in cars was invaluable.  We’ve had many a phone conference about the stars, the universe and U-Joints.  And transmissions.  And timing, and other unsolvable mysteries of the universe. 

Thanks also to Dan for the U-Joints replacement, thanks to John (JW) for the encouragement when I was ready to toss Binky to the used car sales Gods.   Thanks to Andy at work for his help and ideas (he found the plastic gas cans in his catalog for me).  Thanks to my wife for not divorcing me when I come in yelling about what’s wrong with the Jeep this time.

And the thanks would not be complete without mentioning Roy Jenson who I met on the Jeep newsgroup (rec.autos.makers.jeep+willys).  His knowledge of old Jeeps and his pointing out the pitfalls of my own folly saved me from making beeg-ol’ dummerd-head mistakes that would have cost me lots o’ BinkyCash®.  I spend copious quantities o’ BinkyCash® now without my beeg mistakes helping me along.  Roy knows everything about old Jeeps, his knowledge about them is truly remarkable and downright unbelievable.

Roy and Chris helped me remember a lot of what I’d forgotten about this old car stuff (like points and rotors; Man I hate points).  What with electronic everything and computer chips, how soon we forget.  The brakes on my S-10 pickup were actually controlled by a computer.  A computer.  Now that’s scary.  Give me my old Jeep anytime: stomp here, she goes; stomp there, she stops.  No computer to foul that up.  But I digress…

All of these guys will continue getting my awe, respect, phone calls and questions for as long as I own a Jeep (see there, I warned you fellas!).

Inside before repainting

I suppose you wouldn’t have to do this much work to one that would be used for hunting only, but it’s my daily driver and it takes a lot more work than I thought it would to get one up to that level of reliability and to keep it there.   For all the work and headaches, I really love my Jeep. And, being a ’65 it’s exempt from our @#$%! emissions checks…