Hagerty Video: Vintage Jeep CJ-5 Parked for 40 years! WILL IT RUN?

Reading Time: 16 minutes
Posted: 2023-02-19 16:00:33
Author: Hagerty
This classic Jeep CJ-5 was parked in the early ’80s. Can Davin and Jeff bring its 225ci Buick V-6 engine back to life? The owner of this particular Jeep fondly remembers driving it in high school in the late 1970s, but can’t remember why he parked it on his father’s property close to 40 years ago. Davin and Jeff set out to see if some fresh spark plugs, good fuel, filed points, and a bit of TLC can answer the simple question: Will It Run?

00:00 – Introduction
00:25 – Initial engine inspection. What engine is it?
02:19 – What’s the plan to get it running?
03:04 – Backstory to this Jeep and its owner
04:12 – Pulling spark plugs and lubricating cylinders
07:09 – Checking the starter with new battery
07:55 – Distributor cap comes off to file the points
09:14 – New spark plugs and checking for spark
10:05 – New points and condenser
12:48 – Davin explains dwell and setting point gap
15:08 – Checking the coil with ohm meter
18:15 – Giving it some fuel and first attempt at starting!
19:23 – Pulling off top of carburetor
20:06 – Carburetor needle and seat inspection and cleaning
21:39 – Needs more power! (Jump pack has entered the chat)
22:40 – IT’S ALIVE!!!
24:56 – Recap and observations
26:45 – Checking compression just for kicks

#willitrun #neverstopdriving #ItsAJeepThing #jeep
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Hagerty Video Transcript

– Hey, this is Davin and Jeff, and today we’re gonna get this Jeep running, or at least give it a valiant effort. We’re gonna fire this one. Mhm, I don’t know what that is. – [Jeff] I don’t either, this is a GM cap. – GM cap with a window. But is this like an Oldsmobile or a maybe even a Pontiac motor? – Honestly, it’s out of my realm of what I know, really.

– Well, I say we tear into it and find out. All’s fun until you get a stick in the eye. We did little quick research on the Googles, probably just as fast as you were typing all the, you know, mistakes I made in the first 30 seconds.

We took the same amount of time and found out, this is the, or well, we believe is the original motor. It’s a 225 Buick. It is a ’66 or ’67 CJ-5, by Kaiser ‘outta Canada, is how the tag reads up on the dash. You know, they had some inline-fours,

And of course the 304 in this, but we have the wonderful Buick V6. One of our confusions though, that Jeff brought up before, why we were kind of questioning whether this is the original motor or not is, it has a Ford solenoid right up here on top,

Not normal given that it has a GM starter, which has the solenoid on the starter. Not necessarily the best design idea but that’s what they did. Ford put a solenoid up on the dash or up on the firewall here, where you could get to it for whatever reason, keeps it ‘outta heat.

But this had a plow on it one time. And plows are typically run off of, if it’s electric lift on the plow, it uses a Ford solenoid to activate it. So that’s why that, I think why that solenoid is there. We’re gonna pull the plugs and spray some lube in there,

Make sure it spins over nice and free, or as free as we can make it. We’re gonna see if we have some spark. I would bet that, well, this has, definitely has points in it, because it has a point window for dwell, and we’ll pull the cap,

And kind of go through that kind of step by step and see what we have to add to it to make it run. This should be easy, right? It’s GM, I think. Alright Jeff, get some tools, let’s go. – [Jeff] Alright, enough of that. That small spark plug socket?

– Ooh, I doubt it. – Alright. – I doubt it, I think they’re still big. – [Jeff] Yeah, they’re – – Still the big ones. There’s a little bit of a backstory on this, Eric, that is the son of the gentleman that owns all this, he drove this in high school,

So I don’t want to put any age to it, but it is a ’67, and he said it wasn’t that old. But anyhow, all I know is he drove it in high school. He had some fond memories out of, he said of all the stuff that’s here,

This is one of the items he’d loved to have restored at some point in time. So that’s kinda all we really know about it. But I’m gonna surmise it’s been here for probably, ooh. – This one doesn’t have a plate on it, does it? – I saw a ’73 plate in the back.

I don’t see any kind of registration or any of the telltale oil changes, none of that. But I’d still guess by looking at things, we’re probably talking ’70’s or ’80’s, even if it was the ’80’s, you’re still talking 40 years. So it was not parked yesterday.

– [Jeff] You left me the good side again, I see. Gosh. – Mamma didn’t raise no dummy. – [Jeff] Where’s that back one at? Holy cow, how do you even get in there? Oh wow. – Well, I’ll tell you what, these are pretty caked in here from oil driven. – [Davin] Yeah.

– [Davin] At least mine are. I always like to see the condition of the oil that’s in these. We got oil all the way up here at the bow. And that’s safe operating range between those hashtags. So she’s got a little bit of extra oil in her,

Or maybe water. – [Davin] Extra oil. – Or maybe fuel. – [Davin] Nothing says – – You already get your plugs out on that side? – [Davin] I’m still trying to get the, I still can’t get the socket on them. – Really? – Yeah, the, the way the head is shaped, right,

It’s a tight fit anyway. So any amount of extra growth because of the rust or dirt. – [Jeff] Yeah, I kinda see what you’re saying. – Kind of makes it a pain in the butt. – [Jeff] I really wish I could get in here from this side, oh.

– [Davin] She was burning kind of black. Maybe that’s a better sign than good. ‘Cause the last one was burning well, and it won’t start. – [Jeff] Yeah. – [Davin] Normally you don’t need a hammer to change plugs either, so. – Yeah, it’s gonna be tricky on this side, but you know.

– Yeah. Hey, I’m gonna put a little Deep Creep down my side. Hopefully I’ll spray over to his, in case you get the bugs out. – It’s a little tight on this side. Imagine about quarter turn at a time. This heater box is right, smacking away. Did we get it?

Did we get that one? Thought I did, there, it comes out here. One down. – [Camera Guy] That was good. – Everything’s good on your side? – [Davin] Yeah, I’m in the same spot. I sprayed that Deep Creep in there and – – Okay. – [Davin] We’ll see what it does.

It’ll help it turn. – It will. – [Davin] So. – Even with the plugs out now, it should help it turn. – [Davin] Oh, yeah. – Maybe. – Which way you going with it? – Yeah well, yeah she turns nice now. – Just like it should. – Yeah.

– Eric doesn’t think we can make this run. – [Jeff] Is that what he said? – Yep, he laid the smack down, he said, “I don’t believe it.” – Okay, gonna bump it with the key. – Do it, hit it. Of course, fan blade won’t turn, we’ll just – Yeah, there we go.

Well, that was, well hey, hold it. We got, run that again. – [Jeff] You want it again? – Yeah. Nice. We’ll check, we’ll check for a little bit of, go again. I like the sound of that. We had pistons going up and down and air coming ‘outta the hole. – Yeah, let’s get the cap off. Clean that clean the, we know the points are gonna be routed. – [Davin] Well. – I mean, that’s kind of a given in my opinion.

– [Davin] I got the firing on over here in case you need it. Want me to say it? – [Jeff] Coil wires off? – [Davin] Coil wires off, oh my gosh. It actually looks kind of clean. – [Jeff] They all look really clean. – [Davin] Yeah, they do.

– [Jeff] My one’s at home don’t look this clean. – [Davin] Those are a pain in the backside to – – [Jeff] What, these rotors? – [Davin] To clean. No, the points’ clean. – [Jeff] Are they? – Mhm, no what you have to do, you gotta pull the rotor to get to ’em

And then pull half the weights off to get to ’em. – [Jeff] Oh, do you really have to do that? – I did, I have in the past, yeah. – [Jeff] Wow, okay. – Because it’s buried and I, you might have to pull the condenser out of the way, to get to ’em.

Yeah, well, yeah so. – Well, let’s just check and see if we got spark there first. – [Davin] Oh, really? Wanna try that? – Yeah, I do. – [Davin] Okay, let me grab a fresh plug. We’ll do it that way. – Alright. – Let’s do it that way.

– I got no spark right now. – [Jeff] What? You ready? – Ah, hold it, out of the box, these plugs have no gap. No way, look at that. – [Jeff] Could have been dropped. – In the box? – [Jeff] Yeah, maybe. – I mean, it’s dead tight. – [Jeff] Yeah.

What’s it supposed to be, do you know? – [Davin] Yeah, I’ll buy that. – [Jeff] Alright. – [Davin] Yeah, 20-ish. – Okay. – Okay well, here, since, you got the wire? All these things are spread wide open. Not so far. – We pulled out the points and condenser because they’re kinda, you know, on this model they’re kind of built into ones, you can see, and there’s no way underneath the rotor plate, there’s no way you’d ever be able to get in here and clean those points with, where they’re located.

So you almost have to pull this, like Davin did as a whole unit, just to be able to get in there and clean that. – Yep, yep. – But this doesn’t look old. – It doesn’t. – This looks like it was replaced fairly, fairly recently, I mean.

– Why don’t we compare what we have? We bought some new ones. – [Jeff] Yeah. – So let’s just compare physically if they’re the same and we know like, yep, we can bolt this up and make it work, without wasting a bunch of time trying to file these. – [Jeff] Yeah, makes sense.

– Because access to ’em is miserable. – [Jeff] Yeah, okay. – I’ll buy that. So there’s our, there’s our points. – Yeah, I wonder if this condenser then. – [Davin] And then that’s gonna be a bolt down condenser which is no big deal. – [Jeff] Okay.

– [Davin] ‘Cause there’s a spot on the plate, right? And it just ground, it just lays across this terminal or into this terminal along with the ground. – Let me see the old one. I like the, I mean, I understand this design but I’m just, I like that better.

– Well yeah, it’s open, you can get to it. We can’t get to the other ones at all. – I wonder if this – – Now the only thing we don’t know is, which condenser is which, maybe go by a body. – Yeah. – Just go by length of the condenser.

Remember we got, we got three of ’em now. – Yeah 70. – 70, yeah. – 60 and 50. – Yep, yep, yep. So whichever ones are closest to that length. The only difference after that’s gonna be the wire out, and the wire out you just drop on anyway. – This is 70.

Yeah, that’s a big one. – This plate’s probably got a spot. The only thing we’re not gonna have is a screw. – [Jeff] Ah, yeah. It’s even got the tabs for the condenser hold down. – Yep, yeah, so it don’t turn. We just need a screw out of, I don’t know, Edsel? Right?

– Yeah, you might be right, ‘lemme go look. Success. I think that’d probably be the same for that. – On GM’s they’ll call this setting dwell, which is no different than setting the point gap. And lots of times you can do this while you’re, well the idea is that you do this

While it’s running as a tuning function. You use a dwell meter, and I’m just doing it here ’cause I wanna set static timing. I have my well calibrated condenser box here, to do that with. I mean, you have a static function, you set it at something and then you fine tune that

To whatever the vehicle spec would be for dwell. And that’s where this window comes in. This window would pop up and you can access this screw. So now the, obviously the cap’s on to make it run. And then you come in here, you’ll have a gauge on here that’s an inductive pickup

And it measures angle off one of the plug wires, and you will adjust this screw to change that dwell. And that dwell is basically, how long the plug is or the points are closed, or how big that gap is. That’s what that’s all about. It’s a fancy way to set point gap.

Anybody that tries to tell you that it’s different than that doesn’t understand it the same way I do, because that’s all you’re doing is adjusting point gap. – [Jeff] Yeah, it’s gotta be right under that, figures. – [Davin] Yeah, yeah we could rotate it back, I can see it. Yeah? Oh no. Huh.

– [Jeff] I was kind of worried about that. – It’s in the dirt. – [Jeff] You see it? – No, no, it’s not in it, but it might be right underneath the condenser. Don’t move any leaves. Okay, but it’s not hitting anything, rubbing. Alright, you buy that for a dollar?

– I’d buy that. – Do you think this coil’s any good? – [Camera Guy] You got your Homer right there. – Yeah, that’s why – – Is that why you brought this? got my Homer omer. – [Jeff] Ah, we had something there for a second. – I’m trying to scrape,

Scrape anything up here to make a connection. – [Jeff] There you go, huh? – Yeah, point. Yeah, 1.5. – [Jeff] 1.5? – Yeah. – [Jeff] Okay. – I mean, had do a little coaxing to get there but, okay. You had the, well let’s – – You want, yeah I as gonna say,

Before you put that on. – Make sure we get power here? – [Jeff] Yeah. – That’s no good. Is that a jumper, hot wire another one? Never seems to work out well for us. That’s gonna be ground. Well maybe that’s not making a ground. I don’t think I can reach,

Hand me another wire so I can stretch this one. – [Jeff] Oh, yeah. – Okay, so we got, so our connector’s working. That’s all I was really after. That’s ground. So there shouldn’t be anything there. You left the key on? – [Jeff] Yeah. – The coil might be good,

But our wire coming to it don’t seem to be working. We’ll turn, why don’t we pull it up out of there though, if it will? – The harness? – Yeah. – I’ll try. It comes out, it comes, the wire’s out right here. Of course this is an eye.

– [Davin] But we did wanna see what the minimum side of it is, right? I mean, ’cause we could throw a freshly rebuilt motor in here and it’ll start. – [Jeff] Yeah. – Wouldn’t quite be the same function though, huh? Oh, hold it. You’re at key on now? – [Jeff] Yeah.

– We got power. – [Jeff] Okay. – Okay. Yeah, we got a good connection here now, it popped on right away. – Do you want me to verify one on this side? – You got plugged? – [Jeff] I do. – I don’t know where I’m gonna ground it to,

But I got a plug. – [Jeff] Let me know when you’re ready. – Ready as I’m gonna be. – [Jeff] Alright. – Yep. – [Jeff] Spark? – We got spark. – Nice. – [Davin] And I didn’t get sparked so that’s even better, that means that wires good. – It is. Very nice. You guys good? – Give her a shot. Come on, wake up baby, keep going. We’re gonna fire this one, I can feel it. Oh, come on, just about. That’s a whole lot better, I’m liking it. I don’t know that our carb is working on this one, but go ahead. – [Jeff] Another one? – One more try. Yeah, let’s wake her up a little bit more and then we’ll, might have to take the top off this carb. Yeah, hold on. Here, let’s just take and pull the carburetor top off, because I believe – – Are you not getting anything out the top? – Yeah, it’s not, I don’t think it’s, it’s not grabbing. If we want it to sit in idle, I mean it’s definitely gonna, it’ll run.

– [Camera Guy] It was running? – Yeah, it was running. – [Jeff] Okay. Ooh, I’m gonna leave the screws in that’s on the top. – Over here, no, no. – You don’t wanna do that? – [Davin] No, no. I’d rather drop ’em on the ground myself. – [Jeff] Okay.

Wow yeah, that’s all dry. – Well see, we don’t have any fuel in the bowl. – [Jeff] Nope. – So the inlet needle is stuck. – [Jeff] Yeah it is, I can see it. This is your needle right here. And that float that’s supposed to drop when your float drops,

And you can see that it’s still up in its seat. See the gap right here between the? Oh, see it just fell. But it’s sticky. See how it’s, it just stuck again? Someone will have to go through that. – I got this side working.

– [Jeff] I think after that little bit of sanding and a little bit of hone on the inside of the seat, I think we’re good. – [Davin] and can get it freed up. – [Jeff] Yeah. – [Camera Guy] Do you see it? – [Camera Guy] Yep.

– [Jeff] That’s dropping with the float now. – [Davin] Yeah. – Where it was sticking up before. There you go. Drop her on in there. – The only thing I can’t see is that pump. So if you can line that up. – Got her. She is in the hole.

Now we clean our carburetor up. We got squirters. We’re actually getting fuel into the bowl now. That’ll help it. That’ll help it idle, kick her! – [Camera Guy] Is there anything we disconnected, coil wise or anything, while we were? – I got the choke to work. See if that helps anything. Go ahead. We’re losing battery. – [Jeff] Yeah. – You wanna hook up that jump box to it? I’m gonna hold this for you. Hold the throttle open and let it breathe a little bit. I might have got too much fuel in it. I’ll order ’em off in the shop for free and man them out.

– [Jeff] Do I have to turn this on anywhere? – [Davin] Yeah, right in front. – [Jeff] Oh. – [Davin] And then I, and if it’s not, clicking. See that exclamation mark there? – [Jeff] Yeah. – [Davin] Push that, hold that down. It turned on another button? – [Jeff] No. – [Davin] No.

– [Camera Guy] It made the 12 volt blink. – [Jeff] Made the 12 volt blink. – [Davin] Yeah, yeah, that’s what you needed. Because now it’s on the, it’s not just on, it’s pushing. – [Jeff] Alright, hold on. – Go ahead. – [Jeff] Right? – Yep. – Listen to that, baby. Now that’s not too bad. – Not bad. – Scared some bugs away. – What’s that? – I said, are you scaring some bugs away? – Yeah, they running for cover. – Yeah. – Hey we gotta, our heaters gotta work. We got water coming over here. – [Jeff] Yeah.

– How low will she go? Success! – Yeah. – Listen to that. Don’t worry about this, there’s nothing to see here. – [Jeff] Listen at her, not bad. – Couple hours work, not bad. – [Jeff] No, very rewarding on this one. – Got it running. A little freshening on some things

And it’ll go down the road. – I’m sure, I wish I had some gauges so I could see what she was doing. But I don’t have any gauges at all. – Oh yeah well, we’re pretty sure this one’s gonna see the road again, honestly.

Maybe not by us, but we’ll probably take it for a ride. So wait – – Parked since when? – We figured late ’70’s. – Late ’70’s, so you’re talking 40 years. – Yep. – That’s pretty amazing. – Good deal. – She runs good. – A little, yeah, it’s – – A little.

– Got a little tick. – Yeah, a little bit. – She’s alright, she’s idling nice. – Yeah. – Cool. – Sweet. – Got it? Hate to run her too long since well, we don’t know what kind of condition as well. Actually, I know the water pump’s not pushing any water through it,

’cause the belt’s not on. Jeff, we succeeded. – [Jeff] We did. – We got this fired up after 40 plus years sitting here and really wasn’t too terribly painful, I mean. – No, typical. – Once, you know, once I took over plugs on this side it went a whole lot easier.

But with that, hey hopefully you guys learn something ’cause you gotta remember, we’re learning as we go. ‘Cause I honestly did not expect to see a Buick engine in a Jeep when I opened up the hood. – Uh-uh. – We did a little investigation, right? – Yeah. – I know

They put ’em in Rovers, so I kind of had an idea that they did some weird stuff like that. – Yeah. – And you know, I really was expecting more of an inline-four or even a flat four. That’s probably what this is, is a flat four.

– That’s probably – – What this wheel is. – a flat four, yeah. – And of course they put the 304 V8 in ’em, but so it’s kind of cool, ’cause it threw me, having the distributor off the nose, because GM typically didn’t do that. – Yep.

– And so we learned something there. We learned we don’t like those points. And for the rest of you, you learn how to change points and kind of make do with, well kind of what we had a little bit. – Yeah. – Based on what the parts look up says it should be

Or needs to have. And of course we’re, you know, we’re making do, pardon me, we’re making do here by pushing fuel to it. We take that ‘outta the loop. We’re not relying on the – – [Jeff] Mechanical fuel pump. – Yeah, the mechanical pump to still be good. And then of course,

Eliminating all the nastiness in the tank in general. – Yeah. – ‘Cause we know what that’s gonna be. – And this one I smelled like, and or smelled it, it smelled like I was doing some woodworking. – Green, the lacquer scent in there? – A little varnish. – Yeah, yeah so I mean,

That’s the nuts and bolts of it, right? Like we talk about, you gotta have, you gotta have fuel, you have to have spark, you have to have air to burn with that fuel and you have to have somewhere for it to come in and someplace for it to go out.

– Yep and clearly this one had compression. – Yeah, and this one had plenty of compression. So it would be interesting to know what the compression number is on this. We might have to check that. – [Camera Guy] Just under our eight minute videos. – If we remember a little while back, we were working on an Epsilon and we were both scratching our heads pretty hard and wondering why we couldn’t get the fire, ’cause we had all the ingredients. But we did only have like 55, 60 pounds of pressure in the cylinders,

As far as compression was concerned. We were curious to see where this one sits, relative to that, to say, alright, was 60 pounds enough or not? – Yeah. – Well, right there’s proof of why it’s call it not, because 60 pounds wasn’t working on that motor

And we’re at 120 here and it fires up and runs like a champ. – Yeah. – That’s all the difference in the world. – It does. – Now where we need to be at between 60 and 120? – Together. – I guess you’ll have to stay tuned

And see how many more mortars we look at and we’ll find one I’m sure, that’s at 90. – Yeah, yeah. – With that, we’re done here. It’s towards the end of the day. As you can see the sun is getting right, it’s eyeball height right here. – [Jeff] Yeah.

– And uh, but this one runs, this is a success. They’re not always successes. And you know what? You’re probably not gonna have all successes either, but if you keep working at it I guarantee you’ll get someplace, maybe frustrated some days and happy the other.

So get out in the shop, get your work done, because if you don’t go try, you’ll never know. See ‘ya.