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Jeep CJ Rebuilder's Manual

 
Jeep CJ Rebuilder’s Manual
1946-1971
  Jeep CJ Rebuilder’s Manual
1972-1986

Written by Moses Ludel
Published by Bentley Publishers


Reviewed by Chris Krieg

Having owned and completely rebuilt a 1978 CJ-5, I was asked to review these two books. I’ve owned several “service” manuals by other companies and they were all pretty clinical and most were somewhat lacking. They were written from the insert tab A into slot B form. When I received these books, I figured they’d be the same way. I was pleasantly surprised. These books were written by a Jeeper for a Jeeper.

The books start out with walking the reader through a logical sequence for disassembling the vehicle. While most books give you 3/4 of a page of text with a couple small illustrations thrown in, these books are visual oriented. Each step is photo illustrated with captions. There is no guessing as to what they meant.

From there, the author moves on to rebuilding various systems of the Jeeps. Where this book differs from others is the real life tips given throughout the chapters. These range from the differences between CJ and Wrangler engine blocks to building a new frame crossmember for drivetrain swaps. Unlike other books, the reader is also taken through tasks such as repairing a frame and refurbishing worn out and hard to find parts to extend the life of these parts.

The books also address a subject that almost none of the others cover, upgrades. For example, want to upgrade your old fickle front drum brakes to disks? They show you how to install a Warn disk brake conversion. They also cover upgrades like how to properly install a full rollcage, better seats, and safety equipment.

Finally, each book contains an appendix. Again, it is like no appendix in any other book. Not only does it contain the usual resource information but it also contains the fundamentals of bearings, bolt torque specification, how to tell bolt grades by looking at the head, and what to carry in a trailside toolkit and which spares parts.

In conclusion, this is a well written, well rounded book. Moses Ludel has made what is usually a dry clinical subject interesting to read. It is a “must own” for Jeep CJ owners. Having this book would have saved me a few headaches when I rebuilt my old CJ.

 

 

This review was written by Chris Krieg
an avid off-road enthusiast and a member
of the Arizona Virtual Jeep Club,
Chris has owned and rebuilt a 78 CJ-5.

 

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