1974 CJ5 304 V8 from Kennesaw GA to South AL
by Cole Porter
(Bon Secour, Alabama)
Jeep CJ5 (file photo)
A few months ago I was turning 15 and I loved old school workhorses. A good buddy of mine has a '76 CJ5 with the 304 V8. He took me for rides in it and every ride we had more fun, and I decided that's what I would want to look for.
I started looking and when I found some with the 304 in it they wouldn't last long. I had a long search everyday I was looking. So when one popped up in Kennesaw, Georgia I jumped on it.
I live in the southern most part of Alabama. That being said it's 8 hours away. It took a long talk to talk my dad into taking a trip over and when I did we left on a Friday after school.
We got into town about 1am in the morning and woke up at 9am to meet up with the guy. When we got there the guy said he was up all night trying to get it running. I was bummed because I was told it ran. I knew it was something I could fix knowing that I grew up working on motors and what not.
It was about 19 degrees that morning and I was ready to get back on the road headed south so I didn't sit and work on the Jeep to make sure it ran. So when we got back home with the Jeep I hauled it into the shop and started tinkering with it. Came to realize the two gears that meet on the distributor and camshaft were completely stripped and the rod in the oil pump was split.
So after I ordered new gears, gaskets, timing chain and cover me and my dad worked one night after school from 6pm to about 5am in the morning. When we had just put it back together we both were excited we got the handy dandy 304 running like a sewing machine. We couldn't help but take it around the block and let the glass packs roar.
We got going down the road and the brakes needed adjusting so the first time I pressed on the brakes it shot me across lanes into the ditch. No problem. We were back on our journey.
So now everyday I'm doing something new on it. I love it more than anything and about to order a new hardtop and doors. That 304 is powerful and a blast to drive. I plan on keeping her most of my life especially because of how hard they are getting to find.
I want to add to my collection a few Willys and maybe some inline 6 CJ's. Y'all don't let these beasts go to waste and keep Jeeping!