72 CJ5 Tribute


Professional Idiot
Wanted to show off the CJ5 build I did for the lady-friend. The '72 CJ was in the family, passed down from her grandfather to her dad. Her grandfather passed away earlier this year and we decided to build the tribute for her dad as a Christmas present. I know, it's just dust in your eyes.

Anyway, Tiny Trucks!

Build summaries start with an "Inspiration Photo," right?


That's all I was given. That photo and a 60 year old man recalling a jeep he had 30 years ago. I was told it was black, had a dark gray stripe on the hood and a white pinstripe around all the body panels. He said people used to joke that it looked like someone drew a jeep on a blackboard with chalk.

Started with a 3d Printed body I found on Thingiverse made by SILVERADORED. I can 3d model a bit, so mounting and making detail parts were done by me. The CJ files are HUGE. They're actually larger than a real CJ5 (seriously) so Everything was printed at 8.87% size to get the CJ at the SBG Approved 1:9th scale. Later, I'll realized I should have made it bigger, so don't do what I did.


Chassis was a 10.2 builder's kit. The wheelbase ended up being a little under 9 inches. So obviously all the links were custom made. I moved the front shock towers back about 3/4" and moved the skid plate forward in the chassis as well. I used a kit I bought from InTheWorks RC to move the motor/trans to the front of the chassis. His kit uses the gears and bearings from the Axial 3-gear trans and puts them into one he made and printed. It then uses one of those $20 1:1 ebay transfer cases and a 3d printed skidplate. It all went together nicely and if you weren't making a truck with a wheelbase 3 inches shorter than it should be, it would work well.


I made a servo mount and all other electronics were located above the motor/trans. I also drew up the rear shock mounts. They tie the rear of the frame rails together and mount the rear shock up in the fender of the body. I didn't get many pictures of the completed chassis before we gave it away, but getting everything to fit under the body was the bane of my existence for a month and I threatened to put it in a dumpster more times than I could count.

It's full of bondo just like a real Jeep.

Somewhere around the 2nd of 5 primer coats.

SSD Slotted wheels are a dead ringer for the real jeep's wheels.

Wet sanding the first color coat. Gloss Black is really good a showing off all your mistakes.

Drew up shifters and shift boots.

Finally got the stripes on. These are nylon sticker sheets found at Hobby Lobby. All the automotive pinstripe was usually too wide and always too thick. The sheets we found were 12x12" and I sliced 1/16" strips with a fabric cutting wheel. So all those stripes were done with stickers, if you thought it was paint, I'm sorry. The Renegade decals were drawn up by Bri in Photoshop by tracing photos of the stickers on real jeeps. Then they were cut out by a friend on a vinyl sticker cutting machine. Dash panel came with the body files. BriJane printed the cluster out on paper and "modgepodged over it." Whatever that means.


I made the roll bar with some 3/16 rod I brazed together. Headlight lenses are lexan heated up and poked with the butt of a screwdriver to made a concave shape. Saw imthatguy use a hobby knife to make hash marks on the inside of the lens once, so I stole that.

A few beauty shots behind the house before it was boxed up:


We had custom license plates made to match the originals.


Finally, a flattering picture from Christmas morning:


Started printing body parts in early September 2020 and finish December 22nd. Lots of frustrations and I built an FJ40 in-between, but all in all served it's purpose. If you're looking to do a CJ based on these files, I recommend printing it larger. Make a 10" wheelbase and the axle width will look much better.

Thanks for reading! I'm going back to making Toyotas!