Jeep Restoration Cost (3 Real Examples)

Restoring a Jeep can be a very rewarding experience. However, if you’re not careful, the costs can quickly add up.

So, how much does it cost to restore a Jeep?

The cost to restore a Jeep will vary wildly depending on whether you’re doing it yourself, hiring professionals, the condition of your Jeep when you start, and your end goals. However, most Jeep restorations cost somewhere between $3,000 and $35,000.

Read on for some real-world examples of Jeep restoration costs, and a breakdown of the different expenses involved.

jeep frame restoration cost

Jeep Restoration Cost Examples

First, let’s take a look at some real-life Jeep restoration projects and how much they cost, so you can get a rough idea of what you can expect to pay.

2017 Jeep Wrangler ($26,418)

This 2017 Jeep Wrangler was purchased for $17,500 by a YouTuber called Justin from a salvage yard in Virginia. The Jeep had some front-end damage but was otherwise in good condition, and the entire restoration was done DIY.

Here’s a breakdown of the costs involved…

  • 2017 Jeep Wrangler – $17,500 (from salvage yard)
  • Hood – $500
  • Fender – $250
  • Grill – $100
  • Axle – $1,000
  • Differential Covers – $100 (used)
  • 4-inch lift kit with V2 shocks – $1,680
  • Front Bumper – $225 (from eBay)
  • Rear Bumper – $230 (from Amazon)
  • Smittybilt fastback soft top – $300 (from Facebook)
  • Mopar floor mats – $175 (factory)
  • Miscellaneous parts and supplies – $705
  • Taxes and registration – $1,566
  • Labor costs – $0 (DIY)

    Total spent = $26,418

The Jeep was then sold for $29,000, so the total profit from restoring the Jeep was pretty low at only $2,582.

So not a great example if you’re considering restoring a Jeep to flip, but Justin had great fun working on it and improved a lot of his skills.

1948 Willys Jeep Restoration ($4,195)

1948 Willys Jeep
1948 Willys Jeep

This 1948 Willys Jeep was restored by David Tracy from Jalopnik. The Jeep was in pretty terrible condition, and although he found the experience challenging (and much more expensive than expected) he ultimately found it very rewarding.

He restored the old Jeep on a very tight schedule, and the aim was the get the Jeep usable, rather than “museum” standard.

Here’s how much he spent…

  • 1948 Willys Jeep – $1,400
  • Engine parts – $735.28
  • Brakes – $357.04
  • Transmission and Transfer Case – $465.07
  • Suspension and Steering – $193.40
  • Wheels and Tires – $240
  • Fluids and Filters – $150
  • miscellaneous parts – $75

Total spent = $4,195

Becuase of the Jeep’s age, David found it hard to find parts from Junkyards, which really increased the overall cost. He believes that he could have restored the Jeep. You can read the full article about Davids’s 1948 Jeep restoration here.

How To Reduce The Cost of Restoring a Jeep

Here are a few common sense tips on how to reduce the cost of your jeep restoration project.

1. Do It Yourself

Restoring a Jeep is pretty labor intensive, so removing the expensive labor costs and doing it yourself will naturally save you a lot of money. If you don’t have experience working on cars, there is a ton of online tutorials online that you can follow.

2. Make use of Junkyards

Don’t get transfixed on buying original parts, but instead try to get as many of the parts that you need from Junkyards. This is easier to do with more common Jeeps like the Cherokee, as you will find lots of them in junkyards.

4. Use Facebook Groups & Forums

Join as many Facebook groups and forums that are dedicated to the model of Jeep that you are restoring. Often, people are willing to help out members by selling parts for very cheap prices.

How Much Does It Cost To Have A Jeep Professionally Restored?

Having professionals restore your Jeep is obviously going to cost you significanlty more than doing it yourself. Restoring Jeeps is time-intensive and so labor costs are going to be the largest cost you face.

The cost to restore your Jeep professionally can vary wildly depending on the condition of the Jeep you are starting with. It’s fair to say that most people are pretty shocked when they recieve quotes from

The cost can go up if you don’t have a replacement body or a disassembled Jeep in place. The asking price for a damaged salvage Jeep ranges between $4000 – $6,000, depending on the mileage and condition of the body.

Many Jeep lovers prefer to buy replacement bodies and salvage jeeps from auto auction sites due to the available financial options.

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Where Can You Have A Jeep Restored?

Many repair shops across the country offer Jeep restoration services.

Some of the most reliable service centers include:

  1. The Jeep Farm – This firm specializes in restoring 1986 Jeeps, old Willys, AMC, and Kaiser-Jeep vehicles. They also offer other services such as sourcing for Jeeps, repairing, consigning, and selling all types of Jeeps.
  1. CJ Jeep Builders – They can help restore your old Jeep back to its original classic look. Better yet, CJ Jeep Builders can install additional modern features like an infotainment system and air conditioners in your restored Jeep, for enhanced comfort and better handling.
  1. Overbuilt Customs – This solo entrepreneurship uses the finest replacement parts and accessories to restore your old Jeep back to its past glory. It is worth noting that these parts are made in the USA rather than imported.

How Much Does It Cost To Restore A Jeep Yourself?

The cost to restore a Jeep yourself depends on several factors such as:

  • Cost of acquiring the Jeep
  • The condition of the Jeep
  • Replacement parts and accessories required
  • Shipping fees for parts sourced from overseas
  • Painting and finishing costs

While hiring a professional to restore your Jeep could cost up to $35,000, doing it yourself could save up to $75 per hour in labor costs.

This means you may spend as little as $5,000 to restore your Jeep as long as it does not require much re-plating and bodywork. 

If you want to save more, ensure your vehicle is in good condition and it does require many replacement parts.

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What Is The Largest Cost When Restoring A Jeep?

Forget about labor costs.

The largest costs when restoring a Jeep revolve around the bodywork, paint job, and finishing. The body requires labor-intensive sheet metal repairs to restore the Jeep to showroom level.

The paint job and finishing touches cost between $5,000 – $10,000, bringing the total costs to $13,000 – $20,000. 

Then again, some people argue that the largest cost when restoring a Jeep is in replacement parts.

Well, their argument is valid since your Jeep might require several replacement parts, and this may cost between $10,000 – $15000

You may cut down on costs by going for cheap paint supplies and labor.

However, if you want to restore your Jeep back to its classic look, you have to spend good money. 

What Are The Other Costs Associated With Restoring A Jeep?

Other costs when restoring a Jeep include:

1. Acquisition Costs

If you don’t have a project Jeep of your own, you need to purchase one. Acquiring a savage jeep for restoration costs anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000, depending on its condition. 

The model of the car also determines the buying price. Most Jeep enthusiasts prefer Jeep Wranglers since one (1995 model) costs between $6,000 – $7,000.

This means you can get a used Wrangler for half of this amount.

2. Preparation Costs

You have to prepare your Jeep by removing the chassis and frame before the restoration process begins. The body may also require blasting and re-plating, depending on its condition. 

If the bolts and nuts are rusty, you may have to give the Jeep an acid bath to clean the corroded parts.

All the above preparatory activities will cost between $4000 – $5,000.

3. Replacement Parts Costs

Whether you are performing a minor or a complete ground-up restoration, you will have to buy a few replacement parts.

The total cost depends on how many parts you need to replace. 

If you are performing a complete restoration, you may have to replace some parts that are still in good working condition.

Parts costs could range anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000.

4. Labor Costs

If you plan to have your Jeep professionally restored, then you must prepare to settle the cost of labor. Even though labor rates vary from shop to shop, most restoration services charge between $25 and $100 per hour.

This depends on the specific tasks involved in the restoration process.

Which Jeep Models Are The Cheapest To Restore?

The cheapest Jeep models to restore are probably be the FSJ Wagoneer or the Jeep Cherokee, particularly the older models (1962-1991).

Buying a junk FSJ or Cherokee would cost you a paltry $500-$1000.

However, restoring the Jeep back to its classic look will depend on the price and availability of replacement parts.

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Which Jeep Model Is The Most Expensive To Restore?

The Jeep Hurricane Concept is hands down the most expensive model to restore. A new Hurricane Concept costs between $1.5 – $2 million.

This clearly shows that trying to restore a junk Hurricane Concept would cost you a fortune no matter its condition.

Final Thoughts

Restoring a Jeep is an expensive hobby. They almost always always take longer and cost more money than you think they will.

Most people recommnd that you spend more up front and buy a jeep that’s in as good condition as possible. This will reduce the cost

Have you restored a Jeep? Please let us know how much it cost in the comments.

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