View Full Version : Old Jeeps...CJ5 or CJ7?

08-06-2011, 06:31 AM
I know they might be a little uncivilized for the Warrior Bon Vivant Forum, but I suspect like me many of you had a CJ or two in your past. I am thinking about a fun roadster again, and the Jeeps are calling me. I mean, a convertible 60's muscle car is fun, but limited in usefulness. A CJ Jeep roadster is fun in the summer and useful in the winter as well. Back in the day, I remember my 232 six cylinder three speed CJ 5 as a great trail Jeep that kinda beat me up on the highway. My CJ 7 was a 304 V8, with, of all things, an automatic and Quadra Trac. Had a granny gear you could pull under the seat, and if you opened the glovebox there was a cryptic switch to lock the hubs-For Emergency Use Only. I am leaning towards the CJ5...

08-06-2011, 06:50 AM
I've had both. And the CJ7 is a little more friendly if you're likely to have passengers and their gear. But not by much.

My 73 CJ5 304 V8 3 speed would cruise at 70 all day long. And 4low was plenty low. If I were doing it over again I'd never have let it go.

One good thing about a jeep - it elminates all the friggin' whiners from your adventures. There's no room for a bunch of BS, and if it's not contained or tied down, it flies out all by itself. People who bitch about wind and sun and mud, need to stay home anyway.

08-06-2011, 07:16 AM
me, I've had my cherokee since 96. Like I said it's got over 250K on it. Nothing major done to it. Keep the service schedule up and it'll run forever.

08-06-2011, 07:29 AM
Don't mention Cherokee's to me! I had a 360 V-8 with a four speed...the old big body version. It was from the late 70's, and I bought it from a farmer in the 90's with like 30,000 miles....it caught fire after a fuel stop. With those big Mud and Snow tires it could just about climb trees...I could not replace it. A ton better off road than my "woody" Grand Wagoneer as it was the same body only with two doors. Lots of room, stone ax simple...losing that one was a real regret of mine.

08-06-2011, 07:38 AM
I'm sure they list my 1946 Willys CJ2A in the uncivilized, limited and not very useful catagory....Smiles per mile is hard to put a price on! :tongue:

08-06-2011, 08:13 AM
Wow that's a nice Willies! Where did you find it or do you know where one can find such a thing?


08-06-2011, 08:16 AM
Not to highjack the thread but I am also looking at Jeeps too. Contemplating CJ's or Cherokee. I haven't done much research on them so don't totally know the differences yet. I have heard stories about both being unreliable but not sure if that is true or not? I think for practical purposes the Cherokee would suit me better because of space and 4 doors. I have less than $5K to buy one so its gonna be a beater, but I don't mind. I am kinda looking forward to a beater 4x4, as long as I can get a semi decent conditioned one.

08-06-2011, 08:17 AM
I'm sure they list my 1946 Willys CJ2A in the uncivilized, limited and not very useful catagory....Smiles per mile is hard to put a price on! :tongue:

Beautiful job on that Jeep! Very clean! I bet you get alot of thumbs up from people cruising by you?

Craig R
08-06-2011, 08:36 AM
I have less than $5K to buy one so its gonna be a beater

Slight hi jack response
A Cherokee for that amount is far from a beater at least in my area. I have several friends that have gotten great running Cherokees for under $2000.00. The 4.0 engine will last forever in my exp. Craigslist is your friend. (no it's not my list)

08-06-2011, 08:58 AM
Beautiful job on that Jeep! Very clean! I bet you get alot of thumbs up from people cruising by you?

Thank you, I had tons of help. It's truly a joy to drive and really comical sometimes! :biglaugh: Yes, I wave at not just other Jeeps, but seemingly everyone and almost everyone smiles and points or gives a thumbs-up.....I'm 'sorta used' to being chased down now for a chat. Seems everyone has an old jeep story that somehow mentions....DAD.

08-06-2011, 09:14 AM
THAT is truly a thing of beauty. Period. I love jeeps, and always wanted a Willys.

08-06-2011, 10:03 AM
I'm sure they list my 1946 Willys CJ2A in the uncivilized, limited and not very useful catagory....Smiles per mile is hard to put a price on! :tongue:

Wow! Talk about a trip down memory lane. I had a 1948 CJ. Had to finally give her up when the years of driving through road salt finally took it's toll. Thirty five mph was top-top speed. When I threw those two levers, into 4wd and low range, I could go anywhere. I swear if I had wanted, she would have climbed up the side of a building. I can still see the little green machine with the dog box and our hounds in the back, headed for a rabbit swamp. Thanks for the pictures. They made my day. Sorry, if this is one of those hijacks.

08-06-2011, 11:16 AM
CJ-7 my first ehicle and stil have it though in storage for now. It's gonna get ressurected soon. The last upgarde it got was a Chevy 350 V-8 rebuilt for nothing but low end torque. This time it's gonna be done over end to end top to bottom but a section at a time as I can afford.

Sorry no pics yet.

08-06-2011, 12:28 PM

I've got this one salted away for a future project. 1970 CJ-5 with the 225ci Buick Dauntless V-6 engine. It's got the somewhat rare D44 offset pumpkin rear with one piece, 30 spline axles. I've also got a CJ-6 frame that I may build up using the parts from the -5 instead.

08-06-2011, 01:12 PM
I love old Jeeps, and I have a '52 CJ-2A on Nantucket Island, the wife inherited it from her Father. I also have a restored 1967 Jeepster with a V-6 in the garage, and the wife drives a 2001 Grand Cherokee, while I drive a 2003 Wrangler Rubicon. I had another Wrangler TJ in the past, a Cherokee XJ, and a few others.

I feel obligated to mention that a Wrangler TJ is a much more usable and reliable vehicle to drive. It starts with it has 12v electricals, where a Willys is 6v. Then there are the coil springs, the lap/shoulder belts, the working heater, and the airbags. It rides much better than any leaf-springed vehicle, and will actually traverse more rugged terrain with the flexy coil springs, especially if you disconnect the front swaybar offroad.

You can acquire and drive a 4-cylinder TJ from any year for less money than restoring a CJ. It will not leave you stranded like 50+ year old Willys are prone to do. It won't beat your body into one big bruise on the road either.

08-06-2011, 01:39 PM
Love (!) the old jeeps. But, Kaiser's right. The TJ, in comparison, is probably a better/cheaper jeep.

08-06-2011, 01:53 PM
Absolutely. My daily driver is an '01 TJ; there are pics of it in some of the other threads. I just figured that this thread is for the older rigs. FWIW, the ride can be improved on most of them with the right selection of suspension components. A shackle reversal kit will go a long ways towards making them ride and handle better, plus the long wheelbase versions (CJ-6, CJ-8) are a lot better than the -5 and -7 to begin with.

08-07-2011, 05:04 AM
The best farm truck that I ever owned was a '66 Jeep 1/2 ton.. The previous owner had put a 455 (I think) Buick engine in her. I was red line at just over 60 on the road. It had true posi trac front and rear. It would smoke all 4 tires on pavement. I still have an old 680 Case Backhoe, they don't make them any more. That backhoe weighs 20K plus. I beefed up the frame and that old Jeep would tow it up and down the mountain. That weight is way too much for a 1/2 ton, so down hill was always an adventure. I backed it into a rock and messed up the rear differential and just ran it front wheel until it was too wrecked to use. I gave the motor to my neighbor. I should have kept that front drive.


08-07-2011, 05:02 PM
A lot of the Jeeps in the mid to late 60's during the Kaiser period had Buick engines as original equipment.

08-07-2011, 05:33 PM
A lot of the Jeeps in the mid to late 60's during the Kaiser period had Buick engines as original equipment.

I did not know that. With that big engine, low gear ratio and only a 3 speed tyranny, I seem to recall it getting about 6MPG on the road. I know that I was always putting gas in it :)

08-07-2011, 05:38 PM
what is the primary difference between the 5 and the 7 in the CJ series?

08-07-2011, 06:11 PM
The -7 has a longer wheelbase, and bigger door openings. Otherwise, they are the same, EXCEPT that in '81 or '82 the -7 got wider axles, whereas the -5 stayed at the original width through the end of its production run in '83. These are referred to as wide-track vs. narrow track axles. The Wrangler axles are wider still, which is one of the reasons why you don't hear of too many rollovers of stock Jeeps these days.

08-10-2011, 08:57 PM
Having had a 5 and a 7 in the past, I would have to say they are both a bit twitchy at freeway speeds. The 232 three speed is a pretty good combo...my 304 had a QuadraTrac set up which would pretty much climb trees but an automatic? I could never get over that. I am looking for a six cylinder manual transmission CJ I think...still on the fence about a 5, 7 or 8...condition will be the key.

08-11-2011, 03:08 AM
The only reason to get a manual transmission in a Jeep anymore is for slightly better highway mileage. When I bought my '01, the only automatic available in the Wrangler was a 3 speed with no overdrive, so the 5 speed was just a better choice for a daily driver. Now they sell it with a 4 speed auto with overdrive, so there isn't much advantage to the manual. And the automatic is totally superior to the manual in all off-road regimes except for steep downhills.

08-11-2011, 10:06 PM
Now I will have to take exception to that...a manual transmission is just more fun! Years ago, I read an autobiography about Stirling Moss, the famous English race car driver...it was written in the late 1960's, and he was convinced the automatic would rule racing in a few years. And his reasoning was sound...but frankly I prefer to be involved a little more. I like shifting gears.

08-11-2011, 10:31 PM
The manual's a lot more fun. But when you are climbing a loose, off camber hill on the edge of breaking traction, the automatic is absolutely the way to go. Especially if you have a hand throttle like a lot of the serious crawlers do, you can ride the brake with your foot and just ease it on over. And if you have to stop in a bad spot, it's less of a dance to get started again. Just safer all around.

Edit to add: And that's coming from somebody who likes to heel and toe his Jeep around town. 8^)

08-11-2011, 10:48 PM
True enough...I tip my hat to the serious off roader. The automatic is pretty much smarter/safer than I am. But for a fun car, it is going to have to be a manual. And I am out of the loop...is the Wrangler way way better than the CJ? I suspect they are, but would like to hear from some WT Brothers that have run them....

08-12-2011, 12:05 AM
Any Wrangler '97 or later (TJ, JK) has coil springs at all corners, and once the front swaybar has been disconnected (I have quick disconnects for mine, only disconnect for off road use!), they are better at keeping the rubber on the ground, and the rig moving forward than any previous Jeep. Stock for stock, anyway. The '87-'95 YJ Wrangler was basically a streetified CJ-7, and won't perform as well as a CJ or coil sprung wrangler off road... stock. With some minor mods they are as good as any of them. Wranglers from '91-on got the fuel injected 4.0, which is a superior engine compared to the 4.2/258 that in later years was fitted with a problematic computer controlled carburetor.