02-21-2012, 06:42 AM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: York, PA
I've owned a number of CJ5s, the last one was a '71 that I owned for 16 yrs, sold it in 2007.
This CJ looks like a pretty good deal as a 2nd vehicle, a toy to play with/work on,
but it's not ready to serve DD duty.
I agree with all of the points Dempsey made.
It's a 35-year old vehicle, and it's going to have issues pop up when they are least appreciated.
A rig like this can be made to be reliable with a lot of work and replacing of parts. I used to drive my CJ twice each year for 4 hours on the highway to the trailhead, wheel all weekend, and then drive the 4 hours home.... but I had done a frame-off rebuild, with many upgrades. Your friend needs to be a pretty decent mechanic to do the kind of stuff a CJ needs. If he has to pay someone to "fix" all the things that will go wrong, he will go broke fast.
With work, the CJ in question can be made to run smooth, straight and true at 75 mph (as my 71 was). However the ride will always be choppy because of the short wheelbase, the gas mileage will always be poor because of the V8 and the aerodynamics. The interior will always be loud because of the soft top (I always wore earplugs if I was driving on the highway for more than an hour), the seats will probably be uncomfortable, the heater is poor at best, the top and probably the windshield will leak, there is little room for gear, and there is absolutely no security for anything left inside (common to all soft top rigs).
Bottom line, unless your friend wants to spend a great deal of money, or use this as a 2nd/project vehicle, he should pass.