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Old 10-21-2013, 02:57 PM   #1
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CJ Identification and such

I am extremely likely to inherit a CJ soon, but have no idea exactly what it is as I have not seen it as of yet. So my question is how to tell what year it is.

I know how to tell the basic difference between the different models (at least CJ5, 6, 7, 8), but the little differences from year to year are what puzzle me. I know there are frame differences in some CJ7s, but I couldn't tell you anything about when, where, why, etc. Same for the CJ5s.

I'm told it's a CJ with a SBC engine. No one that has seen it in recent years can tell me anything else, not even the shape of the doors.

Any help or even pointing me to a website that lists the differences would be extremely helpful and greatly appreciated.

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Old 10-21-2013, 04:01 PM   #2
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55-71 is one body style they are all the same.

72-83 are the same.

The major difference is in the front fenders. They were extended to make room for the straight six engine.



Rake of the windshield is different.

In 1976 the tub and frame were modified slightly from earlier versions. The frame went from an open channel to boxed in front of the rear axle, and the body tub became more rounded. The windshield frame and windshield angle were also changed, meaning that tops from 1955 to 1975 will not fit a 1976-1983 CJ-5 and vice-versa. The rear axle was also changed in 1976 from a Dana model 44 to an AMC-manufactured model 20 which had a larger-diameter ring gear but used a two-piece axleshaft/hub assembly instead of the stronger one-piece design used in the Dana.

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Old 10-22-2013, 11:25 AM   #3
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For CJ5s, 1955 - 1975, frame rails are the same distance apart front to back.
1976 - 1983, frame rails widen a bit at the door opening.

1982 - 1986 CJ7s and CJ8s are wide track (56" wms - wms). 1972 - 1983 CJ5s and 1976 - 1981 CJ7, and 1981 CJ8s are narrow track (53" wms to wms)
CJ5s, although produced to 1983, did not change over to the wide track in 1982 like the 7s and 8s did... (except for one legitimate production unit that I know of)

As harleydragon said, fenders 72/up are 3" longer at the back edge, than the 1955 - 71 fenders.

1955 - 1971 CJ5s have some subtle differences that can help pinpoint the year, in addition to VIN/serial number. Details like shackles, speedometer face, front (and side) marker lights, cowl battery box, wiper placement, windshield glass height, fuel tank location... etc.

Good luck... we're expecting a ton of pics soon...
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Old 10-22-2013, 12:41 PM   #4
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if you can get a serial number we can tell you what it is,or was
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Old 10-22-2013, 01:11 PM   #5
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I don't know when I'll go lay eyes on it for myself. MAYBE sometime in November. When I do get down there, I'll be sure to take pics. If I do decide to bring it home, my JK can sit it's happy outside!!
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Old 12-24-2013, 04:16 PM   #6
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I am also trying to identify two different jeeps and appreciate any help you can give me. They are both CJ6 models and do not show up in the serial number reference list that I have been able to find. VIN 5774825169, VIN 841010572.
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Old 12-24-2013, 04:46 PM   #7
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prefix for cj6 should be 57648 or 8405...followed by a 5 or 6 digit serial number..cj6a prefix is 8422
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Old 12-25-2013, 10:01 AM   #8
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Thank you. Can the model year be identified from these numbers?
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Old 12-25-2013, 05:27 PM   #9
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I did some more checking and your prefix numbers are correct..the 57748 is a universal open body cj6...the 8410 is a universal open body cj6 diesel according to what I found (I did not know that a diesel was even available but that is what I read)..the serial numbers are the last 5 digits on each one and are sequential but I have not found a break down as far as years other than these serial numbers were used from 62-71
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Old 12-27-2013, 12:47 PM   #10
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Thanks for checking. The 8410 is a diesel. My dad bought it new in 1967. I got to ride home with him. He passed away so it is mine now. It is in really good shape, no rust, had a fender repaired years ago and it needs some attention now. The original canvas trip is gone and has been replaced with a single cab too. The other jeep was purchased only for the hard top. The body is in fair shape and I don't know much
More about it. The steering linkage is broken somewhere and I think the engine is locked up. Only one seat remaining. I am considering getting it to run for my son. I merger put the titles in my name and it has been so long since either of them have been tagged that the DMV has no record and I lost the titles to all of my vehicles in a move after a divorce 13 years ago. Trying to get as much info on both jeeps so that I can get tags.

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