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Old 08-13-2007, 07:48 AM   #1
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Is this a good buy? '78 CJ-5 $3000

Hey guys,
I have been looking at YJ's for a while because I thought that I couldn't afford a CJ without significant rust, but I found this one that looks like a good deal. I'm looking for some input on what you think because I don't know much of anything about CJ's. Here is the info:

The Good:
1978
cj-5
6cyl
4 spd
4 11 gears with lockright lockers
9000lbs winch
33x12.5 bfg tires
fiberglass body steel nose
extra engine trans and transfer case
no rust in frame
3'' susp. lift
3'' body lift
1year old ring and pinion in front and rear
1 piece axles in rear

The Bad:
steering box leaks but it comes with an extra
engine leaks a little oil
needs rear brakes

This is information that I got from the seller and I am planning on going to look at it in person today. Is there anything in particular I should look for? Is this a good price?

Here are some pics.

Thanks!

Steve
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Old 08-13-2007, 12:34 PM   #2
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3 grand is a little steep for a CJ thats not working quite right, id go in low ball offer at 2K, but be careful b/c ppl can be attached to them and be offended!

make sure you look at the frame were the spring perches come in contact that is a high rust prone area, just look along the whole frame and get underneath and look athow much rust there is, clearly it was rusty or else they wouldnt replace it with fiberglass!

also when u get it your gonna take out that 3" BL

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Old 08-13-2007, 02:52 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debruins View Post
3 grand is a little steep for a CJ thats not working quite right, id go in low ball offer at 2K, but be careful b/c ppl can be attached to them and be offended!

make sure you look at the frame were the spring perches come in contact that is a high rust prone area, just look along the whole frame and get underneath and look athow much rust there is, clearly it was rusty or else they wouldnt replace it with fiberglass!

also when u get it your gonna take out that 3" BL
If I take out the 3" body lift would there be enough clearance for the 33" tires? I've heard that the general rule is no more than 2" max of body lift, but I wouldn't want to need to buy smaller tires right away either. Also, is there more to removing a body lift then loosening the bolts, jacking up the body and removing the pucks?

Thanks,
Steve
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Old 08-13-2007, 10:13 PM   #4
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Went to see the CJ-5 today

Well I went to see the CJ-5 today and it seems pretty nice. No rust on the frame and custom front and rear bumpers. It is a bit dirty from having been off-road recently, but what jeep isn't? On the test drive the owner took us to the end of his road and out into the woods... we weren't quite expecting that. Ended up going through some mud, over some small trees and up and down some pretty steep hills... not your average test drive. The rear brakes are bad and need to be replaced and it definitely went in and out of 4 wheel drive, but it was tough to get it to do so... is that normal? Also, a belt made a bit of a squeeling sound and an electric fan was rigged up directly to the battery to cool the engine. I'm thinking of offering $2,500 with him fixing the breaks before I get it.

Also of note, the jeep comes with an extra engine, transmission, steering box (current one leaks) and replacement seats (used).

Any comments???? Please let me know ASAP!!
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Old 08-13-2007, 10:21 PM   #5
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well a littel trouble in and out of 4wd is kinda right, first i learned its easier to put the jeep in neutral while you do it, not jus tthe clutch in idk if its just me, and if it doesnt go in then move ahead like 3 feet and try again, the gears may just not me meshing, what do you mean hooked up to the battery, lik eit is on all the time and drains the battery? if it doesnt drain the battery it is better than the engine fan actually

you may need some new pulleys or a new belt to eliminate the quealing, but it i sonly if it annoys you

sure if you think you can replace the other stuff and realize that the jeep sgonna need some attention then go for it
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Old 08-13-2007, 10:37 PM   #6
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well a littel trouble in and out of 4wd is kinda right, first i learned its easier to put the jeep in neutral while you do it, not jus tthe clutch in idk if its just me, and if it doesnt go in then move ahead like 3 feet and try again, the gears may just not me meshing, what do you mean hooked up to the battery, lik eit is on all the time and drains the battery? if it doesnt drain the battery it is better than the engine fan actually

you may need some new pulleys or a new belt to eliminate the quealing, but it i sonly if it annoys you

sure if you think you can replace the other stuff and realize that the jeep sgonna need some attention then go for it
Glad to know that the 4wd issue is common and not something specific to this jeep. For the fan, the guy just ran a wire from an electric fan to the battery to cool the engine when really pushing it. When we went off-road he opened up the hood and connected the fan wire to the battery... I suppose it would drain the battery if you left it on after you turned off the jeep, but it didn't cause any problems while running
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Old 08-13-2007, 10:55 PM   #7
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i dont understand exactly so does this cool the engine or is it a fan for the radiator instead of the cowl set up?

anyways u could easily make a switch for too
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Old 08-13-2007, 11:06 PM   #8
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i dont understand exactly so does this cool the engine or is it a fan for the radiator instead of the cowl set up?

anyways u could easily make a switch for too
I apologize for my ignorance, but I don't know whether the fan is to cool the engine or for the radiator. All I know is that he has a fan direct wired to the battery... I'm trying to learn as much as I can but my mechanical knowledge is still very limited. What is "the cowl set up"?
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Old 08-14-2007, 09:21 AM   #9
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sory on my part too, there is a fan that runs off of the engineand sucsk air towards the engine, in oreder to assure that all of the air it sucks ges through the radiator it has a shroud or a cowel that direct the air from the radiator to the fan, if this is gone that mean theat the air the fan is pulling will not go through the radiator, so you should actually hook up the electric fan to be on whenever the jeep is on

does that make sense

btw its not a big deal, just need to make sure you get everything straight once you buy it b/c u dont want to over heat!
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Old 08-14-2007, 09:25 AM   #10
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btw www.earlycj5.com is a great place too

forums and lots of info!
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Old 08-15-2007, 12:25 PM   #11
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I'm going to buy it!

I talked to the guy today and I'm going to buy it for $2,800. He is going to hardwire the fan to a switch for me and help me replace the brakes before I get it.

I'll have some better pictures up early next week hopefully.

Anyone know if they had VIN's back in '78? What does the VIN follow? The tub was replaced, so would it follow the frame? The engine? Where would I find it? I need to get insurance lined up. Could I insure it as a classic car for cheaper? I currently use Geico.

Thanks!
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Old 08-15-2007, 01:08 PM   #12
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Here is a link to JEEP CJ VIN INFORMATION that should help with your VIN questions. Make sure that when he wires the switch for the fan that he installs a fuse as close as possible to the power source. This should prevent any possible fire issues if the power lead shorts to ground.

Earlycj5.com is one of the best sources of info that you will find on the internet.

Congrats on the new Jeep!

Hutch
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Old 08-19-2007, 09:51 AM   #13
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Quote:
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well a littel trouble in and out of 4wd is kinda right, first i learned its easier to put the jeep in neutral while you do it, not jus tthe clutch in idk if its just me, and if it doesnt go in then move ahead like 3 feet and try again, the gears may just not me meshing, what do you mean hooked up to the battery, lik eit is on all the time and drains the battery? if it doesnt drain the battery it is better than the engine fan actually




you may need some new pulleys or a new belt to eliminate the squealing, but it is only if it annoys you

sure if you think you can replace the other stuff and realize that the jeep sgonna need some attention then go for it
Ok, well I got the jeep and the squealing does annoy me a little bit, mostly because I can't figure out where it is coming from. I only hear it when I am moving and it stops when the clutch is in. I'm concerned it might be a tranny problem, but obviously I can't look for the source of the noise while I am moving. Any ideas?
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Old 08-19-2007, 10:48 AM   #14
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does it go away when you apply the brakes too? Mine sqeuals and when i push the brakes al the way in it stops
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Old 08-19-2007, 03:51 PM   #15
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I only hear it when I am moving and it stops when the clutch is in. I'm concerned it might be a tranny problem, but obviously I can't look for the source of the noise while I am moving. Any ideas?
Throwout bearing
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Old 08-19-2007, 03:52 PM   #16
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does it go away when you apply the brakes too? Mine sqeuals and when i push the brakes al the way in it stops
I don't think that it goes away with the brake. The last time I drove it I only took it up the driveway to the garage and it didn't squeal at all, but I was going slow, so I don't know...
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Old 08-19-2007, 07:17 PM   #17
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Throwout bearing
What is a throwout bearing? Is that something that can be fixed easily?

Thanks!
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Old 08-19-2007, 08:33 PM   #18
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what about if you are moving and you knock it into neutral does it make the same sound without the clutch in, thi swill test if the soud stops b/c of the clutch or b/c of the tranny being diengaged,

but BE CAREFUL
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Old 08-19-2007, 09:07 PM   #19
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what about if you are moving and you knock it into neutral does it make the same sound without the clutch in, thi swill test if the soud stops b/c of the clutch or b/c of the tranny being diengaged,

but BE CAREFUL
I haven't tried that, but I will try it sometime soon. I heard from a guy on earlycj5.com that said that it mostly likely isn't a throwout bearing because the throwout bearing should not be turning when the clutch pedal is out all the way. He suggests that I check for a crack in the frame in or around the clutch linkage area of the frame; as well as the trans/t-case mounting bolts on the skid/crossmember. I am planning on looking into this, but I need to figure out how to located the clutch linkage area. Any idea why a crack in the frame would cause the squeal? I am interested in why the problems are happening almost as much as I am in fixing them....

He also suggested that the fiberglass body may be rubbing somewhere while I am moving, but I don't quite understand how that could be the case unless it were rubbing somewhere near the clutch or transmission.

As always, any input is greatly appreciated!!

Thanks guys!
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Old 08-19-2007, 09:19 PM   #20
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well i would look for a mount right near the tranny or the clutch and if there i sone there that that is prop what it is, if not then it is probably something else, i dont understand how a crack in the frame would make a squeak, but depending on who said it to you i would believe it, ill try to find ur thread if not, who said it?
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Old 08-19-2007, 09:23 PM   #21
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ok he is smart guy i believ what he says, but it doesnt make sense to me, i would look up and down the whole fram thouroughly for a crack anyways, b/c even if it isnt the culprit for the squeak its good to tknow about and fix!
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Old 08-20-2007, 07:38 AM   #22
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The exact symtom of a throwout bearing is that it squeals when the clutch is released and is quiet when the clutch depressed

From your description and not hearing the sound Id put 20 bucks on the throwout bearing.......g
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Old 08-20-2007, 08:02 AM   #23
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Thanks for the input everyone... from the comments I've received so far here is what I am planning to do tonight/tomorrow:


1. Get under the jeep and check out the frame from front to back for any cracks or other problems.
2. Look over the path from the clutch pedal to the transmission and look for any obvious issues
3. Look for any places that the body may rub a moving part.
4. If none of these identify the problem I will try putting it into neutral while moving without using the clutch to identify whether it is the clutch or the disengaging of the transmission that stops the squeal.
5. After all this I will post my findings here to get some more advice. I have a few friends ready to help if I need to drop the transmission or anything.
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Old 08-20-2007, 11:44 AM   #24
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sounds good!

and i dont think you have to drop the tranny to get to the throwout bearing, but idk, b/c ive never had to do it
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Old 08-21-2007, 07:10 PM   #25
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Thanks for the input everyone... from the comments I've received so far here is what I am planning to do tonight/tomorrow:


1. Get under the jeep and check out the frame from front to back for any cracks or other problems.
2. Look over the path from the clutch pedal to the transmission and look for any obvious issues
3. Look for any places that the body may rub a moving part.
4. If none of these identify the problem I will try putting it into neutral while moving without using the clutch to identify whether it is the clutch or the disengaging of the transmission that stops the squeal.
5. After all this I will post my findings here to get some more advice. I have a few friends ready to help if I need to drop the transmission or anything.
1. I checked the frame and I found a crack... it is about 6 inches long on the inside of the frame on the drivers side near what I think is a skid plate to protect the transmission and/or transfer case. The plate is a large metal piece that connects one side of the frame to the other and is maybe 18 inches wide. Is this a serious problem? Does it need to be fixed? Is it a fixable problem? If so, what will it take to fix it? Could we just weld over/fill the crack to reinforce it or weld an L-shaped support over it? I'm not sure if this is likely to be the cause of the squealing... maybe from vibrations in the transmission?

Sorry for all the questions, I'm just a bit worried. I had checked the frame pretty well before buying it, but unfortunately I didn't look on the top inside center.

The pictures show the crack, but the frame isn't as rusty as it looks in the pic. There definitely is some rust but it has mud caked on it that makes it the frame look worse than it is.

http://s231.photobucket.com/albums/ee117/steveshra/

2. Didn't notice any problems from clutch pedal to transmission
3. Didn't notice any body rubbing
4. Putting it into neutral while in gear moving without the clutch made the noise stop as well.
5. See above
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Old 08-21-2007, 07:19 PM   #26
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sounds liek that ur problem then

i would fill it

and then make an l sahped peice and cover it an go about 6in past it on either side
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Old 08-21-2007, 07:36 PM   #27
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sounds liek that ur problem then

i would fill it

and then make an l sahped peice and cover it an go about 6in past it on either side
What do you fill it with? We would have to cut off the plate first as it was welded on, then probably sand it down, fill it with ???, spray with rustoleum, weld an L support over it and then replace and reweld the plate. As always, this is my guess and any suggestions are appreciated!!!

Any ideas how the crack coudl cause a squeal? It sounds like a spinning squeal... if that makes sense
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Old 08-21-2007, 08:13 PM   #28
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I dont know how that would cause a squeal either???.......but I dont know everything and am willing ta learn .......I still got twenty on the throwout bearing
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Old 08-21-2007, 08:56 PM   #29
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i would just run a few beads over either side and fill it, i just wouldnt want it to move at all, idk probably unneeded if you are going to put the l over

and btw you should drill a hole at the end of the crack, this will prevent it from cracking any further

and idk why it wuold, and it may not be it
but i think we can rule out the bearing if it stops when you knock it into neutral, it has nothing to do with the clutch!
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Old 08-22-2007, 05:57 PM   #30
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Now to top it all off I can't get it to start today...

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