I recently came across a 77 Cj5 with a 304 V8. It's got a 4 inch Skyjacker lift kit and about 87K miles on the 304. I don't know much about a CJ5 so I wanted to ask and see what I need to look at in the Jeep other than the obvious. Where do these things rust mostly and is the 304 a good reliable engine? Also what axles came under these things? It doesn't have a Tail gate so does it have a fiberglass tub is did some CJ5s come that way? any info will be helpful. Going back to look at the Rig on Thursday. Thanks in advance!
"Shiny side up, Greasy side down"
Assuming it is stock it will have a narrow track axles. They are about 10" narrower than your YJ axles. I still run nt's on my cj with spacers and compared to my TJ is much less stable on and off road. You get moved around a bit riding the grooves in the road since the jeep is narrower. Probably still has the 3.54 gears installed.
The 304 is a pretty good engine. Has a good amount of torque. Im betting it has a T-150 3 speed behind it which doesn't have overdrive. I hated mine because it really wasnt geared right for the trails or the hwy but they are very good from dependability.
Now if I had to guess the steering is all loose and will be difficult to drive. As IBB already said it is short and skinny...it will not be as easy or as fun to drive.
If you are set on a CJ you might look at some CJ7's. Or maybe converting your YJ to look like a CJ.
It's red too.
It is a nice "other" vehicle to own, but I wouldn't want one as a daily driver. I traded my 1972 CJ5 last spring along with my wife's TJ for a JK...I kept my YJs. I only drove mine in the summer for playing around and for off roading trips. If you are tall, it's gonna be a pain in the back to drive, literally. There isn't much room in them. I loved mine, but it was time to change things up.
The 304, as Dempsey said, is a good engine, but with a 3 speed...your gonna want more. Mine had a 304 with a T15 3 speed from factory, and it was plenty of power, but can be a handful to drive.
Everything that IBB and Dempsey has said is on target...but it will be your decision...I miss mine, and may get another down the road, but it wasn't something I needed right now. Good luck!
Standard axles would be an amc 20 in the rear, a Dana 30 up front.
The 304 would've been mated to a t150 or the elusive bada$$ t18. The t18 has a granny first and is a 4 speed. The 150 is strong enough to put behind a 360 on 39's but the gearing is terrible.
Rust on the frame will accumulate on the tub mounts, the rear two cross members and inside the frame on primarily the rear half. Turn a couple of bolts, I would recommend turning the rear body mount bolts, the rear spring perch bolts and the transfer case skid bolts.
The 304 is a strong enough motor, I would see if it has the motor craft 2100 Carb, which is a two barrel best suited for amc v8's and would also be factory.
The transfer case should be a Dana 20 which offers a lame 2:1 low gear, but is very reliable.
With that many miles and depending on the age of the suspension I would plan on replacing the shocks.
Another place to check for rust outside of the floor pans is anywhere there is a seam, tub to rocker panel...etc...
If it doesn't have a tail gate it could be that the p.o. welded it shut.