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Old 12-01-2007, 07:26 PM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Burlington WI
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New to Jeeps found a CJ-5

Iam looking to get my first jeep. I want a powerful manual winter / off road vehicle. I was looking at the 4.0 l 993 to 1998 wranglers. But then I found a 1980 CJ-5 with low miles and would like to ask you guys what to check out to make sure it’s a solid vehicle. These are things I already have been informed about.
-The Carter BBD carb runs like junk (Replacement is best)
-Many of the seals on the transfer case and etc are red polyurethane composite and would probably be fine as those don't harden or deteriorate as bad due to just age.
-The main seals on the engine are rubber and have a 50/50 chance of needing replacement.

Any other information I should gather to make sure this 1980 CJ-5 is the Jeep for me?

Thanks a lot
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Old 12-04-2007, 11:02 AM   #2
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Look at the frame very carefully. They tend to rust out. Take a hammer and crawl under it. Tap the frame on both sides and the cross members where accessable. Listen for differences in sounds or dead sounds. Also look for rust flacking in different areas as you tap the frame. Take your time doing this. It will benefit you in the end. Also, look at the back side of the body panels while you are under there. Look for rust again, these bodies where not galvanized and tend to rust. Also look for bondo'ed areas. On the outside stand at the front and get the side of the jeep at eye level and look for waves or other imperfections that would stand out if the body had been bondo'ed or repaired. One last thing, ask what kind of usage the rig has seen. If it has been beat it might be something to stay away from.

Welcome to the board. These guys should be a big help to you.

1978 CJ7, frame off rebuild, NV3550, Dana 300(twin stick with a sight tube), I6(258), Dana 44 Scout Axles with 4.09 gears, truetrac LSD. The rest yet to be decided.
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Old 12-04-2007, 11:06 AM   #3
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Depends on what they are asking for the jeep. A lot of people with old cj's are really proud of them and price them very high. You'll just have to decide if it's worth what they are asking considering whatever needs to be done to it.

Investing in an hour of a good mechanic's time would be a very good idea.

BTW... welcome to the forum. If you get it you MUST show it to us. We like pics. Especially of cj's!!!
99 XJ Sport
3" Skyjacker lift
31 x 10.50 General Grabbers Are all fishermen liars, or do only liars fish?
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Old 12-04-2007, 01:17 PM   #4
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and also bring a magnet and run it over the whole body (dont scratch the paint), if it sticks you know it is a steel body, but if not i could either be a fiberglass one which is fine, or if it is spott it has boondo on it and you dont want that

as for everyhting else, it wont be as comfortable or as fast a sa TJ or YJ, but it is worth it in my mind, but other disagree,

one more thing is to make sure that the frame isnt cracked, a few CJ frames over flex and get hariline cracks taht are hard to see, they will usually be right near the engine compartment so look down in there

besides that just know it WILL need lots of work no amtter how good it looks now and it will continue to break down haha, but ti is all worth it for the knowledge you are driving a CJ!
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