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Old 03-22-2012, 02:05 PM   #1
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New to the board. Looking for info on an 81 CJ5

I found a local guy selling a 1981 CJ-5. It has a 4banger 150cid and I am assuming its the Iron Duke. My intentions were to scope out and buy a CJ7 but the prices are pretty crazy lately around here (I live in Europe). I was doing some homework on the Iron Duke, it only has 95hp, apparently good torque, meant for low speeds. I am not looking for a fast car, I already have one of those. I am looking to go on trails, play in the sand, go camping.

My questions are....

~Is this a favorable CJ? Should I wait to see if I can score a CJ7 ?
~Its a 4x4, gas engine, unknown model trans but it is a manual gearbox, unknown transfer case, and gear ratios. Are the gears hard to find?
~Being that this is a 2.5L L4, is it possible to drop in a later model 2.5L 4-banger out of the 2000s Jeeps? I do like the Fuel Injection, I am no stranger to carb's but I want dependability and elevation adjustments.
~Are there weak spots in this frame? Problematic spots of rust? Weak suspension points?

I would like to take it all apart and rebuild it from scratch. Re-work the suspension/braking, give it a 4"-6" lift, 34" tires. Repair the body and customize the interior.

Also, being that I have never sat in a CJ-5...Would someone who is say oh...6'5 fit comfortably in it?

Thanks to all who read and reply.

Pete

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Old 03-22-2012, 03:15 PM   #2
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I can answer a few of your questions.
At 6'5" you will not be comfortable. The seat is limited in rearward travel by the wheelhouse on this short-wheelbase rig. You could notch the wheelhouse to allow more rearward travel, but...
A CJ5 is also very limited in the ability to carry gear for excursions. Most find that it just doesn't have enough cargo room. Especially if you are taking gear for two, and a passenger.

The transmission will likely be an SR4, maybe a T4, or possibly a T176 if you are lucky. The SR$ and T4 are considered light duty and will not be happy with the stresses of 34" tires and factory gear ratios. The transfer case will be a Dana 300, a very good gear-driven unit. As for engine swap to a later I4... I can't help you with that.

As I read your description, I think you will be happier with a CJ7 and 6-cylinder. (fairly easy to swap in a later, fuel injected 4.0L)

Good luck!

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Old 03-22-2012, 04:44 PM   #3
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the downfall of a 4.0L engine is the road tax. My father has a 4.3L Safari Van here and he gets nailed with the equivalent of $1,900 in road tax per year. Thats why I was headed for the 150 instead of the 258. Maybe work up to a turbo later on and crank out some more power. Thanks for the input though...Looks like I will have to keep hunting for that CJ-7
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Old 03-22-2012, 05:04 PM   #4
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If you want a cj7 stay on task..don't settle. I don't think based on your info that you will not be happy with the cj5 for long.

Road tax? WTF. I bet my V8 Jeep would be high.

I see you have a 440 in your charger...whats the road tax on that?
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Old 03-22-2012, 05:06 PM   #5
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If you're that tall then don't go with a 5. Incredibly uncomfortable. Look around for a good deal on a 7 with a 258, then convert it to fuel injection. There's hundreds of kits for it.
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dempsey View Post
If you want a cj7 stay on task..don't settle. I don't think based on your info that you will not be happy with the cj5 for long.

Road tax? WTF. I bet my V8 Jeep would be high.

I see you have a 440 in your charger...whats the road tax on that?

$60 a year...historical plates...Limited on driving it around town....just to the beach and car shows mainly

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