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Old 09-11-2012, 04:36 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 3
Possible CJ5 purchase, need opinions

Hello all. Potential new CJ5 owner here. Think I have found a good deal and wanted to get some opinions.

Looking at a 1972 CJ-5, 304 V8. I have not actually seen it in person yet, but have spoken at length with the current owner. Jeep is not at his current location, it is stored at a hunting camp. He states that vehicle is in good working condition. Recently had engine tuned up and carb rebuilt. No oil leaks. Transmision shifts well and transfer case operates properly. No real body rust he knows of, cannot vouch for frame. Says tires are in good shape, has the winch as indicated by pictures that he says operates, as well as a trans cooler he says po installed. Says interior is in good shape, with a small tear on one of the seats. Also has a rear seat, which most seem to be missing.

He is asking $3500.00, which judging by prices I have been researching looks to be a good deal, if the frame is not jacked up. I know that I need to inspect the frame well, looking for rust at body and shock mount locations and around steering gear, as well as looking for any cracks in frame. He did state there is some slop in the steering, but that appears normal for this Jeep.

The only other concern I have is my height. I am 6'6" tall, with a slim build. I am used to tight vehicles, I drove a Honda CRX for years and now drive a 1991 Accord. I have seen varying opinions as to size compatability, with most leaning to the idea that I am too tall lol. Anybody with a frame of reference? If I ended up just not being able to deal, do you think I could turn around and make a few bucks, maybe sell for $4000.00?

Thanks so much for any input. I really hope to join the ranks of Jeep owners this weekend! Also, if you spot anything that jumps out in the pictures, please let me know.
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Old 09-12-2012, 08:10 AM   #2
lynn's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: York, PA
Posts: 1,171
Well it looks good from here. When you check the frame, use a screwdriver, poke HARD at any suspect areas. Frame repair can be done if you are competent with a welder, but it should reduce asking price.
Looks like an 8274 Warn winch, excellent unit.
The '72 CJ5 with 304 should have a manual T15 3-speed tranny, and a D20 tcase.
I'm not sure how you rig a trans cooler to the T15... and if its an automatic, it's not factory original and will have a very short rear driveshaft... could be trouble.

Looks like it has been repainted at some point. Take a magnet, look for bondo in the body panels.

Slop in the steering is most likely caused by worn joints in the intermediate steering shaft, between the column and the box. Rag joint can wear, pins wear in the block, and the unserviceable upper joint wears. Grab that shaft, any play in either joint is likely cause for steering slop. You can replace the shaft with a quality unit from Borgeson or Flaming River.
(Other steering slop causes include worn steering box, TREs, ball joints, wheel bearings)

If all is good, then $3500 doesn't sound too bad

Check out the Intermediates forum at earlyCJ5.net. It is focused on the unique 1972 - 1975 CJ5s.

As far as your height, I know guys your size who drive CJ5s. You will be more comfortable if you do the driver's seat notch into the wheel well...allows the seat to move back about another 3". Google, or search on earlycj5.net.

Good luck!! Let us know what happens.

'05 LJ
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Old 09-12-2012, 10:00 AM   #3
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 3
Good point on the trans cooler, maybe the owner is confused as to the function of the unit. He said po installed a switch for the trans cooler, so not sure what switch may be operating lol. But it is definitely a 3 speed.

As far as my height issue, I have spoken with a local guy who has a 74 CJ5 and I am trying to get by his place to see how tight it really is.
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Old 09-12-2012, 10:29 AM   #4
lynn's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: York, PA
Posts: 1,171
Maybe they retrofitted power steering (a good mod if not already done) and are running a ps cooler...
'05 LJ
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Old 09-19-2012, 02:02 AM   #5
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Vancouver Wa
Posts: 40
I am 6'2" and my 5 is a pretty tight fit. I take frequent stretching breaks when driving distances or wheeling it. Like Lynn says, do a search for the wheel house notch but even then it may be tough to squeeze your legs in with the small door opening and the steering wheel.
Politically correctness: The doctrine that holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick a turn up by the clean end.
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Old 09-20-2012, 08:22 AM   #6
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 3
Thanks for the input. I ended up not buying the Jeep. Fit wasn't a problem, I am used to being in small vehicles lol. Problem was the seller wasn't completely honest about some things, either through direct deception or just lack of knowledge.
One of the first questions I asked was if the Jeep was road worthy or not. He said it was. First thing I notice when I get there is the tires are dry rotted, then at test drive found out no seat belts.
Next, I had asked him if there were any leaks. He stated there were not. Looking at the motor it was leaking from the valve covers, front and rear seal, and the differential was leaking as well.
I'm sure these are common issues with Jeeps of this age, especially ones that sit up for long periods of time. In addition to these problems, the wiring was jacked up, some serious rust on the bottom of the tub. Frame was actually ok, you could tell where someone had repaired it near the steering gear, and it actually looked like someone had boxed it from the front back to about the firewall.
I made him a counter offer based on what I thought it was worth, but in the end we were $200 apart, so I walked away.

Lynn, the switch wasn't for a p/s cooler but for an electric cooling fan, so you could turn it off and on independent of the key. Actually a handy mod.
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:58 PM   #7
tomjeep's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 162
Yeah, whenever i buy something the owner might as well not tell me anything because i just like to form my own opinion by looking at it.

'92 Jeep Wrangler, 4.0, 5 speed, CB radio, 1" BL, 31" tires
'76 Jeep Cherokee Chief, 360 V8, Quadratrac
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