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Old 05-21-2010, 03:53 AM   #1
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Question about CJs

Hello, WF.

I've been looking for a Wrangler (TJ) for a couple of months now and have been a member on this site for about that same amount of time. Earlier I noticed CJ-5 for sale in my local area. My question is what are the pros/cons of buying a CJ over a Wrangler. This is a nice looking Jeep, but I can't decide if it would be better to have than a modern Wrangler. I planned on driving a Wrangler often, if not quite daily, and also doing some wheeling on local trails, but intend to keep my pickup, so I would not have to rely on it to take me everywhere I need to go. It has a 304ci and a 3 speed manual.

I would spend the next two months combing the CJ threads here and asking questions like I have spent the last two doing the same for TJs, but by then it will be gone and it won't matter.

Any facts, thoughts, opinions are welcome.

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Old 05-21-2010, 03:57 AM   #2
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CJ's are cool and all, but a 3 speed? eww lol

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Old 05-21-2010, 04:01 AM   #3
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It's just a sweet looking old Jeep. But I had a feeling it was even less practical than a Wrangler...
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Old 05-21-2010, 04:03 AM   #4
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If I had a chance to own a CJ I'd take it but not in a 3 speed, they're amazing off road with their super tiny wheel base, kinda like a smart car made by Jeep
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Old 05-21-2010, 10:01 AM   #5
that's what she said

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i don't think you'll be happy with a cj-5. it's carbureted which is a major PITA (especially the carter carbs). cj's also have very loose steering and there is really nothing that you can do about it. they really don't drive to well at speed or on the road. and you won't like the 3 speed. i have a 4 speed in my cj7 and it is a bit annoying, i wish it was a 5 speed. cj's are not for everyone and i've noticed that a lot of people that buy them on a whim end up getting rid of them. you should consider a 1992-1995 yj (that is when the I6's went to fuel injection) or a tj.
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Old 05-21-2010, 10:04 AM   #6
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Thanks, Jess. I appreciate your input.
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Old 05-21-2010, 10:11 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ageless Stranger View Post
Thanks, Jess. I appreciate your input.
no problem. i am not saying that you shouldn't get one, you just shouldn't get one on a whim. the up keep on a cj can be pretty expensive because of all of the problems that can arise because of the age of the vehicle.
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Old 05-21-2010, 10:14 AM   #8
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I don't think having a carb is all that horrible. It is what we all lived with not that many years ago.

BUT, a CJ is not easy to live with. In addition to the above comments, I'd throw in:
-horrible brakes.
-no defroster (well, might as well not have one).
-miserable ride.
-some of the worst road handling of any vehicle ever made (I know Jess mentioned this, I just thought I'd say it again).

On the plus sides:
-One of the best looking vehicles ever designed. A true American icon.
-You know it's just Steve McQueen Cool.
-Great platform to build whatever you want.

I own a 1980 CJ7, and a half share with my brother in a 1960 CJ5. I like them. I'd also recommend a TJ to others!
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Old 05-21-2010, 10:17 AM   #9
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Thanks again Jess, and Geoff. I want to be able to enjoy driving on pavement too, so I better stick to the original script, eh?
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Old 05-21-2010, 10:46 AM   #10
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I have a CJ and a Yj, both have the straight 6, I love both, yes jeeps arent a smooth ride, not supposed to be, buy a car if you want a good riding vehicle, thats what your truck for. I have driven both of mine on the highway, top down wind blowing, fun as hell, its just all in what you want. electronics on the newer ones are expensive as well, more parts= more parts going wrong just saying. older ones easier to figure out the problems and easier to fix. the carb is a factor on my YJ some days if it sits for any length takes a few minutes to start but after that it is fine.. I would take a CJ over anything especially if it isn't your daily driver
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Old 05-21-2010, 01:56 PM   #11
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Dont forget the newest cj is 25 years old.
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Old 05-21-2010, 02:05 PM   #12
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I know right? its hard to believe but there are still some good ones out there to be purchased and enough companies making parts its not a big issue.
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Old 05-26-2010, 11:54 AM   #13
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[I]Hello, WF.[/I]

I've been looking for a Wrangler (TJ) for a couple of months now and have been a member on this site for about that same amount of time. Earlier I noticed CJ-5 for sale in my local area. My question is what are the pros/cons of buying a CJ over a Wrangler. This is a nice looking Jeep, but I can't decide if it would be better to have than a modern Wrangler. I planned on driving a Wrangler often, if not quite daily, and also doing some wheeling on local trails, but intend to keep my pickup, so I would not have to rely on it to take me everywhere I need to go. It has a 304ci and a 3 speed manual.


Ageless, and others with CJ's. Don't forget the main issue with the CJ-5 and older CJ's. The S shaped door opening. Not sure if you are like me, but As I age I tend to get a little thicker. I have a CJ3B and when I am climbing in, or sliding under that steering wheel its close. the contortion is not as easy on my 47 year old body as it was way back when. Now before I lost some LB's it was very close. The CJ-7's and YJ/TJ with the U shaped opening are just a little easier.

My 3B has the T-90 3 spd and its not a problem. The reverse throws me off every once in awhile when I try to shift down right like my TJ. Ride, yes it is rough but hey, its a jeep.

For everyday driving go for the TJ on up. The coils are much smoother. My 3B has the original kidney crusher seats, and I feel every bump in my lane, and across the roadway etc. But God help me, I love it.

I drive the 3B every chance I get for errands and such. But its 46 years old and it is a little cranky starting sometimes. And the drum brakes mean I have to plan my stops about a week in advance. I have kept it as original as I can and I have learned to live with these issues. But it is a different beast than my '02 TJ.

Hope this helps


1964 CJ3B
2002 TJ Sport
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Old 05-26-2010, 12:34 PM   #14
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I love my CJ and would own another in a heart beat..I think they are easier to work on because you have less issues. you dont have the vacuum system like my YJ does, nor computers or injecters or any number of little things that break down and take forever to try and figure out. if its just a toy go cheaper with the CJ and fix it like ya want!!
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Old 05-26-2010, 01:43 PM   #15
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I have to agree with Toshpate, The 3B is easy to work on. Please don't misunderstand what I said earlier. I love the CJ's, especially the flatties. Just pointing out some things. Maintaining the 3B is easy. I have some buddies that have them and help is always phone call away. She is cheap to run. Parts are plentiful and not expensive at all.
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Old 05-26-2010, 10:16 PM   #16
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I have a 1972 CJ5, and it has the original 304 V8 with the T15 3 speed. The 304 was a factory option starting in 1972 and it was coupled with the T15 from the factory. The T15 tranny was the heaviest available for the CJ with an 8. If you are looking for a great trail rig and fun machine to drive...you found it. I use mine in the Jeep Jamboree. I also own a '95 YJ and a '97 TJ. If you are looking for a daily driver, the CJ is far from being a nice road handler from what you are used to. I'm more of a YJ guy for a daily driver, my wife drives the TJ. Toshpate and Tahoe are right...old school is a blast...
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Old 05-26-2010, 10:57 PM   #17
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Thanks guys and gals.
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Old 06-07-2011, 07:37 PM   #18
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Isn't it amazing how much you have done in a year.
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Old 06-07-2011, 08:12 PM   #19
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Isn't it amazing how much you have done in a year.
The path to enlightment has been long and frought with busted knuckles, and bank accounts...
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Old 06-07-2011, 08:17 PM   #20
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Isn't it amazing how much you have done in a year.
He still got stuck working on one.
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Old 06-07-2011, 08:50 PM   #21
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He still got stuck working on one.
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Old 06-07-2011, 10:38 PM   #22
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Quote:
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He still got stuck working on one.
I bet Josh wishes he had one after you get yours done.

I would really like another.
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Old 06-08-2011, 07:30 AM   #23
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I bet Josh wishes he had one after you get yours done.

I would really like another.

He has a really nice rig. It drives and stops nice. That part is almost impossible to reproduce on a cj.

I do like mine a lot. When I finish it will be the nicest it has been since the 70's for sure...really nicer than new.
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Old 06-16-2011, 04:07 PM   #24
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Nobody,s mentined the main thing:that 304 will scat!The torque is really cool!

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