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Looking at a 79 CJ5

Discussion in 'Intermediate CJ-5 and CJ-6 Tech' started by grumpy2, May 16, 2007.

  1. May 16, 2007
    grumpy2

    grumpy2 Member

    Royal Oak
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Messages:
    58
    I may be going to check out a 79 CJ5. Its a 6 cyl, 3 speed and thats all i know about it. Were these good or bad years ? Did some have better axles then others ? Thanks

    Grumpy
     
  2. May 16, 2007
    2pwrlftrs4u

    2pwrlftrs4u Member

    Fairbanks, AK...
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2005
    Messages:
    284
    tons of info in the tech section and also if you use the search fucntion. just way too much to try to list for you. good luck
     
  3. May 16, 2007
    grumpy2

    grumpy2 Member

    Royal Oak
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Messages:
    58
    What I meant is what are the problematic areas on these. Ill be sure to check out the tech section. Thanks
     
  4. May 16, 2007
    Strider380

    Strider380 Can I have a zip tie?

    New England
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,109
    I might be slightly off, but in my opinion the rear axle is less desirable then that of a pre 76, the front hubs are weaker, the engine is more complicated and harder to troubleshoot (which dosn't matter if everything works!), and the angle of windshield is more like a wrangler then a cj5. And you don't get the cool tool box under the pass. seat.
     
  5. May 17, 2007
    grumpy2

    grumpy2 Member

    Royal Oak
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Messages:
    58
    Went to look at it yesterday. The fiberglass body really scares me. No reinforcing behind any bolts. Nothing holding seats or belts in other then fiberglass..

    Even so it was in pretty nice shape. Sure some of the body mounts will need attention and a lame body lift would have to come out but my kid and I are still considering it.

    I poked thought the Tech section here and it stops around 75. What I'm trying to find out is what trans and transfer case is in the thing. One other thing that struck me as odd was chrome center caps over the front wheel hubs. Shouldn't it have manual hubs. Its not Quadratrac since the transfer case has 2 high. Thanks

    Grumpy
     
  6. May 17, 2007
    timgr

    timgr Jeepin' Nerd Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
    Messages:
    20,002
    Only automatics came with Quadratrac, and no factory CJ-5 ever came with an automatic. You don't have to have locking hubs - prior to 1975, hubs were a dealer-installed aftermarket accessory only, and after that were only optional. Hubs may give you a slight improvement in fuel economy, and may save wear-and-tear on the front axle, but in 2WD the axles are freewheeling anyway, so even that advantage is probably minor.

    Look at www.jeeptech.com for drivetrain options and a short article on each component. If it's a 3-speed, it'll be a T-150, Dana 20 TC, Dana 30 front and AMC 20 rear. Gear ratios are 3.54 std, 4.10 opt IIRC. IIRC the 232 was gone by '79, so it's either a 258 or a 304.

    Inspect the frame carefully - the boxed frames will rust from the inside-out, and frame rust is much more common than on the earlier C-channel frames, for obvious reasons.
     
  7. May 21, 2007
    grumpy2

    grumpy2 Member

    Royal Oak
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Messages:
    58
    Thanks for the link and info.

    Today I'm going back to inspect the frame much closer and if all is well bring it home. It will be for my wife to cruise around town. She hates how tall my commando sits. The CJ should work out nicely for her.

    Once home im sure ill have lots more questions. Thanks

    Grumpy
     
  8. May 21, 2007
    Sledgehammer

    Sledgehammer Sure, I'll try it

    Ellery, Il
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    343
    Good luck then.
     
  9. May 21, 2007
    JeepTherapy

    JeepTherapy Sponsor Sponsor

    Negaunee, Michigan
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    Messages:
    699
    I have a late CJ5 and an intermediate. I prefer the straight up windshield of the intermediate. But that certainly wouldn't stop me from buying another late. One day I may swap an intermediate windshield frame on my late.

    I think the drive train on the late is as good as any offered in the past. Many say the AMC 20 is a turd. But I think it has a lot of potential. Flanged axles, some welding and perhaps a truss if you really plan to abuse it. The gear ratios aren't the best for off road, not bad for on road. The three speed is an OK trans. Lots swap for a 4speed. I have a T-18 that will be going in mine. The 258 was a great motor, the 304 V8s pretty under powered for an average V8. I have a 304 in one and a 360 in the other. The 360 is probably more power than needed.

    The late jeeps are a very street able jeep in stock trim. The late 5 is a little more stable as the frame is wider in the rear moving the leaf spring mount points further out on the axle. It should have factory front disk brakes. Might even have power brakes/steering.

    I have fiberglass on my intermediate and steel on my late. I think the seat mounting is stronger on the fiberglass than it would be on the late just due to the rust issues. My factory seatbelt mounts on the late are completely rotted. There has been a lot of discussion here on fiberglass VS steel bodies. I would want a steel body if I was doing a restoration and fiberglass if I were doing a driver. Right now both my jeeps have the seats and harnesses mounted to the cage.

    The frames on the late collect mud in the low spots. Rust along the frame where the transmission skid plate is mounted is very common. Frame breakage along the spring shackle mounts is also common. The body mounts are also prone to rot where they hold moisture.
     

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