1. Registration trouble? Please use the "Contact Us" link at the bottom right corner of the page and your issue will be resolved.
    Dismiss Notice

Purchase Advice, Thoughts, Etc.

Discussion in 'Intermediate CJ-5/6/7/8' started by landy, Jan 10, 2012.

  1. Jan 10, 2012
    landy

    landy New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2011
    Messages:
    6
    All, I've been looking at the early CJs (1970-1971) and the intermediates (up to '74 so I can avoid emissions testing). I like the Dauntless V6 and so was looking at the '70s and '71s, but am now leaning more toward the intermediates. Based on what I've read, it has better steering and brakes, and perhaps better parts availability (stock and aftermarket) for the inline 6. The open knuckle Dana 30 probably has a slightly better turning radius than the D27, although I haven't specifically read that. Read the comparisons of the Dana 20 TC vs the D18 - like the overdrive option, but that's not available with a D20.

    Any noticeable highway ride difference with the additional length of the intermediate?

    Any thoughts on the V6 vs I6 comparision, or anything else. Intended use would be light to moderate off roading and occasional street use.

    Came across a '74 with the 258 that's unmodified and seemingly doesn't have any significant rust/rot, so am considering it. Any advice regarding that model?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Jan 10, 2012
    nwedgar

    nwedgar Now with TBI!

    Newnan, Georgia
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2005
    Messages:
    1,773
    Hi Landy...you came to the right place for opinions. Welcome.

    Mine is that the Intermediate's can be a bear to find certain parts for, but they're not insurmountable to keeping the Jeep in good running order. The inline six is a good motor, and as you said, the drivetrain on the intermediates is pretty good for a stock vehicle. If you found a good one that's in your price range you should consider it.

    Be sure to tell us where you're from, maybe edit your personal info so it shows in your posts. It's always helpful.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2012
  3. Jan 10, 2012
    timgr

    timgr Jeepin' Nerd 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
    Messages:
    20,420
    Landy, welcome to the forum.

    The Intermediate Jeeps were really AMC's first response to the CJ models they acquired from Kaiser. Almost everything that was a 'bolt on' component was changed. AS you noted, steering and brakes are better. The front axle was significantly upgraded, with a low-maintenance and sharp-turnng open knuckle design, as well as a slightly wider track, which also helped the turning radius. The Intermediates do have a noticably smaller turning radius than previous models.

    The main reason for the longer wheelbase was not the ride, but instead the need to accommodate the AMC inline six cylinder engines. The V6 is a fine engine, but it's ideal for the early CJ-5s mostly because of its compact design. It's an excellent engine, reliable, durable and lightweight. But mostly it's compact. The early CJ-5 engine compartment is short, and the extra length was needed for the longer engines. Arguably handling and ride improved with the model changes, but it's hard to attribute that specifically to the to longer wheelbase, and not to the steering, axle geometry, new springs, etc.

    Both the inline 6s (232 and 258 cid) are fine engines. Performance of the 232 is comparable to the 225 V6. The 304 V8 is also a good engine. Jeep retired the very dated (ca 1930 origins) F134 4-cylinder with the 1972 model too. Any of these engines except for the F134 will provide good service for daily transport, if so needed.

    The axle ratios also changed in 1972. In 1971, Jeep offered the 3.73 and optional 4.88 ratios with the V6. In 1972, the factory ratios changed to 3.73 and optional 4.27. IMO (in my opinion) both the 3.73 and 4.27 ratios are very streetable, and the unavailability of the overdrive is not much of an issue. But the overdrive is nice for the early model, esp. when the Jeep is equipped with the optional 4.88 gears.

    <added> Expanding a little on what Norm wrote -
    Likely the prime issue with an Intermediate is parts. These Jeeps had quite a few differences from the early Jeeps, and were only produced for four years. Nearly everything except engines and the front axle changes for the complete redesign of 1976, leaving the intermediate platform behind. The usual consumable parts are readily available, like engine and drivetrain parts. But much of the rest of the Jeep is only available from another Jeep, whether a wreck or parts Jeep.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2012
  4. Jan 10, 2012
    69Rustj5

    69Rustj5 :)

    Logan, Ut.
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Messages:
    55
    It's funny how long it took me to figure this out.

    Sent from my Kindle Fire using Tapatalk
     
  5. Jan 10, 2012
    landy

    landy New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2011
    Messages:
    6
    Regarding the scarcity of intermediate parts, other than the fenders and possibly hood, what other parts are different? Are the tubs the same? How about windshields?

    Thanks for the info. Great site, BTW!
     
  6. Jan 11, 2012
    DrDanteIII

    DrDanteIII Now with 95% more running jeep.

    Milford NJ 08848
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2007
    Messages:
    1,294
    If you can't find a source for a part from the guys on this website, then the part doesn't exist.

    I haven't had any real problems finding repair and major upgrade parts for my jeep. Trans swaps, transfer case upgrades, axle parts, brake parts, lift kits, and engine parts are all readily available, or easily adaptable.

    now if you are looking for the more frivioulous bolt on parts like bumpers, lighting mounts, stainless steel doo-dads and the like you might have a hard time.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but the front clip from a 76+ should swap onto an intermediate with little trouble. The windshields are all compatible/interchangable from 55-75, and you could even use a 76+, but you would need a 76+ top to go with the windshield.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
  7. Jan 11, 2012
    timgr

    timgr Jeepin' Nerd 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
    Messages:
    20,420
    We have an explanatory article on the tech pages about the windshields. http://www.earlycj5.com/technical/body-and-frame/earlyintermediate-cj-windshield-frame-comparison/

    Like a lot of other stuff, the windshields changed for 1976. You can install the 1976 windshield on an earlier Jeep with some persuasion. The tops are quite different across the boundary though.

    Yes, the front clips will swap with the later Jeeps. There are some changes though, like lights and such. But the clip will bolt up and fit.

    It's true there are not a lot of aftermarket products specifically for this era. Things that cause the most trouble are minor parts like heater controls, filler neck parts, seat brackets, etc. A lot of this stuff is available for early or late models and not for intermediates.

    The tubs are basically the same as the early models. The late tubs are of course different in everything except external appearance.
     
  8. Jan 11, 2012
    landy

    landy New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2011
    Messages:
    6
    Could somebody confirm that the "H" in the first eight digits of the VIN indicates a 304? The '74 I'm interested in has an inline 6. The owner has had it for a number of years. I suppose a p.o. could have swapped engines, but seems odd to replace the 304 with a 6 - maybe the sixs were more readily available?

    J 4 F 8 3 5 T H

    Is there an engine ID number on the block that indicates the year and displacement?

    Lastly, any significant differences between a '72, '73, and '74?

    Thanks!
     
  9. Jan 12, 2012
    timgr

    timgr Jeepin' Nerd 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
    Messages:
    20,420
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2012
  10. Jan 12, 2012
    nwedgar

    nwedgar Now with TBI!

    Newnan, Georgia
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2005
    Messages:
    1,773
    To clarify Tim's post (I hope you don't mind Tim), you can find the serial number on the passenger side, top side of the frame, near where the upper shock mount is located. Take a wire brush with you it can sometimes be difficult to see clearly.

    I think the 72 had some clutch linkage differences, but I'm not sure.
     
  11. Jan 12, 2012
    timgr

    timgr Jeepin' Nerd 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
    Messages:
    20,420
    Thanks Norm - I certainly don't mind.

    '72s came with a cable operated clutch which was replaced by a bell crank (rigid linkage) in 1973. The cable was very troublesome, and many of the '72s were retrofitted with the bell crank on warranty. Jeep had a service bulletin and kit to replace the cable.

    But this seems like borderline to 'significant.' Certainly there were differences '72-75, but the overall design (frame, body, drivetrain) and available equipment did not change.

    There are some worthwhile '76-79 examples out there too, including the CJ-7 with an automatic, and any CJ '77-79 equipped with the T-18. The '72-75 CJ-5s with the 258/T-18 are also quite a nice combo. <edit> Never mind - you want to avoid newer years due to emissions testing.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2012
  12. Jan 12, 2012
    landy

    landy New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2011
    Messages:
    6
    Tim, your second link on the 6 cylinder engine ID didn't have anything other than my original note. Please repost. Thanks.
     
  13. Jan 12, 2012
    timgr

    timgr Jeepin' Nerd 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
    Messages:
    20,420
  14. Jan 12, 2012
    steve1973

    steve1973 Member

    Nolensville, TN
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Messages:
    65
    My two cents. My first Jeep was a 1972 CJ5, 258 t-14 stock that I purchased in 1984. Aside from the clutch issue Tim mentioned it was my favorite Jeep I owned until recently. To say troublesome is an understatement. The cables would break unexpectedly at the worst time. Then you were stuck with no clutch. Start it in first gear and shift by engine/tranny speed. My most memorable breakage was in Ft Lauderdale and I Had to drive up to College in Melbourne sans clutch. A good and bad memory. From there I owned in chronological order 1977 CJ7 golden Eagle, V8 with all the mods, 1979 CJ7 258, stock, 1983 Scrambler which ended up with a 304, 4.10's 35" swampers, 1967 Wagoneer with the 327 V8 Auto and a 1973 Commando, 304 Auto. The Jeeps went away around 92 as marriage/kids took over.

    Two years ago A friend took me up the mountains of Colorado in a stock 1980 CJ5 and I was bitten by the bug again. When I started to look I knew I wanted an intermediate/stock as possible and preferably a 1973 or 1974 to specifically avoid that clutch cable issue on the 1972.

    I found a 1973 CJ5 258, T-14, 3.73s with 37,000 miles that had been sitting since 1981. Structurally sound but everything electrical was corroded, floors bad, paint bad, etc. As with all Jeeps they are never done, but it is still more fun to drive a Jeep in Progress than most anything else. I put it on the road this past April Fools day an have driven it nearly every day. Not a single breakdown, no AAA phone calls for a tow and smiles ever where we go. Out of them all, this is my favorite. The intermediates are the best of both worlds. Classic style and heritage mixed with modern engines, brakes and steering.
     
  15. Jan 12, 2012
    sterlclan

    sterlclan Member

    exploring the...
    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2009
    Messages:
    3,145
    aside from the piddley stuff (heater control cables in particular) i love my 74 its simple rugged and dependable. not a big fan of the later ones 76 and up (rusty) and an early "may" not be as street friendly its as much personal taste as anything take a few different ones for a test spin and decide what you are comfortable with.
     
  16. Jan 12, 2012
    nwedgar

    nwedgar Now with TBI!

    Newnan, Georgia
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2005
    Messages:
    1,773
    You don't live near Atlanta do you? All of a sudden it seems there are lots of Intermediates on CL. There's what appears to be a really good deal for a 74 AND a 75 for $3,500 total.
     
  17. Jan 14, 2012
    homersdog

    homersdog Tulsa, Ok 2019 Sponsor

    Tulsa, OK
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    Messages:
    1,551
    I can tell you I grew up in a '72 jeep with the 304. It was my dads Jeep. Now I have a 71 cj5 with v6. I have had my jeep (the v6) since I was 17, about 34 years. I drove My dad's jeep for many years too. Everything was and has been pretty much stock on both. The 72 was far and away the best of the two vehicles. the AMC V8 was much more reliable and powerful. The v6 is odd fired and always shaking the jeep to pieces. I would never call the V6 reliable, you just learn to live with them and keep spare parts on hand. The 304 has a lot more power, is easier to work on and is an overall better engine. The improvements AMC made were much needed. The frame was stronger, axles better, and the quality was better. I can also tell you my 71 was made in april 71, when AMC had already made the design changes at the engineering level and the production floor was using up parts from the Kaiser inventory. The number of running changes made on the factory floor during this time will never be known, but for many years I was always finding little differences between how the jeep was suppose to be built versus how it was built. If you really want an early cj5 I would suggest 1969 or before. As far as the clutch, etc the kaiser's have just as many issues as the AMC's, probably more. The clutch linkage on my V6 used to break at least once a year. It uses a little hex bar turned down in to a ball end that activates the clutch for. the ball end used to break off all the time. I would keep a couple extra in the glove box so I could make road side repairs. I ended up making my own out of a tool steel and getting it hardened about 15 years ago, so no problems since. As far finding parts, the drive train is easy, the body parts are still being made in India and the Philippines. The back end of the tub (fire wall back) is pretty much the same as the earlys. Jeep salvage yards always have something for the 72-75 time period. My brother got my dad's 72 when dad passed away many years ago, then he promptly destroyed it.

    one more thing: the 258 is a legendary engine. It is the Rambler engine originally developed in the early '50's and is still being used today- when people talk about the "4.0" straight six in cherokees and other jeep products this is the 258. It is bullet proof and has more power than the 225 v6. And you are certainly able to get part more easily than the v6.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2012
  18. Jan 17, 2012
    jpflat2a

    jpflat2a what's that noise?

    Riverside CA
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Messages:
    7,880

    wow, makes me wonder if you have actually owned and driven a V6......
    shakes the Jeep to pieces ?
    unreliable ?

    I guess you never told my clutch cable ball end adjuster to break every year, since it's the original installed 28 years ago (as well as the cable) you obviously had other clutch problems besides the adjusting ball.

    And you should probably double check the horsepower ratings one more time between the 225 and the 258, just for giggles.
    I'll even let you pick the year of the 258 you would like to compare.
    While you're at it, check the torque ratings as well.
    ( I'm going off of memory on both of these figures, I might be wrong.)

    I will give you credit for admiring the 258 engine.
     
  19. Jan 17, 2012
    a72cj

    a72cj Member

    B.C. Canada
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2004
    Messages:
    55
    I found a superstitious way to solve the clutch cable issues on a 72. After breaking three cables I ordered a batch of three to have spares. Since then it has been five years with no breakage so I still have the two extras.
     

Share This Page

New Posts