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post #3 of (permalink) Old 03-22-2001, 02:03 PM
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Re: what is a 65 CJ5 worth?

A '65 would not have a V6 from the factory, they weren't introduced until '67. I doubt that the original mileage is really 33K. A new soft top will run about $450, and new tires cost what they usually cost. See how the steering is, since this is one of the first things to go on an old CJ. Was it converted to power? Does it have the original with the straight pipe looking column and the steering box on the firewall? If it has the old manual steering it won't like tires that are much wider than stock. Which were skinny. They were 7.00X16. If it doesn't need paint, I would say $2000-2500 if the engine shows good compression and the mechanicals are good. If not, $1000-1500. The Jeep should have a T-90 transmission, which is a three speed with an unsynchronised 1st gear. If it doesn't grind going into 2nd or 3rd and doesn't pop out of gear or leak too much, it is in good shape. These trannys are super easy to rebuild. The transfer case is the Spicer/Dana 18 and it should have twin sticks, although single sticks started to show up in the late '60's. The S18 is a rather noisy transfer case, but if it is really noisy then the intermediate gear bearings may be bad. You can change them without removing the transfer case from the jeep. You just take off the bottom cover and drive out the intermediate shaft. The jeep may also have an overdrive, which is a valuable item. If it does you will have an extra stick next to the transmission shifter. Toward the dash is the overdrive position. Mine has a shift knob with the Warn logo on it. Warn used to make them but sold the tooling to advanced adaptors who sell them now for about $1100. It allows you to split all the gears. It bolts in to the back of the transfer case. It alone is worth over $500 if it is in good shape, and they are rebuildable. If it has a PTO winch, these are also worth money and sell from $300-1000 depending on condition.

You will want to check for rust. It most often shows up in the body mounts first. They are a hat channel with strips of oak inside, and they tend to collect water. Also check the toolbox under the passenger seat. And the gas tank under the driver's seat. They discontinued that around '66 or '67, I think. The drivetrain will be a closed knuckle Dana 27 in front and a Dana 44 in rear, probably with 10" drums all around, although some had 11" drums and the drums from a J-10 truck or Wagoneer will bolt right on.

Check the frame for excessive rust and cracks. A little surface rust can be cleaned up easily with a wire wheel in an angle grinder. I recommend POR-15 for frame paint.

I paid $1000 for my '55 with a good running engine and peeling paint, 11" brakes, and good tires, but loose steering. I drove it 65 miles home and proceeded to strip it down to bare metal and restore it. I am almost done. I have sunk over 2K into it, but I added stuff like a Rancho suspension kit, new seats, a new bestop, a PTO winch, an Overdrive, rebuilt the steering, put in new brake lines and master and slave cylinders, rebuilt the front axle bearings and seals, and I need to do the rear pinion bearing. The new British Racing Green paint job looks fabulous, and the electrical is almost done.

The old CJ5's will go amazing places in stock condition. The pre-71 frame is really flexy by design and it does a good job of keeping all 4 wheels on the ground. Mine really goes with the V6, and it only weighs 2200 pounds!


Hillsboro, OR
1955 Willys CJ5 Buick 225 V6 160HP 270ft-lbs, T90 trans, Warn OD, PTO winch, Spicer 18 T Case, RS9000's, Dana 25F/ 44R,
5.38:1 gears, 11" brakes, Bestop Supertop, Hurculiner
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