Question: I am about to purchase my first Jeep - Off-Road Forums & Discussion Groups
Jeep-Short Wheelbase All discussion of short wheelbase Jeeps: CJ, TJ, YJ and JK

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 08-01-2003, 11:46 AM
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Question: I am about to purchase my first Jeep

I am new to this post and I am about to buy my first jeep. I have the choice between two rigs and I would like to have your opinion on what will be a better rig for street (local) and off-road excursions. The choices are:

1974 CJ-5 - 304 v8 rebuilt tranny and gears, fiberglass tub, alot of extras including 3 tops 2 sets of doors. beefy suspension will fit 33's easy with no modification.

1984 Cherokee 2 door- 4cylinder engine, body in good condition, suspension lift, pushing 31 inch tires. Roof rack, trail ready

Both jeeps are running and ready to trail but i want to buy the one that will give me the best mix of trail and road (driving to the trail) that I can get. They are both the same price so the issue is only which one is best. Thanks for your help!
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 08-01-2003, 11:56 AM
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Re: Question: I am about to purchase my first Jeep

Stay away from the Cherokee with the 4 cylinder. You will never be satisfied - that 4 really is only good for cruising straight flat roads. The CJ5 with the 8 cylinder is a better setup- but if you are not familiar with Jeeps I would give that setup a lot of respect. Short wheelbase, higher off the ground with a lot of power can mean flipping if you are not careful and don't respect the power you are able to produce. Good luck.

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 08-01-2003, 11:58 AM
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Re: Question: I am about to purchase my first Jeep

They are both going to give you lots of joy and lots of fits...the 304 is a good reliable motor if taken care of. The 4 popper in the XJ is a dog...you will hate it by next week.

Think about the tops...with the 5 you can go topless with the XJ, you can cut the top off, put in a sun roof or never go topless.

The 5's are prone to rust on the frame (as most Jeeps from that era are) the XJ has no frame.

Take a long look at them, you will have to decide which one YOU think looks better...

How much camping gear do you need to haul? the XJ will have more room, but it is easier to get to your stuff in and out of the 5 (if you have the top off).

I could go on for a while...YOU have to decide which one fits you and your lifestyle better...how they perfom on and off road is up to you, how you drive them and how you build them has everything to do with how they perform.

I'd get the 5.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 08-01-2003, 12:08 PM
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Re: Question: I am about to purchase my first Jeep

I would say go with the CJ5. I have had 2 of them. I liked them both and they were lots of fun but you really need to check the framerails for rust. Also before buying my latest Jeep (82 CJ7) i considered a Cherokee. First off they are expensive to lift and require lots of fender trimming to even fit 33's. Also the option of a 6cyl is nice, but i wanted a V8 so i can make it up hills without struggling. There are a couple of drawbacks from the CJ5 though- No power steering is not fun with big tires, they are easy to roll over so you have to be careful driving them, and drum brakes. But it all depends on you. Do you want AC and shade or do you want the wind through your hair and the sun on your back? Its your decision but i would buy the 5
post #5 of (permalink) Old 08-01-2003, 03:00 PM
 
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Re: Question: I am about to purchase my first Jeep

Fill out your user profile! It lets us all know more about you a nd where you are. You will get a better response, and it will make us feel like we are talking to a real person. It helps really...........Welcome to the board. [img]images/graemlins/burnout.gif[/img]
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 08-01-2003, 05:23 PM
 
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Re: Question: I am about to purchase my first Jeep

Here are my thoughts:

XJ
I would guess that you will not like the 4 popper
Should drive better on the streets
Lifts are expensive and more difficult to install than the CJ-5
You will have to cut the fenders to fit 33s. 32s will probably rub without cutting
With a lift and 33s, will perform very well off-road
XJs do not have a frame.
Bigger than the CJ, fits more gear
XJ will have to be smogged every two years (By California standards, which are usually more stringent than other states).
It is just another Jeep that will look like everyone elses in town

CJ-5
The V-8 is a lot of fun in the little Jeep
Will not drive as nice as the XJ
Need t be careful with the power or you can lose control quickly with the short wheel base
As of next year it will not have to be smogged. (again per CA standards)
Performs well off-road, even without a lift.
You will have a Dana 20 transfer case and a Dana 44 rear axle
You will want to upgrade to disc brakes in the front. Pretty easy to do.
You will want to upgrade to power steering. Really easy to do.
Space is at a premium
Lower DMV fees.
Open top fun
Not a dime a dozen
Pure cool factor

As you can probably tell I vote for the CJ5.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 08-01-2003, 08:24 PM
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Re: Question: I am about to purchase my first Jeep

Maybe I'm not the best one to answer seeing as how I tend to buy cars on impulse based more on their "cool factor" than mechanical condition, but is it really a decision when you can take the top off one? The CJ for sure.
post #8 of (permalink) Old 08-01-2003, 08:30 PM
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Re: Question: I am about to purchase my first Jeep

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post #9 of (permalink) Old 08-01-2003, 09:12 PM
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Re: Question: I am about to purchase my first Jeep

Don't do either. Shop around more and find something you are sure you like and want. Don't leave it up to us to pick a vehicle for you. I really love XJ's (Cherokee's) but I'd never buy anything older than a '91 because they have a much better engine (4.0 HO). If I were to buy a CJ I'd get something newer. I'd also get a CJ-7 or 8 because of the larger size. I drive a CJ-5 now by the way and I wish I had more room. But at the same time I love it. So what you should buy is up to you. Whats the rush? Wait a little, shop around a little, and make sure you're the one who's satisfied.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 08-03-2003, 06:22 AM
 
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Re: Question: I am about to purchase my first Jeep

My thought is that they are both to old for your first Jeep. But if you are on the fence (you like both of them) I would go with the CJ5. If It is as good as you say and the frame is not damaged (bent rusted torn ect...) It will hold its value a lot better then the Cherokee.

Do you have a daily driver? If you are going to use it as one, drive the CJ5 around the block a couple of times and see if you can handle it on a daily basis. Take notice if it likes to change lanes on the highway during a heavy stop. My thought is that a CJ7 or a YJ may feel a little more stable.

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