Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Lakeland, Florida
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Re: 75 CJ 5 questions
I have a 75 CJ5 with the same engine and tran setup. If the engine and drivetrain run good and the frame is not rusted out then this jeep deserves a closer look. Most body / interior problems can be fixed with some time and effort. As they say, jeeps are built not bought. Of course, if you need it to be driveable right away, that will be your primary consideration.
Mine came from a friend who had kept it in a garage so I didn't have too many high mileage worries, but after two months of steady part time wrenching, I am still replacing/upgrading stuff to make it a reliable daily driver (maybe that is an oxymoron for jeeps? [img]images/graemlins/smirk.gif[/img]). Here is a list of what I have had to replace on mine:
- Oil, Tran, Tcase, Diff Fluids changed
- Tires/wheels (could have kept the wheels)
- Exhaust from engine back (had headers and glasspacks)
- Rear Springs
- Radiator (rusted out from sitting 10 yrs)
- Complete wiring harness (Centech GV-10J)
That has it almost set mechanically. I am still tinkering with the wiring since I am adding a console, stereo, and other stuff.
The pros with the pre '75 are the classic look (it is the last year that is identical to the military version M38A1), you may be able to skip the catalytic converter stuff, in Florida I will be able to register it as an antique in a year or so (2005), and it has simpler systems than the '76-86.
The cons are harder to find bolt on parts for anything earlier than '76 (seats, tops, lift kits, etc.), and it has been on this earth 28 years or more.
So, depends on your goals. If you don't mind doing some wrenching and can afford some downtime after you buy it and have the resources (money, time) to get it built up to where you want it, the '75 with the 304 is a good ride.