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Bob F 09-01-2005 06:19 AM

Am I getting myself in trouble ???
Hello all

I'm Bob, I live in Sherbrooke, province of Québec in Canada. I know a little about mechanics, but I don't want to embark myself into a never ending project of rebuilding a Jeep. (but I admire you guy's who make it...)

I saw a 72 CJ-5, good mechanical condition, with only some body work to do, alternator to change, breaks and that is it.

The price is right, and I'm thinking a lot about it. Are parts (breaks, alternator) still available ??? What can I expect for durability ?? Will it be one hour of road for three hour of mechanics ???

Thanks for reading

Bob in Sherbrooke

mbalbritton 09-01-2005 06:43 AM

Re: Am I getting myself in trouble ???
tough for us to say if it can or can't be on the road witha a few hours of work. I'm gonna start with a no because I don't know what condition ALL the parts are in. If inded it does just need an alternator and brakes, then yes. But you really should give it a good inspection for safety reasons if nothing else.

But a CJ that's not a never ending project..... you may as well be hunting Unicorn! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

Bob F 09-01-2005 07:00 AM

Re: Am I getting myself in trouble ???
By good inspection, what exactly do you mean ???
What should I look for ???

Bob in Sherbrooke

Jim_Lou 09-01-2005 08:23 AM

Re: Am I getting myself in trouble ???
Welcome to the board, Bob!

In Quebec rust is likely a significant problem. The '72 CJs had C-channel frame rails, which don't rust as badly as the later box-section frames. Still, they do rust. Inspect the entire length of both frame rails, paying special attention to the low spots. Also inspect the crossmembers closely, again at the low points especially. And look closely at the rearmost crossmember where it's riveted to the long rails. Look for rust dust around the rivet heads.

Then look closely at the body mounts. Water collects between the rubber donut and the horizontal surface of the frame, and promotes rust. It can be hard to see because it's hidden by the rubber, so take an icepick and poke around.

While you're rolling around under there look at the body stiffeners. They are C-channels or S-channels with the flanges spot welded to the bottom of the tub. They collect muddy water in the bottom of the C and rust through, besides trapping water and rusting where they are spot welded to the tub.

Once you're satisfied that the underside is sound, inspect the body. If it has new, shiny paint, it's a bad sign. Open the hood and look at the area between the wheelwells and the firewall. There's a double thickness of steel in that area that promotes rust.

Open the doors and look closely at the C-channel that runs vertically in the hinge area. It's another area of double thickness steel that rusts out. Then look at the rear fenderwells where they are spot welded to the sides of the tubs.

Really, you should inspect every seam in the sheetmetal. Jeep bodies are relatively crude structures made up of flat sheets with the edges bent over and spot welded to the next piece. They are painted after all the welding is done, so there is no paint between the pieces. As soon as the paint film at the outside of the joint breaks down, rust starts to work between the pieces.

All rust damage can be repaired, although a badly rusted body might as well be replaced. And a badly rusted frame too, for that matter. It's possible to do rust repair and then pretty well rust proof the area, but it's difficult, time-consuming work. Astoundingly expensive to have done in a professional shop.

And if the seller says "I just had all the rust repaired, and it's fine." don't even think about buying it. Unless it was done right it won't last a year. And it almost certainly wasn't done right.

The mechanicals are the common technology of the era. They are simple, easy to fix, and parts are readily available, at least in the States. Getting parts into Canada is apparently a minor hassle, but there are several Canadians on the board who can give you specifics on that.

One area of special concern is the wiring harness. I don't know much about it specifically, but I think it's a pretty crude affair with only a few fused circuits, fuses in strange places, funky looms, odd connectors, and so on.

As for reliability, a CJ IS a high-maintenance vehicle as compared to other vehicles of its era, and particularly when compared to a modern vehicle. A '72 will have points and condensor ignition which will need to be replaced every 15K miles or so, along with the spark plugs. Figure 3K mile oil and filter replacements, and so on.

It's pretty similar to what you would have to do with any vehicle built in the early '70s, but a far cry from the upkeep of a new one.

Bob F 09-01-2005 11:31 AM

Re: Am I getting myself in trouble ???
Thanks Jim !!!

So now I know more about structure...but is there some special things to look at about motor, transmission, and such vital pieces ??

Or should I ride the jeep and if all goes smooth, without banging noises, it must be fine ???

Of course I'll look for leaks of all sorts.


Bob in Sherbrooke

Pete88YJ 09-01-2005 12:08 PM

Re: Am I getting myself in trouble ???
Well, keep in mind you are talking about a vehicle that's 33 years old. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img]

So what you expect out of the vehicle is also important. If you're thinking that you're going to put an alternator and brakes into a 72 CJ5 and have it be just as good as a 2005 TJ from your Jeep dealer in terms of work required and reliability, you're probably going to be disappointed. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]

Now, if you want something that will get you 'into town' a few miles each morning down some country roads, but you won't mind a bumpy ride, and a few niggly issues that will come up, then that may be a bit more realistic. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

So, some idea of what you expect out of the vehicle might be a good way for us to say whether we think you'll be happy with an old CJ.

Just my $0.02 (or $6.74 in Canadian ---- I can never remember the conversion.) [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
Good luck

Jim_Lou 09-01-2005 12:44 PM

Re: Am I getting myself in trouble ???
$0.02 (or $6.74 in Canadian ---- I can never remember the conversion.)

[/ QUOTE ]

Bob, be prepared for some friendly ribbing here. It's been going on for years. Of course, you would get to pick on us, too, except that we have no flaws to make fun of. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

As for the mechanicals, it's typical of the stuff put into light trucks and passenger cars in the early '70s. Or more likely mid- to late-'60s - Jeep was seldom on the leading edge of technology.

Listen for clanking, banging, thumping, clicking engine noises, transmission popping out of gear, whine or rumbling from the wheels or axels. Look for oil in the coolant, froth in the oil, opaque sludge in the master cylinder . . .

Nothing I can think of that would be unique to a Jeep as apposed to a typical 4X4 pickup of the time.

And Pete is exactly right. Your expectations are significant here. No matter what, an old CJ is going to take more maintenance and be subject to more problems than a new vehicle. Heck, a brand new '72 CJ took more maintenance than a buyer of a modern vehicle would ever tolerate. We learn to carry spares of the unreliable bits. I carry a spare starter drive - broke two of them in the past.

LEVE 09-01-2005 12:55 PM

Re: Am I getting myself in trouble ???
...but I don't want to embark myself into a never ending project of rebuilding a Jeep...

[/ QUOTE ]

Hi Bob, welcome to the Forum... and yes... you're in trouble if you don't like to/won't/can't work on the Jeep yourself.

Of course you could take the Jeep to the friendly neighborhood Canadaian Jeep mechanic every time it breaks. But initally that may would cost you an Arm and a Leg (I think US and Canadian exhange rates are about equal in this example) to keep it running.

If you really want an old Jeep... get a good manual, get some tools, a place to work and start becoming a gearhead.

Otherwise, for your own good - buy a Honda or a Toyota.... and have someone else maintain it.

Bob F 09-01-2005 01:04 PM

Re: Am I getting myself in trouble ???
Thanks for the reply

Of course, I'm not expecting this jeep to run like a new. And I dont plan to climb rocks with it. My goal is to have some kind of vehicule to go into easy trail (tractor trail into woods) and a summer vehicule to go to work or simply to take some air (there is no roof and no door on the jeep).

So if I understand you all corectly, I have to be prepare to fix some stuff every now and then, to make good maintenance on everything, and of course I'll have to learn basing mechanics. (that is a goal of this purchase also)

Anything else I should look at ??? What about parts ???
The seller have an alternator, but for breaks, where should I look ??? Is it hard to find ???

Thanks a lot, I appreciate

Bob in Sherbrooke

p.s. 1200$ for a cj-5 1972, what do you think ??

Jim_Lou 09-01-2005 06:43 PM

Re: Am I getting myself in trouble ???
$1,200 Canadian. That's about $150 in real money, right? [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

It would be pretty for a good, sound, pretty much rust-free Jeep. If there's serious rust damage or other mechanical problems it's probably high.

In the states I don't think you'd have a problem finding those parts. Tomorrow I can ask my parts house buddy about the brake parts.

The alternator is the kind of part that a Jeeper wouldn't worry about. If an exact replacement isn't available we would get another and adapt it - a pretty easy job in the overall scheme of things.

I think you're getting a pretty good feeling for what you're getting into. Best way to determine if the price is right it to look closely at a bunch of old CJs and see what they sell for.

Dirt Dog 09-01-2005 08:59 PM

Re: Am I getting myself in trouble ???
Will it be one hour of road for three hour of mechanics ???

[/ QUOTE ]

Well SURE.......................

kinda anyway, thats why we love em'. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

Bob F 09-02-2005 06:26 AM

Re: Am I getting myself in trouble ???

I went to see the Jeep yesterday. The owner gave me a short ride in the woods, and I must admit I was impressed by the capacity of such a small vehicule. (I never rode a Jeep before....) But....

The mechanical condition was good. There was some small things, such as brakes, clutch bearing, no flasher at the rear and some electrical to redo. But the main problem was the body condition. The back of the Jeep was so rusted I could lift it from the frame and I could remove crust of rust easily from everywhere. For the use I intend to make, that is mainly a road vehicule and sometime a trail vehicule, there was simply too much body work to be done.

But now I'm hooked, I'll read this forum and inform myself better, and I'll keep looking for a jeep in better condition than this one.

Thanks to all of you who answered my questions

Bob in Sherbrooke

Jim_Lou 09-02-2005 06:57 AM

Re: Am I getting myself in trouble ???
You did the right thing. A good old CJ will be a rare bird there. You will probably need to choose between a newer Jeep, a restored one, restoring one yourself, or buying from the southern U.S.

Be VERY careful looking at restored Jeeps. The quality of the work is everything.

Junk Yard Genius 09-02-2005 11:21 AM

Re: Am I getting myself in trouble ???
"I don't want to embark myself into a never ending project of rebuilding a Jeep."

I may have missed something here...
But, Is there any other kind of Jeep project? [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wall.gif[/img]

Seriously, the brake parts are all available, but you may have to wait a week for them to come in from the warehouse, as most parts stores won't stock parts much over 15 years old.

Let me know what kind of alternator you have, and I'll provide the upgrade information to use a much better internally regulated alternator. It's a bolt in, you will have to change the connector plug for the alternator.

If you decide you DON'T want to tackle this project, be sure and let us know where this fine old CJ is at!
I'm sure there is more than one of us that will tackle this little beauty!

jdoggmoney 09-02-2005 03:55 PM

Re: Am I getting myself in trouble ???
Look around for a local 4x4 or Jeep club for info and advice too. Welcome to the BBS! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

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