CJ5, CJ7 ? - 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 12-15-2000, 01:03 PM
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CJ5, CJ7 ?

Ok I'm new to the Jeep community. I'm looking into buying my first CJ and I'm wonder what the differences are between a CJ5 and a CJ7 are. Any info would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Don

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 12-15-2000, 01:29 PM
 
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Re: CJ5, CJ7 ?

With 76 and up CJ5's they are 10 inches shorter in the door area than CJ7's. That's it. Everything is pretty swapable form the 5 to 7 but the 5 doesn't have room for an automatic tranny. My CJ5 is great but it would be nice to have a little extra leg room. Thank god for the tilt steering column.
CJ5's before 72 were also three inches shorter than 76 and up years in the fender area.

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 12-15-2000, 04:30 PM
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Re: CJ5, CJ7 ?

Which CJ to buy is going to be a hard call that only you can make. A lot of the decision depends upon what you want to do with the jeep.

As the last poster stated, the 7 is longer than the 5. The 5 was changed in 1972. Jeep added 3" to the length to make room for the bigger motors. (I-6 258, V8 304) The length stayed the same until the end of the 5 in 1983. The 7 has always been the same length.

I have a 1978 CJ5. I like the size because it is easy to turn around out on the trail if I decide to retreat. Where I live muddy trails and sand dunes are the mainstay of 4 wheel'n. Most important to me is the classic line of the 5 with the "S" curve of the door area. The 7 is more squared.

The down side of a 5 is the lack of space inside. If you want to rock crawl the shorter wheel base is more prone to tip over backwards when climbing at a steep angle. The hard core rock climbers are stretching the 5 to get a little extra length (more like a CJ6), buying a 7, or going for the big prize- a Scrambler (CJ8). The Scrambler does have some overhang issues with the rear, but that is another debate.

In any event, if this is your first Jeep I would look for a 1976 or newer rig. After market parts are more plentiful and the frame is boxed. This gives you less problems with cracking. The 1970 and 1971 Renagade was also boxed but they are hard to find. The 1972 to 1975 CJ's with V8's were prone to frame cracking around the front body mount area.

If you want a V8, the best prize in a 5 is a 1979 with the factory T-18 4 speed. This is the only year that Jeep offered the 304/T-18 combo as a factory option. The 258/T-18 combo was the normal factory 4 speed option offered. The 1977 to 1979 T-18's have the lowest granny gear (6.32), the others where taller (4.02).

Pick which length Jeep you want based on your intended use, then look for one that has a good body and frame. Of course, the more "goodies" on it for the buck is a plus.

Good Luck!
Kriss

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 12-15-2000, 05:24 PM
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Re: CJ5, CJ7 ?

I would add just one comment to a very complete post:

Your decision could be affected by how much and what type of street driving you do. If you spend most of your time off road, this is moot. If you spend a lot of time on surface streets the short wheel base is tolerable. If you spend most of the time on freeways the longer wheel base will help you track straighter and keep the thing on the road. If you spend any time at all on the road, especially on the freeways, I would recommend a CJ7.

I love the look of a built CJ5. I saw some this summer on the Rubicon that had 35's and were very 'tight' or 'sick' as my 11-year-old says.



-raymo
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 12-15-2000, 08:18 PM
 
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Re: CJ5, CJ7 ?

A couple other things to consider, the cj-5 doesn't really have a hard top avilable, pretty much just soft tops. CJ-7's hard tops were factory options and are still in production. Also another jeep to consider is the yj, the frame is much stronger, the body is galvinize and less pron to rust, the 4.0 is a kickin engine and is much easier to run if you are new to mechanics, less problems.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 12-16-2000, 12:23 AM
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Re: CJ5, CJ7 ?

I run a CJ5, and I hate the short wheelbase. I personally don't think it has any advantages over to 10 inch longer CJ7. A longer wheelbase makes a vehicle more stable, and if you do steep up and down hills, it is a lot more stable. I spent a lot of time with either the front or rear wheels off the ground, when we went to Moab last April. As a side note, I feel CJ7's are also to short, and feel the best wheelbase falls somewhere between 100-110 inches.

Thanks, Ray

post #7 of (permalink) Old 12-16-2000, 04:43 PM
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Re: CJ5, CJ7 ?

Jeeper99xj has a good point. Depending what your need is, the YJ may be the way to go. If you do a lot of freeway miles, it is a more comfortable ride. I use my 78 CJ 5 as a trail rig. My other car for driving around town is a 94 YJ. Parts are plentiful and it can be built into a good trail rig.

Good Luck!
Kriss

post #8 of (permalink) Old 12-16-2000, 08:13 PM
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Re: CJ5, CJ7 ?

The axles were wider in the CJ7 in the early 80's model. I think in 83 and later. This makes them handle a lot better on the pavement.

TexasJeep
post #9 of (permalink) Old 12-17-2000, 09:31 AM
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Re: CJ5, CJ7 ?

Yes, but the changeover year was 1982 for the widetrack axles, 1981 and under had narrow track, but the CJ-5's never came with wide tracks.

I'd stick to a CJ-7. The later 70's are easily found, although check for rust on them, especially by the gas tank on the inside of the frame. The 80's CJ-7's are nice due to the wider axles, but watch the trannies that came with them, look for a straight transmission shifter, not a curved one.

CJ-7's are nice beacuse you can get anything for them, and usually cheap.

A YJ ('87-'95 Wrangler) is a nice jeep, but watch out for the later 80's 5-speeds, they were junk and very expensive to repair WHEN, not if, they break.

JEEPN
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