CJ-5 or 7 - 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 05-16-2001, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
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CJ-5 or 7

Alright, I'm a TJ guy and know only little things about CJs, such as the obvious, door frames and cargo area stuff. What I want to know is about he mechanical aspects of both. My old man has a '79 CJ-5, but because of the physical aspects of of the 7 i'd rather play with the 7. So if anybody can tell me about the major benefits and major disadvantages of both i would appreciate it. The reason i ask is because i plan on fixing up the CJ-5 or maybe a CJ-7 instead of majorly fixing up the TJ.

97 TJ 4" superlift, 33x9.5 bfg at's
79 CJ-5 stock

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 05-16-2001, 08:55 PM
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Re: CJ-5 or 7

They are the same vehicle except for the wheelbase is 10" longer on the 7

post #3 of (permalink) Old 05-16-2001, 11:09 PM
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Re: CJ-5 or 7

I am curious about that too. I ran into a CJ-5 and I already have a YJ, I really like my YJ but the CJ is already lifted and has a winch, upgraded axles... I'm thinking I'll keep the CJ does that shorter wheel base have any disadvantages.

87 YJ 4.2L 31's TR upgrade, looking for MSD, Rochester 2G Carb
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 05-16-2001, 11:34 PM
I Might Just Know What I'm Talking About
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Re: CJ-5 or 7

Once you get used to sitting ON the back wheels, 5s are great. Its a short wheel base and once you get that firmly planted in mind, the smaller vehicle makes them very capable.

I've had my 5 for ~6 years and have loved every...okay...almost every minute I've owned it. I've had the speedo pegged at 90mph (actually, it was going past 90!), I've driven eight hour 70 mph highway trips without trouble and its always been a dream in the tight trees of Western NC mountains.

If I could have another Jeep with a longer wheelbase, I would do so ONLY if I could keep my 5.


Jeep...need I say more?
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 05-17-2001, 12:28 AM
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Re: CJ-5 or 7

i agree, i like the short wheel base. it has some disadvantages but you can fit in some tight spots.
with some mods you can swap tubs if you are after a certian look. i found a guy with loads of good tubs a few weeks ago-$500 for yj or tj - and $600 for cj.

77 cj5 sorta, V8, 4"lift, 33's, lotsa miss'n metal
post #6 of (permalink) Old 05-17-2001, 08:10 AM
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Re: CJ-5 or 7

My advise is to ride around in a 5 for a while, go around town, stop & get out of it, then get back in. You literally should go by "the seat of your pants" on this one.


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post #7 of (permalink) Old 05-17-2001, 10:12 AM
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Re: CJ-5 or 7

The only real advantage of a CJ-7 over a CJ-5 that I can think of is that if you run into a sever rust problem on a CJ-7 you can do the YJ tub trade,which is relatively in expensive.

post #8 of (permalink) Old 05-17-2001, 10:23 AM
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Re: CJ-5 or 7

the 7 has more room, in the front, and also in the back. if you are 6 ft or taller, as i am, the 7 wins hands down. the 5 will also eat up jeans, getting in and out. lot more room to get in and out. my wife prefers the 7 for that reason. the seven is a little better on the highway because of the extra ten inches. all that being said, i have owned many fives and flatties over the years, and only a few sevens. i love the fives for trails, and sevens for the highway. i feel like a king, cause right now i have both a five and a seven.. life is good...

J ust
E mpty
E very
P ocket
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 05-17-2001, 11:25 AM
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Re: CJ-5 or 7

Yes, the short wheel base has disadvantages ON THE HIGHWAY. My 5 is from the first year they were made. 81" wheel base. It gets a little wandery at anything over 65. Even with the brand new steering components from box to wheel bearings. A steering damper helps a lot. The post-75's with the 4" longer wheel base probably handle a little better. It does get 20 mpg, though. I have Rancho springs and RS9000 shocks and the factory shackle reverse. It rides just fine for a vehicle that only has 5 feet between the front and rear tires. And yes, a 5 is cramped. Getting in and out is interesting, and you can get some severe leg cramps on long trips. (I am 6'2" and 250 lbs) A smaller steering wheel will help.

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
post #10 of (permalink) Old 05-17-2001, 01:40 PM
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Re: CJ-5 or 7

I have a '70 CJ5 and which is before they made the wheelbase longer and with 32 inch mud tires it is actually fine on the highway at 70mph. No one is more surprised that I. A little cramped inside but a slighty smaller steering wheel and a little seat bracket fab work is fixing that. I am going to keep it becuase I like the challenges of it. Older and when it comes to lifts the rear drive line is about 1.5 feet long so that should be fun.

Josh Lavalleur
'70 CJ5 4.3L V6
D27 & D44 axles
T-14 3-speed, D18 XC, Warn OD
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