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post #1 of (permalink) Old 06-29-2001, 01:42 PM
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1973 CJ-5: Worth Looking into?

I found a 1973 CJ-5 in my home town that the owner wants to sell. It has 59,000 original miles, and I believe he is asking between $1,400 and $1,500. I am not looking for a competitive rock crawler or mud bogger, I am only looking for something to tow behind my truck when I go hunting or camping, as well as some minor recreational four wheeling. Mechanically it seems pretty sound, but the floor boards and rocker panels are rusted out (due to an unfortunate encounter with shag carpeting during its tenure). Anyway, my question is are there any items I should look out for on this year and model? It does have desirable options: 304 V8, Dana 44 rear end, Saginaw steering, etc. But I've also heard that the frames are suspect on pre-'76 Jeeps. Are the floors and rockers easy to repair, or is a new tub in order? Basically, I'm just wondering if anyone out there has any experience with this particular year and model and can give me some advice. Thanks!

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 06-29-2001, 03:27 PM
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Re: 1973 CJ-5: Worth Looking into?

The main difference on the frames from newer ones is the pre 76 ones aren't fully boxed. They are boxed from the motor mounts forward, and from the rear mounts back a ways. Look around the front crossmember mount on the frame for cracks where they are more common. You can get replacement floors from different places, or make them with some metal.

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 06-29-2001, 06:32 PM
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Re: 1973 CJ-5: Worth Looking into?

Sounds like it'll be a good year for you. Even though the frames weren't as strong, they also didn't hold as much dirt and rust out as much. They had drum brakes front (D30 open knuckle) and rear (D44), so they didn't like water much. The 304 was a good motor, very reliable, and depending on the tranny, it would have had a T-14A or T-15A 3 speed, the T-18 (4:1 first) was not available with the 304. It would have also had the D20 transfer, and 3.73 gears stock or 4.27 gears optional.

I'd get it, the floorpans and rocker panels are available cheap through JC Whitney and other online stores.

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 06-29-2001, 07:51 PM
 
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Re: 1973 CJ-5: Worth Looking into?

having investigated this segment for myself, i'd say... go for it...

if its rusted, i'd offer 1.000,- straight, stressing the fact that it is in bad shape.

the frame thing is no big deal, you can have it boxed cheaply by any better welder...

a cj5 is a nice classic to have...

i like the fact that they are soooo basic,.... as a matter of fact very few things to go wrong there.... and very capable

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 06-29-2001, 09:17 PM
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Re: 1973 CJ-5: Worth Looking into?

as far as the frame goes, look about an inch or two behind the spring mount on the front end. any cracks there will be on the underside, but can be patched with a little welding. They never seem to crack any farther back than that, but may crack all the way in front of the grill as well. i'd go for it. floor and body are easy repairs and the jeep should do well for what you want.


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