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I found a 77 cj-5 for 1,800 dollars. lets say if it is total crap, but good body, how much will it cost to replace everything NEEDed to be replaced, like engine, tranny, and how much for the rest, like how much do you all think just right off the top of your head, would it take to get this jeep reliable?

 

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'77 CJ-5s could have a 232 6 cyl, 258 6 cyl or 304 V8. Al were available with the 3 speed T-150 tranny which is ok. The 258 was also available with an optional T-18 tranny which is very strong and has a good low range. They all have the Dana 20 xcase which is a strong unit with a marginal low range. 3.54 were the standard axle gears with 4.09 optional in the Dana 30 front and model 20 rear. Power steering was available. The frame is boxed and front disc brakes were an option also. These are the possibilities assuming someone hasn't already done some swapping after the fact. If it's in decent shape, the frame not rotted, the body not eaten up and straight enough for your taste, and it's running ok $1800 sounds very reasonable. Take a hard look at it and see if it has some of the features you might want on your truck. With one piece axles for the model 20 and the right combo of things already mentioned you have a fairly capable wheeler that can be very reliable. You don't necessarily have to replace anything. Keep in mind that any 24 year old vehicle is going to need maintenance. With what you say you have to work with for a budget it seems that you would have enough to handle some repairs as needed. If you were lucky enough to have found a CJ with the 258, T-18, 4.09 gears, power steering and disc brakes in good shape, just adding the one piece axles, a lift, tires, front hoop to the roll bar, and some recovery gear you'd be jeepin' in style IMHO.

Jeff

Why drive a luxo-box SUV when you can lay in the dirt busting your knuckles under old iron? '77 CJ-5, '64 S2A Land Rover
 

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Reliable is a relative term. To some, reliable means "Leaves me stranded only in the summer time", to me it means jumping in, hitting the key, and trusting it for a drive to Texas and back. My CJ-7 will be reliable in the second respect, but I will have almost $12,000 into it (including new body, frame, all susp. and steering parts, wiring harness, elect and mech outer engine parts (starter/alternator/water pump/radiator etc.) I wanted that level of reliability so that's what I have to spend. I coulda' bought a pretty nice Wrangler for that, but it wouldn't have been a CJ. You have to decide what you want to do with the Jeep, then go shopping for the model that best suits that imediate purpose. Any Jeep can be made into an extreme machine later, but a CJ-2A for a 60 mile daily commute won't cut it! (just an example)

Mike H.
1983 CJ-7 Laredo, Almost ready for paint.
 
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All Jeeps are a labor (and expense) of love. You will NEVER get your money back out of it. The 78 CJ5 that I have had over $9,000 invested in it during the 12 months prior to me taking ownership. I paid $3,500 for the Jeep, the same price the guy paid for it prior to investing the $9,000. (That was about 8 years ago so I'm sure it would cost more than $9,000 today.) The point is you try and get as much as you can for as little as you can, but it is not an investment that gives a monetary return. I however think it gives much more. (It's a Jeep thing.)

A 77 has a bunch of stuff going for it as you have seen from the other posts. If that Jeep were close to where I live, it would already be parked in MY driveway.

Good Luck!
Kriss

 
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