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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.


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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