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Unread 03-13-2014, 10:17 PM   #1
COVETLESS
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2006 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Knoxville, TN
Posts: 34
71 cj5 - Is it worth it?

Saw a local ad today for a 71 cj5 3-speed. Just wanted to get some opinions and see if it is worth the asking price of $2500? It is missing doors and the tailgate and also looks like it needs a windshield frame and has mismatched seats. The ad doesn't give many details but says that there is "minimal if any rust".

I know the older model jeeps tend to require a little more TLC than the TJ's and newer. I am an 06 TJ owner and I also have experience working on yj's in the past with buddies but am by no means a mechanic. I put a 2.5" lift kit on my TJ and that is my largest project thus far. This would mainly just be for fun hopping around town and maybe the occasional off-roading. Nothing extreme by any means and no long trips either.

Just looking to get some advice from cj owners and wondering what I should look for and ask about when I go check it out. Is the $2500 a fair price or should I offer lower since it is missing so many parts? I don't want to get into a money pit right off the bat. I don't technically NEED it by any means, but have always wanted an older cj to fix up. Are the cj's all they're cracked up to be or are they more hassle than they are worth?

Thanks for the help!

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Unread 03-13-2014, 11:15 PM   #2
whiskeywiz
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1989 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Buffalo, ny
Posts: 1,047
For my $2500 I would want something that runs and drives and has all the parts. Hard to say without seeing it in person and driving it, but some pics would help.

If you shop long enough, you will know when the right deal comes along and you won't have to ask.

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Unread 03-14-2014, 07:33 AM   #3
COVETLESS
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2006 TJ Wrangler 
 
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Location: Knoxville, TN
Posts: 34
Hopefully this link will work for the pictures. There should be 4 in the album. It's all I have to go on so far. Based on everyone's thoughts, I may be going to check it out this weekend. It's an hour and a half drive so I wanted to get some opinions on the value first before I make a three hour round trip.

71 cj5 album
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Unread 03-14-2014, 08:39 AM   #4
whiskeywiz
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1989 YJ Wrangler 
 
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Location: Buffalo, ny
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Looks like worth a drive. Appears to be rust free? Looks like may have been a frame off judging by all the fresh black paint on the frame which is good.

Lots of room there to work on it and make it yours, (probably start with some seats). If it runs good and motor is clean and no rust I'd guess, (by looking at pics), that his asking price is pretty fair.

I always liked the CJ's but decided on a newer Wrangler when I was shopping. Because of a CJ age you are going to have more wear and tear, (mileage applies to the chasis too, not just the engine)! But judging by the pics I'd guess that the owner addressed a lot of that.

The wrangler also has a bigger wheel base which is a little safer. I paid $3500 for mine and the body was rotted out.

Usually oil all over the engine compartment is a bad sign. But I got a hunch that thing is pretty clean. I would say with all the missing pieces, (doors, tailgate, hardtop, mismatched seats), hopefully he did a restoration and it is rust free to make up for the missing pieces.
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Unread 03-14-2014, 10:16 AM   #5
COVETLESS
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2006 TJ Wrangler 
 
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Location: Knoxville, TN
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Thanks for the input whiskeywiz! I would definitely still be keeping my 06 TJ. This would be more of a moderate use vehicle and something to fix up/work on. I am decently handy when it comes to working on jeeps but I know I still have a lot to learn. It shouldn't be a problem if I have to garage it and do a little work up front.

I figure the tires still look like they have decent life left and the body looks to be in pretty good shape from the few photos I have seen. Can any cj owners chime in on some things I should look for if I go take it for a spin? Are there specific problem areas in the cj's, rust spots to look for, etc.? I am a TJ inline6 owner so I don't know a ton about the older engines and mechanics on the cj's... anything I should look for there besides the oil that whiskeywiz mentioned? Just want to know what to keep an eye out for and inspect if I see it in person. Probably going to give them a call to set up a showing today or tomorrow so any recommendations on questions to ask would be appreciated.

Thanks for the help!
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Unread 03-15-2014, 01:59 PM   #6
COVETLESS
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No CJ Owners with any input? Just trying to get an idea before I make an hour and a half trip to check it out.
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Unread 03-15-2014, 03:08 PM   #7
COVETLESS
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Just got off the phone with the lady who owns the jeep and received a little more info about it. They are selling it because they now have a newer jeep and don't use this one as much anymore. She said the original owner they bought it from would use it for off road purposes and maintained it very well. It has been well taken care of and is very clean. She said as far as she knows, everything is original except for the lift, tires and new starter.

If someone could post the pics without the link, that would be awesome!

SPECS:
- Original 6 Cylinder Engine
- Original 3 Speed Trans
- New Starter
- Unknown Lift Size
- 35" Tires (still quite a bit of life left in them)
- Original axles and differentials (as far as she knows)

PROS
- No Rust
- Always covered or kept under garage or carport
- Never had any engine trouble
- Replaced the starter
- Starts right up with no issues
- Maintained with regular oil changes and tune ups
- Drives great
- Lots of power


CONS (which are mostly cosmetic and can almost all be addressed with some craigslist finds)
- No windshield or windshield frame - just plexiglass mounted on cage (would purchase used)
- No doors (would buy some used soft doors)
- No Tailgate (would purchase used)
- Front Seats are mismatched (keep for the meantime)
- No Backseat (not worried about it)
- Lights wiring needs a little work (can do this myself)
- Odometer stopped working and needs a new one (not sure how many miles are on the engine)
- Original Carb (would keep until able to switch to fuel injection)
- Drum Breaks (should these be converted to disc?)
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Unread 03-15-2014, 03:15 PM   #8
whiskeywiz
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It's not a science. Just go look at it. You'll know!
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Unread 03-15-2014, 04:12 PM   #9
COVETLESS
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Location: Knoxville, TN
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Haha That's what I am afraid of. The body seems to be in such good condition that I might overlook all the missing pieces when I see it. I just want to go in somewhat logically so I don't come out on the wrong end of the deal if I decide to make an offer haha.
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Unread 03-15-2014, 05:13 PM   #10
whiskeywiz
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1989 YJ Wrangler 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by COVETLESS View Post
CONS (which are mostly cosmetic and can almost all be addressed with some craigslist finds)
- No windshield or windshield frame - just plexiglass mounted on cage (would purchase used)
- No doors (would buy some used soft doors)
- No Tailgate (would purchase used)
- Front Seats are mismatched (keep for the meantime)
- No Backseat (not worried about it)
- Lights wiring needs a little work (can do this myself)
- Odometer stopped working and needs a new one (not sure how many miles are on the engine)
- Original Carb (would keep until able to switch to fuel injection)
- Drum Breaks (should these be converted to disc?)
How could you overlook it, you've already identified it? If this is the first CJ you are looking at then don't buy it. Atleast not right away. But still go look at it. Then look at a few more after it. Looking at what else is out there on the market will build an inventory for you to compare it to. After shopping around its value should become apparent to you. If it turns out to be high value then go back and get it. If not then something better will come up.

You think a 3 hour commute is a commitment? LOL. Dude, I was driving from Buffalo NY to Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rochester, Syracuse for my Jeep. MULTIPLE trips over a few months time. Get out there and get your hands dirty.
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Unread 03-19-2014, 07:32 PM   #11
brownbagg
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i was going say no way in hell, but its nice, 2500 is the very top tho. i would say 1800 be a good deal. no i don't like to low ball anybody but 71 model 2500 need to be mint in a garage for what 40 years.

its not a bad deal but its not a daily driver either, you really better like it for 2500. its pretty tho.
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Unread 03-19-2014, 07:56 PM   #12
COVETLESS
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Brownbagg haha! So would you go in offering quite a bit lower since it is missing so much (tailgate, doors, windshield frame, top, etc.)? Like $1000-1500? I'm with you, I don't want to lowball because the body/frame looks to be in good condition but it is missing quite a bit...
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Unread 03-19-2014, 10:26 PM   #13
brownbagg
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that model did not come with doors and tops, it just that year, it just not worth 2500, 1800 is a fair price
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Unread 03-19-2014, 10:37 PM   #14
only in a jeep cj
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I own several CJs and a 03 TJ Rubicon. Been driving and working on Jeeps for more than 20 years. Hard facts: You get what you pay for. This crap that ALL old Jeeps (CJs) are suppose to have rust, drip oil, and drive horribly, etc, etc is either CJ owners justifing their basic lack of care or non CJ owners repeating what they see or read. Truth is if you over pay for a project that is missing half the parts, dump a ton of money into it and it still is junk in the end, don't complain that old Jeeps are rusted money pits. Is this one?.....don't know. While no rust is subjective upon inspection, the bigger picture needs to be viewed. Unlike TJs/LJs that are basically easy to compare in stock form, CJs can really vary over the years with wheelbase and track width changes, multiple engine and transmission combos (from 4/6/and V8 to 3/4/5 speeds and automatics), door and top combos (5 vs 7 doors and soft, half and full hardtops)......meaning, OK , you found this one, but is it what you want. I agree with don't jump into the first one you see. Research and testdrive to educate yourself.
Knowing what I know now, I would only recommend the 82 to 86 CJ-7s as someones first "CJ". Why? Most common for both choices and parts, latest and most refined, most options and upgrades that a lot of Wrangler people don't even realize CJs came with. For example, the later CJs have the same wheelbase as the TJ (94"s), could come with AC, cruise, sunroof, leather, automatic trans, power brakes/steering, full carpeting, tinted windows, etc, etc. Yes, lower production numbers and older age are against you finding a nice CJ compared to a "newer" Jeep, but they are out there. IF your going to own one, and would like things such as a hard top and real doors, why not have one the way you want AND will enjoy it best. I have a 75 CJ6 and with no top and short door openings, and a V8, it drives like a high speed farm tractor. Compared to my 86, with quite interior, hardtop, CD player, easy to drive,so on, I would never know the major difference between them unless I saw and drove both. So going from a TJ background to a bad example of an older CJ, can inadvertently leave you wondering if ALL CJs are like this, they aren't. Go and see it, drive it if you can, inspect it, BUT do yourself a favor and test drive a few more of them. Are they worth it? Absolutely. To have a classic CJ in top condition can be a joy to own and drive. My own Scrambler and even my 86 Laredo have been more reliable than other cars including a Toyota I had. They don't break down every weekend unless you abuse them or have a basket case to start with. But that's true with any older car. If you can do basic things like brakes, oil changes, swapping parts, etc, you can save a ton of cash and remove the financial pain of older Jeep care. You will get to a point where the parts are good and it's just an older "car" and runs and drives fine. Problem is most folks want to spend to least amount they can on an older Jeep, do only what is needed to make it go forward, push it past it;s limits and abuse it off road, and then complain when it breaks down or cost a ton to "fix". Because I didn't fall into that mode of thinking, I have had very good luck with CJs and they have been good to me. And even though I own a TJ, I would still rather drive my CJ and will always own at least one. Keep posting up your findings and remember that cheaper price isn't always the better deal.
__________________
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1975 CJ-6 304 T15 Dana20 30/44 3.73
1983 CJ-8 258 T5 300 30/44 3.31 Looking for full or half hardtop buy or trade
1986 CJ-7 Laredo 4.6 stroker T5 300 30/44 3.31
1986 TJ-7 Trail Jeep project in the works
2003 Inca Gold TJ Rubicon
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Unread 03-19-2014, 10:39 PM   #15
whiskeywiz
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1989 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Buffalo, ny
Posts: 1,047
Negotiating a price based on a couple phone pics. SMH...

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