1975 Jeep CJ5 - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 12 Old 09-28-2010, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
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1975 Jeep CJ5

This is kind of a sad story.
I have always wanted a CJ5. Like, ever since I can remember. One day, I was driving down the road and sure enough--big, bold, and beautiful, there sat a 1975 CJ5.
I was in shock and awe.
I called the guy up, and he whipped on over there so we could look at it. it seemed like a dream.
1985 4.2L 258, T18, Dana 300, Dana 44s with 5.42, fully customized.
I had my doubts, but to me, they were nothing, because if the Jeep pulled through, it would have been a cheap and easy couple of fixes. The valve cover leaked in the back and the block made a strange noise. He said it was some flapper deal on the exhaust and even gave a believable story behind it. So we took it for a ride, him first, then me. As we drove back, which was my turn to drive, I noted that it had a 3 Speed Transmission in it. The T18 is a 4 speed. I was WAY too excited for it to dawn on me, and I let it slip my mind. I stopped at a red light and he told me that I should put it in neutral instead of in first on the clutch because he just installed some super pressure clutch deal and it would wear down the fingers, and if I stayed too long on the clutch, it would slip and the truck would start to move. The way he explained it seemed passable--at the time, anyway.
So, I got back and everything checked out, or at least in my clouded mind it did. I just got out of AIT, I had a few weeks until deployment to Iraq, and I had 20,000 dollars wanting to be spent. So, I did it. I paid 6,000 dollars for the truck. I should have found it fishy that he would not haggle down.
After driving it in those two weeks, I found out quite a bit.
1. Has the stock 1975 3.8L 232
2. Has a T15 transmission
3. Has a Dana Spicer 20 transfer case
4. Does, in fact, have Dana 44s but it looks to be around 3.98 or 4.10.
5. Valve cover did leak, bought a new one, will see if it checks out.
6. Upon removing the valve cover, I found out the noise was become some of the valve's were loose. Had to tighten them.
7. The "sensitive clutch plate" turned out to be a terrible throwout bearing, which eventually blew out.

So, I payed 6 grand for a truck that couldn't hold oil pressure, had ****ty gearing, loose valves, and a bad throwout bearing. it is going to cost me 5 grand to get it to par of where I want it, but I am going to pull through and do it anyway. I already bought the winch.

A few things I don't like is his custom dash, I wish I could find a CJ5 "dash" and make mine normal again. Also all the diamond plating he put on it is ridiculous. No longer have a tailgate. The wiring he did is ridiculous, and I will have to re-wire it. No reverse lights, which I will have to put in, or make something up for it, like a toggle button or something when in reverse. I can make it work.

I kind of wish I could find a beat *** CJ5 for really cheap and combine mine onto it, because I kind of like my rhino lining, or whatever he used, but all the other custom stuff looks kind of ridiculous.

These were right after I bought it.

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post #2 of 12 Old 09-29-2010, 07:39 AM
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I highly doubt that the front axle is a Dana 44 unles someone narrowed one to narrow track CJ width and installed it in yours. No CJs in the US ever had a front Dana 44. Stock gearing in '75 would have been either 3.73 or 4.27.

Looks better than my '75 did when I bought it many years ago, but I would have never paid 1/2 of what you did. There are beaters out there for parts. Scour the forums like this which have classifieds sections and Craigslist and don't be in a hurry.
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post #3 of 12 Old 09-29-2010, 07:39 AM
Carmell CJ
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1978 CJ5 
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Location: Beaumont, CA
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Welcome to the forum, and thank you for your service to this great country !

As well, welcome to the world of owning a CJ. You have 35 years of equipment that has worn out and needs TLC, and 35 years of everyones favorite here, the PO (prior owner).

Just remember it is a CJ, the coolest Jeep still on the road to this day. Take your time with her and read as much as you can here on the forum before you spend money, it will save you big time.

Enjoy and have fun making her your own !

1978 CJ5, let the mods begin.
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post #4 of 12 Old 09-29-2010, 08:09 AM
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1972 CJ5 
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Welcome to the forum! .... and I too thank you for your service to this great country!

It seems we share the same model year jeeps (72-75).

Enjoy the journey your new CJ will take you and this forum is a great resource to answer any question you may have.


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post #5 of 12 Old 09-29-2010, 09:15 AM
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Wooo hooo another intermediate 5!!!! looks great, wish mine looked that good... or was in one piece even... what size tires are those????

... I guess I'm gonna have to fix that too…….

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2005 Wrangler X 4.0/6 speed, Dana 30/Ford 8.8--4.88--Eaton E-Lockers, 35" MT/R, Smittybilt bumpers/rockers/winch, SonicFab tire carrier, RE 3.5 springs, Zone 1.25 BL, FullTraction 3 link upper rear, RE super flex lower rears, UCF ultra high skid and lo/pro mount, brown dog mml.

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post #6 of 12 Old 09-29-2010, 10:30 AM
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1974 CJ5 
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Buyer beware. I'm sorry you were played, but honestly, you should have done your homework. The whole T18 4 speed mistaken for a T14 3 speed (which is what you more likely have, the T15 was behind V8's) is really inexcusable. It sounds like the seller was a believer in PT Barnum's theory that there's a sucker born every minute. Lesson learned the hard way.
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post #7 of 12 Old 09-29-2010, 10:56 AM
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1976 CJ3B 
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That's rough. But at least you have the excuse now to make it exactly how you want it to be.
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post #8 of 12 Old 09-29-2010, 01:21 PM
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1977 CJ7 
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welcome: take advice and read as much as you can on this great forum. there are some really smart people on here and some cool pictures.
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post #9 of 12 Old 09-29-2010, 08:17 PM
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Diamond Plate, gods answer to covering up rust on CJs. I would be leery of what all that diamond plate is covering up, since those are the areas that are prone to rust on CJs.
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post #10 of 12 Old 09-30-2010, 08:19 AM
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1980 CJ5 
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First, thanks for your service to our country! Is it just me, or do the seats look really high? I like what was done with the black around the top of the tub. Thats a lot of lift for a 5, check your drive shafts for wear marks from binding.
5 grand sounds like a lot, so Im guessing that would be having the work done, and not doing it yourself. Theres jeep clubs all over, I'd look for one close to get some help, and figure out how to do it myself.


1957 WILLYS pickup,
1973 J 4000,
1978 CJ7 DD.
1979 CJ7 360, TH400/Quadratrac.
1979 J20
1980 CJ5 trail Jeep.
1983 CJ7
1989 YJ the CJ to YJ.
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post #11 of 12 Old 09-30-2010, 02:48 PM
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1981 CJ5 
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Looks pretty cool to me.
The problems dont seem too bad. My current CJ5 was a mess when I bought it. It sat behind a barn for 6 years. Every electrical was shot, wiring was jerry rigged, and a mess. Bad brakes, fuel system, bearings, stearing, etc. Literally nothing worked.

And I still probobly paid too much, but I love it more then anything...
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post #12 of 12 Old 09-30-2010, 05:34 PM
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1978 CJ7 
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Welcome !
And I agree with most everyone. No matter what you pay, you're going to find problems. Take your time, give her some TLC, and make her your own.

I bought mine in much worse shape for $2,000.
And I dropped $1,000 into wheels and tires, $500 on a lift, $100 on fuse block, $300 on carb swap, and had to replace tie rod ends, sway bar links and bushings, steering stablilizer, and had to have work done to the rear axle ($500 more !).

I've spent countless hours (that I do not regret at all) bringing her back to life. And the more I do, the more I learn. And this message board has been a wonderful source of info for me.

Besides, now you have all the excuses you need to spend as much as you want !!! Just kidding.
Enjoy it !!

'78 CJ7 258 w/ manual tranny
31X15 Wrangler Duratracs w/ Pro Comp wheels
2 1/2" Pro Comp suspension lift and Pro Comp steering stabilizer
Swapped Carter 1bb for an MC2100 and TeamRushed !
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