I had a CJ-5 ('73 304, soft top, 4.27s), and a CJ-6 ('75 258, 3.73s, hard top) as a daily driver for many years. I drove the CJ-6 on the CA 405 freeway from Santa Monica to Irvine for a year; I went at super-legal highway speeds, and I have the speeding tickets to prove it. I drove from LA to the Grand Canyopn and back many times, and to the desert and back regularly.
They are fine on the highway if not radically modified and if all the components are in good condition. If your Jeep is scary on the highway, either something is broken or worn out, or you need to rethink your tires/wheels/suspension choices.
Mine only goes 55 as a top speed and it is very stable but I did A LOT of work to get it that way. If gearing would allow me I'd go 65 ish in summer on the freeway. I've even jumped it a few times and it handled that well.
Who ever said less is more never owned a jeep.
I commute 90 miles daily in my 86 CJ7 average 70 Mph. Sometimes I push it to 75, but I've never been much beyond that. It really starts to get squirrely above 75. It's very happy at 70 though.
5.3L vortec from a 01 chevy tahoe
D44 with 2.73's
4 inch lift with 33 inch duratrac's
20 mpg at 70 Mph or 22 mpg at 60 Mph
My only complaint is that the PO installed a 1 inch shackel lift which means that the castor is off and the steering doesn't return to center. So it wanders a bit too much for my taste. I'm planning on reinstalling stock shackels and installing a 1 inch body lift to make up for it, but I haven't gotten around to that yet.
my experience is so: I have bought my car with a big lift;
that was a danger; drive the car in this situation was the same as drive a boat on the road;
I have change immediately my springs with original springs and that have given an totaly other car; today, can I drive my car at 110 km/h without danger: straight on the road and stable (over it is not possible while the engine can not);
So, be carefull when You change the caracteristics of Your car: when You choose a big lift, You change all angles of Your front axle and Your direction and this is not god for the stability
I built my Jeep to be an all around driver and to go wherever i need it to go. It WILL go fast if i want it to but that is not what i built it for. It IS a Jeep not a damn sports car. I had it up to 80 or so once to just see how it would drive. The kid in me would like to run it down the strip just once to see what it would do. Normally it will not see over 50-60mph. I have several other vehicles if I feel the need to go fast but I am not afraid to embarrass a high school kid in his rice rocket from stoplight to stoplight if the urge hits me.
I dont have a speedo, but judging by the wind speed, time to distance ratio, and the reaction of all the fart can civics behind me on the way to work, I'd say I don't I over 40. 45 down hill… maybe. So no, I don't think I have ever sped in my jeep.
I can cruise comfortably at 55 drinking my morning coffee and smoking a cigarette. 65+ gets to be too much work, and not relaxing any more.
Add a 30 MPH cross wind, and I get the heck off of the highway and onto a back road.
78 CJ7.. 258.. TH400/Dana18.. SOA/stock YJ springs.. 35" General Grabbers.. Waggy 44s.. 4.88 gears...Spartan/Lockright...Fiberglass front to rear