I have a '78 that I plan to drive to work everyday once I return back to the States and have some time to work on it.
How hard is it to add A/C to a CJ5? =) As much as I don't want it, when I occasionally drove it last year in the Texas summer, it was a little uncomfortable even with no top/doors.
I've debated whether I should look for a beater just for work and keep the CJ in the garage. I've seen some Honda Civics and some old pickup trucks on Craigslist for under $2000. Except that is $2000 that I could spend on the CJ and will seriously slow down progress with it..
If it were me I would get a cheap beater to DD while you bulld up the CJ to the point you want it. That way you can take your time doing mods and don't have to take short cuts so you can drive it to work on Monday.
Drove one 10 miles /day for years.
also drove it on 875 mile trips (one way) several times per year. No real issues...
Once you have fixed the problems induced by age/wear and previous owners it will be as reliable/dependable as any other vehicle.
...a well prepped, well driven, vehicle should do well in any terrain, including the highway.
Carburetors became obsolete during the last century... do what ever it takes to get fuel injection...It makes bigger grins off road.
I feel your pain about the heat during the summer. A bikini top is cheap and keeps the sun off at the red lights. Makes the jeep comfortable in the summer and literally takes 3 minutes to remove. It's also cheaper than ac.
When you are looking for an opinion of whether to DD a rig you are going to get about half and half on the yes and no's.
Bottom line you know your rig. I DD my 88 GW and will drive it cross country in a heartbeat. But I know the truck inside and out, I have alot of blood actually invested in the truck (effin' rusty suspension bolts!), and I am constantly making sure the driveline is in good shape. So I know what my truck can do and what I can expect from it. So you are the best judge as to whether your rig will make a good DD as everyone here can only speak on the reliability of their own rigs.
I personally would DD a cj in a heartbeat. I just bought my Fiancee a CJ7 that I am hoping to replace here 92 altima with. If you decide to DD that 2k you would spend on a newer car you could use to invest in things like a 4.0 head conversion(Im assuming you have a 258), electric radiator, HEI, MPI/or GM TBI, and pull an ac out of a junkyarded CJ. All of which are projects that can be accomplished individual with minor down time on your truck and would be very useful for a DD truck IMO
Just my .02 I have nothing better to do in my free time here than plan out my next project and that long post are just my own conclusion dont flame me
I agree with "ThisGuyUKnow". We got our CJ7 about 2 1/2 years ago and it wasn't very reliable because of all the worn parts. But with some steady persistance and a lot of work, I'm comfortable sending my wife to Florida (about 500 miles one way) by herself. Of course, since it IS a nearly 25 year old vehicle, I'm crawling around under it from time to time checking for new leaks, loose bolts, and other potential problems trying to catch them before they become a problem. As long as you're not afraid of working on it, it will be just as reliable as any other well maintained 25 year old plus car.
Joe the pumpman
- Once you've changed every single wear part, it really runs pretty doggone good!
There will be hiccups! I got ****y one day and decided on a night highway trip to use my GWs foglights instead of my brights and I completely fried my headlight wiring. The fog lamps had a bad ground and the heat at up my main feed off of the solenoid. Luckily it was a two minute fix with some crimps, connector, electrical tape.
I'd keep a tool box loaded with goodies and strapped in your cargo area if I were you. Check your url and other fluids regularly. Stick your head under the car every other week or so if for nothing other than to say yup those are car bits. Be vigilent in looking out for rust and you should be good. There is no reason why a 78 anything cant be as reliable as a 92 civic. My dad DDs a 77 Celica.