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RODDOR 02-24-2003 11:29 PM

Drive CJ5 or CJ7?
I have an opinion question. I have a nice CJ5, it runs and goes down the road. I also have a project CJ7, lots of assembly required. I was going to sell the CJ5 so I could build the CJ7. I wanted the CJ7 to get a hardtop, more interior room for the kids, and a full door opening. The CJ7 has wide axles. The CJ5 has narrow axles. Anyway as money and lack of times goes I had decided to go with the CJ5 and swap in the wide track axles as they have stock 4.10's. I currently run 33's on the CJ5 with a shackle lift only. I have a 4" spring lift that I want to install. My buddy, who ownes a CJ7 narrow track sayes build the CJ7. He sayes that the CJ7 will handle much better on the highway then the CJ5 because of the 10 inch longer wheel base. What do you all think?

BigSkyJeeper 02-25-2003 01:12 AM

If you're looking for a vehicle that's good all-around (dirt and highway) the 7 is much better. On top of the that, a hardtop is a real blessing when it starts turning chilly. I personally was looking for the right CJ7 when I bumped into and fell in love with my CJ5, but I've almost regretted my decision a couple of times in the winter when I was freezing my butt off.

RODDOR 02-25-2003 01:43 AM

More info. This jeep will be a wheeler, not a daily driver. And don't have any plans on going more that 4" lift and no bigger that 33's

MudLover 02-25-2003 09:34 AM

This is a question you'll never really find an answer to, but I'll give it a shot. I got a CJ7 for several reasons, the first being my height. When I was CJ shopping I read an article which said that CJ5's were not the way to go if you were over 6 foot because your knees would smack the door openings all the time. I was also turned off to the 5's because I was told they are very squilry down the road and hard to handle because of the short wheelbase. I love my 7 and won't think of buying another Jeep. I know I will eventualy get rid of this one for several reasons (frame's shot, body mounts have fallen off). From my point of view, the CJ7 has everything I could ask for (ok, maybe it needs a little more power). If ya don't wanna build up that birthday's not to far away :D :D :D . Just a thought.

There's my $0.02,

Jwhit 02-25-2003 09:53 PM

I believe that if your looking for a jeep to go wheeling in, and carry your family and goodies along the CJ7 will make you feel much more comfortable. I have had the privledge of driving both. All I can say about the CJ5 is that is small, cute and very manuverable on the trails. I am only 5'10 and I hated the seats in the CJ5. I felt like the steering wheel was diggin into me all the time. That is why I bought a CJ7. It feels much better overall. I can enjoy wheeling and im not cramped for space. I think that if you dont mind the lack of space in the CJ5 then stay with it. The CJ7 is a project thats for sure. I am currently in the processof replacing my tranny before spring wheeling season begins.

Good Luck,

BigSkyJeeper 02-25-2003 11:54 PM

I've found the lack of leg room has been an issue with me also. I'm 6'2" and I've moved the seat all the way back to the fender without finding enough leg room. Once she's put back together and I have enough clearance, I'm going to notch the wheel well out so that I can move it back further.

BESRK 02-26-2003 06:18 AM

I own a '71 CJ5 and an '80 CJ5.. if I had it to do all over again, I'd be driving a CJ7 for all the reasons listed above. I built the '71 before I knew any better. I picked up the '80 because it was just too good of a deal to pass by.

Jeep Daddy 02-26-2003 04:19 PM

I bought a CJ7 for the reasons listed. I did this same research back when I was looking and made my decission based on this exact same information. Trust me, the 7 has plenty short a wheel base. You don't need it any shorter. Plus, I belive that it will be easier to modify since the CJ5 are so short they always have short drive shaft problems. The 7's are just the right size for most mods.

bernie 02-27-2003 07:55 AM

I've got a 5 and a 7.

The easiest way I can put it:

The 5 handles like a jeep.
The 7 handles like a pickup truck.

It depends on what you need and want.

By the way, I prefer to drive the 5 daily,
including a 20 mile round trip on the highway.
But--the 7 does handle better on the highway.

sixshooter 03-03-2003 10:01 PM

I guess I am the only person on here thats going to tell you to keep the 5. I started out in a 5 and I regret selling it like you would not believe. Everything that everyone else has complained about the 5 I beleive I fixed on mine. I was able to commute 1.5hrs each way to school everyday and not mind it. The way I fixed goes as such:

1. I put a tilt steering column out of a 70's camaro in it as well as the sterring box out of one as well. This allowed me to use a 13" steering wheel easily.
2. I put Geo storm seats in it so I could have about 4" more leg room (they are only about 4" thick and they were still able to recline a decent amout. Also they they held up for over 6 yrs of driving it all summer and most winters without a top on it.
3. I took the solid mount off of the back of the front leaf springs and relocated it to the front, putting the shackle in the back of the spring. That COMPLETELY turned the handling and made it really stable on the road.

A friend and I took a 6 hr. drive to go on vacation in it and had no problems with it.
I love the way 5s handle off road and I like that you are seeing less and less of them on the roads now.

If you have any other questions let me know here or in an PM
Have fun working on either one. Just remember, you are also currently driving the 5 now so there are no surprises.

RODDOR 03-03-2003 11:55 PM

Sixshooter I was mostly looking for people to tell more about the handling. It sounds like yours did okay. I'm glad to hear that from someone. I have been driving mine and so far it has handled as good or better then some CJ7s. I do have acouple of questions.

What size / type tires were you on?
Did you have a lift?
sounds like you did a shackle reversal, was it a kit?

I do like the tight turning on the trail and will probably go with the CJ5.

scottahicks 03-04-2003 01:40 AM

sixshooter did you use a shackle reversal kit? it sounds like you just cut off the rear mounts and welded them on the front

Jacob 03-04-2003 12:34 PM

i have had a CJ-5 for almost 2.5 yrs
although i havent driven it, i wouldnt trade for anything
even a hummer

all the little quirks the 5s have can be fixed
my 5 is an early 5 so its 3" shorter than most of them
i also like the fact that you hardly ever see CJ-5s on the road, much less early 5s
i love those short noses:D

i am moving my front axle about 2 or 3" forward and my rear axle as far back as it will go
since i am moving the rear axle back, i can notch the rear fender a lot more than usual

im thinking about doing a shackle reversal but i am not totally sold on it
my 5 is going to be SOA with 4" lift springs
i swapped out my narrow tracs for some wide trac cherokee D/44s
i have a tilt column and power steering out of the same cherokee as the axles

you can get a hard top for a 5 but they are expensive
the one i priced was around 1500$ brandnew from AJs and i have to swap out my early upright w/s for the later angled w/s
heres a pic:
i like CJ-7s and i would love to own one, but they just dont have the style that 5s have

whatever you decide will be the right choice because neither one of them are Wranglers
(they are not jeeps, they are chryslers)


sixshooter 03-22-2003 01:03 AM

Sorry it took me so long to get back to your questions about how I did my 5. I was sick then playing catch-up. On one of my jeeps, I ground the welds off of the back of the front leaf springs, then re welded them in the front. On the last one I did, I just took a piece of rectagular tuing and drilled it and welded it to the front under the frame. I do not know if I would recomend doing that for the street, that was just a trail jeep, but it withstood the beating of a lifetime and still goes strong. I might be able to get pics of both set-ups if you would like. If so, let me know.

scottahicks 03-22-2003 01:34 AM

I would love to see pics of both sixshooter so please try thanks

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