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Unread 04-02-2012, 10:42 AM   #1
robagwehttam
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1973 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: chattanooga, TN
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Early CJ5..... I need help!!!!!

I have a 1973 CJ5 with a fully rebuilt 340 v8- this isn't a typo- and 3 spd. Along with this Jeep I have a very safety conscious wife and an 11 month old daughter. Kind of selfishly I bought the Jeep on a whim - I had a limited chance and I jumped on it (wouldn't you). The problem I have run into now is we have one family car and my Jeep and should I ever need have to my wife and I don't feel safe with the baby riding in it. My daughter definitely comes first.

My question to you is this.... Is it possible to make this Jeep safe enough for my wife feel comfortable with the baby in it. Wider trac axles, post-76 CJ frame or YJ frame, family cage, 4 speed, un-reverse the shackles (previous owner),etc.

If you have ideas what I could do and cost/time estimates I would greatly appreciate it.

If this isn't possible I will be selling/trading this beautiful CJ for something safer yet still trail-worthy. Let me know if interested.

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Unread 04-02-2012, 11:02 AM   #2
jakeryii
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1967 CJ5 
 
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track bars on wider axles and family cage and tube doors i would sugest
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Unread 04-02-2012, 11:19 AM   #3
taylorjb
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1973 CJ5 
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Denver, CO
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I bought a 73 when my daughter was 2 with the goal of restoring it as an "ice cream getter" so we could drive it to the neighborhood ice cream shop and back, and eventually do some trails and camping in Colorado when she got older.

I feel OK driving it in my neighborhood, but I don't think it's possible to make a 73 safe by today's standards on highways or busy roads. I'm interested to hear what others think.

Additionally, I cannot figure out how to make the 73 safe while maintaining the simplicity that makes it such a great vehicle. I'd rather sell it than put a padded dash in. I do plan on a real roll cage with side protection instead of the stock "for looks" roll cage, better brakes, better seats, complete inspection/replacement of worn parts, etc, then driving conservatively.

PS. My restoration is taking so long I won't have to worry about my kid, now 4, needing a child seat when I'm done
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Unread 04-02-2012, 11:23 AM   #4
Pathkiller
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1974 CJ5 
 
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First of all, you don't have an early CJ5, you have an Intermediate. The early version is 55-71. The 72-75 model years are Intermediate,and 76-83 are late model.

Changing axles and such may make you feel safer, but probably won't do much to actually change the safety of the vehicle. Nothing you can do will change the fact that a CJ5 is made from very light sheet metal, with no crumple zones or air bags, and wouldn't come anywhere remotely close to a modern vehicle in a crash test.

Certainly a CJ5 is safe enough to carry your family for occasional pleasure drives, but if you want piece of mind while driving on high speed freeways, you'd honestly be better off with a Volvo.
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Unread 04-02-2012, 11:34 AM   #5
taylorjb
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BTW, my other car is a Volvo wagon, so I may be on one side of the spectrum.

I bought mine after being first on the scene at a Volvo that flipped airborne twice across an interstate median and landed on its roof. I found the driver and passenger tangled up in the driver's seat, completely naked. After helping the very embarrassed, but otherwise healthy, young woman find her underpants, I left the scene.
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Unread 04-02-2012, 11:37 AM   #6
roadhog304
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Congrats on your purchase and welcome to jeepforum

My wife and i are planning on starting a family soon. I also have a 73 cj5. Where i am driving would make a big difference to me as far as the comfort level of me having a child in the Jeep. If i am crusing down dirt or country roads or residential areas i would be okay with that. I dont think i would take it through a downtown metro area at rush hour. What do you have if any for a top? That also make makes a difference i think. Myself I plan on fabing up a complete family cage for mine before I would let a small child ride in the back seat.

Now with all of that said the Jeep that i have know my father purchased new. He had installed a Meyers 1/2 cab on it. I do not recall how youg i was when i started riding in it with him but it was most likely 3-5 year range. Dad and his pal would go bird hunting and I would set on the center console( Army Amo Can) and off we would go. Back then though the mindset of safety was quite a bit different than today. Would I let my kid do this? Crusing down the backroads yes. In town or on the highway, no.
I have no top what so ever now and I think I would have to wait a couple of years before i would let my child ride in the jeep with no top to keep them well and not have the wind blowing on them. After that I think with a Family cage a Jeep carseat I plan on making no other mods to improve safety. but again as i said before I would not be crusing the interstate at rush hour just trips here and there at no hurry and driving with common sense.
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Unread 04-02-2012, 11:37 AM   #7
colojeepguy
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^Ditto what Pathkiller said.
Think of it as safer than a motorcycle or ATV, but not as safe as a modern car.
Also, if your daughter is 11 months, she's probably in a rear facing car seat-I never found one of those that would fit in a CJ-5 at all. Once they get big enough for a forward facing seat, you can fit one in the back seat OK
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Unread 04-02-2012, 11:38 AM   #8
Rattyflatty
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Find another ride for when the "what if" happens, it will be money well spent. Jeeps break, you will need a parts runner. I think a small econo truck would do well.
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Unread 04-02-2012, 11:47 AM   #9
Pathkiller
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taylorjb View Post
BTW, my other car is a Volvo wagon, so I may be on one side of the spectrum.

I bought mine after being first on the scene at a Volvo that flipped airborne twice across an interstate median and landed on its roof. I found the driver and passenger tangled up in the driver's seat, completely naked. After helping the very embarrassed, but otherwise healthy, young woman find her underpants, I left the scene.
My wife's DD is a Volvo XC90. I'm very impressed with the build quality, it's built like a friggin tank. The A, B and C-pillars are made of hardened steel and are thicker than any pillars I've seen on a passenger vehicle. It has more airbags than I can count. I feel very safe driving it.
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Unread 04-02-2012, 12:55 PM   #10
1986cj
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I have to agree with everyone else. A CJ carrying a 11 month old and safety is a oxymoron. That kind of reminds me of the new Camaro filming in New York for a movie. It hit a full size Police pickup by accident, The Camaro folded up like a tin can, Totaled, but did just like it was designed to do and no one even got a scratch. This one was made to crash for the movie but the video on the net shows just how they are designed to crumple and protect the passengers inside.
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Unread 04-02-2012, 04:01 PM   #11
SKT
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.


PM sent.

Long story short, I would NEVER do it.


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Unread 04-02-2012, 04:26 PM   #12
teh603
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Honestly, it'll never be as "safe" as a modern car, because modern cars are so "safe" that people feel like they can drive like wreck-happy idiots. IMO the safest car is really the one with the fewest "safety devices" because the driver knows they have to watch what they're doing and actively prevent accidents from happening. The only real safety device you can find in a Jeep is the seat belt, and that's because it keeps you from sliding out through the door opening.
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Unread 04-02-2012, 04:29 PM   #13
sarfu
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I have a 1974 CJ5 and an 8 year old daughter, I have no problem driving with her around town, to the park, for ice-cream, down to the beach and boardwalk. On Sunday we drove it to church, and when we came home we had 2 of my daughters friends in the back seat. I am a conservative driver because I know the limitations of my CJ and I have no plans ever driving it at highway speeds.
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Unread 04-02-2012, 06:17 PM   #14
JeepHammer
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1973 CJ5 
 
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I agree, there is no way to make a CJ 'Kid Safe'.
I see kids in them all the time, and the first thing that rattles through my head is that someone should slap some sense in to the owner...

First off, they are VERY light weight, you are going to loose virtually any fight you get into with those monster SUVs and pickup trucks,

There are no crumple zones, and a solid frame.
Every bit of energy imparted to the frame/chassis, and it's all going to get transferred directly to the passengers.

Your jeep is just as dangerous for your child as a motorcycle, maybe more so since with a motorcycle you would normally put a helmet on the kid,
And people drive around in Jeeps with kids hanging out all over them...

I won't let kids in my Jeep, and I have added strength roll protection, side bars around the door openings and 4 point harnesses that are properly installed.
You have to be a full size adult (so the straps fit correctly) and they have to know what they are getting into before I will let them in the vehicle.
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Unread 04-02-2012, 07:02 PM   #15
SKT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepHammer

I agree, there is no way to make a CJ 'Kid Safe'.

First off...
Excellent post JH!

It was almost verbatim to the PM I sent him expressing my concerns on the situation/question.



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