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Unread 02-21-2013, 03:05 PM   #1
Vuil_CJ5
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1981 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Cambridge City, Indiana
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New Guy here!

Hey everyone! I was looking for a year or two for the right Jeep until I found this one last fall. It's an all original 1981 CJ5 with roughly 69k miles. It had 66K-ish when I bought it I think. Not even sure if it would run or not, I gave $1800 for it. I changed fluids, put in a battery, added new plugs and wires, and now I've been driving it to work two to three days a week. It's got the iron duke/4 speed and seems a little tired. I will probably redo the exhaust and see if that makes any difference. Also, I have a feeling it needs a head gasket because it has a mayonaise looking residue under the oil cap. I'll give the power train more attention this spring. My plan is to keep it as original as possible. Does anyone know how I can find out for sure what color top it came with. For this winter I bought the Grizzly hard top and doors below, but I think I would like to get a soft top in the original color as well. Here's a few pics-

Taking it home:






In my backyard just before cleanup:




Duke:




Cleaned up:







With the hard top:




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Unread 02-21-2013, 03:13 PM   #2
Davis77Cj
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Location: castalia, north carolina
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i am no help to you on the top i would try a couple vin decoders. in reference to the mayonaise looking film on the oil cap, check your oil, and coolent for oil and water to make sure they are where they are supposed to be. this could just be where the motor is just not getting hot enough or hot long enough to get rid of the moisture in the engine. it is common for this to occur on short trips, in long term storage or in high humidity.
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Unread 02-21-2013, 03:13 PM   #3
keith460
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1984 CJ7 
 
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That's rather nice for $1800.00 if I do say so myself!
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Restoration Thread:http://www.jeepsunlimited.com/forums...d.php?t=434226
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Unread 02-21-2013, 03:15 PM   #4
Davis77Cj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keith460 View Post
That's rather nice for $1800.00 if I do say so myself!
i concur
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Unread 02-21-2013, 03:37 PM   #5
Vuil_CJ5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keith460 View Post
That's rather nice for $1800.00 if I do say so myself!
Thanks, yeah I was thrilled! My wife couldn't believe it when I didn't even try to talk the seller down. The frame is perfect and the body just has a few rusty areas as you can see in the photos. Actually the worst spot isn't visible in the pics. It's where the side spare mounted. It needs some work there. Overall though it's in good shape.
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Unread 02-21-2013, 03:51 PM   #6
Vuil_CJ5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davis77Cj View Post


i am no help to you on the top i would try a couple vin decoders. in reference to the mayonaise looking film on the oil cap, check your oil, and coolent for oil and water to make sure they are where they are supposed to be. this could just be where the motor is just not getting hot enough or hot long enough to get rid of the moisture in the engine. it is common for this to occur on short trips, in long term storage or in high humidity.
Good point. It sat for 5 years or so in storage without even being started.
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Unread 02-21-2013, 05:05 PM   #7
keith460
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vuil_CJ5 View Post
Good point. It sat for 5 years or so in storage without even being started.
Very common when vehicles are in storage. My CJ has the same milky substance on the bottom of the oil fill cap when I take it out for short trips and it doesn't get hot enough to evaporate the moisture that accumulates under the valve cover.
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Restoration Thread:http://www.jeepsunlimited.com/forums...d.php?t=434226
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Unread 02-21-2013, 05:08 PM   #8
JakeRod13
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Very nice!!
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Unread 02-21-2013, 06:25 PM   #9
acgcoug
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I'm rather impartial to CJ5's, and that is a nice find you have there. Definitely a great base to start with. I have mine completely torn down and in the process of a total rebuild from the frame up.
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Unread 02-21-2013, 06:35 PM   #10
77t18a
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A nice find ! And a true CJ5 to me.... It has a rattlin tailgate like my 2 do !!
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Unread 02-21-2013, 06:47 PM   #11
Vuil_CJ5
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Originally Posted by 77t18a View Post
A nice find ! And a true CJ5 to me.... It has a rattlin tailgate like my 2 do !!
The tailgate is really cool! So I guess some CJ5s had a side hinge gate? Was it a model year change or option?
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Unread 02-22-2013, 12:05 AM   #12
BagusJeep
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You could get CJ5s without a tailgate or with that bottom hinged tailgate.

It was not until the Wrangler arrived that the side hinged tailgate was introduced.

If you really wanted one they can be added from a Wrangler. I have one on Puthijeep as the tub was changed to a later one but it is a PITA.
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Unread 02-22-2013, 12:02 PM   #13
Vuil_CJ5
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Originally Posted by Davis77Cj View Post


i am no help to you on the top i would try a couple vin decoders..
I just tried the vin decoders and it doesn't look like colors are in the vin. Was spice an available top color in 1981? Also, does anyone know what other colors the wheels were available in?
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Unread 02-22-2013, 12:08 PM   #14
Davis77Cj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vuil_CJ5 View Post
I just tried the vin decoders and it doesn't look like colors are in the vin. Was spice an available top color in 1981? Also, does anyone know what other colors the wheels were available in?
i am no help to you. i can talk to my father and see if he recalls what he saw from that time. a better option is to pm timgr. he was helping out on another thread with the vin. or find a FSM to look at.
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Unread 02-22-2013, 12:08 PM   #15
PROJECT 23
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Welcome and beautiful 5. That is one heck of a find for 1800 bean burritos from Taco Bell. I'm going to follow this rebuild/ restore project......
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