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Unread 10-20-2011, 08:33 AM   #1
GuessWho
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1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Grand Canyon, AZ
Posts: 95
Pre-Buy CJ5 questions..?

Hey everyone, I'm a ZJ owner myself, so looking into the CJ's is new to me...

I've got a friend who is looking at a 1980 CJ5.
It's got a 304 V8, 4sp trans.


It does not have any top, so she would like to find a hardtop (and doors) as soon as possible if she purchases it. (winters get pretty cold out here, so a Hardtop is the preference at the moment).
Any suggestions on where to look? I did some quick searching and Acme hardtops seem to be popular, but it looks like they frequently have issues lining up/sealing...?

As well as the top and doors, we know it needs new rear brakes. But other than that, were looking for suggestions on what to look out for. Obviously well be looking for normal wear and tare, or abuse, but you all know the 'main' issues you run into with your CJ5's so, any suggestions as to what to ask are welcome.

Thanks.

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Unread 10-20-2011, 08:42 AM   #2
Pathkiller
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Location: Lorton, VA
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Acme no longer exists, unless you find a good used one. The only company currently making CJ5 hardtops is Rally Tops, which used Acme as their basic template and made some improvements on the design: http://www.rallytops.com/jeep/cj5.html

They're not cheap though. There's frankly very little difference in temperature between a hard and softop, so take that into consideration.

I'm not aware of a 4-speed being a factory option behind a 304 in a CJ5 in 1980, so you might want to verify what the transmission is and whether it's been swapped.
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Unread 10-20-2011, 09:13 AM   #3
GuessWho
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Ouch, those are spendy...

my guess with those prices is she'd be hoping to find a decent used one.
How do the soft tops do with moisture? (be it rain or snow).

I'll be sure to mention to check on the Trans.
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Unread 10-20-2011, 09:17 AM   #4
Pathkiller
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1974 CJ5 
 
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A good soft top is fine. Most people find that hardtops are not great in high moisture either due to condensation on the inside. Jeep CJ's don't have a great HVAC system and usually the fogging on the inside is worse than the outside. Hardtops are also very top heavy, which also really changes the balance of the vehicle, an important consideration for a narrow track CJ5.

I'm willing to bet that a Bestop Supertop would suit her needs just fine. The biggest improvement she could make would be to upgrade the blower motor to the GM unit, which is described in detail on this forum. It increases the output of the heat/defrost significantly. With it you'll stay warm with a softop in even the coldest winters.
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Unread 10-20-2011, 09:36 AM   #5
GuessWho
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Location: Grand Canyon, AZ
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Just told her what you said about moisture and such. Then we looked up the Bestop Supertop, looks good to us at $747.99 for the top plus 2pc doors. Ill look into the Blower next. Thanks.
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