I search all the closest Craigslist areas for "jeep" each night and see lots of cj7s and cj5s. The ratio around NW Arkansas is probably 60/40 with cj7s being 60. And I probably see one newly listed cj8 per month.
And that 111,888 of these CJ7's were made after the last CJ5, (84-86) maybe there are just a few more '7' survivors.
Except that those numbers leave out 20 years of CJ5 production, from 1955 to 1975. The 55-75 versions seem to have survived somewhat better because of their open channel frame, which didn't trap gunk inside the way the later boxed frame did, which rotted from the inside out. My 74 CJ5's frame is absolutely pristine whereas my 82 Scrambler's is showing signs of decay.
Now in my area, Medford, Or. I see about a even mix of 5 & 7's but more YJ's on the city streets. The TJ's are taking over. It seems like there is enough money for the people in the city proper to have TJ's that never see the dirt unless it is in the corners of the streets.
With 20 years in the US Navy, and nine+ years underwater on Nuc Subs.
Hijacking my own thread here, but looking at your pics of your Jeep, I need to tell you this— first, it looks like you have a narrow-track CJ, like me. Can this Jeep even turn a corner? You're running what appears to be 15.50 or 16.50 tires on those narrow axles. If you never take anything else away from this forum, hear this: be very, VERY careful when turning at speed, my friend. As big as those tires are, I can also see that they're tucked under that body pretty good due to the narrow track axles, which means you're very prone to clipping your springs, especially with those knobby boggers you got. This is a VERY easy way to flip your Jeep, if this Jeep is even drivable in the first place.
A clip of those tires against those springs at speed is not the way you wanna depart this Earth, man. I'm no expert (somewhat of a rookie when it comes to mods, in fact), but here's what I see in your pics:
1) a short wheelbase (CJ5; less stability)
2) narrow axles (pre-'82 CJ; less stability)
3) gi-MONGOUS shackles (unpredictable steering)
I can see a scenario where, because your shackles make the Jeep squirrely to steer & prone to wander or lurch, you try to correct a sudden lurch, over-correct, and turn those knobby boggers right into your springs, causing an instant rollover— because that's what happens when a Jeep tries to drive over itself.
Not trying to scare you man, but this Jeepin thing is supposed to be fun & I'd hate for anyone to have something bad happen while doing it. CJs are already relatively unsafe as it is, and yours looks like a deathtrap. Here's what you need to do:
1) Sell the 16.50s. Use the money to buy 12.50s. I run these on my narrow-track CJ. You'll only rub your springs a tiny bit on the sharpest of parking lot turns if you're not paying attention to your turn radius— and even that can be eliminated if you choose to adjust the steering stops accordingly. Alternatively, you can get a set of '82 or later wide-track axles, but I wouldn't bother— I personally like the narrow-track look, because I can run big offroad tires and still have them tuck into the body nicely and maintain some of the classic Jeep character. 12.50s fit under your factory flares with an inch still to spare.
2) Ditch the footlong shackles. Your Jeep will never be drivable with those things. Use your factory shackles or an aftermarket shackle which is no more than 1.5 inches longer than the factory shackle in a side-by-side comparison. You will have to recoup the rest of the lift that you lose from ditching the monster shackles by getting a set of longer springs, adding a little body lift, or maybe by going spring-over-axle.
We have nearly the same Jeep from the same time period, and my CJ handles very well both on and off-road, so it is possible. Good luck with your build man, but most importantly, be careful— I think everyone has probably taken shortcuts of some kind or another with a Jeep build, but the safety is the area where you don't want to do that if you can avoid it.
The problem with Jeeps is that everyone fancies himself some kind of Adventurer after he buys one. As if courage, or ruggedness, can be had for a mere $27,745 MSRP