Going to buy a 81 cj-5 on wednesday.... - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 29 Old 09-15-2019, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
Submariner
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Going to buy a 81 cj-5 on wednesday....

I am going down to look/buy a 81 cj5 on Wednesday. Today is Sunday.

Any words of wisdom on what I should look at.

I was told that this had been in the family for 30 years. California jeep, no rust, but it has been wheeled. not sure how hard but it is in central oregon now.

It has a newer disk brake set up on the dana 20, and all the steering components has been gone thur, it has the 258 cu in with a 4sp tranny(granny low) in it. good soft top, 12000 winch, 31 in tires, rubicon rack(?) on the back.

another ole guy is selling it to another ole guy buying it. I am driving 200 miles to look/buy it.

So what I am asking, is what else should i look for when I get there to buy it.

Thanks


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post #2 of 29 Old 09-16-2019, 06:57 AM
John Strenk
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Probably look for bent/cracked items.
If it has diamond plate, well, as you know, that hides a lot of rust.

Are you driving it back?
Might want to check fluid levels. if it's not leaking, it may mean it's out of oil.
See if the gauges work. I'd be a little leary of driving 200 miles if the temp and oil gauges are inoperative.
As far as gas goes gauge goes, carry a can and assume 10 mpg. that should be safe enough.
Make sure the electrical system is working incase it gets dark and you need heat and lights. Just check the volt meter and make sure it's around 14 volts with the engine running.
Check the u-joints. The front one not so bad if it has unlockable hubs.
Any chance of rain? Make sure the wipers work. Blades in good condition.
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post #3 of 29 Old 09-16-2019, 10:30 AM Thread Starter
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good Idea. i know some guages stop working on the older rigs. Water, oil and electric is always good to know what is going on. Especially when Ihave to drive back 200 miles

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post #4 of 29 Old 09-16-2019, 10:50 AM
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CJ-5 are somewhat small. About 8 yrs ago was shopping for my older son's first car- had to be a manual, we decided on a Jeep. Looked at a CJ-5 that was in our price bracket. I'm 6'4" and 260lbs. I had a hard time getting in/out of the CJ-5. At the time my son was around 6' tall, and pretty lean. His knees hit the steering column

So unless you've been in one just know they are not for "bigger" people.

We ended up with a 89 YJ. No issues with the "size"
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post #5 of 29 Old 09-16-2019, 11:31 AM Thread Starter
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I have had a "5" before. that is why I am going back to "ole" school. Tired of dealing with all the sensors and computers. If I remember right, 81 does not have a computer and it went with a wider version of axles and this one has been shifted over to disk brakes in front.

I am just looking for items that I don't remember to check. getting old in the memory.

Or am I wrong with this thought?

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post #6 of 29 Old 09-16-2019, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Submariner View Post
I have had a "5" before. that is why I am going back to "ole" school. Tired of dealing with all the sensors and computers. If I remember right, 81 does not have a computer and it went with a wider version of axles and this one has been shifted over to disk brakes in front.

I am just looking for items that I don't remember to check. getting old in the memory.

Or am I wrong with this thought?
Yep, No computer. Just an Idle Speed Controller.

Nope. The CJ-5 never got the wider axles unless someone swapped them in.
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post #7 of 29 Old 09-16-2019, 04:57 PM
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Submariner, sent you a PM.
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post #8 of 29 Old 09-16-2019, 06:54 PM
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If it's the light blue one (Im in Oregon and quite sure i know which on you're after) why not just post the ad? These guys can spot a lugnut torqued out of sequence from a grainy photo on the grassy knoll.
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post #9 of 29 Old 09-16-2019, 08:53 PM
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Sounds like it is not lifted (31" tyres are the max you can go on stock) and has a middling spec. Whether to buy goes on condition. If you are happy with the space and short wheelbase, the main area to look at is condition.

Interiors can be very basic but to replace original trim and sets etc can get very expensive, there are no many left out there. Gauges and such are readily available but a cut up dash is a pain. Wiring is usually shot, it can all be replaced or by dropping the instrument panel some sense can be made out of it. I look for fusible links being in place, a fuse box, indicators on the column and a working ignition lock/switch, not beacuse they are expensive but because their elimination shows a PO mentality that may stretch to engine oil changes etc. Every other electrical or interior fault is an irritation that can be fixed.

Rust, rust, rust. It can be repaired, but is PITA.

Suspension and axles and transmission, steering etc should all work. Replacing TRE etc is quite easy but a disconnected front axle is a red flag. Money can fix all these areas.

Lastly, all PO mods are questionable. few add value. i do not pay for mods.
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post #10 of 29 Old 09-17-2019, 10:11 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice guys. I will go see this tomorrow or on Saturday depending on the amount of rain that is going on.

I forgot to add that it has a 12,000 lb winch on the front. a little over kill if you ask me.

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post #11 of 29 Old 09-17-2019, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
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...

I forgot to add that it has a 12,000 lb winch on the front. a little over kill if you ask me.

Overkill is so underrated...
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post #12 of 29 Old 09-17-2019, 11:13 AM
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Thanks for the advice guys. I will go see this tomorrow or on Saturday depending on the amount of rain that is going on.

I forgot to add that it has a 12,000 lb winch on the front. a little over kill if you ask me.
40 years ago I had a Power Wagon which weighed slightly less than 5000#. The formula recommended to me to figure the appropriate size winch was double your vehicle weight and add a 1000#. Buy the closest size winch without going smaller. I bought a 12000# winch. Which size that is on sale is also also a factor.

In that it is also on the Jeep and you probably won't pay extra for it it isn't overkill. Better overkill than underkill if you need it.

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post #13 of 29 Old 09-17-2019, 03:53 PM
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If it's the light blue one in cottage grove, the tub/ front look pretty hammered, IMHO

Hoss
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post #14 of 29 Old 09-17-2019, 08:36 PM
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If you use a winch regularly the ultimate pull (12,000 lbs) does not tell the whole story. Nice to have in an emergency as your Jeep is decending a sheer cliff, though.

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post #15 of 29 Old 09-18-2019, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Submariner View Post
not sure how hard but it is in central oregon now.
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Originally Posted by MrButterfield View Post
If it's the light blue one (Im in Oregon and quite sure i know which on you're after) why not just post the ad? These guys can spot a lugnut torqued out of sequence from a grainy photo on the grassy knoll.
Quote:
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If it's the light blue one in cottage grove, the tub/ front look pretty hammered, IMHO

Hoss
Not sure what you guys consider Central Oregon, but just outside of Eugene isnít CO. Maybe he misspoke.
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