Question About Differences Between 1974 CJ5 and Newer CJ5s - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 51 Old 03-25-2019, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
trailhead2004
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Question About Differences Between 1974 CJ5 and Newer CJ5s

I have my eye on a 1974 CJ5, sort of a barn find. Looks to have a stock 304 in it, in fact other than the seats and a few minor mods, it looks to be pretty original.

I have spent a fair amount of time learning about the later model CJs, about 1980 and newer. But I know very little about the older models. I do know there was a body/frame change around 1972, and I’ve noticed a few differences on the dash panel and the clutch linkage. Looks like it should be a T18 trans. Would axles be Dana 30 front and AMC 20 rear?

Can someone give me a quick primer on the major differences, or maybe point me to a thread? I’m just trying to anticipate how much of a learning curve there will be if I get this Jeep.

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post #2 of 51 Old 03-25-2019, 03:24 PM
schardein
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1972-75 are different than 71 and earlier and 76 and later.

Still use 1 3/4" wide springs front and rear, like pre 71.
Dana 30 front, Dana 44 rear 30 spline one piece axles, narrow track, drum brakes front and rear
Single wiper motor mounted outside the w/s frame
Skinny steering column with turn signal switch clamped to it externally.
All the CJ5s of this vintage had tailgates
These are long nose, the front fenders are longer than 71 and older to accommodate the inline 6 cylinder engine
Lap belts
Brake master is mounted on the firewall "like normal", 71 and older was on the frame under the pedals
Hanging brake and gas pedals, versus thru the floor on 71 and older
I don't think AC was an option until 76
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Last edited by schardein; 03-25-2019 at 03:39 PM. Reason: Corrected spring width to 1 3/4"
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post #3 of 51 Old 03-25-2019, 03:52 PM
HAZCAT
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My first Jeep at 16 was a '75 CJ5 Renegade Levi Edition with the 304, 3 speed, soft top. Manual brakes and steering
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post #4 of 51 Old 03-25-2019, 04:32 PM
Fourtrail
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Also, it still has straight frame rails, they do not flare out under the passenger compartment like 76+ models.
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80 CJ-5, 74 CJ-6, 56 CJ-5
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post #5 of 51 Old 03-25-2019, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schardein View Post
1972-75 are different than 71 and earlier and 76 and later.

All the CJ5s of this vintage had tailgates
Not calling BS here Schardein, just questioning. This CJ does not have a tailgate and it doesn't look like it has been modified.

I did get a look at the data plate on the dash panel and it talks of meeting all the requirements as of the date of manufacture in 1974. I forget what the date is, I'm sure I could drive by and take another look.

But thank you very much for the info. It sounds like it isn't all that different an animal versus looking at 1971 and before.

Thank you everyone.
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post #6 of 51 Old 03-25-2019, 05:06 PM
RiverandSand
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This site earlycj5.com has lots of good info about the differences.
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post #7 of 51 Old 03-25-2019, 05:29 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RiverandSand View Post
This site earlycj5.com has lots of good info about the differences.
Thank you RiverandSand. I'm definitely going to go check it out again. I'm trying to catch the owner again and it isn't easy.
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post #8 of 51 Old 03-25-2019, 05:31 PM
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My 75 CJ-6 is a no tailgate as well. I believe the 72 to 75 were standard with tailgates and had non tailgates as an option. Then in 76 the option went away of course.

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post #9 of 51 Old 03-25-2019, 06:26 PM
schardein
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trailhead2004 View Post
Not calling BS here Schardein, just questioning. This CJ does not have a tailgate and it doesn't look like it has been modified.

I did get a look at the data plate on the dash panel and it talks of meeting all the requirements as of the date of manufacture in 1974. I forget what the date is, I'm sure I could drive by and take another look.

But thank you very much for the info. It sounds like it isn't all that different an animal versus looking at 1971 and before.

Thank you everyone.
Yep, I stand corrected. I think these are 71s, but apparently tailgates were optional 72-75 also.
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1983 CJ7, 5.3, NV3550, D300 4:1, Fr D44 Ox air, Rr D44 OX cable, 4.56, 35" Falken A/T3W on beadlocks
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post #10 of 51 Old 03-25-2019, 09:29 PM
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My '73 has no tailgate, but the '72 and 75 do.

The windshield frame is 4" wider at the top than '76 and up and stands up more vertically.

The tub is different in the firewall and front seat areas. Wiring harnesses didn't get a fusebox until '75. Earlier years have inline fuses.

There are quite a few '76 and up parts that fit these, but aren't usually listed as fitting by retailers. There is a bit of a learning curve to knowing what fits and what doesn't.
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post #11 of 51 Old 03-25-2019, 11:08 PM
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A bit more info:
Open channel frame rails. They are prone to cracking around the spring hangers.
The rear axle is centered.
Rear axles are flanged.
72 used a cable clutch, all others had linkage.
Same body tub as the 55-71 CJ's, however, the frame was extended in front and the hood and fenders are longer.
T14 transmission(I6). T15 transmission(V8)
Quote:
I’m just trying to anticipate how much of a learning curve there will be if I get this Jeep.
A bit more refined than the 71 and earlier but just as simple. Much easier to work on than later models due to the lack of most of the emissions.
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post #12 of 51 Old 03-26-2019, 06:54 AM
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My 74 has a tailgate. I often wonder if the convenience is worth all the rattling noise from the chains and the gate itself.

The tub is the early CJ5 style that was upgraded in the late 1960s to remove the gas tank from under the driver's seat and moved to the rear frame area. It is more like a 1950's truck and less like a car--a plus for me. I used parts for a 1971 model to rebuild the steering column. It has the longer wheel base of later CJ5s to accommodate the AMC engines. As stated above the wiring sucks.

The engine came with points type distributor which isn't a problem for me as I grew up changing and adjusting points. It has fewer parts to fail. Upgrading isn't hard. I just chose not to do it.

It has 11" drum brakes on all four. You can upgrade to discs. Mine weighs less than 2700 lbs. and I once had a 75 GTO that weighed almost a thousand pounds more and had 9" drums--went a lot faster than a CJ5 too. On dry roads it stops from reasonable speeds. 65 MPH is my maximum speed.

The cool factor is neat too. We belong to a Jeep club whose members drive all types of Jeeps. We have a monthly cruise in during the warmer months. Our 74 is usually the oldest Jeep in attendance, unless my friend Charles brings his 74 which is 2 months older. We park side by side.

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post #13 of 51 Old 03-26-2019, 07:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob4703 View Post
My 74 has a tailgate. I often wonder if the convenience is worth all the rattling noise from the chains and the gate itself.

The tub is the early CJ5 style that was upgraded in the late 1960s to remove the gas tank from under the driver's seat and moved to the rear frame area. It is more like a 1950's truck and less like a car--a plus for me. I used parts for a 1971 model to rebuild the steering column. It has the longer wheel base of later CJ5s to accommodate the AMC engines. As stated above the wiring sucks.

The engine came with points type distributor which isn't a problem for me as I grew up changing and adjusting points. It has fewer parts to fail. Upgrading isn't hard. I just chose not to do it.

It has 11" drum brakes on all four. You can upgrade to discs. Mine weighs less than 2700 lbs. and I once had a 75 GTO that weighed almost a thousand pounds more and had 9" drums--went a lot faster than a CJ5 too. On dry roads it stops from reasonable speeds. 65 MPH is my maximum speed.

The cool factor is neat too. We belong to a Jeep club whose members drive all types of Jeeps. We have a monthly cruise in during the warmer months. Our 74 is usually the oldest Jeep in attendance, unless my friend Charles brings his 74 which is 2 months older. We park side by side.
On my 67, I ended up removing the tailgate chains and bolting the tailgate shut. Got tired of the rattling and never used it anyway after I put my Jeepbox in.

67 still had the gas tank under the seat. I actually liked it. I would pull up to the pump, and gas up without even getting out of the Jeep. I was in Hawaii at the time, pull in with the rumbling Buick V6 & headers straight into glass packs, no top, windshield down, wearing my board shorts and sunglasses, fuel up without getting out. Everyone would just stare, they couldn't help it.

I converted to the 11" brakes all around. Not power brakes but would stop like it had them, just had to push harder.

No steering wheel lock on the skinny columns. I'd shut the Jeep off two blocks from my house and coast down, turn into the slightly uphill driveway and coast to a perfect stop just like this pic.
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CJ5 12 June 2004.jpg  
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post #14 of 51 Old 03-26-2019, 08:02 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schardein View Post
On my 67, I ended up removing the tailgate chains and bolting the tailgate shut. Got tired of the rattling and never used it anyway after I put my Jeepbox in.

67 still had the gas tank under the seat. I actually liked it. I would pull up to the pump, and gas up without even getting out of the Jeep. I was in Hawaii at the time, pull in with the rumbling Buick V6 & headers straight into glass packs, no top, windshield down, wearing my board shorts and sunglasses, fuel up without getting out. Everyone would just stare, they couldn't help it.

I converted to the 11" brakes all around. Not power brakes but would stop like it had them, just had to push harder.

No steering wheel lock on the skinny columns. I'd shut the Jeep off two blocks from my house and coast down, turn into the slightly uphill driveway and coast to a perfect stop just like this pic.
Sweet Jeep!
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post #15 of 51 Old 03-26-2019, 08:32 AM
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My 1980 CJ5 doesn't have a tailgate. I don't know if I should be jealous or not🤔

1980 CJ5, T176, Dana 30, Dana 300, mostly original
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