THinking of buying a CJ5... safety concerns... - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 29 Old 09-20-2019, 05:46 PM Thread Starter
Ravenbar
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THinking of buying a CJ5... safety concerns...

I've been in the market for a CJ7/YJ for a while but haven't found the right one.



A '73 CJ5 came up in my price range needing a little work, but I'm concerned as far as safety goes on how well it will suit my needs. My primary 2 objective with getting a universal Jeep/Wrangler are that (1) I can actually participate in Club offroad events without risking my daily driver and (2) I can take my nieces/nephews out wheeling. It's the latter I'm having a sticking point with.



I was hoping for a family cage(w/ rear seat) or at least being able to bolt one in, along with netting. Also concerned about the narrow wheels and rollover risk. I realize I can counter the latter with wheel spacers/wheels.



For reference to the try of terrain I'm looking to tackle, look up "Fourth Coast Jeeps" on either Facebook or Youtube or the "Titus Tough" event on either platform. To some what we do is rather tame and to many others, its totally extreme. Mostly trail riding, with lots of mud thrown in and a little rocks. I don't dare take my WJ out with them and so m looking for a road legal trail rig.


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post #2 of 29 Old 09-20-2019, 07:10 PM
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While I don't own a 5 (yet!), one of the issues people comment about a 5 is the driver's seat. If you are big person (tall, long legs, and/or haven't missed too many meals) you may have issues getting in and sitting behind the wheel. A 5 is a few inches shorter than a 7 and a YJ. The early 5s and 7s had narrow axles. Along with the short wheel base, the narrow axles could turn over at high speeds.

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post #3 of 29 Old 09-21-2019, 09:01 AM
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i have had both the cj5 and the cj7. If you plan on taking guests regularly for rides, or are a large person, a cj7 would be better. As far as safety, both are basically unstable in rigorous manuvers but the cj5 I own has been greatly enhanced by adding a front sway bar, and wheel spacers to be equivalent to the WT axel of the cj7. Regardless of which one you choose, the key is to remember it is a jeeep and not a car, and if you drive it with that in mind and dont exceed the limitations of the design, it will be fine. You may want to consider an exgtension for your roll cage that provides better coverage of the rear passenger area as well as better seat belts if you plan of wheeling in a way where a rollover is a concern.
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post #4 of 29 Old 09-21-2019, 09:22 AM
Ollie09
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I have both a 5 and a 7, and the 7 is more comfortable. I'm only 5'8" and just fit. Tilt column is a plus. I'd stay away from anything with a lift. my .02
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post #5 of 29 Old 09-21-2019, 10:09 AM
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I have a cj5 and wouldn’t wheel with kids in the back, even with a family cage. The metal tubes come so close to the seat they’re highly likely to smack their heads against it. Maybe if you install competition racing roll pads and they wear motorcycle helmets?
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post #6 of 29 Old 09-21-2019, 03:21 PM
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Have you considered getting another WJ, and using it as a Wheeler.

CJS are expensive, and the newest one is 30+ years old. YJs are right up there too. TJs are still crazy expensive, especially compared to a WJ

You can pick them up relatively cheap, they can be lifted with a budget boost, and have a million more creature comforts/safety features than a CJ

(And yes, I like CJs just fine)

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post #7 of 29 Old 09-21-2019, 04:56 PM
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XJ Cherokee and ZJ Grand Cherokee are also capable, relatively inexpensive, and slightly larger.

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post #8 of 29 Old 09-22-2019, 11:40 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ollie09 View Post
I have both a 5 and a 7, and the 7 is more comfortable. I'm only 5'8" and just fit. Tilt column is a plus. I'd stay away from anything with a lift. my .02

My plan was to lift it and also widen the wheels for more stability. Either through wheel spacers or wheels. Potentially a future axle swap as well.


Quote:
Originally Posted by braindamage View Post
I have a cj5 and wouldn’t wheel with kids in the back, even with a family cage. The metal tubes come so close to the seat they’re highly likely to smack their heads against it. Maybe if you install competition racing roll pads and they wear motorcycle helmets?


Quote:
Originally Posted by JoonHoss View Post
Have you considered getting another WJ, and using it as a Wheeler.

CJS are expensive, and the newest one is 30+ years old. YJs are right up there too. TJs are still crazy expensive, especially compared to a WJ

You can pick them up relatively cheap, they can be lifted with a budget boost, and have a million more creature comforts/safety features than a CJ

(And yes, I like CJs just fine)

Hoss
Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ7-Tim View Post
XJ Cherokee and ZJ Grand Cherokee are also capable, relatively inexpensive, and slightly larger.

Not worried about creature comforts. I want something with a frame under it to begin with. I've actually calculated the cost for me to build my WJ up to about what I could consider a stock Wrangler capabilities/ where I'd be comfortable wheeling it moderately hard and the price came in around $4,000 and that was just for the big parts, keeping my stock axles, which would still not up to the task. I can get a CJ/Wrangler for less than that and start off a whole lot farther ahead.

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post #9 of 29 Old 09-22-2019, 12:34 PM
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I'd wait for a 7 if you plan on back seat riders. Having said that, I rode in the back of my dad's 5 many, many, many times when I was a little kid and really had no issues (it didn't even have seat belts, much less wide track axles or a roll cage). Occasionally I would have to get out and walk a short distance while my dad navigated a tricky obstacle (mostly because my mom was overly nervous).
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post #10 of 29 Old 09-22-2019, 12:56 PM
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I would wait to find a later YJ, having the family bar already, gives you a good start to build from. I swapped one into my 78 '5, it is doable, but I had to rework the wheelhouses to get it where I wanted it. The YJ is also a little wider and has more stability than a narrow track (NT) CJ would.



I have a 2yo and a 4yo, they are both in child seats/boosters. I am not worried about them hitting their head on the bar because I have it back pretty far, plus their seats have side head guards. When they get older, I may have to redesign again.. maybe find a source for high back seats for back there instead of the fold/tumble. I also made anchor points to attach the LATCH straps of their seats to, not just the seat belt. The 86 WT axles I put in place of the stock NT ones give it more stability.
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post #11 of 29 Old 09-22-2019, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spieg8 View Post
I'd wait for a 7 if you plan on back seat riders. Having said that, I rode in the back of my dad's 5 many, many, many times when I was a little kid and really had no issues (it didn't even have seat belts, much less wide track axles or a roll cage). Occasionally I would have to get out and walk a short distance while my dad navigated a tricky obstacle (mostly because my mom was overly nervous).

My plan was for a '95 YJ as then I'd have a galvanized frame/tub. & the family cage Biggest advantage of the CJ5 is location(not sure how I'm going to get it home, nothing nearby that's for a decent price(seeing things on Marketplace are $1500, not seeing much withing 100miles that's under $4000.)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cutlass327 View Post
I would wait to find a later YJ, having the family bar already, gives you a good start to build from. I swapped one into my 78 '5, it is doable, but I had to rework the wheelhouses to get it where I wanted it. The YJ is also a little wider and has more stability than a narrow track (NT) CJ would.



I have a 2yo and a 4yo, they are both in child seats/boosters. I am not worried about them hitting their head on the bar because I have it back pretty far, plus their seats have side head guards. When they get older, I may have to redesign again.. maybe find a source for high back seats for back there instead of the fold/tumble. I also made anchor points to attach the LATCH straps of their seats to, not just the seat belt. The 86 WT axles I put in place of the stock NT ones give it more stability.

I'd definitely prefer a CJ7/YJ, preferably a '95 YJ. Been looking for well over a year and haven't found one I want at a price I can afford, and that isn't so far away I can't get it home.

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post #12 of 29 Old 09-22-2019, 08:59 PM
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Just looked up your general location... wow, you're right on the border about!



One thing to think of, is if you have $4000, and can find a few for around $1500, you may want to look into shipping it. I do not know what you have to drive, but something like a 1/2 ton truck and car dolly would go a ways, even if you had to rent/borrow one. I've towed an 88 Old Cutlass Supreme (the ugly FWD model) from Chattanooga TN to Canton OH before with an F150 on a Uhaul dolly. I've even driven from Canton to just south of Florence KY to look at a truck that I didn't buy. Ended up finding one a couple weeks later in Cincinnati to drive down and buy... I found the CJ you see in my profile pic on Craigslist, and then we ended up driving from Canton to Beaver PA to look at, put a down payment on, and then go back to buy it and drive it home a week later (had to wait for Uncle Sam to deposit my income tax that week)...



All depends on how bad you want it, and what kind of time you can take to go look at to possibly not buy if it is too bad. Emailing pictures and such before the drive would be very helpful, too.

Rick

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post #13 of 29 Old 09-22-2019, 09:49 PM
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Get a Prius.
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post #14 of 29 Old 09-23-2019, 04:17 AM
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Get a Prius.
I got one !!! Only way to afford parts for the CJ.


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post #15 of 29 Old 09-23-2019, 08:00 AM
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I got one !!! Only way to afford parts for the CJ.
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