Q&A: Miscellaneous Willys, Jeep CJ & Jeepster Questions and Answers
Enjoy the many detailed, traditional ‘Q&A’ exchanges in these article columns…’Q & A’ has now moved to open, interactive forum discussions. Visit the forums, you’ll want to join—for free!
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Parting Company with Family?
Can you recommend an antidote for someone who’s contemplating the sale of a Jeep he’s owned for about 30 years? I’m having guilt pangs about losing a family friend. The model is a ’77 CJ-7.—Jeff J.
A ’77 CJ-7…That’s a tough call. If you’re a “Jeep guy” and don’t want to lose access to a Jeep vehicle, there are several modern replacements. Since you have a 94-inch wheelbase model, the YJ or TJ Wrangler would make a practical replacement. I’d pick from 1991-2006 models for their fuel injection, NP231 or Rubicon transfer case and better transmission choices. If you want a new vehicle, of course the current 2-door JK Wrangler would be a fit, with a slightly longer wheelbase and safer, wide track width.
If your concern is “attachment” to the ’77, there’s no cure. Take a lot of pictures before selling the vehicle, it will remain in your family album forever…On the realistic side, this is machinery, and it does wear out. A ’77 model could be in need of a major restoration if more than 150,000 miles have racked up. Cost would be in the $8,000-$12,000 range for a thorough going over, including mechanicals and cosmetics, and this will bump up against the vehicle’s resale value…Even a $12,000 investment, if the work is done correctly, is still way less than the cost of a new JK. If you do keep the CJ, consider an EFI conversion from Mopar as part of the restoration…My Jeep CJ Rebuilder’s Manual, 1972-86 Edition (Bentley Publishers), is a primer for restoring the ’77 model.
Parting with the Last ‘F-Head’ Jeep 4WD
Sent: Thursday, March 10, 2011 8:51 AM
To: 4WD Mechanix Magazine
Subject: Send an inquiry to Moses Ludel; 1971 Jeep cj5 farm/universal
My name is Jeb & I live outside of Omaha, NE. I have loved old & antique Jeeps, tractors & 60s muscle cars for most of my life. I don’t have much free time as I very much enjoy spending the time I have with my children & working part-time jobs. I have come to the realization that I do not & will not have the time to do the following vehicle justice in what it deserves, a full restoration of a beautiful & historical piece of Jeep machinery. I have owned this 1971 Jeep cj5 for almost ten years & am ready to part with it. It has the original F-head 4 cyl motor, 3-speed trans & a third shifter stick that controls the rear PTO mounted on the rear steel bumper. It has a front Meyer brand snow blade that is manually adjusted side-to-side, but has electronic lift controls in the cab & a Meyer brand steel half hardtop. It’s 70/30 solid/rusty, but all there, stock & ready for a Jeep lover!
My question is who, specifically a Jeeper young or old, do I market this vehicle to? I want to sell without listing it at an on-line auction site or local want ads. I have previously owned a 1974 (my birth year) cj5 with a slant-back soft top, a 1981 cj8 Scrambler 5-spd & a 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee HO 4×4. Loved ‘em all, but had to let them go for the good of the family. I appreciate your written & recorded Jeep history books & your dedication to the love of an American made iconic vehicle! Everyone loves a Jeep, but few can own one. It’s a Jeep thing!
From: 4WD Q & A
Sent: Thursday, March 10, 2011 10:01 AM
Hi, Jeb…I sense your appreciation for the CJ-5 and all of your other Jeep vehicles; I also understand your views on family and priorities. I’ve let a few of those “prized possessions” take a back seat to family needs—the rigs went down the road, my family is here!
I would be delighted to place your ad (free) at the website/magazine classified section. The section gains traffic all of the time, with a large draw across North America and even worldwide. You might join the new forum, too; it could use your input and the cameraderie might help take the sting out of parting with your current Jeep CJ. The forum is a secure site, free of nonsense.
Your CJ-5 is unique, being the last of the vintage F-head models. There were a handful of ’72-’73 carryover CJs with F-head fours; frankly, I’ve never seen one. Send me a few nice photos (your choice of angles) in higher resolution .jpg format (1-3MB files each). I’ll edit and size the photos and set up your 100-word text. Simply write what you have to say about the CJ. I will put the ad up immediately.
I will be presenting at the Midwest Willys Reunion (Mason, Ohio) in May. That’s some distance from Omaha, but I thought you might be interested in knowing. Enjoy the website, forum and Jeep “thing”, it’s worth the effort and can serve your family well in the long run. We’re a four-generation Jeep family now!
Nice Feedback on the Jeep CJ Rebuilder’s Manual
I just finished overhauling my ’47 CJ-2A and wanted to say a big THANK YOU for making the Jeep CJ Rebuilder’s Manual: 1946-71! This book was incredibly valuable to me during my rebuild…Thanks, again!
Nice to get your feedback, Jonathan! You’re just the reader I had in mind when the book was conceived. My photos went well beyond the publisher’s expectations, as I know how much illustrations help. Glad the CJ manual worked well for your ’47 CJ-2A project! This book earned a Mopar official part number. So did my Jeep Owner’s Bible and 1972-86 CJ Rebuilder’s Manual. You were the target audience!
Jeep CJs in the Netherlands!
A friend of mine recently bought a bone-stock, 1974 232 cubic inch CJ-6. He is new to the “Jeep thing” and struggles with some issues the truck has. The intake/exhaust manifold set is not air tight, causing all sorts of problems with engine performance and efficiency. After disassembly, the manifold turned out to be broken completely. A local mechanic/garage found and mounted a replacement manifold. I’m not sure whether it is NOS or OEM…Meanwhile, costs are building up, and the CJ still doesn’t run as it should…I have your excellent book laying next to my bed, reading it frequently before sleeping, and I have it on my workbench at the ready whenever I do things on my own truck. However, here in the Netherlands, a 232 inline six engine is quite rare, and expert knowledge is even more so. Specific technical documents are unavailable. Could you please help us find a solution? What would really be helpful would be a detailed spec sheet or technical drawing of an engine—maybe a workshop manual on CD/DVD, anything in the general 1974 CJ-6, 232-six direction would be very welcome.
We have been asking and looking around, but our options are running out. Some of the answers we’ve had are contradictory and adding to our confusion. Attached are pictures of the ailing CJ-6 and also my Jeep, a 1977 Toledo-built CJ-5 with 304 V-8 (VIN has ‘H’ in it), unaltered and still with its first coat of Alpine White, sold new to a Californian in 1977. (I have documents pointing to its first owner. Unfortunately, I haven’t succeeded in making contact so far.)
I bought the Jeep in 2001, and the only repair needed was fixing the 1st gear which kept popping out due to bad synchromesh rings. The factory fitted options include a 304 V-8 engine, tinted windshield, tilt steering wheel, front disc brakes, and Trac-Loc differential. Wolfrace Wheels are 10” x 15″ slot mags. Warn hubs and Bestop R.A.T. are aftermarket items.
The other vehicle is a rare gem and time capsule on wheels, the bone stock—up to its Whitco top—1974 AMC 232-six powered CJ-6 (above photo). Ordered and Bought by a Dutch car dealer in 1974, the Jeep was used at his country house and estate. After his death, his son sold it to a museum where it sat for a couple of years. They put the CJ-6 up for sale, I tried to buy it with a trade-in, but they argued that they already had enough cars and demanded cash. So, I tipped off my Jeep pal, Peter, who bought the Jeep—instantly…Marc O., Netherlands
The two CJs sound great, Marc, and I am delighted that my Jeep books have been of service abroad. Your frustrations about service literature are understandable, and I suggest that you locate factory workshop manuals from the years of your 1974 and 1977 model CJs. I source and cross-check information directly from OEM manuals, as there is an inherent risk that aftermarket books may lose or alter information in the process of compiling and translating data. Toward that end, I have a 1972 AMC/Jeep CJ workshop manual on my shelf that does cover the ’74 model. (For my research, I also have a 1984 factory book and many other model years as well.)
For readers unfamiliar with the CJ-6, this unique vehicle carries over from the Willys/Kaiser years. Introduced shortly after the original CJ-5 (1955), the CJ-6 was a stretched, 101” wheelbase model that afforded more cargo area and versatility. When AMC bought Jeep, the first AMC designed models were 1972. The CJ-5 had gone from 81” to an 84” wheelbase to accommodate the new inline six. The extra 3-inches needed for the inline six translated as a 104” wheelbase for the AMC/Jeep CJ-6. The CJ-6 in this configuration was only available from 1972-75. In 1976, the 94-inch wheelbase CJ-7 came on line with its new boxed frame, an improvement shared by the 84-inch wheelbase CJ-5.
Did consumers miss the CJ-6? Perhaps. In 1981, a 103” wheelbase CJ-8/Scrambler emerged. Today, with lift kits offsetting the longer wheelbase issue, a CJ-6 or Scrambler/CJ-8 is in high demand! Your Pal, Peter, has a rare model, indeed, especially for a Jeep sold on European soil!
As for your CJ-5, you have the better equipment available in 1977. Some ’77 models (early) still use drum brakes, and you have many options that are desirable—a very nice Jeep, for sure!
I found sources for the Jeep manuals you need…I have used the Detroit Iron products for restoring classic cars. They are scanned from original factory manuals. The parts manual from Willys Jeep Parts is probably a quality reprint. You can inquire at the company’s website. There are two products available, a factory parts manual for 1972 and an illustration supplement for that year. The parts manual would cover the ’74 CJ-6 fairly well. Your 1977 CJ would need a later parts source guide. The 1972-81 Detroit Iron (CD) shop manuals are each for a given model year. These CD copies of the factory shop manuals are $42 U.S. (free shipping in U.S.) per year model.
You can sometimes find original, used copies of manuals on Ebay. Regarding manuals in reprint or copy form, here are the sources I have found useful:
1) http://www.willysjeepparts.com/CJ%20&%20DJ%20Publications.htm (a 1972 parts manual, the first year of AMC/Jeep CJs)
1972-81 for official factory workshop manuals in CD form. These are Detroit Iron products, and you can buy online. The CDs consist of officially authorized, direct scan copies of factory shop manuals.