Great write-up on your jeep! I just picked up a 66 cj5 with the original Dauntless 225 V-6, & 3spd with o/d. Just starting to finish it up with my son. I'll keep in mind your jeep economics, thanks.
Wow I just today traded a 1981 Honda 650 motor cycle for a 1966 cj5. the bike was cherry and the jeep... well it needs a lot of work, but I got it due to all the good I have heard. it also has the factory v6 and transmission. I see a lot to do, but I see the end result and I can already see the trails my blazer is afraid to try.
I bought a 73 CJ5 for $500 this past summer. It is very rough, but I have come to love it. My 17 year old son & I are rebuilding it without the need to have it "perfect". I don't think Jeeps were ever perfect. After a couple hundred dollars replacing the engine electronics the little 304 AMC V-8 runs great. Very strong.
If you are looking for a good family project and don't have the skills or experience to do a really quality job this is the car for you.
Lots of fun & they even run. I have not been able to get it stuck & I am not a 4X4 driving pro.
I own a 66 CJ-5 with the Buick Dauntless V-6 and the T-86aa 3 speed tranny. I also have a Gleason - Torsen set up in the rear (they call this rear end the "bomb", when it goes it takes everything with it!). I got the Jeep as a 16th birthday present! Right now I am re-doing it from the frame up, and I can say I wouldn't swap the V-6 for another engine! I may swap the original 3 speed for a Chevy turbo 350, you can get an adapter kit for it through Advanced Adapters. The swap is pretty straight forward with very little hassle. I want to swap the original model 27 front diff/axle with a model 30 eventually.
So here are the plus factors for the CJ-5: It is a Kaiser era Jeep and built to last. The CJ-5 will turn 3' inside of a CJ-7, the original V-6 has plenty of power, most came with the Dana 44 out back and a spicer tranny. The low gear in these Jeeps is rock crushing LOOOOOOWWW, Most trails that newer 4x'S give up on you don't even flip the hubs over for, I've driven mine down trails so narrow they could be labeled as bike paths! Even at stock height, the clearance is generous, and my experience with a 1" lift is even better. Rock hopping is a piece of cake and high centering is no problem! (I've never rolled it) Chicks dig them!!!
And the down side to owning any CJ...
Never enough room, inclement weather is no fun, you could get a sore throat trying to have a conversation, things disappear a lot if left unattended for long, fuel tanks are generally small, and things get kicked up off the highway and sometimes hit you. High winds through passes and canyons blow you all over the road!
All in all, the CJ-5 is the ultimate 4x4 for the price. I will never get rid of mine! "There's only one JEEP"
I got a 1980 CJ5 with the original inline six cylinder motor, overhauled. It has really good low end torque that makes it great; if you get into the rocks and boulders, it just creeps through them like cake.
I've been more places in this Jeep than I would have dared take my 1973 GMC half ton pickup, which was my only four wheel drive for a long time until I came across this Jeep. I go everywhere in it, hunting, fishing, camping, work, or just out for a drive. They're just a thrill to get in and drive. It feels like you're going on an outdoor adventure when you're just going downtown to the grocery store!
In the fall when the leaves are changing, drop the top, load up the kids, the old lady, and take a drive up the old canyon and see the sights and the beautiful colors of autumn.
When people think of the sports car, little do they know that the jeep was the inspiration for all modern sports cars, the Jeep is the true American sports car in my opinion, it doesn't have to be fast and flashy, just a Jeep. Heck, you can't take a Corvette out four wheelin' can ya?
I'm a long-time Jeep owner & enthusiast, but one thing the Jeep is not is a sports car.
To the guy who says hes a long-time Jeep owner and enthusiast. Difference between a Chevy Corvette and Jeep CJ5. Corvettes are extremely expensive, CJ5's are affordable and easy to maintain and work on. If you get in a fender-bender with a CJ5 it only adds to the beauty of the toughness of a Jeep and doesn't need to be repaired. If you get in a fender-bender in your Corvette, you are devastated to know that the last 10 years of your life you worked your butt off to pay for it has lit itself on fire, unless your rich.
You can drive your CJ5 in all types of weather and get it dirty. Your Corvette will get dirty if driven all the time and can't take it on snow and ice. You're always worried about your Corvette staying clean. CJ5's look good with dirt and mud on the body. CJ5's can go almost anywhere off-road. Corvettes are restricted to street and pavement use only, unless you like chipped paint drive on gravel.
CJ5 windshield folds down easily and soft top can be easily lowered for fresh open-air driving, doors easily come off. Some Corvettes have soft tops but only the top folds down, nothing else.
You only need liability insurance to drive a CJ5, if you wreck it go buy another one, they're cheap in most cases. You need full-coverage insurance to own a Corvette, very EXPENSIVE! If you wreck your Corvette, your insurance is going to be your worst enemy. If your making car payments on a Corvette and you wreck it, your going to hate life!
I'm not dissing Corvettes or sports cars in any way, I just don't see the purpose in all the stuff you have to deal with. Jeeps are simple, easy to work on, fun, and affordable to drive, not to mention you can go anywhere in a CJ5!
I agree that Jeeps are easier to work on and repair than a Corvette, but they are still NOT sports cars.
I'm not dissing Jeeps - I've got one sitting in my driveway, and I don't even own a Corvette!
I think its kinda funny how often the comment comes up on these forums "Jeeps aren't sports cars". Usually someone will then bring up Enzo Ferrari's comment about the Jeep being the ONLY true American sports car. Oops, this time it was me. :)
He meant, of course, that they handled the sport for which they were intended with the effortless and world-class finesse one expects from a "sports car". Furthermore, they aren't particularly well suited for more mundane tasks... very sports-car-like.
But they aren't low, fast, ultra powerful (out of the box), or flat cornering. That's what guys mean when they say its not a sports car.
So we're all correct.
So that's out of the way. We can get back to discussing Jeeps... the sweetest little "sports cars" on the planet.
Delude, delude if you must, but the trusty little Wrangler parked in my driveway is no sports car!
You COMPLETELY missed my point. It's the best car for the sport for which it was intended (off roading). There's a Wrangler parked in my garage too and it's no "sports car" in the traditional sense. Enzo was referring to a more accurate definition of "sport". It wasn't self delusion that drove him to refer to the Jeep that way... it was an attempt to show that there is more than one vehicular sport. In THAT sense, a Wrangler (including CJs, etc.) is a true "sports car".