Default Buying an '80 CJ5. Any advice? 

Old 08-05-2017, 11:51 PM   #1
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Hello,

We are finally buying my dream car and I don't want to be so excited that I overlook any red flags. We've made the handshake deal already. We will bring it to the mechanic and if it's a fixer upper we are up to the challenge of having a hobby car.
Does anyone have any advice about what to look for? It's a 1980 CJ5 V6 285 Inline 6. I've read about the Death Wobble and about ways to check for it manually, I'm wondering how fast to take it to see about it on a test drive.

Thanks!

Jessica

 

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Default Re: Buying an '80 CJ5. Any advice? 

Old 08-06-2017, 01:45 AM   #2
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If it has a 4 speed it might very easily be an SR4 transmission. If you have a boat it will eventually make a good anchor. Then there will be the usual AMC20 rear end detractors. My '75 isn't very stable, but the '80 I had would flat fly down the road. It had an AMC20 rear end that never gave me any trouble at all.
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Default Buying an '80 CJ5. Any advice? 

Old 08-06-2017, 10:32 AM   #3
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The SR4/T4 aren't great transmissions but can do ok in stock/near stock jeeps, start saving money for 1 piece axles on the AMC20 rear the death wobble can be fixed with a steering system rebuild, congrats on your new money pit lol, also look for rust a big spot will be floor pans in front and behind the front seats ps my 83 CJ7 on 34s never had death wobble so hopefully yours won't either, I would start around 40 see how it does and take it on the interstate


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Default Re: Buying an '80 CJ5. Any advice? 

Old 08-06-2017, 11:32 AM   #4
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As with any older vehicle, how well the PO took care of it is half the battle. Taking it to a mechanic is smart. What are your plans for it?

 

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Default Re: Buying an '80 CJ5. Any advice? 

Old 08-07-2017, 06:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hole View Post
As with any older vehicle, how well the PO took care of it is half the battle. Taking it to a mechanic is smart. What are your plans for it?
Definitely taking it to our mechanic whom we trust very much. He will shake his head at us but he will also know we need some fun because we work in our car. We are location scouts and drive a Dodge Charger which doesn't clear much more than a pebble. This would be a hobby car that we would work on, take camping and fishing, drive on dirt roads and rocky roads and if it is in solid enough shape we would use it to scout for truck ads in hard to reach snowy, mountainous, rugged areas.

 

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Default Re: Buying an '80 CJ5. Any advice? 

Old 08-07-2017, 06:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gert View Post
The SR4/T4 aren't great transmissions but can do ok in stock/near stock jeeps, start saving money for 1 piece axles on the AMC20 rear the death wobble can be fixed with a steering system rebuild, congrats on your new money pit lol, also look for rust a big spot will be floor pans in front and behind the front seats ps my 83 CJ7 on 34s never had death wobble so hopefully yours won't either, I would start around 40 see how it does and take it on the interstate


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Thank you very much for the advice! The owner is headed home so we will test drive it and bring it to the mechanic today or Wednesday and keep all of this in mind.

 

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Default Re: Buying an '80 CJ5. Any advice? 

Old 08-07-2017, 06:29 PM   #7
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Make sure the seller takes care of SMOG as it's a PITA these days to get a carb'd engine to pass. No CJ was OEM with FI.
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BTW: Your engine is a straight 6 and it's 258 cu/in.
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Default Re: Buying an '80 CJ5. Any advice? 

Old 08-07-2017, 06:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hedgehog View Post
If it has a 4 speed it might very easily be an SR4 transmission. If you have a boat it will eventually make a good anchor. Then there will be the usual AMC20 rear end detractors. My '75 isn't very stable, but the '80 I had would flat fly down the road. It had an AMC20 rear end that never gave me any trouble at all.
Funny, we live on the bay and were going to get a boat then this came along so it's INSTEAD of a boat. Thanks for the advice.

 

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Default Re: Buying an '80 CJ5. Any advice? 

Old 08-07-2017, 07:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Funny, we live on the bay and were going to get a boat then this came along so it's INSTEAD of a boat. Thanks for the advice.
Both are known to turn into money pits. I think jeeps are usually a little cheaper

 

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Default Re: Buying an '80 CJ5. Any advice? 

Old 08-07-2017, 09:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfjessy View Post
Hello,

We are finally buying my dream car and I don't want to be so excited that I overlook any red flags. We've made the handshake deal already. We will bring it to the mechanic and if it's a fixer upper we are up to the challenge of having a hobby car.
Does anyone have any advice about what to look for? It's a 1980 CJ5 V6 285 Inline 6. I've read about the Death Wobble and about ways to check for it manually, I'm wondering how fast to take it to see about it on a test drive.

Thanks!

Jessica
Well, we drove the Jeep and decided it needs too much TLC for a novice so we didn't get it. We are disappointed but excited that we now know we really want one. If anyone out there wants a 1980 cj5 fixer upper, it's for sale in San Francisco registered in Texas.

 

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