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1974 Jeep CJ5

March 19, 2014

I’ve missed having a second car, and I’ve really missed having a project car, so I started looking and found what I hope will turn out to be a good deal on a 1974 Jeep CJ5. My last 4×4 was a 1996 Land Rover Discovery. After about 3 years I surrendered and admitted that the collection of wires and stuff that passed for an electrical system had defeated me. Plus, it was never properly housebroken and insisted on liberally marking it’s territory wherever it was parked for more than a few minutes.

The CJ doesn’t have a name yet, but several came to mind on the drive home, all of which would require an NSFW warning. I expected that a car that has been on the road longer than I have was going to need some attention; that’s a lot of the fun with a project car. And the seller had been clear that it had a few issues, like a cracked windscreen and a speedometer that “cut’s out” sometimes. During the test drive he also mentioned that it gets a little shaky on the freeway. I suspect that was an understatement as it quickly becomes a thrilling adventure ride at anything above 40 mph. I say suspect because I haven’t actually taken it on a freeway yet, I chose to limit myself to surface streets for the 20 mile trip home out of concern for the people around me

Interesting aside: what does a non-surface street look like? I’ve got a jeep now, maybe I can find out after it is less-dangerous to drive.

During the drive home I began a mental catalog of the things that need to be fixed:

  • Replace windscreen
  • Get theĀ  speedometer working
  • Fix steering problems
  • Fix electrical problem that makes the fuel pump cut out and stall the engine. It also seems to affect the electric cooling fan.
  • Get the passenger headlight working at full brightness.
  • Think about a top in case it ever rains again here in SD. That one is probably a really low priority
  • See if anything can be done to improve the performance of the non-power-assist brakes. If not, remember to double the leg presses on my left leg at the gym so I don’t become massively lopsided.

Let the adventure begin…

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