The history of the Jeep Wrangler long predates the name (which was only adopted in the 1980s). Between the introduction of the military jeep and the release of the Wrangler YJ, there was the Jeep CJ, so named because it was a “Civilian Jeep.” While the Jeep CJ may not have had all the fancy features of the latest Wrangler, it was a reliable and capable vehicle. Today, it is as popular as ever both in the off-road community and with classic-vehicle collectors. In particular, the CJ5 and CJ7 generations are very popular. Understanding the differences will help you to choose the right Jeep CJ for you.
Differences Between CJ7 & CJ5
The Jeep CJ5 started production in 1954 and lasting in some markets until 1984. The CJ7 came later in 1976 and lasts until 1986. Of the normal-sized CJs, the 7 was the final generation before the introduction of the Wrangler YJ (there was another 10-ton truck variant produced briefly in the 80s).
The most immediately noticeable difference between the 5 and 7 generations is that the latter was bigger, longer and taller than the former. Thus, it has more legroom for passengers and more space overall. Many enthusiasts love the CJ5 because it had the longest production run by far. As such, it is the most iconic generation. Conversely, the CJ7 lasted for less time but was the most refined version of the CJ.
Since the CJ5 is older, it can be significantly harder to maintain. There are fewer CJ5 Jeep parts available, although the enthusiast community is reasonably large, making it a little easier to find parts than for some vehicles of comparable ages. Additionally, the CJ5 has fewer safety features and was not really designed for highway speeds. It can be dangerous if you expect it to handle like a modern vehicle.
The CJ7 sports a more modern design that is definitely safer to drive. Nonetheless, it is still a classic vehicle and should be treated as such. It also has more aftermarket parts and accessories available. Of course, some people still want to get the more traditional CJ5 purely for its status as an icon. Finding a good Jeep soft top for sale is much easier with a CJ7.
Engine Differences: What To Look For Under The Hood
Both vehicles have remarkably similar engines. The CJ5 was typically offered with a 2.2-liter inline four-cylinder with a three-speed manual. However, over the course of the long production run, a variety of other engines were offered, including a five-liter AMC V8. Additionally, a four-speed manual was available.
The CJ7 was typically offered with a 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder mated to a three-speed automatic or manual. A V8 was offered (also, two inline-six options) as well as some manual transmissions with four or five gears.
Find Jeep CJ Parts for Maintenance, Repairs and Upgrades
Whether you pick a CJ5 or CJ7, you will need the right parts and accessories to keep it in good working order. Find some parts today and make your classic Jeep more ready for the road and trail.