Jeep CJ5 History
The early history of CJ5
The CJ5 Jeep was introduced by Kaiser in 1955. It was constructed to replace the CJ-3B model, but that model continued in production. The actual model for the original CJ5 was the U.S. Military's M38A1 which sported the rounded-off front fenders. Moreover, the CJ5 continued in production for 30 years three newer models appeared.
The Jeep CJ5 had the longest production run of any Jeep vehicle, from 1954 to 1984. In the 16 years of Kaiser ownership, manufacturing plants were established in 30 foreign countries, and people could buy such vehicles in more than 150 countries. CJ Jeep vehicle truly became an international symbol.
In 1962 Jeep introduced the first automatic transmission in a four wheel drive vehicle, in their Wagoneer line.
In 1965 bought the casting rights to the Buick 225 cu in (3.7 L) V6 Dauntless and introduced a new V-6 engine as an option on the 81-inch wheelbase CJ5. Supplementing the four-cylinder Willys Hurricane engine, the 155-horsepower engine had twice more horsepower then the horsepower of the standard four-cylinder engine.
It should be mentioned that there is unique variant of CJ5/CJ-6 which was produced in limited numbers in Australia. In 1965, when the CJ was given the all-new Buick V6, Jeep saw the need for something similar in Australia. So, they began to fit Falcon 6 cylinder engines to them at their Rocklea factory in Queensland. A 1965 CJ5 would be fitted with 1965 Falcon engine/clutch components. When the Falcon received a hydraulic clutch system, so too did the Jeep. Combat 6 jeeps were also fitted with Australian Borg Warner differentials, and Borg Warner brand gearboxes. There is a little documentation about such jeeps, the only way to identify them is often by owner history.
Years under American Motors Corporation ownership
After Kaiser Jeep was purchased by American Motors Corporation in 1970, CJ5 came equipped with AMC-built engines. American Motors began using their own engines in 1972. Replacing the Hurricane was the one-barrel 232 cu in (3.8 L) (except in California). Optional was a one-barrel 258 cu in (4.2 L) (standard in California). Also in 1972, AMC's 304 cu in (5.0 L) V8 engine became available in the same tune as a base V8 muscle car. To accommodate the new engines the fenders and hood were stretched 5 inches (127 mm) starting in 1972 and the wheelbase was stretched 3 inches (76 mm). Other drive train changes took place then as well, including the front axle becoming a full-floating Dana.
In 1976, AMC introduced the CJ7, the first major change in Jeep design in 20 years. The CJ7 had a slightly longer wheelbase than a CJ5 to allow an automatic transmission to be fitted. Demand for the CJ7 left AMC no choice but to discontinue the CJ5, and concentrate on manufacturing CJ7.
From 1980 to 1983, the CJ5 came standard with a "Hurricane"-branded version of the GM Iron Duke I4.
Several special CJ5 models were produced during CJ5 Jeep history:
- 1961-1963 Tuxedo Park Mark III
- 1965 "Tuxedo Park Mark IV"
- 1969 Camper
- 1969 462
- 1970 Renegade I
- 1971 Renegade II
- 1972-1983 Renegade Models — featuring a 304 cu in (5.0 L) V8, alloy wheels, and a Trac-Lok limited-slip differential
- 1973 Super Jeep
- 1977-1983 Golden Eagle
- 1979 Silver Anniversary