1971? CJ5

by Ian Ahearn
(Columbus, GA, USA)


I am a long time fan of everything Jeep, especially the old CJ's.


I had a '55 M38A1 a few years back that I never got running. It ended up costing 4 times more to ship it when I moved than I paid for it so I VERY reluctantly let it go.

I have been lost ever since. However, last week I found an old CJ5 sitting in some old guys backyard in eastern Alabama. I paid $2,500 for it.

The body seems to be in great shape, it starts and runs, until I got it home. Now it will start with some trying but stalls out if the Jeep isn't moving. I don't know what the cause of that is.

I really don't know what year the Jeep is. It is an early CJ5 for sure. It has the gas tank under the drivers sear which tells me it is pre-1970. It has the 4 cylinder inline engine with 3 speed.

The guy I bought it from says it is a 1971 and gave me a VIN of 8511012073, which I confirmed on the data plate on the inside of the engine compartment on the firewall (drivers side).

The data plate says it was manufactured by AM General in South Bend Indiana. I didn't think AM General made Jeeps unless that is another name for AMC!

It has a tailgate that says Willys even though the data plate says AM General. Weird. Any ideas on what year this Jeep is? I am looking to learn as much as I can about my new Jeep! Thanks.

-Ian


Larry's Comment: AM General began producing DJ5 Postal Jeeps and other commercial Jeeps, but was called The Defense and Government Products Division of Kaiser-Jeep in 1967. I don't recall any CJ5's built by AMG...military or otherwise.

AMC bought "Jeep" from Kaiser-Jeep in 1970. I don't believe the "Willys" name was used during AMC's ownership.

I haven't found any specific data on your particular ID number. You may have a patched together CJ5 with various parts from different years.

Also, AM General is indeed headquartered in South Bend, Indiana.

Ian...Hopefully someone will "comment" below with more details to help with the identification of your Jeep.

Comments for 1971? CJ5

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1971 CJ-5
by: Anonymous

I had a '71 CJ-5 that looks identical to yours pictured. However, I had the 304 V-8 with the 3 speed tranny. Tailgate did not say Willys so I suspect that is a replacement tailgate. I also had a gas tank under the drivers seat, but had a traditional one in the rear also. I loved that Jeep. Had some great times with it. Good luck with the rebuild.

Old Jeep
by: Anonymous

Who cares what kind of jeep it is . Rebuild the carb.and clean out the gas tank and drive it!

1971 Jeep
by: Anonymous

Larry, It seems you are correct about my Jeep's ambiguous heritage. The tub, windshield, grill and tailgate are from four different Jeeps. Additionally, the hood is from an M38A1. There is no telling if any of those parts were original to the frame and engine. I began the restoration process. I discovered it has the Dana 27 up front and Dana 44 in the back. Every bolt I removed revealed a new problem. The previous owner clearly did not care for the jeep. I am excited to get her back to new! I did a complete engine tune up and it seems to run well. Thanks for the push in the right direction in regards to my jeeps heritage.

-Ian


Larry's Reply: That's what Jeeping is all about, Ian...enjoying the process and having fun with it.

CJ5
by: Anonymous

So I discovered a serial number on the engine block that reads "SD 807895". I found a guy with an early CJ-5 that has a number that is 1600 older than mine and his is a 1956. Seeing how about 18,500 CJ5's were manufactured in 1956 I figure it must be a 1956. I unearthed the VIN on the body and according to my research the last five digits of 12073 fall within the window of 1955. (SN range for 1955= 10001-27006). So I am guessing it is either a 1955 or a 1956 but who really knows!

-Ian

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