Crossing Half of France in 1 Day With My CJ5

by Alain
(Paris, France)

My dream became a reality when I arrived in the Alps to get my CJ5.

My purpose was to bring it to my country house near Orléans, approx 700km. The Jeep was waiting for me in a garage, in the mountains. My son had to follow me in the Audi Quattro in case of necessity.

I started the engine for the first time,and I was on the way. It was not as easy as I had thought. There was no speed gauge, no fuel gauge, and in fact no gauge at all. The steering wheel was moving easily, but not the wheels. The cluth, all of the pedals and shift lever were difficult to move. But that was possible, so we were en route to Orléans.

I had to anticipate to turn the steering wheel about 45 degrees before any action. The brakes were also a little bit surprising, pushing the car to the right. It is less dangerous, in France, than to the left.

After 15 km at 60km/h speed I decided to get fuel in the tank. Oh surprise, the fuel tank was very big, I was filling and filling...until I discover my feet in fuel. In fact the fuel gauge on top of the tank was not fixed, and fuel was leaking...

I made, after some thinking, a fast prompt repair with my son terrified by the situation. Then I decided to make it a non-stop trip to Orleans, filling the tank every 2 hours at half capacity, or 20 liters.

To check the speed I had a GPS, so max speed was 73 km/h. On the highway, it means that all the trucks were passing by my head on my left, and I had no doors. Trucks were pushing me, due to air movement, to the right and I had to compensate by an adapted move on the steering wheel.

Departing at 2.PM from the Alps we arrived 12 hours later, in deep night, to the country house. I was exhausted. Then 2 days later I had some problems with the electric wires (short circuit) which put an end to a promenade, and since this day my Jeep is in repair all will be made new.

What is fantastic is that crossing France was successfull, but looking at what I have to repair (nothing heavy, but plenty of small diseases) I have been very lucky to make this non-stop travel with more chance and very good weather.

Comments for Crossing Half of France in 1 Day With My CJ5

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by: Sanjeev Rana

Thanks a million for your hilarious description. I can well imagine your plight in getting your Jeep to its destination. I am sure you must have enjoyed the experience because encountering so many problems is as good as offroading over impossible terrain.

Answer to Sanjeev
by: Alain

Well, to have an old CJ5 is not easy. But spare parts are the same as the old military Jeep. Clutch, brakes, transfer case, etc.

It is still on repair because - bad luck - my friend specialist in Jeep is sick and he cannot work on a car.

So I wait until February to finish the repair.
Because it is winter and bad weather, it is not important.

What is nice is to drive a Jeep in hot weather, as I did when young in the south of France, Côte d'Azur. Windshield down, near the sea or in the forest of Provence, through tracks in the mountain, it is a huge pleasure.

I plan to buy also a M38A1 to travel with the children, 2 Jeep is better than 1!

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