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  • Sevice Manuals and Tow Bar

    I am purchasing a 73 CJ5 with stock springs, tires, bumper. It has a 258, T-18 Transmission, T-20 Transfer, DANA 25 front, and DANA 44 rear. I'm planning to upgrade to larger tires (wheels optional), a lift kit, a winch, and install a tow bar to the front bumper to transport it (infrequently) from one place to another for modifications and off-roading. Searching publications, I find that the following look promising:

    How to Maintain and Repair Your Jeep: Covers (1945-1986) and Wrangler (1987-1995) Models - Rob Reaser
    How to Modify Your Jeep Chassis and Suspension for Offroad Use - Jp Magazine;
    Jeep Cj Rebuilder's Manual, 1972-1986: Mechanical Restoration, Unit Repair and Overhaul Performance Upgrades for Jeep Cj-5, Cj-6, Cj-7, and Cj-8/Scrambler - Moses Ludel;

    I intend to use the JEEP to drive through uncut woods with small to medium boulders and some mudding (but not bogging).

    Any recommendations on modifications and good reference books to buy for self modifications? I have some mechanical background from farming but am not a mechanic.

    Recommendation on brand of tow bar? Tires (thinking 31x10.5x15)? Lift Kit (2")? I am not new to CJs, but new to OFFROADING.

    Thanks.

    Scott

  • #2
    Well I was going to buy this as a second book but you need it.
    Buy This
    As for tow bars I like my Tomkin. But for bars themselves it really doesn't matter much. I have the More Tow shackels, and that is nice. All I have to have is the bar, can be torn down to a few parts. Hook that to the shackels and away you go.

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    • #3
      Tow bars I don't know much about. As far as suspension mods, I put a 3 1/2" - 4" lift from Rancho on mine years back. It was 2 1/2 spring and 1 1/2 shackle. That worked out great with 33" x 12.50". Allowed me to go most places.. Good luck

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      • #4
        Lost-one, thank you for the link to the manual and the reference tot he Tomken Tow Bar. It appears that the tow bar must hook up to the Tomken Front Bumper, problem is the only one's I see for sale for CJs is for '76-'86 models. Is there a work around or am I not looking at the correct web site for bumpers to fit earlier models?

        Tom'74CJ-5, thanks for the clearance notes. Only concern I have is that I would like to stay with the narrow axles from the early CJ's and worry a bit about the stress from the larger radius tires. Do you have issues with the stress from the radius? Did you change out the ratio in the front and rear differentials? Curious on thoughts from you experienced JEEP rock crawlers...

        Thanks!

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        • #5
          I never had problems with running that size tire. It's actually not that big. Back when I had that lift on, I was taking the jeep out 3 or 4 times a week locally, just running a muck in the mud pit's and hill climes. I also had some real good runs in the local mountains on various trails. The only issue that came up right after lifting the jeep was getting the right yoke angle on the differentials. The front was fine because of the length, but the rear needed to be shimmed. I also dropped the transimission crossmember about an 3/4" - 1". After that, there was no chatter or problems with the "U"-joints. At the time, I believe it had stock 373 gears with posi in both ends. They worked out ok but could have gone lower. I was also running a the stock t-15 with dana 20. With your T-18 and stock gearing and diffs, I'd say you'll do just fine on most trails for awhile.
          I regards to finding a bumper for your jeep, I ran into the same problem. I'm not sure if the frame width is the same (I think it might be a lttle widder on the 76 and up) thats why I had somebody make it. If you are willing to spend the money to buy a new Tomken bumper (or any in the price range) I'd strongly suggest checking out the 2 guys I mentioned earlier or surfing in EBAY under "jeep bumper". Let me put it this way, I got the complete front and rear, built to my specs, for less that a complete rear bumper/tire carrier from tomken. I had a real eye opener and actually got some good ideas for my bumpers just by seeing all the custom stuff that was out there. I dont have any pictures of the rear yet, but I can send you one of the front. If you want, PM me your email and I'll get back to you.

          Edited: the 2 guys mentioned are on another thread about Bumpers in the CJ forum.
          Last edited by Tom74'CJ-5; 05-05-2005, 02:05 AM.

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          • #6
            I bought a universal tow bar on ebay for $40 approx. Installed easy.

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            • #7
              I see the universal tow bars advertised in various places, however not as low as that. Some use tow bar shackles that connect the front springs and others seem to use bars that must be attached to the front bumper by drilling new holes in the flat bumper and bolting. Not a fan of drilling new holes... How does yours attach to the JEEP mjo79? Also, is there a recommended load rating?

              Anyone else have a tow bar they like? Interested in the ways to attach to '73 JEEP. Also, do you have problems towing a lifted JEEP with a stock SUV? Have PATHFINDER to tow with, just not ideal to be rock crawling with.

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              • #8
                mine has a 5000 lb weight limit, plenty for a jeep. Yeah, I had to drill, but I'm not particularly attached to my stock chrome (rust spots) front bumper. The one time I tried to tow it the jeep would not turn. the wheels went straight and everything bound up. It freaked me out so I just drove the thing.

                YES the steering column was unlocked. I probably could have had more air in the tires though. I'll try again when I get a 10" raise for my hitch, to get the tow bar angle acceptable.

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                • #9
                  Look closely at my front bumper. Does it look like I have any tow spots on there?
                  No, there is none. Look at my shackels, notice the pin in the middle? That is where the tow bar connects. Narrow or wide trac it would work for you.
                  Now, I do have a bumper that I have set-up for mounting on a vehicle I just purchased so I can tow it home.

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                  • #10
                    Thanks for all the advice. I think I will go with the shackles for the tow bar hookup. Two questions though. Do these shackles interfere if I decide to go with shackles for a little shackle lift (maybe 2"), or are these fixed to the frame allowing a set of shackles to bolt on? Is the Tomken tow bar of fixed width or can it be adjusted to fit the width between the shackles?

                    By the way Lost-one, nice muddin' pics.

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                    • #11
                      They are the shackels. They give approx 1/2" lift. You do not want to go with a shackel lift. IMHO they are not worth it. The Tomkin bar is fixed. You could take it apart and store it under your rear seat. With the widetrac it has a little play. But as my cousin said. If I didn't see it in the rear view I wouldn't know its there. It tracked well behind a Ford 250. I think with the narrow track it would work very well, the distance between the shackels is less.
                      On the muddin pics, thanks, me and my cousin were bored with no fish in the river.

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                      • #12
                        Thank you all! I just ordered my WARRIOR Adjustable Tow bar and Tow Bar shackles for early model (<'76) JEEPS. Please tell me quick if I made a mistake...

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                        • #13
                          No, I don't think it's a mistake. It's a good way to get your rig from place to place. Enjoy the new toy...

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                          • #14
                            Hey, if you or anybody else needs a copy of the Technical Service manual...I got mine from:
                            Chrysler service publications800) 890-4038 OR
                            Faxon Automotive Publications: (800) 458-2734

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                            • #15
                              rmy,

                              Curious. How much is the service manual?

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