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  #1  
Old 06-29-2019, 02:38 PM
TheCitrusMaster TheCitrusMaster is offline
230 Tornado
 
Join Date: Jun 23, 2019
Location: TX
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Looking for a Jeep Gladiator - What to watch out for

Hey guys, I am new to this forum. I have posted a general introduction already, but I have many questions that you expert jeep enthusiasts can probably answer or at least provide insight towards.

I am looking to buy a 62-71 Jeep Gladiator with the Rhino grill. I absolutely love the look of the Rhino grill.

Questions:

1: Are there certain things (rust obviously, but other things as well) that I should be watching out for on these old jeeps that point to abuse or are just bad omens? Would like to know if there was anything that you wish you knew when you bought your first older Jeep. Also, specific spots that tend to rust?

2: What is the best way to source parts for these old jeeps? How big of an issue is it going to be getting access to parts? I dont expect it to be easy.

3: Is there a place where I can get wiring diagrams, specs, and other things of that nature?

4: Has anyone ever tried swapping the engine out to an EFI system engine (I am MUCH more comfortable with EFI)? I realize that there is the whole nostalgia against changing things from stock, and if it is the easiest rout to take I will probably leave it stock. I dont plan on changing every little detail of the Jeep, that would take away from its classic appeal. I would however like an EFI engine if possible.

5: In relation to my above question, I read somewhere that swapping the Gladiators that have the I6 with a newer Jeep 4.0 I6 engine can be done fairly easily, any more info on that? I am a big fan of the Jeep I6 4.0.

6: Is there a place I can go to buy these? I am not opposed to traveling long distances to acquire one of these, so long as it is worth the distance. The more complete the better.

7: Other general information you think I should know. I will say I have not ever messed with a vehicle this old. I am a younger person, I have never messed with a carb (other than the one on my lawnmower) and I have never messed with anything older than 1987 (still EFI). That being said I have done my fair share of work on cars.

Thanks guys!
-Tyler
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Old 06-29-2019, 06:16 PM
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Crankyolman Crankyolman is offline
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Location: Pacific Northwest
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCitrusMaster
Hey guys, I am new to this forum. I have posted a general introduction already, but I have many questions that you expert jeep enthusiasts can probably answer or at least provide insight towards.

I am looking to buy a 62-71 Jeep Gladiator with the Rhino grill. I absolutely love the look of the Rhino grill.

Questions:




I will try to answer some of your questions although I don't have all the answers. Most answers can be found on this website somewhere.



My personal preference is also for the Kaiser era trucks rather than the AMC. Mine is a '72 which is the last of the Kaiser era but has an AMC engine.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCitrusMaster
1: Are there certain things (rust obviously, but other things as well) that I should be watching out for on these old jeeps that point to abuse or are just bad omens? Would like to know if there was anything that you wish you knew when you bought your first older Jeep. Also, specific spots that tend to rust?


I made a list at the end that covers a lot of things. As far as rust they have a real tendency to rust on the lower seam of the bed and floorboards, especially under the gas pedal. I have a '69 header panel that has rust at the lower area where 2 pieces are spot welded together, which would be hidden by a bumper. look through some of the build threads and you will get a good idea of where else they may rust.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCitrusMaster
2: What is the best way to source parts for these old jeeps? How big of an issue is it going to be getting access to parts? I dont expect it to be easy.


There aren't that many sources for parts BJs offroad ( http://www.bjsoffroad.com/ ) and Partsdude 4x4 ( http://stores.partsdude4x4.net/ ) are my go to sources. It also helps to be a good scrounger and be creative.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCitrusMaster
3: Is there a place where I can get wiring diagrams, specs, and other things of that nature?

http://oljeep.com/




Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCitrusMaster
4: Has anyone ever tried swapping the engine out to an EFI system engine (I am MUCH more comfortable with EFI)? I realize that there is the whole nostalgia against changing things from stock, and if it is the easiest rout to take I will probably leave it stock. I dont plan on changing every little detail of the Jeep, that would take away from its classic appeal. I would however like an EFI engine if possible.


Lot's of engine swap threads here. Currently LS swaps are very popular but pretty much anything and everything has been swapped into these trucks at some time.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCitrusMaster
5: In relation to my above question, I read somewhere that swapping the Gladiators that have the I6 with a newer Jeep 4.0 I6 engine can be done fairly easily, any more info on that? I am a big fan of the Jeep I6 4.0.


I have no answer here, I'm a V8 guy


Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCitrusMaster
6: Is there a place I can go to buy these? I am not opposed to traveling long distances to acquire one of these, so long as it is worth the distance. The more complete the better.

Maybe Jeeptruck.com ( https://www.jeeptruck.com/sale/sale.html ) but ebay, craigslist, offerup and ebay often have them. Prices can range from cheap to crazy.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCitrusMaster
7: Other general information you think I should know. I will say I have not ever messed with a vehicle this old. I am a younger person, I have never messed with a carb (other than the one on my lawnmower) and I have never messed with anything older than 1987 (still EFI). That being said I have done my fair share of work on cars.


Make sure you use the right oil. I bought mine and months later had the cam go bad because previous owner didn't.



Late '71 and '72s with V8s use engines with shorter water pumps that can be expensive to fix and problematic to replace as well as a few other eccentricities like a 3 bolt harmonic balancer and Buick Nailhead transmission with an adapter plate if it has an auto trans.



'63-'65 had Tornado engines which was an overhead cam I-6 that tends to not be highly regarded. I think they also did some things with the early steering that changed in later models so steering parts may be an issue.



'65-'67 offered an AMC 327 V8 or AMC I-6 engine. If they have the auto trans they also use the nailhed trans with an adapter plate. The AMC 327 is actually a highly regarded engine but tends to be harder to find parts for. I once had a '66 that had a Chevy V8, it had a single reservoir master cylinder and hydraulic clutch. I once had the clutch seize up and actually bent the clutch push rod. I also had a rear brake cylinder blow out and lost virtually all brakes as a result of the single cylinder.



'68-'71 used an AMC I-6 or Buick 350 V8, late in '71 the AMC V8 was also used. They also use the Nailhead Th400 auto trans with an adapter plate. The advantage to the Buick is there are tons of them out there in old Buicks so parts are readily available and fairly cheap. I think the only real issues with the Buicks are the oil system can be a little lacking, especially in cold weather. I think converting an older Buick engine to EFI is probably the simplest one, and they are easier to drop a different BOP engine into.



The rhino grill went away in 1970 but retrofitting one on a '70-'78 is pretty easy. I don't think it is hard on later models either. I retrofitted my '72 with one with few problems. It can be expensive though because they are a desirable grill.


Kaiser era tailgates are hard to come by so if possible find a truck that has a decent tailgate. It took me 4 years to find a reasonably straight Kaiser era gate that only needed a small amount of rust repair. It is possible to retrofit an AMC era tailgate but it's a lot of work. The '73 and later tailgates are 2.5" wider and use a different latching system so to retrofit you have to narrow it, cut holes and add the hook brackets, weld in Kaiser era side pieces and fill in where the AMC latch is but it can be done.



Kaiser era axles tend to be harder to find parts for depending. Many of them used Dana 44s front and rear, some used Dana 62s in the rear. They also used drum brakes all around, '72 and '73 may even have 12" drums which are very difficult to come by when you need a replacement.


I don't think anybody makes off the shelf springs for the Kaiser era trucks and later ones don't fit.



'70-'72 long beds are the 4000 series (J4500, 4600, 4700, 4800 depending on GVW) they are longer wheelbase than any others and hard to find a replacement bed in good shape because there was only something like 15,000 of them made. 2000 series are short bed. '68-'70 long beds are 3000 series and have a shorter wheelbase than the 4000 series.
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  #3  
Old 06-29-2019, 06:36 PM
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Kaiserjeeps Kaiserjeeps is offline
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Location: Mooseville Northern Idaho
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Great write up crankyolman. Hell creek makes lift kits for early trucks and wagoneers. As far as I know the only company that makes them for early Kaiser trucks.

http://www.hellcreeksuspensions.com/kits/Kits.aspx

I might have a 70 and 71 J3000 and J4000 for sale soon. The 70 is a donor for the nearly complete 71. I don't want to part with them till I get my hands on the two 71 camper specials I am supposed to get soon. I don't want 4 trucks sitting here. I will probably post an ad later if they need to move on. North Idaho is probably way to far away to be worth the trouble.

Welcome citrusmaster
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  #4  
Old 06-29-2019, 10:03 PM
TheCitrusMaster TheCitrusMaster is offline
230 Tornado
 
Join Date: Jun 23, 2019
Location: TX
Posts: 8
I don't mind the idea of LS swapping one of these trucks. LS engine and transmissions are stupid easy to work on and parts are easy to find. I may look into doing that.

I have two of these trucks for sale near me. One is a J200 and the other a M715. Both have the I6 tornado.

The J200 is 100% complete, everything completely put together, but it has issues. Bad manual transmission and bad carb on the engine. It hasn't run in many years. Not too much rust (I live in Dallas in the south, we don't have much rust down here). I really like this one but they are asking 6k for it which is rediculous for something that hasn't run in years.
The M715 (which I am going to look at tomorrow) is taken apart. The engine is rebuilt. It still has issues, and the fact that it is taken apart means I have to figure out where everything goes. That being said, the guy who had it seems to really know about these trucks and had offered to point me in the right direction to how things go together and where to get parts/diagrams (also thank you guys who responded for the links). He is asking 4k.

https://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/pt...903858936.html

Tell me what you think of it.

A few more questions. What is a good price for one of these trucks that doesn't run?

Also what makes the I6 a bad engine? If it really is as bad as it is made out to be I'll go with the LS swap route but I am curious.
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Old 06-29-2019, 10:22 PM
TheCitrusMaster TheCitrusMaster is offline
230 Tornado
 
Join Date: Jun 23, 2019
Location: TX
Posts: 8
Also, thank you for those links, especially the oljeep link.
The lift Option would be pretty cool, but that is most likely a project for after the Jeep is running and driving. Still, thank you for the suspension lift link.

Also, as far as getting your Jeep from Idaho I am not opposed to a road trip...lol. I do not think my Ford ranger that I currently drive would really work well for towing a much larger truck 1500 miles however, so I'm not sure if that would work.

If there was some way to work out a towing solution I would not be opposed to coming by to take a look at it.

Let me know when you have it for sale.

Another question: what are the differences between the Jeep gladiators and m715 trucks?

Last edited by TheCitrusMaster : 06-29-2019 at 10:29 PM.
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  #6  
Old 06-30-2019, 09:42 AM
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Crankyolman Crankyolman is offline
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Join Date: Sep 27, 2017
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 310
I'm assuming the J200 you are talking about is this one
https://texoma.craigslist.org/cto/d/...914227709.html


Personally I think $7000 is quite high for it given all that is needs. The biggest thing I see off hand is rust in the bed seam and along the rear fender flares but it also looks like there is some on the lower part of the tailgate. Then the transmission and possible engine issues make it a prime candidate for an engine swap. It also needs brake work. Around here that one might sell for $2,000 in that condition, maybe $2,500. Maybe my area is just cheaper than yours but I think I've seen some pretty cheap ones in Texas and Oklahoma. Here is an example of what we pay up here

https://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/...918733440.html



If you look close you can see what I talked about with the steering box. You can see it's up by the firewall. Later models they moved it, you can see that on the M715.



You can also see the two single reservoirs. One is brakes, the other clutch. In my younger days little luxuries didn't matter as much as now but since I am getting older they do. Things like power steering and power brakes and if I were in Texas air conditioning would be high on the list as well but that's just my personal preference.



That M715 doesn't have a Tornado engine it has a later I6. If you look at the J200 you can see the difference. The Tornado has a scalloped valve cover and overhead cam.



I can't say the tornado is a bad engine but I can't say it is good either since I have never owned one but many will say it's not good.



I am not really up on the differences between the Gladiator and M715 but I think there are quite a few. I think most of the sheet metal is different, the dash is different, I think the axles are too, not sure what else.


Speaking of axles, I forgot to mention I think some of the early gladiators used a Spicer 53 rear axles.
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Old 06-30-2019, 10:14 AM
joe joe is offline
 
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Welcome and phew...losta questions in one post. I'm gonna counter with a couple more question.
What's your intended goal/use? What's your budget, skill level and project time allotment?
The years you're considering are all "hobby" trucks and not really up for daily driver use at todays modern speeds and traffic congestion levels "ESPECIALLY NOT M715's".
I would lock for a civy J-truck as stock/orig as you can find. Stay away from the lifted Taco Bell cruisers. Sooo many botched lifted poser rigs out there that are downright dangerous and an expensive bear to correct from day one.
Even stock they are work driving/stopping them by modern use/comfort standards. If your intent is an occasional street driver I'd look for the latest, best condition Kaiser era you can afford. They are all going to need lotsa work and chasing repair parts will be time consuming. unless you just really really want and have use for an M715 military rig, I'd forget an M715. About the only things a civ J-truck and an M715 have in common is the 230 OHC motor and trans. Everything else, tcase, frame, axles, gearing,body, 24v electrics is different and REALLY hard to find good parts for.

Realistically determine your intended use, time/$$$ budget, skill level. Then do lotsa homework before buying a potential yard art money pit you'll end up hating and can't resell
Did I mention these are hobby cars and not designed/built for practical modern road use? If determined...they'll sorta do it but at a high comfort, reliability, maint price. Do not dive into the cheapest you can find figuring "I'll fixit up on the cheap". The early Kaiser era trucks are tough,cool, fun rigs but of limited use in 2019. Shop wisely and have fun!
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Old 06-30-2019, 01:06 PM
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Herk Herk is offline
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Location: Boise, ID
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Watch out for trying to make it into something it was never meant to be. When you start thinking about engine swaps, lifts etc. My best advice would be to start out with a later AMC (76-80) truck and swap a rhino grille onto it.
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Old 06-30-2019, 02:03 PM
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timwiller timwiller is offline
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Posts: 51
fire

the wiring is anemic from the factory. the headlight circuit is a meltdown waiting to happen. gonna need relays, maybe a switch and harness connector. also grounding is a big issue throughout! ground ground ground!! depending on accessories etc. a 35 amp alternator gets real busy real quick too. overall i have spent 1/3 of my time on electrics.

door seals is another can of worms...

get a TSM and study it like the bible!

my truck is a preservation project, except for the 304 amc PO put in it? pretty much stock. i do a lot of thinking outside the box and remember----


J ust E veryone E lses P arts!!


hope you find a nice one. I've had mine for 17 years and i think come I've across 3 in my travels.
Welcome to the sheer madness!!!


http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showt...1966+gladiator
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Old 06-30-2019, 05:00 PM
Crankyolman's Avatar
Crankyolman Crankyolman is offline
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Join Date: Sep 27, 2017
Location: Pacific Northwest
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe
Did I mention these are hobby cars and not designed/built for practical modern road use? If determined...they'll sorta do it but at a high comfort, reliability, maint price.



I have to disagree with that statement. There is no reason a Kaiser era truck can't be made to be an every day driver. Yes there are few examples ready to do that today but they are out there. I drive mine every single day and other than the cam going bad leading to a rebuild of the engine have had very few problems with it. It even drives down the freeway at 70 MPH just fine. although that doesn't happen often but I don't drive my 2012 escape at 70 on the freeway often either and I wouldn't be afraid to drive my truck anywhere. No they don't have what some people think of as modern conveniences but that's the beauty of them, they are dead simple. Simple to operate simple to work on and a joy to drive




Quote:
Originally Posted by Herk
Watch out for trying to make it into something it was never meant to be. When you start thinking about engine swaps, lifts etc. My best advice would be to start out with a later AMC (76-80) truck and swap a rhino grille onto it.


Sorry I have to comment on this too. A Kaiser era truck is more than a J10 or J20 with a Kaiser grill. The look is special and a complete package the Kaiser tailgate is way better looking than the AMC gate and the tail lights too. No offense to you J10/j20 drivers but I hate those big ugly AMC tail lights, the small round Kaiser lights with the bee hive or biscuit backup light are just a thing of beauty. Then there is the dash which is completely different and way better looking than an AMC era. The instrument cluster is just plain cool and just thinking about the amount of thought and detail that went into that big oval steering wheel is mind blowing, there are finger grips on the back side from 8'oclock to 4'oclock with a thumb groove on the side facing the driver. From 4'oclock to 8'o'clock there are ridges, I assume, to help grip when turning. Add to that the horn bar and that slender sexy steering column and you have one sexy truck. It takes a complete package to make a Gladiator and a J10/J20 with a rhino grill falls far short of that complete package.



Of course this is just my opinion
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Old 06-30-2019, 06:17 PM
TheCitrusMaster TheCitrusMaster is offline
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Join Date: Jun 23, 2019
Location: TX
Posts: 8
Looks like I have started quite the thread here I am interested to hear others experiences and insight with these Jeeps!

-M715 differences:

I know the M715 has heavier duty axles, VERY high gear ratio (5.something) a soft top configuration, and yes a different dash. I am curious as to what the other differences are, but I haven't been able to find a thread going over exact differences. According to Joe they have different everything. I guess the gearing makes sense given the military application. I could always change out the axles/gears to a more street-friendly gear ratio. Then there is the T-case, and frame, etc. Also that wacky 24v electrical system. There is actually a whole site dedicated to the M715 (http://www.m715zone.com/vb/index.php), lots of information, and lots about changing gears/axles on there and much more. Nothing much about differences between the M715 and gladiator however :/

With all of that being said, I think that joe is right that it would be very smart to just stay away from the M715. I still like the look and ruggedness of the M715, and I am still going to look at that M715 today, but just out of curiosity though. I also like the design of the civ gladiators a little more, and I am really not a big fan of soft tops.

-As far as the other questions Joe has posed:

I have a budget of about 3.5k for the initial rig. That is negotiable based on condition, and needed work. I have a decent amount more money that is available to put into the rig for parts while working on it, but I am also stingy when it comes to money. I will NOT pay 7k for that green gladiator, but it does look cool. I would probably pay 3500 for that J-4000, if it wasn't 1981 miles away...lol.

Based on what cranky ol man has said, I should be able to get something pretty decent for that price (or at least I hope so). I have a feeling I am going to have to be VERY patient...Oh well, more time to research.

I have done a lot of work on cars in general, but I have limited experience with rust, carbs, and older vehicles (being that I usually work on 90s and up cars, usually Texas rust-free cars). I realize that in that regard, there will be a learning curve here.

As far as time, I have a lot. I am pretty patient, and I have a specific place that this vehicle can be stored indoors for a long time. I am in no rush to finish it.

I have asked myself these questions about my ability to realistically work on one of these trucks. It is something to seriously think about, and is part of why I am trying to do a bunch of research now before I spend money on anything. It isn't fun jumping into things you arent ready for.

I feel that with the right gear ratios and a different engine a gladiator could be daily driven. That being said, I dont own one so my opinion honestly means nothing. Also, I definitely wouldn't want it as my sole form of transportation.

-Mods:

I do not want a lift. Not a big fan of them, stock height is just fine

I have had my share of working with electronics. It isn't all that fun, but I do understand it for the most part.

As far as engine swapping...I like the reliability and ease of access to parts that comes with modern engines. This is going to be a sub-10k truck that I drive regularly and get dirt and stuff on. I wouldn't change every little detail, but an engine swap and gear swap is fine. A truck like this I would buy because I like the truck, if I can modify it in some way to make myself like it more, then why not?

I can live without power steering, and I can also live without AC (my first car had neither and I drove that thing for quite some time, I am also quite used to the hot weather). I would most likely however put a large fan of some sort in the cab...lol. I absolutely do not trust these older type brake systems, especially with this drum brake configuration, so I will definitely be modding the crap out of the braking system.

@crankyolman - is either of the steering box configurations "better" than the other?

I have played with the idea of getting one and putting 28 inch rims on it and 4-12 inch subs and blasting Lil-pump on my way to dollar general to buy a pack of cigarillos.......

JK

Thanks to everyone who has no far contributed to this thread. I really do appreciate it, and I would like to learn as much as possible about these trucks before I decide to buy one, and also so I know what to look for.
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Old 06-30-2019, 07:21 PM
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Crankyolman Crankyolman is offline
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It seems you have the right attitude and are going into this with your eyes wide open.


Have a look through my prissy thread and you will see the kinds of things you will be running into.


http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=184059


According to the daughter of the original owner my truck had 107,000 original miles when I got it. I paid $2,400 and it had brand new tires, new gas tank, new brakes, new battery and new exhaust. Having driven it for years I have no reason to doubt the mileage she stated wasn't correct but there were still things that went wrong just due to age.



It also might be helpful to look through some of the threads in the build threads. They are actually super easy to work on.



You may run into more worn out parts than I did but remember nobody ever did anything until they did it, whether that is rebuilding an engine, transmission, differential, welding, body work or changing a light bulb. Nobody ever did any of it until they did it. I've always had the attitude that there is nothing I can't do and as a result I have usually been right.
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Old 07-01-2019, 09:02 AM
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tgreese tgreese is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCitrusMaster
Hey guys, I am new to this forum. I have posted a general introduction already, but I have many questions that you expert jeep enthusiasts can probably answer or at least provide insight towards.

I am looking to buy a 62-71 Jeep Gladiator with the Rhino grill. I absolutely love the look of the Rhino grill.

Questions:

...
Hi Tyler -
- Grilles can be changed to the one you like. Don't let the grille type determine which years/models to buy.
- The earliest J-trucks are way more outdated than trucks from just a few years later. 1974 was when Jeep achieved modernity on par with the automotive world, IMO. 1974 and later will have disk brakes and modern axles. Appearance does not change much for the whole run, 1963-1987, and you will be way way ahead to start with a truck that has a comparatively modern drivetrain.
- I'd chose any 1974-on with a manual transmission. If you want an automatic, 1980-on is a safe bet, or learn about the Quadratrac FT4WD used with the automatic 1974-79 before you buy.
- The 258 used '71-on is a very reliable and durable engine, with average power for its displacement. The 4.0L HO engine is a fairly easy swap for the 258, and would provide a lot more highway power. You can put a 258 crank in a 4.0L block to make a 4.6L stroker six - www.jeepstrokers.com - Avoid (!) the 258/automatic combo ... sooooo sloooowwwww. Note that the 230 and 232 prior to 1971 are completely different from the 258 and 4.0L and not bolt-up compatible. A '71 258 is also an oddball. The 230 is a story in itself - the only reason to buy a 230 truck (like the J200 above) is to restore it (a guaranteed money loser - do it because you are a collector), or to gut it and replace all the outdated-even-in-the-day mechanicals.
- Watch Craigs List nationally and eBay and go get the truck you want. California, Arizona, Nevada, eastern Oregon, etc. They seem to be plentiful in the Northwest. Anything 4WD is overpriced in Texas. These trucks are not plentiful compared to the big three, but neither do they fetch high prices. They are both oddballs (low price) and trucks (low price) compared to other vehicles of their vintage. No comparison in price to the Wagoneers.

Realize that you are considering a truck that had mostly the same appearance over a 25 year run with three different parent companies and many many component changes. Eight different engines, more than a dozen different transmissions, and dozens of other transfer case and axle combinations. The site has a database that may help you: http://www.ifsja.org/tech/figures/db.html

If you want something to drive around town, make trips to Home Depot, and do some camping and exploring, I'd suggest a 1980 or newer J10 with a 258 and T-17x 4-speed. More fun sooner, fairly practical, and you're likely to be able to sell it later for a decent price.
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Maine beekeeper's truck: '77 J10 LWB, 258/T15/D20/3.54 bone stock, low options (delete radio), PS, hubcaps.
Browless and proud: '82 J20 360/T18/NP208/3.73, Destination ATs, 7600 GVWR
Copper Polly: '75 CJ-6, 304/T15, PS, BFG KM2s, soft top
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Last edited by tgreese : 07-01-2019 at 10:00 AM.
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Old 07-01-2019, 11:39 AM
joe joe is offline
 
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Location: PNWet, USA
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Citrusmaster, sounds like you've got the right attitude. I'm not putting down the M715's. Tough rigs. I ran one in Nam for 3 months as part of a downed helo recovery team. There were times I seriously flogged/abused it and it held up fine(we had an excellent motorpool). The 5.88 gears were a plus in the bush but a severe hinderance on pavement. WOT maxed out speed, eng and running gear screaming at 45mph. Since you're going to go look at the local M715 anyway, a short test drive will quickly make you aware of the joys of city traffic and pavement speeds. It's a handful for sure. If you're lucky the local M715 was at one time owned by a rural fire dept with a SAR team. Most of those have already been converted from 24v to 12v. 24v stuff is crazy expensive.
Oh: and bring a can of spinach along on the test drive cause you'll need forearms like Popeye.
Shopping/money wise, I would look outside of TX. Anything badged "Jeep" seems to be precious in TX. TX has "the" most outrageous owner "asking prices" of anywhere in the country. I'd concentrate on LA/NM/AZ or even SoCal.
Best of luck on your search.
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  #15  
Old 07-01-2019, 03:18 PM
TheCitrusMaster TheCitrusMaster is offline
230 Tornado
 
Join Date: Jun 23, 2019
Location: TX
Posts: 8
I have finally figured out how to quote!

Quote:
Originally Posted by joe
a short test drive will quickly make you aware of the joys of city traffic and pavement speeds. It's a handful for sure. If you're lucky the local M715 was at one time owned by a rural fire dept with a SAR team. Most of those have already been converted from 24v to 12v. 24v stuff is crazy expensive. Oh: and bring a can of spinach along on the test drive cause you'll need forearms like Popeye.

I didn't get to test drive it because it doesn't run. It doesn't even have a motor in it lol. I am very curious to see how they drive, and also curious to see how they would drive with a better engine and 4.10 or even 4.56 gears. The truck was used as a fire dept truck (in S Carolina), and was fully converted to 12v according to the guy I talked to. It had a Wag power steering setup in it, and it had a almost pristine cab, with only one spot of rust in it. The frame on the other hand....It didnt look too amazing. I did like the look though. So....Rugged. I really do like the M715 look aesthetically. I also understand the reality of driving around a truck tractor. I will see if I can send some of the pictures I took later on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joe
I would look outside of TX. Anything badged "Jeep" seems to be precious in TX. TX has "the" most outrageous owner "asking prices" of anywhere in the country.

Agreed. Some prices can be pretty damn ridiculous (although there is almost never rust). 4wd especially and jeep especially especially. Our 98 TJ costed.... Too much. It doesn't have a spec of rust though and runs great so I am ok with it.
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  #16  
Old 07-01-2019, 03:31 PM
TheCitrusMaster TheCitrusMaster is offline
230 Tornado
 
Join Date: Jun 23, 2019
Location: TX
Posts: 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by tgreese
- Grilles can be changed to the one you like. Don't let the grille type determine which years/models to buy.

I have been looking into this a little bit. I know it can be very hard to find a rhino grill, but finding a whole truck with the rhino grill is seeming to be even more difficult (although I have only been searching for about a month).

Looking on facebook marketplace I found much more than craigslist. In a 100 mile radius of me, I have found one - J-200(7k), one - other gladiator that was trashy and rusted, and about a dozen or so different M715 in various conditions. There is one that I am talking to the owner about parting out since he doesn't have the title. I have a feeling I could acquire a rhino grill that way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tgreese
-I'd chose any 1974-on with a manual transmission.
I love manual transmissions and I would imagine they are also better suited in these older vehicles. I have had a car with a 3 speed auto before (same one that had no PS/AC) and god was that a horrible experience.

I have been looking into J-10s and J-20s and Although at first I wasn't a fan of the razor grill, it is growing on me. I still like the rhino way better. J-10s and J-20s also seem to be pretty plentiful around me and that is another huge plus. And then there is the modern design factor.

If I was to buy a vehicle outside of Texas it would have to run so I could drive it back. Even if it did run, im not sure how comfortable I would feel driving something I haven't done any work on for that long a distance. If it didn't run im not sure how I could tow it (too heavy for my little ford ranger), that could get semi-costly and negate the cheapness of getting one farther away.

https://gyazo.com/a8e5402e64d33121ae0a5e182bf45e3a

I talked with the owner of this 1979 J10 and he sent me a bunch of pictures and basically described everything about the truck. He said that although the AMC 360 in it right now does not run he has another AMC 360 that does. I wouldn't buy it. Cost, work required, and the auto trans are 3 strikes. It is a very nice looking truck though. I like the look of the J-10 golden eagles. I would think about just putting an LS in it like I have talked about but 5k is already way out of budget and he didn't sound like he would take the 2.5k I would give for it.

Later on I am going to post pictures of the M715 I looked at.
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  #17  
Old 07-04-2019, 09:14 AM
fulsizjeep's Avatar
fulsizjeep fulsizjeep is offline
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Join Date: Aug 21, 2002
Location: Jubilee Jeeps.SWCO
Posts: 22,254
You can make them look however you like with several different grill options. My wife likes the cheese grater.



That said, I'd be looking at J10 and J20 trucks (74-88)
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76 401 Wag, 77 401 Wag, 77 401 J20
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  #18  
Old 07-04-2019, 11:02 PM
TheCitrusMaster TheCitrusMaster is offline
230 Tornado
 
Join Date: Jun 23, 2019
Location: TX
Posts: 8
I've been reading over threads, and looking at all of the differences, and I think you guys are right. I should be looking for a 74-on J10/20.

If I could find a J20 with the 360 and 4 speed manual, I would probably leave it stock and drive it as is.

Once I get the J10/20, I'll consider buying the front grill assembly from another Jtruck. Finding it may be an issue, but I guess I'll figure it out.

@fulsizjeep your rig looks very nice!
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  #19  
Old 08-11-2019, 07:10 PM
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bufurd bufurd is offline
327 Rambler
 
Join Date: Apr 13, 2008
Location: ashland wi.
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I've a 74 J20 that I've put 176,000 on in the last 4 years, put together right any of em will do it. My 70 I put about 35,000 a year on until the 74 got done.... The drums are fine if done up right, Hydro Boost is a good upgrade. Pre 74 will have closed knuckle front axles, I am a huge fan of by the way for various reasons. Good luck whichever one you chose.
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  #20  
Old 08-13-2019, 09:07 AM
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UnkleMunky UnkleMunky is offline
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Join Date: Oct 17, 2000
Location: The Zenith City, Up Nort'
Posts: 1,194
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCitrusMaster
I feel that with the right gear ratios and a different engine a gladiator could be daily driven. That being said, I dont own one so my opinion honestly means nothing. Also, I definitely wouldn't want it as my sole form of transportation.

....

I can live without power steering, and I can also live without AC (my first car had neither and I drove that thing for quite some time, I am also quite used to the hot weather). I would most likely however put a large fan of some sort in the cab...lol. I absolutely do not trust these older type brake systems, especially with this drum brake configuration, so I will definitely be modding the crap out of the braking system.

Gear ratio: I am not sure if you are looking for *power* or *flow*. If you want power/torque, then higher (number) axle ratio is going to be your friend, but will chew it up at the gas pump. If you want flow, then a lower (number) axle ratio would be better. I've mostly had 3.54s, but the best highway drive I ever had in a J-truck was in an '83 J10 with a 258/4-speed and 2.73 axles. Combination was quite nice, and handled highway very well. My '78 with a 258/granny 4 speed and 3.54s HATES the highway. I have found its sweet spot is around 45-55mph on quiet highways. I get the best mpg (have gotten 19-20 numerous times in that range), and it's just happier. Above 60 I can tell she's not happy, and 70+ and she is really complaining. I try not to push her that hard because of that. She's happier in the slow lane. But that '83 would have been fine cruising the highways and would be the type of combination I'd look for in a daily driver that got regular high speed use. Just my thoughts on that....

As for manual steering...again, you might want to think twice on that. Had a '77 J10 with manual steering. Was mostly fine, but NO WAY was it worth trying to parallel park that puppy. If you never have to do tight steering like that, you could be fine, but if you did, it's a different animal in a truck like these versus a car.

Drum brakes...I have to agree with other comments about them being fine if you have them kept in good condition. I have worked on various vehicles with various combinations and in many other vehicles I prefer to work on disc brakes, but on the J-trucks, I never liked the front discs...at least to work on. I'd rather work on the drums on back. From a functional standpoint, it matters more that you have them kept up to shape than necessarily preferring disc or drum.

That being said, I talked to a kid nearby me here who is restoring/building a '63 Grand Prix...almost from scratch. He got a kit to change the front drums to disc (but leaving rears as drums) and being a GM brake system, he totally redid the brake lines and moved the proportioning valve up to the engine bay on the firewall. I thought....sheesh....and AMC put the valve thing on the dang frame below the cab. I liked his thinking better, as it's easier to access when you're dealing with it. But redoing all the lines is a good idea if there is any question as well. There are rear disc options, but regardless of your approach, you want everything in good condition!

Anyway....we wish you well on your search and hopefully we're helping you narrow your search down more.
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