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Jeep Cj5 Specifications

by Michael G. Sanchez

With a production run that spanned four decades, the Jeep CJ5 was a one-of-a-kind, instantly recognizable vehicle. It was essentially a slightly softened and refined version of the original Willys Jeep made famous during World War II. Simple, utilitarian and tough as nails, it has served countless roles over the years: from military transport to off-road trail crawler to daily driver and everything in between. Although the rugged little vehicle had little in common with today's plush people-movers, it played a significant role in defining our idea of what a sport utility vehicle is all about. 1983 was the final year of production for the stalwart CJ5.

A Versatile Range of Engines

The 1983 CJ5 was available with one of two engines: a 2.5-liter inline-four and a 4.2-liter inline-six. The smaller engine produced 92 horsepower at 4,000 rpm and 132 foot-pounds of torque at 3,200 rpm. The larger engine put out 112 horsepower at 3,200 rpm and 210 foot-pounds of torque at 1,800 rpm. The CJ5 was offered with either a four- or five-speed manual transmission. Part-time four-wheel drive came standard on all models.

Small but Versatile

All 1983 CJ5 models employed a two-door, soft-top bodystyle. The Jeep measured 144.3 inches in length and had a rather-short 83.4-inch wheelbase. The vehicle's base curb weight was 2,650 pounds.

Slow but Steady Performance

The 2.5-liter CJ5 could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in an estimated 14.5 seconds. Switching to the larger, 4.2-liter engine dropped that number down to an estimated 13.1 seconds. While these numbers were definitely quite slow -- even back in the early 1980s -- keep in mind that speed was not one of the Jeep's priorities. The CJ5 was designed to make it through harsh, challenging terrain, not necessarily make it through quickly. While it could travel on the highway, it was more at home traversing washed-out rural dirt roads or crawling along off-road trails.

Fuel Economy Info

Despite its fairly low weight and modestly powerful engine lineup, the CJ5 was still a gas-thirsty vehicle. While official fuel-economy figures don't exist for the 1983 Jeep, EPA ratings for the similar 1984 model -- as well as self-reported data from owners -- paint a fairly gloomy picture. The 2.5-liter model averaged in the mid to high teens, while the 4.2-liter Jeep typically returned mpg figures in the mid to low teens.

About the Author

Michael G. Sanchez has been a professional writer for over 10 years. A lifelong car enthusiast and former senior mechanic, he has written on a wide range of automotive topics. He holds a bachelor's degree in English literature from Castleton State College. Sanchez started writing about cars as a part-time copywriter for a local dealership while still in high school.

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