The History Of Mitsubishi JEEP
The Jeep CJ (or Civilian Jeep) is a public version of the famous Military Jeep from World War II.
The first CJ prototype (the CJ-2) was introduced in 1944 by Willys, and the same basic vehicle stayed in production through seven variants and three corporate parents until 1986.
A variant of the CJ is still in production today under license. The last CJs, the CJ-7 and CJ-8, were replaced in 1987 by the reworked Jeep Wrangler.
Although it bore the CJ name, the CJ-2 was not really available at retail. The CJ-2s were merely prototypes used for testing purposes. Willys produced slightly more than three dozen CJ-2 Agrijeeps in 1944 and 1945, forty in all . It was directly based on the military Willys MB, using the same Willys Go Devil engine, but stripped of all military features, particularly the blackout lighting. Apart from having a side-mounted spare tire and an external fuel cap, the CJ-2 was the first jeep to feature a tailgate. Eleven CJ-2s are known to have survived to this day .
Lessons learned with the CJ-2 led to the development of the first full-production CJ, the 1945-1949 CJ-2A. Like the CJ-2 and the military MB, the CJ-2A featured a split windshield. An early column shifter, which was introduced because it was thought that troops returning from WWII needed a change in the Jeep, and full floating rear axle gave way to the more familiar floor shifter and semi-floating rear axle. For CJ-2A production, the T-84 transmission was replaced with the beefier T-90 three speed transmission. It is of interest to note that many of the early CJ-2As were produced using surplus military Jeep parts such as engine blocks and, in a few cases, modified frames. Since the CJ-2A was intended to be used as a agricultural vehicle, it was geared lower than its military counterpart, and could be purchased with a variety of options such as a rear PTO and front counterweight. A total of 214,202 CJ-2A Jeeps were produced.
The CJ-3A was introduced in 1949, and replaced the CJ-2A by the next year. It featured a one-piece windshield with a vent. A bare-bones Farm Jeep version was available starting in 1951 with a power takeoff. A total of 131,843 CJ-3As were produced before the series ended in 1953.
Only one CJ-4 was ever built, as an experimental concept, in 1951. It used the new Willys Hurricane engine and had an 81-inch (2,057mm) wheelbase. The CJ-4 body tub design was a kind of intermediate between the straightforwardly raised hood on the CJ-3B and the all new curvy body style of the CJ-5. The design was rejected and the vehicle eventually sold to a factory employee.
The CJ-3B replaced the CJ-3A in 1953, the same year Willys was sold to Kaiser. It introduced a higher grille and hood to clear the new Willys Hurricane engine. The CJ-3B was produced until 1968 with a total of 155,494 produced, although the design was licensed to a number of international manufacturers, including Mitsubishi of Japan and Mahindra of India. Mitsubishi ceased production of vehicles derived from the CJ-3B design in 1998, but Mahindra continues to produce Jeeps today.
The CJ-5 was influenced by new corporate owner, Kaiser, and the Korean War M38A1 Jeep. It was intended to replace the CJ-3B, but that model continued in production. The CJ-5 repeated this pattern, continuing in production for 3 decades while three newer models appeared. A total of 603,303 CJ-5s were produced between 1954 and 1983.
In 1965, Kaiser bought the casting rights to the Buick 225cuin (3.7L) V6 Dauntless and the CJ-5 and CJ-6 got a new engine with 155hp (116kW) supplementing the Willys Hurricane engine.
A similar model, the Jeep DJ, was based on the CJ.
The company was sold to American Motors in 1970, and the GM engine was retired after the 1971 model year. (GM's Buick division repurchased the engine tooling in the early 1970s which served as the powerplant in several GM vehicles.) AMC began using their inline six-cylinder engines, the 258cuin (4.2L) in 1972 and offering one V8 engine in the same tune as a base V8 muscle car, 304 CID.
To accommodate the new I6 the fenders and hood were stretched 5inches (127mm) starting in 1972 and the wheelbase was stretched 3inches (76mm). Other minor drive train changes took place then as well.
In 1976 the tub and frame were modified slightly from earlier versions. The windshield frame also changed meaning that tops from 1955-1975 will not fit a 1976-1983 CJ-5 and vice-versa.
In the early 1980s, the CJ used a "Hurricane"-branded version of the GM Iron Duke I4.
Several special CJ-5 models were produced:
- 1961-1963 Tuxedo Park Mark III
- 1965 "Tuxedo Park Mark IV"
- 1969 Camper
- 1969 462
- 1970 Renegade I
- 1971 Renegade II
- 1972-1983 Renegade Models— featuring a 304CID V8, alloy wheels and a limited-slip differential
- 1973 Super Jeep
- 1977-1983 Golden Eagle
Early Tuxedo Park models were trim lines, but the Tuxedo Park Mark IV was claimed as a separate model than the other CJ series (marked in 1965 as the "Universal"), with more differences than past models. The Tuxedo Park Mark IV was an attempt to crack the mass market; it was, according to Jeep, “a new idea in sports cars ... the sportiest, most FUNctional car on the automotive scene.” It added to the standard CJ chrome bumpers, hood latches, gas camp, mirror, and tail lamp trim. 81 and 101 inch wheelbases were available, with a variety of convertible top and seat colors, and front bucket seats in “pleated British calf grain vinyl.” Sales of this model, introduced in 1965, were low.
The CJ-6 was simply a 20-inch (508mm) longer-wheelbase (101in) CJ-5. Introduced in 1955 as a 1956 model, the CJ-6 was never very popular in the United States. Most CJ6 models were sold to Sweden and South America. The U.S. Forest Service put a number CJ-6 Jeeps in to use. American sales ended in 1975. Just 50,172 had been made when the series went out of production completely in 1981. Just as in the CJ-5, the V6 and V8 engine choices appeared in 1965 and 1972. Former President Ronald Reagan owned a CJ-6 and used it on his California Ranch.
From 1964-1968 Kaiser elevated the Tuxedo Park from just a trim package to a separate model for the CJ-5A and CJ-6A. A Tuxedo Park Mark IV is signified by a different prefix from a normal CJ-5 with a VIN prefix of 8322, while a normal CJ-5 VIN prefix is 8305 from 1964-1971.
The CJ-7 featured a longer wheel base than the CJ-5 and lacked the noticeable curvature of the doors previously seen on the CJ-5. It was introduced in 1976 and 379,299 were built during 11 years of production.
The CJ-7 featured an optional new automatic all-wheel drive system called Quadra-Trac, as well as a part-time two speed transfer case; an automatic transmission was also an option. Other features included an optional molded hardtop, and steel doors. The CJ-7 was also available in Renegade and an upgraded Laredo model. Noticeable by their different body decals, the Laredo model featured nicer seats, steering wheel tilt, and a chrome package that included the bumpers, front grill, and mirrors. An optional Trak-Lok differential was available for the rear. Ring and Pinion was typically 3.54, but later went down to 2.73.
A diesel powered version was made in the Ohio factory for export only. The engines were provided by General Motors, the owners of Isuzu Motor Cars. Production of this diesel version is believed to have been only between 1980 and 1982.
The CJ-7 continues to be used in the sport of mud racing, with either the stock body or a fiberglass replica. It is also a favorite for rock crawling.
- 150cuin (2.5L) AMC I4
- 258cuin (4.2L) AMC I6
- 304cuin (5L) AMC V8
- 140cuin (2.3L) Isuzu Diesel C240
- Warner T-18 (4 speed)
- Borg-Warner T-4 (4 speed)
- Borg-Warner T-5 (5 speed)
- Tremec T-150 (3 speed manual
- Tremec T-176 (4 speed manual)
- Borg-Warner SR-4 (4 speed)
- GM TH-400 (3 speed automatic)
- Chrysler TF-999 (3 speed automatic transmission - 4.2L)
- Chrysler TF-904 (3 speed automatic transmission - 2.5L)
- Dana 20 (1976-79)
- Dana 300 (1980-86)
- Borg-Warner QuadraTrac #1339 (1976 -1979)
- Dana 30 Front (1976-86)
- 2-Piece AMC 20 Rear (1976-86)
- Dana 44 Rear (1986)
The (CJ-8) Scrambler was a pickup truck version of the CJ-7, introduced in 1981. It featured a 103-inch (2,616mm) wheelbase and a pickup bed. Only 27,792 were built in the five years of production before being replaced by the similarly-sized Comanche.
The Jeep Scrambler(CJ-8) did not offer the Quadra-Trac system. The majority of Jeep Scramblers (CJ-8) used the traditional transfer case and manual front-locking hubs to engage the four-wheel drive. Most Scramblers(CJ-8) used a four- or five-speed standard transmission but a three-speed automatic transmission was an available option.
A right-hand drive, full length hardtop CJ8 based on the Scrambler but without any pickup bed was made for Alaskan mail delivery van, using right hand drive. This version was sold in Australia as the "CJ8 Overlander", with small differences including full length rear windows on the Overlander.Jeep Australia (Circa 1984). Jeep Overlander CJ8 Specifications and Dimensions. Press release.
Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan also owned a blue Scrambler (CJ-8) and used it on his California "Rancho del Cielo" property(image) with the license plate "Gipper."
The CJ-10 was a CJ-based pickup truck. Produced from 1981 through 1985, it was sold mainly as an export vehicle, though some were used by the United States Air Force for use as an aircraft pulling vehicle. They featured square headlights mounted in the fenders and a 9-slot grille, a homage to the old Jeeps of WWII which originally had a 9 slot grille (the civilian model, the CJ-2 and 2a, were given a 7 slot grille as a distinction between the military and civilian models).
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