The Truth About Cars » Jeep DJ-5 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Wed, 23 Jul 2014 18:25:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Jeep DJ-5 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Junkyard Find: 1971 AM General DJ-5B Mail Jeep http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/08/junkyard-find-1971-am-general-dj-5b-mail-jeep/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/08/junkyard-find-1971-am-general-dj-5b-mail-jeep/#comments Fri, 16 Aug 2013 13:00:06 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=499578 12 - 1971 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinSome say the huge US Postal Service contract to buy Jeep DJs saved AMC (well, postponed AMC’s final downward spiral by a decade or so), and everyone will agree that vast quantities of USPS-surplus Mail Jeeps gave cheapskate Americans low-cost steel boxes to drive for the last few decades. These things must have been extremely popular in Colorado, because I see them all the time in Denver-area wrecking yards; in this series, we’ve had this Chevy-powered ’68, this Audi-powered ’79, this AMC six-powered ’72, this GM Iron Duke-powered ’82, and now today’s AMC-powered ’71.
07 - 1971 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThere wasn’t much to go wrong with these things, which were rear-wheel-drive automatics with right-hand drive and enough bodywork to keep most of the rain off the mail.
01 - 1971 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinDid AM General use Dymo embossing label-makers for DJ-5 controls? Just about every one I’ve seen has these.
08 - 1971 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe good old 232-cubic-inch AMC L6 got the job done.

01 - 1971 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1971 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1971 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1971 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1971 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1971 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1971 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1971 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1971 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1971 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1971 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1971 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1971 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1971 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1971 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1971 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1971 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin ]]>
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Junkyard Find: 1968 Kaiser Jeep DJ-5A, With Factory Chevy Power http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/01/junkyard-find-1968-kaiser-jeep-dj-5a-with-factory-chevy-power/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/01/junkyard-find-1968-kaiser-jeep-dj-5a-with-factory-chevy-power/#comments Sun, 27 Jan 2013 14:00:05 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=475373 After I found the very rare Audi-engined ’79 AM General DJ-5G “Mail Jeep” in a Denver junkyard, I thought I’d go back to ignoring most junked DJ Jeeps. They’re very common in Colorado, and this series has always been more about historically significant vehicles than just plain old ones. However, DJs built before AMC bought Kaiser-Jeep, and featuring the nearly-forgotten Chevrolet Nova four-cylinder engine, deserve some attention.
You could get a Chevy II aka Nova with a 153-cubic-inch L4 engine until 1969. Just as the later Iron Duke was based on the Pontiac 301 V8, the 153 was based on the Chevrolet 230-cubic-inch L6. Hardly any Nova shoppers bought this engine, because gas was cheap and the six didn’t cost much more up front, but Kaiser-Jeep knew a good deal when they saw one. When AMC gobbled up Kaiser-Jeep in 1970, the good old AMC Six replaced the Nova four.
Even by 1968 truck standards, these controls were super-minimal.
Believe it or not, Jeep DJs were sold to customers other than the Postal Service. This one has left-hand-drive, so it probably spent its life hauling something other than junk mail (unless it was purchased by the Royal Jamaican Postal Service for left-side-of-the-road deliveries).
Maybe it was some seriously tight-walleted cheapskate’s commuter car? Do you really need more than a steel box on wheels to get from Point A to Point B?

02 - 1968 Jeep DJ-5A Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1968 Jeep DJ-5A Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1968 Jeep DJ-5A Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1968 Jeep DJ-5A Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1968 Jeep DJ-5A Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1968 Jeep DJ-5A Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1968 Jeep DJ-5A Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1968 Jeep DJ-5A Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1968 Jeep DJ-5A Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1968 Jeep DJ-5A Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1968 Jeep DJ-5A Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1968 Jeep DJ-5A Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1968 Jeep DJ-5A Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1968 Jeep DJ-5A Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1968 Jeep DJ-5A Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1968 Jeep DJ-5A Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1968 Jeep DJ-5A Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 19 - 1968 Jeep DJ-5A Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin ]]>
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Junkyard Find: 1979 AM General DJ-5G Jeep, With Factory Audi Power http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/01/junkyard-find-1979-am-general-dj-5g-with-factory-audi-power/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/01/junkyard-find-1979-am-general-dj-5g-with-factory-audi-power/#comments Tue, 22 Jan 2013 14:00:16 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=474678 Even though the DJ Jeep was two-wheel-drive, Coloradans must really love them. I see DJ-5 “Mail Jeeps” in Denver-area wrecking yards all the time (for example, this ’82 and this ’72). I’ve mostly stopped photographing them for this series, because how much can anyone say about the steel box on wheels that delivered our mail for much of the 1970s? However, a Jeep with a factory-installed Audi engine is interesting, so here we go.
You could also get AMC Gremlins and Concords with Audi 2.0 liter engines, which means that Gremlins and Porsche 924s had lots of interchangeable parts (I need to remember this true fact next time I’m yelling at a LeMons miscreant with PCA patches all over his race suit). The one-year-only Audi-engined Jeep may be the rarest of all the Audi-fied AMCS, though.
To go with the mighty 95 horses of the Audi engine, the DJ-5G came with a Chrysler Torqueflite 904 automatic transmission.
As iron became rust in this Jeep, the lost mass was replaced by rodent nests. The interior of Uncle Sam’s former mail sled is very hanta-riffic now!
This dash is probably what Audi Designer Hell looks like.

01 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 19 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 20 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 21 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 22 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 23 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 24 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 25 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 26 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 27 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 01 - 1979 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail ]]>
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It’s the Weekend, It’s 3 Degrees Out, and It’s Half-Price Day At the Junkyard! http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/01/its-the-weekend-its-3-degrees-out-and-its-half-price-day-at-the-junkyard/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/01/its-the-weekend-its-3-degrees-out-and-its-half-price-day-at-the-junkyard/#comments Sun, 13 Jan 2013 14:00:12 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=473239 Back when Pick-N-Pull and Pick Your Part both operated yards in Northern California, Half Price Day sales used to take place at least every couple of months. Everything was half off on those days, which meant you could get transmissions for something like 30 bucks, complete engines for $75, and so on. Then, back in 2009, El Pulpo packed up and left NorCal, which meant that the competition didn’t have as much motivation to put on such sales. Now that I’m in Colorado, it appears that U-Pull-&-Pay also does the occasional Half Price Day… and this time they chose the coldest weekend of this winter.
Actually, UPAP made this sale a coupon-only deal for those who liked the Aurora yard on Facebook. I need a steering column for my ’41 Plymouth project, so I printed out the coupon and headed up to Aurora.
Thanks to the trapper cap that the Busted Knuckle Garage guys gave me at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill in ’07, I didn’t fall over and die instantly from the single-digit cold, in spite of my inability to get used to this real winter thing that places east of coastal California get.
This guy wanted to take advantage of the 50%-off deals, but apparently the only warm outfit he could put together on short notice was centered on this festive-but-not-so-toasty-looking souvenir poncho.
I can never remember what year range of Toyota Previa contains the supercharger with Mad Max-style electrically-operated clutch, so I decided against freezing all my fingers diving into the engine compartment of this ’96.
For the ’41 Plymouth’s steering column, I’m looking for something simple but modern enough to have a built-in turn-signal switch. Ideally, this column would be from a floor-shift car (so no holes where a column shifter once lived) and would be from the pre-steering-wheel-lock era (so no ugly ignition switch on the column). This DJ-5 mail Jeep looked promising.
The turn-signal mechanism was all busted up, so I passed on this column… for now. I might go back and get it tomorrow, though. Half price!
I was also looking for a BMW E30 with rear-mounted battery, so I could grab the cable for the Plymouth. No dice on that, but I did find this ’02 Subaru Legacy to donate some parts for my wife’s ’04 Outback. 21st-century Subarus are still very rare in self-serve yards, so I was happy to find this one.
Got the rear cupholder and the driver’s-door dome light switch. $4.06 total.
One of the best things about serious cold weather in the junkyard is that the range and striking power of New Car Scent Little Trees— by far the most popular air freshener in the junkyard— is cut down to near zero.

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Junkyard Find: 1972 AM General DJ-5B “Mail Jeep” http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/05/junkyard-find-1972-am-general-dj-5b-mail-jeep/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/05/junkyard-find-1972-am-general-dj-5b-mail-jeep/#comments Sun, 06 May 2012 13:00:21 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=442701 US Postal Service-surplus right-hand-drive DJ-5s were once cheap and plentiful. Actually, they’re still cheap and plentiful. Some got converted to four-wheel-drive, some got used as farm vehicles, some ended up as urban hoopties… and many of them were bought cheap at auction and then sat for decades, awaiting a project that never got started. Here’s a 40-year-old mail carrier that looks like it went right from the post office to the junkyard. Quite a few rural routes in Wyoming and northern Colorado are handled by non-USPS-employee subcontractors who drive their own vehicles, so it’s possible that this Jeep stayed on the job well into the 21st century.
You get a steel box on wheels with a handy mail-sorting shelf next to the driver’s seat, which is located at just the right height for rural mailboxes.
AM General went through quite a few engines for the DJ series. This one has an AMC six, but DJs were also built with GM Iron Dukes, Willys Hurricanes, and even Audi-via-AMC 2-liter fours.
The instrumentation is elegant, but we must report that the DJ-5 suffers from understeer at the limit. In fact, it suffers from upside-down steer at the limit.

17 - 1972 AMG DJ-5 Mail Jeep - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 01 - 1972 AMG DJ-5 Mail Jeep - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 02 - 1972 AMG DJ-5 Mail Jeep - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 03 - 1972 AMG DJ-5 Mail Jeep - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 04 - 1972 AMG DJ-5 Mail Jeep - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 05 - 1972 AMG DJ-5 Mail Jeep - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 06 - 1972 AMG DJ-5 Mail Jeep - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 07 - 1972 AMG DJ-5 Mail Jeep - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 08 - 1972 AMG DJ-5 Mail Jeep - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 09 - 1972 AMG DJ-5 Mail Jeep - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 10 - 1972 AMG DJ-5 Mail Jeep - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 11 - 1972 AMG DJ-5 Mail Jeep - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 12 - 1972 AMG DJ-5 Mail Jeep - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 13 - 1972 AMG DJ-5 Mail Jeep - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 14 - 1972 AMG DJ-5 Mail Jeep - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 15 - 1972 AMG DJ-5 Mail Jeep - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden 16 - 1972 AMG DJ-5 Mail Jeep - Pictures courtesy of Phillip 'Murilee Martin' Greden ]]>
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Junkyard Find: 1982 AM General DJ-5 Mail Jeep http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/01/junkyard-find-1982-am-general-dj-5-mail-jeep/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/01/junkyard-find-1982-am-general-dj-5-mail-jeep/#comments Tue, 10 Jan 2012 23:00:02 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=425211 AMC got a (brief) new lease on life in the early 1980s when the French government, via Renault, invested in the staggering Wisconsin car company. Meanwhile, huge purchases of DJ-5s by the US Postal Service also helped prop up the once-proud automaker. The Postal Jeep was a common sight on American roads (and junkyards) for a decade or so after the USPS phased it out, but its bouncy-box-on-wheels ride and two-wheel-drive configuration doomed most examples to The Crusher. Here’s one that I spotted in a Denver self-serve yard last week.
You couldn’t get much more spartan than this: a simple body to keep the rain off the mail, a sorting tray instead of a passenger seat, and sliding doors on both sides.
The pushrod Iron Duke engine ruined just about every vehicle it touched, but it’s perfect for the DJ-5. Who cares that it’s noisy and weak? Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night could stay the Iron Duke from the swift completion of its appointed rounds!
This former Fedmobile appears to have spent years, or maybe decades, sitting in a field somewhere, and it still has almost all its USPS gear installed. Perhaps it was bought at auction during the late 1980s and then sat, awaiting the Hell Project upgrades that never came.

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