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1975 CJ-5 Bitely, MI eBay

• CATEGORIES: CJ5, Features, Other 4x4s • TAGS: This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

UPDATE: Back on eBay.

This odd duck looks like a combination of a CJ-5 and a Topeka Hiway Mower. It’s a no reserve auction with a starting price of $2695.

View all the information on Ebay

It started life as a 1975 Jeep CJ5 Chassis. As near as we can tell, it was converted when new into a street-sweeper by the PB Loader company (which is still in existence today). Sometime later in life, someone got the bright idea to remove the street sweeper broom and replace it with a 62 inch quick attach skid-steer style snowblower (Ford 715 Model). We understand that the PB loader company made a similar model for airport tug use.

You Tube Videos of machine in operation:
(copy and paste the links below into address bar to view)




I purchased this unit almost 8 years ago (in early 2012) with the purpose of fixing it up to use for snowblowing the private road that I live on as well as my own drive and property. The machine was in pretty distressed condition when I got it and I have done many repairs and upgrades to get it in to working condition. With the exception of one year when I worked out a deal with a neighbor, I have used this machine every year to clear northern Michigan snowfall from over 1/2 mile of private road, plus parking area, etc.

More about it:

The Jeep is equipped with the venerable inline 6 cylinder engine and 3 Speed Transmission. It is 4 wheel drive of course, and the 4×4 works. I have equipped the back with tire chains, and in 4 low with tire chains it is nearly unstoppable if you use any common sense. When clearing deep snowfalls, you can go forward until it will not go forward any longer, back up a bit and keep going, over and over! It just keeps fighting! It has (4) snow tires on it with very good tread depth. It is geared very low with 4.27 axles, so will move very slowly which is ideal for blowing snow.

Snowblower portion:

The original steet-sweeper was hydraulic driven, so the machine has a massive hydraulic pump (which alone is probably worth over $1,000) as well as a very large hydraulic reservoir. The snowblower is a Ford 715 which is driven hydraulically and is hydraulically raised and lowered like a plow. It originally had hydraulic turn on the chute, but that system was problematic, so I converted it to electric with remote control which works superbly.

Rear hoist:

The folks before me who converted the machine into a snowblower added a large steel box to the back and poured it full of concrete to add weight to the back for traction and counteract the very heavy snowblower hanging out front. I had the idea to add a crane hoist intended for a pickup truck to the back and welded brackets to the weight box to which the crane is in turn bolted. It is extremely handy for moving heavy things around. We have used it mostly for moving engines. Although I certainly would not advise it, I moved a V8 Chevy diesel engine with it this summer.

Other additions:

This past winter I added an LED light bar to the top which really lights up the night and makes things much easier when blowing snow at night. I also added plastic side curtains which you call pull closed to keep snow off you when the wind is blowing hard the wrong way when you are snowblowing, these do keep things a little warmer too.

What to do with it?

A reasonable question would be what would you do this Jeep? Of course you could continue to use it as a snowblowing machine and all around utility vehicle. It almost doubles as a tractor since it is geared low and moves slowly in 4 low. We use it to push and pull cars and other machines around, and I have also used it to pull things up and down the road to smooth it out. The rear mounted spare tire works great for backing up to things and pushing them. You could also do a lot of other creative things with all of the hydraulic power such as run a wood splitter. If you would prefer to plow snow rather than blow it, it could be converted into a plow vehicle very easily. The same ram that lifts the snowblower would easily lift a plow and the short wheelbase would make it a much more maneuverable plow vehicle than a pickup truck. I would really like to see someone buy this that loves old Jeeps that would preserve and restore it. It would be a most unique addition to an “old Jeep” collection – I have never seen another one like it! It would make a great little parade vehicle.

The ugly:

This is a 44 year old Jeep and has lots of needs. It starts, runs, and works just as it is. Someone could purchase it and use it to move snow this winter without doing anything to it except probably a new battery. I even filled the gas tank to the top this summer, fully expecting to use it this winter. I have used it around the property multiple times during the summer. The engine is pretty worn though and has a lot of blowby. It smokes blue quite a bit and if used hard will generate excess crankcase pressure and push oil out the dipstick tube. If I plan to run it hard I just remove the oil cap to prevent buildup of excess crankcase pressure and it works perfectly fine that way – I have done this for years. A slightly more elegant solution would be to put in a higher flow PCV system… but I have not gotten to that. The fuel gauge (and therefore the coolant gauge which runs off the fuel gauge’s) voltage regulator stopped working this past year. I purchased the new fuel gauge but have not put it in yet. It goes with the machine. This is a workhorse – not a showpiece!

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Why am I getting rid of it?

Natural question! It seems all of us up here in the snow country are always in search of a better way to move snow. Between my Dad and I, we have had Dodge and Chevy plow trucks, John Deere and Bolens garden and Large frame tractors with snowblowers, a compact tractor, and this Jeep! I have switched plans again and moved up to a piece of hydrostaticlly driven commercial equipment with a heated cab. I don’t have good circulation so spending 3+ hours on a machine without heat was a little tough. In the interest of full disclosure though, I want to talk honestly to the prospective buyer who would think about using this as a snowblower. As with many things that are “home-built”, it does the job, but possibly not as well as something that was originally designed for a certain task. It is my opinion that anything that blows snow should also be hydrostat drive. The problem with a gear drive machine is that when you get in heavy snow, you have to step in to the throttle to get more power to the blower – however when you do this, you also jamb more snow into the blower, which is self-defeating – so you end up having to work around this. In light snow, the machine works great and you can move right along and throw snow quite a distance (see picture above of machine blowing snow taken from in the cab). In very deep or heavy snow, you have to compensate for design short-comings. On the first pass through an area, it may be necessary to raise the blower up off the ground so you are not blowing the entire depth at one time. A second pass is then made to blow the rest of the snow. On subsequent passes through that area, if the snow is too deep or heavy, you can avoid taking a “bite” equal to the full width of the blower – for example only fill half of the blower if necessary. I have used this machine for 8 years to clear what is ultimately several miles of snowblowing by the time you take several swipes up and down the road to achieve desired width – it does work! We usually get a snowfall of at least a foot in depth at least once a winter. It just take some technique and getting used to how to run it.

New Parts:

I have replaced the pickup coil and the ignition module in the couple of years to cure a stalling problem. The pickup coil was actually the problem, so I have an extra good ignition module. I have also installed a complete new clutch assembly about 2 years ago. The starter has also been replaced at least three u-joints The headlights work, the brakes work, and the brake light works most of the time. There is a reverse beeper for safety that works and the rotating beacon on top works also. The windshield wiper also works. I have converted it to electric fuel pump, and the pump is new. It starts right up and runs well – and the sound and smell of a carbureted engine are good for the soul of those of us who remember those days.

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7 Comments on “1975 CJ-5 Bitely, MI eBay

  1. Mike

    This is cool, but I don’t know, 2695 big ones, I could use it clear my long driveway, but then again, how much snow do we get in NC?

  2. rdjeep

    I’ve often wondered about a hydraulic machine, as opposed to the bed mounted engine and drive shaft style used. I’m surprised they transmit that much power with one fluid motor. The thing I’d really like to know is where they drove the pump from. In 75, did the transfer case advance to the model (a 20?) with the straight-out-the-rear drive shaft?

  3. Illinois Larry

    Yes, they used the model 20 transfer case. Not sure which year they started, but my 74 CJ-5 has a 20.

  4. rdjeep

    Dave, as soon as I read your words, an image came to mind of seeing something like that years ago. The gear was much smaller though.

    I wrote the seller last night via eBay, and he replied today! The pump is belt driven from the crankshaft. I had noted the tandem belt in the pic, but couldn’t quite see it all. Once again, I’m surprised they can get enough horsepower that way for the blower conversion.

    Ahhhhh, ingenuity!!

  5. David Eilers Post author

    It is pretty amazing. I didn’t think about the crankshaft powering it. (Actually, been distracted by our struggling dog, so my focus is definitely off anyway).

  6. Luke

    A no reserve auction is not an attraction here. $2695 is what they’re actually Dreaming to get. Starting price (and selling price) should be $26.95 for this pile.

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