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Old 07-16-2011, 05:36 PM   #1
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78 cj

Hey everyone, I am looking at purchasing a 78 CJ and wanted to know of any issues. It has the 401 V8 with I think a 400 turbo transmission. It seems to be in really nice shape. Here are the pictures: KNAPP AUTO - Inventory
Any thoughts that I need to be aware of. I will be using it as a daily driver and a toy for the weekends. Oh and it only has 55,000 original miles and apparently hasn't even been registered since 1981 so the guy just put money into it and played a bit. I need your thoughts ASAP. Thanks!

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Old 07-16-2011, 05:42 PM   #2
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Ok I guess you have to navigate to the right page. It is on the last page of that link and its the only orange cj.

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Old 07-16-2011, 09:23 PM   #3
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Looks clean, but I would want to see under the hood, the frame, floors, body mounts and the rear corners up underneath where they are covered by the diamond plate corner guards.

The 401 was never put in a CJ as a stock option, so someone has dropped that in the engine bay, just so you are aware. Would want to check the engine mounts and frame around it with the 401, same goes for what rearend it has. More than likely has an AMC 20 in it. Make sure it doesn't have 2 piece axle shafts with that engine. That would be a definite upgrade if you want to wheel it.

Price isn't that bad, surprisingly, for a dealership. I would just go over it with a fine tooth comb to make sure it is a solid machine...take it for a ride and see what you think. Can't hurt? I would!!
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Old 07-17-2011, 10:18 AM   #4
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Looks clean, but I would want to see under the hood, the frame, floors, body mounts and the rear corners up underneath where they are covered by the diamond plate corner guards.

The 401 was never put in a CJ as a stock option, so someone has dropped that in the engine bay, just so you are aware. Would want to check the engine mounts and frame around it with the 401, same goes for what rearend it has. More than likely has an AMC 20 in it. Make sure it doesn't have 2 piece axle shafts with that engine. That would be a definite upgrade if you want to wheel it.

Price isn't that bad, surprisingly, for a dealership. I would just go over it with a fine tooth comb to make sure it is a solid machine...take it for a ride and see what you think. Can't hurt? I would!!
Hmm, that's interesting because the dealership was telling me that the 401 was put in for two years as a stock option. Go figure, they are lying. Makes me wonder about those supposed 55,000 original miles and everything else they said. I drove it and it actually drove really nice, better than some of the new Wranglers I have driven. I am just hesitant because I know it is not going to get anywhere near good gas mileage and I don't want something that is going to be a constant money pit. If these guys really are lying about a bunch of stuff then I just don't trust them at all.
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Old 07-17-2011, 02:28 PM   #5
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I echo what tarby said. It could be 155k instead of 55k. Not a bad price especially the venue.

More than likely the salesman aren't lying they just don't know anything but think they do. I'm amazed at how little salesman know about products they sell sometimes.
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Old 07-17-2011, 03:05 PM   #6
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I bought my CJ in 2004 and it still has the same 96,000 "original miles" that the sales lot guy claimed were original. Not that I care since I'm going on my third engine swap! But with a vehicle that old, unless it was garage kept in mint condition, mileage means nothing to me. Just check everything out carefully. And the others are right, the 401's were mainly used in the full size jeep vehicles, never in a CJ.

If you truely don't want a vehicle that's going to be a "money pit", I would start running in the opposite dirction away from this and any other jeep! Don't get me wrong, I love em, but I've never had a jeep that didn't need something done to it most of the time. It's just the nature of the beast.
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Old 07-17-2011, 04:59 PM   #7
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I bought my CJ in 2004 and it still has the same 96,000 "original miles" that the sales lot guy claimed were original. Not that I care since I'm going on my third engine swap! But with a vehicle that old, unless it was garage kept in mint condition, mileage means nothing to me. Just check everything out carefully. And the others are right, the 401's were mainly used in the full size jeep vehicles, never in a CJ.

If you truely don't want a vehicle that's going to be a "money pit", I would start running in the opposite dirction away from this and any other jeep! Don't get me wrong, I love em, but I've never had a jeep that didn't need something done to it most of the time. It's just the nature of the beast.
Ya I think I am going to look past this one. I just don't trust them at all. As far as being a money pit, I guess I just mean that I don't want something that is going to run me out of my house. I know that they are "needy" vehicles but I just don't want to go broke keeping it rolling down the road. I am going to keep shopping and try to find something newer that has a little bit better story behind it. Thanks for your responses guys!
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Old 07-17-2011, 05:10 PM   #8
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Ok I have seen this one around and have actually met the guy who owns it. His post says it all about what he thinks of it but what do you all think?

MOAB ready Jeep wrangler CJ5, winch, lockers, lift, SWEET

The fiberglass body really interests me because then all of those rust issues go away. I am going to look at it here in a little bit so any quick input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 07-17-2011, 05:17 PM   #9
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Look the fiberglass over real good for structrual faults that may be hidden by a quick coat of something.....with all of the mods.... make sure he has documentation as to WHAT they are... where they cam e from etc..... you MAY need parts..... and if you do not know WHAT WHO WHERE HOW.....can be VERY difficult.......

Been there on the CJ with oodles of mods.......BIT%H of a time finding axles to fit and same with regearing.....
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Old 07-17-2011, 05:20 PM   #10
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BTW.... who sells a $20K + Jeep for $8900....... LOOK listen and feel.......

I don't think a 304 could get 17mpg if you TOWED it half way.....just saying....
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Old 07-17-2011, 05:23 PM   #11
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You have to think if these things are saying MOAB ready and cant be breaking in the middle of moab theyve probably wheeled it. Wheeling puts a toll on a vehicle too. Thats why Jeeps break a lot of the time just because we beat the heck out of them. Plus you have to make sure all the mods were done correctly. Sometimes its better to do them yourself.
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Old 07-17-2011, 05:41 PM   #12
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This second ad talks about engine & tranny, but nothing about t-case or gears? That makes a big difference when you're running 35's. Also, not much clearance between the tire and fender for alot of articulation in the front. May not be an issue, but I'd want to look at it closer. I'd also want to know what the Dana 44s came off of. Because, if they came off a wide vehicle plus they're running offset wheels you may have a really wide footprint? Not that any of these issues are deal breakers, I'd just want to know more.

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