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Old 05-13-2011, 08:41 AM   #1
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looking for advice on an older jeep

ive got a 97 tj, and love it, but am wanting to go back "old school" and get a pre 1980 jeep. i dont want any that have the master cylinder under the brake pedal( had one ,did not like) i dont remember what years those were. any suggestions on years or combos i should look for, or look out for? i figuire i can get an informative answer here! thanks! brian

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Old 05-13-2011, 12:25 PM   #2
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Well I would recommend a CJ7 which came out in '76. (About the same lenght as a TJ)
CJ's had V8's from '72 to around '80.
I recommend a dana 300 over the dana 20 which came out around '81.
'76 and newer had more parts availiable.
But the 60's jeep are super cool.

So are you wanting a trail rig, restoration project, daily driver ?

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Old 05-13-2011, 08:59 PM   #3
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I agree. An 80 or newer CJ7 gives you the "old school" look with a solid drive train plus a decent supply of aftermarket products. I had a jeepster commando for years, but it was very hard to work on because I could never find parts. The CJ7 with an AMC 304 & Dana 300 are great to look for. The 1976-79 quadratrac system is OK, but you are limited when looking at up grades. If you really want to stand out with an older jeep, look for a CJ6. Very similar to today's TJ Unlimited in concept. I think these are going to gain in value similar to how the CJ8s/scramblers are now. Whatever you get don't expect the same comfort of your TJ!
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Old 05-13-2011, 10:08 PM   #4
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CJ6 is pre-1976 and harder to find parts for, unless they are the EARLY ones that share alot of the Pre-1972 parts (Kaiser and Willys). from 1972 to 1975 are the Intermediates (only CJ5 and CJ6) and they are harder to find parts for (AMC switching things over slowly from the Kaiser era), as the 1976 and up parts aren't compatible. CJ6 will be narrow track as compared to the 1976 and up CJ5 and CJ7s. Frames on pre-76 CJ5 and CJ6 are open C-channel and have alot of flex and are easy to break when modded (unless you want to box in the whole frame).

I like CJ5s, but as stated above, pre-1981 CJs (7 or 5) are the best. 1980 and some 1981 were the last year of the V8s as an option in the CJ, after that is when smog and emissions got the best of performance in the CJ on a whole. Just my 2 cents...
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Old 05-14-2011, 10:26 PM   #5
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To clarify, all CJ6's and all CJ5's are narrow track. They didn't begin offering wide track axles until after the CJ5's were out of production. Also, wide track axles and AMC V8's were never offered during the same year, so to accomplish this combo you'll have to work to create it (which I think is more fun anyway). For example, I have a 1980 CJ7 with wide tracks from an 84 CJ7 and an AMC 304 V8 from a 1975 CJ5. Whatever you get be ready to roll up your sleeves and spend some cash, but it's worth it when all the YJs, TJs & JKs are turning their necks to check out your jeep!
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Old 05-15-2011, 08:51 AM   #6
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thanks everyone, im looking around now. i want the v-8 and as simple electronic(less sensors) as possible. i like mechanical work, but hate electical! dont get me wrong, i love my tj, and have never had any problems with it, but i still remember my old 4x4's and how much fun they were to work on. my old scout rode rough, was loud, and drank gas, but it went just about anywhere!
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Old 05-15-2011, 11:47 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guns-r-us.com View Post
thanks everyone, im looking around now. i want the v-8 and as simple electronic(less sensors) as possible. i like mechanical work, but hate electical! dont get me wrong, i love my tj, and have never had any problems with it, but i still remember my old 4x4's and how much fun they were to work on. my old scout rode rough, was loud, and drank gas, but it went just about anywhere!
Sounds like you have a plan. I love my cj7. It has the original v8 (304). I have rebuilt it and made some improvements to make mine produce more power and be more reliable. My favorite being a DUI distributor (HEI style). Makes it very easy to find parts since every car parts store in the country carries parts for a gm hei.

I converted mine to a T5/D300 setup over the original T150/D20. I like have 2 more gears and the lower ratio transfer case. Although the T5's are a weaker transmission I have been very happy. Got a back up in the floor if need be.

I still have the narrow track axles. I just did a axle swap from a '79 CJ5. I couldn't pass it up. Gave me disc brakes in the front, fresh 4.10 gears, fresh rebuild rearend with a locker for $600.
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Old 05-15-2011, 10:58 PM   #8
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[QUOTE=Dempsey;1237300]Well I would recommend a CJ7 which came out in '76. (About the same lenght as a TJ)
CJ's had V8's from '72 to around '80.
I recommend a dana 300 over the dana 20 which came out around '81.
'76 and newer had more parts availiable.
But the 60's jeep are super cool.

So are you wanting a trail rig, restoration project, daily driver ?[/QUOTE=


mainly, i want to just cruise in it, but occassional trails, more mud actually, in east texas, but especially to pick up my 10 year old son at school, he thinks jeeps are the ultimate in cool, and.... I AGREE!
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Old 05-16-2011, 06:15 AM   #9
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Cool. Well I'd say check your local craigslist and go drive a few.

When I was looking for a cj I wanted a 6 cyl but bought a v8 and never regret it. I'm a believer in vehicles kinda find their way to the right owner.
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Old 05-20-2011, 01:40 AM   #10
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[QUOTE=Dempsey;1240765]Sounds like you have a plan. I love my cj7. It has the original v8 (304). I have rebuilt it and made some improvements to make mine produce more power and be more reliable. My favorite being a DUI distributor (HEI style). Makes it very easy to find parts since every car parts store in the country carries parts for a gm hei.

X2 on the DUI, the best upgrade to the motor you can do I think.

I have a biased opinion, but I love the intermediate cj5 (72-75). They had the best rear axle (30 spline one piece shafts) second only to the fabled optional 44 offered in the 1980s cjs.

The CJ7 will offer better stability and more drivetrain options due to the longer wheelbase. The possibilities are pretty limited with a 5, but the go cart feel is second to none in a 5.
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Old 05-20-2011, 01:48 PM   #11
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X2 on the DUI, the best upgrade to the motor you can do I think.

I have a biased opinion, but I love the intermediate cj5 (72-75). They had the best rear axle (30 spline one piece shafts) second only to the fabled optional 44 offered in the 1980s cjs.

The CJ7 will offer better stability and more drivetrain options due to the longer wheelbase. The possibilities are pretty limited with a 5, but the go cart feel is second to none in a 5.
Yep the rear axle is better. I have narrow tracks under my cj. My amc 20 does have a life cycle and a dana 44 would be a good option.

Go cart feel is def. handy in tight spots on trails. A boy in high school had one and he would fly down the trails. His mirrors never lasted long.
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Old 05-20-2011, 10:44 PM   #12
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yeah, i had a cj-5 that someone had put a buick v6 in and it worked great on tight trails. but there were so many gremlins, i kind of lost interest in it. yeah, it was nice laying under it and touching the front AND rear tires at the same time!
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Old 05-28-2011, 10:35 PM   #13
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yeah, i had a cj-5 that someone had put a buick v6 in and it worked great on tight trails. but there were so many gremlins, i kind of lost interest in it. yeah, it was nice laying under it and touching the front AND rear tires at the same time!
The Buick v6 was stock in alot of early CJs. Mine is a 68 cj6 and it has the buick v6. I love it.
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Old 05-29-2011, 03:55 AM   #14
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I don't mean to insult the CJ guys because I drove one every day for 20 plus years and I loved mine. I bought a brand new Mandarine orange 1979 Renegade and I was hooked. I swore I would never drive one of those sqaure eyed pieces of crap they called the YJ. ... but you would be much better off to take the front clip from a CJ and bolt it on a YJ than you would be looking for a decent CJ. Its easily done and takes very little modification. They have stronger frames and better choices when it comes to transmissions and the NP 231 transfer case is just as good as the Dana 300. They have wider front springs up front and drive a little better as well. I originally bought my YJ for the tub to redo my old 84 CJ but decided that the YJ was the new CJ and just built it instead.

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