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Old 12-17-2010, 01:30 AM   #1
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What to look for when buying a CJ?

Well I'm possibly going to sell my YJ and buy a CJ down the road from me.

What should I be looking for?
I don't know anything about it yet, looks nice thats about it :P

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Old 12-17-2010, 02:25 PM   #2
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Well I would recommend a CJ7 vs a CJ5 because they are basically the same length as a YJ. CJ5 are shorter and door openings are smaller.

CJ7's were made between '76 and '86.

My opinion would be a later one say '81 up. These have wide track axles. I would also recommend one with a D300 transfer case over the Dana 20. They are suppose to be stronger and have better gearing for off-road.

CJ's came with a wide arrangement of engine and tranny combos.
As far as transmissions the T-18 are basically bullet proof but not common in CJ's and are typically combined with a D20. The T-4 and T-5 are light duty transmissions and some will say prone to breaking. I have a T-5 and like it but also know it isn't a T-18 and treat it accordinly.

As far as engine choice the 258, 304, 360 are all good engines. I recommend a 304 but I am partial to that. Depending on your application the torque of a V8 can help offset bigger tires without requiring as much gearing.

CJ's are prone to rust. Most common places are rocker panels, area around rear wheel opening and floor pans. Most people (including myself) hide the cancer with diamond plate. A YJ tub is becoming a common swap also.

I have a '76 which was the first year. It has a unique tub that has a round gas cap hole vs. a recessed square one like most. It also has drum brakes and no sway bars. These are kinda negatives but I will be changing my frontend to disc someday.

Does that help?

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'76 CJ7
It's red.
'99 TJ
It's red too.
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Old 12-17-2010, 02:42 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dempsey View Post
Well I would recommend a CJ7 vs a CJ5 because they are basically the same length as a YJ. CJ5 are shorter and door openings are smaller.

CJ7's were made between '76 and '86.

My opinion would be a later one say '81 up. These have wide track axles. I would also recommend one with a D300 transfer case over the Dana 20. They are suppose to be stronger and have better gearing for off-road.

CJ's came with a wide arrangement of engine and tranny combos.
As far as transmissions the T-18 are basically bullet proof but not common in CJ's and are typically combined with a D20. The T-4 and T-5 are light duty transmissions and some will say prone to breaking. I have a T-5 and like it but also know it isn't a T-18 and treat it accordinly.

As far as engine choice the 258, 304, 360 are all good engines. I recommend a 304 but I am partial to that. Depending on your application the torque of a V8 can help offset bigger tires without requiring as much gearing.

CJ's are prone to rust. Most common places are rocker panels, area around rear wheel opening and floor pans. Most people (including myself) hide the cancer with diamond plate. A YJ tub is becoming a common swap also.

I have a '76 which was the first year. It has a unique tub that has a round gas cap hole vs. a recessed square one like most. It also has drum brakes and no sway bars. These are kinda negatives but I will be changing my frontend to disc someday.

Does that help?
Thanks a lot! I bought mine with the diamond plating aswell.. I wasn't aware of the cover ups with this, I found out the hard way and have been battle'n the rust since. I plan to go look at it tomorrow and will ask about all the things you have said. Thanks.
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Old 12-17-2010, 03:40 PM   #4
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Good luck! What are you going to look at?
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'76 CJ7
It's red.
'99 TJ
It's red too.
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Old 12-17-2010, 03:42 PM   #5
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I will also say that having a V8 has other perks. I can catch a pretty mean second gear....It amazed the eclipse when I passed by them.
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Old 12-18-2010, 04:50 PM   #6
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Typical with CJs, look at frame rot around the rear, as with a YJ, steering box area in front as they stress crack around the mount area. I'd stay away from the 4 cyl. CJs. They aren't even comparable to the 4 cyl in a YJ. The 4 banger was in CJs from 1980-1986.

Dempsey has ya well covered in his post. Just make sure if it is a V8 and it is in the 80's, it is not stock and has been swapped in to the rig. 1980 was the last year of the V8's from factory for CJs.

My 1972 CJ5 has no power steering or brakes. It has drum brakes all around. It has the first year of the factory V8, the 304, and the t15 3 speed and dana 20 transfer. The T15 was the heaviest tranny at the time jeep had in a cj and it was only mated to the 304 V8. I like the CJ5 myself, but that's just me. On the trail, I can squeeze around anything. Mine is smaller than some side by side trail toys people buy...
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Old 12-19-2010, 10:15 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarby View Post
Typical with CJs, look at frame rot around the rear, as with a YJ, steering box area in front as they stress crack around the mount area. I'd stay away from the 4 cyl. CJs. They aren't even comparable to the 4 cyl in a YJ. The 4 banger was in CJs from 1980-1986.

Dempsey has ya well covered in his post. Just make sure if it is a V8 and it is in the 80's, it is not stock and has been swapped in to the rig. 1980 was the last year of the V8's from factory for CJs.

My 1972 CJ5 has no power steering or brakes. It has drum brakes all around. It has the first year of the factory V8, the 304, and the t15 3 speed and dana 20 transfer. The T15 was the heaviest tranny at the time jeep had in a cj and it was only mated to the 304 V8. I like the CJ5 myself, but that's just me. On the trail, I can squeeze around anything. Mine is smaller than some side by side trail toys people buy...

Well I learned something. I didn't know they quit putting v8's in them in 1980....why ruin a good thing.

I like your cj5 alot. Cj5's are small. My friend use to have one and like you said you can squeeze through place...me I was hitting my mirrors, scraping fender flares but thats the fun part

I had the T150 and D20 in mine and it is bullet proof. Well I broke mine but it was from years of abuse...years.
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'76 CJ7
It's red.
'99 TJ
It's red too.
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Old 12-19-2010, 05:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dempsey View Post
Well I learned something. I didn't know they quit putting v8's in them in 1980....why ruin a good thing.

I like your cj5 alot. Cj5's are small. My friend use to have one and like you said you can squeeze through place...me I was hitting my mirrors, scraping fender flares but thats the fun part

I had the T150 and D20 in mine and it is bullet proof. Well I broke mine but it was from years of abuse...years.

yeah, the fuel regs and epa, they put the hammer on the V8...typical early 80's. If you can get a CJ7 from 76-80 with factory 8 in it, you got a good combo. You got a nice 7, and the early years are the better in my opinion.
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Old 12-19-2010, 08:39 PM   #9
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frame, frame, frame, must check frame.

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