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Old 08-08-2019, 06:43 AM
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school me on CJ's

please be patient and forgive my ignorance of the cj's. I'm thinking about buying a jeep, I had a YJ years ago with a 4 cyl. 5 speed and had (I think) 32" or 33" tires on it. If I remember right though, I had to constantly downshift into 4th gear on the interstate grades to be able to hold 70 mph.

I love the looks of the CJ7/8 I know a lot of them don't have the factory engine/trans. but if I go with a cj I know i'd like to achieve 15'ish mpg with 33" tires, (even if I have to do a gear swap.). my wife want's it to be an automatic and power steering so she can drive it. and I'd need it to be able to do 70-80 on the interstate on an uphill grade without red lining. am I completely off base here with these requirements, or should I be looking at newer jeeps for these?

Also, how are the hard tops on these, do they seal up well for winter driving?
if I leave the top off at work and it pours the rain down, (aside from just getting interior wet,) will it hurt it? (dash components, ignition, etc.)

Thanks in advance for your patience with this subject, I know very little about the CJ.

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Old 08-08-2019, 10:31 AM   #2
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Morning,

First let me say 70-80 mph in a CJ is a death wish. My 81 CJ 7 has narrow track axles and 31 BFGs and 60 is about as fast as I will push her. It will hit 80 easy but ask anyone who has done this and watch the look in their eyes-its spooky.

The CJs even with the wide track axles are not the vehicle for that. Remember jeeps were designed to be somewhat nimble, and being such they are not stable at these high speeds. .Steering geometry and leaf springs do not bode well for quick maneuvering at highway speeds. The YJs were better in this respect.

If this is a deal breaker I would look at a TJ. Better suspension, more stable, and easier to find in an automatic and newer.

If you still want a CJ there are plenty out there with original power trains etc. The automatic version of the CJ8 would be better suited but these can be pricey. CJs are a love hate relationship. Something is always breaking or leaking but thats why its a Jeep.

Gas mileage will depend on engine/tranny/lift etc. I am getting about 11 MPG from my 304.

Hope this helps

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Old 08-09-2019, 06:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tahoe View Post
First let me say 70-80 mph in a CJ is a death wish.
I don't know cj's, but are they more dangerous than a YJ at that speed? I guess I always thought that other than newer drive trains, the basic suspension and steering was the virtually the same. Am I wrong in my thinking?
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Old 08-09-2019, 01:10 PM   #4
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I've done 100 in my CJ7 before i ripped it all apart. It did fine
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Old 08-09-2019, 08:24 PM   #5
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If you can find a CJ in good condition you are lucky. Don't drive any jeep in the winter if they salt the roads it will not last long, it will die of cancer. At this point the CJ's are a classic vehicle and should be treated as such and should not be driven daily. Especially if you have one that is in good condition take good care of it keep it in a garage there are not many left, $0.02.

I have never owned a CJ in "good" condition all of mine were rough and could barely do the speed limit unfortunately. Both of mine were 258's one was a 77 with a 3 speed and the other was a 84 with a 4 speed (junk T4). The SR4/T4/T5's were all junk and could not survive 32's on road. Sad because the D300's that came behind them were great but they need a tranny swap.

And if you run oversized tires your going to need a gear swap that just goes with the territory
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Old 08-11-2019, 06:38 AM   #6
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While I have not owned a CJ, I have owned two YJs and a JKU in the past and currently own a TJ and a JKU. The YJs were called the YJ rather than the C10 or C11 (which ever would have been next) simply because of the total redesign of the suspension. Park a YJ next to a CJ and it will be evident, even if both are on the same size tire.

I bought my first YJ simply because I could not find a clean reasonably priced CJ (in 1991!) so bought a new off the lot YJ. My only mistake was not putting A/C on it (S. Georgia) so it would be comfortable for a DD on hot muggy days.

While I drove either YJ on the highway at 70, it was not what I would class as all that stable at 70. Not that it had any vibration or wobble, for it didn't, it was just the with the very short wheelbase, it was not a relaxing drive. The TJ is far better on the highway, with the same wheelbase.

If you want a stable Jeep to run 70 on the highway, you need to aim a lot newer and with more doors. When I first test drove my '15 JKU Sahara, I knew I had found my road vehicle. The '17 Chief that replaced it (only because I liked the looks better and there are so few of them) is even better with 3.73s rather than the stock 3.21s. I have cruised at 80 in it and would even dream of that in my TJ. Of course the fuel mileage still sucks because they still have the aerodynamics of a brick.

The CJs are getting fewer and fewer and seeing one around here on the road is a rarity. I have a friend who recently bought a CJ7 and is now working to get it back up in service. He is running into some of the same problems anyone working on an older Jeep, bolts in nutserts. His CJ7 is 35 years old, I had a few issues on my TJ and it's only 16 years old.

The CJ crowd will enjoy this - my TJ spends it's nights in the garage while the JKU sits outside. The JKU is replaceable, my TJ is not.
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Old 08-11-2019, 08:43 PM   #7
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Seth,

CJ’s are getting few and far between. The bad part of a CJ at those speeds relate to the short wheel base and narrow width. As noted before they will hit those speeds easy, but any type of evasive maneuver is ill advised. I am on my 5th Jeep :
64 CJ3B, 92 YJ, 02 TJ, 78 CJ5, 81 CJ7

My CJ7 has a V8 (304) transplant in front of a SR4. Is that a bad combo, probably but this is a collectible and only driven about 10 miles/week or on the beach. The SR4 works fine for me.

The TJ’s are the best bang for your buck. And now as rgreen infers, they are on the verge of “CJ” status. TJ automatic trannys are good and generally trouble free. The LJ version gives a little more room length wise.

The straight 6 (258) ended with the TJ series. The JK’s use the Pentastar V6, which is a mini van engine. It is a good engine though.

Leaf springs are rough, especially on your back and hips. YJ’s have a better spring set up vs the CJ’s.

TJ’s have a coil spring set up which is easier driving and better articulation off road. I would look at a 2000-2006 TJ

JK’s, well those are more of a town car to an old CJ man. They do ride nice and are very capable don’t get me wrong.

Just random thoughts from an old CJ/YJ/TJ man.
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Old 08-12-2019, 11:28 AM   #8
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I must be the only one who hates the way TJ's drive on road. To me they are extremely mushy and feels like you are driving a wet noodle. My YJ on 35's is completely stable on the interstate and i can do 75mph and not even sweat it. I used to have another 94 YJ with the 3 speed and i had it up to 100mph on the interstate when i was young and dumb and it was fine.

My CJ's were rolling heaps of rot and decay one had narrow track axles the other had wide track axles. I didn't like taking them out on the highway let alone the interstate. But that is a apples and oranges comparison because the jeeps were old and abused.

Wide axles will always feel safer than narrow axles at speed. If you want to drive it on the road regularly i would look for a later CJ with wide track axles.
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Old 08-14-2019, 08:59 AM   #9
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I have own multiple Cj's and driving them 70-80 is not something I would recommend. I would go straight to a 2 door JK is driving that fast is a "must ".
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Old 08-16-2019, 07:21 AM   #10
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I feel like I own you a better explanation other than the fact that I drove 100mph in my CJ before I ripped it apart.

I lived in SOCAL for 5 years and drove my CJ everyday. It had a leaf spring over axle lift. So nothing to crazy. It sat on 33x9r16's and had a 304AMC (came with the Jeep) and a TH350 (these did come with an AMC bolt pattern).

I never experienced death wobble, I drove it 80+ everyday, and i loved it. I never had windshield wipers and had to apply rainX on the windshield every 6 months so when it rained I could see.

You need to understand how leaf spring suspension work in order to understand death wobble. Although both a lift on a leaf and coil spring suspension will change the instant center and instant axis on the vehicle. A leaf spring lift will generally not change the "CASTER" on your from axle.

This is because your leaf spring perches are welded onto a specific location on your axle and your mounts are welded on your frame. So as long as those locations never change. Your caster cant change. Period. Unless you are using those triangulated shims to adjust your caster that go between the springs and perch.

Leaf spring suspensions also do not have a Panhard bar, so you wont get bump steer by adjusting your suspension. There is a lot that goes into this so if you have any questions feel free to ask. But i would argue that any CJ is good to drive fast on 33's

Just make sure all of your ball joints and tie rods are in good shape because you may feel some play if they aren't. I don't agree that you can't go 70-80+ in a CJ because it had a narrow and short wheelbase. Its the wrong mindset. If your Jeep doesn't drive straight, there is a mathematical reason and it can be remedied by doing some calculations or putting a shim or two in between the leaf and the perch in this case.

Hope this helps you man. Buy a CJ, they are a blast

Edit: The tops and doors seal fine if you install new gaskets. Don't worry about electrical components because there are none. Most of the gauges are mechanical anyway with the exception of the lights on the dash, the voltmeter, and the gas gauge.

And even with a re-gear you are going to be hard pressed to get 15mph going 80. You most likely going to be looking around 10mph, even with a re-gear. But find your Jeep first and we can go over what the vehicle has and what gears are right for your application

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