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Unread 02-03-2014, 07:45 PM   #1
Jeepsman
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77 CJ7 - Advice

I am very close to buying my dream Jeep, a 1977 Jeep CJ7. The price is $950.

Specs:
258 cu in (4.2 L) AMC I6
3-speed manual
Black hardtop

The owner said that it runs well, needs a vale cover gasket, heater doesn't work, he switched the original fan that cools motor for an electrical one and also changed points to electronic ignition (No problems with overheating). Gauges all work and it leaks a lit bit of antifreeze (radiator hose).

I realize you can part, but I'm looking to build. And I do realize the vale cover gasket is pricey. But the body does look good. I plan on seeing it on Friday.

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Unread 02-03-2014, 08:58 PM   #2
WDNewman
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Check for rust. Underneath. Everywhere.

And the vale (I guess you mean valve) cover gasket is the cheapest thing you'll ever buy for a CJ7.
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Unread 02-04-2014, 10:03 AM   #3
Adam013085
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For $950 don't expect the valve gasket to be the only thing you will need to purchase. You will need to be able to wrench on it yourself otherwise I would pass on any CJ. Mechanics get expensive pretty fast. Id expect to spend a pretty penny getting the CJ running as it should being at the $950 price point, but maybe you got lucky.
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Unread 02-04-2014, 10:47 AM   #4
222Doc
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Adam is on a point here. IF you can do all the work. If you think a valve cover gasket is expensive? That will be the least of it. We are talking a 77. 47 years old Jeep here. From Ill?

Rust is what is the deal killer. it may look good but that means little on CJ.
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Unread 02-04-2014, 03:42 PM   #5
Jeepsman
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I wasn't talking about the valve cover gasket itself. I thought the replacement cost was expensive (taking it to a mechanic). ~$40 isn't expensive for a cover. But I did some research and I would certainly like to try replacing it on my own. That's my dream anyways.

@Adam
I've always wanted to buy a CJ and work on it myself. At the moment, I can't buy all the essential gadgets and tools such as a cherry picker and such. But I'm going to try my best to learn. Apparently, I should be able to drive the vehicle back 35 miles to where I live. And I will definitely look for rust!
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Unread 02-05-2014, 03:31 PM   #6
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So I found out that bondo was used on it too, and it has significant rust on the body but the frame is very good. But for $950, I feel like I can't really lose with this one.
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Unread 02-05-2014, 03:43 PM   #7
cj777
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeepsman View Post
I wasn't talking about the valve cover gasket itself. I thought the replacement cost was expensive (taking it to a mechanic). ~$40 isn't expensive for a cover. But I did some research and I would certainly like to try replacing it on my own. That's my dream anyways.

@Adam
I've always wanted to buy a CJ and work on it myself. At the moment, I can't buy all the essential gadgets and tools such as a cherry picker and such. But I'm going to try my best to learn. Apparently, I should be able to drive the vehicle back 35 miles to where I live. And I will definitely look for rust!

The "gadgets and tools" to replace a valve cover gasket will cost you less than $20. Owning a CJ without being able to do work on it yourself will become much more expensive than buying tools. That said, I would buy that in a second for $950. Rusted up and not running they go for more than that around here
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Unread 02-05-2014, 03:49 PM   #8
Jeepsman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cj777 View Post
The "gadgets and tools" to replace a valve cover gasket will cost you less than $20. Owning a CJ without being able to do work on it yourself will become much more expensive than buying tools. That said, I would buy that in a second for $950. Rusted up and not running they go for more than that around here
Thanks for the reassurance. I don't have a strong background in engineering, none, so I have been having doubts. But I got to start somewhere if I want to learn!
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Unread 02-05-2014, 08:27 PM   #9
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Do you have a place to store it since it looks like no top and doors? I am sure there is more hidden rust than you spotted too.
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Unread 02-05-2014, 08:31 PM   #10
Jeepsman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam013085 View Post
Do you have a place to store it since it looks like no top and doors? I am sure there is more hidden rust than you spotted too.
Unfortunately, I do not. Going to be parked outside next to the Liberty. But it does come with both a top and doors! So whenever this Illinois winter storm passes, I'll be getting the Jeep and will be able to work on it shortly!
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Unread 02-06-2014, 07:05 AM   #11
Adam013085
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Good deal. The pic did not picture doors and top so I assumed it didnt. Worse comes to worse you can probably part out the CJ for more than you paid esp if the top and doors are in any decent shape.
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Unread 02-06-2014, 07:27 AM   #12
WDNewman
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Rough guess (very rough) is that jeep will end up costing you close to $7,000 before you can get it street legal. Adam013085 was correct in that you can sell the parts for more than you paid for the jeep probably. I would save my money and keep looking personally, but do what you want. Free country and all that.
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Unread 02-06-2014, 07:30 AM   #13
Adam013085
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What WD said is probably true. You are probably better off to find one for 3-4k that is road worthy than buying one like this and trying to get it ready for the road. It ALWAYS costs a lot more than you think to get it on the road. Even at 3-4k expect to sink a few k into it in the first couple years to keep it running. Remember the newest CJ is still 30ish years old. I learned my lesson with my 79 CJ7. Paid 5k for it then 3k later it was where it should have been when I bought it. Sold it for a hefty loss the next summer just to get out from under it.
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Unread 02-10-2014, 01:36 PM   #14
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I brought a '76 CJ7 back from the dead and sold for a profit a few years ago (build thread on here) and am currently restoring a '81 Scrambler. If that thing runs and drives good and the frame isn't toast, $950 is a good deal.

As stated though you will have quite a bit of work ahead of you and you will need to determine to what level "done" is to you. Everyone has their own opinion on that front.

Also, ensure it comes with a clean and clear title as well as ensure all the emissions parts are there if your state requires them. They can be hard to come by if needed.
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Unread 02-10-2014, 03:31 PM   #15
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I went there with my girl friend and we ended up not getting it. The body was like swisscheese and I was almost afraid to sit in the seat with the holes all in the floor. The picture is deceiving. I'm not sure if I could find any metal on it besides the frame, it was a ton of bondo, haha. Then the vehicle over heated as smoke came out. Someone also made it a push button starter... I went in with low expectations with the body and expected to restore it eventually (it was $950 of course). But it was just to dangerous and looked like a loss.

I'm just going to pay more to get quality.
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