Looking to buy CJ7 as Daily Driver - JeepForum.com
Search  
Sign Up   Today's Posts
User: Pass: Remember?
Advertise Here
Jeep Home Jeep Forum Jeep Classifieds Jeep Registry JeepSpace Jeep Reviews Jeep Gallery Jeep Clubs Jeep Groups Jeep Videos Jeep Events Jeep Articles
Go Back JeepForum.com > General Jeep Forums > Jeep Buying Forum > Looking to buy CJ7 as Daily Driver

Introducing MONSTALINER™ UV Permanent DIY Roll On Bed LineRuffstuff Axle Simple Swap Kit!ROCK BOTTOM prices on LIFT KITS at Rockridge4wd!! WANT TO

Reply
Unread 03-22-2013, 11:28 PM   #1
ChuckSwanson
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: columbia, sc
Posts: 6
Looking to buy CJ7 as Daily Driver

Hi guys, I'm new to the forums but have really been getting in to CJ7's lately. I am going to college in Charlotte N.C. this fall and live in Columbia S.C. and would like to buy a CJ7 as a first car. I realize a YJ or TJ would probably be a better choice but I really want a CJ7. What should I be looking for in terms of transmission/engine/year? I will be driving around town some during the week and would like to maybe go to the Asheville mountains on occasion while in College. I will also need to commute home several times per semester. Please give me some tips on what I should be looking for. My budget will be 5500-6500 including parts after I purchase a Jeep.

ChuckSwanson is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 03-23-2013, 05:24 PM   #2
dmill89
Registered User
1995 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Posts: 780
As with any CJ or Wrangler make sure to look for rust. While it likely isn't as much of an issue in SC as it is up north the fact that CJs/Wranglers are "open top" makes them more susceptible to rust than most vehicles since it allows water to get in and become trapped and causes rust, even with a top (especially a soft top) they don't seal perfectly.

Generally look for one with either a 4.2L (258ci) I6 or a 5.0L (304ci) V8. The 3.8L I6 (232ci) is ok but a little on the weak side and the 4cyls are totally gutless.

All of the Transmissions are pretty good. A manual would generally be recommended since all of the available autos were only 3-speed. That being said all of the transmissions were decent the autos are either Chrysler Torque-Flights (TF904/TF999) or the GM Turbo-Hydromantic TH-400, The manuals are either Borg-Warner or Tremec, With the Borg-Warner T5 likely being the best since it was a 5-speed(the others are all 4 speed, and the Tremec T-150 is a 3-speed).

The Dana 300 is generally considered the best stock transfer case available on the CJ7, it came in all 1980+ CJ7s.

The Dana44 is probably the best rear-differential but it was only available in 1986 (last year of production) and is rare. The AMC20 is decent, but it has been out of production for over 25 years so parts are harder to come by and it doesn't have much aftermarket support.

All this being said the fact that CJ7s are all now 26+ years old and are commonly modified means many that you find may not be in stock form.

As you said a YJ or especially a TJ would be a better option for a daily driver but if a CJ7 is what you want make sure to give it a real good going over given the age of CJ7s virtually anything can be worn out.
dmill89 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 03-23-2013, 07:27 PM   #3
ChuckSwanson
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: columbia, sc
Posts: 6
Thanks Cherokee. I will definitely be after a 5 speed. Thanks for the advice.
ChuckSwanson is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 03-23-2013, 08:21 PM   #4
brownbagg
Registered User
1930 MK Compass 
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: pearl, la
Posts: 2,458
if you going to college you really need a honda or toyota, the jeeps going get broke into or stolen, you not going have any money for gas. spend your time studing instead of working on the jeep
brownbagg is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 03-24-2013, 11:53 AM   #5
ChuckSwanson
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: columbia, sc
Posts: 6
Thanks Compass, but I am also taking a motorcycle. That will probably be my main mode of transportation. So gas is not my biggest concern. The Jeep is also something I would like to keep for the rest of my life. I don't plan on selling it unless I have to. I also have an uncle that works on cars not too far from Charlotte. So if there are any major concerns I can always call him. But if I buy the Jeep in the next month or so and immediately notice that it's taking a lot of time to work on, then I will probably sell it and buy a TJ.
ChuckSwanson is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 03-24-2013, 12:01 PM   #6
ChuckSwanson
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: columbia, sc
Posts: 6
Another thing. Most of the Jeeps on craigslist have lifts. If I know anything it's that lifts make mpg decrease even more. However, is it easy/affordable to take lift kits off?
ChuckSwanson is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 03-24-2013, 03:21 PM   #7
dmill89
Registered User
1995 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Posts: 780
Since CJ7s are leaf spring front and rear there isn't much to a lift kit for them. Usually just leaf springs (or add-a-leaf or drop shackles on cheap kits) and shocks so it isn't too hard to remove them if you want to. You'd just need stock height leaf springs and shocks if they have been replaced, if it is just drop-shackles you would just need stock shackles and shocks. New stock height springs and shocks would probably run $500-800, junk yard springs would be even cheaper if you can find some in good shape

If it has a body lift it will not cost anything to remove but you do have to remove and reinstall the body.
dmill89 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 03-25-2013, 09:25 PM   #8
ChuckSwanson
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: columbia, sc
Posts: 6
Is it difficult to remove the whole body? My neighbor and I work on our motocross bike a good bit and he has every tool you could need, but nothing I can think of to lift the the body off. Would you need something like an engine life/crane thing? I really don't know about that kind of thing.
ChuckSwanson is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 03-25-2013, 10:22 PM   #9
dmill89
Registered User
1995 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Posts: 780
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckSwanson View Post
Is it difficult to remove the whole body? My neighbor and I work on our motocross bike a good bit and he has every tool you could need, but nothing I can think of to lift the the body off. Would you need something like an engine life/crane thing? I really don't know about that kind of thing.
A lift/crane is the easiest way but several jacks and jack stands will do. You just need to support the body while you unbolt the mounts, then lift it a few inches to remove the spacers/lifting blocks, and then lower it back onto the frame (note: you will likely need new hardware as well since body-lift kits usually come with longer bolts).
dmill89 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 04-10-2013, 12:04 AM   #10
ChuckSwanson
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: columbia, sc
Posts: 6
Thanks for the input guys. However while riding in a CJ7 the other day I have decided that it would not be a wise decision. The work it would need would be too much for a college student and the risk of it having a problem are too high. I will get one some day, but not as a first car. I'm thinking more along the lines of a TJ or a YJ (and converting to a CJ grill). I found a good deal on a couple 1997-2000 TJ's (4.0, 5 speed) and am going to look in to those. So thanks again for your help.
ChuckSwanson is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply

Tags
advice , cj7 , daily driver , jeep

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the JeepForum.com forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid e-mail address for yourself.
Note: All free e-mails have been banned due to mis-use. (Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, etc.)
Don't have a non-free e-mail address? Click here for a solution: Manual Account Creation
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Thread Tools






Jeep, Wrangler, Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, and other models are copyrighted and trademarked to Jeep/Chrysler Corporation. JeepForum.com is not in any way associated with Jeep or the Chrysler Corp.