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Unread 10-01-2013, 11:54 PM   #1
Biggcatch
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1985 cj7

New to the forum. Was going to look at an '85 cj7 on Monday. Was wondering if anyone has some advice for me. What should I be looking at or for? Any advice is much appreciated. What I know so far is: rebuilt motor, straight six; new clutch, motor mounts, hoses, fixed leaks, etc...very little rust on the body. Thanks in advance for the help and advice.

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Unread 10-02-2013, 12:17 AM   #2
Matt1981CJ7
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1. Make sure it hasn't been warmed up before you arrived.

2. Take a magnet and run it over the entire body. It won't stick to Bondo.

3. Check the roll bar mounting pads from the underside. The factory left bare metal under the pads, making those areas particularly prone to rusting.

4. Drive it in every gear including 4H and 4L, with and without the hubs locked. Carefully listen and observe for any abnormal noises, vibrations, grinding, whistling etc....

5. While driving, pay particular attention to the steering. Lifted CJs will often wander like a lost child, if the lift wasn't done correctly, or if steering components are worn out.

6. Pull and inspect a few plugs. They often provide clues to the health and tuning of the engine.

7. Check the oil for any signs of coolant.

8. Check the coolant for any signs of oil.

9. Look for puddles under the Jeep. CJs are famous for marking their territory.

10. Kick the tires and spit a few times before talking price. It gives the impression you aren't overly eager to buy.

Good luck,

Matt
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Unread 10-02-2013, 12:53 AM   #3
Biggcatch
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Matt,

Thanks a bunch man. I will definitely do these things when I go.
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Unread 10-02-2013, 02:30 AM   #4
BagusJeep
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Ditto on the roll bar mounts. 95% sure they will have either been patched or will need patching. An easy job but it blows "rust free" claims out of the water and allows you to mutter about safety in roll overs, elk tests, what about ma kids etc etc.

Apart from that rust is common along the bottom edges of the tub sides, floor pans and on the frame around wheelarch areas.

Electrics are often not working, the fuel gauge and temperature gauge are prone to failing. Not big bucks to fix. Have a look at whether the wiring has been butchered. It often is and is then a pain to sort out.

Interior is quite durable but look under car-pets (yes, some people put car-pet in a CJ) that are moisture traps and at the condition of the seats, seat belts and door panels.

If it has a top then check it for rips and tears and the condition of the clear plastic and hardware. A good make like Bestop will have repaiarable clear plastic. A bikini top is $70 and is not a substitute for a $700 full top. A hard top is desirable and worth about $500 second hand in good nick with steel doors.
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Unread 10-02-2013, 03:01 AM   #5
BagusJeep
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And a rebuilt motor is not rebuilt unless they have receipts and better still photos of what they have done. A rebuild can be done for $20 including the paint brushes......
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With a Jeep every prayer counts.

1981 CJ7 258ci - Bagusjeep
1984 CJ7 258ci - Puthijeep
1981 J20 258ci - Gladys
1995 Cherokee 4.0 - CHEROKEE
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Unread 10-02-2013, 09:05 AM   #6
Biggcatch
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Here are some pics that I have. I requested some more of the engine, undercarriage, wheel wells and interior.
image-1137527298.jpg

image-718376592.jpg

image-3356722030.jpg

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Unread 10-02-2013, 09:30 AM   #7
Matt1981CJ7
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The lack of a "Jeep" logo stamped on the side panels, and no seams at the rear quarter panels, indicates it's an aftermarket tub, possibly fiberglass. That would explain the "very little rust" part.

I would scrutinize this Jeep very carefully. I don't think the owner is telling you everything.

Matt
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Unread 10-02-2013, 10:06 AM   #8
Biggcatch
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That being said, does the fiberglass tub make it less valuable? What are the pros and cons to a fiberglass tub? Is it better to find a jeep with the logo stamped on it? Not in a rush to buy a jeep. I want to buy the right one. He is asking $5500.

Al
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Unread 10-02-2013, 10:29 AM   #9
Matt1981CJ7
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The fiberglass vs. steel tub is an endless debate.

Personally, I don't care for fiberglass, mostly because it's not original equipment. As for value, who's to say. For a guy in the rust belt, a fiberglass tub may be more valuable then to a guy in a dryer climate.

Whenever I see a fiberglass tub, I speculate the Jeep has led a hard, hard, life....the original tub was probably either rusted beyond repair, or it was wrecked.

Matt
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Unread 10-02-2013, 10:43 AM   #10
Renegade82
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Quote:
"10. Kick the tires and spit a few times before talking price."
Just curious Matt, what does the spitting do?
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Unread 10-02-2013, 10:52 AM   #11
Matt1981CJ7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renegade82 View Post
Just curious Matt, what does the spitting do?
It keeps you from spraying tobaccy juice all over the seller when he quotes you a laughable price.

Matt
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Unread 10-02-2013, 12:59 PM   #12
Biggcatch
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Matt!

What about an '84 cj7, straight 6, four speed manual with original body? Read somewhere four speeds are not as good. Thanks
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Unread 10-02-2013, 01:02 PM   #13
Biggcatch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biggcatch
Matt! What about an '84 cj7, straight 6, four speed manual with original body? Read somewhere four speeds are not as good. Thanks
Forgot to add pics.
image-3128289288.jpg

image-1928664360.jpg

image-542580933.jpg

image-1565397361.jpg

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Unread 10-02-2013, 01:25 PM   #14
Matt1981CJ7
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That CJ would interest me more than the first one.

Matt
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Unread 10-02-2013, 01:43 PM   #15
PROJECT 23
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Diamond plating can usually mean rust. Other than that, I'm with Matt on this one.
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