1986 CJ7 values? - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 10 Old 03-30-2008, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
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1988 YJ Wrangler 
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Location: King of Prussia, Pa
Posts: 118
1986 CJ7 values?

I have a chance to buy an '86 CJ7 from my parent's neighbor. I've always had my eye on this Jeep, and told him years ago if he wanted to sell it, please give me 1st dibs. This guy is the original owner. Jeep just has a tick over 100K miles. Well he's finally decided to part with it. But he asked me to do the research on what it may be worth. So I'm asking for some help here, because it seems CJ prices are all over the place. I did see one for parts in the penny poncher for a grand, ouch. And this guy is good to my elderly parents, so I don't want to hose him, you know?

It's a 258, 4 spd, Dana 300 TC, AMC 20 rear, factory chrome wagon wheels. Needs a tub, it's rusty and already been repaired and repainted twice. Also needs brake work from sitting for the last couple of years. It does run and does drive. It has both a hardtop and softop, and the hard doors are rusty at the window frame. Vehicle frame is solid.

Thanks for any and all help guys. And if you're ever in my area, I'll buy you a brew.

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post #2 of 10 Old 03-30-2008, 05:53 PM
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1978 CJ7 
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Location: Waukesha
Posts: 293

You know the first thing we will ask for is pics right?

With that said.

Good frame
Manual tranny
hard top/doors (although rusted doors)
Has soft top
Wide track year
He's a buddy so a good deal is in order

Needs a new tub
repainted twice = rusts so bad need to repaint often
Needs brake work
been sitting for a couple years = more things wrong (maybe with engine)
He's a buddy so you can't screw him

What else we need to know:
Ring and pinion ratio (get us the letters stamped on the rear pumpkin to the right of the 3oclock diff cover bolt)
If that rear is a Dana 44 or AMC 20
Tires/lifts/guages working?/interior shredded to hell?
What region of the country is the jeep/do your parents live in?

I'd say between 2k and 4k after we get pics. Some people's idea of rust is way different than others.

1978 CJ7 I6, 2.5" dik cepek spring lift, 0.5" shackle lift, Cooper Discoverer S/T 33's, 1.25" Wheel Spacers.

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Whats Next: Wide track swap, winch, new seats, eventually a 4.0 mpi swap from a 90's cherokee or wrangler.

Last edited by kconnor123; 03-30-2008 at 06:05 PM.
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post #3 of 10 Old 03-30-2008, 05:57 PM
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1999 TJ Wrangler 
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What about the frame? If the frame is solid then it's worth $3000 to me. Floorpans are kind of important too. I've owned 8 Jeeps and never had one that didn't J.E.E.P.(JUST EMPTY EVERY POCKET). If you're planning on restoring it, get ready to spend way more than it will be worth when your done. If you're craving a restoration do a fastback mustang. At least it'll be worth more when you're done.
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post #4 of 10 Old 03-30-2008, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
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1988 YJ Wrangler 
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Location: King of Prussia, Pa
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Frame is solid. Rear axle is an AMC 20, I think I put these in my original post. I remember installing a hub on the right side years ago. The engine runs strong. The only reason it got parked is because my friend bought a Wrangler 5 years ago. I use to know the axle ratios, I haven't worked on this for years. I used to maintain this Jeep when I was a tech until about 12 years ago, then I got my current job. I actually have a '69 Charger SE that I'm restoring. I've always wanted a Jeep CJ or Wrangler though. I would probably part with my '89 F150 4x4 if I snagged this Jeep, it would be a nice companion to my '96 XJ

Oh yeah, 30 or 31" tires, no lift kit, this is bone stock, no mods ever done. Decent interior. Working gauges.

'88 YJ 4.0 AX15 NP231; '97 ZJ; '69 Charger SE 383; '66 Newport 383
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post #5 of 10 Old 03-30-2008, 06:31 PM
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1979 CJ7 
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Location: Irmo, SC
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To give you a cost example, two years ago I bought a 79 golden eagle CJ7 in pretty good shape for $2200. The tub had the normal rust spots, but the engine ran well enough to drive it home from Chicago to Atlanta. This was defintely a good deal at $2200, but I'd agree with jeepcj304 that $3000 is a good starting point. Do a quick search on ebay, take the closest 5 examples and average the price, or ask the seller "if you were in the market to buy a jeep like this one, how much would you be willing to pay".
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post #6 of 10 Old 03-30-2008, 06:36 PM Thread Starter
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good idea. I did look on ebay about 6 months ago, there was a rusty '84 or 85 that came with a spare tub that sold for $900. I told my buddy that and he told me about the penny pincher ad for the parts Jeep for $1K, and I thought "oh crap" this may get expensive. If it comes down to it, I would rather pass on it and keep him as a friend then get into a pissing contest over the price. I can put the money into my Dodge. We'll see. I'll have to get pics.

'88 YJ 4.0 AX15 NP231; '97 ZJ; '69 Charger SE 383; '66 Newport 383
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post #7 of 10 Old 03-30-2008, 06:51 PM
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1985 CJ7 
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Without pics and your description, $500 tops.

85' CJ7 Laredo, 383 GM, Turbo 350, NP 203. SOA, 2" frame lift, 34" TSL swampers, Dana 30 open, AMC 20 w/ detroit locker, 4:10's, 1 Piece Mosers, 35" boggers to abuse when needed.
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post #8 of 10 Old 03-31-2008, 09:31 AM
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2003 TJ Wrangler 
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w/o pics it is hard to say - here is what I did for a bench mark back in Nov.
1985 CJ7 -T-176
I6 - 110K Miles
Hard Top + Hard Doors
Body - needs new RF panel (Rust)
Needs new side panels or cover up with rockers
a few rust spots under paint
Came with new tires BF Goodrich
Frame solid but front right rear leaf spring area a little rusted.
burns no oil at all - had org. plastic valve cover
needed new fuel lines and brake lines
***came with Westren Unimount Plow set up with plow
(Worth about 1K)

I paid $4,250 for my CJ7 with the plow - minus the plow I'd say $3,200.

1985 CJ7 I6
2000 TJ I6
1995 YJ 4Cyl
1987 YJ I6
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post #9 of 10 Old 03-31-2008, 11:22 AM
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1984 CJ7 
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If you are not in a rush and know where to look you can find CJ's in that condition in our area for $1000. I agree with Bard that $500 would be a good price for you to pay. I have paid $500 for a CJ in that condition but the owner needed to get it out of his yard. High side would be $1500. Its actually worth more parted out than it is in one piece. I think a $1000 would let you sleep at night without any guilt.
I will take the brew when you are up my way.

Depending on what you want the end product to be, the cost of rebuilding it will likely make the initial investment seem small.


84 CJ7 Northstar V8
91 YJ Renegade.

I've been in this rut plenty long enough, I know what to expect. Weather my day is hell, or weather it goes well is kind of up to me I guess.
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post #10 of 10 Old 03-31-2008, 11:30 AM
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1986 CJ7 
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It's hard to say in your situation. I bought mine originally for $1600 (listed as $2000 I think) in good mechanical condition with a perfect frame and very little surface rust on the body. Nothing was rusted through, but it was in overall rough condition needing some tender love and care. That said, I probably wouldn't have thought twice about paying $2000-3000 for the same thing. I think you're about in the same boat as I was with purchase price. It sounds about the same as mine used to be.

1986 Jeep CJ7 4.2L I6 T176 (restoration in progress)
1961 Willys 4x4 Wagon L-226 I6 T90 (restoration also in progress)
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