Hello everyone, I was hoping to get some advice from the CJ experts. I’ve been around Jeeps since I was kid and finally have the means to start my own project. I was looking at picking up a CJ7. I’ve found one in my area and was hoping to get some opinions on the value. I know this question is asked a lot, but I just want to make sure that I’m not making a mistake by paying too much for my first CJ.
Here are the details.
The Jeep is an ’85 Laredo with a 258 and 5spd.
The engine was rebuilt recently and runs great. According to the seller it was bored out .60 during the rebuild. Transmission was smooth and didn’t make any unusual noises. The seller also added a new aluminum radiator recently. The speedometer worked, but the temp and fuels gauges on the speedo did not. There were aftermarket temp and oil pressure gauges in the dash that worked fine. The turn signals worked, as did most of the switches and lights. The dash was also in descent shape. The Jeep also has a new Bestop soft top. The exterior body is in pretty good shape but could use a paint job. There were a few small rust bubbles. The frame is solid and appears to be free of any rot.
The seller recently hit a tree on an offroad trip and bashed in the passenger side fender, hood ( near the latch ), bent the bumper and tie rod. ( the right tire now has quite a bit of toe in ) The steering column is toast. The key doesn’t start or stop the engine. There is a lever to start it and you have stall it to stop the engine. The tilt column is broken and held up with duct tape. The floorboards were recently replaced, but the owner didn’t cut out the rust and just placed the new panels over the old in and welded it up. Fiberglass was used to finish it up. The rear area was also replaced, but with a flat piece of steel that bows when pushed. Although, aside from some surface rust, the panel in good shape. From underneath you can see how much rust is actually there. Most of the floor supports are completely rotted out and the body mounts behind the door are gone. The front mounts are pretty good and the back mounts are fair. The Jeep needs new breaks and exhaust. It does have hard doors, but the frames around the window are rusted out completely and both doors are missing handles, interior panels etc. The Jeep has power steering, but it’s not working. It also needs 4 new tires as the belts are showing through. The right front tire is really bad due to the bent tie rod.
That’s about it. I’m really tempted by the solid frame and rebuilt engine, but don’t I’m not sure about the floors. Looks like they may need to be replaced again to get rid of the original rusted panels and add in the new floor supports and mounts. I’m also a bit concerned about what other damage may have been done when he hit the tree…
The seller is asking $2,800 for the Jeep and I’m wondering if that sounds like a fair price considering the condition. I really appreciate your input since this is my first CJ, I’m not sure what it is considered normal for the age and what is a sign I should walk away.
I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty and am willing to learn to weld as it sounds like this Jeep will need it. I’ve seen so many of the projects on here and can’t wait to add one of my own to the list.
Thanks for taking the time to read my longwinded post.
Here's a picture showing the damage to the front: