81' CJ7 rust bucket value - JeepForum.com
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 12 Old 07-28-2009, 12:09 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
1997 TJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Arizona
Posts: 58
81' CJ7 rust bucket value

Came across a rusted out 1981 CJ7 Renegade for sale. The entire body is rotted out, but the frame I am not sure of. It feels fairly solid but who knows until it is sand blasted clean.

The 4 speed manual tranny was recently rebuilt, the transfer case is supposedly okay. The engine runs. I Can't drive it because it has no seats, and the clutch is not adjusted properly. It looks like someone hand made some lift shackles for it. The mirrors are missing, the windshield is cracked. The tail gate won't move. All the knobs on the dash pull off the shafts. The tire carrier works okay.

Both the gear shift and transfer case levers pulled clean out of the tranny / xfer case when trying to operate them. There were no pins and nuts holding them in place. The headlights lights work but the right turn signals and all brake lights do not. It had power steering but manual brakes, that do not work. It has manual locking hubs on front axle.

It does have a full cage ( welded to factory roll bar) and a built up front winch bumper of some sort. It has 5 new generic 31x10.5x15 LT tires and chrome spoke wheels. It has a Clifford intake and Motorcraft carb. The emissions stuff is gone. It has a soft top and doors, but didn't see any frames for the top?

So, what is this thing worth in present market conditions? I had a deal sight unseen for $1200 but decided to re-think it after actually seeing it. I was told it runs good, had a rebuilt 5-speed and there was fender rust but the body tub was clean......... wrong on all counts.

I was just going to use it as a to work and back vehicle and slowly get it trail worthy over time. But this thing was not even close to being drivable right now.

What is a somewhat suspect rolling chassis worth these days?

MakoML is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 12 Old 07-28-2009, 07:38 AM
Registered User
1974 CJ5 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Iowa City
Posts: 203
200 will turn to 2k form the way it sounds (I am doing that what you are getting into 6 years later I am getting close to see how it drives again) 8k to get dd shape............
sounds like a worthy parts jeep NOT a dd or fixer unless it has a amazing frame! (nothing/no imperfections)

Most people don't see the light till they feel the heat.
iagmc is offline  
post #3 of 12 Old 07-28-2009, 08:38 AM
Registered User
1981 CJ5 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: BC
Posts: 532
walk away from it....by your own admission the PO has "misrepresented" the condition of a few things already, AND, if the tranny was recently rebuilt, there should be no reason for the top to be loose/off it, allowing water to get in if it has been sitting outside. This heep will be a nightmare and a money pit by the sounds of it......
kavephish is offline  
post #4 of 12 Old 07-28-2009, 08:46 AM
Registered User
1974 CJ5 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: PA
Posts: 180
sounds like a 200-500$ vehicle, if the engine runs well, maybe a compression/leak down test to gauge which end of the price range. If you're lucky it's a good frame, but I wouldn't offer payment based on any positive assumptions, at worst it's a engine and some parts, at best a cheap foundation for a long term project.
incynr8 is offline  
post #5 of 12 Old 07-28-2009, 09:03 AM
Registered User
2011 JK Wrangler 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Washington State
Posts: 7,638
current scrap rates are about $75/ton.

much more than $150, and you're gifting public funds...

Seriously though, you need to price it out for used parts (if you NEED any)


"Gimme three gallons of low lead; two hot dogs and a strawberry soda..."JGW
JoonHoss is online now  
post #6 of 12 Old 07-28-2009, 09:16 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Colorado
Posts: 16,126
You don't need to sandblast a frame to determine the condition either. Take a screwdriver and stab at it in various places. If the frame is bad the screwdriver will go through it. Pay particular attention to the area just behind the fixed spring hangers for the rear springs.

If an owner makes an indication that the frame is in good shape he/she should have no objection to this test. If they object, there's another red flag to walk away from it.
CSP is offline  
post #7 of 12 Old 07-28-2009, 01:36 PM
Registered User
1982 CJ8 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Southern NH
Posts: 63
Sounds like a hooptie. I'd walk away. My CJ-7 was not much better, and I probably put $5k into it in a heartbeat even before the fiberglass tub. That's not even counting some value for my own labor. i wouldn't have done it that way again. However it depends what you want. If you want a nice, reliable driver that looks good, this ain't it. You'll put more money into it than its worth. If you want a woods beater and couldn't care what it looks like (assuming it runs and the frame is solid), AND if you think you could make it run for short money than who cares. Still $1,200 is way too much money for that jeep the way it sits.

Full-time Firefighter/Paramedic. IAFF Local 2915
"Chrome don't get you home"
fish1erp is offline  
post #8 of 12 Old 07-28-2009, 03:19 PM
Registered User
1984 CJ7 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Cape Cod
Posts: 811
Patience is the key. Look around and wait for a good one. Id pay 200 for it for parts, but Ive also got some jeeps for free.
Knowledge (and cash) are king. If you can describe all the money you would have to put into it- in a nice way most of the time people will understand and lower their price (thats when you pull out cash).
Its sort of an art buying jeeps because people are always looking for that moron that will pay top dollar, even if its junk. The guy selling knows its a money pit, so if you can bond with him, and show that it will go to a good home (and not return) then you can get a good deal.
My current jeep the guy was asking 2800, he lowered it to 2500 and thats when I called. The jeep had low oil pressure. He was honest about it and said it may be a gauge. I said no, its the bearings in the engine, its on its way out. He knew- I offered 15 one hundred dollar bills and he took it...
By the way, it still runs great- go figure
CJunk is offline  
post #9 of 12 Old 07-28-2009, 06:42 PM
Registered User
2007 MK Compass 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 346
Boy Youy Guys Back East Love Your Rust Buckets?????????????????????????????
L78THUMPER is offline  
post #10 of 12 Old 07-28-2009, 06:44 PM
Registered User
2007 MK Compass 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 346
Also If The Tub Is Rusted As Bad As You Say The Frame Has To Have Rust Also!!!!!!!!!!!!!
L78THUMPER is offline  
post #11 of 12 Old 07-28-2009, 10:09 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
1997 TJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Arizona
Posts: 58
The frame has serious surface rust, but I can't really tell if the inside of the frame box is that bad too. If I had room in the garage I'd take it and make a beater trail only rig out of it. But my garage is for vehicles I don't want involuntarily finding their way to Mexico in the cover of darkness, not permanent project storage.

What surprised the crap out of me is this is an "Arizona Jeep"........... they aren't supposed to rust at all down here in the desert.

I am going to look at another tomorrow that supposedly is running, rust free etc, for twice the $$$. We'll see.
MakoML is offline  
post #12 of 12 Old 07-29-2009, 07:20 AM
Registered User
1974 CJ5 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Iowa City
Posts: 203
"Also If The Tub Is Rusted As Bad As You Say The Frame Has To Have Rust Also!"

that maybe a often occurrence but not the rule. mine had little left of the body and still had a great frame.
great start for a restore, you always need to check the frame, often is not the rule, it can always go the other way too, great body bad frame, upper Midwest has rot, keep the body in good shape it will out last the frame because salt will jamb bad in spots and eat away.

Most people don't see the light till they feel the heat.
iagmc is offline  

Quick Reply

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:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid e-mail address for yourself.

Email Address:


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.

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Jeep Forums Replies Last Post
Rust Bucket for a Tub. Jeaux Jeep CJ Forum 7 01-12-2010 10:25 AM
More questions: Looking for opinions on bucket seats Daladim Jeep CJ Forum 12 12-10-2009 09:11 PM
Bucket seats in the back of a CJ? Kryptae Jeep CJ Forum 2 08-26-2009 08:10 PM
bucket seats on 57 cj5 ktm25089 Jeep CJ Forum 9 04-29-2008 01:13 PM
The Rust Bucket is moving(progress) 84MSRB Jeep CJ Forum 2 12-29-2007 02:54 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome