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 $1200 but decided to re-think it after actually seeing it. I was told it runs good, had a rebuilt 5-speed and there was fender rust but the body tub was clean......... wrong on all counts.
I was just going to use it as a to work and back vehicle and slowly get it trail worthy over time. But this thing was not even close to being drivable right now.
What is a somewhat suspect rolling chassis worth these days?
200 will turn to 2k form the way it sounds (I am doing that what you are getting into 6 years later I am getting close to see how it drives again) 8k to get dd shape............
sounds like a worthy parts jeep NOT a dd or fixer unless it has a amazing frame! (nothing/no imperfections)
Most people don't see the light till they feel the heat.
walk away from it....by your own admission the PO has "misrepresented" the condition of a few things already, AND, if the tranny was recently rebuilt, there should be no reason for the top to be loose/off it, allowing water to get in if it has been sitting outside. This heep will be a nightmare and a money pit by the sounds of it......
sounds like a 200-500$ 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.
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.
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"
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
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.
"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.