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KMA 06-17-2013 11:43 AM

'83 CJ7 rebuild questions

This is my first post on this forum. I picked up a 1983 CJ7 over the weekend for my 15 year old son and I to fix up. I believe it is in pretty good shape, with some body rust but the frame is very solid. The windshield frame is rusted badly, but it included a new one that needs to be painted and installed. It came with 33's in pretty good condition and Clifford/Redline rebuilt fuel injected engine. First I'll describe what we plan on doing to the Jeep, then follow up with some questions I'm hoping some of you can help answer.

We are planning to do the following over the next 6 months to a year:

- Pull out the carpets and fix any rusted panels
- Rhino coat (or similar) the inside (no longer use carpeting)
- Replace the windshield frame and seal
- Fix rust spots on the body
- Undercoat the frame and body
- Replace the shocks (thinking of going with Skyjacker Hydros for softer ride on a budget?)
- Fix crack in hardtop and rusted liftgate
- Replace door/window/hardtop seals
- Fix extremely soft brakes (think it might be the master cylinder)
- Replace brake and fuel lines
- Replace fuel sending unit (and tank?) so fuel gauge works
- Fix horn (previous owner had a workaround horn button under dash)
- Replace radiator and re-install overflow container
- Tune Redline FI so it starts better when cold
- Fix transmission "popping out" of first gear
- Possibly replace seats and add upgraded belts or harnesses
- Replace fluids/filters/etc
- Fix door locks
- Update radio/speakers
- Add locking interior storage

That's the starting list at least. Our budget isn't very large. This is going to be driven mostly on the road, with some light off-road use.

My first questions are if anyone can identify this transmission, and tell me if you should be able to see inside the housing when installed. Here is a picture I took underneath using my phone:

Thanks in advance for the help.

jeepwhore 06-17-2013 12:13 PM

I can't tell what transmission it is but it looks like it's just missing the inspection cover on the belhousing. Doesn't affect the transmission's functionality but something you should try and fix before driving it too much. Enjoy your build!

LumpyGrits 06-17-2013 01:18 PM

Dust cover is miss'n is all. No big deal. You can make one yourownself.
Is the tranny a 4 or 5 speed?
4 speed(OEM)is either a T-176(GOOD 'box') or a T-4(NOT so good).
5 speed is a T-5(same as T4).
Order ASAP, a copy of the OEM, Factory Service Manual(FSM). You will NEED it!

KMA 06-17-2013 02:21 PM

Thanks for the fast responses!

I believe it is the T-5 5 speed transmission. Do you guys think this is the right cover? Click on photo to go to the product page. Free shipping if I order today. I found it cheaper, but shipping was extra. Best price is around $25. Thanks.

roboto65 06-17-2013 02:30 PM

Yep thats it.

LumpyGrits 06-17-2013 02:35 PM

If it's a T5, do NOT use std gear oil or ATF in it!
Use only syn 75W-80.

Nereussailor 06-17-2013 02:40 PM

Nice rig. Take you're time rebuilding and do it right the first time. Enjoy your new toy, and empty your wallet.

KMA 06-17-2013 03:00 PM


Originally Posted by roboto65 (Post 15573006)
Yep thats it.


Originally Posted by LumpyGrits (Post 15573027)
If it's a T5, do NOT use std gear oil or ATF in it!
Use only syn 75W-80.

Thanks guys!

I also noticed a lot of oil on the engine, hoses, harnesses, etc but it doesn't seem to be leaking on the ground. Should I just clean it best I can and see if it reappears? Not sure where it came from, or if it is left over from a previous fix. The valve cover does appear to use that make-a-seal type stuff instead of an ordinary gasket. Maybe it was leaking there and was patched up... dunno. :ghost:

Speaking of the valve cover; it says 4.0 on it and I thought that year had a 4.2l motor. The guy I bought it from said it was a rebuilt Clifford Performance engine with about 15k miles on it, but I think he got it from someone with the work already done so I don't have any more details.

I don't have the OEM manuals, but I do have the following:


Originally Posted by Nereussailor (Post 15573042)
Nice rig. Take you're time rebuilding and do it right the first time. Enjoy your new toy, and empty your wallet.

Thanks. We're going to try! Although I don't want to empty my wallet... at least not right away. :)

Nereussailor 06-17-2013 03:39 PM

It's probably had the 4.0 head swap when they did the FI. As for the manuals, Those are both good. I also have a Haynes manual and Here's a link to the FSM It's a pretty big file, but well worth it.

KMA 06-18-2013 08:01 AM

Thanks for the link!

LumpyGrits 06-18-2013 08:54 AM

Look for a copy of the AMC factory MR-252 manual.

KMA 06-18-2013 09:04 AM

Thanks LG. Nereussailor's link above is to the 84-86 M.R.252 FSM, which I downloaded last night. I have an '83, but I think it should be close, no?

LumpyGrits 06-18-2013 09:09 AM

That's it......:thumbsup:

KMA 06-24-2013 12:24 PM

Do you guys think this power brake upgrade would work well on my CJ?

It has drums in the rear, and doesn't have the power booster now. The brakes barely work and the previous owner said he believed it was the master cylinder. I figured I could replace it with new, and might as well try to get better stopping power while I'm at it. It says it can be used with drum or disc rears in case I ever decided to upgrade the rear calipers. I've been reading other threads about brake various upgrade approaches, but I'd rather buy a new kit that drops in if possible, without spending way too much. Thanks.

MountainHound 09-17-2013 10:33 AM

Welcome to the forum and Good looking Jeep!
Not sure what size tires those are 33'' or 35's', Update your profile and it would help members better help with your ?s. I bought a kit with a corvette style MC and it didn't work well with my disc/drums. I went with a OEM brake booster and a new MC. It stops my 33'' tires very well. I think it would be the most 'drop in' out of the many upgrade options.

-Prop Valve
-New MC
-New OEM Booster --got mine from JC Whitney but I had the old core to return. Suggest getting this new/reman not from a junkyard.

There are a number of write-ups on this forum from manual to power brakes.

The time now is 09:22 PM.

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