Here's the story. I was looking for a small truck to get around in on the weekends since I cannot use my company car and the wife monopolizes the VW Passat. So jokingly one day I asked my father-in-law to let me use his old jeep and he agreed.
It is an 86 CJ-7 with Inline-6 and 5 speed. It has 28k miles and has probably never been driven over 45mph. It had 17 inch mudders on it that were 14 years old so I bought 15" wheels and tires to put on it. Everything else is stock. The f-in-law is having the oil changed and bearings repacked. I'm going to pick it up this weekend and drive it 2 1/2 hours back home. So here are my Q's.
1. What else do I need to check to make sure the Jeep is roadworthy. (It is started about once every other month but not driven regularly since the early 90s).
2. I plan on putting about $1000 to $1500 in the Jeep. (a bikini top is on the list) what are some mods that I can do cheaply to improve highway performance. (I'm not planning any heavy offroading)
3. The horn doesn't work. Is this normal on CJs and how do I fix it.
4. Is this Jeep going to suck money out of my wallet like a vacuum or is it fairly reliable.
Man, some people's luck ! Congrats, it sounds like you've got a nice one--
I would just start with the basics while you try to figure out what kind of shape it's in (it is nearly 20 years old, so there's inevitable problems). A Chilton's manual is good to have, don't bother with a Haynes. I'd start with new hoses, belts, and gaskets--especially the valve cover. These are all simple to do, even if you don't know anything about working on vehicles. If you're up to it, a carb rebuild is about $12 (if you DIY), although the carter carb is notorious for inducing fits of profanity; a weber is nice, but a bit pricey at $350. Check the brakes, flush the radiator (when you change the hoses), then clean the engine good and just drive it for a few days and see how it does. Let us know if you get any weird sounds, mysterious leaks, or questionable performance, and we'll see what we can do for you--
Currently an '86 CJ-7 and a '77 CJ-7 Golden Eagle---#4 and 5 following a '01 Sahara, '90 Sahara, and '85 CJ-7....
Hey newCJer, and welcome to the jeep world.
Two things, 1. You did not mention an oil spot beneath the vehicle. IT CAN"T BE A REAL CJ! Might be fake, so look for covered over drips, or other clues.
2. If you discover it is authentic, and buy it, you are now bound by law to wave at all other Jeeps, (but not Liberties).
Originally posted by NewCJer 2. I plan on putting about $1000 to $1500 in the Jeep. (a bikini top is on the list) what are some mods that I can do cheaply to improve highway performance. (I'm not planning any heavy offroading)
Flat tow it. You want performance, buy a moped. Seriously, it won't get much better than it is now.
Originally posted by NewCJer 3. The horn doesn't work. Is this normal on CJs and how do I fix it.
Don't know if it is or not. I have never owned a CJ. However, I would say most definitely not normal. I would try just a replacement horn to begin with. If that did not work, I would build a new circuit for the horn:
Although this schematic is for an electric air horn, any typical electric horn would be wired in a similar manner. Also, in the text on the drawing it says, "87b". That is incorrect. It would show "87a" and "87" for a relay with dual operating capabilities.
I like most of what I've read here. The main thing is to do some much needed maintenance. Many shops offer a 35 point inspection for $75 or so. I'd do it if you don't have the time to spend doing it yourself. They will inspect it and tell you if anything like brakes, cooling, suspension, steering, electrical etc. need attention. You may as well just tell them to change all the fluids, belts, and hoses while they are at it. I'd probably tell them to install a new battery too.
The horn is easy to fix. Just get some wire and run a test from the battery dirrect to the horn to see if the horn at least works. Then start trouble shooting it back to the horn button on the steering wheel. More than likely it's just dirty horn contact in the steering wheel, or a bad horn relay. I think most horns have relays because horns have high a draw of current .
What kind of wheels and tires did you buy? Did it really have 17" mudders on it? I've never heard of such a tire. Is the rig lifted? Tell us more about it's performance upgrades. If it had mudders on it maybe it was used off road quite a bit and it has a lot of gear, tire and suspension upgrades. Let us know.
Good luck and welcome to the world of CJ's.
PS - I think once you catch up with the maintenance you won't have to spend a lot of money. Mines an 85 with 119k miles on it and it's never had any major work done on it. The only thing that will suck the money out of your wallet is the CJ bug. Once you catch it and start looking at all the different cool mods you can take advantage of, you'll see the green-backs vanish from the cow hide faster than greased lightning. (but it's lots of fun)
2004 Rubicon, 6" lift, 35s, winch, hard top, full doors, bumpers, tire carrier and rock sliders.
Well the CJ made it all 160 miles with no big problems. I was able to fix the horn (rust on the contacts in the steering wheel).
Damn it was hot in 95 degree Louisiana heat with the hard top and doors on, but that was the only way I could get them down here.
The tires were 15"...just much taller than the ones I put back on and they had a large mud design. I just put truck tires on.
My father in law had all the hoses replaced, oil changed, bearings repacked, and radiator flushed when I got there.
I see that I am going to have to have a muffler put on (small hole due to rust). lots of rust under the CJ on parts, but the tub has no rust.
I've also noticed that the front driver's side leaf spring is slightly bent right before it connects to the back shackle. I'm going to have it (resprung) and might as well put new shocks on while I'm at it. All the other connections tie rods ect. seem to be well greased and tight fitting.
Thanks again for everyone's imput. I'll let ya'll know how things continue to go.