Buying first CJ Need advice -
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post #1 of 5 Old 07-03-2009, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
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Buying first CJ Need advice

So Ive been wanting to buy A Cj7 for a few years. I have found one locally and I looked at it once and to tell you the truth I really dont know what q? to ask or what to look for. Besides the obvious rust, he started it up and it sounds good what elses should i consider when buying this or any CJ. It is a 81 cj 7 he is asking 4000 but is willing to drop , i imagine he will take 3500. the frame looks solid. The body has minor spots of rust also. I am new to this. This is the reason I want a semi fixer upper I want to learn how to restore it mysef so please be kind thanks!

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post #2 of 5 Old 07-03-2009, 10:28 PM
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I would first do what you are doing now.....ask questions and RESEARCH the differences in these Jeeps. It looks like you narrowed it down to the CJ-7. that gives you 76 to 86 for the years. Next, find out what was available during what years. Compare this to your needs in the long run. For example, if you want a full trail rig with tube fenders, swapped drivetrain, and huge tires, why ruin a garage kept mint CJ.....look for avarge or even semi built one and go from there. If you want to daily drive it, a hardtop, AC, 5 speed or auto may fit the bill better. Heres a quick run down on some basics. 76 to 80 was narrow axles, V8 available, 3 speed manuals or 3 speed autos via quadratrac systems, fender mounted roll bars, thicker hardtops with lever handle hard doors, dana 20 t case, 6 bolt hubs on front dana 30 axle, some had low back seats, etc, etc, 82 to 86 saw wide track axles, 5 bolt hubs/ center capped chrome rims, higher geared axles, 4 and 5 speed manuals, 3 speed autos and dana 300 t cases, better roll bars, hard door differences, and more interior and exterior comforts like cruise control, dome ligts, under hood insulation/ lights, delay wiper, etc, etc Start with the end in mind and find a CJ close to it. I have several CJs and really like the 82 to 86 best.....but thats just me. In your area, body rust and inner frame rot will be a BIG concern. Look at as many as you can and unless it is the one, don't impulse buy the first one you see. Not all CJs (or even CJ-7s) will drive or feel the same. gearing and tires will play a big roll in the way the CJ handles and feels compared to the next.

1975 CJ-6 1983 CJ-8
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post #3 of 5 Old 07-06-2009, 03:21 AM
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1978 CJ7 
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Location: Jacksboro Tennessee
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Thanks for the Info, I'm picking up my 3rd CJ next weekend. I wouldn't mind being a more informed buyer this time around. My earlier CJ's were owned during my Teenage years.

Any other things to look for? I'm picking up a 82 CJ 7. 304, Auto Trans. Its in ohio, but from the pictures the frame and body all look solid.

1978 Cj7 360, Yellow.
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post #4 of 5 Old 07-06-2009, 06:12 AM
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The common spots for the frame, to look for rust, are the rear & front (by bumpers), although a quick inspection of total frame is warranted. Additionally, unless you care the Jeep either has the 4cyl or 6cyl motors, both are good motors, although most prefer the I6. Also look for modifications (suspension lifts, etc), I find most lifts are not done correctly and you find yourself fixing all that yourself (learned that lesson before).
Lastly, if the body looks like it has been painted, look for excessive body filler.
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post #5 of 5 Old 07-06-2009, 12:22 PM
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Yes, rust will be the biggest problem. Check under carpet if there is some. The frame likes to rust by the rear spring mount and rear crossmember. I think mechanical problems are easier to fix than bad rust.
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