I think one major change for the CJ's was the impact of the EPA standards.
That standard dictated a mileage per gallon minimums and created the usage of some crappy gearing such as the 3.07 gear sets, SMOG equipment and for the 304 V8, it also meant reducing the HP on a regular basis in accordance to the following (per wikipedia)
"...The 304 had a displacement of 303.92 CID (4,980.3 cc) which produced 210 hp (157 kW) in 1970-71 and was built starting in 1970.
Later models produced less power from the factory, going down yearly.
1972-78 models were rated at 150 hp (112 kW).
It was rated at 130 hp (97 kW) in 1979, the last year it was installed in passenger cars, and 125 hp (93 kW) in 1980-81, the last years it was used in Jeep vehicles."
1980 CJ5 Renegade with 304 v8
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