CJ Purchase Advice - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 9 Old 09-21-2008, 09:03 PM Thread Starter
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CJ Purchase Advice

Hi Everyone-

New to the forum, and am seeking advice. I am looking to buy a CJ-7, and need some advice on what to look for / typical problems, reasonable pricing, etc.

Thanks for any and all information!

Last edited by NMAggie; 09-21-2008 at 09:10 PM. Reason: correction
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post #2 of 9 Old 09-21-2008, 09:07 PM
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1976 CJ5 
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Welcome to the forum.

The family and I will just sit down and watch...

"In the end...It's all Hack."
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post #3 of 9 Old 09-21-2008, 10:33 PM
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1984 CJ7 
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A few things I have learned (owning a CJ7 for 10 years) is that the vacuum and carb systems on the CJs just plain sucked. What a nightmare. My suggestion, if you have the cash - upgrade to fuel injection. Either an add-on kit or a fuel-injected motor.

Remove your front turn indicator lamps and drill a small hole in the back at the 6 o'clock position - in each one. This will allow any water (that leaks into it during muddin' or rain) to drain and not short out your system.

The placement of your fuel filter needs to move AWAY from the exhaust manifold. One drop of gas from your line or filter will cause an engine fire.

Speaking of, remove that lame sound blanket under your hood. It's kindling for fire. Replace it with JC Whitney's sound/heat blanket or leave it nekkid.

If the vehicle was in a rollover, the windshield will either appear newer than the rest of the vehicle (fresh paint, etc) or the hood will be. Check under the rubber windshield seal for a different paint color. Check the seams where the hood and body and fenders meet. Look at the hood hinges, you can tell if they've been moved.

Fold the windshield down and look for rust. The front windshield cowl is notorious for leaking. People rarely know to seal this cowl with silicone.

Bring a magnet with you. Place the magnet on various places on the Jeep. If it falls off, there's Bondo underneath. The magnet will stick if it's just metal.

Pull up the carpet and look for rust. If you do buy it, make sure ALL of the holes have plugs in them so that water won't come up into your tub. Conversely, if your Jeep will get rained on and you don't have a top, make sure to pull those plugs (and the carpet) so it'll drain out the water and the carpet won't wildew. Also have someone stand in front of the Jeep and shine a flashlight at various spopts on the firewall. You get inside the vehicle and look for light leaks. If you see light, there will be water leakage too.

Look at all the body bushings and suspension bushings. The stock rubber could be rotten.

Look on and under the engine for oil leakage.

Try to move the upper part of the front shocks. The top half of the shock mounts can often crack the welds but since they sit in a tube-like area, you'd never know they were broken.

Check to see that all electrical things work including the wipers and all lights. Sometimes it's not just a burned out bulb.

Check to see that all heating and vent cables work and are not stripped or snapped.

Check underneath for damage to the axles, differential covers, etc.

Ask the seller if he or she has service records. You want to know if this person took care of the vehicle. If engine oil, differential oil, trans oil, transfer case oil were not serviced, you'll have big drama later on down the road. Ask how often the vehicle went off-road.

And last but not least. Jot down the vehicle's VIN number (ie 1JCCXXXXX...) and get it checked out with carfax.com. The VIN is located in three places - make SURE they match or the vehicle could have been stolen or been an illegal salvage. They are located on the firewall - a square plaque that's riveted to the fireall on the driver's side. Another location is just inside the driver's door sill on the inside - you'll see a sticker. And the main one - the one that parking meter maids look for is riveted to the wiper motor cover on the driver's side just behind the glass and in front of the padded dashboard.

Good luck and welcome to the addiction.

Guns don't kill people... Bad trail spotters do.

Originally Posted by John Strenk View Post
What CJ owner doesn't want to hack up his harness for the next owner to have fun with?
Originally Posted by Broseph View Post
The thread will derail quicker than a walrus on a Crisco-soaked Slip 'n' Slide.

Last edited by CopperCJ7; 09-22-2008 at 01:50 AM.
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post #4 of 9 Old 09-22-2008, 12:33 AM
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wow copper... u almost scared ME off and ive owned a cj for awhile....


actually thats some great advice...

now i need to drill my turn signals and move my fuel filter...

why did they put it there????

seriously though...

if you are thinking about a cj7 then u probably already know:

they are the most fun in a vehicle ever.

dont be shy.... by one that hasnt been rolled or rusted out and enjoy it...

more fun per gallon than anything i have been in...

1985 cj7
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post #5 of 9 Old 09-22-2008, 10:47 AM
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CJ's seem to sell for a little more in our neck of the woods. The best deal I could find when I bought mine was in Gainesville TX. I had to drive a couple of hundred miles to get it. I paid about 3k for mine. The body and frame were in excellent shape and it was mechanically sound. There is a place in El Paso (not sure where you are at) that sells them but the same Jeep would have run about 5k.

I echo CopperCJ7's comment on stock carbueration. IMHO the BBD's simply suck. There are some people that like them and can get them running at peak performance, but the bulk of the people I know and see post here dont want to be bothered with them. Fuel injection is great but expensive. It is no secret I prefer the Weber 32/36 for a 258.

Fooling around with Jeeps is addiciting and as you get more into the more expensive it gets. A good place to start is with a stock CJ in the 1980's era. Lots of parts available the computers can be disabled and you have a simple machine you can work on.

You came to the right place. Welcome aboard, there is a great deal of knowledge in these forums and most people are happy to help.

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post #6 of 9 Old 09-22-2008, 11:40 AM
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Based on my recent CJ5 purchase:

Look for a radiator leak
Transmission leak
Bad u-joints

Make sure all 2 & 4 wheel drives work.
I bought one that had a missing rear driveshaft because a u-joint broke and it was damaged. I drove it home in 4H.
When I replaced the rear driveshaft, I found out 2H doesn't work.
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post #7 of 9 Old 09-22-2008, 02:22 PM
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1980 CJ7 
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I would also add to look very closely at any of the "standard" upgrades most of us make on our Jeeps - lifts, HD bumpers, electrical upgrades, etc... All too often, owners will do these upgrades themselves and not know what they are doing. In fact, personally, the times that I've looked at buying a new CJ (three different times), I always lean toward finding one that is as close to bone stock as possible. That way I know that I'm getting a vehicle that hasn't been "upgraded" to the point of no return. It's real easy to get sucked in by a CJ with huge tires, a big lift and a bunch of beafy add ons. But you'll get a better deal on a stock CJ and you'll have the peace of mind to know that somebody else hasn't done crappy mechanical work on your new ride. So I say - look for something that is as close to stock (of course as clean and rust free as possible) as possible assuming you plan on fixing it up to your own personal specs down the road.
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post #8 of 9 Old 09-22-2008, 02:32 PM
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There is a few on Craigslist here in San Antonio. You might want to check in on if you like give me a shout and extra set of eyes and ears mght help and sure dosn't hurt. Check out the one located in spring branch. T156 hard top and dorrs. No rust looks might be worth checking out for 4500.00
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post #9 of 9 Old 09-22-2008, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by LostINohiO View Post
wow copper... u almost scared ME off and ive owned a cj for awhile...
Well, let's be real. I'm sure all 20-something vehicles have issues with age and stuff. Yes, the Jeep CJ/Wrangler type vehicles are the most fun you can have with your clothes on, but the fact remains, it's old technology and old parts mixed with years of weather. Thanks for the remark about the fact that I gave good advice, but I'm just being realistic with the guy.

Guns don't kill people... Bad trail spotters do.

Originally Posted by John Strenk View Post
What CJ owner doesn't want to hack up his harness for the next owner to have fun with?
Originally Posted by Broseph View Post
The thread will derail quicker than a walrus on a Crisco-soaked Slip 'n' Slide.
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