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Unread 01-08-2012, 01:49 PM   #1
Harvmike
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1985 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Fishers, IN
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Daily Driver

This past summer, I bought a 1985 CJ7 and want it to be my daily driver. Here is my very broad question. What do you recommend to make the CJ7 with a 258 and T5 mostly stock mechanically a reliable safe daily driver.

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Unread 01-08-2012, 01:59 PM   #2
ravenCJ
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1983 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Mundelein, IL
Posts: 111
exchange all fluids, do a complete tuneup, and inspect for worn or damaged suspension components and replace as necessary. Make sure all your lights work, and your brakes are in good shape. I'm a firm believer that if you take care of your jeep, it will take care of you. BTW, I DD my CJ7
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Unread 01-08-2012, 02:00 PM   #3
skizriz
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1978 CJ7 
 
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Not sure what you are asking??

Have a mechanic look it over, and tell you what needs fixed. Same as you would with any used vehicle purchase.
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Unread 01-08-2012, 06:09 PM   #4
Ken4444
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If the CJ is mostly stock, then that rules out certain problems like trying to drive to work on 38" tires and a 10" lift. Install small tires (29 or 30", ideally). Lighten the weight as much as possible (ie: use the stock front and rear bumpers) Make sure the braking system is in good shape. Obviously the fluids need to be all inspected/replaced. Put some flat cardboard boxes under the Jeep for a few days and leave it in one place. Then look on the cardboard and see what's leaking.

You're probably going to want to make sure the heater is working. Also check all of the lights, inside and out. If you're driving at night and you can't see the speedo, that's a problem.

Replace the belts and hoses, unless you know they're new.

Start a basic maintenaince log on a sheet of paper or a small notebook and note the mileage and what work was done.

Make sure the gauges are in good shape. All of them.
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Unread 01-08-2012, 08:18 PM   #5
Harvmike
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Great advise guys, Thanks. Some of these things I have already done. I guess I would like opinions on are there certain upgrades or changes that I should make that will improve the Daily Driver. For example: should I think about changing the carburetor, any brake upgrades, changing suspension (I would like to hit some mild/moderate trails some day) or should I just drive it until something goes around and change it then. Everything is working fine now, but when things go wrong it's always at the worst time, those are the things I'm trying to avoid.
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Unread 01-08-2012, 08:33 PM   #6
jranger35
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I'd get some good all terrain tires and have an alignment done so that you get some solid mileage out of them. New suspension components if they're worn, but might not be the best idea to put a lift on it if it's tracking straight now. I drive my 83 everyday and the ignition module is the only thing that's got me stranded yet. Knock on wood.
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Unread 01-08-2012, 08:49 PM   #7
Bobs85Reny
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One of the best upgrades I did was putting a howell fuel injection system in. I used to have so many problems with the carb system. Mine is not my daily driver but it always starts and runs reliably it was a costly upgrade but in my opinion was worth every penny.
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Unread 01-09-2012, 09:21 AM   #8
Ken4444
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harvmike View Post
... For example: should I think about changing the carburetor, any brake upgrades, changing suspension (I would like to hit some mild/moderate trails some day) or should I just drive it until something goes around and change it then. Everything is working fine now, but when things go wrong it's always at the worst time, those are the things I'm trying to avoid.
Short of re-doing the entire Jeep, you'll never be able to fix everything before it breaks.

If you have the standard front disk and rear drum, I don't see any need to upgrade the brakes for a daily driver or basic trail Jeep. The factory brakes were fine then and should be fine now. Just make sure that the brake system works correctly and is maintained.

As far as suspension upgrades? None needed. Again, if you're primarily concerned with the Jeep as a daily driver, the stock suspension is fine as long as it's in good shape. The leaf springs will sag over time so you may want to check that, but otherwise you should be OK.

Keep in mind that running the Jeep on mild to moderate trails is probably what AMC had in mind when they designed her. As long as you use your head on the trail, you should be fine even in a stock Jeep.

As far as replacing the carburetor, well, sure, that's an option. How much time and money do you want to sink into the project? Is the stock Carter BBD giving you problems that you're tired of dealing with? Remember that it was/is typical for carburetors to need service and/or rebuilding every 30,000 miles which is something that most people today don't realize. That's a vastly different paradigm than today's fuel injection engines that will run for a quarter of a million miles with very little trouble.
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