I am looking at purchasing a 1983 CJ-7, with a inline 6, 258ci engine, 4wd, soft top, new suspension, and a few new cosmetic upgrades. This may be my first Jeep, and I was wondering if anyone new of some important things that I need to look at first so it doesn't turn out to be a dud. I appreciate any help or advice you may have.
I think most people are concerned about rust. Lift the carpet behind the drivers and passenger seats and look for rust. Look under the body at the points where the body mounts to the frame. Look for rust!!!
I got lucky and bought a mostly un-molested jeep the first time. I have a few repairs to do and I want to replace the carb with the stock Carter. But other than that it's okay. Unless you buy one that is completely restored you can plan on making a few repairs - as on any used vehicle. Be prepaired to replace the belt, hoses, battery, brakes, tires, etc. If you find them in good shape, all the better. But I'm always prepaired to repair or replace most of the items mentioned. As far as the engine and transmission goes - test drive it. Mine has 117k miles on it and it looks like it's never been apart. So, I expect it to grind a little when shifted into 2nd while cold. My engine leeks oil, but it doesn't smoke or smell of burnt oil. The transfer case works, and the front axle locks and unlocks. Try everything. That's about all I can say. Anyone else?
2004 Rubicon, 6" lift, 35s, winch, hard top, full doors, bumpers, tire carrier and rock sliders.
I would say look for the usual areas of rust (floor boards and wheel wells). The usual leaking around the seals on the axles, engine leaks by examing the block and the floor where the Jeep is stored. Check the color of the oil making sure there is no antifreeze in there (that could mean warped head or bad gaskets)
Look at the color of the exhaust, you are looking to see if she is buring any oil from bad valve guides or bad rings.
Was the Jeep used for plowing? If so there may be stress cracks in the front part of the frame. (inside section of frame in front)
Look to see how it rides down the road. Any 'crabing sideways' could denote an accident and a bent frame.
Try the transfer case. You can usually go by feel and sound on a transfer case. If it doesnt sound like any problems there probably arent. (torque builds up when using 4wd and especially on a hard surface so getting her out of 4wd might require reversing and some playing witht he transfer case. This as far as I know is normal.)
I know it seems a bit overboard to check all that out but after all the Jeeps and other cars I have bought I believe nothing anyone tells me!!
1974 CJ5 Renegade...restored...100% perfect
too nice to be true!!!
First you need to check the air cleaner. If it is loaded up with oil then it means you are getting blow by from the motor having bad rings (as long as all of the original hoses are hooked up... ie. a hose from the valve cover to the air cleaner assembly).
Next, if the Jeep has ever been exposed to the winter salt used on roads here in PA there is a good chance the frame might be rotted out. Check the frame where the back leaf springs bolt to the frame. These two places are common for disappearing.
Finally check the tranny. If it is a 4 or 5 speed manual tranny and you hear a whine in all gears but 4th then you have bad bearings. This could be very expensive to replace.
Other than that.... Good luck and I hope its a good one.
'84 CJ-7 Junkyard TBI 360/T18/D300, 4" 4WDH Lift, D44 front with ARB and HS/D44 Rear w/ Detroit, 4.56s, 36" Iroks, TFI, TJ flares, Homemade rocker guards and bumpers with swing out, Optima Yellow Top, M8000, York OBA, 6pt cage
"when you're up to your *** in alligators, it is hard to remember that your original intention is to drain the swamp"