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Unread 12-02-2009, 10:31 AM   #1
luca_marine
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1985 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 5
First time Jeep owner need tech advise

Hey guys! I'm new to the whole Jeep owning experience... and wouldn't you know it i bought an 85 CJ7. (please hold your laughter) anyhow, I've loved Jeeps for years and finally decided that it was time to get one. I found this little beauty on craigslist for 3900 and got the guy down to only 3500 for it. As far as i can tell its bone stock... with the exception for the aftermarket rims and tires (31x10.50x15 Pro Comp Xtreme) So here's my question, I am in the Marines and i have to keep it safe enough to get it through the gate to drive back and forth to work, yet i want to do some work to this thing. What kinds of suggestions would you guys have and what are some of the "best bang for the buck" upgrades that i can get for this thing. I want to lift it and probably run like 35's in the future. I'm just another weekend warrior that may occasionally run through some mud. But other than that I'd like it to be a daily driver. also for you guys in the south i'm looking for a reputable shop that could help me with the mods that i would like to do.

Patrick from South Carolina

also i'd like to post a pic here but not sure how... i know.... NOOB

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Unread 12-02-2009, 11:13 AM   #2
h2ojeep
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1978 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Cottonflat, TX
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I will give you the advise that I have practice. I drove from West Texas to Northern Calf to get my current jeep, so the laugh may be on me. However I am pleased with what I have.

Before tire and wheel things:
With any vehicle as old as what we have, Other than an oil and filter change,I started with replacing the wearing parts: belts, sparkplugs, radiator hose, heater hose, vacuum hose, antifreeze change. Lube levels (or change if it looks bad). and a good grease job. Change all the filters, etc.

I went ahead and changed the water pump, thermostat, starter and alternator, rebuilt the carb. In essence, I made it mine and started a history based on what I know is good.

I will also note that cussin lessons are good if you are not already proficient. There is so much more to do, the fun and just beginning.

Thank you for your service to OUR country and welcome to the Forum.
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Unread 12-02-2009, 11:59 AM   #3
Mike Romain
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1986 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Off the Grid in Chester Grant, Nova Scotia, Canada
Posts: 13,105
Welcome. For now you have to post a link to photos. Lots of us use photobucket. Once you have 50 posts, you can post the img code here for direct links.

Do you have to pass strict emissions? You can get a sweet 25% seat of the pants power boost and still pass the tailpipe emissions by disabling the emissions computer. The junk can either be left in place or removed, depending on the visual part of the emissions inspection. Here is a link on it: How to - Nutter Bypass - JeepForum.com

Then if you want nice heat, you can upgrade the blower motor to a Siemens 102 or one for a 73 Blazer 350 with AC. This puts out more on low that the stock one does on high. Jeep Heater Blower Motor Upgrade

A $20.00 carb kit does them wonders and is easy to install.

There are a couple things for you to check out, there are lots more.
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86/00 CJ7 Laredo, 33x9.5 BFG AT's, 'glass nose to tail in '00, 'New' frame,wires and plumbing in '09. Carter BBD Carbed 4.0 HO in '10.
89 YJ Renegade. BBD Carbed 4.0 HO. Locked front and rear with 33x9.5 BFG AT's
Some Canadian Bush Jeep Runs and Build Photos: http://mikeromainjeeptrips.shutterfly.com (10 new albums added Sept 16/10)
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Unread 12-02-2009, 12:04 PM   #4
h2ojeep
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Location: Cottonflat, TX
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Afterthought:

As you do things with your jeep, you are in good company within this forum. There is a great amount of talent here. Guys who are seasoned and have been in the trenches and they are knowledgeable and HELPFUL. I often just read through the forum and pick up great ideas or simply learn something. You may get a lot of useless advise or opinion, but in time you will know who has the knowledge.

SO help them help you.

You have already made a good start by filling out your profile, more exact, what make model jeep, etc that you have. That was the first place I looked before responding. Preface any question that you have with pertinent information before asking the question.
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Unread 12-02-2009, 12:05 PM   #5
fwlslyr
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1975 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
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Power steering. Lockers. I would go with a 4" leaf spring lift. The cheapest aluminum wheels you can buy. Mine are MT classics about $85 apiece. Since you will be on the road and off road I would go with pro comp 33 or 35 MT's. To save money I would go with used 33's. If you look around you may get a nice set with wheels for $500 to $600.
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Unread 12-02-2009, 01:15 PM   #6
luca_marine
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1985 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: South Carolina
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thank you all. i do not have to pass emissions here in SC but i may be transfering out to Camp Pendelton California. so with that in mind i need to plan for needing to pass emissions. i have looked around for the lift kit and i've found one thats made by Rough country its a 4" suspension but i'm not sure if that will allow me to do what i want to... it says that the recomended tire size is only 33's and i would like to go ahead and while i'm doing the work just set it up so that i could run 35's if i wanted. best bang for the buck kind of thing ya know? as for the rest of the rebuilding options i have reciepts from the previous owner (former Marine) who had alot of work done less than a year ago by a local shop to include a rebuilt 258 from 4wd.com new radiator, new weber carb, new fuel pump, pressure regulator, new valve cover, distributer and roter cap, spark plugs, thermostat and misc gaskets and most of all hoses under the hood. all of the above work was completed on December 05, 2008 so i think everything under the hood should be pretty sound. i am however burning a horrible amount of gas.... i drove like 40 miles and went through about half a tank of gas!!! i'm not sure but i'm pretty sure i'm running VERY rich right now but don't have the extra money (xmas) to put it in the shop to have this checked out. i know that i'm not going to get great gas mileage out of something this old but GEEZ.... i only drive 5 miles each way to work so.... its not that big of a deal but it could get to be very expensive! also.... i'm on the lookout for a new fuze block or aftermarket fuze block that i can get my hands on. over the years someone has done alot of splicing into wires underneath the dash to install a stereo and aftermarket temp gauge. also i have a kill switch installed and a hand throttle that the previous owner installed on the shifter handle. both of which i will probably remove. all in all i believe i got a good deal on the Jeep. just in reciepts from last year the guy has over 3900 just in parts and labor. so i pretty much just bought the engine and all the parts and he threw in the body, hard top, soft top, bikini top, hard and soft doors just for free! i know i'm a little long winded sometimes but i have alot of plans and things that i want to do with this thing! i do know that someday i will possibly want to drop out the 258 and go with a v8 of some sort... but for now i have an almost perfectly running jeep with only a few hair raising issues that i have practiced alot of VERBAL abuse on....
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Unread 12-02-2009, 04:28 PM   #7
Oily
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Location: Kerrville, Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luca_marine View Post
I want to lift it and probably run like 35's in the future. I'm just another weekend warrior that may occasionally run through some mud. But other than that I'd like it to be a daily driver.
Jeeps are built, not bought. A lift and 35's can be driven on the street, but why? Everything in life is a trade off. You sacrifice street ability by modding it for hard core off road use. My totally stock 85 CJ7 is no slouch off road.
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Unread 12-02-2009, 04:48 PM   #8
luca_marine
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: South Carolina
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thanks for the suggestions. but i have receipts for the following items that were replaced just last year. Rebuilt 258 from 4wd.com. new parts to include... Radiator
Weber Carb
Distributer car rotor and all wires
Fuel Pressure regulator
Fuel Pump
almost all hoses and lines under the hood were replaced
work was all done by a local shop and i have the receipts to prove it. however there are a few things that aren't exactly up to par for my standards... the fuze block isn't exactly wired correctly.... there are too many things that the PO's spliced into under the dash and spliced into over and over again.... the actual fuze block is a 12 circuit i believe and there are several things that don't even have places in the fuze block but are wired into the system. like for instance the radio and the turn signals (flasher for the turn signals is just hanging underneath the dash) but all in all i still believe i got a pretty reasonable deal considering. i mean the guy had like 3900 bucks in parts and labor done last year. and i only gave him 3500 for the jeep. and it came with a hard top hard doors soft top soft doors and bikini top. the body has some surface rust but not too bad.... if you guys have or know anyone that has a fuze block like an 18 circuit or so.. please let me know. i'm not exactly ready to pay almost 200 for one from a parts store. i found the painless wiring harness and all wires for like 523 but i don't want to pay that much either... i know i should but i don't want to... so if you guys have one that would be GREAT! also any other parts that you may have just lying around that i could use... all advise is appriciated!


also... i seem to be burning alot of gas! i drove like 40 miles and burnt off like half a tank of gas.... this is NO BUENO!!! i know that i'm running a little rich and there is an in-line fuel pressure regulator under the hood.... should i turn this down? it is sitting on 3 right now and clearly i can adjust it but i'm not sure if that will fix the problem or what else can i do? i don't exactly have the cash to take it to a shop right now.... (xmas)
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Unread 12-02-2009, 06:35 PM   #9
gp4play
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1'st, thank you for your service,and welcome to a great site.Check your fuel system out for leaks or the gas gauge could be bad,thats a lot a gas for 40 mi. Get some company and go wheel it to see how much you want add to it,like lift,lockers,gears,and tires.Have fun
Semper Fi
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Unread 12-02-2009, 08:24 PM   #10
crcj7
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i would do a 4'' re kit with some 33 inch mts and lunch box lockers. you can get used tiers off a local forum most of the time . a regear would be nice but you should be ok with 33s you should be pretty good offroad and on road. then get a lot of recovery gear
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Unread 12-02-2009, 09:13 PM   #11
TexBasses
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1983 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Texas
Posts: 16
First; Thank you for your service to our nation and the cause of freedom. You're a great American. Second; welcome. You'll have a blast with the CJ if you can keep your mind right and have another way on base when you need it. Wheeling, wrenching on old iron, and then relying on it to get you to work in the morning can be a little much. I do it, but don't recommend it if that makes any sense.

I've learned mostly by reading the various manuals and magazines (JP and Peterson's 4 Wheel and Off Road) and online. This forum can be an excellent resource and you'll quickly figure out who really knows. Other great places to start include Jeep Tech Pages and Table of Contents . As for me, I did the upgrades mentioned above, Nutter Bypass and carb rebuilds (Easy Fix for Jeep 258 Carter BBD Idle Problem ) and drove it essentially stock for several years before making the first real upgrade (one piece axles) and did that only after breaking my stockers. Moderate wheeling, keeping it on the road every day and routine maintenance can take you a long way. After a while, you'll learn enough to make the right choices on mods which fit your plans. Final piece of advice; involve the family if you've got. Life became so much easier after that first Galveston beach trip with the wife.

Regards.
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Unread 12-03-2009, 06:30 AM   #12
Mike Romain
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1986 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Off the Grid in Chester Grant, Nova Scotia, Canada
Posts: 13,105
To address a couple things. The flasher does just hang under there, the emergency flasher is in the fuse box and the radio does plug into the front of the fuse box. Jeep also use duct tape on some of the connections of wires that get warm.

The wiring harness matches up with a full sized GM van or pickup, all the plugs and sockets are the same as well as the fuse panel is the same type if you want to do a junkyard crawl. I got a GM harness way back when and the fuse panel had a lot more fuses than the jeep one.

Some 'weber' carbs are problematic, some are nasty clones. Your 3 psi on the regulator sounds right. Here is a link on trying to make the weber 34 clone work: WEBER 34 DGEC Carb TOO RICH??, Jets & Tune for Jeep 4.2 / 258 - JeepForum.com

I get, and have tuned many more to also get a sweet 21 mpg highway with the stock Weber-Carter BBD carb that came on them.

If your computer wasn't disabled, it is now running in limp mode which clamps down on the timing advance for one. To see if the computer is still active, you need to look close at the plug on the ignition module. the module is way down on the drivers side fender, under the washer bottle. Look at the 4 wire plug and see where the purple wire goes. If it stops at the plug and goes nowhere. the computer is likely still there. If the purple wire continues along, the computer is likely gone.

If you have an aftermarket distributor or ignition module, the computer is likely gone. If the computer is still there, here is a link on killing it: How to - Nutter Bypass - JeepForum.com

Here is a link to the factory service manual: 84-86 Factory Service Manual... - JeepForum.com
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86/00 CJ7 Laredo, 33x9.5 BFG AT's, 'glass nose to tail in '00, 'New' frame,wires and plumbing in '09. Carter BBD Carbed 4.0 HO in '10.
89 YJ Renegade. BBD Carbed 4.0 HO. Locked front and rear with 33x9.5 BFG AT's
Some Canadian Bush Jeep Runs and Build Photos: http://mikeromainjeeptrips.shutterfly.com (10 new albums added Sept 16/10)
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Unread 12-03-2009, 12:34 PM   #13
luca_marine
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1985 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 5
so i took some pictures and read the replys that you other guys here in the forum posted..... so i decided to just ask... i have no idea what i have as far as what lockers i have, transfer case, tranny, axles,..... i also took it to a muffler shop today to check and see if i had an exhaust leak... evidently the flexy down pipe is notorious for leaks.... LOL thats the First thing to get replaced. i looked for this computer thingy you talked about mike and all i can find is two wire harness's that aren't connected to anything... ??? i took pics and would like some clarification if you don't mind..... here is the link to the pics.... http://s556.photobucket.com/albums/ss4/luca_marine/
i'm LOST!!!!
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Unread 12-03-2009, 01:00 PM   #14
Mike Romain
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1986 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Off the Grid in Chester Grant, Nova Scotia, Canada
Posts: 13,105
D300 t-case, AMC 20 rear end, front should be D30, 15 gallon gas tank, no computer to worry about.

To find out if you have a traction device in there you can jack it up and spin one tire. If the tire on the other side spins the same way you have a traction device, if it spins opposite you have an open diff.

If you jack up one side and mark the tire, and mark the driveshaft and spin the tire twise while counting the driveshaft turns, that will give you the ratio. My driveshaft spins a little more than 3 1/4 turns so I have the common 3.31:1 gears You only need to spin the tire once to get the count if you have a traction device.
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86/00 CJ7 Laredo, 33x9.5 BFG AT's, 'glass nose to tail in '00, 'New' frame,wires and plumbing in '09. Carter BBD Carbed 4.0 HO in '10.
89 YJ Renegade. BBD Carbed 4.0 HO. Locked front and rear with 33x9.5 BFG AT's
Some Canadian Bush Jeep Runs and Build Photos: http://mikeromainjeeptrips.shutterfly.com (10 new albums added Sept 16/10)

Last edited by Mike Romain; 12-04-2009 at 08:09 AM.. Reason: Wrong letter for rear end
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