I wanted to just introduce myself (i'm 34 and heterosexual lol)and my jeep (a 1983 Jeep CJ7 Renegade). I can't post pictures yet, but I will once I pay the money to be a premium member. I'm now almost $45k in the hole with medical bills, down from $85k...after trying to save my son (next paragraph)
Long story short, I have recently acquired this jeep after a rough last year or so. I recently lost my dad, my son, my dog, and my wife was diagnosed with cancer and just completed treatment. I have a 7 year old daughter that I am working hard on keeping myself sane for her. SO...I daily drive this thing, which is a big deal right now once you read the details on the jeep below. It is in pretty damn good shape, needs a little this and that, but gets a lot of compliments already. Keep in mind that I drive it around town and <3 miles to and from work. I essentially got it to bring a smile on my little girls face, and my wife (she used to have YJ 10 years ago), and to keep my mind occupied with tinkering. I am mechanically inclined, and have built several cars from a 600HP grand national to a 550AWHP Subaru STi, and I used to (before my son's death) do high performance driving instruction...I only mention it because I am a true gear head, and catch on quick. But, I do not know much about CJ's...but I have been just reading and reading on this board.
It is a 5-speed, 258 (rebuilt) but with a carb (YIKES) that runs pretty good actually. Interior is nearly flawless. it has A/C and crappy heat (I've read about the blazer blower upgrade).
It has a 4" Pro-comp suspension lift (yeah, I know....)
35x14.50x15 boggers on 15x12 steel pro-comp wheels.
Obviously, it rides like crap. Steering SUCKS. And, I am sure it has stock gears...it is undergeared terribly.
My thought is to just buy 33x12.50x15 general grabbers and throw them on there with some 15x10 or 15x8 steel wheels. I also need to get the steering taken care of, and I think for the time being I am going to just try to get caster right and do the shackle reversal kit? Long term, I will be taking this lift off and putting something way better and my trail worthy.
Long term, I want to make this a fairly stout trail rig. I'm pretty sure I will do an engine swap of some kind...but I don't know a lot about the 258.
I welcome any suggestions or worthwhile points. I'm excited about having this thing as it is pretty freakin nice. I ultimately want it to be road worthy, and not work to drive on the street like it is now, and also have the ability to go right to a pretty hard trail without me worrying about breaking stuff.
As I said, I have to work on this counting my $$ carefully as I still have dr bills to pay. I don't mind working on things myself, but I welcome meeting new people and having a helping hand. I can pay with beverages of your choice and a stomach full of good food.
Take care everyone. I am happy to part of the community.
Sheesh, I'm surprised you got passed over! Usually new members get all sorts of attention - pics of the jeep, please! and such.
Very sorry to hear about all the trouble you've been having. I can't imagine.
I'd agree with getting rid of those tires and dropping down. Not necessarily on the lift, but suit yourself. I've got a 4.5" lift on 31s, and I like it just fine. Someone must've paid attention to caster, because it drives straight as an arrow. I'd never done much wrenching, but learned on this CJ, and it's all been doable, from axles to transmission to fuel injection. As long as you have the tools and a little patience and time, you can do anything.
Tell us more about the steering - could be caster, could be steering components, could be wheel balance, etc.
And again, to make up for anyone not paying attention - welcome!
I am also very sorry to hear about your recent tribulations. It sounds like you have a nice jeep and the knowledge to make it even better. I am pretty new to the forum as well and everyone here is very helpful and supportive.
Best of luck with everything, ask lots of questions, I guarantee someone here can answer them.
Now to the Jeep. A better description of how it rides will go a long ways. Is it simply rough?? Could be as simple as the shackles being too tight.
Same with the steering. Bump steer? Wandering at speeds? Stock or oversized shackles?
The crew on here is a wealth of knowledge, and the more details you provide, the more they can.
I run General Grabbers on mine. They do fine on the road, and great off road. They have a very soft tread, and a stiff, heavy sidewall. As far as the lifespan of them, I think it will be short on a daily driver.
Ps. I wouldn't worry about doing a shackle reversal. They will ride fine without one. Fix the other problems first, then worry about things like that.
78 CJ7.. 258.. TH400/Dana18.. SOA/stock YJ springs.. 35" General Grabbers.. Waggy 44s.. 4.88 gears...Spartan/Lockright...Fiberglass front to rear
billusher...reading your intro has made me think about alot of things. If I were you, I would either leave it as is, or get rid of it. My CJ has robbed me of a lot of time that I won't get back...time that I spent farting around in the garage, instead of with my wife/kids.
Welcome to the forums.
my thoughts on your steering issue could be from the tires. I have 33x14.0x15 boggers on my jeep (PO installed) and I notice the steering feels off also. I will also be replacing the tires for some that are narrower when i have the money.
Thanks for the comments and support everyone. It has been a ROUGH last year and a half. But, what can you do but push ahead. And 85Laredo, while I understand where you are coming from, some of my best memories are my little 5-6 year old daughter being the best helper a guy could ask for, and my wife sitting just outside in the garage sipping wine and baking in the sun.
Here are some pics, I went ahead and paid the membership $$ so I could post pics and support what looks to be a great site. I will update tomorrow with more details on some of the questions asked.
Sweet but flawed. It would look real nice with a bikini top.
Welcome to the Forum, friendly bunch here you will give you penty of advice, often wrong but free.
If it was mine, and it is not so feel free to ignore me, I would weigh up the cost and trouble of regearing and then go to 31" or 32" tyres. Stock CJs run fine on trails on 31" tyres, most of your current issues surround those big tyres. If you have several k to invest you can make them work but otherwise dump them. The PO made the mistake of going for the monster truck look without doing it properly.
You would then find it far more lively and enjoyable to drive and stop and the steering will not be as tough.
There is a Stickie on the steering issues. I suspect yours are allied to those tyres. Get underneath and get someone to play with the steering wheel, you may find some excessive play under there, not uncommon on CJs. Otherwise it could be caster. Anyway they are not impossible to fix.The other suspension mods you are thinking of will not help with the basic issues which I suspect are wear and alignment.