Need advice: What year CJ to start with -
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Unread 10-13-2008, 10:49 PM   #1
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1978 FSJ Wagoneer 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Oregon
Posts: 5
Need advice: What year CJ to start with

Hello all,

I have been a FSJ guy for years and am going to build a CJ. I would like to do a spring over lift and have done quite a bit of reading on the "procedure." However, everything I read about is on Jeeps that are post 71 (I think the longer version?).

I have a line on a 63 CJ with a 302 in it. Stock running gear throughout. Should I be looking at this thing? Are the newer - post 71 or whatever - better prospects to work with?

Looking for advice - I have more time and inginuity than immediate cash so I don't mind doing the labor.


78 Wagoneer
63 CJ
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Unread 10-13-2008, 10:53 PM   #2
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1981 CJ7 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: coeurd'alene idaho
Posts: 250
i would look for a 82-86 cj7.
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Unread 10-13-2008, 11:04 PM   #3
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2006 TJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Greenville, SC
Posts: 363
x2 on the later model CJ7. 76-86 has the best aftermarket support as far as replacement parts and accessories go. starting in 1980 jeep started using the Dana 300 transfer case which has a lower low range than its predecessor the Dana 20.
'06 Wrangler SE, soft top, hard doors, 2.4L, rolling completely stock and unmodified for the short term...
'10 Wrangler Sport, soft top, hard doors, 23S package, Teraflex 2.5" spring lift, Spidertrax 1.5" wheel spacers. Sold.
'79 CJ-7 Renegade, 258 I6, T150, D20, D30/AMC20, 2.5in Rancho lift, 31x10.5 AT's, TeamRush upgrade, flush tail lights - Sold :'(
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Unread 10-13-2008, 11:11 PM   #4
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1984 CJ7 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: B'ham, AL
Posts: 828
To me the 82 is the best year due to the combination of wide track axles, dana 300, behind the seat sport bar, newer hard door style, and lack of computer controlled carb.
82-86 is what has the best aftermarket support.
Unfortunately they also have the weakest transmissions (aside from the T176) and weaker locking hubs.
84 CJ7 258, T5, D300, AMC 20, D30 EZ lockers F&R
33" TSL, 2.5"BDS lift, .5" shackle lift 1" body lift
Originally Posted by ftdranger
You guys on the CJ tech page are a little to tech for me. Must be the leaf springs.
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Unread 10-14-2008, 12:18 AM   #5
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1976 CJ5 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Canton, Michigan
Posts: 3,059
If you're going to 'build a CJ', go with the latest one you can find. My recommend would be a 1986 CJ7 or 1985 CJ8. Last years of production for both models. If you want a CJ5, then get the 78-1983 model. But I can't recommend a SOA on a CJ5 with stock NT axles. Even better: Get a custom frame from TDK that's set up for a TJ style suspension and 'build' your CJ from there.
"In the end...It's all Hack."
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