Hey I am new to Jeeps and Jeepforum. I want to buy an old jeep, fix it up, and offroad the heck out of it. Would a CJ be a good jeep to get for this? I am looking to spend around 1000 dollars. What year should I get. Im not looking to make it into a major offroad beast, I just want to have something to get dirty and beat up. Thanks a lot
I'll be the first to admit that I don't know half as much as some of the people on this forum. You can take my opinion for what it's worth. However... I've been in the market, looking at, checking out and learning from experience alot lately. Buying a used Jeep (especially a CJ) on a budget may very well be one of the most difficult financial manuvers ever. Not only are they exorbitantly overpriced in the re-sale market, but the cost of decent quality parts to do any sort of repair and modification is through the roof as well. For a Jeep worth spending your time and money on, plus the parts to "do it right" (modifications) $1000 is not going to cut it. You can beleive me, because I tried it. Good luck anyways...as you can see I'm not discouraged. I'm still here, and I'm still on a budget.
If you just want a Jeep to get dirty, and don't need a CJ, check out a Cherokee XJ. They can be had cheap, and parts aren't too bad either. My $.02 - enjoy.
I had an idea to spend $5,000 and ended up spending 20...
You have to really figure out what you want to do with it first and stick to that plan. Each and every time I decided to upgrade something, I found an issue with something else and ended up fixing that and doing it the "correct" way. That ends up nickling and diming you to death.
I think I could probably build something today for a few grand, but it wouldn't come close to the rig I have now.
So, for $1,000 you can probably get a used CJ with a ton of rust and high mileage. I would think it would be nearing the not so safe stage of it's life in terms of steering and overall body falling off the frame. You can get it running OK, but if you want to "Wheel the heck out of it", you will more then likely break something and it will end up running you some more money to get that fixed in a more heavy duty fashion.
Good luck with what you decide to do, but keep in mind that for $1,000 you will be getting something that is at least 20 years old and someone before you might have beat on it as well.
Like others have said a $1000 is not enough for a Cj.If you did find one for that price it will need a lot of work which means more money.
If your not set on a CJ you might consider a Toyota pickup.These can be picked up fairly cheap.My sons friend just got one for $1500 and it alredy had a Marlin box in it.
Without knowing what part of the country you're in, it's hard to say what the going rate would be for a used CJ. However, after having been around CJ's for a while, I would agree $1000 is not enough to buy a decent running CJ. For $1000 expect to buy one that is already a project and in need of a lot of work.
I paid $3700 for my 79 CJ5 three years ago. Since then, I've put about that much into it and I'm still not where I want it to be. But that's the way CJ's go. My wife jokingly calls it my mistress.
If you're serious about a CJ, you also need to consider what you're going to be using it for. Will it be a play toy only, daily driver only or a combination of the two? If a combination, will it be a mudder or rock crawler?
A good place to look for used Jeep's is jeep-classifieds.com
It's the website where I found my CJ5. You can go by model or the feature I like is Jeeps by state.
[COLOR=DarkGreen][FONT=Century Gothic]All the Jeeps I've owned
79 CJ5 258 six with a weber (current vehicle) T18/Dana20
81 CJ5 258 six (driven out of Alaska thru Canada in winter with a softtop)
75 Jeep Wagoneer 360V8
79 Jeep Cherokee 258 six
Dont get discouraged. I was looking for the same thing and less than a month ago i got an 85 for $400. Body has its far share of rust and it didnt have a top or doors for it. But the drive train is solid and the previous owner had already put a body lift on and upgraded the t-5 to the t-176. My jeep is far from nice but it is perfect for a rig you can drive part time on the road and beat the hell out of on the trail. By the way i only spent about $100 on parts to get it running well enough to drive it on the road legaly.
Like the others have said your budget is a bit light for a CJ. Your best bet would be a YJ. They are common and lot of them around. The bodies of the YJ are galvanized and don't rust as bad. You can get more bang for the buck. I have seen a few around Des Moines, Ia for around $2500. A guy could probably get into them for around $2200. Good luck and remember Jeep. Just Empty Every Pocket.
86 CJ7, 258, t18, D300, D44's 4.56's, Detroit front, Warn shafts and CTM joints, spool rear, SOA, SRS, waggy springs, 6 point cage, Warn winch, 38" Tsl, Allied beadlocks.