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Unread 02-17-2007, 12:14 AM   #1
madryan
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Medford OR
Posts: 2
Thinking of diving in to the Jeep addiction

I'm wanting a jeep and don't really know much about the different models. I have always liked the CJ-7 and I like the brand new jeeps. I'm not as wild about the square headlight models but I could live with one. Here's my question...

I'm looking to get the more capable 4X4 rather than the best looking. I live in Oregon and as such have tons of nasty little backroads to explore. I want a jeep with the stock motor (straight 6) rather than a V-8 that someone's sandwiched in there. I don't want to pay huge money, and I don't mind a project. (I'm a machinist and have access to a shop that's got everything I need)

So... What's the best bargain (Model wise) in the jeep world?

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Unread 02-17-2007, 05:46 AM   #2
Fropleyqk
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1999 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Warner Robins, GA
Posts: 4,472
Quote:
Originally Posted by madryan
I'm wanting a jeep and don't really know much about the different models. I have always liked the CJ-7 and I like the brand new jeeps. I'm not as wild about the square headlight models but I could live with one. Here's my question...

I'm looking to get the more capable 4X4 rather than the best looking. I live in Oregon and as such have tons of nasty little backroads to explore. I want a jeep with the stock motor (straight 6) rather than a V-8 that someone's sandwiched in there. I don't want to pay huge money, and I don't mind a project. (I'm a machinist and have access to a shop that's got everything I need)

So... What's the best bargain (Model wise) in the jeep world?
Well, as far as capability, they're all what you put into them. As far as most capable off the lot, the new Rubicons come with Dana 44 axles, 32" tires, selectable lockers (front and rear) along with the modern creature comforts. (The CJ's did come with a 304 V8 as a stock option)

The newest model is refered to as a JK. The previous generation was a TJ, YJ (square headlights) before that, the CJ's (5,6,7, and 8) and then the real old school military, willies etc.

If you're wanting to build your Jeep, the sky's the limit. As far as the best model to start with, everyone has a different opinion. It's really all about how much money you want to spend. If you do lean towards the CJ route, understand what you're getting into. You WILL have to eventually work on it. They require a bit of TLC. Most creature comforts are out the window. I read someone else compare the CJs to motorcycles. Theyre a lot of fun but not too practicle. I drive mine every day but every now and then when I hop into my truck, I forget how big of a differernce modern vehicles are.

Anyway, do your research and make the decision thats best for you. (CJ's are cooler than the rest )
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Unread 02-17-2007, 08:11 AM   #3
nozzleram
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Location: North Central Indiana
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I love the older CJ 7. I have a stock V8 and its still going strong after all these years. As mentioned any CJ/Wrangler will perform well depending on how you build it and what you want to do with it.

Value wise, (please don't hold this against me) the square headlight YJ is the best value. You can buy these for very little money and parts are plentiful to build to your hearts content. Most CJs have become too expensive.

If I didn't already have my CJ I'd be building my 97 TJ. But one is enough! I'm sticking to my CJ!
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77 CJ 7 - 304, TH400, Dana 300, Locked Scout 44s F/R, 4140 Chromoly Shafts, Bead locked TSL Q78s
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Unread 02-17-2007, 08:13 AM   #4
UGA6
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1985 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
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Posts: 166
Take this for what it's worth, because I'm about as mechanically inclined as a teenage girl and I don't four-wheel hardly at all. Regarding CJ's only (I think Wranglers are for girls), I've always been partial to CJ-7's, and that is still true even though I currently own a CJ-5. I have never owned/operated a CJ-8/Scrambler, but I don't see a lot of folks wheeling those things, and they're getting rarer and rarer ($$$). I think your best bet would be to "test drive" a couple of different models, maybe a couple of 7's and 5's with different engines to see how much the bigger engine would mean to you. I've owned a 7 with the I-6 258 and moderate tires (31x10.5), a CJ-7 with the I-6 258 and large tires (35x12.5). The large tires really bogged down the second Jeep. I currently have a CJ-5 with the 8-cylinder 360 and it's got more power than I could ever need. Basically, there are TONS of options and I think it will come down to figuring out what suits your driving style.

**My best piece of advice would be to be PATIENT. You can find some really good deals if you can take your time.**
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Unread 02-17-2007, 10:04 AM   #5
kavephish
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1981 CJ5 
 
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Posts: 532
If you go with an older Jeep, go woth the CJ. More work, but way more LCF (looks cool factor). Just my two cents.
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Unread 02-17-2007, 10:06 AM   #6
madryan
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Medford OR
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I'm not scared to rip into the thing and fiddle with it but I was basically wondering if the later models had incorporated the various mods people do to make their jeeps better. This thing isn't going to be a daily driver right at first, so doing a frame up restoration on an old CJ-7 would be doable.

I guess I'm looking for the super minimalist rig. I basically want to get something that's the simplest in form and function I can. I'm thinking spray in bedliner for the interior and stuff like that. I want something I can hose out completely.

I don't need huge tires or drastic lift kits. I'm thinking lifted enough to clear 32in. tires.
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Unread 02-17-2007, 10:17 AM   #7
scrible
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Location: Mustang, Oklahoma
Posts: 162
If I were you I would look for a 1980-86 CJ-5 or CJ-7, my preference is with CJ-5's but the CJ-7's have more room and hard tops are easy to find for them.

The 258 straight 6's are fine motors on the trail but on the street in my opinion that is a completely different story. You talk about the V8's "sandwiched" in there, well actually they fit in there very nicely and the AMC 304 V8 was a stock option.

I ditched the straight 6 in my 1981 CJ-5 and went with an AMC 360 out of a 1988 Wagoneer and it made the Jeep better on the trail, and actually a ton of fun to drive on the street.

If you can get one with the stock 304 V8 I say get it over the 258 straight 6.

32's shouldn't be a problem with a 2.5 inch lift... I have a 4 inch lift with 33's and here is how it sits:



The V8's sit in there quite nicely, here's my old straight 6 then the new AMC 360:





CJ's are by far the coolest and in my opinion the best buy... so much you can do to them to make them your own!
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Unread 02-17-2007, 10:19 AM   #8
jayhawkclint
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1970 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
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'72-'75 CJ5 or CJ6 (if you can find it) are good years:

Dana 44 1-piece rear
Dana 30 front with 6 bolt hubs, easily adaptable to disc brakes
Factory V8
Longer fenders allow for 4.0L EFI conversion
Saginaw steering
Firewall mounted master cylinder
Hanging pedals
Uncluttered dash
Not a lot of wiring or vacuum lines, easy to work on
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