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Unread 02-12-2009, 09:08 AM   #1
Dementius88
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: San Antonio, TX
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Want To Build My First Jeep

Need Advice!! I am new and I searched the threads for something like what I am asking with no luck. Here is my situation. I have never had the priviledge of owning a jeep, but I want that to change. I want to restore or rebuild a Jeep. I have wanted to get into car restoration for a while and I figured why not combine two desires. I am not concerned about keeping it stock. I would like to get a model that does not require an ECM or BCM. I love the look of the CJ-7. I admit I am a shiny noob and am asking for some advice from you guys. I figure the first step is to find a the victim. I have never welded but consider myself very mechanicaly inclined. Price is an issue so I want to get the best deal as possible. Interested in a glass tub, but am not sure of prices. Frame and engine would be my next concerns but am not sure. Any help picking a victim would be greatly appreciated, and maybe some ideas where to find a steal!

Thank you in advance!

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Unread 02-12-2009, 09:12 AM   #2
BioTex
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2006 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Alpine, Tx.
Posts: 3,173
First, I'd suggest determining how you want to use the Jeep. Is it a Daily Driver or Weekend Warrior etc...
Then you can start your search. You can find good deals where someone else already put the extras on it, and you can get for pennies on the dollar. Or you can get an original so you can enjoy the build a bit more (what I did).
Either way, you picked the right spot to hang out. Welcome!
__________________
'85 CJ7, BDS 4" lift, 1" Body lift, 33x12.5, Shrockworks Sliders, 304 V8 with RV cam., T-176, D300, Dana 30, AMC 20.
1986 CJ10-A SD-33 Diesel/727/np208
1971 800B with 345/T-19
06' TJ Rubicon, 4" R.C. springs, BFG/AT 35s M.C. 6" fenders, rockers and surrounds, Currie front & rear adj. tracbars, tattons DC rear shaft, adj. upper - lower CA's. Bilstein 5100's
YJ Buggy Build Current project. Stroker/FI ?
1990 MJ Comanche 4.0L AX15/np231
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Unread 02-12-2009, 09:36 AM   #3
Dementius88
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 5
Thank you BioTex. I plan to use it more as a daily driver but with the ability to go a little off the beaten path. No monster truck tires but would like it to look a little beefy! I honestly do not commute far and it would be a third vehicle anyways. Everything I read says to look out for rust on body. When I look at stuff on ebay and craigslist, if it has bad rust its cheaper. How much do glass tubs run and are they better or worse than a solid steel tub?
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Unread 02-12-2009, 09:53 AM   #4
JeepHammer
Running On Empty...
1973 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: South West Indiana
Posts: 10,098
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dementius88 View Post
Need Advice!! I am new and I searched the threads for something like what I am asking with no luck. Here is my situation. I have never had the priviledge of owning a jeep, but I want that to change. I want to restore or rebuild a Jeep. I have wanted to get into car restoration for a while and I figured why not combine two desires. I am not concerned about keeping it stock. I would like to get a model that does not require an ECM or BCM. I love the look of the CJ-7. I admit I am a shiny noob and am asking for some advice from you guys. I figure the first step is to find a the victim. I have never welded but consider myself very mechanicaly inclined. Price is an issue so I want to get the best deal as possible. Interested in a glass tub, but am not sure of prices. Frame and engine would be my next concerns but am not sure. Any help picking a victim would be greatly appreciated, and maybe some ideas where to find a steal!

Thank you in advance!
I won't pee on your head and tell you it's raining...

You would be better off starting on a TJ or newer Jeep.

The reasoning is,
Everyone makes something for them, and it all pretty much works.
You wouldn't believe how much trouble the CJ guys have finding basic parts that aren't 'Import' junk.

TJ's have air conditioning, cruise control, stereos, high back comfortable seats, fuel injection, ect.

CJ's have Leaks, Squeaks, Rattles, things rusting off, dragging the ground, blowing up, ect.

If I didn't have a dozen CJ era Jeeps lying around here, I wouldn't do CJ's, just too much trouble...
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Unread 02-12-2009, 10:04 AM   #5
jeepskate
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1986 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
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If you're staying away from PCM's, then the newest you'll be looking at will be '81 or so. You'll want the 258ci 4.2l I-6 or 304ci V8 under the hood. The Carter BBD carbs are problematic, so you'll be looking at an MC2100 carb swap for a low buck upgrade/improvement. Poke around the tech info at www.jeeptech.com to find out about the stock drivetrain offerings, pros, cons, how to ID them. '76-'79 you'll be looking at T-150 3-speed manual in most cases with the T-18 4-speed as an option and those would be backed with a Dana 20 t-case. Auto trans option for that vintage is an AMC-cased GM TH400 backed by a Borg-Warner full-time t-case (there's an optional low range and aftermarket part-time conversion kits). '80-'81 the trans offerings get weaker...T-176/177 4-speed is the only decent manual, auto would be the T-999 which is decent...Dana 300 t-case was the only offering in the 80's and is generally regarded as the best CJ t-case and has excellent aftermarket support. Front axle is the Dana 30 which is good to about a 33" tire without aftermarket upgrades...there's pros & cons to each vintage, but you'd be looking at narrow tracks in either case which provide a little less stability. Rear axle is the AMC 20...weak spots with that are the housing tubes (weld 'em up to the diff housing to keep them from spinning) and the 2-piece axle shafts, so a swap to aftermarket 1-piece alloy shafts is generally recommended...with that you can safely take that axle up to 35" tires.

It really boils down to what you want in the end and how much time & money you're willing to spend to get there. You're looking in the neighborhood of $4k to go fiberglass for a quality tub, mounting kit and incidentals. A used YJ tub makes for a good, budget friendly replacement.
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'86 CJ-7 Laredo: 4.2,T-999,D300,D30/D44,'94 YJ tub, full cage, Shrockworks rockers, OYR corners, AC,cruise,restored seats,3 tops,2.5" Superlift,F-T shackle reversal, RS9000x's,35" Dunlop Mud Rovers.
'83 Scrambler: time & money pit under construction with parts from CJ's,YJ's,TJ's,FSJ's,GM,Ford,IH,Honda,Toyota and a whole lotta aftermarket & custom stuff.
http://www.jeepskate.net
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Unread 02-12-2009, 10:06 AM   #6
jeepskate
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1986 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepHammer View Post
I won't pee on your head and tell you it's raining...

You would be better off starting on a TJ or newer Jeep.

The reasoning is,
Everyone makes something for them, and it all pretty much works.
You wouldn't believe how much trouble the CJ guys have finding basic parts that aren't 'Import' junk.

TJ's have air conditioning, cruise control, stereos, high back comfortable seats, fuel injection, ect.

CJ's have Leaks, Squeaks, Rattles, things rusting off, dragging the ground, blowing up, ect.

If I didn't have a dozen CJ era Jeeps lying around here, I wouldn't do CJ's, just too much trouble...

I'd tell you the same thing if you weren't looking to get into restoration/restification without dealing with PCM/ECM's.
__________________
'86 CJ-7 Laredo: 4.2,T-999,D300,D30/D44,'94 YJ tub, full cage, Shrockworks rockers, OYR corners, AC,cruise,restored seats,3 tops,2.5" Superlift,F-T shackle reversal, RS9000x's,35" Dunlop Mud Rovers.
'83 Scrambler: time & money pit under construction with parts from CJ's,YJ's,TJ's,FSJ's,GM,Ford,IH,Honda,Toyota and a whole lotta aftermarket & custom stuff.
http://www.jeepskate.net
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Unread 02-12-2009, 11:09 AM   #7
Dementius88
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Location: San Antonio, TX
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What you are saying about the TJ makes sense. Maybe it would be wiser for me to buy a basic TJ model and customize it. Then maybe later try a more challenging rebuild. Honestly, the AC is a concern I forgot about. Thank you all very much for your advice!
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Unread 02-12-2009, 11:30 AM   #8
CopperCJ7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepHammer View Post
You wouldn't believe how much trouble the CJ guys have finding basic parts that aren't 'Import' junk.
Amen brother!!!!! But I got mine done!



Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepHammer View Post
TJ's have air conditioning, cruise control, stereos, high back comfortable seats, fuel injection, ect.
My CJ has all of that, but I ripped out the cruise control.
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Guns don't kill people... Bad trail spotters do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Strenk View Post
What CJ owner doesn't want to hack up his harness for the next owner to have fun with?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Broseph View Post
The thread will derail quicker than a walrus on a Crisco-soaked Slip 'n' Slide.
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Unread 02-12-2009, 11:33 AM   #9
CopperCJ7
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Bottom line is that if you have tons of disposable cash and lot's of patience, go for the classic CJ. But if I was in your shoes, I'd go for the TJ or even the LJ. The LJ is the longer version of the TJ. Longer wheelbase and more storage.
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Guns don't kill people... Bad trail spotters do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Strenk View Post
What CJ owner doesn't want to hack up his harness for the next owner to have fun with?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Broseph View Post
The thread will derail quicker than a walrus on a Crisco-soaked Slip 'n' Slide.
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Unread 02-12-2009, 01:59 PM   #10
Cherokeester
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1980 CJ7 
 
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Location: Utah!
Posts: 710
Ahhh... Buy a CJ and be an owner of true vehicle history! Nothing turns heads like a nicely built CJ.
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Unread 02-12-2009, 03:07 PM   #11
Renegade79
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2006 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Greenville, SC
Posts: 363
i almost hate to be advocating this in the CJ tech forum, but if i were to do it over again i'd probably buy a YJ and put a CJ front clip on it (hood, grill fenders). the pros would be the better leaf springs, nice wide axles, possibly a FI 4.0, and a galvanized tub. i'd also have to put a CJ dash in it too, dont much like the plastic look of the YJ one.

do a search on YJ tub swap or check out the sticky on it for some great info.
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'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 02-12-2009, 03:25 PM   #12
Dementius88
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I must say, this is the best forum I have ever participated in! Thank all of you for your information. I have been looking online as some YJ's and TJ's and found that they have very reasonable prices. This would probably be the best way ease me into the Jeep world. Thank you all again.
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Unread 02-12-2009, 04:02 PM   #13
jp360cj
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If you do decide to go the CJ route, then #1 priority is to find a solid frame. As others have mentioned, if you come across a project somebody else has started on and can't finish it, you can usually get a decent deal on it.
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77 CJ-7- AMC 360, Edelbrock cam, MC2100, Fenderwells, CJ T18/D20, Chevy D44/EB 9" rear, Trutrac f/r, 4.11, SOA, 1.25 lift shackles, 35x12.50 BFG KM2s, Shackle Reversal
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Unread 02-12-2009, 06:41 PM   #14
CJunk
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Wow is this the cj forum? If you buy a tj you will learn nothing about restoration. Pop the hood and nothing but wires and sensors and tubes. Cjs are like an abusive girlfriend, you give all your love and money, they usally let you down. But when its good, its real good. I love my cj but I guess I like abuse. Go for it
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Unread 02-12-2009, 07:00 PM   #15
CopperCJ7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJunk View Post
Cjs are like an abusive girlfriend, you give all your love and money, they usally let you down. But when its good, its real good. I love my cj but I guess I like abuse.
LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL Thanks for the laugh - that's funny stuff right there.
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Guns don't kill people... Bad trail spotters do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Strenk View Post
What CJ owner doesn't want to hack up his harness for the next owner to have fun with?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Broseph View Post
The thread will derail quicker than a walrus on a Crisco-soaked Slip 'n' Slide.
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