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Unread 05-27-2015, 12:09 PM   #1
Clayso
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1976 CJ7 
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Nashville, TN
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What am I getting into?

I inherited a 1976 CJ7 from my dad. He bought it from a neighbor, who bought it from his sister, who bought it from someone else. Odometer says 50k miles, I'm guessing 150k is likely. It has drum brakes all around that are soft, but I believe I've tracked the problem down to needing a new proportioning valve. It has a newer 304 that the neighbor put in that has maybe 10k miles on it. It's an automatic with the low range quadra-trac. It has been modified from the original switch in the glovebox to a switch under the dash. It's got Selectro locking hubs. I plan on driving it to work once a week, (city driving 35 miles roundtrip) on weekends and in bad weather. I won't be doing much off-roading, but want to make sure this is one worth keeping. Is there anything I should be checking out or looking for historical problem wise?

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Unread 05-27-2015, 12:16 PM   #2
firegod33
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Rust is the biggest killer of CJs. Check the entire tub, especially around the body mounts. Also, thoroughly check the frame for rust and cracks. In the areas of the steering box and spring and shackle mounts are most common.
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Unread 05-27-2015, 12:38 PM   #3
Pathkiller
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If it has lockout hubs and the "emergency drive" switch has been relocated, you should confirm that it has had the part time conversion done. Running the Quadratrac with lockout hubs without having been converted to part time is a quick recipe to destroy the clutch cones in the transfer case. There's a lot more info about this among the full-size Jeep crowd as this case was much more commonly used in Wagoneers and J-trucks and Cherokees. Check a forum like IFSJA.
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Unread 05-27-2015, 01:15 PM   #4
Mortgage-payer
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There is really little that can go wrong with the proportioning valve compared to other items in the braking system.

I'd pull the drums to check things over if for no other reason than your peace of mind. Look for worn out items or small leaks around the wheel cylinders. Repair or replace. Bleed system when you have it back together.

If still soft move on to the master.
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Unread 05-27-2015, 02:43 PM   #5
Colt44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firegod33 View Post
Rust is the biggest killer of CJs. Check the entire tub, especially around the body mounts. Also, thoroughly check the frame for rust and cracks. In the areas of the steering box and spring and shackle mounts are most common.
Rust is also a very common source of electrical gremlins. AMC used chassis and/or body grounds for everything, which worked well enough to get past the warranty period. But after decades of moisture, etc., many of the connections will be experiencing enough corrosion to cause problems. So be aware that running dedicated grounds to things like running lights, turn signals, etc. can solve all sorts of mysterious malfunctions.

You don't say anything about lift, tire sizes and so on, but another big problem area is steering and suspension issues caused by big tires and too much lift.
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Unread 05-27-2015, 10:57 PM   #6
Clayso
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Thanks for the responses.
Here's a pic of the proportioning valve.
The "button/pin/whatever" looks trashed.
Am I wrong?
It doesn't have a lift kit or over sized tires. I'll find some tires that won't be much of a stretch from what's on it.
Let me know what y'all think.
I'm open to all advice.
image_1432788492301.jpg  
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Unread Yesterday, 12:47 AM   #7
BagusJeep
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It is not trashed, it is just very old.

In normal use the pin will not move, in rusted up state it may have rusted in the open state. In any case if it does not move then it is trashed because you WANT it to move if you lose one of the brake circuits.

I suggest taking it off and investgatings its movement and if it does not clean up, replace it.

The drums may just be misadjusted or have inoperatve auto adjusters, they are a pain that a lot of people have moved on from with disc brakes
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Unread Yesterday, 01:51 AM   #8
AZ_Chip
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Lots of road salt dust on that valve. I agree, take it off and clean and or replace. Get used to that phrase owning an older Jeep.
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Unread Yesterday, 08:05 AM   #9
Pathkiller
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That proportioning valve job will very quickly turn into a case of the "might as well" repairs if you're not careful. Because from the looks of it, you're going to have a VERY difficult time removing the brake lines without damaging them. Which will turn into a "might as well" replace the lines at the same time. A little heat, some penetrating oil, and a very good and appropriate flare nut wrench are essential. No vice grips or adjustable wrenches, which will just round the corners off the nuts.

As others have stated, it's very unusual for anything to happen to the proportioning valve, so I would eliminate all other sources first. If the brakes feel spongy, try bleeding them, making sure there's no air in the lines. Check the wheel cylinders for leaks or signs of malfunction. Check the shoes and make sure they are adjusted properly. Check the master cylinder itself, make sure the fluid is clean and fresh.

A brake system is very simple, there aren't many points of failure. Drum brakes will stop incredibly well if they are properly adjusted.

Finally, not to make any assumptions, but are these manual brakes and are you familiar with how to operate manual brakes? I don't mean to sound condescending in the least, it's just that if someone hasn't driven a vehicle with manual brakes they may feel different. With manual brakes you often have to pump the brakes to build pressure, particularly if the shoes are not adjusted properly. It's not just pushing the brakes once like with a power-assist braking system. There's definitely an acquired feel to it. Someone really familiar with manual brakes can learn to modulate pedal pressure to avoid lock-up almost as good as an ABS system.
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Unread Yesterday, 09:39 AM   #10
Ken4444
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pathkiller View Post
That proportioning valve job will very quickly turn into a case of the "might as well" repairs if you're not careful....
x2 on that. If you're going to spend any time on the brake system, it's a logical step to replace any parts that are suspect, old, or known to wear out like the wheel cylinders.

It's a gamble either way: If you select to replace parts one at a time in order to spend the least money and time, you risk having to keep going back and making more repairs, each time having to bleed the system and re-test. If you opt to just replace all or most of the system at once, then you're putting in a lot of time, money, and work up front that might not be needed.

Just be aware of the reasons for going down each path.
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Unread Yesterday, 12:56 PM   #11
Clayso
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No worries Pathkiller. I'm not taking it that way at all. I'm very familiar driving with drum brakes. This CJ is a little younger than I am. The brakes have adequate pressure in the front. When the pedal is pushed all the way the back tires stop, but with the pedal down if you barely touch the gas they begin spinning. I'll probably crawl back under and see if the pin will move. If not, then I'll replace it. If it does I'll gravity bleed the brakes. I'll let you know how it turns out. Thanks for all of the input.
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