New Jeep Enthusiast with a sidelined Jeep -
  • 1 Post By kbradley1983
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post #1 of 3 Old 12-04-2018, 08:19 AM Thread Starter
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1985 CJ7 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: atlanta
Posts: 4
New Jeep Enthusiast with a sidelined Jeep

I'm new to off-roading and Jeeps! I've been watching from the sidelines and lurking on these forums on-and-off since high school. I've been drawn to the community but without the funds to take the plunge. 20 years later, I finally got my mid life crisis, took the plunge, and bought a 1985 CJ7 Renegade. It is almost stock, has original paint, and is relatively rust free. Probably paid too much, but I've only seen prices go up over the last few years. I want to keep it pretty close to stock, but with a few minor upgrades. I have access to a great shop and will be doing a lot of work on it myself. It is a third vehicle and not a daily driver. I plan to use it mostly to access trout streams on Forest service roads with my wife and son; It will likely see about 70% road time and 30% trail time; No rock crawling. Here are some other equipment features:

- 258 Inline 6
- AMC 20 Rear Axle drum brakes
- Dana 30 Front Axle disc brakes
- 31" tires
- Hard top and hard doors
- full size spare tire on swinging tail gate

I recently burned out a bearing and almost lost the left rear wheel! I'm planning on new 1 piece axle shafts, drum brakes, and a suspension upgrade. The prior owner added wheel spacers, shackles, and mismatched leaf springs that I'm almost positive led to the failure.

I wanted to enjoy it without investing too much more in it for a few years, but the failure 2 months after purchasing means its time. I need to communities help, but again I'm new and learning so be gentle. Frankly, there is so much information and aftermarket support that I'm frankly overwhelmed by the options.

I'm drawn to the OME conversion I've been reading a lot about. Here are some of the things that are attractive:
- 2.5-3" lift without having to do extensive work on the Pinion angle.
- smoother ride with the upgrade the suspension to the 2.5 front leaf.
- relatively easy bolt on upgrade
- a kit that doesn't require months of sourcing parts and verifying fitment.
- a kit with flexibility to upgrade the leaf if I add significant weight in the future.

Can you help me pick the appropriate axles, a completely new rear drum kit, Leaf springs, shocks, mounting hardware, and other accessories that will make this thing road worthy again?

Other future Upgrades I'm considering:
- 32" tires with 3.75-4.5 offset and 15-18" wheels.
- Maybe rear disc? (talk me out of it)
- Ill buy a wench in the future
- I Also plan to upgrade the front and rear bumpers
- We will likely tow a small overland type trailer with the jeep as well

Thanks in advance.

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post #2 of 3 Old 12-06-2018, 01:25 PM
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2015 JK Wrangler 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Lexington
Posts: 13
Hey kbradley! I'm a newbie too so no help to you at all, sorry, but I loved reading your story and the part about mid-life crisis Jeep cuz I'm in the same boat as you. HA! Love the pics! That's a cool find you got there! Enjoy!
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post #3 of 3 Old 12-10-2018, 06:23 AM
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2007 JK Wrangler 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Davie, Florida
Posts: 3,536
and enjoy the forum!

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axles , brakes , cj7 , first jeep , suspension advice

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