New member - ‘85 CJ7 -
  • 1 Post By Lbsigman
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post #1 of 2 Old 10-22-2021, 10:18 AM Thread Starter
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1985 CJ7 
Join Date: Sep 2021
Location: Long Beach
Posts: 14
New member - ‘85 CJ7

Howdy all.

Quick intro. Recently purchased a 1985 CJ7 after wanting one of my own for a long long time. In the late 90’s to early ‘00’s, my dad and I did a frame off resto on an ‘85, and ever since then, I was bit by the Jeep bug. My dad ultimately sold the CJ a few years later, and even though I would have gladly taken ownership of the CJ, there was some animosity surrounding it. Sadly, I had to walk away from the situation never to see it again.

I had always lusted over owning a CJ, yet I just couldn’t find the courage to pull the trigger. Part of the problem is the current market for near stock CJ’s in relatively good condition, $$$.

Few weeks ago, unbeknownst to me, my wife had been searching around for CJ’s. She found one, communicated with the seller and she finally convinced me that I should pull the trigger. The body is straight, no rust, and it does have a really crappy paint job which looks good from far but far from good.

Here it is, in all its glory. Here are some details.
  • 1985 CJ7
  • Approx 95,000 miles. The speedo cable is broken but the Carfax backs up the data.
  • 258 with the T-176
  • AMC 20 Rear
  • Came with 33” Mickey Thompson tires (for sale)
  • Factory suspension, small shackle lift
  • Factory carb setup, passed CA smog with flying colors

Bought a set of 32” BFG All terrains on some American Racing Outlaw 2 tires waiting to put on.

Right now, the front end is completely disassembled as it needs everything. Everything is worn out and needing replacement. It was just neglected with regular maintenance although the previous owner did attempt to do a few things to it which just didn’t make sense.

Right now I am struggling with a new set of complete Spicer axle shafts I purchased and had Ujoints installed by a local driveshaft shop; the new Spicer shafts take a 760 vs 260 joint and since they were the only Shop near me who had them, I decided to let them install them. The problem I am having is that yoke end barely fits through the knuckle opening compared to the stock shafts. I twice and thrice confirmed with Spicer that I bought the right part numbers. The splines are correct and the length is correct, it’s just the yoke that’s causing me a headache. The factory shafts are trashed and not reusable, unfortunately.

Anyhow, this is going to be a very long term project. I doubt that I will ever get to the point of doing a frame off restoration, but my plan is to just have it be mechanically reliable.

Next plans:
  • I bought a painless complete wiring harness. Will tackle after the first of the year.
  • BDS 2.5” suspension after the first as well
  • New carpet needed (any good places to look?)

Look forward getting my hands dirty again. Here’s my daily which also has an inline 6 and is just slightly faster…barely.

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post #2 of 2 Old 10-23-2021, 03:17 AM
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1980 CJ7 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Mesa
Posts: 161
Welcome to the forums!!

That is definitely a nice piece of kit! Nice starting point.

I'm wondering if you might need to pull the knuckle off, install the axle, then put the knuckle back on. Never encountered that problem, so I'm making a bit of a guess here.

EDIT: I had to re-read your post. Does the yoke actually fit, just super tight tolerances?

I'm sure John, Bagus, or one of the other walking Jeep encyclopedias (that's a compliment, BTW) will set us both straight.

Mesa, AZ

"Grinders and Paint Make You The Welder You Ain't!" -- from a t-shirt
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