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Jeep-Short Wheelbase All discussion of short wheelbase Jeeps: CJ, TJ, YJ and JK

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 06-05-2007, 10:28 PM Thread Starter
 
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CJ5/CJ7 Trouble Areas...

Well, once my finances work themselves out and I can get out of the hole (hopefully very soon, that'll all depend on how much I can sell my Ram for), I was thinking of getting a CJ5 or CJ7 to beat around in and turn into an almost-trail only rig. I'm wanting to find a cheap one that has something wrong like some engine issues that I can easily fix and then just mess around with it and have something that I can drive every now and then and also give something that my Dad can drive on the trails with me in the TJ. What areas/problems should I look for in a CJ5/CJ7 that are beyond the realm of fixing without blowing my bank account back into a black hole? Also, what would be better, a CJ5 or a CJ7?

Last edited by FiveSpeedWrangler; 06-05-2007 at 10:40 PM.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 06-05-2007, 10:51 PM
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IMHO, it depends on what type of wheeling you do. CJ5's are beter on tight trails... but the longer wheelbase of a CJ7 gives it a little better road manners. Othe than that, I'd put either one in my driveway. CJ's suffer the common problem of rust... rust... rust and electrical gremlins (caused by the rust).
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 06-05-2007, 10:57 PM
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get a late CJ7 in my opinion.....the ones with the wide axles.....but whatever you get i'm sure you'll like it if you get it in the shape you want.

not sure what your ability to fix is, so i dont know what to tell you to avoid. some have frame rust issues, but if you can weld sometimes you can fix that......i always prefer a solid frame though.


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its a division of auto-trader

i just use the key-word search instead of by make and model and it works really well.

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 06-05-2007, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
 
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They both had the 258 I6, correct? I want something that's more trail worthy; if I need a rig for the road, I'll take the TJ.

As for ability, if it is an engine problem and I have the proper tools, I can fix it. I can also do a lot of work on stick shift trannys (I try to avoid doing repairs myself on automatics) and I'm pretty good with electrical systems. Basically, except for replacing the valvebody in the tranny, I have done everything myself on my Ram.

I can't weld yet, but all my uncles are/have been pipefitters for the TVA, and they're going to teach me one day.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 06-05-2007, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by FiveSpeedWrangler View Post
They both had the 258 I6, correct? I want something that's more trail worthy;
Let the flaming begin.

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 06-05-2007, 11:17 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WILL View Post
Let the flaming begin.
Hey, I don't know as much about the CJ's; I'm kind of limited to the YJ, TJ, XJ, and FSJ's since those are all I have owned or (in the case of the YJ) had a family member own.

Just trying to ask a simple question here to avoid making a complete idiot of myself again...

Also, as for the rust issue, I know a glass tub will take care of the body, but is there anyone that makes replacement frames for the CJ5/CJ7? That way I could find one that's almost rusted out for next to nothing, spend a little on the new frame, and go from there.

Last edited by FiveSpeedWrangler; 06-05-2007 at 11:40 PM.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 06-05-2007, 11:49 PM
 
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Quote:
LEVE wrote:
"CJ's suffer the common problem of rust... rust... rust and electrical gremlins (caused by the rust)."
Leve hit the head on the nail again...
Rust is the big killer, especially in the frame.
If the frame is rusted,
OR,
The body is rusted, you can economically fix one or the other...
You can't fix both with out busting the budget...

I'd choose a narrow track CJ-7 if it were me.
I have a CJ-5, most all of them will have 3 speed trans and no power steering or power brakes... (mens jeeps, and kids aren't ready for them...)
CJ-7, especially after about '80 will have power steering and a 4 speed trans.
Also have a D-300 for a transfer case...

Shortcomings are the electrical system (as mentioned before) tilt steering columns that like to get way too sloppy, Weak D-30 front axles.... And RUST.
Early jeeps will have narrow or 'skinny' springs and no sway bars, while later versions will have wider springs and sway bars.
Finding things for narrow spring jeeps can be a challenge...

A D-44 in the front is strong enough for about any trail jeep, and they aren't hard to find or modify to fit.
Good time to jump up to wide springs also, killing two birds with one down time...
Lots of guys have SOA (Spring Over Axle) conversions. Cheap, easy and reliable, but kill road manners...
----------------------

I also have a CJ-7 from '79.
It's a factory V-8 also.
It boasts an automatic trans (TH-400) and the most sloppy steering column you have ever seen...
The Q-trac transfer case gave up on the first trip to the river bottoms, so that had to be replaced with a real transfer case...
That lead to finding a centered rear differential that wasn't a AMC-20 with two piece shafts...
And hunting down a Scout front D-44 axle....
Now the body is shot through with rust, and the frame is a series of patches...

See where I'm going with this?
-----------------------

Don't talk out your ass about the 258, 4.2L I-6 engine.
It's torque will out pull a factory 304 V-8 at low RPM, where you do most of your wheeling at...
It's horse power is rivaling a factory 304 V-8 at low and intermediate RPM.
It's reliable, well built and gas gauge friendly (as far as jeep engines go).
Everybody makes something for the 4.2L, 258 I-6 engine, and most of it works.

If you get an automatic, make sure you have the Q-track gone through before hitting the first bunny hill.
The Borg Warner 1339 transfer case is a piece of crap, but still stronger than most of the other chain driven transfer cases.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 06-05-2007, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Junk Yard Genius View Post
Don't talk out your ass about the 258, 4.2L I-6 engine.
It's torque will out pull a factory 304 V-8 at low RPM, where you do most of your wheeling at...
It's horse power is rivaling a factory 304 V-8 at low and intermediate RPM.
It's reliable, well built and gas gauge friendly (as far as jeep engines go).
Everybody makes something for the 4.2L, 258 I-6 engine, and most of it works.
Oh, what I was referring to for more off-road worthiness was a CJ5 versus a CJ7.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Junk Yard Genius View Post
If you get an automatic, make sure you have the Q-track gone through before hitting the first bunny hill.
The Borg Warner 1339 transfer case is a piece of crap, but still stronger than most of the other chain driven transfer cases.
I'll definitely get a manual. I vowed to never get another automatic after the Ram's blew up twice in one month, even after a complete rebuild from the first blow-up.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 06-06-2007, 12:29 AM
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Quote:
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They both had the 258 I6, correct? I want something that's more trail worthy; if I need a rig for the road, I'll take the TJ.
If its any consolation, I read it right. I took the long pause at the question mark and short pauses at the semicolon and comma.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FiveSpeedWrangler View Post
... but is there anyone that makes replacement frames for the CJ5/CJ7?
Throttle Down Kustoms, used to be Advanced Frame Works. If I were to do it again, Id go with one of the hybrid frames. They use TJ suspension.

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Those who understand binary and those who don't.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 06-06-2007, 12:34 AM Thread Starter
 
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Neat sites. The prices are way out of my league for now, though, so if/when I sell the Ram I'll have to find one without a rusty frame, so a CJ7 will probably be a better bet, and if the body is bad, I can get a cheap used glass tub.

Last edited by FiveSpeedWrangler; 06-06-2007 at 10:11 AM.
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