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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 06-25-2007, 06:02 PM Thread Starter
 
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Sound like a good deal?

Hey guys, I'm going tomorrow (most likely) to buy a 1987 Jeep Wrangler Laredo. Please find the specs below and lemme know what you think. This will be my first jeep purchased, please lemme know! Thanks!

BTW, the vehicle will be a daily driver primarily for the next 18 months at least. Please take that into consideration when commenting.

-ALL ORIGINAL AND RUST FREE
-Black w/tan hard top and interior
-Full steel doors with roll down windows
-4.2 litre 6 cylinder engine
-5 Speed Manual transmission
-129k miles
-Pioneer CD w/soundbar speakers (iPod connections and remote)
-Tilt steering wheel
-Power steering and brakes
-Folding rear bench seat
-Fog lights
-Rear defroster



(please note the image was taken at a gas station, the oil stain is not from the Jeep.)

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 06-25-2007, 06:07 PM
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I'd stay away from the 1987, unless you like frustration. The 5 speed is sucky, and the BBD Carb fuel delivery system is even worse.

I'd walk away, as I could almost guarantee it's not going to be reliable as a daily driver.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 06-25-2007, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
 
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wow. the clutch has 25,000 miles on it and the rest is clean. It has been garage kept and I hear that motor is legendary. Still, stay away? What are the particular issues I'm likely to encounter with this?

My other option is a 1979 CJ7. Nothing fancy about that one.

1979 Jeep CJ-7
it has 83000 original miles
304 V8 with newer 3 speed manual
newer front brakes, heater core, master cylinder, plugs
it comes with hard top, soft top, bikini top, full hard doors, half soft doors




CJ7 - $3800
Wrangler - $3900
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 06-25-2007, 06:23 PM
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IMO, the Wranglers are nothing to look at until they became fuel injected (I think that was in 1991). The older CJs offer a good base, but are prone to body and frame rot, especially in the rust belt. I spent about two years looking before I purchased my '86 CJ7 (with the Dana 44 rear dif).

It is a hard thing to do, but patience now will pay off later in fewer repairs and mods.

Good luck...

Lot's of projects... too little time and $$.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 06-25-2007, 06:35 PM Thread Starter
 
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well, since my main concern is buying a vehicle I can drive, should I avoid these two altogether now?
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 06-25-2007, 07:00 PM
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I think LEVE is a might harsh. The carburetion is especially flaky, but in Illinois you can replace it with anything you want, as long as you pass the emission test before you start changing things. The Motorcraft 2100 is a very popular replacement, works exceptionally well, is not expensive and the swap is well documented.

The transmission is known to be weak, but again, there are lots of swaps that will work well and aren't difficult or especially expensive. The rest of the Jeep is a very sturdy and reliable piece.

Some things to look closely for: Rust. I'd be very suspicious unless the owner can prove that he just moved from Phoenix or San Diego. Look closely at the inside of the frame rails on the forward downslope in front of the rear wheels. Look at the rearmost crossmember beneath the tailgate, where it attaches to the frame rails. Look at the top of the frame rails at the top of the rear wheel arch where the crossmember ties in. Look at the frame where it's sandwiched between body mount biscuits. Poke around with an awl or sturdy icepick in all those places.

Then look at the body - the double panels in the sides of the front fenders, the vertical reinforcement in front of the door opening, the corners of the tub below the tailgate, under the roll bar attachments, the windshield hinge attachments, the lower third of the windshield frame, and any place where two body panels are welded together.

What you're looking for is any blisters in the paint or bulges in the metal. If you see one, push the awl into it. This is serious business - a rusty Jeep is a nightmare of the first water. The problems might look minor, but they'll vex you forever. And they just get worse, quickly.

An other thing to examine closely is the wiring harness. There are lots of Jeeps that have been butchered by Bozos. Look closely under the hood, under the dash and at the tail light wiring. If you see splices, tape, loose wires, non-factory connectors, or wires run in odd places, figure that you may have to replace the harness. It's not a deal breaker, but a long weekend of work and a couple hundred bucks. A garfed up harness can cause lots of headaches and weird problems.

If you find no rust anywhere, buy it! The other problems aren't too difficult to deal with.


As for using it as a daily driver, not my cup of tea, but possible with a good one. Keep in mind that older Jeeps are expensive to operate and high maintenance compared to a modern vehicle. There are lots and lots of moving parts that need cleaning, lubrication and replacement much more frequently that a modern car. Expect gas mileage in the mid teens, oil changes at 3K, cruising speed of 60 or so, poor braking, wobbly steering, a bouncy ride and poor cornering.

I love my old Jeep, but I recognize that it's old and built with even older technology.

EVERYTHING's easy for the guy who doesn't have to do it.
B. Dash Fabrication
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 06-25-2007, 07:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danegerous View Post
well, since my main concern is buying a vehicle I can drive, should I avoid these two altogether now?
hey dane


those in perticular, i would avoid, since you are looking for a good driver.....

look for a 1991 or later wrangler ...or an 82-86 CJ7 with a 4 or 5 speed

if you dont mind a little work the fuel systems could be replaced on the CJ's and wranglers for various fuel injection systems.

stay away from the 87 for transmission issues......


yea...all that stuff....i'm just echoing now......

-----------
Doesn't-have-a-Jeep'n Greg
VISIT MY GUN STORE: http://www.AmericasBasement.com
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 06-25-2007, 07:22 PM
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Quote:
I think LEVE is a might harsh.
Sorry Jim, I don't think so...

Dane doesn't strike me as the wrench turnin' type of Guy. Not that he can't become so. But when you're looking for a Daily Driver you don't want to spend your money on parts to make the Jeep more reliable. And that's not considering the money for labor to do the job, or the down time and rental costs for another vehicle while the Jeep in in the shop.

I could be reading this all wrong... but I don't think so.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 06-25-2007, 09:37 PM
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Wow! I agree with both Leve and Jim Lou 's views. If it is rust free everything else can be fixed; but if you aren't prepared to do lots of wrenching......... I'd bet that if it is truly rust free, it's already gone. Here in the Rust belt they get snapped up. I DD [in summer] a true Phoenix, Az '86 CJ that people ask me to sell constantly and I don't even wanna.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 06-25-2007, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
 
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Well, from what I've seen thus far, it is, in fact, rust free. It has been garage-kept it's entire life and even to this day is in climate-controlled storage. It was never a winter vehicle, so no ice/salt has even touched it.

As far as mechanical, he said over the course of about two weeks there is a small (half dollar sized) oil dripping and there is some exhaust leakage. Both he said he checked out and would run about $500 max to fix, if I so inclined.

I'm gonna check it out tomorrow and see exactly what kind of shape it's in. But let's just say it is rust free...Let's also say the test drive goes well...with no off-road use, can I expect it to survive in the midwest without anything past standard used-car maintenance? I have to buy a used car either way, I'd rather get a sweet Jeep or a 89-92 mustang gt...what do you guys think?
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