Looking to the Experts for Advice ... What abt this '78 CJ-7? - Off-Road Forums & Discussion Groups
Jeep-Short Wheelbase All discussion of short wheelbase Jeeps: CJ, TJ, YJ and JK

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of (permalink) Old 04-23-2009, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 12
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
 
Looking to the Experts for Advice ... What abt this '78 CJ-7?

here the prospective purchase:

jeep looks to be in great shape cosmetically

per the seller:

"1978 Jeep CJ-7 with a very strong 360 V8. - last owner was a gear head, now wants to dump it and move on to other projects

he says its almost a new Jeep. new: soft top and doors by Best Top, 35 inch Procomps, new steel wheels

one piece axles, 4 inch suspension lift by Skyjacker Softride, Rancho shocks, 4:88 gears by Yukon, Detroit lockers front and rear,all new brakes, bearings through out the entire Jeep, headers, aluminum radiator, new power sterring parts including sterring box, many more new parts not listed. I have a lot more money in this than I am asking.

he also told me its road or trail ready, but doesn't recomend a daily driver because of the low gear ratio.


advertised at 8K ... says theres easily 12 in it ... will now sell for 5 since he needs to liquidate"



thoughts?

Thanks!!!!!!


http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j39/mbehr22/jeep1.jpg


http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j39/mbehr22/jeep2.jpg
mbehr22 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of (permalink) Old 04-23-2009, 05:39 PM
Moderator
 
Jim_Lou's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Belleville, Illinois
Posts: 11,485
Thanks: 15
Thanked 22 Times in 17 Posts
         
Welcome to the board!

Those things were rust buckets - I have a '78 that lasted about three midwest winters before the first holes broke through. If there are signs that it's been painted within the last two or three years you must go over it very carefully. Some common problem areas are in the double-thickness panel on the front fenders, forward of the lower door cutout, the body seam below the corners of the tailgate, on the inside of the frame rail at the forward end of the rear axel hump, and where the rear crossmember is attached to the frame rails. There are plenty more, but those are the first to show up.

If the paint is recent it's a bad sign. To check the frame, look closely at the places I mentioned, and at any other place where one piece of steel has been welded on top of another, which is every joint. Look for bulges in the steel. Rust is larger than the steel it came from, so when two lapped pieces rust between them, the rust will push one out. With a pointed body hammer or a welder's chipping hammer whack the bulges - you'll probably see the point go right through the metal.

On body panels repaired rust can be harder to spot if the repairs have been well done, which most aren't. But still you have to look very closely for signs of body filler. A rusty Jeep is still worth something, but a whole lot less than a sound one. Rust repair is an expensive proposition to do right. I've often heard of sellers saying "Just a few small rust spots." Usually they are from the inside out, and the fatally damaged area is ten times as big as what shows on the outside.

As for the modifications he's done, their value depends on the workmanship, and whether they suit you and how you will use the Jeep. The items listed are all bolt-on modifications, so workmanship shouldn't be much of an issue. However most Jeeps that old have had the wiring harness hacked on, which can be a pain to deal with, so look it over carefully for splices and extraneous wires.

Price? If it's rust free and in top condition, I think it would be well worth it. A Bondo Queen, hacked over with shiny piieces bolted on would be worth half that or less, IMO.

EVERYTHING's easy for the guy who doesn't have to do it.
B. Dash Fabrication

Last edited by Jim_Lou; 04-23-2009 at 05:41 PM. Reason: Spelling
Jim_Lou is offline  
post #3 of (permalink) Old 04-23-2009, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 12
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
 
Thanks Jim!

I think it will sell for 5K

thats what we discussed asnyway

i havent had a chance to see it in person, but the guy seems like a good ole guy from the country when we spoke on the phone ... i ran a few mod past a buddy of mine and my friend validated a lot of the things the seller said: this isnt a daily driver, its predominatly a weekend car (at best for him), the gear ratio will keep it under 60, and it has power ...

i think it was painted 3 years ago when the seller purchased it

he said he bought it for roughly what hes trying tosell it for now (i think his orig price was 9500)

but im only going to use this as a summer vehicle and a truck to take to the lake (30 miles away), maybe some camping, etc ,,,

so would 5k be a good deal?





Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim_Lou View Post
Welcome to the board!

Those things were rust buckets - I have a '78 that lasted about three midwest winters before the first holes broke through. If there are signs that it's been painted within the last two or three years you must go over it very carefully. Some common problem areas are in the double-thickness panel on the front fenders, forward of the lower door cutout, the body seam below the corners of the tailgate, on the inside of the frame rail at the forward end of the rear axel hump, and where the rear crossmember is attached to the frame rails. There are plenty more, but those are the first to show up.

If the paint is recent it's a bad sign. To check the frame, look closely at the places I mentioned, and at any other place where one piece of steel has been welded on top of another, which is every joint. Look for bulges in the steel. Rust is larger than the steel it came from, so when two lapped pieces rust between them, the rust will push one out. With a pointed body hammer or a welder's chipping hammer whack the bulges - you'll probably see the point go right through the metal.

On body panels repaired rust can be harder to spot if the repairs have been well done, which most aren't. But still you have to look very closely for signs of body filler. A rusty Jeep is still worth something, but a whole lot less than a sound one. Rust repair is an expensive proposition to do right. I've often heard of sellers saying "Just a few small rust spots." Usually they are from the inside out, and the fatally damaged area is ten times as big as what shows on the outside.

As for the modifications he's done, their value depends on the workmanship, and whether they suit you and how you will use the Jeep. The items listed are all bolt-on modifications, so workmanship shouldn't be much of an issue. However most Jeeps that old have had the wiring harness hacked on, which can be a pain to deal with, so look it over carefully for splices and extraneous wires.

Price? If it's rust free and in top condition, I think it would be well worth it. A Bondo Queen, hacked over with shiny piieces bolted on would be worth half that or less, IMO.
mbehr22 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of (permalink) Old 04-23-2009, 07:16 PM
Moderator
 
Jim_Lou's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Belleville, Illinois
Posts: 11,485
Thanks: 15
Thanked 22 Times in 17 Posts
         
As I said, IMO $5K would be a good deal if it's truly rust free, but that's unlikely unless it came from the desert southwest. Any rust would knock that value down. Significant rust makes the body and frame right next to worthless.

An important item that wasn't mentioned is the transmission and transfer case. If it's a Borg Warner T18a with the granny low it would be worth more to me; an automatic would be worth a whole lot less. The odds are that it's an automatic or 3-speed with a Dana 20 transfer case - a good combination but not great IMO. The T18 or automatic business is really a matter of personal preference. If it has the Quadratrac transfer case it would also be worth less to me, but some folks really like them. A quadratrac without low range is useless off road, but the module can be added easily, if you can find one.

EVERYTHING's easy for the guy who doesn't have to do it.
B. Dash Fabrication

Last edited by Jim_Lou; 04-23-2009 at 07:19 PM.
Jim_Lou is offline  
post #5 of (permalink) Old 04-23-2009, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 12
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
 
info

just called him

he said


* someone had a springover conversion on it (homemade lift kit) and he put a new/real one on (the 4inch skywalker)

* tranny= 3 speed original with jeep .... tranfser = dana 20
mbehr22 is offline  
post #6 of (permalink) Old 04-24-2009, 05:46 AM
Moderator
 
Jim_Lou's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Belleville, Illinois
Posts: 11,485
Thanks: 15
Thanked 22 Times in 17 Posts
         
Quote:
* someone had a springover conversion on it (homemade lift kit) and he put a new/real one on (the 4inch skywalker)
Not a good sign - a spring-over is a superior way to lift a Jeep, if it's done right and you want that much lift, about 5". I suspect the seller doesn't know much about Jeeps and didn't do his homework. You're likely to find more things that were done to impress teenagers at the mall instead of to build a good-functioning Jeep. The 4.88 gears fall into that category. Not necessarily bad, but not good either. It sure would be nice if someone who knows Jeeps could look at it for you.

EVERYTHING's easy for the guy who doesn't have to do it.
B. Dash Fabrication
Jim_Lou is offline  
post #7 of (permalink) Old 04-24-2009, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 12
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim_Lou View Post
It sure would be nice if someone who knows Jeeps could look at it for you.
yes it would haha

are you in my neighborhood? LOL

so does that nix the deal in your eyes?

i didnt have anyone check it out, but i ran it by a car guy here in my town (that i trust) and even though he seems to echo a lot of your sentiments about gearing, rust, etc ... he still thinks it might be a good deal for tooling around town (aka, under 55mph)

im more on the fence now that i was initially, and im a cynic LOL
mbehr22 is offline  
post #8 of (permalink) Old 04-24-2009, 05:44 PM
Moderator
 
Jim_Lou's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Belleville, Illinois
Posts: 11,485
Thanks: 15
Thanked 22 Times in 17 Posts
         
No, it wouldn't nix it for me, but it does make it one that really sholud be inspected closely and considered very carefully.

What's missing from this conversation is what you want out of it. Every leaf spring lift I've ridden in that's in the 4" range has bounced badly on the street. They all have had a nasty fore-and-aft rocking motion that is very unpleasant, besides bouncing up and down. That takes away from the fun of driving it on the street. You'll have to evaluate that in light of your relationship with your chiropractor.

Something else to consider is that a 4" lift on a narrow-track CJ can be somewhat dangerous on the street. A few years after that '78 was built, Jeep started putting wide-track axels on CJs. Then with the YJs they built a wider frame which has the effect of increasing roll resistance, and they also lowered it a little. All of that was in response to the safety Nazis bleating about Jeeps rolling over. That campaign was hysterically over the top, but not totally without merit. Jeeps have always been tippy, and that '78 is probably the second worst, after the same series CJ5s. By jacking it up four inches it has been turned into a vehicle that must to be driven quite conservatively.

There are board members in several states in your corner of the world. Since you're not completely familiar with old Jeeps, I'd suggest that you narrow your location down some in your profile, and we'll see if there's someone close who can check it over with you and give some better advice. Or if you want to send me more information by PM and I'll try to match you up with someone. At the very least you should look it over for rust, as I described earlier, and take it for a nice long test drive to see how it fits you.

Something to keep in mind is that I've been feeding you information mixed with personal preference and opinion. I'm an old guy and have had Jeeps and 4-wheel drives for forty years. I've formed some opinions that are quite different from other people's with different experiences and plans for using their Jeep.

EVERYTHING's easy for the guy who doesn't have to do it.
B. Dash Fabrication
Jim_Lou is offline  
post #9 of (permalink) Old 04-24-2009, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 12
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
 
thanks!

a PM is en route


i just want something dependable and its not like im out to climb everest or go through the everglades. that may offend some jeep purist but the fact is im in the city and was originally in the market for a 67-77 bronco.


i have had 2 jeeps in the past - both briefly - and never really had to do any work to either

so this will be a truck i can take the top off and go to the lake with, do some camping, etc ...

in terms of gearing, torque, how much mudd it can take, etc ... those arent as big on my list as dependability and "true value" for lack of a better term. i just want a solid ride and something that wont break the bank. besides, i dont have a lot of land to explore ... just the city and the burbs




Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim_Lou View Post
No, it wouldn't nix it for me, but it does make it one that really sholud be inspected closely and considered very carefully.

What's missing from this conversation is what you want out of it. Every leaf spring lift I've ridden in that's in the 4" range has bounced badly on the street. They all have had a nasty fore-and-aft rocking motion that is very unpleasant, besides bouncing up and down. That takes away from the fun of driving it on the street. You'll have to evaluate that in light of your relationship with your chiropractor.

Something else to consider is that a 4" lift on a narrow-track CJ can be somewhat dangerous on the street. A few years after that '78 was built, Jeep started putting wide-track axels on CJs. Then with the YJs they built a wider frame which has the effect of increasing roll resistance, and they also lowered it a little. All of that was in response to the safety Nazis bleating about Jeeps rolling over. That campaign was hysterically over the top, but not totally without merit. Jeeps have always been tippy, and that '78 is probably the second worst, after the same series CJ5s. By jacking it up four inches it has been turned into a vehicle that must to be driven quite conservatively.

There are board members in several states in your corner of the world. Since you're not completely familiar with old Jeeps, I'd suggest that you narrow your location down some in your profile, and we'll see if there's someone close who can check it over with you and give some better advice. Or if you want to send me more information by PM and I'll try to match you up with someone. At the very least you should look it over for rust, as I described earlier, and take it for a nice long test drive to see how it fits you.

Something to keep in mind is that I've been feeding you information mixed with personal preference and opinion. I'm an old guy and have had Jeeps and 4-wheel drives for forty years. I've formed some opinions that are quite different from other people's with different experiences and plans for using their Jeep.
mbehr22 is offline  
post #10 of (permalink) Old 04-24-2009, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 12
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
 
jim

your PMs are disabled

will you (or anyone else in the know) please email me - [email protected]

matt

thanks!
mbehr22 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Off-Road Forums & Discussion Groups forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome