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post #1 of (permalink) Old 10-17-2000, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
 
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What is the best year of the CJ

This is taboo for me a Samurai owner asking this. I am thinking of buying , yes a Jeep after all these years. What year of CJ's do you think are the best. I heard that years 1980 to 1986 are the best. What do you think?

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 10-17-2000, 03:15 PM
 
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Re: What is the best year of the CJ

That's an easy one ... 78 and 79 ... no question.

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 10-17-2000, 03:16 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: What is the best year of the CJ

Sale me on why a 78 or 79

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 10-17-2000, 03:23 PM
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Re: What is the best year of the CJ

A few of us own Sami's as well as jeeps, we just recently bought one. Great little vehicles, and very capable.

Depends on what you're going to do with it. Are you going to wheel the snot out of it? How high are you going to lift it?

With the extra wheelbase, the jeeps are very popular for swaps, unlike the very short wheelbase Sami's, which are limited.

Do a search on this topic, there is a lot of info. The earlier jeeps have their good and bad points, as do the later CJ's. If you're going to build it, the advice I'd offer is to find one with a good tub, and to heck with the drivetrain, swap it out anyway.

Are you looking for a CJ-5, CJ-7, or CJ-8? The length can make a huge difference as to what you can swap in. For some insight into jeeps, go to http://www.off-road.com/jeep/swb/articles/specgrid.htm and look at what was offered on what model, and what year. Just click on the spec pieces and it'll take you to a different site.

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 10-17-2000, 03:25 PM
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Re: What is the best year of the CJ

I would say it depends on what you want it for! If you want a great street, trail, collectible truck then I agree with the 79 CJ (5 or 7) with the optional T-18A and the Golden Eagle package. Now if you are building a pure wheeler......than I say stay away from the narrow track model's........In the wide track area I will say I am partial to the 86 CJ with the Dana 44......(I am not telling you this since I have one either[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif[/img]). If it is a CJ it is cool in my book!


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post #6 of (permalink) Old 10-17-2000, 04:15 PM
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Re: What is the best year of the CJ

There was another post on this a while back... late '78 and '79 definately. This was the pinnacle of the AMC Jeeps - after this, they started using cheaper drivetrain components. 79 is the last year for the V-8's and the T-18's and the use of the TH400 for an auto tranny. Also first year for standard front disc brakes. Almost the last year for the 6 bolt hubs. Last year for standard 3.54 gears - after this they went down to 3.31 or 2.73. First year for the bigger roll bar that goes all the way to the floor. I THINK, but am not sure, that power steering was standard in 79, and I know Power brakes were an option. And so on... AND - you could still get CJ-5's!

I include late 78's because they are essentially the same as '79's... 79 seems to have been a transitional year for the AMC CJ-s, and you end up with all of the good stuff and none of the bad, except the AMC 20 and they all have that except 86's with the Dana 44 and I'd rather have a V-8 and a T-18 with a Model 20 than a Dana 44 with a 6 (or 4!) and an SR-4 or something...

Yes - 79's are still narrow track, but I'm partial to that anyway - the thin-walled AMC 20's are not suited for the wider track, and I've heard the Dana 30's don't do as well that wide either. Plus out here on the East Coast, the narrow axles allow you to worm between trees better...

Mine was a Golden Eagle but I lost the sticker to a re-paint - very dumb on my part... Anyway - I wouldn't get hung up on that - most Golden Eagles seem to have been Q-trac anyway, and I don't see much difference other than the Eagle on the hood - oh yeah, and mine had 7 and 9-leaf spring packs stock. For those on this board who swear by Q-trac (not my personal choice - that's why I got rid of it) - guess what!?! - 79 was also the last year for that...

Mine is a 79, but that's TOTAL coincidence - I'd make the same argument either way.

However - if you're a Scrambler guy - 79 sucks - right JEEPN? :-)

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post #7 of (permalink) Old 10-17-2000, 04:56 PM
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Re: What is the best year of the CJ

My 80 has a factory 304 in her. I do now what you mean with the narrow track in the woods it is nice having that extra couple of inches. Also with the narrow track you have less problems with the tires hitting the fenders.

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post #8 of (permalink) Old 10-17-2000, 05:15 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: What is the best year of the CJ

Thanks for the input. I wheel the hell out of my Sami. Its build about as much as it can be. Was going to put Dana 44s under. Went out and bought them, but decided to sell them. I would like to run 35" tire on the Jeep. I don't wheel as much as I use to and would like the extra wheelbase of a 7. I think the 20 with one piece axles would be enough for me. I am getting older and I am getting tired of the hardcore runs. Its drive a little and wait for someone to fix something. I have just as much fun doing moderate trails. Waiting to hear more for you guys.

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post #9 of (permalink) Old 10-17-2000, 07:02 PM
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Re: What is the best year of the CJ

Just my two cents:

My favorites are:
194_ -----first of the jeeps, really small and nimble.
1953 -----first of the CJs (M38A1)
1972 -----longer wheelbase (2) gives us a 304 and they still have Dana 44 rears, though unboxed frames.
1976 -----first of CJ7s and revision of CJ5 bodies.
1979 -----same reasons as before, and Im bias, I own one. (79 CJ5, 304/T18A (factory)/D20)
1980 -----CJ8s
1987 -----last of CJs. Cool yet sad.

Oh yeah, and somewhere in there I have to vote for the CJ6 as all time favorite. Long wheel base and classic style.

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post #10 of (permalink) Old 10-17-2000, 10:33 PM
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Re: What is the best year of the CJ

If I were you I would avoid early eighties CJ's with the Iron Duke 4 cylinder engine, I have one and am not happy with it and these motors where equiped with mostly Sr-4 and T-5 trannies which are not very sturdy. Also another bad point is that these jeeps where ussually equiped with high gear ratios because of federal gas mileage regulations.

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