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post #1 of (permalink) Old 12-15-2000, 04:18 PM Thread Starter
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Which cj7 to buy?

Here is my dilemma. I have found two Cj7's. They both have 258's and t5s.
The first is a 1986 with with a D44 rear and a new bestop. But, it is showing some surface rust and was hit on the passenger side threshold with the damage confined to a small area of the floor and the side of the threshold. The seller says the side panels are relitively easy to replace but I have no welding experience. But it sure looks like crap now. The price $3700.

The other is an 84 but has some noise from the rear end which is a model 20. Has only a bikini top and a needs some body work redone as the bondo used to fill the dents is cracking out. It is relatively straight though.

The price difference is $800 more for the 1986. I was planning on putting larger axles on to handle 35's.

Is it relatively easy to replace the side pieces?

I am leaning toward the 86 and learning to do bodywork.


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post #2 of (permalink) Old 12-15-2000, 04:57 PM
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Re: Which cj7 to buy?

The 86 would be my pick.

The noise in the rear of the AMC 20 could be a number of things from a spun 2-piece axle to a worn out pinion bearing...any of which will require some cash. The AMC20 will require 1 piece axleshafts to handle 35s..about $300 or so. Then you are still stuck with the thin walled 20 axle tubes which are prone to bending or spinning under hard use.

A Dana 44 is a strong axle with good one piece axleshafts. It can handle 35s with proper gearing. That would only leave you with the front Dana30 to swap out eventually. A lot of folks run 35 on their Dana30s...they just break stuff more frequently and carry spare axleshafts and u-joints. In other words, you could get by with it and 35s for awhile.

Bondo always make me a little wary..how much bondo is there? What all is it hiding...some cancerous rust or just dents? How bad is the surface rust and is it really just "surface rust" If so, sand it and paint it yourself for about $200 with a little home shop compressor.

Bikini tops run $30, while a new Bestop supertop is closer to $500.

86 also has a "cool factor" in my book...the last of the CJs.
I don't know about the body work...my just stays banged up [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif[/img].

I think you make up your price difference with the top and D44. Of course, i would dicker with him some more. $3700 seems a little high with the body damage...at least in my neck of the woods.


post #3 of (permalink) Old 12-15-2000, 05:20 PM
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Re: Which cj7 to buy?

Take the 86 no contest. You will have to have body work done on both of them so take the one with more cool stuff and except the body damages. A nicer rear end, top, and spoken of cool factor. Just do it!
Good Luck

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 12-15-2000, 05:29 PM
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Re: Which cj7 to buy?

One more in favor of an '86 with a Dana 44.

Those were the last of the 86's that came with the Dana 44. You'll be starting off with a decent drive train. The Dana 300 transfer case in the '80s CJs is awesome.

258 4.0 Head/MPI,NV4500,D300,4.10's,HS9500
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 12-15-2000, 06:10 PM
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Re: Which cj7 to buy?

Ditto on the 1986 , the Dana 44 rear and new soft top are worth paying the extra $800 for. I am running 35's on my Dana44 from a 1986 CJ7 with no problems.....

I would offer him $3000 for it and go from there. Good luck!

'85 CJ-7/360/727/D300 w/Currie Twin Stick and TeraLow 4-1 kit,Dana 44/30 w/4.56 and Detroits,SSR 35's,York AC onboard air and the TR ignition upgrade
post #6 of (permalink) Old 12-15-2000, 06:28 PM
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Re: Which cj7 to buy?

86 is my vote..


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post #7 of (permalink) Old 12-15-2000, 07:02 PM
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Re: Which cj7 to buy?

Having had a 86 CJ. Another vote for the 86. Drivetrain is most important, the body sounds cosmetic, find a buddy that can do the work for a reasonable price, Jeeps are easy to work on.

Sounds like the price of the 84 will go up after you consider the fix of the noisy amc20.

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post #8 of (permalink) Old 12-15-2000, 07:49 PM
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Re: Which cj7 to buy?

I say get the '86


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post #9 of (permalink) Old 12-15-2000, 07:56 PM
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Re: Which cj7 to buy?

The 86 all the way, the best top and d44 are worth more than the differanc, also if you are really worried about dent don't take what ever you get offroad. But if you want to worry aabout the dent I bet you could just hammer it back out a little, paint it so it won't rust and slap a peice of dimond plate over it. Learn the body work if you want you don't even need a compress, all you need is your bare hands, a palm snader and grinder help, you can always rattle can it.

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post #10 of (permalink) Old 12-15-2000, 09:38 PM
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Re: Which cj7 to buy?

Buy the 84. And where is that 86? I might want it.


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