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post #1 of (permalink) Old 12-23-2001, 01:45 PM
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Jeep Shopping

Hey everybody[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif[/img]. I'm thinking of buying a jeep and I need some help. I'm not looking to buy a new one or anything, more likely and early 80's or late 70's. I have found a '79 that I kinda like. What should I look for when buying a jeep around these years? I don't really know a lot about jeeps. I need something that I can setup to handle mild terrain. Nothing too hardcore. I know there are like cj-5's, 7's etc. Can someone fill me in on what the differences are?


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post #2 of (permalink) Old 12-23-2001, 02:05 PM
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Re: Jeep Shopping

I don't know years.. Still learning them. I hope I get this right otherwise I'm gona look like an idiot.

CJ5 - Round headlights. Built by AMC, no "trunk" seat sits right at the back. Door frame curves in.
CJ7 - AMC/Chrysler?? 10" trunk behind seats. YJ shaped doors. Round headlights.
CJ8 - a.k.a Scrambler. Not too many made. 10"? longer then a CJ7? Round headlights.
YJ - Two major versions. Pre and post 1991 Square headlights. Same length as CJ7. Pre 91, Carbed 4.2L and slanted rear rollcage. Post 91. Fuel injected 4.0 and rear "ears" for passanger safety.
TJ - Roundheadlights. Fuel injected 4.0 . Rear ears, same length as YJ/CJ7. Coil suspention not spring.

That's about it. I know I must have got some things wrong.

I got a '89 YJ and I am very pleased with it. It seems like alot of the CJ7 tech applies to the YJ, which is a bonus because there is alot of CJ7 tech and mods out there.
The 89 is simple enough to be worked on by someone who doesn't have a clue, at the same time as being new enough that not every component needs to be changed out.

I belive for a '79 you need to look for frame cracks behind the front spring hangers? as well as all the other things to look at when buying a car that's 22(nearly 23) years old.
Anything that looks jury rigged is bad. Swaps and rebuilds can go either way. On one had you think. "Wow, fresh rebuild, thats great." on the other hand you say "Well, just rebuilt, what was wrong with it."

All I can say about buying a Jeep is that mines only 12 years old and I'm constantly under it fixing stuff.
But it's all simple enough for me to fix.

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 12-23-2001, 02:14 PM
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Re: Jeep Shopping

look for the model first of all

Around here, the main thing to look for is rust. especially on the frame. look for stress marks on the frame, around the front shackle hangers, motor mounts, and at the rear shackle hangers in particular. if it is a '79 CJ the frame is probably partially boxed.

"hardcore" is a very relative term, as is "mild terrain". Any Jeep will be able to handle some 'mild terrain' stock. The CJ-7 is about 10" longer than the CJ-5 which will give you some added stability in the lengthened wheelbase. Automatic trannies were also offered in CJ-7's since they were longer. Around '82-'83 the CJ-7s had wider axles ("Wide track") which also improved road stability.

Here is a chart that shows you the drivetrain options offered in each year:

83 CJ-7 and 76 CJ-7 with stuff
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 12-23-2001, 09:33 PM
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Re: Jeep Shopping

Regardless of what you decide on, you may want to find someone that knows Jeeps to help you out. I would recommend checking everything out on one you think you might want. Crawl underneath it, check the frame out and make sure there aren't any cracks and what the rust status is. Look real good at the points where the body mounts to the frame (as many as you can check) for rust through of the body. Check for leaks and things that just don't look right. Drive it, and put the transfer case through it's gears (2H, 4H and 4L) and listen to it. Look for oil leaks anywhere there might be oil, especially the back of the oil pan, axles at the hubs and anywhere else you can think of. As a last thing to look at, did the previous owner hack up the wiring in the engine compartment if it's otherwise stock?

Only other thing I would suggest is bring a magnet with you and check the rear quarters to see that they aren't filled up with bondo. Seriously speaking, I would try and get someone who knew something about Jeeps to help look at it and if there's a question in your mind about anything that can't be answered, walk away, there will always be more Jeeps.


83CJ7 definitely broken this time
post #5 of (permalink) Old 12-24-2001, 01:47 AM
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Re: Jeep Shopping

Do some reading on jeeps. There's tons and tons of great info on the net. Find the years of jeeps that have the stuff you want. I have a 79 CJ-7 that came with the Model 20 transfer case. The 80 was the first year for the lower geared Dana 300. All jeeps have their good and bad points. Good advice, take someone with you that knows jeeps when out shopping.

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 12-24-2001, 02:59 PM
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Re: Jeep Shopping

Look for rust thats one of the biggest complaints that guys have about thier Jeeps.
I would suggest that you go out and buy a Jeep Bible before you buy a Jeep it will answer a lot of your questions.
Also you should buy according to you own mechanical capabilities, if your are good at fabricating a CJ-5 would be alright but if your not it wouldn't be such a good idea because they make less stuff for them than for CJ-7's and YJ's.

Take care of the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves.
post #7 of (permalink) Old 12-25-2001, 02:06 AM
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Re: Jeep Shopping

Might I suggest you purchase the Jeep Owner's Bible. Pretty good read on Jeeps.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 12-25-2001, 10:38 AM
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Re: Jeep Shopping

The one I was looking at is a '79 cj-5. I think I'm going to do some reading. Thanks for the info everybody and have a merry christmas[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif[/img].


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