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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to buy a Jeep, but I only have about $5000. Should I get a CJ or an early YJ?? I will be wheeling in Moab mostly and need something that I can build slowly. Which is a better choice and why??

1996 2Dr. 4X4 Tahoe, 350 Vortec, 3.73 gears, Magnaflow 3" Catback, Airaid Intake, and a bent front diff. skid plate! (Stock susp. on 265's)
 

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This will be a hot discussion. Some like 'em round and some like 'em square...

I would get the best condition vehicle for your $$$. Look for frame condition, especially around the spring perches. Bring a large screwdriver with you and poke the frame everywhere. The owner should not mind if he knows there's no rust holes. Definately take it for a test drive. Does the motor run well? If possible, start it when the engine is cold and see if there are any problems with starting/running in cold weather. Put the t-case through all it's ranges and verify that each works. Check for body rot. Body work is not fun, especially when you just forked over $5k. Look for "amateur" wiring jobs - you don't want to buy something that will catch on fire. Is the engine compartment relativly clean of oil? If it sparkles, then you can bet that the owner cleaned the motor to hide leaks and problems. This is not a show car - it most likely was someone's daily driver and most people DO NOT polish their plastic valve covers daily.

Also, take it to a shop of YOUR choice and have it looked over. Having them perform a state inspection is a good start - they'll check emissions, brakes, suspension, steering, and tires as well as other saftey equpiment. Unless you want a project, have the seller drop their price based on a shop estimate of work needed. Even if you plan on doing the work yourself, this is a great way to make up for labor - just don't tell the seller that you will be doing so.

The age of the owner tells a lot about the vehicle. If it's a kid, then chances are the thing was beaten. If it's muddy, I would be inclined to look elsewhere. If the previous owner did not wash it, then you can bet that he didn't maintain it either.
Hope this helps - good luck in finding a vehicle!

85 CJ-7 258/T176/D300 Scout D44s F&R with Lock-Rites and 4.56 gears. 4" springs with lift shackles 36" SS TSL Radials Hella Rallye 4000s for guiding small planes into the woods
 
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how extream do you want to get too... other than the round vs square delema there are other points to. the Yj has a cheesy rear axle, as does a CJ's amc 20, but you can work with the 20, building the 35 isn't the most cost effictive.

How large of tire do you want to run? That runs with the lift amount to. if you go with a cj, stay away from the 3 speeds manual. if you go with the Yj, stay away from everything buy the manual in the '91 and up 6 cyl. The auto's are good on all years.

JR

The road is calling, Ignore it!!
There is life after asphalt.
 

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cspringer8-

What you buy is really a matter of personal preference. I own a 78 CJ5 304, a 93 YJ 4.0 w/auto, and a 94 YJ 2.5. The YJs are sportier to drive and the CJ drives more "like a truck". The CJ has a narrower frame than the YJ and will roll over in a fast, tight, turn before the YJ will. If you by a CJ7 the frame will be the same length as the YJ. (Many parts are interchangable too.)

I recommend that you find the best deal on either jeep that has the most "goodies" for the buck provided the body and frame are in good shape. Bad tubs and frames can be fixed or replaced but it ain't cheap to do so.

Of course, if you really want a CJ but find a deal on a YJ you can replace the front clip on the YJ with CJ parts. (You do have to trim the fenders for the wider frame.)

Good Luck!
Kriss

PS: I may consider selling my 94 YJ for what you have to spend.

 
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One thing to think about is carb vs. Fuel Injected, unless you are planning a swap. If its only for the trail it might not matter (except for steep angles), but if its going to see the road as well, YJ will handle better and get better milegage.

All that said - I have a 94 YJ and want to dig up a 1969 cj-6 or commando for a restoration some day.

Look for the best bargain is probably the best advice already given by everyone else.

[__] | | | | | | [__]
The powers not delegated to the United States ... are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
 

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Something else to consider is emission laws. You're probably OK in Utah, for now anyway, but you never know what the feds might force the states to do in the name of the Environmentalism God. Illinois recently passed an emissions testing law which dragged my '78 in for testing. Fortunately it passed in spite of being de-emissioned, but if it hadn't it could have gotten ugly.

I can't imagine a state passing a law requiring that your vehicle be cleaner that was required when new. If you stick with an older CJ you should have an easy time making it pass any law that comes along in the future. That will give you plenty of flexibility in choosing your powerplant.

Maybe somebody knows what the progression of emission devices was. I think PCVs were required in about '71 or '72. Catalysts and EGR started showing up in about '76, and were nearly universal by '79. After that I kind of lost track.

My '78 came with a horrible carburetor, an air pump and EGR, but no catalyst, for which I am very thankful.



I might have been born at night, but it wasn't LAST night.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I am looking to put on 33's, lockers front and rear with 4.10's, and a 4 in. suspension. I wheeled in a YJ with those same specs and under hard tweaking the tires would rub. So maybe a 1-2 in. body lift. I would be using the jeep on and off road, and I do like the fuel injection. As for the axles, would I need to worry about what came on the jeep? Which tranny and why, and which transfer case and why?? I am trying learn as much as I can from all you guys/girls that run jeeps. Thanks for the input...

1996 2Dr. 4X4 Tahoe, 350 Vortec, 3.73 gears, Magnaflow 3" Catback, Airaid Intake, and a bent front diff. skid plate! (Stock susp. on 265's)
 

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By all means look for a '91 or newer YJ with the 6-cyl engine. You'll get a great fuel-injected engine, a good transmission (both auto and manual), and good x-case. The frame is twice as strong as a CJs, and being 4" wider helps when swapping in full-size axles.

Otherwise... a '78-'79 CJ with a 304, T-18, and D-20 would be a good score. Avoid CJs and YJs built in the mid-late 80s. Often the transmissions (manuals) are weak and the carberators are horrible.

If I had it all to do over again I honestly think I'd have gone with a Full-size Jeep for the stronger drivetrain. An '80s J-20 would be just great.
As it is, I'm putting an '80s full-size drivetrain into my Wrangler. The TF-727 and NP-208 are already in. Next comes the 360 V-8 and then the D-44s with a new suspension.

'89 Comanche, '89 Wrangler, '74 Postal
 

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The next build up I do will start with a solid (boxed) frame and body for cheap.
Then buy a wreaked one ton truck for the drivetrain (350tbi,sm465,np205,d60,14bolt). I'm sure this can be done for alot less then 5 grand and then it's 90% done. Add a Klune V 4to1 for crawling and some tires & wheels,,,,,,,,

But of course it will have round lights /wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif

Wayne @ Big Island RockCrawlers
"PYRO" The Rock Crawler
Web Site: http://www.members.tripod.com/surfmac/Index.html
 

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I have been looking at jeep yj's to and this is what I found in the new 4WHEEL&OFF-ROAD. They have a jeep history pull out. They picked an 89 yj as the year that they would buy. For two reasons, old enough to be cheap,but new enough to have all of the goodies like fuel-injection and the NP231 T-case. They said look for a 2.5L 4 popper with a 5 speed. They came stock with 4.10's D30 front,D35c rear. The only mods that they would do is a spring-over lift and lockers and 35's and a short-shaft kit for the NP231. I know that the power from the 4 cylinder might not be the biggest or best but that is what it came with. I saw an ad the other day (1990 YJ with a 4.2L and a 4 speed) Did Jeep ever offer this combo and would it be better than the 2.5L Fuel Injection with a 5 speed.

 

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MUDITUP4x4
Don't believe everything they write in the mags(or on the BB's for that matter). If you buy something with a D35, have some money to replace it, POS axles. If you run 35" tires very hard on a locked d30, it will break. If you run 35" tires with a 4banger and 4.10's, make sure you got alot a time to get to your destination cause it's going to be a slow trip(unless it's all down hill). It cost more to SOA a YJ due to the cost of the SYE. Around here '89 YJ in good shape are going for 5 to 7 grand, not cheap.

Wayne @ Big Island RockCrawlers
"PYRO" The Rock Crawler
Web Site: http://www.members.tripod.com/surfmac/Index.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I saw that article too, but can a 2.5L turn 35's? I owned a 88 Cherokee with the 2.5L, and it had troubles with 235's! And what is involved in a spring over, will it articulate as good as a 4 or 6 in. spring lift and what is the easiest way to correct the steering geometry?

How many miles is too many for the 4.0L or the 2.5L engines?? Do the trannies or anything go out after high miles?

After looking around I think that I will try to find an early YJ with the 4.0L, but I will consider the 2.5L if the price is right...

1996 2Dr. 4X4 Tahoe, 350 Vortec, 3.73 gears, Magnaflow 3" Catback, Airaid Intake, and a bent front diff. skid plate! (Stock susp. on 265's)
 

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The new 4Wheeler magazine. also said that if you were going to swap the drive train and motor that they would buy the cheapest one that they could find with a good body and build it up from there.

 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
What does SYE stand for????

1996 2Dr. 4X4 Tahoe, 350 Vortec, 3.73 gears, Magnaflow 3" Catback, Airaid Intake, and a bent front diff. skid plate! (Stock susp. on 265's)
 

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Slip Yoke Eliminator kit. That T-case has the slip yoke inside the output tail housing with a solid driveshaft(one piece).. It doesn't work well with taller lifts and needs to be replaced with a solid output shaft and driveshaft with a slip yoke.

Wayne @ Big Island RockCrawlers
"PYRO" The Rock Crawler
Web Site: http://www.members.tripod.com/surfmac/Index.html
 

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The YJ frame is fully boxed, unlike the CJ frame (the later CJ frames were getting close though, my DJ frame is very close). I don't just mean C-channel with another piece of C-channel fit inside and welded in place like the CJs have. The YJ has square-tubing. It is most definately a stronger frame.
As for coming up with the factor of 2. I must admit that it is what I have read in a few books, most notably "Jeep 4x4: Performance Guide" by Jim Allen. (I will not include magazines as these seem to be geared more towards the advertiser than the subscriber)

'89 Comanche, '89 Wrangler, '74 Postal
 

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I just looked through Jim Allen's book and can't find where it says a YJ frame is 2X as strong as a Boxed CJ frame, what page is it? Page 116 is the only reference to a YJ frame I could find.
You are correct, YJ frames are stronger but I've beat the crap out of CJs , putting them in situations that 95% of jeep owners wouldn't even consider and after 30 something years I've yet to snap a CJ frame that wasn't rusted out frist. I'm pretty sure the average wheeler would be fine with a boxed CJ frame. /wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif

Wayne @ Big Island RockCrawlers
"PYRO" The Rock Crawler
Web Site: http://www.members.tripod.com/surfmac/Index.html
 
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