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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i need some help on maintenance costs. i need to know an average of how much poeple spend on maintenance a year on cj-7, and a list of what is need on maintenance and if possible prices on that list, could you please help me, im desperate to get a cj-7 and this is the only way my dad will let me get one, buy this damn budget list. please help me, thanks,


2,818 Posts
If you keep it on the road it probably would be about a grand without major stuff. IF you take it off road forget it you bill will be 3,000 with out lift tires axles and rears. Good luck

Can someone please bring me a hammer my 33's just ate my fender again. Damn i need more lift.

You've got to remember that CJ7s are at least 15 years old so maintaining one is an ongoing process. I'd say at a very minimum you are looking at $400. That's filters, oil, the occasional fanbelt, etc. If you plan on off-roading add u-joints, spun hubs on the AMC20, holes in that 20 year old radiator at the worst possible time, and it goes on and on. Just remember, no matter what it costs it is worth it!


lots of mula$$$$$$/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif
more than the average vehicle- 2wd that is.
if you are looking for a low maint vehicle, a cj7 would not be the one. as stated it is old and things will die. more things to go wrong in the drivetrain due to 4wd.
i wouldn't even try to fabricate a maint list for any car for that matter! too many "what-ifs"./wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif
your dad probably already knows the routine!
good luck on whatever the old man gets ya.


Well first off do an itemized list with approximate cost for general maintenance:

Oil changes:
I use K&N oil filters $9 ea. x 7 (minimum)/year = $53
I use castrol 10w40 oil $1.20/quart (average) x (5q x 7changes) = $36.00
Fuel cost:
You are gonna be lucky to get more than 14 mpg (no matter what anyone says) that's with a stock 4.2. So with gas costs skyrocketing figure around $1.75/gallon for 93 octane (which you will have to use to avoid under load pinging) x 15 gallon tank = $26.25/per tank which will give you roughly 300 mi/per tank. On average I can go 1 week and have to fill up by saturday and I live less than 10 mi. from work. So figure 26.25/week x 52/weeks = $1365.00/gas
16 year old part replacement:
In the past year that I have had my cj I have put 19400 mi. on it with no off-road use whatsover. I have had to replace: water pump - $30
All the hoses - $10
alternator - $60
Tr-upgrade - $85
both belts - $20
K&N air filter - $36
clutch linkage - $40
clutch/pp/tob - $119.95
replaced 2-peice-o-crap axles w/1 peice - $350
(including having the new bearings pressed on)
windsheild wipers - $12

My rough figures for my personal cost including gas, maintenance, upgrades and repairs is: $2216.95 But you also have to remember that I am able to do all of my own repairs including clutch and axle replacement except for repairs needing a press. Oh yea I forgot to add on new front wheel bearing both sides and all 4 u-joints. sooo you add in another $75 - $100 for stuff like that and you are probably looking at around $2500 your first year of ownership. All this was on an 84 cj which I bought from the original owner who was a 50 yr old woman who kept it in the garage and never hardly drove it anymore. Although I now have a very reliable daily driver, it was in better shape than any original CJ I had ever looked at and it still needed all these things at 147k mi. and 16 years old when I bought it.

If your on a tight budget a Suzuki Samurai is the way to go for a beginner. The parts are light (transmission weighs in at less than 100 lbs.) plenty of aftermarket suppliers with the list growing every day and even the guys here on the jeep board will attest to trailability. I have one that was my daily driver before I bought my jeep. I put 68k mi. on it with not a single problem and it is still going strong (although it is now in the process of a SOA. It also taught me alot about working on a 4 wheel drive and I only paid $1600 for it in 96. I see them all the time around Atlanta for well under $2000.

Good luck on whatever you get. But, I don't consider a 15 Yr old jeep a good starter for a teenager. Most jeeps have been outright abused, so be sure to have a very competent mechanic go over top to bottom and put it on a lift to check for leaks, rust and any other stuff you can't see with it sitting on the ground.

/wwwthreads_images/icons/cool.gif 84 cj7 Laredo /wwwthreads_images/icons/cool.gif Superior 1 piece, more to come...../wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif

I can't speak for the CJ-7, but my CJ-5 is a money pit. Those old 4x4's have a tendency to wear out at the wrong time, and just when you think everything is fine, you end up replacing the radiator, thermostat, wheel bearings, brakes, clutch and linkage. From my experience buying and selling vehicles, most people tend to sell them when they know something is about to wear out or break, or has already done so.
My suggestion is to wait 5 years and if you still want one, get it then. Too much work and money for a first vehicle.

"The Beast"

You could not have asked a more wide open question if you were trying there are just so many variables that it is almost impossible to can save yourself some money if you are able to do your own maintainance and just have to buy the supplies, the biggest key to you buying a CJ that will not drain you is to find one that is in good shape to begin with.I bought mine a 1980 CJ-5 with 65,000 original miles on it so manitainance on mine has not been bad.


Mine was a spotless woman driven 16 yr old cj w/147k mi which means it was driven less than 10k/mi a year it's entire life. It had never seen the dirt and still hasn't. I still had to replace all the things listed above. A 20 yr old vehicle is not a good car for a kid who 9 times out of 10 cannot fix it himself.

/wwwthreads_images/icons/cool.gif 84 cj7 Laredo /wwwthreads_images/icons/cool.gif Superior 1 piece, more to come...../wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif

Jeez, all this talk about rig maintnence made me total up the stuff I have done on my CJ5:

New springs and shocks (Rancho springs and RS9000's): $450
Rebuilt front axle and spare rear: $90
New brake MC and WC's : $160
New brake lines and shoes: $50
New brake hoses: $50
New rear crossmember: $80
New body pucks: $45
New tie rod and ends: $100
Steering box rebuild parts: $120
Replacement dash: $50
New seats: $220
Recore radiator: $300
New belts & hoses: $50
New wiring: $100
New tailgate: $110
New paint: $500 (good stuff including bondo and sanding material)
New carb and intake (upgrade) $300
New gauges: $100
New top: $450
Sold extra parts: ($100)

Total- about $3500 after all the extras I didn't list. But it runs great and really turns heads now. People drool on it when I tell them it is a 1955. I paid $1000 for it, and it was pretty much rust free and ran (barely).

Hillsboro, OR
1955 Willys CJ5 Buick 225 V6 160HP 270ft-lbs, T90 trans, Warn OD, PTO winch, Spicer 18 T Case, RS9000's, Dana 25F/ 44R,
5.38:1 gears, 11" brakes, Bestop Supertop, Hurculiner

First you have to ask yourself, am I macanically inclinded enough to do my own work. As has been stated by others, It can be $$$$$ to run a CJ. This would be true for any vehical that is 15+ years old. I have ownrd my 80 Cj-7 12 years and the only thing original to it now is the T case, frame, and grill. It has taken me 10 years to get it to the point that I know longer worry about reliability. If you want a project, go ahead, but get a reliable car to use as transportation until you have gone through the entire vehicle. I drive mine every day and 500+ miles to a ride and back. I have wanted a Jeep since I was 8. If you need a reliable Jeep to start with , look at 92+ YJ's. You get the better engine and it can be built to do what ever you want it to do. Only $$$ can stop you. My Jeep is the baine of my Wifes existence. She doesn't want to know the $ amounts spent on it. But it sure is fun and I never spend money on it that is needed elseware. Use OT $ most of the time and bought old worn out jeeps for parts and sold what I didn't need to friends, making my money back and giving them reasonable priced parts. Good luck and happy Jeeeping.


1,066 Posts
Not only that Insurance on them is way out there for a kid,FORGETTABOUTIT I didn't even insure mine for my kids to drive which gives me an excuse when they ask to borrow it.
plus you will spend most every weekend working on it,if it waits till the weekend to break.,If you are mechanically inclined .That gets old really fast ,even for me ...I am right this moment putting off taking my transmission out.
My daughter has a mustang and I won't touch it except if I have to,Her decision to own it ,it is her problem to maintain and fix it and insure it ....She already has two speeding tickets....But not on my insurance she don't.

So I see your dads point,If you want it that bad work for it ,get it and don't have to answer to anyone for it ...Just yourself.

Learn to let go of what does not serve you ,but forces you to serve it
why does everyone ask if I am gonna paint it ?
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