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Old 01-22-2007, 04:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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School Me On CJs

Never ever had a CJ but I like simple and old school Jeeps.
Think I might buy one for my next trail rig but what to look for.

I'd like a CJ-7. Plans are SOA, Axle swap and 37-38" tires max.
I've heard the frames aren't too great, how can one address this?
Give me all the info you can or even links to read.

Thanks!
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Old 01-22-2007, 07:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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as long as its a post 79' it should have a fully boxed frame w/ the exception of the front 12" or so, these frames were considerably stronger than the earlier models, but yes they can still use some strengthening. Just use 1/4" plate on the sides
also creating a tubular skidplate that covers from the oil pan all the back to the back of the t-case will help add strength as well as protect your vitals
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Old 01-22-2007, 07:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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how can one address this?
with 2"x4" rec tubing

on a more serious note, on my frame everything ive added i bolted and welded with quarter inch plate or angle iron. motor mounts, crossmembers, everything. i am also going to put in a 8 pt cage tied directly to the frame to make it more stronger.
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Old 01-22-2007, 08:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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if you want to adress the frame buy a yj... or i guess a tj too
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Old 01-23-2007, 06:40 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Yota Tony View Post
Never ever had a CJ but I like simple and old school Jeeps. Think I might buy one for my next trail rig but what to look for. I'd like a CJ-7.
The best stock CJ, IMHO would be the 1979 CJ7. 258 I6, T18 trans, Dana20 Tcase. They used narrow track Dana30/AMC20 axles. Difficult to find one that hasn't been beat or the body isn't turning to particles. You can build one of these CJ's into a very respectable and fun rig that can see both the streets and the trails for minimum money (notice I didn't use the word Cheap in the sentence).

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Plans are SOA, Axle swap and 37-38" tires max.
Now you just upped the ante. And you've moved a long way from your original 'simple and old school' approach. Going big...Means spending Big. Axles, Wheels, Tires. By themselves, they are a major expense. Add in things like gear swaps, lockers, driveshafts, engine swaps, trans and tcase changes...The list goes on, when you decide to go 'BIG'. Really, are you gonna want to run 38" tires and not have enough oomph to turn them?

Yeah, I've 'heard', 'read', and actually seen a few pics, from all the internet wheelers how they did their SOA for next to nothing. Unless you own a huge junkyard, got a couple Dana 60's sitting in the garage, have a decent shop with all the equipment and skills to do a SOA correctly, or you've got a bottomless bank account: It's gonna be expensive. I've done enough research to realize that to do it the correct way, so that you aren't endangering yourself, your passengers, or the general motoring public: Takes more skill, knowledge, and money than I wish to spend.

And if I was really going to jump into that level...I'd go four link anyway. Screw the leaf springs.

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Originally Posted by Yota Tony View Post
I've heard the frames aren't too great, how can one address this?
Honestly: I wouldn't mess with a CJ or YJ frame. Either build your own frame (since you've now strayed from the 'simple old school' approach), or spend a bit more and spec out a custom frame. I like what Throttle Down Kustoms is doing. And there are others out there that put out a quality product.

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Give me all the info you can or even links to read.
Google is your friend.
Get an updated copy of Moses Ludel's Jeep Owner's Bible, there is lots of good information about Jeeps in general. My original version doesn't have all the new goodies that are available in the aftermarket.

But most importantly have a plan how you want the Jeep to be used. And go from there. Switching directions during a build can get very costly. Trust me on this.
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Old 01-23-2007, 08:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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When I say axle swap, I don't mean full width axles, I don't need them for the trails I'm running, d44s or a hp d44 and 9" would be perfect.

Throttle down Kustoms frame looks sweet though.
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Old 01-23-2007, 09:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
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as long as its a post 79' it should have a fully boxed frame w/ the exception of the front 12" or so, these frames were considerably stronger than the earlier models, but yes they can still use some strengthening. Just use 1/4" plate on the sides
also creating a tubular skidplate that covers from the oil pan all the back to the back of the t-case will help add strength as well as protect your vitals
Ok, just need to clear up a few of the facts. All CJ frames were an open U channel up to and including 1975 except for the 1970 & 71 CJ5 Renegade. These were boxed; a feature that was only available with the Renegades package.

In 1972 the frame and body was extended to accommodate the I6 and the AMC 304. A plate was welded to the inside of the U channel frame to accept the motor mounts. It is not uncommon to find 72 through 75 CJ5s with cracked frames just behind the front axel. It is repairable but some of the patch jobs I have seen would require much more work to make right than it would have taken to do a proper job in the first place.

From 1976 on, all the CJ frames were boxed. All YJ frames are also boxed but the frame rails are wider apart and the material is a little heavier. A YJ will be a more stable ride right out of the box than a CJ.


1976 and newer CJs will have the most after market parts available. (More than 1975 and older) 1976 came with drum brakes all way around. 1977 switched to disk fronts but 1978 has larger brakes than the 77. (And So On)

When looking for a jeep, try and find one that has the most goodies on it for the buck AND HAS NOT BEEN HASHED. (Unless you plan to hash it more I guess.) Not only are the parts expensive to put on in the first place, but they donít get any cheaper when you have to replace them from abuse either.

Good Hunting!

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Old 01-23-2007, 09:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by chadburgin View Post
if you want to adress the frame buy a yj...
seriously, this is a good idea.

Look for a later Yj to build. Stronger frame, I-6 already fuel injected, and you can put a CJ front clip on it for cheap, way cheaper than finding a clean CJ and trying to equal the YJ.

Old school look and newer better stuff

my .02
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Old 01-24-2007, 09:49 AM   #9 (permalink)
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as long as its a post 79' it should have a fully boxed frame w/ the exception of the front 12" or so, these frames were considerably stronger than the earlier models, but yes they can still use some strengthening. Just use 1/4" plate on the sides
also creating a tubular skidplate that covers from the oil pan all the back to the back of the t-case will help add strength as well as protect your vitals
my 78 has a boxed frame all the way up, except for the last 8-12 inches

I think they started that in late 76

I also like the idea of buying a YJ for the frame and the tub
and swapping a CJ grill in

someone correct me If I am wrong, but the YJ tubs are galvanized, and you will have better luck finding a YJ tub in better shape than a older CJ tub

When I found my CJ 2 years ago, It had been sitting out of the weather in a horse stall,in a barn, and had not been driven since 1992

It was an original owner Jeep with 83,000 miles, an old farmer had it and hardly ever took it off his property, evidently he died in 1992 and his son had no interest in the Jeep

I bought it for $1500
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Old 01-24-2007, 10:28 AM   #10 (permalink)
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i agree with the yj frame and tub. i have a cj grille and hood on mine. you will have to do a 1" body lift on the yj body to make it line up right and notch the grille around the steering box.

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Old 01-24-2007, 10:51 AM   #11 (permalink)
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grill hood and fenders for the swap?
Doesn't look like much in the way of CJs around here. All high priced or rusted out.
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Old 01-24-2007, 11:11 AM   #12 (permalink)
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the fenders on mine are psc tube fenders. i just bought the hood and grille and support rods.
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Old 01-24-2007, 02:39 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I think they started that in late 76
My '77 is boxed.
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Old 01-24-2007, 02:49 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Mine's a 79 and the boxed frame is in good shape. Here's a recent shot for an example of a CJ (5) with SOA on Waggy/Scout 44's on 35's. I plan to go to 37's soon.


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Old 01-24-2007, 08:22 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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ive got a '84 cj-7 and the frame works great. nothing wrong with them, and if you take care of it the frame works.
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Old 01-24-2007, 09:10 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Im in the prosess of building a new frame for my cj5 i used 2x4 1\8 wall and used 2x2 1\8 wall for the rear sec. of the frame and all my steel was under 250.00 not sure how its going to work.
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Old 01-24-2007, 09:39 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Ok, just need to clear up a few of the facts. All CJ frames were an open U channel up to and including 1975 except for the 1970 & 71 CJ5 Renegade. These were boxed; a feature that was only available with the Renegades package.

In 1972 the frame and body was extended to accommodate the I6 and the AMC 304. A plate was welded to the inside of the U channel frame to accept the motor mounts. It is not uncommon to find 72 through 75 CJ5s with cracked frames just behind the front axel. It is repairable but some of the patch jobs I have seen would require much more work to make right than it would have taken to do a proper job in the first place.

From 1976 on, all the CJ frames were boxed. All YJ frames are also boxed but the frame rails are wider apart and the material is a little heavier. A YJ will be a more stable ride right out of the box than a CJ.


1976 and newer CJs will have the most after market parts available. (More than 1975 and older) 1976 came with drum brakes all way around. 1977 switched to disk fronts but 1978 has larger brakes than the 77. (And So On)

When looking for a jeep, try and find one that has the most goodies on it for the buck AND HAS NOT BEEN HASHED. (Unless you plan to hash it more I guess.) Not only are the parts expensive to put on in the first place, but they donít get any cheaper when you have to replace them from abuse either.

Good Hunting!

Kriss
ya i wasn't sure on when they started boxing the frames, but i knew that post 79s were i didn't know whether or not 76-79s were

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The best stock CJ, IMHO would be the 1979 CJ7. 258 I6, T18 trans, Dana20 Tcase. They used narrow track Dana30/AMC20 axles.
i don't want to bash your opinion but what about a post 80 w/ a dana 300 tcase, or anything w/ the 304, or if u can find an 86 w/ the dana 44 rear end(but i don't think they offered the 304 in cjs in 86 could be wrong though)
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Old 01-25-2007, 05:54 AM   #18 (permalink)
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...i don't want to bash your opinion but what about a post 80 w/ a dana 300 tcase, or anything w/ the 304, or if u can find an 86 w/ the dana 44 rear end(but i don't think they offered the 304 in cjs in 86 could be wrong though)
No problem, but we are talking 'stock CJ's', right?

Surf through this site: http://www.jeeptech.com/ A lot of good info.

Last year for the 304 was 1981.

The Dana 300 Tcase is a very good case, as the Dana 20 was. The aftermarket has 'cloned' the 300 into excellent products, IE: Atlas II, and STaK. However, you can lower the stock 2.03:1 gearing in the Dana 20 to 2.46:1 using a combination of Bronco 20 gears and Dana 18 gears. 3.15:1 is available from TeraFlex. There used to be a place called O'Brien's Off road that made an 'extreme' kit for the Dana20, but I can no longer find them on the web.

Jeep chose to abandon the Borg-Warner T18 (with it's 6.32:1 non-syncro low gear) in 1979 and the best truck-like trans you could get was the T176 (3.52:1 low-but synchronized), which was a medium duty trans that Ford also used.

In 1981 Jeep dumped the good Warn Premium 6 bolt front hub and swapped in a cheapo Warn 5 bolt version. It's not just a matter of swapping the hubs to get back to the six bolt design, you gotta change out the spindles/stubs/etc.

The AMC20 gets a lot of 'bad press'. I won't argue that in stock form the Dana44 is a better rear end. However, toss a set of 1-pc axles in the 20, weld the tubes and add a brace (and some protection for that wimpy rear cover) and you've got a good rear end. And IIRC, you can gear it as low as 4.88:1.

I own a 76. If I was looking for another CJ, I'd stay away from the 76-77 model years, as there are certain items that are unique to them. Translation: hard to locate in the aftermarket.
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Old 01-25-2007, 06:46 AM   #19 (permalink)
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No problem, but we are talking 'stock CJ's', right?

Surf through this site: http://www.jeeptech.com/ A lot of good info.

Last year for the 304 was 1981.

The Dana 300 Tcase is a very good case, as the Dana 20 was. The aftermarket has 'cloned' the 300 into excellent products, IE: Atlas II, and STaK. However, you can lower the stock 2.03:1 gearing in the Dana 20 to 2.46:1 using a combination of Bronco 20 gears and Dana 18 gears. 3.15:1 is available from TeraFlex. There used to be a place called O'Brien's Off road that made an 'extreme' kit for the Dana20, but I can no longer find them on the web.

Jeep chose to abandon the Borg-Warner T18 (with it's 6.32:1 non-syncro low gear) in 1979 and the best truck-like trans you could get was the T176 (3.52:1 low-but synchronized), which was a medium duty trans that Ford also used.

In 1981 Jeep dumped the good Warn Premium 6 bolt front hub and swapped in a cheapo Warn 5 bolt version. It's not just a matter of swapping the hubs to get back to the six bolt design, you gotta change out the spindles/stubs/etc.

The AMC20 gets a lot of 'bad press'. I won't argue that in stock form the Dana44 is a better rear end. However, toss a set of 1-pc axles in the 20, weld the tubes and add a brace (and some protection for that wimpy rear cover) and you've got a good rear end. And IIRC, you can gear it as low as 4.88:1.

I own a 76. If I was looking for another CJ, I'd stay away from the 76-77 model years, as there are certain items that are unique to them. Translation: hard to locate in the aftermarket.

I hear 1980 was a bad year for CJ's also, they changed a bunch of common parts for 1 year and now they are hard to find

brake parts, bolts
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Old 01-25-2007, 09:50 AM   #20 (permalink)
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When I found my CJ 2 years ago, It had been sitting out of the weather in a horse stall,
That is a HELL of a deal for a CJ-2!!! They only made like 45 of them!

Oh...you meant two years ago...

Damn!
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Old 01-25-2007, 12:08 PM   #21 (permalink)
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That is a HELL of a deal for a CJ-2!!! They only made like 45 of them!

Oh...you meant two years ago...

Damn!
yeah sorry about that CJ-7
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Old 01-25-2007, 06:50 PM   #22 (permalink)
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My '76 cj has a boxed frame rearward to the shock mount on the frame where it becomes "c" channel to the end. The front last 8 inches or so at the bumper are also the "c" channel. Oh and i see you are in Ontario. If that is anywhere near Northern Ontario, you may want to put in some sort of auxilliary heater.
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Old 01-26-2007, 09:43 AM   #23 (permalink)
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I would find one with a 304 and th400. HP and autos seem to be the big trend in 4 wheeling these days as opposed to 4 bangers and gearing. Spinning big tires takes a big engine. The problem with these '7s is the fact that they only came with q-track t-cases and narrow track axles. The q- track isn't all that bad if you get the mile marker part time kit. It's got about a 2.5:1 low range(if equipped with the reduction unit), it's chain driven and aluminum so it's comparable to the np231 in some ways.

You can swap in a dana 20 with junkyard parts for about $200 if you find the right deals. There hasn't been a perfect jeep built yet. The Rubicon is close but lacks V8 power. CJs,YJs, and TJs all have thier shortcomings. If you're in the market for a CJ, go with wheelspeed(V8/auto trans). It works in mud, sand, snow at times, and it's finding it's way into the rocks. Just ask the BTG rockcrawlers.
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