Default Advice on buying a CJ7 project 

Old 12-24-2017, 01:15 PM   #1
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Iím looking for a CJ7 to rebuild from the frame up and I thought Iíd ask a for some advice before I make a mistake purchasing something not worth it. Iíve owned ZJ, TJ, and JK Jeeps only. Never bought a CJ7 because they were always too rusty and/or too expensive. Now Iíve got a big garage and the space for a new project.

My absolute dream is to build a classic Jeep thatís a very fun vehicle to cruise around in. Most of what Iíve found is so rusty Iím thinking itís probably best to either buy a very decent near rust free Jeep thatís worth rebuilding as soon as I can find one or since replacement frames/tubs are available just buying the cheapest complete rust bucket I can find and starting with a new frame. I was looking at the throttle down customs frame seems there like $2000+. Is my thinking that itís probably better to buy a $1800 Jeep and get a frame rather than buy a $4000 one that seems nice until you strip it down and realize itís got problems flawed?

Iíd like to build a 304 with probably an ax-15 swap. Iíd like to just build from the frame up and take my time and eventually have a new Jeep thatís what I want. Iím thinking about locating a I6 to start with that has the best possible tub and as complete as possible so I have many of the parts I want but in poor shape. Then my plan is just to search for the drivetrain at the right price as I build this. Im not sure if CJ people care about numbers matching, but I sure donít. Iím really open to suggestions on what a good way to start and things to look out for. Thanks.

 

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Default Re: Advice on buying a CJ7 project 

Old 12-24-2017, 01:26 PM   #2
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Why not look for CJ's that are sold in the desert areas. Little to no rust.
AX 15 will not hold up behind any V8. They hardly survive 6's.
Don't forget the newest CJ is 32+ years old.

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Default Re: Advice on buying a CJ7 project 

Old 12-24-2017, 01:41 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumpy Grits View Post


Why not look for CJ's that are sold in the desert areas. Little to no rust.
AX 15 will not hold up behind any V8. They hardly survive 6's.
Don't forget the newest CJ is 32+ years old.

LG
I wouldnít be completely against getting one from the desert and just paying to ship it. The costs would have to make sense though and shipping for that is going to be well over a grand. Are they typically cheaper out west? Iíve been looking at many in the south and most of those arenít in great shape. The fact that the newest one is 32+ years old is why I really wanna do a complete rebuild.

I had seen some AX15 swaps with 304. I know NV3550 NV4500 (probably not the exact model numbers but close enough I hope) are better heavy duty transmissions, but Iím not looking to build a rock crawler and theyíre way more expensive. If I found one cheap enough I would do that instead. Also AX15 always seemed fine behind the 4.0. Isnít the 304 way less powerful than the 4.0? I would think even if I decided to add fuel injection and a decent exhaust itís probably wouldnít surpass a 4.0. I should probably find a Jeep first but if the AX15 too weak to consider Iíll have to plan on saving more for my drivetrain.

 

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Default Re: Advice on buying a CJ7 project 

Old 12-24-2017, 02:02 PM   #4
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Why not look for CJ's that are sold in the desert areas. Little to no rust.

LG
Wow the Arizona and California Craigslistís are a thing of dreams. I might actually be able to just buy what I want. Thanks so much I was only looking within 500 miles of where I lived before. My biggest issue now is how to buy one of these on the other side of the country since I donít wanna send the money and get no Jeep. Iím going to Utah in a few months to drive raptors in the desert. I think I might just plan to stay a few extra days and buy a CJ then.

 

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Default Re: Advice on buying a CJ7 project 

Old 12-24-2017, 02:05 PM   #5
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Hint-Lot of folks sell their CJ's from Ca and Az because the no longer pass SMOG testing.
Look hard in Az and Nm.
It's not HP that kills a tranny. It's torque load. A lot of that comes from the R&P ratio.
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Default Re: Advice on buying a CJ7 project 

Old 01-01-2018, 01:20 AM   #6
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CJ's are generally NOT collector cars, they are runners, mixed up parts are acceptable. Some drive trains are better than others. If I were willing to just build a V8 jeep it would be hard to pass up a Chevy V8. Remember a CJ, yes even a CJ7 is short and narrow. Big tires and a big lift are expensive to do correctly and can be dangerous. Also a short vehicle is more difficult to high center than a long vehicle.... I.E. to clear obstacles you don't need as big a lift in a CJ as you would in a full size pick-up.
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