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here I go again, dreaming...

Discussion in 'Jeeps' started by Detroitdan, Mar 6, 2010.

  1. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,937

    been wanting for years to get either a TJ or a CJ for a runaround truck and put a plow on it and use it as a backup/cleanup rig.

    I had a nice 00 TJ but I traded it off before I ever got around to putting a plow on it. Just located a cheap yard plow CJ7 that actually looks like it doens't need much, it has a plowframe on it that looks unfamiliar to me, no idea what it is. I'd probably upgrade to something newer, 4 way electric over hydraulic anyway. So, I'm aware of some of the known CJ weaknesses, I've owned one before, but never plowed with one. The rear axles are a known weak point, what effect does plowing have on them? Are there electrical or overheating issues to contend with?

    I'm really impressed with a lot of the Jeeps I see on here, and I am constantly thinking of situations where a Jeep would be better than my current rig. Problem is I can't run two plows at once, and there are places my extended cab dually with 810 does a job in half the time a little plow could do. But, I also don't do a lot of parking lots, and some of my residentials absolutely suck with my massive truck.
  2. cj7plowing

    cj7plowing Senior Member
    Messages: 377

    first check the frame, by front shock mounts, around where the porportioning vavle is(driverside inner frame) also in the back by the spring hangers. is it auto or stick?

    There will be mods you need to do to make it a fully functional plow jeep and keep it dependable. The carbs are junk.( need a weber or a mc2100) I have pulled all the emission crap and vacuum lines got junked and have mine wired like an old chevy pick up. The gauges are wired, there is hot to wire to the dist, and wire to the altenator. Thats it ! let it run a little rich and you will plow for 20 hours no problem. also get rid of the catalytic converter!

    dual batteries. you can buy the battery tray or make one out of 20 bucks worth of 1" angle iron and some flat stock.

    blower in the heater sucks, a couple different ways to go blazer blower motor or get a wrangler heater setup for 80 bucks and put it in or some guys bag the oem and get a MOhave heater for a hundred bucks and hook the radiator hoses to it.

    no problems over heating as long as the radiator isnt gummed up. Mine are bored .60
    over and used the oem radiators.

    change to cheap hubs to a good $130 pair. the orginals wouldnt last.

    being that it is late in the season you will have all spring summer and fall to collect everything you need at a reasonable price

    OEM stamped shackles are junk and can buckle. heavy duty shackle replacements for

    axles are fine, I used my factory axles for 10 years before replacing with solid axles after my engine install and there was still nothing wrong with them even the amc 20 in the back.

    weber carb is 200 bucks off ebay used

    battery, homemade dual battery tray and wire 150 bucks

    wrangler heater core 80 bucks

    hubs 130 bucks

    200 to 300 worth of misc. stuff and rewiring.

    100 bucks for heavy duty shackles front and rear.

    figure a $1000 worth of changes and it will do what you need it to do. then each year you fix it a little more.
  3. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,511

    If you had a TJ you will find the CJ to be made for a cave man. It is sooooo UN-civilized. its not funny.

    PS the Dana 20 was a brute of a dif., it was the 2 piece axles that sucked (they use the D20 in the HUMMER with a 2:1 reduction in the wheel)
  4. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,937

    yeah, I had an 85 CJ7 before I had the TJ, I loved the ride of the TJ, the CJ was definitely uncivilized, but it was cooler than heck. I always heard the amc 20 was junk, and wouldn't hold up. Good to hear they arent that bad. Wouldn't replace it unless I had to. Pprobably going to look at it today, update is when cranking it has no spark. So it's probably a simple ignition problem like coil or rotor. I vaguely remember there being something about the carbs needing to have an electric mod done to them, (nutter bypass?) but I never had to do anything to my 85.
    The plow on this is gone, and the plowframe is unidentifiable. Guy says he thinks it's homemade. So I'd probably be looking for a parts Jeep with a plow, can usually find them cheap with no floor, frame or body left.
    I would much rather have a TJ, but this would be a real cheap alternative. It has a fastback top on it, which is cool, I actually have one still in my garage. Only thing is I'm not crazy about the CJ rollbar, I'd like to be able to put the kids in it and feel safe. Saw a cage on Craigslist, I'll have to look and see if I can find it again.
  5. cj7plowing

    cj7plowing Senior Member
    Messages: 377

    before you mess with puttinga ton into body parts and roll bars, you can get a wrangler tub with tailgate,wiring, heater core, windshield frame and windsheild for 500 to 700 bucks

    nutter bypass is ok I have done it and then I ripped all the bullshlt off and wired it like a chevy.

    about the no spark, there is an ignition box on the driverside fender under the windsheild wiper fluid bottle it has 2 round plugs on it. they go bad all the time.
  6. cj7plowing

    cj7plowing Senior Member
    Messages: 377

  7. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,937

    I just saw one in a classified ad, not sure if he still has it the ads a few weeks old. CJ7 with a 258, unknown which manual trans, he didn't say, 300 case, Dana 44 axles out of a Scout, built with 4:56 gears and front and rear lockers. Five 35" swampers, custom bumpers, full cage. Soft top only and no plow.
    It's obviously set up for serious offroading, but I'm thinking a lot of that stuff will translate well to a plow rig. I love the idea of a full cage so I can take the kids in it. I can find a hardtop before winter. I'd want some smaller, narrower tires for plowing, but then I would have a lot of gear, maybe too much. Not like I'd be taking long highway trips in it. No mention of rust, rot or body damage. All I can tell from the picture is it looks like it needs paint, which I can do, and it's already the right color anyway. It's actually a pretty darn good price, too.
  8. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,937

    well, that deal didnt go far. What a jerk. I email the guy and ask him what it needs for sheetmetal work, hes rude and says it has a lot of rust and dents and is basically an offroad rig, although it is on the road now. So I tell him I am looking to make a plow rig out of it and I think the beefy axles and lockers might work well for what I want to do. He responds "not the Jeep for you. Look elsewhere".

    I found a 76 Renegade that sounds really nice, can't get any email response. I looked at a lifted 7 on 35s the other day, sign says $4000 but kid said realistically $2000. To go on the road it needs frame repaired at the front of the drivers rear spring shackle, doesn't look too difficult. Also the tires are too big and it would need flares to be legal. I could probably sell the like-new BFG MTs and get into some 33s cheap, then have enough left for flares. Body and hardtop are in fair condition, but young kid had it and pimped it out in a ridiculous fashion. Painted half the interior bright red and the hardtop as well. Looks bizarre on a white Jeep. Even has red clamp on ricer racing pedal covers!
    Might go look at it again and try to beat him down a little more. Maybe he doesn't know it needs frame work.
  9. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,937

    Going to look at another one today, what do you think of this? Sign says 88 CJ7 360 V8 automatic. I know the CJ ended in 86, so either he doesn't know jack, or it's a YJ with a CJ nose on it so he's calling it an 88 CJ. It appears to have only a half-cab softop with duster, no doors or backseat. Looks cool that way but I could only have a two seater for so long. Looks like half decent 33 all terrains which is good with me, as far as a running around tire, I'd get something different for plowing.
    I don't mind a thirsty V8, although the 4.2 is more than enough power. My concern is I'm not sure if the V8 means it has quadratrack, which I'm a little leery of. Seems like that's supposed to be a more problematic 4wd system, isn't it? Or full time 4wd or something? I forget. I'd like the V* for plowing, but again the 6 is probably more than enough and the 8 might be harder to keep cool plowing. If it is quadratrack it probably has better axles in it.
  10. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,937

    Well, looked at the "88" today, then talked to the guy on the phone. Motor looks to be built, it's a 360 with aluminum intake, edelbrock carb and headers, looks real nice. Chrysler trans, and I think a 300 case. Frame looks good, it's not a quadratrack (I guess they didn't even make them that late into the 80s) Took me about five minutes before I even realized it was a fiberglass tub. But it has a tailgate, which is different, most tubs I've seen don't have the gate. Roll bar has bars coming forward and down to the floor, I guess you'd call it a four point cage. Biggest thing I didn't like is the seats are a little ripped up and they don't belong in the vehicle, so I guess I'd throw them out and find some stock seats.
    Guy said it needs a little tinkering, like plugs, wires and a tranny flush. I asked why he thought the tranny needed attention, he said 1-2 shift is good, then it seems to stay in 2nd too long.
    He said he bought it to tow a boat, but it's scary towing so he wants to get rid of it. I can imagine towing much of anything would be scary behind a CJ. He's come down from $4200 gradually to $2500. I was hoping to stay under $2000 but he wouldn't go any lower than $2300. I kind of feel like it's worth it. Without driving it or hearing it yet, I can't make a decision, but it seems like the thing could be a real beast. It's only got a small shackle lift I think, with 31/11.50 tires.