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  • which one should I buy?

    Hi all, been gone for a while, haven't had a Jeep in years, but I want one again. I have narrowed my search down to two in my price range. One is a 78 CJ-7 Levi's Edition, I6 auto and quadratrac, bone stock low miles. Other is an 89 YJ I6 auto, lifted on 33s, burned valve needs a head or headwork. Obviously the CJ is more desireable, but I'm a little afraid of the quadratrac. I don't know much about them but don't know if I want to go there. Also heard the autos may have lousy gearing, I definitely want to run 33 inch tires. Right off the bat the YJ needs at least a couple hundred bucks under the hood, whereas the CJ is a nice runner, and hasn't been thrashed like the YJ. So that makes me lean towards the CJ, but somebody needs to talk me into the quadratrac. Both are in my price range, (or almost anyway) and both need about the same amount of sheetmetal, body and paint which I plan on doing myself. I'm not crazy about an auto (hard to keep the wife out of it) but I might throw a plow on it and use it as a backup rig for next winter, so an auto isn't all bad. I really appreciate any advice you can give me.
    thanks, Dan
    Last edited by Northstar; 12-16-2006, 09:15 AM.

  • #2
    Definately go with the CJ, 87-90 "wrongler" YJ's are especially gay. The engines had no power, and the auto trans makes it worse. If your buying a YJ look for a 91 up 4.0L
    If the engine is already having problems junk it for a V-8 or install it's crank in a 4.0L to stroke it to a 4.5L

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    • #3
      You should look and see if the front hubs on the CJ have lockout hubs, if it doesn't that may be something to look into right away. Strange setup the quadratrac....chain drive transfer case, chain drive stretches and is not as rugged as the geared units. It has an offset rear end so axle swaps would be more costly. I would check drive shafts for slack and look for leaks. Running four wheel all the time will have wear where others won't. I don't know anyone with one off hand but I've got a good look at a couple. Seems like the folks who have one on here don't mind it, aside from the extra research for issues here and there. Myself, I like the CJ's better than the YJ's, and I would take not thrashed over thrashed any day. Just a couple thoughts for you.

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      • #4
        I thought the rearend looked different. There is something leaking on the inside of the right rear tire. Could be axle seal or brakes, don't know yet. And I think the PS lines are leaking. I had a 79 Cherokee Chief yard dog with the Q-T in it, but I never really used it so I don't remember much about it. It had some kind of vacuum shift that never worked right, and the t-case chain went and was too expensive to replace, so I sold it for the motor. Bet that 360 went right into a CJ. I'll check on the locking hubs. I know on the old full-time Chevys you had to add a gear to the t-case to make them part-time, in addition to the locking hubs, or you were still turning everything but the front wheels. Which is still probably better than nothing.

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        • #5
          There is a lever that is on the floor board near the front right of drivers seat, I would assume is the lever for part time or full time 4wd. I would be speaking ignorantly to state it as fact. Maybe someone on here can speak to parts availablity too. I'm afraid I can't. I can only tell you to really go over the drive train and know what you're getting into. Most of my money has been spent there and I have a standard 77 setup.

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          • #6
            I looked at the pics the guy sent me, can't see any lever. Unless its tucked right up tight to the seat, I've got two pics of the front seat and one from the back looking toward the dash, no lever visible in any of them...Makes me wonder what 4wd is available-is it just 4 high? Bad enough not having 2 hi, now I don't get 4 low either? This is getting discouraging! I think my Chief had a vacuum switch in the glove box for the emergency t-case posi lock, but it never worked. But I honestly don't remember if it had a t-case lever or locking hubs. Man, I've searched these forums and not found as much as I expected to about the quadratrac.

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            • #7
              A guy that I race with has a quad. He loves it. He also beats the piss out of it. As for the jeeps your looking at, neither sound to good. Keep looking

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              • #8
                well, for the money I plan to spend I'm not likely to find something that doesn't need a bunch of work. Most of the CJs around here are rotted up to the windows. I'm basically shopping in the project price range. I just want to be sure that what I get is going to be reliable once it's fixed up and back on the road. Even if I wasn't I'd have to deal with rust issues, it is NH, all Jeeps are rusty here. My main concern rust-wise is if the body mounts and frame are good enough, everything else is flat sheetmetal that I can fix. I'm just trying to talk myself into an auto and quadtratrac, because I'm not familiar with them.

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                • #9
                  One thing that might help the community here out is to know what your *price range* is. I got my CJ for about 3500 in good running condition. Body rust was the only significant issue. I ended up putting new shocks on it and did a little work on the hubs, then drove it without further expense for about 3 years. The only other mod that was somewhat necessary was a new carb (or a rebuild.) Take your time as you'll keep the Jeep for a long time if you take the time to get one that you really like and is in decent shape.

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                  • #10
                    embarassed to admit my range is under a grand. so, I am definitely looking at a project, not a daily driver, at least not right away. But I want to get as much as I can for the money.

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                    • #11
                      Heres another opinion. Do with it as you please!
                      I'd take the Q-trac CJ over the YJ anyday!
                      Quadratrac works very well in good repair and is super strong again in good repair. Actually was over kill for a CJ-7 I,ve seen them in full sizes with 401's and get beat to no end. Bad thing is when the go south they really go south, and usually take part of the case with them.

                      Could very well be the high range only model which had the low range as an option, "The original soccer mom car" but converting is very simple bolt-on deal. All CJ Qtracs should have glove box mounted emergency drive switch, and NO lockout hubs if still original full time system.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by woody
                        Heres another opinion. Do with it as you please!
                        I'd take the Q-trac CJ over the YJ anyday!
                        Quadratrac works very well in good repair and is super strong again in good repair. Actually was over kill for a CJ-7 I,ve seen them in full sizes with 401's and get beat to no end. Bad thing is when the go south they really go south, and usually take part of the case with them.

                        Could very well be the high range only model which had the low range as an option, "The original soccer mom car" but converting is very simple bolt-on deal. All CJ Qtracs should have glove box mounted emergency drive switch, and NO lockout hubs if still original full time system.
                        Thanks for the input, that's the kind of info I've been looking for. I need someone to talk me into the Q-trac, because I really like the CJ. Any guess as to what gears it may have, and how it would respond to a set of radial 33s?

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                        • #13
                          Anytime you have any questions look me up. You can also phone me here at 4wd in daytime at ext#834

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                          • #14
                            thanks Woody. Still havent gone to see it in person, but here's what else I've learned. It is a single speed t-case with no locking hubs, right rear axle seal is blown, rear frame rails were rotted but repaired and are supposed to be strong now, gas tank is supported by some homemade looking steel straps. Worst news so far is that the body mounts are rotted, completely junk.

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                            • #15
                              learn from my mistake....

                              go with as close to what you want from the get go. I bought a 81 cj w/ the 151 4cyl. and sr4. I thought that it would be ok. I ended up pulling the engine and tranny and swapping for a 258 and t176. Hated the 4cyl. I'm also leery of vehicle with the quad as I don't know them and I love the dana 300.

                              I would save a little extra and at least get a solid drivetrain with the options that you like. You'll find what you want in your price range as long as you keep lookin. It took me almost a year but found an unmolested body and drivetrain with no rust. You have to be patient and look hard.

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