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  • 79 CJ7 stuff

    I'm looking at a '79 CJ7, trading for my CJ5. All I've owned are my '72 and I had a '74. I know a little about newer ones, but not a whole lot.

    It has the I6 258 with the Quadramatic, and 35" Super Swampers. The tires are in decent shape, probably last a good year or two, but I would probably drop down to 33" since the 35's clearly rub. Also, at some point in the future, I might consider upgrading the engine with a 4.0 head swap, or dropping a 302 in it, since I already have the 302 sitting in my garage built and ready to go.

    Is my research correct that it's a Turbo 400 tranny? How durable is the full time four wheel drive t-case?

    How durable are the AMC20 rear ends? Obviously, I know it's not a D44 or Ford 8.8/9", but is it at least better than the D35, which I hear is pretty weak?

    Also, I'm not a leadfoot. I hate breaking stuff, so I'm usually relatively easy on my stuff. As easy as you can be when four wheeling anyway.

    I posted this on a local board and a couple good responses, but was hoping for a few more, so I'm posting here as well. I sent the guy an email last night asking some questions about the rear end, based on the responses I did get, but I haven't heard back from him yet.

  • #2
    Tha AMC 20 is a fairly good axle starting out. Things you might want to consider are 1-piece axle shafts and welding the tubes to the center pumpkin.


    • #3
      I took a 79 258 with the amc th400
      and put a 350 chevy and the amc th400 had the tranny rebuild and had a gm th400 case put over the amc th400 guts the only difference is the bellhousing bolt pattern is different


      • #4
        I think you are meaning quadratrac instead of quadramatic?

        Yes that would be the turbo 400 tranny. The transfercase is very durable.
        You can get a conversion to make it 4x2 and not all time 4x4 as well if you wanted.

        The 20 rear end is stronger than a 35, and if you do the correct things to your 20 it becomes incredibly strong. 1 piece axles, welding the tubes, a truss ect ect. They can also be changed to disk brakes which is desirable as well.
        hope it helps


        • #5
          Thanks, guys. I knew Quadramatic didn't sound right when I was typing...jeez

          Yeah, I've read about guys converting it to 4wd instead of all-wd. I emailed him about the rear end asking if it's been upgraded at all, didn't look like it was trussed, but I wasn't really looking for that either. I'm meeting with him again Sunday, so I'll be looking.

          Hey, RolRandy, that picture when your Jeep was orange with black top, that's pretty much what this one looks like, only with new paint, some chrome stuff and bigger tires.
          Last edited by MudLite; 03-14-2008, 12:13 PM.


          • #6
            In that original picture it was stock height 6cyl 32/11.15 x15's on 15x10 wheels


            • #7
              i have the same set up on my 79, but i have the 304 , the 4x2 conversion is on the t-case was money well spent , if the front drivshaft were to fail , it would do some real damage to the tranny , especially at road speeds , second of all, you'll get better performance on the road without the front driveshaft spinning all the time . and the th 400 is a tough tranny , a real find , good luck !


              • #8
                Yes mine has the part time coversion from milemarker and warn hubs
                it's better if all the front stuff is not turning on the road
                got lucky on my find


                • #9
                  Well, the rearend is stock, nothing done to it. Moving on, for now...

                  I went ahead with the trade. Rear end upgrades are on my wish list that I've already compiled. I'll certainly look into the t-case conversion, too.

                  Next question, though... I have an MSD 6A ignition I put in an '85 Mustang GT I had. When I sold the Stang, I put the factory ignition back in. Can I use the 6A on the '79 I6?

                  I've been digging through my over crowded garage and getting rid of what I can't use. As much as I liked my CJ5, if I ever own one again, it'll be years down the road.