Newbie- CJ8 Scrambler

City
Chattanooga
State
TN
#1
I might be the receipient of a gift from my father in law. It is a 1981 CJ8 scrambler 4 cyl, straight shift that runs OK and has new paint.

My question is. Where can I find information related to what the jeep came equipped with when new. What is the original specs etc.

He has had it painted and runs pretty good, although the carbuerator needs work. Shifts oK, but needs tires. Drives loose, which may be because of the tires or worn out steering box.

Was power steering an option? Could it be installed?

If I get this vehicle, I want to be able to take it on a camping trip without ending up stranded. Will require some work, but not sure on the costs. Would like to restore to original specs, but won't have the money to do that right now.

Any help on how to get started and where to find info would be much appreciated.
 

bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
#3
You're in the right place. We'll get you up and running :D

For right now I'd just focus on making it a solid runner and worry about original equipment only as you are replacing things. Tons of good threads on here to help you. Start with the safety items: steering, brakes, signals/lights and seats/belts. Then work from that foundation. :cool:
 

deuce

Scrambledave
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Boynton Beach
State
FL
#4
That's great advice... Make the truck a stable daily driver and enjoy it! Go slow and work into the mods you want to make, these are great driving and for camping you can't find a better hauler... Good luck!
 
City
Olympia
State
WA
#5
I have an 81 that I am redoing and, yes, the 81 did have powersteering as an option. It is the same set up as the CJ-7's. When doing the brakes my rear drums, Model 20, the parts didn't match up from any books I could find. It took me a while but the J10 drums where the 11 and something inch rears. It took me several days to figure out that those parts could be my donors. As far as doing the power steering. I would recomend a Saginaw box. The AMC one just doesn't hold up that well, even on a daily driver. The support for the steering goes over to the passenger side and I've seen and had my frame crack there. A piece of plate steel welded to the area as a reenforcement has worked well so far. I hope this helps and eliminates some headaches for you.
 

jeepers 1940

Legacy Registered User
City
Madison
State
MS
#6
When my '83 Renegade CJ-7, with the original 6-cyl inline engine started running roughly, it was determined that my 2-bbl Carter carb was the source of the problem. When a carburetor kit and cleaning did not resolve the problem, I bought a remanufactured carb from an outfit in Jacksonville, Florida for a little over $ 200.00, plus shipping, on eBay.
The installation of this carb solved the problem and my Renegade now runs almost like new. I highly recommend this outfit in Florida and their products; I have no connection with them.
I would not recommend putting a lot of money into your carb, as old and worn as it is. A reman one would probably solve your problem and be very cost effective for you. Best of luck to you with your Jeep; please keep us posted on your progress with it. And remember, Rome wasn't built in a day.
 
City
Chattanooga
State
TN
#7
ALL: Been a while since I posted this, but we will be getting the scrambler soon. Been searching all morning for information, but can't quite find what I need. The 81 scrambler runs, but drives a little all over the place. Tires are dry rotted, has manual steering. So, to start I want to put new tires on, will help narrow down steering and lots of play problems. What tires size should I get? Looks like 215/75/15 were original, saw some posts saying 235/75/15. Don't plan to change to power steering yet, but maybe down the road depending on how unpleasant that may be. Figured that would get me started and then start repairing/changing gear box etc as needed to make it drivable. This will see easy off road stuff, but also will be driven on the highway taking my son to school. Eventually he will be driving this as his first car. He's 13 and I can't think of a better way to teach him maintenance on vehicle and have him some sweat equity in his first vehicle. Will post pics when I get it. It has the GM 151 4 cylinder engine with 4 speed transmission. Thanks for any help and looking forward to learn a lot as we improve the vehicle.
 
City
Chattanooga
State
TN
#8
Here are two pics of scrambler.

/Users/samaustin/Pictures/iPhoto Library/Masters/2013/04/01/20130401-130516/IMG_0124.JPG
/Users/samaustin/Pictures/iPhoto Library/Previews/2013/04/01/20130401-130516/cBCzRwPXQuyWGZjFIRFaGQ/IMG_0125.jpg
 

Spieg

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Aurora
State
CO
#10
Thinking you may be better off with manual steering. A 151 doesn't have much horsepower to spare.
 

Jeeperdd

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
Gordonsville
State
VA
#14
30 x 9.5 is a decent tire with that engine. I have a jeep with the 151 iron duke in it. If you looking for power steering brackets for the engine, try to find an 80's model s10 2wd. Thats your best bet.
My 151 is running a weber carb, headman header, and its been built. I think I still have a factory carb for it, I know I have some of the factory engine parts. Exhaust manifold, intake, and such.
 

Randyzzz

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Redmond
State
OR
#15
LT235/75/15 works great stock.

Now get those pictures figured out! :)
 

mulescj8

INSANE SCRAMBLER HACK
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Middle of No Where and Too Far From Any Where
State
Tn
#16
Sent you a message, sorry just saw it today.
 
City
Chattanooga
State
TN
#18
All: finally got the "new" old cj-8 to our house last Saturday. My 13 year old son is so excited and we begun the arduous process of needed repairs. 1st thing was getting the old dry rotted tires off and will sandblast tomorrow. Now I have a few questions for the experts to get started down the right path, objective - make drivable (safely), stay stock as much as possible. (now just FYI, it runs and we have driven it on old country roads, limited MPH, limited distance - bottom line it runs and drives but .....)

1. Brake hoses look old and brittle (rusted at metal connections) - master cylinder has fluid, but rusty in the bottom. They work, but I would be concerned about heading down our mountain road. What should I do here? Just change hoses, drain fluid and see what happens?

2. No vacuum hoses anywhere, no ducting between breather and from, no ducting between breather and exhaust manifold - should I even care if it runs OK.

3. I probably need to change all the fluids regardless - keep from doing any damage, assuming there isn't any already.

4. How do I post pics? Do I have to be a paid member? Looks like it only works to upload from a URL (aka website) not my computer.

All in all, the jeep has recently fresh paint, good top and doors, and runs. Bad is - wiper motor hardly works, heater duct etc is all messed up, wires everywhere not all hooked up and the list goes on.

Thanks for any feedback. Looking to systematically fix what is needed to drive around for fun, add money and resources as needed to make a dependable longer drive type vehicle.
 
City
Chattanooga
State
TN
#19
IMG_0431.JPG IMG_0432.JPG IMG_1199.JPG

Folks, finally got around to pursuing working on the jeep more. Here's what we've done so far, but need some help in making a daily driver. Head redone, new carburetor, brake lines and master cylinder, alternator, steering box, steering linkage, tires/wheels, shocks. Runs pretty well, but as you know, the 4 cylinder doesn't have much power. I had a local guy do all the work, (I either don't have time or knowledge), but the jeep still doesn't drive well. I expected new steering box to solve, but it didn't, a lot of play still, but tracks pretty well. Just isn't fun to drive with the steering issues. Can't find anyone local to Chattanooga area to look at. I don't know what it needs to make drivable. The electrical system isn't great, probably needs full replacement, drains the battery all the time and wires hanging everywhere from someone that didn't care and took off all the emission stuff. But my son is now 17, been driving a couple years and wants to drive the jeep daily. I don't think this is a terrible idea, and he is working to save for a vehicle, so I'm kinda torn if I can make it safe enough and dependable enough for him. Open to any ideas or comments and suggestions about next steps I should take.
 
Top