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Who considers Jeep CJ's to be a "Quality" vehicle?

MomoJeep

Basic User
Member
City
Seattle
State
WA
I'm talking from the era of approx 1976-1986..

Relative to other cars/trucks, and for their time period.. (I was too young to know - other than that a 1976 Toyota Corolla would go 200,000+ quite reliably..)

And I'm not talking about how much we love them. I'm talking compared to other vehicles of their time..

Where Jeep CJ's built...

- Low Quality/Cheap?
- Average/Mediocre?
- High Quality, very well built?

Opinions and Insights please!
 

MomoJeep

Basic User
Member
City
Seattle
State
WA
I'll add, I guess it's difficult to distinguish between "Cheap" and "Elegant Simplicity".. For example, the door hinges...
 

xatu40

CJ-8 Member
Gold Member
City
Port Orange
State
FL
I had a few 7's back in the day and belonged to a jeep club in Boulder in the 80's. I'd say it depends. Heard some stories and others had some issues, but all of the ones I had were above average reliability and didn't have any repairs that weren't self inflicted.
 

Kim Dawson

CJ-8 Member
Member
City
Molalla
State
Or
Henry Ford built the Model T to bring transportation to the masses. After WW2, Willys brought 4WD to the masses. Thirty years later our Jeeps still had a simple body and 4WD. These last 10 years of AMC added some comfort options, but no spectacular advances. I think AMC wanted to keep building costs down by keeping the body simple but improving the mechanical. The purpose of the Jeep was to get you in and out of tough places. They did that. Broncos and Blazers came along and offered more comfort. But Jeeps were built to take a lot of abuse and easy enough to repair. Less electrical and less headaches. So IMHO, our Jeeps were built well for the purpose they were intended for.
 

Chamba

Not obsessed: focused.
Member
SOA Member
City
Vero Beach
State
FL
Off the lot, the Land Cruiser was far superior quality. I had Land cruisers my whole life (also from Boulder, member of Rising Sun for years). I had a neighbour with a scrambler and always loved it.

When i finally got my CJ-8, I couldn't believe how poorly built it was compared to all my cruiser. HOWEVER, I still love the look and have now built her into an equivalent of my cruisers: dana 60 rear/44 front axles, 1 ton steering links, disc brakes all round, etc.

I love how easily the CJ can be improved. The Cruiser takes true dedication (and now a very serious bankroll) to restore, but a CJ can be improved simply, readily and easily. They are very well designed, lend themselves very well to modification readily and can easily be made truly amazing.

Built poorly? Probably, but so were many American Motors products at that time. So were many American cars in general. I'm 51 and I recall what 80s American cars were truly like. My CJ was really pretty average for that time; that's why the Japs took the lead in car sales for so long. Thankfully that's changed and my Silverado is every bit as good as any Hilux I've ever had. I think the same would have been true of AMC if they'd stayed with us.
 
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Ron84cj

Scrambler Junkie
Lifetime Member
City
West Bend
State
WI
People are going to hate me for this, but in stock form Jeeps really are very low quality. They couldn't even bolt the damn roll bar in centered in the body. No paint under the roll bar mounts, electrical nightmare, and honestly no real decent engine. People say the 258 is such a reliable long lasting engine and you can get 150,000 miles out of them. Lol, say that to any Toyota guy and see what their response is. But like Chamba said they are cheap and easy to greatly upgrade over stock. Don't misunderstand, I love Jeeps. Merica! But being honest the Yotas are far superior. Sorry guys
 
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Belizeit

CJ-8 Member
Gold Member
City
River Ridge
State
La
Ron to start out with I'm not a hater. I agree with the roll bar. But very few vehicles from the 80s were made well, and I see very few from that era around either, foreign or domestic. I did take care of my 84 CJ from the start. I got 238,000 miles out of my 4 banger and it was still just as strong with a couple of after market add ons. Ran great when I removed it. I probably would have gone on for years with that engine, but I was ready for some more power and improvements going into retirement off-roading plans. I just didn't know when I was a young dude I would have something this long. :shrug:
 

Chamba

Not obsessed: focused.
Member
SOA Member
City
Vero Beach
State
FL
Another point to consider when debating "reliability" is availability of parts. With all of my land cruisers and my Toyota trucks: on the somewhat infrequent occasions when I needed a part I generally had to source it from the dealer, it cost a week's wages, and I had to wait 2 weeks to get it. My friends with Jeeps may have had parts fail more frequently but they were able to go to Napa, pick up a part off the shelf for $5 or $10 and be back on the road almost immediately.

This was not only true in America but I spent much of my life in Australia where parts for toyotas are equally expensive. Parts for Chevys ( Holden), Fords, etc are very easily obtained but parts for other cars were more difficult. Jeeps can't really factor in here as they were so rare that we rarely saw them in the 90s, let alone getting parts for them.

Cars in general have improved tremendously in the last 20 or 30 years. I was a dedicated Toyota man for many years and now drive nothing but Jeeps and Chevys. My Diesel Chevy Silverado is every bit as reliable as any Toyota I've ever owned and far more fuel efficient than a brand new Tacoma. I get 30 mpg on my 3 litre duramax 4x4 long bed crew cab and my uncle gets 17 with his 2020 Tacoma.
 

MomoJeep

Basic User
Member
City
Seattle
State
WA
Off the lot, the Land Cruiser was far superior quality. I had Land cruisers my whole life (also from Boulder, member of Rising Sun for years). I had a neighbour with a scrambler and always loved it.

When i finally got my CJ-8, i couldn't believe how poorly built it was compared to all my cruiser. HOWEVER, I still love the look and have now built her into an equivalent of my cruisers: dana 60 rear/44 front axles, 1 ton steering links, disc brakes all round, etc.

I love how easily the CJ can be improved. The cruiser takes true dedication (and not serious bankroll) to restore, but a CJ can be improved simply, readily and easily. They are very well designed, lend themselves to modification readily and can easily be made amazing.

Built poorly? Probably, but do we many American Motors products at that time. So were many American cars in general. I'm 51 and i recall what 80s American cars were truly like. My CJ was really pretty average for that time; that's why the Japs took the lead in car sales for so long. Thankfully that's changed and my Silverado is every bit as good as any b hilux I've ever had. I think the same would have been true of AMC if they'd stayed with us.
Question about the bigger axles... RIDE QUALITY, how much worse is the ride with the extra un-sprung weight?
 
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