jeep CJ7 facts

Jeep CJ-7 Facts

Table of Contents

Jeep CJ-7 Facts
Basic Information
Production Numbers
Vin Decoding
Stock Performance Numbers
1976-1978 — 232, 258, 304
1979 — 258, 304
1980-1981 — 151, 258, 304
1982-1983 — 151, 258
1984-1986 — 150, 258
Stock Measurements
Available Options
Color and Trim
Drivetrain Options
Maintenance Specifications
Torque Specs


The CJ-7 featured a longer wheel base than the CJ-5 and lacked the noticeable curvature of the doors previously seen on the CJ-5. It was introduced in 1976 and 379,299 were built in 11 years of production. The CJ-7 featured an optional new automatic all-wheel drive system called Quadra-Trac, not necessarily known for its strength, as well as a part-time two speed transfer case; an automatic transmission was also an option. Other comfort features were an optional molded hardtop, and steel doors. Wikipedia on the CJ-7

Basic Information

The CJ-7 is basically a stretched CJ-5, AMC added 10″ behind the front seats to make the CJ-7 a 93.5″ wheel base vehicle vs. the CJ-5s 81″. The extra length allowed AMC to offer an automatic transmission for the first time in a CJ. A CJ-7 tub can be identified by the shape of the door opening, the opening is square where as the CJ-5 has a curving door opening. The Wrangler (YJ) tub has the same dimensions as the CJ-7 and can be used on a CJ-7 with some modifications. Often the YJ tub is used in rebuilding as it uses galvanized steel.

The CJ-7 also was available with a hard top and doors from the factory, which were available for earlier models, but not from the factory.

A new fully boxed frame was used on CJ-7s, the frame is stronger than frames used in previous CJs. The frame was widened in the rear and the springs were moved farther out to make them more stable on the road. Other features such as sway bar and steering stabilizers were added around this time to improve handling. Another change in 1982 was made to make the CJs more stable, wider axles were used (sometimes referred to as “wide track“). There are some differences in shock mounting, but the wider axles are compatible with ’76-’81 “narrow track” CJs and visa-versa.

1980 marked the end of the Great Transmission Era. The ’80-’86 CJs used medium and light duty transmissions compared to the heavy duty transmissions available in the late 70s.

1980 marked the return of the I4 CJ with the introduction of the GM 151 engine. 1981 was the last year for the V8 in a CJ from the factory. The 304 V8 was no longer an option from the factory, only the six cylinder and four cylinder engines were available after ’81.

Several different trim package were available for the CJ-7s over the years including the Laredo and Jamboree packages. These are typically just trim packages though, they don’t add much to the value of the vehicle.

Production Numbers

Year 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986
number 21,016 25,414 38,274 55,624 38,183 27,767 23,820 37,673 42,644 43,315 25,929

Vin Decoding

VIN numbers can be found in a number of different places on a CJ-7:

  • Under the hood, riveted to the firewall on the driver’s side in the engine compartment.
  • On the frame behind the right front wheel, stamped just above the leafspring mount.
  • A data-plate located on the dashboard, left of the steering wheel.
  • A data-plate located on the inside of the rocker panel underneath the door sill, or closer to the firewall.
  • On the dash plate, in front of the steering wheel, near the wiper motor.


1° Make 2° Year 3° Trans 4°&5° Model 6° GVW 7° Engine 8°.13° Serial
J:Jeep Corporation 5:1975
A: Auto
F: 3-speed
M: 4-speed
A:3,750 lbs
E:4,150 lbs
A:258ci, 1-bbl
C:258ci, 2-bbl
E:232ci, 1-bbl
H:304ci, 2-bbl


1° Country 2° Make 3° Type 4° Engine 5° Trans 6°&7° Model 8° GVW 9° * 10° Year 11° Plant 12°.17° Serial
1: USA J: Jeep C:MPV
E:Export LHD
F:Export RHD
B:Auto Floor
A:Auto Column
A:3,750 lbs
E:4,150 lbs
Check digit B:1981
T: Toledo 123456

Stock Performance Numbers

The CJ-7 was originally offered with the 232 I6 as the stock engine and the 258 I6 and 304 V8 as an optional engines. In the late 70s, the 232 was dropped and the 258 became the stock engine. In 1980, the GM 151 I4 I4 engine was stock and the 258 and 304 were optional. The last year for the 304 was 1981. The GM 151 was replaced with the AMC 150 I4 in 1984.

1976-1978 — 232, 258, 304

The 232 cubic inch Inline 6 was the standard engine in 1976-1978 CJ-7’s. It uses a cast iron block and cylinder head with hydraulic lifters and 7 main bearings. It is hard to tell it from a 258 just by looking at it. The 258 used in ’72-’78 CJs used a 1bbl carb and lower compression than later 258s. The 304 used from ’72-’78 has the best performance of all the 304s used in the CJ.

AMC 232 I6 AMC 258 I6 AMC 304 V8
Bore x Stroke 3.75″ x 3.50″ 3.75″ x 3.90″ 3.75″ x 3.44″
Displacement 232 (3.8L) 258 (4.2L) 304(4.98L)
Compression Ratio 8.0:1 8.0:1 8.4:1
Horsepower (net) 100@3600 110@3500 150@4200
Torque (net) 185@1800 195@2000 245@2500
Main Bearings 7 7 5
Valve Configuration OHV OHV OHV
Fuel 1bbl 1bbl 2bbl

1979 — 258, 304

In 1979 AMC dropped the 232 from the engine options, and the 258 and 304 engines got minor modifications. The 258 used in ’79-’81 CJs used a 1bbl carb and some used a 2bbl carb. The ’79 304 saw a significant drop in horse power from previous years.

AMC 258 I6 AMC 304 V8
Bore x Stroke 3.75″ x 3.90″ 3.75″ x 3.44″
Displacement 258 (4.2L) 304(4.98L)
Compression Ratio 8.3:1 8.4:1
Horsepower (net) 110@3500 130@4200
Torque (net) 195@2000 245@2500
Main Bearings 7 5
Valve Configuration OHV OHV
Fuel 1bbl and 2bbl 2bbl

1980-1981 — 151, 258, 304

In 1980 AMC added the GM 151 “Iron Duke” to the lineup as the stock engine option in CJ-7s. The 151 (2.5L) inline 4 engine is actually a Pontiac engine designed to replace the Chevy “Iron Duke” I4 engine. The engine does have the Chevybell housing bolt pattern though. The engine is manufactured by GM and uses a cast iron block and cylinder head with hydraulic lifters and 5 main bearings. The 151 cetainly is not a screamer, the AMC I4 has much better HP and torque ratings. The GM 151 has the intake and exhaust manifolds on opposite sides of the cylinder head, but the AMC 150 has the intake and exhaust manifolds on the same side of the cylinder head. The 258 Remained unchanged in 80 and 81, the 304 had a minor performance decrease.

GM 151 I4 AMC 258 I6 AMC 304 V8
Bore x Stroke 3.75″ x 3.50″ 3.75″ x 3.90″ 3.75″ x 3.44″
Displacement 151 (2.5L) 258 (4.2L) 304(4.98L)
Compression Ratio 8.2:1 8.3:1 8.4:1
Horsepower (net) 82@4000 110@3500 125@3200
Torque (net) 125@2600 195@2000 220@2400
Main Bearings 5 7 5
Valve Configuration OHV OHV OHV
Fuel Rochester staged 2bbl 1bbl and 2bbl 2bbl

1982-1983 — 151, 258

In 82 and 83, the big change was the drop of the venerable 304 from the engine options for the CJ-7. The 258 used in ’82-’86 CJs added a computer controled Carter BBD, and had increased compression, resulting in mild performance gains.

GM 151 I4 AMC 258 I6
Bore x Stroke 3.75″ x 3.50″ 3.75″ x 3.90″
Displacement 151 (2.5L) 258 (4.2L)
Compression Ratio 8.2:1 9.2:1
Horsepower (net) 82@4000 115@3500
Torque (net) 125@2600 210@2000
Main Bearings 5 7
Valve Configuration OHV OHV
Fuel Rochester staged 2bbl 2bbl Carter BBD

1984-1986 — 150, 258

In 1984 AMC replaced the GM 151 with their own AMC 150 Inline 4, the 258 remained unchanged. Originally, the AMC 150 used a carburetor, later versions (after CJ-7’s) used throttle body fuel injection, and the current version uses multi-port fuel injection.

AMC 150 I4 AMC 258 I6
Bore x Stroke 3.88″ x 3.19″ 3.75″ x 3.90″
Displacement 150 (2.5L) 258 (4.2L)
Compression Ratio 9.1:1 9.2:1
Horsepower (net) 105@5000 115@3500
Torque (net) 132@2800 210@2000
Main Bearings 5 7
Valve Configuration OHV OHV
Fuel 1bbl 2bbl Carter BBD



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