My 1981 Jeep CJ7 Laredo

My Jeep when I first got it.

I recently got lucky and fulfilled a dream, I picked up a Jeep CJ7 at auction.  I was surprised my wife was down for it but once again proving how awesome she is she told me to go for it.  I am still going to post book reviews but I am also going to chronicle what I do to the Jeep as well.

I learned how to work on cars from my Dad when I was a teenager and it has been at least 25 years since I owned a car with a carburetor.  I love this Jeep already because it has not a single computer in it.  1981 was the last model year Jeep built that everything on the vehicle is mechanical, which means that I can do almost everything to the Jeep in my driveway.  I have found a couple of pretty good websites already for both advice and parts.  It urns out there is a pretty good aftermarket for Jeeps and parts are not stupid expensive if you are trying to keep an old Jeep running and reasonably close to OEM.  The best sites I have found so far are below.


Tom “OlJeep” Collins: This site has scans of factory service manuals for most models of Jeep still on the road. This is a forum page where you can post your questions and give advice to a pretty big and very friendly community of Jeep CJ owners.  they have already been very helpful to me.

Parts and Mods:

Summit Racing: One of my go to sites for Jeep parts, they are always helpful and more often than not have parts in stock.  Summit has an excellent customer service staff and their techs are helpful and friendly if you have occasion to call them because of any kind of issue with your order

Rock Auto: These guys have a lot of the more hard to find but common parts (like ignition modules and stuff) and are pretty quick about shipping

Torque King 4X4: These folks are who I got most of what I needed to rebuild my front steering knuckles and hub bearings

Quadratec: These folks also sell Jeep parts and they tend to be a little bit pricier although they have a pretty extensive selection of aftermarket, upgrade parts available that I have not found elsewhere.  They also offer excellent customer service in my experience so far and definitely stand behind their house branded products

Morris 4X4 Center:  Screw these guys, they got bought out by a holding company and went to crap, enough said

Painless Performance: I got my replacement wiring harness from Painless and while installation was not 100% painless it was fairly straightforward and their techs were super helpful in the couple of issues I did run into during the install.  They even followed up with me to see if their suggested fixes worked.

Ashtray Refurb

I want to keep my CJ as authentic as possible and part of that was cleaning up the ashtray and trying to get it to stop squealing every time I open it.  Mine was pretty rusty and the paint was scratched so I took it off and treated the mounting bracket with some rust removal stuff, lubed up the bearings, and repainted the front of the ashtray with some flat black spray paint. I used white lithium grease on the bearings because white lithium is my go to grease since the can of moly grease I “acquired” in the army was finally emptied last year. The rust remover stuff I … More after the Jump…

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