258 CI - Inline 6
Looking over the specs for this very impressive 1980 Jeep CJ-7, one word keeps showing up: NEW. Given a thorough restoration not long ago, this is a well-built and very fresh CJ that\'s ready to show off or have fun blasting around the trails. And both tasks will be especially enjoyable thanks to the bulletproof 258 Inline 6 under the hood.
Freshly applied and looking slick, the finish on this CJ is a shade between the Navy and Starboard Blues offered by Jeep in these years, and we think it\'s a huge upgrade over the code OR Caramel this 1980 was born with. For a vehicle built for off-roading, the finish is pretty darned terrific -- with a great shine, deep luster, and a smooth surface that you don\'t often find on Jeeps of this vintage. It\'s not a trailer queen, so you won\'t hesitate to take it out in the weather, but the finish is so fresh you\'ll think twice before burying it in the mud. The bodywork underneath is in very good order as well, with no signs of trouble in the usual areas above the rear wheel arches and in the rear tub, and the fact that you can see a few very minor ripples down the body lines tells me it\'s likely original sheetmetal, because that\'s how these Jeeps looked coming out of the factory. Heavy-duty steel bumpers, a chrome grille guard, chrome rocker moldings, and polished side-steps provide a little extra flash to the vivid finish, and they also speak to the Jeep\'s abilities to handle itself out in the field. On the other hand, things like the folding windshield, round headlights, and traditional oversized side mirrors are reminders that Jeeps have always been, well, Jeeps.
You can see more evidence of this Jeep\'s off-road credentials inside, where you\'ll find a brand new set of high-back bucket seats and a matching rear bench, with all four seating positions anchored with seatbelts. The metal dash was painted to match the bodywork, with chrome accents on the windshield wiper motor harness, glove compartment handle, and windshield hinges that all add some \'bling\' inside. There\'s chrome around the gauges as well, stenciled around the big all-in-one center unit that holds speedometer, fuel, and temperature dials inside, along with two factory auxiliary units to the right. And it\'s not completely uncivilized either, as there\'s a Pioneer AM/FM/CD/AUX stereo with extra speakers behind the front seats that actually sounds decent even with the wind whipping past the windshield. The floors are protected by spray-on bedliner material, so you can just rinse it out after a day of fun and there are heavy-duty Jeep floor mats up front, too. The factory roll bar was painted to match the exterior finish, and a new thick-rimmed Grant steering wheel and shift knob were added to makes things look a bit more sophisticated inside.
With a legendary 258 Inline 6 motor under the hood, there aren\'t many places this Jeep can\'t go. Introduced as the standard Inline 6 motor in the CJ-7 the year prior, the AMC 258 was basically the same motor as the 232 I6, albeit with a longer stroke that resulted in a touch more horsepower and significantly more torque. A cast iron block and cylinder heads, hydraulic lifters, and a Carter carburetor make it a formidable performer off-road, and the engine runs smoothly during regular, modern-day driving as well. The engine bay is all stock and not detailed for show, but it\'s a strong runner that has the kind of low-RPM torque that\'s critical for off-roading fun. The 4-speed manual transmission and 2-speed transfer case mean that it\'s easy to climb over obstacles at barely a walking pace, and the clutch is easy enough to even make it through traffic. The stock-style exhaust system has that familiar Inline 6 note we all love, with a rumble that sounds a lot beefier than you might expect. Cool 16-inch Dick Cepek alloys look fantastic, especially wrapped in 32/11.5/15 Wild Country off-road radials that set the lifted stance and are ready for just about anything.
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