1986 CJ7 Specsby Rob Wagner
The 1986 Jeep CJ7 is the last model of the 1976-through-1986 CJ7 series production run. It's an offspring of the venerable 1954-to-1984 CJ5 series, but it had a longer wheelbase and upgraded mechanical features. Other than doors that were more squared, the CJ7's body style was virtually identical to the CJ5. When Chrysler purchased Jeep from the American Motors Corporation in 1987, AMC had already dropped the CJ7 to make way for the Jeep Wrangler.
Jeep offered two power trains in the 1986 CJ7 models. An AMC 150-cubic-inch inline four delivered 105 horsepower via a Borg-Warner T4 four-speed manual transmission and a Dana 300 transfer case. The front axle was a Dana 30 and the rear axle was either a two-piece AMC 20 or Dana 44. AMC equipped the CJ7 with an optional 115-horsepower AMC inline six-cylinder engine matched with a Tremec T176 four-speed transmission and with the same front and rear axle configurations as the four-cylinder version. The four-cylinder model featured a 4.11:1 final gear ratio and the six a 3.08:1 final gear ratio.
Construction and Chassis
Jeep placed the CJ7 on a conventional steel body-on-frame configuration with sectioned tube side rails for protection. The front and rear suspension features longitudinal semi-elliptic leaf spring, track bar and semi-floating live axles. Stopping power was provided by ventilated 11-inch disc brakes in the front and 9.8-inch rear drums with vacuum boosters.
Body Features and Dimensions
The 2,857-pound 1986 Jeep CJ7 featured two- or four-wheel drive with the engine mounted in the front. The interior could hold four adult occupants. The body featured a folding soft top, steel half-doors and tailgate. A removable hard top with an all-glass lift-gate was an option. The body measured 153.5 inches long with a 93.7-inch wheelbase. It was 65.7 inches in width and 72.4 inches from the ground to rooftop with the convertible top in place. The CJ7 rode on 15-inch steel rims and P215/75R15 radial tires or P225/75R15 all-terrain radials.
Standard features on the 1986 CJ7 were a full-instrumentation dashboard with speedometer, warning lamps, tachometer and lever-controlled heat/air circulation vents. The Jeep also featured a fuel tank protection/skid plate, padded roll bar, swing-out tailgate, bucket seats, rear-folding bench and tinted windshield. The Renegade and Laredo trim levels featured body graphics, with the Laredo featuring a tilt steering wheel, chrome grille, mirrors and bumpers. Options on the Laredo included AMC's Trak-Lok differential.
Production and Prices
In all, AMC produced 379,299 CJ7s during its 11-year production run. The base price for the soft-top model started at about $10,000 in 1986, moving upward to more than $12,000 with options.
Rob Wagner is a journalist with over 35 years experience reporting and editing for newspapers and magazines. His experience ranges from legal affairs reporting to covering the Middle East. He served stints as a newspaper and magazine editor in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Wagner attended California State University, Los Angeles, and has a degree in journalism.