Jeep CJ-7

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Jeep CJ-7 Golden Eagle

 1976 - 1986
4982 cc / 304 cu in
126 bhp
4/5 spd. man / 3 spd. auto
Top Speed:
85 mph
Number Built:
4 star
Jaguar XK120
Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 2


The name Jeep, at least to we here at Unique Cars and Parts (with our eye on the older cars) conjures up visions of the workhorse of the Allied forces, overcoming seemingly insurmountable obstacles in Europe during World War 2. Or maybe of Lawsie (aka John Laws, or the Golden Tonsils) expousing the virtues of Valvoline oil - for those old enough to remember the television commercial.

Since that time, when the Ford and Willys General Purpose (GP) vehicles were as common as the uniformed man, there were mergers and aquisitions, and by the time the CJ-7 was released, the marque was a subsidiary of American Motors. And no longer was the Jeep the basic little off-roader, it had developed into a somewhat civilised and customised dual-purpose vehicle which was as much at home boulevard cruising as it was sorting out the rugged countryside.

The CJ-7 Golden Eagle was most popular in the range, with three-speed automatic gearbox, Ouadra-Trac transmission and 4982 cc V8 engine, and in that form it was at its most purposeful on difficult terrain. Top speed of the off-roader was just on 85 mph, while the lusty engine ensured adequate if not startling acceleration.

Jeep Ouadra-Trac

The Ouadra-Trac system came into its own in very slippery conditions when a normal transmission system would have broken traction. Today's systems are complex computer assisted arrangements, but the quadra-trac was simply a unit which distributed torque to the wheels that had the grip and, for example, if the rear wheels slid the torque would be directed to the front wheels to pull the 23 cwt vehicle out of trouble, and vice versa.

That was the theory and the practice bore that out. What was less than satisfactory was the Jeep's 'ruggedness" or lack of it, as underneath it proved to be vulnerable, and for rocky ground a more substantial engine/gearbox guard should be considered a necessity - rather than an after market option for they buyer.

The Jeep CJ-7 Golden Eagle

The CJ-7 came at a time when the 4x4 was becoming something of a status symbol for some, and compensation for a lack of size in the trouser department for others. And there were plenty of takers on both sides of the Atlantic. Perhaps the company played to that image somewhat with the 'Golden Eagle' package of full carpeting, Levis seats, customised interior and an enormous eagle painted on the bonnet.

Whatever the image, the Jeep could travel off road and its power and excellent transmission could cope with the roughest of ground. It was not as pretentious as it perhaps looked. The CJ-7, during his 11 years, had various equipment packages:
  • Renegade 1976-1982 (2.4D L6-2.5-4.2-5.0 V8)
  • Golden Eagle 1976-1979 (5.0 V8)
  • Laredo 1982-1986 (2.4D-4.2 l6)
  • Jamboree Edition (Limited Edition 2500 models which were built for the 30th anniversary 2.5 and 4.2)

Jeep CJ-7 Golden Eagle Quick Specifications:

Engine: Front-mounted, water-cooled V8. 95.2mm (3.75in) bore x 87.3mm (3.44in) stroke 4982 cc (304 cu in). Maximum power (DIN) 126 bhp at 3600rpm, maximum torque (DIN) 219 lb ft at 2000rpm, cast-iron cylinder block and head. Compression ratio 8.4:1.5 main bearings. 2 valves per cylinder operated via pushrods and rockers by a single central camshaft. 1 twin-barrel carburettor.
Transmission: Torque converter and three-speed automatic transmission. Ratios 1st 4.020, 2nd 2.410, 3rd 1.410:1. Hypoid-bevel final drive, 3.09:1.
Suspension: Front and rear-non independent by a live axle and semi-elliptic leaf springs.
Steering: Recirculating ball.
Brakes: Drums all round. Wheels 6in x 15in. Tyres H78 x 15.
Body/chassis: No doors, 4 seats.
Dimensions and weight: Wheelbase 93.5in· track-front 51.5in rear- 50. 0 in' length 147.9in; width 68. 6 in, height 67.6in; ground clearance 6.9in dry weight 2638 Ib, turning circle 35.9 ft; fuel tank capacity 13 gal.
Maximum speed 85 mph: acceleration 0-60 mph 11.5 secs, fuel consumption approx. 18 mpg.
Jeep CJ-7
Jeep CJ-7

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Also see:

Jeep - The Toughest Word on Four Wheels (USA Edition)
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