Best to part out or sell "as is" a non-running 1978 Jeep CJ-7?

I have a rough condition 1978 Jeep CJ-7 that was running well but had an engine fire that damaged the carburetor and the wiring. I put an replacement carb in the thing and didn’t realize that the aftermarket required a lower fuel pressure than stock. Everything worked great for a while until something blew inside the carb and coated the engine bay with gas. I put the fire out quickly as I had an extinguisher in the Jeep at the time but it will no longer start.

I am not sure what has all gone wrong but the wiring on the thing was rigged. Basically everything on this Jeep is rigged by the previous owners and I feel it would be a nightmare to figure out how things ought to be. There were loose wires not connected an all sorts of other things out of place from the time I got it. Some were obvious to repair while others could never be figured out. The gas gage and others never worked so I am sure that is why. I am tired of sinking money and time into what is basically a play toy for me and am either going to sell it as a non-running vehicle or part it out. I do not know what I could get out of it intact vs. parts but here is what it has going for it.

  1. Engine: It still turns over fine but obviously something fuel and/or electronic is wrong now as it won’t start. I disconnected the fuel line and tried to start it with spraying gas into the carb and it isn’t getting any fire. It is a Ford 302 conversion so the bare engine would be something for someone.

  2. Transfer case: Not a thing wrong with it.

  3. Transmission: This 3 speed still works but is something I would definitely rebuild if it were pulled from the vehicle as it pops out of gear sometimes.

  4. Suspension lift: It has a 4 inch Rough County suspension lift on it and a 2 inch body lift which no one would car about.

  5. The rear end was just rebuilt. The front diff is also working fine but I know it isn’t brand new.

  6. Heavy duty front brushguard.

  7. Misc parts: Driveshafts, roll bar, lights, housings, brackets, hood, among others would work perfectly or be fine with repainting. There are a lot of small little parts that would be perfect for someone.

The bad. Of course it doesn’t run but the body has some rust and is kinda rough. The frame also has some rust holes in places. I am thinking this would make a good parts hulk and then I should just scrap out the body and frame because of the rust.

I don’t want to spend a ton of time on this either way. I am willing to part it out and sell the large parts (1-5) and maybe sell any worthwhile remaining small parts (6) as a package deal to someone and scrap the junk. Or I could just sell it in one piece and let someone else deal with it. What would be the best route for this vehicle? Would I make a lot more off it as parts than intact? I have an engine lift/hoist and other basic shop tools and know I could probably have it torn down in a day or so.

IMO advertise it in a jeep forum and sell as is. It sounds good as a project car.

This was basically a toy on the farm for me so a TON of things would need to be done to make it pass inspection. The brakes basically need to be completely redone, some key lights don’t work, among many others. Yes, the windshield is also nice and cracked and the tires will need to be replaced very soon if driven on the road. I don’t know if this changes anything but it would definitely be a project vehicle for someone. I have already had a few lowball offers locally and consider some of the parts, even at half of new, would bring me much more than the entire Jeep. I might try a forum before destroying the thing for parts.

I agree with trying to sell it as a package deal in a Jeep forum. It would seem that there should be a market for something like this among the mud boggers and the 302 might be a good selling point for someone looking to beef the power up on their Jeep.


Another vote for sell as is, find the various Jeep forums, join, and let them know you’re selling. Sounds like a great project car for a Jeep nut.

I also vote to sell “as is.” There are thousands upon thousands of people out there looking for Jeeps to fix up.

I have posted this same question to a Jeep forum and will see what happens. I will let everyone know my decision when I make one.

Ditto,sell as is-Kevin

It’s extremely difficult for an individual to “part out” a vehicle profitably. People who try end up frustrated with a vehicle in their yard with no wheels, six parts sold (none for more than a few bucks), lots of ads having been posted (for a total of many bucks), and a few checks that bounced. They then have to call a tow truck to take it to a boneyard.

To get a good idea of what its worth check out What you may think is a low ball offer maybe right on the money.

The other problem with parting something out is what to do with the leftovers. Unless you own a salvage yard, you’ll still have to get rid of a lot. And if you’ve ever sold a car, you’ve probably experienced the people that say they’re coming by but never show up, the people the come by and try to low-ball you and generally waste your time, etc. Multiply that X every part you’re trying to sell off the Jeep. You’d be better off selling it as-is.

I parted out our pop up camper once and it was a mistake. The money I made from the furnace, trailer, and other few good parts, minus the many hours spent knocking it all down, welding on the trailer, disposal costs, etc., it was about a wash with what I could have done just selling it to an RV outfit. Wouldn’t do it again, but did see how it was put together anyway.

I agree. You can sell a Jeep just because it says Jeep on it. It doe have value. It just requires you find the buyer who sees it too. Yes, Jeep forum is the place to go.

I see. Yeah, I have access to cutting tools and have hauled quite a bit of junk to the scrap yard. Some of it was on the property when I bought it and other has been stuff I generate with my own projects. Either way, I try not to let junk pile up in excess of one nice full pickup bed, which is my threshold for hauling in a load. My main plan was to simply part out the valuable parts (transfer cases, transmission, engine, differentials, lift, brush guard, and a few others), then offer the leftovers up as a lump sum or sell/give them to those buying larger components at the same time. The stuff of little or no value would simply be hauled in as scrap.

I think I am going to look into selling it as a “parts or repair” vehicle first before scrapping for sure. I looked up the price of the components and it does look like they would be worth well over the price of selling intact but as you say, dealing with that many different people can be frustrating when they don’t show up and such. My lowball offers were like $350 while it looks like some will pay $1000 for one in this condition. I would be more than willing to take $1000. With parting out, it looks like I could get close to doubling that but would be more than happy to get rid of it all at once for less.

When you consider the cost of time and effort involved in removing the parts, storing them, advertising etc, you would have to get more just to break even.