The differences between a CJ7 and a YJ hardtop

The differences between a CJ7 and a YJ hardtop

elwood blues

Always Off-Roading Jeeper
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Export, PA
Vehicle(s)
1978 CJ7 4.2L Comp Cam & valve train, MC2100 carb, MSD ignition, Dana 30 front, T18 trans, Dana 20 txfr, AMC 20 rear.
I made this sticky thread because there is always someone that needs to know if a Jeep YJ top will fit on a CJ7. The quick answer is YES, it will fit.

The CJ7 and the YJ utilize the exact same tub, with some very minor detail changes. The number one change that affects hardtop fitment is the tailgate. On CJ7's the tailgate is a true tailgate and it drops down. On a YJ it's not a true tailgate as it is a swing gate with the spare tire attached. Because a the YJ has a swing gate and the CJ7 has a tailgate the order in which the tops are secured is different. On a CJ7 the tailgate closes first, then the hardtop liftgate (aka hatch) then the swingout tire carrier. For a YJ the hardtop liftgate closes first then the swing gate.


Here are a couple of pictures to help illustrate;


This is a CJ7, notice how the liftgate of the hardtop closes over the tailgate of the tub.

cj_tailgate.jpg

This is a YJ hardtop, notice the groove that allows the swing gate of the YJ to open without opening the liftgate of the top.

yj_tailgate.jpg

Again, this is a YJ hardtop, notice the areas that have been circled, these easily identify this as a YJ hardtop.
The quickest is the vent behind the side windows. Also, notice the notch in the liftgate and the liftgate hinges.
As well as the lack of metal frame surrounding the rear window.


yj_hardtop.jpg

Just for reference here are two more CJ7 hardtops;

cj_tailgate_2.jpg

cj_tailgate_3.jpg

To summerize, YES a YJ hardtop will fit on a CJ7 and vice-a-versa. However the differences in the tailgate designs between the CJ7 and a YJ do produce a couple of interesting issues to deal with.
 

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