Jeep Scrambler CJ-8 Comprehensive Guide From 1981 to 1986
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Jeep Scrambler CJ-8 Comprehensive Guide From 1981 to 1986

by Amnaumer3298@@

The Jeep Scrambler CJ-8 was an excellent pickup truck manufactured by the American Motors Corporation between 1981 and 1986. It was like combining a rigid truck and a rugged Jeep into one. It was popular because it could pull heavy stuff and travel in rough terrain, which was suitable for farmers, surfers, and all outdoor enthusiasts.

In those years, the Scrambler was created for the people who wanted something different from their trucks for work and recreation. Nowadays, admirers of Jeep really love it because it is the grandfather of the current Jeep Gladiator. However, a new model was released by Jeep in 1987, and the Scrambler disappeared, leaving about 27,783 trucks. Although it’s not very rare, its low number makes it distinctive, particularly for Jeep and classic truck fanatics. In essence, if you’re an amateur, the Scrambler is a robust and exciting vehicle adored by many people due to its unique styling and functionality.

Jeep Scrambler CJ-8 Specs & Features

ModelJeep Scrambler
EnginePowerful V6 engine for robust performance
TransmissionAvailable in manual and automatic options for driver preference
DrivetrainFour-wheel drive system for off-road capability
Seating CapacityAccommodates up to five passengers for comfortable rides
Cargo SpaceSpacious cargo bed for hauling gear and equipment
Towing CapacityCapable of towing heavy loads for outdoor adventures
SuspensionSpecially tuned suspension for smooth rides on various terrains
Ground ClearanceHigh ground clearance for tackling rough trails and obstacles
InfotainmentModern infotainment system with touchscreen display for entertainment and navigation
Safety FeaturesEquipped with advanced safety features like airbags, traction control, and stability control

Top of Form

Available Engine Versions

It offered different engines during its production years. From its 1981½ model year debut to the end of 1983 production, the 151-cube GM Iron Duke four-cylinder was the base engine. With a carburettor and making the whopping 82 hp at 4,000 rpm and 125 lb-ft at 2,600 rpm, it pushed the Scrambler to the road but really wasn’t something to write a letter home about. In 1984, Jeep upgraded the base engine from AMC’s naturally aspirated 145ci four-cylinder to a 2.5 Longblock that eventually received fuel injection and powered the Wrangler lineup starting in 1987.

This 2.5-litre motor now produces 105 hp at 5,000 rpm and 132 lb-ft at 2,800 rpm. Jeep gave customers the option to buy the venerable 4.2-liter inline-six instead. Its 115 hp with the smog-laden apparatus from 3,200 rpm and 210 pounds per foot of grunt from 1,800 rpm reportedly worked quite well. Unlike with the CJ-5 and CJ-7, AMC didn’t equip the CJ-8 with the 304 cu-in V-8 option. No Scramblers were built with the V-8 factory engine during its production period.

Transmission and Transfer Case Options

This jeep had a variety of transmission options during its time in the market. If you went with the four-cylinder engine, the standard transmission was the Borg Warner SR-4 four-speed manual. However, if you took the six-cylinder engine, it had the Tremec T-176 four-speed manual.

Also, you have the option of getting an automatic transmission. The four-cylinder had a Chrysler TF904, while the bigger 4.2-litre got a TF999. Then, in 1985, they came with the really cool T5 five-speed manual transmission, which made driving on and off the road so much better.

Regardless of the transmission selected, the Scrambler consistently had the same transfer case, the Dana 300. It proved to be super dependable and has a low-end ratio to help in difficult moments.

Axle Types and Gear Ratios

In 1982, Jeep began widening the CJ-7 and CJ-8 axles to improve stability. These were dubbed “Wide Track” axles. They were on most Scramblers, although some still had the original, narrow axles. The Scrambler front axles were all Dana 30s with disc brakes during this period.

You could choose from two axle ratios if you had a Scrambler with four cylinders. However, if you had the six-cylinder one, you had three decisions. Considering the rear axle, then most Scramblers from 1981 to mid-1986 had the AMC Model 20. It was alright, but it could have been better. They had some problems, like weak axle tubes and a two-piece axle shaft, which could fracture if not tightened correctly.

However, when production was in its latter stage, Jeep finally used Dana 44 for the rear axle. It was more rigid with thicker tubes than before, which was a big plus. However, there were so few Scramblers built in 1986 that it is hard to find one with the Dana 44 instead, like finding the winning lottery ticket.

Interiors and Top Configurations

It represented the ability to choose even within a confined space. The basic model had a half-cab design: a two-seat truck with a wall separating the back area from the cargo bed. However, you could select a soft top or a hard top with metal doors, which would make it a four-seater with more room in the back.                                            

Inside, you could install vinyl seats and durable coverings if you plan to put it through tough jobs. Alternatively, you could obtain the expensive Laredo package, which offers cloth seats, a tilting steering wheel, and carpeting on the floor. Thus, whether you wanted a basic work truck or a comfy ride, the Scrambler was the best choice for you to make.

Special Trim Options that Elevate the Classic Jeep Scrambler     

It had the opportunity to be customized for its cool,, unique versions. One of them was the Laredo package. It featured attractive stripes, chrome on the outside, a centre console, and a clock inside. The little cool one was the Scrambler SR, which had power steering, a back bench seat, and cool graphics.

Then, the Olympic versions were made for the 1984 Summer Games. They were painted white with blue and red stripes. And remember to check out the distinctive Levi’s edition. It had the denim seat covering like your favourite pair of jeans with the metal buttons from Levi’s everywhere.

Wheelbase and Unique Body Characteristics

It was special since it had a longer wheelbase and a different body style than other Jeeps. The rear portion of the Scrambler was longer than that of the CJ-7, giving a more significant amount of space to carry things inside. Still, this added a challenge when going over bumps was worth it for the extra cargo room.

The Scrambler’s wheelbase, which is the space between the front and rear wheels, was longer as well. This increased stability and gave it the capacity to carry more things. This made it chosen among the people who went for some off-road adventures, mainly as people started tackling the most demanding trails in the 1990s. Besides, the more extended wheelbase design allowed it to traverse steep hills and equip bigger tyres than other Jeeps.

The Scrambler’s most incredible feature was its one-of-a-kind body style. Unlike other Jeeps, it was different, and therefore it became eye-catching. Individuals appreciated it because it was both practical and fashionable, quite opposite to what was in other Jeeps at that time.

Celebrity Owners of the Iconic Jeep CJ-8 Scrambler

The Jeep’s Scrambler is so rad that even celebrities are fans of it. Leonardo DiCaprio, the movie star, reportedly owns it and is typically photographed driving around in his vintage CJ-8. Kenny Chesney, a country music singer, is also among the loyal supporters. He raps Jeeps in his songs and even has one himself.

Did you know that the former president, Ronald Reagan, also had a Scrambler? Oh yes, she gave it to him for his birthday. He tested it on his ranch in California, which was his favourite place for horseback riding and clearing paths. It is an essential fact that people from all walks of life like the Scrambler.

And it doesn’t matter if you are a movie star, a singer, or even a president, the Scrambler will make a splash. It caters to everyone, regardless of the class they belong to.

Price Changes Over Time

In the early 1980s, if you wanted to own this jeep, the price ranged between $9000 and $10000. However, because they are so uncommon and plentiful, the prices have gone up. The Scrambler could sell for between $20,000 and $30,000 in perfect condition and low mileage. And if it has something special, it might be sold for even $40,000!

It depends on a few things such as the originality of the Scrambler, how good its condition is, and if it has any unique options equipped. But one thing’s for sure: People are really attracted to these old-school trucks, especially now that the popularity of classic trucks and SUVs is growing.

So, if you’ve got that Scrambler sitting in your garage, you may just be sitting on a treasure! People are hooked on these not just because they’re Jeeps, and they look fantastic but also because they’re very functional.

Guidelines for Buying it Now

If you’re interested in buying this Jeep, there are lots of choices! You can find them everywhere, from those that require a significant facelift to those that are totally restored and ready to travel. Places like and are great places to browse. They have Scramblers for sale of all kinds of conditions including projects to good to going ones.

If you are aiming for a Scrambler that experts have modified, you can visit places like Collins Bros Jeep or The Jeep Farm, LLC. They sometimes have original Scramblers in stock, which they have restored themselves. On top of it, they do all the work independently, so you are 100% sure you get the best quality.

However, even if the Scrambler you find is different from the real deal, don’t fret. The aftermarket has tons of parts to choose from. You can basically build your Scrambler from scratch. So, no matter what, you will have the chance to get one of these great trucks.


Is the Jeep Scrambler a good choice for off-road trips?

Of course, it is built for off-road adventures and equipped with rugged suspension systems along with 4×4 capabilities. It can cope with different terrains automatically.

What safety features come with the Jeep Scrambler?

It is featured with adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-path detection that offer a safe driving experience.

How much space does the Jeep Scrambler have?

It has a lot of space in its truck bed, just what you need to haul your gear, stuff or toys.

Which colours of the Jeep Scrambler are available?

It is available in several colours, including signature Jeep colours such as Firecracker Red, Billet Silver, and Granite Crystal, allowing customers to personalize their ride.


In the ’80s, the Jeep Scrambler CJ-8 was an incredible truck. It sort of was like a tough hybrid of a pickup and a jeep, but it was really versatile for farmers, surfers, or anybody who loved outdoor events. Featuring incredible engine options, different transmission types, and unique styling, it naturally attracted classic truck lovers. Moreover, well-known personalities such as Leonardo DiCaprio and even former President Ronald Reagan owned one, meaning it was highly acceptable in the community. Now, if you can find one in good condition, then you could have a little treasure because Scramblers are in high demand among incredible car owners. It doesn’t matter if you love off-roading or you just enjoy that retro vibe, the Scrambler Jeep is a timeless masterpiece that will always be loved, cherished, and remembered. 

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