wanted to build a Jeep for the most hard-core of the hard-core
trails here in Moab. Since I already have a daily driver,
the Jeep would be built with every off-road advantage
possible. The on-road driveability took a back seat to
performance in a big way. I picked up most of the parts
for dirt cheap. It took a little more time that way, but
it sure saved me money in the end.
CJ is basically an Early Bronco in CJ5's clothing. The
whole drivetrain is Ford.
only Jeep parts are the body and the fame. The CJ was
started, literally, as a bare frame that a friend had
taking up space in a field next to his house. We looked
at the frame and wondered if it was really worth it, but
slowly but surely, the Jeep began to take shape.
the CJ was done, (if there really is such thing), we tested
it right on the Dump Bump, Lower Proving Grounds, Pritchett
Canyon, and Hell's Revenge. It originally had a buggy
leaf that was actually a whole "buggy pack" that sat next
to the frame and connected onto the shackle. However,
after the buggy pack was discovered to be more of a hindrance
than an advantage, we removed the pack and welded the
upper shackle mount to the frame.
get away from the axle wrap problem, two traction bars
were fabricated with 3/4" Heim joints at both ends. The
CJ climbed WAY better without the added spongy rear suspension.
RTI score went from 1350 down to just about 1000. After
the Heim joints at the traction bars failed, a new traction
system was built with a totally different concept, which
has been working great ever since.
our latest trail run to Upper Helldorado, I found out
what the Jeep's rolling point was. On the first obstacle,
there were usually rocks in the wash bottom that prevented
a Jeep from rolling at a really off-camber spot. On this
day, we noticed that the rocks were removed by someone
else but decided to try it anyway. The drivers side came
up a little too high and the Jeep rolled onto its side,
suffering a little body damage.
of the body, it started out "not very straight" at best
but now, four months later, it looks like 10 very mad
Pro Wrestlers beat the thing to death with chains!
may not win any car shows but it sure has a lot of character
and has proved it can go just about anywhere, including
the new Upper Proving Grounds trail; Moab's newest hard-core