Looong CJ
Photos and article by, Rick Neil


The Vehicle:
1983 Jeep CJ-5, with AMC 304, Howell fuel injection, Ford 9" axles, Detroit Lockers, 4.88 gears, T-176 transmission, Dana 300 transfer case, 35x15.50x15 Super Swamper SX tires.

The Project:
Lengthen the wheelbase from 84" to 104", while adding custom storage compartments.

The Reason:
To increase stability on slick hills and diagonal, off-camber situations, improve ledge-climbing ability, and increase interior storage room.

It is very difficult to keep the nose of a short wheelbase vehicle pointed uphill when the hill is slick and wheelspin is required. They'll get sideways on you in a big hurry. And, if you don't get your foot out of it quickly enough, you can wind up rolling down the hill sideways. Not fun.

When encountering a diagonal, off-camber situation (where the vehicle is "balancing" on two opposite corner wheels), a long wheelbase vehicle is much more stable and far less likely to roll. I hate rolling.

And, of course, there's never enough room to store all of your stuff you need to carry on the trail.

The Work

Editor's Notes: Rick Neil is the President of the FWD-FWD Club. Contact him at raneil@aol.com

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