Cool Wheels On The Trail
Every year, we attend the Easter Jeep Safari, hosted by the Red Rock 4-Wheelers club in Moab, Utah. It's always a blast, but it also means we've got to create a story just a little different than the year before. So for the 41st event, rather than bang away at a keyboard inundating you with yet another description of Potato Salad Hill, we've shot several mini features of cool Jeeps that struck the fancy of the staff members. For more information on next year's event, contact the Red Rock 4-Wheelers at www.rr4w.com.
Estimated value: $10,000
Build time: N/A
Owner: Jim Dresslar
Hometown: Moab, Utah
Years of wheeling experience: 5
Favorite wheeling spot: Moab
Why did you choose this vehicle to build?: It's starting condition and history
Favorite terrain: Slickrock and pavement
Engine: Stock 304
Aspiration: Stock 2-bbl
Transmission: Stock T-15
Transfer case: Stock Dana 20
Front axle/diff: Stock Dana 30, open
Rear axle/diff: Stock Dana 44, open
Ring-and-pinion ratio: 3.73:1
Front suspension: Stock
Rear suspension: Stock 10-leaf packs
Wheels: Stock 15x6
Tires: BFGoodrich 235/75-15 All-Terrain
Other cool stuff: CB radio, and the Jeep still has Brian Chachua dealership badges from Fullerton, California. The dealership sponsored Jeep teams in Baja races in the '70s. The original owner worked at the dealership, so all the options--like skidplates, big brakes, HD suspension, tow hitch, and jerrycan rack that mounts over the tailgate--were installed
Favorite mod: CJ-7-sized door openings so you can get in and out
Least favorite mod: Love it all
If I had to build it again: N/A
"Christian, the JT was indeed built from a model J8 Egyptian military JK body. The body for the military J8 is essentially a four-door Unlimited (116-inch wheelbase) with the rear doors and rear foot well removed.
Another element from the military J8 is the full-length steel cargo floor. To create the JT, all that was necessary was to create a truck cab (chopped-up, two-door hardtop) and add the steel bulkhead to divide the passenger compartment from the cargo area (this item was lifted from a Dakota pickup box).
The passenger compartment retains the factory JK sport bar, and the cargo box measures out to 47 inches wide by 61 inches long. The chassis for the JT retains the coil spring rear suspension of the civilian model JK (military J8 has a Dana 60 on leaf springs).
The JT truck, as shown, contained the following :
* Stock 3.8L V-6
* Four-speed automatic transmission
* NV241 4:1 Rock-Trac transfer case
* Front and rear Dana Model 44 axles with Tru-Lok electronic lockers
* BFGoodrich 35x12.50R-17 Mud Terrain T/A tires mounted on Custom 17x8-inch steel wheels from Stockton Wheel
* American Expedition Vehicles new Heat Reduction hood
* Ramsey 9500 UT winch
* American Expedition Vehicles JK front winch mount
* Mopar rear bumper
The outrageously flamboyant paint color Hearing Aid Beige. (I love that !) I actually stayed awake late the night before we painted--almost went with a safe red. Glad I didn't.
You can take some credit for the wheels (Hatari!), but I had to forego the retread tires.
The whole thing is so feasible, it is basically the Egyptian military version (J8) with a different top--so easy.
The major modifications were done at our in-house fabrication shops then shipped to Jeep Engineering for the final build and verification. This truck was built by the in-house Skunk Werks team to show the flexibility of the new JK platform as well as one possible variant.
Thanks again for your interest and continued support of our efforts."
Wanna see it built? So do we. Maybe if enough e-mails are sent to www.askdrz.com, they'll consider it.