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1983 Jeep Scrambler - Rock Bus

Posted in Features on October 1, 2004 Comment (0)
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1983 Jeep Scrambler - Rock Bus
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Steve Schwing of Victorville, California, is a student of rock. Involved with the sport of 'wheeling for just three years or so, Steve watched and learned as countless enthusiasts traveled from states throughout the Union just to 'wheel in his backyard. Living a short drive from the unforgiving Hammer Trails, Steve witnessed a number of well-built rigs fall victim to the rocks and desert heat. Taking heed from these failures, he set out to build a rig that could stand up to the many obstacles a 4x4 faces.

Starting out with just the stock '83 Jeep Scrambler frame, grille, and body, Steve began the buildup by contacting Teraflex with front and rear axle specifications. The company produced a set of Tera 60R assemblies complete with 4.88 gears, ARB Air Lockers, and high-steer knuckles. Teraflex also equipped the axles with Ford Explorer disc brakes in the rear and Ford F-250 discs up front. The differentials were then secured to the frame in a spring-over-axle setup, using Pro Comp 2-1/2-inch Wrangler springs and Pro Comp shocks in each corner. A Howe steering box and hydraulic-assist steering system came next and were mocked in place so that the tie-rod and drag-link specs could be determined. Steve then fashioned a tie rod and drag link from 1-1/4-inch 4130 DOM tube and fastened them to a modified double-shear pitman arm off the Howe box.

With the axles in place, Steve finished mocking up the remaining drivetrain components using a '95 Chevy 4.3L Vortec V-6, a '95 4L80 transmission, and an Atlas 4.3 transfer case. Hard Rock Off Road in Hesperia, California, constructed a transmission mount and crossmember to support the items before everything was removed so the frame and tub could receive paint. A quick trip to Louis' Body & Paint in Victorville, California, rendered the body a bright yellow in contrast to the vibrant-blue frame. The interior of the tub further received a few coats of Rhino Lining. Once the paint was dry, Steve attacked the task of putting the whole rig back together again.

The 4.3L Vortec V-6 was rebuilt using stock components and painted a matching blue. Steve then installed the fresh mill between the rails, adding an Advance Adapters three-core radiator and Flex-A-Lite electric fan. The 4L80 trans received a Carr shifter, and the supplied Atlas twin-stick was also installed. High Desert Driveline in Hesperia created a chrome-moly long-travel driveshaft to lead forward and chrome-moly 1350 CV 'shaft for the rear.

The body was then placed back atop the frame, and Steve and his friends went about constructing a custom dash and installing a wiring harness from Painless Wiring. The dash was stuffed with a selection of Summit Racing Arctic White Series gauges and billet knobs and switches. Once Vinman Fabrication in Hesperia, California, completed the custom rollcage, it was painted a matching blue and installed in the rig, along with a set of MasterCraft Rubicon seats up front and a MasterCraft Rubicon bench in the rear. A Tuffy console divides the front seats, and front and rear passengers are secured in the vehicle with MasterCraft restraints. Steve used the factory steering column and connected it to the Howe steering box via a Flaming River steering shaft. The system was then plumbed through the power-steering pump and the Master Power Ultra Booster braking system. With the rig ready to roll, Steve mounted up a set of 15x10-inch Eagle Alloys shod with 36x13.50R15 Super Swamper IROK tires and made one more trip to Vinman Fabrication for a set of custom bumpers and protective skidplates. Steve topped off the rig with a custom soft top by Rip & Tear Upholstery in Hesperia.

Since the vehicle's completion in April 2004, Steve has quickly evolved from student to instructor as he continually hones his 'wheeling skills and adapts his Scrambler Rock Bus to perform at its peak. The rig earned a Best in Show award at the Victor Valley 4 Wheelers Round Table, and Steve never fails to turn a few heads as he cruises to the trails or tackles difficult obstacles. With plenty of homework under his belt, Steve aced this buildup and succeeded in producing a rig worthy of an A+.

SPECIFICATIONS
Year/make/model: '83 {{{Jeep Scrambler}}}
Owner/hometown: Steve Schwing/
  Victorville, California
Engine: '95 4.3L Vortec V-6
Induction: MPI
Transmission: '95 Chevy 4L80
Transfer case: Atlas 4.3
Frontend: Tera 60 with ARB
Rearend: Tera 60 with ARB
Suspension: 2-1/2-inch Pro Comp
  {{{Wrangler}}} springs;
  Pro Comp shocks
Ring-and-pinion: 4.88
Wheels/tires: 15x10-inch Eagle 589
  wheels/36x13.50R15
  Super Swamper IROKs

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