A Trail-Worthy Wrangler
It all started for Bill Myer in the early '60s with dirt bikes. In those days, his passion was trail-riding on the Rubicon as well as throughout the Sierras and northern Nevada. Then the '70s rolled around and some good friends turned him on to Jeeps. Bill's first Jeep was a '46 flatfender built old-school that he used for hunting and family outings. With his daughter's marriage, the newest member of the family, son-in-law Tom Fay, brought the Myers even more into the world of Jeepin'. Tom is a third-generation native of South Lake Tahoe, and his first trip over the Rubicon Trail was when he was a mere 6 months old. Tom and his father have been working the Jeepers Jamboree Buck Island repair crew for over 22 years, so it was only natural for Tom and his father to invite Bill to the world-famous Jeepers Jamboree.
After attending his first Jeepers Jamboree, Bill was hooked. But after running the flatfender for so many years, Bill decided it was time to move on to a modern Jeep, a vehicle that would have more interior and storage room and one that could be customized with the newest automotive technologies on the market.
So, Bill bought a '97 Jeep TJ as his base for the project. He tells us the TJ is an evolving project, and if you haven't guessed by now, Bill is an old-school hot-rod nut just as much as he is a Jeep enthusiast. The old saying, There is no replacement for displacement, fits him well. Powering Bill's new TJ is a '97 Chevy LT1 Corvette powerplant. Tom Fay and a good family friend, Gregg Young, completed the engine buildup and performance modifications.
Transferring power to the axles is a 700R4 transmission fitted with a heavy-duty torque converter with a stall speed of 1,800. The transmission work and installation was completed by Extreme Gear Off Road in Orangevale, California. Helping with a major reduction in torque is a 3.0:1 Low-gear Atlas II transfer case from Advance Adapters.
Extreme Gear Off Road also performed the front and rear axle builds and installs. Scott at Extreme Gear built a high-pinion Tera 60 with an ARB locker for the rear. The front axle is a custom-built Dana 44 with reverse rotation and an ARB locker for traction. The front axle was also moved 2 inches forward for better stability on the trail.