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1976 Jeep CJ-7 - Rock Rat

Posted in Features on December 2, 2013
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Four-wheeling is fun. This is a universally accepted fact. Still, people go four-wheeling for different reasons. Some like building their rigs as much as they like driving them. Some go four-wheeling to bond with their family, while others seek out the adrenaline rush from overcoming treacherous obstacles. Scott Hendricks makes his living wrenching on rigs at his shop, Hendricks Automotive and 4x4 in Gardnerville, Nevada.

Given his proximity to famous trails like the Rubicon and Fordyce in the beautiful Sierra Nevada Range, when Scott isn’t wrenching he is out on the trails. What makes wheeling even more special for Scott though is that it is his only opportunity to enjoy the splendor of the backcountry, since he lost the use of his legs in a motorcycle accident years ago.

Scott isn’t asking for charity though—quite the contrary. After wheeling a CJ-5 hard for years, he took what he had learned and applied it to a ’76 CJ-7. With help from his friends Ed and Dale, Scott built his own frame and a full custom link suspension under his Jeep on weekends. He then added the drivetrain from the CJ-5 to get back out on the trail with as little downtime and expense as possible, combined with more interior space and a suspension with greater articulation and a better ride. Since its completion, Scott has been enjoying the great outdoors in his CJ-7 every chance he gets.

The front suspension uses 15-inch Eibach along with a custom four-link and Panhard bar built from 11⁄4-inch solid cold-rolled steel and 3⁄4-inch rod ends. Scott also runs sway bars on the street for stability but disconnects them on the trail. The front axle is a Dana 44 out of Scott’s previous CJ-5. It uses 5.38 gears and an ARB Air Locker behind the chrome diff cover and custom diff armor. Moser chromoly axleshafts help make the front end live with the 37-inch Iroks.

Tech Specs
1976 Jeep CJ-7
Engine: 350ci Chevy V8
Transmission: TH350 3-speed automatic
Transfer case: Dana 18 with Warn overdrive
Front Axle: Dana 44 with 5.38 gears, ARB Air Locker, and Moser axleshafts
Rear Axle: Dana 44 with 5.38 gears, Lockright locker, and Moser axleshafts

Springs & Such: Custom coil conversion with Eibach springs, Rubicon Express shocks, 4-link, and sway bars (front and rear)
Tires & Wheels: 37x14.5R15 Super Swamper Iroks on Champion beadlocks
Steering: PSC hydraulic assist with stock Saginaw box

Other Stuff: Hendricks 4x4 front bumper, Warn 8274 winch, custom Hendricks 4x4–built frame, hand controls, rear Trakker winch, full rollcage, full belly skidplate, Viair onboard air compressor, 110 inverter, Ready Welder, Genright armor

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