To Be Contrary
We thought that running an article to help you guys shoot your Jeep for Jeep Shots would generate a lot of new submissions. Fact is, running a Liberty in Jeep Shots was the best thing we've done for the column in years. We got more submissions after the last KJ that we decided to put this '06 specimen in here. This one belongs to Michael Fish of Oak Harbor, Washington, and uses an All J Products Frankenlift to provide clearance for the 265/75R16 BFG ATs on Cragar Soft 8s. The stock 3.7L V-6, 42RLE, and NVG231 are all still accounted for, with the front Dana 30A and rear Chrysler 8.25 spinning 3.73 gears. This Jeep was built for "family trail riding" (whatever that is) and for our part, we are just happy to see a KJ out wheeling and getting dirty (in many, many pictures).
Matthew Di Rienzo of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, was shooting to keep this '85 CJ-7 original-looking while upgrading it so it is trail-worthy. Among the list of modifications in the three years he's owned it is a Rubicon Express 41/2-inch lift kit that clears a set of Mickey Thompson MTZ mud tires. The 258ci six-cylinder has a Clifford intake topped with a Weber 38DEG two-barrel carburetor. A Borla header and cat-back exhaust get rid of fumes. The AMC 20 rear and Dana 30 front are still under the Jeep, with the rear axle getting a set of Moser one-piece shafts, the front axle getting an OX locker, and both were regeared to 4.10s. The paint is original but the Bestop front seats were redone to look original.
We have gotten a ton of Jeep Shots in protest of the Liberty we ran a few months back and this '87 Wrangler belonging to Jon Kile of Milville, Pennsylvania, is just the tip of the iceberg. Most guys start with a CJ and swap on a YJ tub. Jon started with a YJ tub and frame; swapped the stock four-cylinder out in favor of an early 80's 258ci six bolted to a T-18 out of a '78 J-truck with a Dana 20 T-case. A Scout-sourced Dana 44 swapped the front end to a passenger-side drop pumpkin with a Ford 9-inch out back sporting swapped-in disc brakes, both stuffed with 4.88 gears. Jon wanted us to pass along that there is better wheeling in Pennsylvania than in that Liberty photo, and that swapping the four-cylinder out just isn't worth the time and money to do it.
This '79 CJ-7 hails from Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, as does its owner, Joshua Parrish. Superlift 2-inch-lift springs and a spring-over conversion clear the way for 38x12.50-15 Super Swamper SX tires on 15x10 beadlocks. Widetrack axles from an '83 CJ were swapped in with the front Dana 30 getting 3.73 gears and Rugged Ridge lockout hubs while the rear AMC 20 got similar gearing, a spool, and one-piece chromoly axle shafts. The 360ci AMC V-8 is bolted to a Ford T-18 by means of an Advance Adapters bellhousing. A rebuilt Dana 20 handles 4WD duties. Joshua tells us that after a full day of wheeling Corral Canyon, he was heading out entirely too fast, and rolled the Jeep into a ditch on a completely flat section of road.
The email that Ryan Lavigne of Wheatland, California, sent was titled "flat fender kinda" and looking at the pictures we couldn't figure out why. The specs cleared up the confusion: a homebuilt 2x4 rectangular steel frame, cut and stretched body through the driver's area, and hand-built front fenders are but some of the custom touches. Underneath is a 302ci Ford V-8 bolted to an NP435 which was adapted to a Dana 300 with a 4:1 Teralow kit in it. Rock Equipment 14-inch coilovers and four-link suspensions locate the front Dana 44 and rear Dana 60. Both axles are stuffed with ARB Air Lockers and 4.88 gears to get the Jeep down the trail.
Our last-year-of-production fetish extends to the TJ/LJ Wranglers. There is just something about the last year of production of a Jeep. Bob and John Haffey of Rolling Hills, California, share joint custody of this '06 Wrangler Rubicon. The front and rear Dana 44s with factory air lockers are still there, but have swapped-in 4.56 gears to better spin the 35-inch Mickey Thompson Baja Claws wrapped around Mickey Thompson Classic II rims. Rubicon Express brings the altitude in the form of a 6-inch long arm lift kit coupled with Bilstein 7100 shocks. The 4.0L engine is still bolted to the stock six-speed transmission, but has been hopped up with a K&N intake, Borla Cat-Back system, Poweraid spacer and a Yellow Top Optima battery.
This '80 CJ-7 is powered by a 400ci Chevy V-8 bored 0.060-over with Dart Iron Eagle SS heads, flat-top pistons, and topped with an Edlebrock RPM Air Gap intake and 750cfm carburetor. A TF-727 with a TransGo Stage 2 shift kit and TCI Breakaway torque converter hand off power to the stock Dana 300. A 4-inch Superlift lift kit clears the 35x12.50R15 Mickey Thompson Baja MTZ tires and Lock-Right lockers in the front Dana 30 and rear AMC 20 keep the tires turning. Cory Ingersoll of Rockford, Michigan, tells us that as a result of running through this mud pit, he learned that the 727's vent was behind the torque converter, and it cost $500 to get the transmission back in running order after its mud bath.
Larry Shields of Las Vegas, Nevada, sent in this picture of his '92 Cherokee tearing it up at the Waynoka Sand Dunes. Rancho coils and heavy-duty lower arms up front coupled with Rancho leaf springs and shocks out back provide enough clearance for the 32x11.50R15 Goodyear MT/Rs wrapped around steel wheels from an '02 TJ. Fiberglass front fenders and a prerunner-style front bumper along with four KC Daylighters mounted in a tubular roof-mounted light bar complete the "desert running" look that Larry was going for.
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