Matt LaCerba of Antioch, Illinois, normally wheels his ’99 Wrangler with four classic Broncos and ends up making it through more obstacles than they do. With 4.88s and a Spartan locker in the front Dana 30 and an OX locker in the rear Dana 35, it is no wonder. The four-cylinder was bored 0.030-inch over and bolted to the AX5 with a custom clutch from Clutch Specialty. The 33x12.50R15 BFG Mud Terrains put power to the ground and a 3-inch Black Diamond lift kit puts space under the Jeep. Inside, an OR-Fab cage with floor and frame kit keeps the occupants safe.
Soon To Be Switched
We always have plans for our Jeeps as we are sure most of you do. However, when we talk about components in our Jeeps, we don’t mention changing them unless we are in the process of doing it. Not so for Doug Mackey of Red Bluff, California. When this picture was shot, his ’90 Wrangler was powered by the factory 2.5L four-cylinder, five-speed manual transmission, and NP231 T-case. The front Dana 30 and rear Dana 35 are hung under 4½-inch lift springs which provide plenty of clearance for the 35-inch Dunlop Mud Rovers on black steel wheels. Among the items soon to be switched are the engine, transmission, and axles.
Both John Rugge and his son drive Wranglers, but they decided a ’78 CJ-5 would be a good summer project. They hail from Rochester, Michigan, so it is surprising that the body is all-steel and only needed some sanding and paint. A 304ci V-8 pushes power through a three-speed manual transmission and Dana 20 T-case. Longer shackles, stock springs, and Rancho shocks control the 32-inch Kelly Safari tires on black steel wheels. The duo also added locking hubs to the front axle and a custom tube rear bumper.
Louis Marin of Tuscon, Arizona, built this Jeep from a gutted Wrangler chassis and a ’77 Chevy longbed pickup that he accidentally stood on its nose. Under the hood is a 502ci V-8 mated to an SM465 and NP205 with JB Fabrication’s twin-stick shifters. A 14-bolt rear and Dana 60 front axle with a Ballistic Fabrication high-steer conversion put power to the ground through some 46-inch Mickey Thompson Baja Claws. The Jeep uses the stock Wrangler rear springs with Wagoneer front springs in a spring-over configuration for lift.
Fourth Time Is a Charm
After trying three different TJs, this Sapphire, North Carolina, resident decided to give a ’07 Wrangler Unlimited a shot. Paul Bradham tells us it goes anywhere he points it. We are sure the 4.10 gears and electric lockers of the Rubicon package help and the 3¼-inch Rough Country lift probably doesn’t hurt either. The factory 17-inch aluminum Moab wheels work in conjunction with 1½-inch wheel spacers to keep the 35x12.50R17 Nitto Trail Grappler M/Ts out of the control arms and inner fenders. A Rugged Ridge front bumper gives the Warn Xd9000i winch a home and a bevy of Skid Row Automotive skidplating protects the underside of the Jeep.
This Tempe, Arizona, native tells us his ’85 CJ-7 has only been on its side three times. We imagine it would have kept running too, thanks to the Howell fuel injection swapped onto the 258ci inline-six. Kevin Payne still has the stock T-5 and Dana 300 between the seats and the Dana 30 and AMC 20 axles underneath. However, the axles have 4.56 gears and are hung from YJ springs out front and Pro Comp lift springs in the rear. Goodyear MT/Rs get the shredding duty and even though they are only 33 inches tall he still manages to keep up with his buddy’s CJ on 39s.
Gene Ellsworth of Vancouver, Washington, tells us that he once had to do a 1,000 point turn in some rocks between two very lonely trees. We rounded off just how many “K” turns that would be. This ’90 Wrangler has a stroked inline-six mated to the factory manual transmission and an Atlas four-speed handling gear splitting. Up front Poly Performance links and Race Runner coilovers locate the Dana 60 with a Ford 8.8 residing out back. That’s enough to fit the 37-inch Goodyear MT/Rs wrapped around black steel rims with Staun internal beadlocks. A Poison Spyder cage, Mastercraft seats, and five-point harnesses keep all the people inside the Jeep in place.
Body and Frame
We aren’t sure if Cory Anderson of Alberta, Canada, swapped all the parts or if they rusted away, but he tells us only the body, frame, and Dana 300 T-case are stock ’82 CJ-7 parts. All the rest isn’t. The engine is a 304ci V-8 backed by a TF999 slusher and an AMC 20 and Dana 30 front differential take the added abuse. The axle housings are stuffed with 4.56 gears, a Detroit Locker out back, and a Detroit Truetrac in the front. There are 33-inch TSL Swampers on the Jeep in the pictures but it now has 35-inch Super Swamper Boggers on it with an unspecified amount of lift.
This Bradenton, Florida, resident has oodles of patience. Charles Donaldson yanked the Iron Duke four-cylinder out of his ’80 CJ-5 and replaced it with a 4.3L Chevy V-6 and automatic transmission. That didn’t take the patience. The engine is an ’05, the auto is a 4L60E, and the factory fuel injection and electronic transmission controls all still work. Charles did all of the wiring on his own at home. If you we re wondering, that’s where the patience came in. The front Dana 30 and rear AMC 20 have 4.10 gears with ARB lockers and spin 32-inch tires wrapped around 15x10 Eagle rims. A 4-inch lift with front shackle reversal provides plenty of space and better on-road ride characteristics.
Homebrewed 26 Inches
This ’00 Cherokee has homebrewed swaybar disconnects that when coupled with 4 inches of lift and 31-inch mud tires allows 26 inches of articulation. We are pretty sure Kyle Rigby is measuring at the tire because there is no way he’s hiding a 26-inch-travel shock under there. Other highlights include a custom front and rear bumper with a Smittybilt XRC 8 winch. The inline-six and AW4 are stock, but the NP231 has a PORC slip yoke eliminator kit. The front axle is a low-pinion Dana 30 while the rear Dana 35 has a Lock-Right locker in it.
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