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A Copperhead 1985 Jeep CJ-7 With Fangs - Jp Dirt 'N Drive

Posted in Features on April 6, 2016
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Ray “Doc” Moffat was the first to roll into final registration during the first official day of our inaugural Jp Dirt ’N Drive presented by Jeep. We thought it only appropriate that his should be the first of the participant’s rigs we feature. The first things you may notice are the trimmed-down YJ front fenders (he liked the flatfender look they offered). The interior is factory and darn clean for a Jeep that’s more than 30 years old. All he added was a custom rollcage for safety, as well as a CB, wide-band radio, and center console with a built-in cooler.

From the ground up, Moffat made quite a few changes. 35-inch BFGoodrich MTs wrapped around 15x8-inch chromed steel wheels sit at the end of the axles. Up front is a Dana 44 from a ’73 Wagoneer with ’78 CJ brakes, and out back is an ’86 CJ-7 sourced Dana 44 with a Warn full-floater kit and stock drum brakes. Both axles are filled with 4.27:1 Detroit Lockers.

Suspension mods are extensive, starting with a spring-over conversion in the rear, and a reverse-shackle and reversed U-bolts up front. Add in the custom double-wrap YJ leaf springs front and rear, in conjunction with Rancho shocks, and Moffat ended up with a lift of 5 1/2 inches and a wheelbase extension of 1 inch. Modifying the factory CJ-7 steering system with Wagoneer linkage helped set things right.

Our favorite part of Moffat’s custom CJ-7 is, of course, the shoehorned ’08 GM 5.3L aluminum V-8 engine. Fed by a GM Performance fuel injector system and evacuated through Corvette headers and a custom 2/1-2 inch exhaust, the V-8 not only drives a ’93 GM NV4500 modified with a 32-spline ’shaft to mate up the Dana 300 transfer case, but it also powers an air compressor and underhood welder. Custom motor mounts and a modified Jeep radiator complete the engine bay mods, and custom CV driveshafts send power to the axles.

Moffat’s ’85 CJ-7 is highly modified, to say the least, and it is somewhat typical of the sort of customizing ideas we often see among the Jeep fraternity. However, we especially liked that Moffat used the authentic AMC Copper Brown Metallic paint that was available on CJ-7s of the day to coat the entire rig once he was done with the build.

HARD FACTS
Vehicle: ’85 Jeep CJ-7
Engine: ’08 5.3L V-8
Transmission: ’93 GM NV4500
Transfer Case: Dana 300
Suspension: 5 1/4 inch custom spring-over, reverse shackle, double-wrap YJ springs, Rancho shocks
Axles: Front: Dana 44 from ’93 Wagoneer, 4.27 Detroit Locker. Rear: Dana 44 from ’86 CJ-7, 4.27 Detroit Locker, Warn full-floater kit
Steering: ’85 CJ-7 with Wagoneer steering linkage
Wheels: 15x8-inch chromed steel
Tires: 35-inch BFGoodrich MT
Built For: Trail and street

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