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1983 Jeep Scrambler CJ-8: Scrambler Gets Over Easy

Posted in Features on September 28, 2018
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Trevor Huiskens and his crew at WFO Concepts build a ton of different vehicles from new Wranglers to older fullsize trucks. After a while all those projects become a blur, but Huiskens does recall the one that got away.

This Scrambler was originally built for David Choate, who gave Huiskens a blank slate to work with. Huiskens recounts, “He called me and said, ‘If you could build any Jeep, what would you build? Should I build an old CJ, or should I go buy a JK like everybody else?’”

Huiskens replied, “Well, I would find a Scrambler, put a 6.0 in it with a 4L60E auto trans and an Atlas. I would link it front and rear with 1-ton axles and I would run 42s. Then I would stretch the wheelbase and lower the floor so adults can fit in the back.”

Choate said, “Sounds good! I need it done in seven weeks.”

The crew at WFO Concepts got to work and built what Huiskens considers the perfect Jeep. So when he had the opportunity to buy it back from Choate a few years ago, he jumped on it. With room for four adults, Huiskens and his friends can leave WFO Concepts’ shop after work in Auburn, California, and be on the Rubicon Trail in under an hour. And with two huge coolers stocked with beverages, he can wheel all weekend without worrying about getting thirsty.

Power comes from a 6.0L LQ9 engine out of a 2005 Cadillac Escalade backed by the 4L60E transmission that came with the engine. The combination only had 50,000 miles on it when it was installed, and it was left stock for reliability. The Ron Davis radiator keeps the V-8 cool at any speed.
Who needs a spare tire when you have a 75-quart cooler full of beverages? WFO Concepts built this custom cooler rack that also has a storage compartment for camping gear and recovery gear. Spare parts and tools live in the storage compartment behind the rear seat of the Scrambler.
The front suspension consists of a three-link with a Panhard bar. The lower links are constructed of 2x0.250-wall DOM tubing and use MetalCloak Duraflex joints. The 12-inch travel, 2 1/2-inch-diameter King remote-reservoir coilover shocks are fitted with 200-over-250 lb/inch coil springs and aided by a Speedway Motors sway bar and King hydraulic bumpstops.
Up front, a high-pinion kingpin Dana 60 out of a 1989 Ford truck was narrowed 4 inches. Under the WFO Concepts aluminum cover is an ARB Air Locker fitted with 5.13 Sierra gears, and 35-spline Yukon chromoly axleshafts mate to forged Spicer U-joints with full-circle clips and Yukon hardcore locking hubs.
The rear suspension uses WFO Concepts brackets that tie into the skidplate and provide triangulated four-link geometry so a track bar isn’t necessary. A pair of 14-inch-travel, 2 1/2-inch-diameter King coilovers, King hydraulic bumpstops, and a Currie Enterprises sway bar flank the custom WFO Concepts 28-gallon fuel tank that holds a factory GM fuel pump.
The rear axle is a 65-inch-wide, smooth-bottom Dana 70 out of a 1985 Snow Fighter Edition Ford F-250. It was upgraded with 35-spline chromoly Yukon axleshafts, 5.13 Sierra gears, an ARB Air Locker, and disc brakes to handle the 42-inch Goodyear Wrangler MT/R tires.
It is tough to beat the flat metal dash of a classic Jeep. Heated PRP seats flank a Tuffy Security console. AutoMeter Pro Comp Autolite gauges keep track of the engine’s vital signs. Speaking of flat, the rear floor was lowered to allow adults to sit comfortably in the rear PRP bench. The crew at WFO Concepts built the six-point rollcage from 2x0.120-wall DOM to keep the occupants safe.

Tech Specs

1983 Jeep Scrambler CJ-8
>Drivetrain
Engine: 6.0L LQ9 Chevy V-8
Transmission: 4L60E 4-speed automatic
Transfer Case: Advance Adapters Atlas II
Front Axle: Dana 60 with ARB Air Locker and 5.13 Sierra gears
Rear Axle: Dana 70 with ARB Air Locker and 5.13 Sierra gears
>Suspension
Springs & Such: 3-link with King coilovers and air bumps (front); triangulated 4-link with King coilovers and air bumps (rear)
Tires & Wheels: 42x14.5R17 Goodyear Wrangler MT/R on 17x9 Raceline Monster beadlock
Steering: PSC Saginaw box, hydraulic assist ram, pump, and reservoir; WFO Steering arm
Lighting: Vision X LED light bar
Other Stuff: Custom WFO Concepts rollcage, custom bikini top from Roman’s Upholstery, AutoMeter gauges, hydroboost brakes, Ron Davis aluminum radiator, Mojave heater, PRP heated seats, Warn 9500ti winch, WFO Concepts fuel tank, Genright aluminum highline fenders, Kenwood stereo, Rockford Fosgate amplifiers and subwoofer, 75-quart cooler

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