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1985 Jeep CJ7 - 4 Word

Posted in How To on August 1, 2001
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In Praise Of Projects
It was about this time last year - having just returned from the Easter Jeep Safari - that I picked up my current project, an '85 CJ-7. Sitting here, I just can't believe that it's been an entire year since I bought that thing, and the wretched beast still isn't trail-ready. It's not even close. I still remember thinking that it was going to be great having a new rig in Moab this year. Well, what can I say? It's been a long year.

Standing around on one trail after another and listening to folks tell me about their project vehicles is an occupational hazard around here. It's an interesting way to pass the time, and it's a good way to learn something about the people you meet. But I've discovered that it fills your head with so many different ideas that pretty soon you actually believe you can make them all come to pass. And you can...given enough time. However, I'd like to get my Jeep on the trail before I become eligible to join the AARP. And at the rate I'm going, it'll be close.

This industry, though, has a way of keeping you honest and on track. On arriving in Moab this year, I knew I was going to get some grief over showing up without my CJ. And sure enough, one person after another came up to me on the trail with a gleam in his eye to inquire why I was standing there taking pictures of other people's rigs instead of driving my own. Now, they knew damn well that I was standing there on the side of the trail because my Jeep was sitting in a shop out in Corona gathering dust, but that's all part of the fun. They can bust my chops about it and poke fun at me because they've all been right where I am, and we all know it.

That being said, I came back from Moab with a renewed sense of commitment to my CJ project (as well as a renewed sense of urgency). At this point, I have so many parts stockpiled that the Jeep's actually teetering on the edge of going somewhere. My biggest challenge now is staying focused. I know I'm losing that focus when I begin telling my wife about some new direction I could take this project in and she just rolls her eyes and tells me to work with what I've got and get it done. I usually tell her she's right and then let my mind keep spinning.

But really, I'm almost there. I just need to get the V-8 conversion dialed in, finish building the axles, get the coil conversion to work, rewire all the electronics, Rhino Line the tub...

By the way, have I told you about my Cherokee?

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