Andrew Haffenden writes in that the ’48 Willys pictured here can be found roaming Dauphin Island, Alabama. The Willys pickup body sits on a Chevy Blazer frame, which uses most of the Bowtie’s original running gear. For a touch of class, the diesel engine and transmission were plucked from a Mercedes-Benz.
Josh Henry and his digital-camo ’00 TJ hail from the small town of Midway, Tennessee. The East Coast wheeler equipped his Wrangler with a 5.5-inch long-arm suspension, which secures the locked Dana 44 axles. Modified shock mounts allow for 16-inch-travel Bilstein shocks, providing the 37-inch IROKs on 15x10-inch wheels plenty length to stay planted on the ground. The TJ retains the stock 4.0L but gets a little extra breathing power via an Airaid cold-air intake. A pair of custom bumpers keeps the Jeep protected, and a 9.5 Superwinch with synthetic rope was installed for sound recovery gear. Henry and a friend also spent some time modifying the stock ‘cage to make it a bit safer and trimmed the fenders to clear the larger rubber.
We are not sure if they give a merit badge for patience in the Boy Scouts, but if they do, Rob Loer should have one. Loer writes that he wanted a Jeep ever since his Scoutmaster took him for a ride in a CJ-7 when he was 12 years old. When he was younger, he could not afford one, and as he got older, it didn’t seem like the practical choice. Now, in his 40s, Loer said “the heck with it” and purchased the ’06 Wrangler you see here. The last-year TJ is fit with a 4.0L, 42RLE transmission, Dana 30 front, and Dana 35 rear axle. To protect the Jeep off-road, a Rugged Ridge front bumper was installed and paired with a Quadratec winch. Additional armor includes a Smittybilt rear bumper and Trail-Gear rocker guards. The suspension gets help via a Currie Antirock sway bar and two-inch budget boost. Detroit Truetracs and 4.88 gears help churn the 32-inch-tall BFG Mud-Terrains more easily. Rounding out the mods are a KC H4 headlight conversion and Kargo Master Congo Cage.
Room for Everyone
Allen and Wyn Myers of Omaha, Nebraska, love to go on family trips off-road, but they wanted something reliable, so they built a ’07 JK into a capable and comfortable trail rig. The Sahara is motivated by a 3.8L V-6 with an intake and exhaust by AFE, RIPP long-tube headers in preparation for a RIPP supercharger, and an Advanced Adapter RubiCrawler gearbox. The Jeep rides on a 4-inch Off Road Evolution Double D long-arm kit with King Racing remote-reservoir shocks over Currie Dana 60 axles with 5.38 gears and ARB Air Lockers. Everything rides on top of 37x12.50R17 Nitto Trail Grappler tires with black 17x9 ATX AX757 beadlocks. The exterior is protected by a GenRight aluminum front bumper, a Rock Hard 4x4 rear bumper, Poison Spyder fenders, and Off Road Evolution Rock Skins. Inside the cabin, the Myers family is protected with a Poison Spyder full ’cage and Corbeau LG1 heated racing seats in with 5-point harnesses attached to Rock Hard 4x4 harness bars.
Chuck Thompson of Grand Junction, Colorado, seen here on the 21 Road Trail, says that only one major drivetrain part in his ’79 CJ-7 isn’t an original Jeep part. But, he sure must have a strange definition of “major”. The engine is an AMC 401ci V-8 converted to run on propane. It’s hooked to a T-18 transmission, a Dana 300 with 4:1 gears, and heavy-duty output shafts. The Dana 60 front axle with an ARB Air Locker is the only non-Jeep part, and out back is another Dana 60 axle with a spool and 4.88 gears. The front suspension has Alcan leaf springs, and the rear uses a four-link setup over 14/42-15LT Interco IROK tires on 15-inch beadlock wheels.
Josh Gould of Adams, Massachusetts, transformed his ’02 TJ from a stripped-down garage find, into the trail rig you see here with the help of his friends. His buddies Ashton, Nate, Jonny, and Gorgio all pitched-in on this Jeep that was purchased in non-running condition with no hood, no windshield, no rollcage, no fenders, and a primered body tub. Now, it has a working 4.0L engine, NV3550 transmission, and a NP231 transfer case with an Advance Adapters slip-yoke eliminator and a Tom Wood’s ‘shaft. The TJ rides on a 6-inch long-arm lift. The front axle is a Dana 30 with a Spartan locker, and the rear axle is a Ford 8.8 with a spool and disc brakes. The tires are Super Swamper TSL Q78-15LTs on 15x7-inch ProComp steel wheels, and there’s a Durango 4x4 front bumper and a Warn rear bumper with a swing-out tire carrier.