1971 Hurst Jeepster
Lee Tidwell’s ’71 Hurst Jeepster Commando took four years to complete. The Champagne White exterior is set with the original stripes for a period-correct look. The stock 225ci V-6 engine was also painted with the original colors and outfitted with a Delco distributor with a Pertronix ignition conversion. The TH400 transmission uses the Hurst dual-gate shifter, while the Dana 27 front and Dana 44 rear remain as they were in 1971. A reproduction Dixco hood tach and hood scoop finish out the classic appearance.
Bill Duffield of Grandville, Michigan, uses his ’95 Wrangler to explore the local off-road parks and take the family out for ice cream on the weekends. Purchased for a great deal due to some fire damage, Duffield, along with the help of his father-in-law, rebuilt the YJ from the ground up. The replacement 4.0L HO engine remains untouched, while the AX15 transmission was rebuilt. Fit with a slip-yoke eliminator, the NV231 transfer case splits power to a Dana 30 front axle and Chrysler 8.25 rear axle. Alloy USA ball joints, along with 1-ton steering, tighten up the high-pinion front axle, while 4.56 gears make it easier to churn the 35x12.50 Copper Discover STT tires. To suspend it all, a 41⁄2-inch Rubicon Express suspension system was installed along with Boomerang shackles and M.O.R.E. shock relocation brackets.
Ready to Ride
Brian Sherman’s ’97 TJ is a long way from the stocker it once was. Behind the 4.0L engine resides a NV4500 manual transmission and a gear-driven Atlas transfer case with a 3.8:1 low-range ratio. A TnT Customs 51⁄2-inch long-arm suspension secures a set of Dynatrac ProRock 60 axles. For tires and wheels, 37-inch-tall IROK radials were clamped to TrailReady beadlocks. Metal Cloak body armor fills in just some of the blanks on this heavily modified Wrangler.
Jim Svoboda’s ’92 Wrangler Renegade edition has been a long-time project. Jim started out by cleaning up the poor wiring job done by the previous owner. The engine and transmission were both in poor shape as well, so a full rebuild was completed on both. Since rockcrawling isn’t something that’s common around Northwest Illinois, he kept the YJ with a small lift and 31-inch Firestones. This winter, he plans on rebuilding the axles. Judging from the other wrench work he’s completed, that should be no problem.