Ahhh, Easter Jeep Safari, you sweet temptress of an off-road event. Every year you come so fast and make us feel so good with beautiful vistas, sticky red rock, and trails as far as the eye can see. With every year that passes the event seems to keep getting bigger and bigger, and as Easter Jeep Safari (EJS) 2018 begins we wanted to show you a cool Jeep we bumped into at Area BFE last year, at EJS 2017.
The Jeep is big, simple and tough, and unlike some, not too shiny to really wheel hard. Some might even say this Jeep is part buggy, and all beater, but it gets the job done with good strong parts, and yields a ton of fun at the same time. This 1997 Jeep Wrangler belongs to Joseph “Joe” Stuyck from the great state of South Carolina. And as of March 24, 2018, we are not sure if Joe is here, on his way, or stuck at home, but one way or another we bet he remembers his trip to EJS 2017. So if you’re like Joe, make it a priority to come to Moab someday. Sure, come during EJS, but just come. It’s a place like nowhere on earth. Until then check out Joe’s simple beater Wrangler as he played near the entrance to Area BFE at EJS 2017.
Joe Stuyck from South Carolina flexes out his 1997 Jeep Wrangler TJ on some big rocks near the entrance to Area BFE. The Wrangler has a Ford King Pin Dana 60 front axle, and a full-float GM 14-bolt rear. These big axles turn 42-inch BFGoodrich KX Krawlers on 20-inch Trailready beadlock wheels.
Fox coilovers support the front of the Jeep, which has a three-link with a track bar. Fox air bumps soften any hard bottoms while Truck-Lite headlights illuminate the trail. A reliable Warn winch lends a tug and can be used as a suck-down winch on steep climbs.
A triangulated rear four-link locates the full-float GM 14-bolt rear axle with a disc brake conversion.
A 4:1 low range comes from an NVG 241 OR out of a Wrangler Rubicon.
Power comes from a tried and true 4.0L I-6 bolted to an AX-15 five-speed transmission.
The front axle is a King Pin Dana 60 from a Ford truck with an ARB Air Locker for extra traction.
The interior of Joe’s Jeep is simple and does its job. Suspension seats and five-point harnesses keep passengers inside the stout cage that is integrated with the frame. Joe does his own fabrication (maybe with a little help from his friends) and kept the Jeep's original gauge cluster, but moved it to a more central location in the custom cage/dash.
The rear of the Jeep is chopped up to tuck everything in tight. A custom fuel cell holds the go-juice, and sharp eyes will see the rear Rad-Flow coilovers mounted to the cage.
Special thanks to Area BFE for giving us and Joe a place to play! When you are in Moab don’t forget to go visit them and their terrain that is perfect for just about any 4x4 from stock to fully built.
Joe's '97 TJ