Why Build It Twice?
We like the way these Oklahoma boys think. After all, why should you replace 2, 4, or even 12 sets of axleshafts in your 1/2-ton front end when you can save time, money, and aggravation by simply hanging a Dana 60 there in the first place? That's the way Mike Cox of Glenpool thinks. His '84 CJ-7 is the proof. This thing is more overbuilt than Tiffany Amber Thiessen's Wonderbra.
As a mechanic at Sam's Off Road in Tulsa, Mike had ample exposure to customers coming in to replace their broken stock parts. So, it's little wonder that the stock Dana 30 and Model 20 axles were junked in favor of a pair of tricked 1-ton axles when the decision to run 39.5-inch Boggers and big V-8 power was made. Mike took a mid-'80s Dana 60 front and grafted on '92 Ford knuckles and five-lug rotors. For the rear, a GM 14-bolt received a similar treatment with Ford bearing ends to obtain a 5-on-5 1/2 bolt pattern. Moser shafts were used in the heretofore unheard of rear axle.
For the drivetrain, Mike relies on a mix of tried and true components. An internally stock '91 TBI Chevy 350 is backed by a Trans Go Stage 2-enhanced TH350. Advance Adapters supplied hardware to couple the TH350 to the original Dana 300 case as well as the heavy-duty output shaft.
To clear the monstrous rubber, Mike moved the front axle forward 3 inches and used Rancho 2-inch rear CJ springs in all four corners to perform the spring-over conversion. Even so, a homemade 1 1/2-inch body lift was still needed to keep the Bogger lugs out of the tub. Inside, a pair of Steel Horse denim seats, Auto Meter gauges, and a Smittybilt 'cage keep Mike comfy, informed, and safe as he toggles the B&M Quicksilver shifter.
We like the way Mike builds his Jeeps and the way he spec'd out his tech sheet. Under custom bodywork he lists "two rollovers in Moab," under easiest part of the buildup he lists "dents in the hood," and under advice to others he lists "build it one time-build it big!" Amen, brother.