We ran into Brad Knaphus and his '78 Jeep Wagoneer while looking for adventure. We didn't see his rig at first, but what caught our attention was the heavy rumble of the 4x4's well-built engine and healthy exhaust note. As we rounded the corner, we found Brad and his four sons unloading this exceptionally clean Jeep from their trailer.
Brad purchased the Wagoneer in 1991 as the family go-getter and daily driver while he was in college, and it's been a constant project ever since. The Jeep Wagoneer had an extremely long production run and had perhaps the single biggest influence in starting today's four-wheel-drive SUV craze. As a professional Jeep mechanic, fabricator, and owner of The Rad Jeeper in Salt Lake City, Brad started into the Wagoneer with a frame-off restoration and then moved on to the critical things like fastidiously rebuilding the original AMC 401ci V-8. This classic Wagoneer isn't the daily sled anymore for Brad and his kids-it's now desigsnated as the family adventure wagon.
Engine: AMC 401ci V-8
Transfer case: Dana 20 with Tera-Low 3.15:1 low gearset, Advance Adapters HD 32-spline tailshaft
Front Axle: Dana 44, 4.56 gears, Lock-Right
Rear Axle: Dana 60, 4.56 gears, Detroit Locker
Springs & Such: Custom Alcan springs front and rear, Warn Black Diamond XT shocks
Tires & Wheels: Pro Comp Xterrain 37x13.5Rx15, 15x10 Allied Rock-A-Thong
Other Stuff: Rad Jeeper custom front and rear bumpers and rock sliders, Con-Ferr cargo rack, Optima RedTop battery