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Scratch-Built Scrambler: Jeep CJ-8

Posted in Project Vehicles on May 1, 2011
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If you're surprised you don't see the Scratch-Built Scrambler out on the trail with every new issue of Petersen's 4-Wheel & Off-Road, then we have to assume you never built a rig from the ground up. With every new part that gets fitted to the vehicle, there is another fancy gizmo contraption that has to be unbolted, refitted, and then reinstalled. It doesn't help much that we have a bad habit of changing our mind and that our shop time is cut in half by office work-which really sucks!

Initially we planned to wrap the Aqualu aluminum Jeep tub in steel body armor, but decided against it since the tub is already stronger than a standard steel body and it would detract from its cool looks! We decided to add steel rear CJ fenders from Overkill Engineering and Rock Ribz rocker guards from Currie Enterprises for a Jeep LJ, which had to be modified to fit.

Switching gears for the final push to finish the Scrambler, we moved the project to T&J Performance Center in Orange, California, for a helping hand and some advice. T&J has been in business for over 25 years and has a long history of building dependable trail rigs and Jeeps. Mike and Tom Barnett are longtime Jeep enthusiasts and are experts not only at building low-range hardcore overland adventure rigs like the Scratch-Built Scrambler, but also high-speed race Jeeps. Mike and Tom are avid Jeepspeed Series racers, and both hold a number of titles and First Place finishes.

We have already made considerable progress on the project at T&J. They helped us knock out the rest of the rig's body armor, checking off another task on our long list.

The rear fenders were modified to fit the wider wheelwell opening we created so the 37- to 40-inch tires we'll be running will stuff properly. The fenders are made from 1 1/2x0.120-inch DOM tubing and 3/16-inch steel plate and should stand up to anything the Jeep scrapes against.
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Currie Enterprises
Corona, CA 92880
T&J Performance Center
Orance, CA
Overkill Engineering
Nuevo, CA
Kelowna, AK

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