One Clean CJ-8
When we first saw Robert Carmichael's Scrambler we thought it "sure was a purty Jeep," but we never really thought he'd take such a pretty Jeep wheeling. Then we got to talking to him and found out that, while it is pretty, he's had his share of damage to it while out wheeling and has simply repaired it so it doesn't look like the normal clapped-out wheeling rig.
Obviously, a bright-orange '82 CJ-8 is going to catch your eye. Even more so when it looks so good. But as you get closer, notice the interior is set up for a rig that gets driven. There are creature comforts such as a heater, comfortable seats, and a top, which can or can't be run. The rollcage is well-thought-out and nicely executed, and the Jeep retains a rear seat for passengers.
Underneath that glossy exterior, this West Jordan, Utah, resident's Jeep is all business. Robert did the modifications needed to get out and enjoy wheeling, without all the bells and whistles a lot of us get caught up with.
Chassis and Driveline
The stock Scrambler frame was kept unaltered-no bobbing here. Robert got the CJ-8 because he liked the extra wheelbase and length, not to mention the look of it. A Rubicon Express YJ spring-over kit was used for elevation in conjunction with a quartet of Rancho RS-9000 shocks for about 8 inches of suspension lift over stock. A Daystar 1-inch polyurethane body lift took up the slack while replacing the worn-out stock rubber bushings.
He then took a '77 Chevy 350 V-8 with a mild Erson camshaft and Holley Projection, Mallory Unilite ignition, and Trans-Dapt motor mounts and dropped it between the framerails for motivation. The engine breathes through a custom 3-inch exhaust system with a Magnaflow muffler.
Power goes from there to an SM465 granny tranny adapted to a Dana 300 with an Advance Adapters kit. From there, the Dana 44 front axle was pulled from a '79 Wagoneer while the rear Dana 60 was donated from a '70 Ford truck. The rearend was narrowed to 60 inches and both were stuffed with 4.10 gears and Detroit Lockers. The rear axle got a Warn full float kit with 1 1/2-inch 35-spline shafts with CJ rotors and S-10 calipers for braking. Then the whole thing was slung under the Jeep.
The underside of the Jeep yields some more necessary modifications. The stock CJ steering needed some help, and got it in the form of an AGR steering box and Rock Ram assist system. A 4-Plus steering brace and M.O.R.E. steering-box mount hold the steering gear in place. To eliminate the normal Jeep jarring, Robert added a 4-Plus shackle reversal.