Readers' Rebuilds From The Shop To The Trail
We've all had our hands in a project that never seemed to get done. It doesn't matter if it is a complete frame-off restoration or the engine swap that never ends, we've all been there. Whether it was our own or a friend's, we have all felt the pain. It seems misery really does love company, or we all like seeing other Jeepers triumph. Whatever the reasoning, last time we ran a reader's rebuild story, the response was tremendous. So, we've been collecting Jeep Shots submissions that show the before, during, and finished product of your projects and we've finally got enough to run a full story. So without further ado, enjoy the triumphs of your fellow readers over the black hole that a Jeep project can become.
Singing the Blue
Ervin Paddock of Butte, Montana, did a full frame-off restoration and didn't put the body back on the Jeep until the '84 Chevy 305ci V-8 was bolted to the TH400 transmission and bolted into the frame. The power steering, hanging pedal assembly, and brake master cylinder all came from a Chevy car. The seats were grabbed from a Monte Carlo, and it's got a Chevy steering column and custom dashboard. A rear Dana 44 and front Dana 25 were grabbed from a CJ-3B which got 11-inch drums off a Wagoneer. The under-seat gas tank is augmented by a second tank out back and gives the Jeep almost double the range. Other cool features are a tilt front clip and a custom rear bumper/tire carrier.
Top of the World
Milton Bretz of Godley, Texas, sent us some pictures of his '71 Jeepster project and another five or six projects he's got floating around; he's a real glutton for punishment. Milton spent a lot of time and blew through a ton of actual film to send us a couple of hundred pictures of his Jeep. He didn't tell us how long it took him to build, he just mentioned the word "years" a few times. Now Milton's Jeep is riding on 37x12.50R17 BFG Krawlers. Even after he first put the 350ci Buick V-8 between the framerails, he went through several years of trial and error. Today the Buick V-8 is Howell-injected, DUI-ignited, and backed by a TH400 transmission bolted to a Dana 300. Power goes out to a front Dana 44 and rear Dana 60 with 4.88 gears and Detroit Lockers. Some custom fender work and a six-point rollcage round out this awesome Jeepster.
While the tent itself might not look that cold, when we tell you that Clint VanNoy built this '43 GPW in his hometown of Anchorage, Alaska, you might get the same shivers we did. Clint bought the Jeep sight-unseen from some guy in California, had it shipped up to Alaska, and started on the frame-off. He has swapped in a 225ci Buick V-6 bored 0.030-over with a mild RV cam, aluminum intake, Offenhauser valve covers, and a Holley 390cfm carburetor. A T-90 hands off to a Spicer 18, which then goes to a front Dana 30 with an OX Locker and a rear Dana 44 with a Detroit Locker. Both axles benefit from 4.88 gears, Warn hubs, and a set of 15x10 wheels wrapped with 33-inch Super Swamper Boggers.
Iowan Pen Pal
Bruce Cockram (yes, that's his real name) of Pleasant Hill, Iowa, basically took a YJ body and frame and then bolted his '83 CJ-7 stuff to it. At least that's what he tells us. He cut the frame at the arch and added steel tube out to the rear, then lowered the body on the frame for a lower center of gravity. Power comes from an AMC 401ci V-8 with a Howell throttle-body fuel injection on it. An NP435 provides a good workout; rowing gears and a 4.3:1 Atlas II send the power out to the Rockcrusher Dana 60 front axle and shaved GM 14-bolt rear. The axles are hung from a three-link wishbone-style front suspension and a four-link double-triangulated rear suspension. The wheelbase is set at 110 inches and a full-hydraulic steering system pushes around the big 42-inch Super Swamper TSLs.