Right or Twice: Bring on the Big Stuff
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Do it right or do it twice. Its not the battle cry for all Jeep builders, but it should be. Travis Hickman of Woodbury, Tennessee, charged into his 68 M715 in the right frame of mind and ended up with a 1 ¼-ton Jeep that he can beat the snot out of on weekends, and then use as a daily driver during the week. If a fullsize fits, its hard to beat the factory drivetrain and the price of these military gems.
At the time of Travis buildup very few aftermarket parts were available for M715s. He ended up pioneering his own way and figured out things like how to mount power steering, high-clearance tie rods, and disc brakes to the closed-knuckle Dana 60. Travis also helped Chad Molitor build his M715 which we featured in Ex-Grunt (May 01) so you might notice some similarities. Heres one right way to build the M-series.
Chassis & Driveline
The frame is mostly stock and the wheelbase remains at the original 126 inches which is good for climbing slick waterfalls at high-rpm. A spring-over provides 6 inches of lift to clear the Swampers. Up front Travis mounted a Saginaw power steering box in place of the manual M715 unit. Travis says its almost a bolt-in swap on some M715s.