Garage engineering usually involves a welder, a six-pack, and a tape measure, and one rarely ends up with a lightweight rig. After quite a few years of garage engineering, Phil Beauchamp of Oklahoma City was rewarded with this big fun yellow toy. What started out as a '73 CJ-5 is now a rockcrawling, hillclimbing, mud-flinging machine.
Phil has definitely given in to peer pressure with nothing but positive results. When your stomping grounds include Clayton, Oklahoma, and your pals all run 44s, the pressure to step up to big components is there. Phil didn't want to be sitting on the trailside and wanted to run giant Swampers, so the obvious choice was 21/2-ton Rockwell axles. Considering that his Jeep now weighs close to 31/2 tons (6,400 pounds actually), it is more than appropriate.
To get everything spinning, this two-seated short bus runs a healthy AMC 360. We call it a short bus because of the bright yellow color that comes from a full body coating of spray-on bedliner. There aren't any red lights flashing, but there is a T-18 four-speed followed by an Atlas 4.3 transfer case. Phil seemed to have a good time for our cameras and wasn't afraid to coat his rig in some Okie goo. Sometimes a lightweight rig just isn't as important as big fun.