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Jeep CJ-8 Scrambler Built for Trail Fun

This ’84 Jeep CJ-8 was built for fun on the trail

Interesting stories are a big part of the Dirt 'N Drive experience. The 2019 Jp Dirt 'N Drive Presented by Jeep was filled with tales of great trails, cool Jeeps, beautiful scenery, and good times. Among the many Jeeps that sparked a good deal of interest was the very clean and quite capable 1984 CJ-8 Scrambler owned by Aaron and Syble Paris. The Jeep had an unassuming appearance at a glance, which upon deeper examination revealed an adventurous personality. Built over a period of four years, all of the work, "except things like the transmission," was done by Aaron. The engineer admitted, "Before this, I didn't know much about Jeeps."

Aaron had considered a JK but realized he had no idea how to fix it in the middle of nowhere, so when a CJ-8 came up for sale at a price he could live with, the deal was done and the project was on. A smart guy who learns quickly, Aaron knew there was a lot of work ahead, but he took it one step at a time and just kept going. Aaron said that looking back, he should have just replaced the entire frame right off the bat. The Ohio-based vehicle needed a number of reinforcement plates welded on; in the end, it was quite hard to repair and likely more expensive than a new frame.

It's an OG body with a Chevy 5.3L V-8 hidden under the hood, with OG axles that are upgraded with air lockers and a full-floater rear kit. And although the interior is low-key, it is filled with all the trail essentials, and Aaron built a bench seat in the back of the CJ-8 for the kids. You could say it's a unique build that hides its secrets well enough to fend off the usual lookie-loos. The Scrambler took on an even greater personal significance for Aaron when his brother-in-law Brent, who had helped with much of the project, passed away shortly after the project was done. Aaron says, "The skills he helped me gain while building the Jeep will live with me for the rest of my life." The result was a great-looking '84 Jeep CJ-8 Scrambler sporting a sturdy, reliable, and low-key build that works exceedingly well.

Hard Facts
Vehicle: 1984 Jeep Scrambler CJ-8
Engine: 2004 GM 5.3L V-8
Transmission: NV4500 heavy-duty five-speed manual
Transfer Case: Dana 300
Suspension: Rubicon Express 4.5-inch suspension lift kit
Axles: 1984 Dana 30, ARB Air Lockers, 4.56 gears, Mile Marker manual-locking hubs (front); 1984 AMC Model 20, ARB Air Lockers, 4.56 gears, Warn Full-Float kit and manual-locking hubs (rear)
Wheels: 15x10-inch Mickey Thompson Sidebiter
Tires: 35x12.50R15 BFGoodrich KM2 Mud-Terrain T/A