How did it all
Well a long time ago.... in a town far far away...
ok not that far.....
My first vehicle was a 1971
Pontiac Grand Safari wagon.. Not much of an off roader. but when
you fill it with 8 boy scouts
you have a good team to help push it out of the mud. I wheeled it
on a part of the old Fort Belviour engineer training grounds.
We were there for a camporee and ended up driving all over the vehicle
My of f roading started again 3 years later when I drove my 76 Datsun B210
Bright Yellow colored hatchback) Not much of an off roader..
but light enough that 2 people could pull it out of stuff. This
was my caving car until 1987.
In 97 i bought a 2wd Ford ranger pickup. I was stuck only 2
times.. once in mud and the next time in sand at Va. Beach.
This was the last straw.. I bought my first 4x4 one year later.
It was (of course) a Ford.. F150 4x4 loaded
but stick shift and 5.0 V8.
I took it to Peters Mill run in Virginia with the soon to be created Off Camber Crawlers
club. I decided I really liked this but did not want to risk
my daily driver so I started looking for a jeep. I knew NOTHING
about jeeps and had never bought a used car.. As you can guess I ended
a poor purchase. I found a 1980 CJ7 for $3k. It had a 4
inch lift, and a 3 inch body lift, and 33x14.5 Baja Belted tires.
It LOOKED cool, ran ok and seemd like a good deal.
Later on we found huge body rust, frame rust, cracks, worn out motor,
etc. I spend a lot of time and some money on it.
In 1997 I went on the first #Jeep (Efnet
Jeepers) Rubicon Run. Here is an excellent Trip report
I knew after this that the old CJ would NEVER be able to do this so I
found and bought a pristine 1986 CJ7.
I had it lifted (4 inch superlift), Shackle reversal (warrior brand),
locked with detroit lockers front & rear and regeared to 4.10
gears. It ran on 33x12.5 BFG M/T's and
had a Warn 8274 winch on the nose. It was a great jeep and I was
able to wheel
it 4 times
before my (now X) wife left me and took the
jeep with her.
I found a 1974
CJ5 in 1998 and over 6 months rebuilt it with a 2 inch
lift, 2 inch body lift, Fuel injected (Holly projection) 304 V8.
I bought a T18, and an AtlasII transfer case.
I had to have the motor moved forward to fit. the new driveline and
then had to run all electric fans. Cooling has been an issue with it
all the time. I had a big 4 core radiator built and made a fan shroud
for the pusher and attached a puller fan in one corner. This is
enough to keep it cool until I have to run up at 2k rpsm. Then it gets
to 250 rather quickly. The Jeep is a great crawler (112:1)
but a bad dirt or mudder. The axles (Dana 44 full float rear and Dana
30 front) are
locked and geared at 4.22. It had a full roll cage (good thing)
and a Warn 9500I with Dual battery setup (Very good thing).
I wheeled it for 2 years.. It was street legal for most of that
time. In April 2001 I rolled it over really hard. i was on
a hill, crossing the face and I lifted on a branch and rolled. I rolled
onto the drivers side
( a rock came in and banged my thigh) then onto the top, then ondo the
passenger side. All the while i was turning 45 degrees, then sliding
down the hill 20 ft or so. I ended up pointing up hill, on the
passenger side (motor still running) with the rear up against a
tree. I was able to winch (I had JUST put onthe 9500i and the
dual battery setup) it onto its wheels (strap and winch and d rings..)
and off to the side of the trail. The gas tank had emptyed, the
radaitor had been vented so I was dead where I sat. I was with a
TJ that had broken an axle shaft so we were stranded. After 30
mins on the cb our trail guide came back to check on us and we loaded 5
into a cj5 and rode back to camp. I got fuel, water and 2 freinds
and we recovered ti the next day with no major problems. I
repaired the damage but was no longer comfortable in it. I reversed the
backspacing in the rims (widened the axles by 8 inches) and took it
back to Big dogs. This time I had my best runs in it but I had already
bought the CJ7 so the 5's days were numbered. The 5's last run
was to Big Dogs 1 year after the roll. The it sat in the lot till I had
the money to rebuild the CJ7. It donated its transmission and transfer
case to the new CJ7.
I ran this jeep for 3 years untill I rolled it in April 2001. It
was a hard roll and I was pretty sick of narrow track and short
wheelbase. I fixed the minor damage and wheeled it
only 2 more times. I bought my latest jeep that Spring..
It is a 1986 CJ7. I bought it to stay stock or maybe lightly modified
but after the roll I was never comfortable in
the 74 CJ. I had started gathering parts for upgrading the 74 but
decided to put them into the 86. Here are pics of its last ride.
Big Dogs Spring Fling 2002 KGB Trail Pic1 Pic 2
Now it is sitting waiting to be sold.
I had all my parts (well sort of) together and had a date in the shop
of Nov 16th. when my plans were RUDELY Interrupted by reality. I was
laid off. This caused me to nurse the CJ5
for another year and not start the buildup of the CJ7 untill May
Oh. I Do have other toys.. This is my 2000 Harley
Davidson FXDL (Dyna Lowrider). Love to ride.. It is hard to choose
some weeks.. Jeep, Bike, truck..
Here it is 2004 and I now have my CJ finished and back home.