What started out as 1975 CJ5 Jeep, has slowly morphed into a purpose built rock buggy.
I had been looking for something else to go wheeling in as I didn’t want to beat up my nice toyota truck I used to daily drive. I purchased the victim in 1996, I was 19 at the time. It was a 1975 CJ5, 258 straight six, T18 trans, D20 t-case, and a D44 rear. From my research at the time I concluded that this would be the best of the available jeep drivetrains to get. We pulled it out of some guys backyard, it hadn’t ran in years and towed it home.
It was rough, rusty floorboards and all. I got it running and did some modifications to it. Eventually it was a decent little wheeler, it even had a soft top and everything! Of course the rain would get kicked up and come up through the holes in the floor! Eventually I swapped wider axles in it with a custom rear coil link suspension and went to bigger tires. Then the motor wouldn’t pass smog, or run well either, so in went a stroked fuel injected jeep 4.0. At that point I could really wheel the thing! I didn’t have a tow rig so I drove it everywhere! Eventually I bought a tow rig and started flat towing and was really enjoying it.
But eventually, as good as it worked, I just wasn’t that proud of it. The jeep had allways been a basket case of issues and the last major one meant a real overhaul was in store. After a few months of planning I bought some steel and started making my own frame.
Originaly, I had planned to keep this somewhat streetable, an idea I now think is rediculous for any kind of rockbuggy. I was going to reuse all of my existing drivetrain, figuring I could allways upgrade it later, and try to get this thing done in a year. Well, life gets in the way of the most optimistic plans and things change. Better parts are sourced and designs are revised. After 6 yrs, 3 homes, 2 jobs and one woman it was finnally finished during the summer of 2012.
Stroked 4.0 I6 Jeep motor, now 4.6L, fuel injected
T18 trans with granny low gearing
D20 T-case with Tera 3.15 gears and AA 32spline rear output
Custom 3-link coil over front suspension
Custom 4-link coil over rear suspension
39.5 Super Swamper Irok bias ply tires
8 bolt H1 Hummer rims with custom rock rings
Hydro assist steering
Custom fuel cell
Engo 9000lb winch
Beard seats with crow 3” harnesses
Custom lightweight roof rack
Swing out spare tire carrier with gas can mounts
Led rock lights
On board air