Trail Run Pics
I picked up Jeepskate II/XL, a 1983 Jeep CJ-8 Scrambler in October 1999 for the paltry sum of $350. My wife had given me a two Jeep maximum limit, and since I already had 1 Last 7 and Jeepskate (still under construction), I had to sacrifice Jeepskate. Much of it at least at one time lived on in Jeepskate II/XL (I've replaced/upgraded more and more of the parts that I kept over the years). I drove out to Novi, Michigan to my buddy Matt Abbott's place, rented a U-Haul trailer, and we loaded it up. If only I'd known what I was getting myself into ;-) I got it home, unloaded it, and my wife helped me push it into the driveway (believe it or not)...I'm sure she thought by now that I *must* have lost my mind. It was pretty much a basket case and had been sitting for who knows how many years. Matt kept the half cab and bulkhead from it for a YJ that he was building for his girlfriend, there was no front clip, no seats, the engine was a half assembled boat anchor, and it was SOA with 4" Trailmaster springs and some rusted out lift shackles with some ridiculous contraption connecting the front shackles together to eliminate shackle lean as well as a 3" body lift all sitting atop what were essentially 36" street tires (Dick Cepek Quiet Giants). As one visitor remarked, "It has rust holes big enough to throw a cat through." Yeah, I bit off a big one this time.
I cleaned all of the parts, dirt and misc. crap out of it, sold the dash, springs, wiring harness, and axles and gave away the engine, then slapped my springs and Dana 44's under and shoe-horned it into the garage for the Winter. I worked on it sporadically setting up the suspension, replacing the body mounts & rear crossmember, painting the frame, etc all the while trying to figure out what to do with the body. Then in 2001, I ran across Matt Trout on the CJ-8 mailing list and he sent me pictures of a YJ/Scrambler tub graft that he had done and encouraged me to give it a try so I did. Then I hit another slow-down as things got busy with work & family and it sat virtually untouched for over a year. Then it got bumped to the back burner when the engine in 1 Last 7 seized and I found out my employer was shutting down and I focused my efforts on finding a new job. I continued buying, selling, and trading parts and doing research.
Finally in December 2004 just before Christmas, I got a
notice from the city telling me to move it out of the driveway, so I pushed
it back into the garage, saw how it has started to corrode just sitting in
the driveway under a tarp, and got *pissed* and tore it all the way back
down. Once againb it sat as work & family life took priority, then in the
Spring of 2005 I got going again and had reinforcement plates welded to the
frame, several damaged weld nuts replaced, and a couple of small frame holes
repaired. I picked up gears & lockers, sold the Scout 44 rear and bought a
60, sold the 4.0 and bought a TBI Mopar 360, then stalled out again as life
got busy. I had begun talking to Anders Farr who was getting XTRM Drivetrain
& Suspension up & running (we *knew* each other from various online forums
and finally met during the Summer while helping Sam Liles out with his YJ
tub swap) about the project after he finished up the frame work for me and
we struck a deal and I started hauling my junk up to his shop in Kenosha, WI
right after Thanksgiving. He's taking care of all of the stuff that I want
but don't have the tools & knowledge to build...engine cradle, tubular
crossmember, roll cage, tube fenders, tube flares, etc. 2006 is pretty much
it. I have to get this thing at least most of the way done or it will
probably never get completed. We're planning to move in 2007 and I've
resolved that I won't be moving piles of parts.