Default CJ, TJ, or Hybrid? 

Old 06-18-2009, 10:36 PM   #1
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Hello everybody. I hope this is the correct place for this thread.

I used to own a CJ7. Now I own a 1997 Jeep TJ (Sport, 4.0, 5 speed)-got it in August of '96, brand new, and it has 204,000+ miles on it. The rear Dana 35C is just about shot, and they put in crappy 3.07 gears. Replacing the rear with a Dana 44 is gonna cost 3k+ by the time it's all said and done, and then I have to do a gear change to the front too. I have to get new seats, top, etc.

I am wondering if it's worth it, and considering a few things, and would welcome advice and opinions. I've looked at the new JKs and test driven them-beautiful machines, but, conveniences require sacrificing independance, so I'll pass on the JK.

I love my TJ, but I do miss the simplicity of the CJ. Yes, coil suspension, fuel injection, etc. are wonderful, but when you're deep in the outback and your Jeep won't start, how do you fix it with the diagnostic computer 300 miles away? I say this because something as simple as a $20 relay can leave you stranded without knowing what's wrong. Not to mention the sheer nightmare of the endless wires, connectors, etc. that snake all over the place. In my old CJ you could figure it out and even rig it to get home, which I did a few times. Granted, the TJ has never left me stranded even after fording headlight-deep water with no snorkel and then falling nose-first into a hood-deep mudhole for 1/2 an hour.

Still, I just spent two days pulling the dash out of my TJ to get to the A/C box and it was a living hell (I'm thinking of chopping the dash in half for easier removal). I kept remembering how easy it was to pull the dash out of my CJ and work on it.

SO...

I am considering these options:

1. Build a Jeep on a CJ8/Scrambler frame sort of like the Brute, but with an apple crate bed, and perhaps an aluminum body cab (pickup style). The engine would be either an inline six or a diesel, carburated (no computers).

2. Stretch my TJ a bit and do the Brute thing and applecrate, and convert to a carburated system without the computer etc.

I want the Jeep to be a daily driver and good for driving across the country, but also capable of handling deep outback expeditions into places like Alaska, and likely towing a small, lightweight off-road teardrop type trailer.









 

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Default Re: CJ, TJ, or Hybrid? 

Old 06-18-2009, 10:57 PM   #2
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I take it you don't have any tail pipe sniffer emissions test in you neck of the woods? Big brother tends to frown on the injection to carb swaps. The built from scratch CJ8 Flatbed Pickup sounds cool, especially to diesel idea. If they bitch about emissions run it of french fry oil!
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Default Re: CJ, TJ, or Hybrid? 

Old 06-19-2009, 06:48 AM   #3
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If I had the time and really wanted to scratch build a decent 4x4 it would be an 8! The length difference and the overall appeal of having a bed and still have a CJ is a big draw for me.

As you said, the simplicity of the CJ will still be there but the versatility of a truck adds so much.

Did you look at LongHorns gallery? He has a nicely built 8! http://www.jeep-cj.com/gallery/brows...&imageuser=423
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Default Re: CJ, TJ, or Hybrid? 

Old 06-19-2009, 07:29 AM   #4
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That seems like alot to ask from the same vehicle. Be a daily driver / tow vehicle/ long distance runner, AND be a capable deep excursion off road vehicle. I sure as hell can understand and agree with wanting a simple vehicle for when SHTF, but being a tough off roader and being able to pull a trailer down the highway long distance may be trying to burn a candle from both ends. You will have to find that fine line between gearing, power, tires, lift, COG, and relative comfort. I think that what has me wondering is, just how deep into the wilds, and how bad the trails will be?
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Default Re: CJ, TJ, or Hybrid? 

Old 06-19-2009, 06:44 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by coldwater View Post
That seems like alot to ask from the same vehicle. Be a daily driver / tow vehicle/ long distance runner, AND be a capable deep excursion off road vehicle. I sure as hell can understand and agree with wanting a simple vehicle for when SHTF, but being a tough off roader and being able to pull a trailer down the highway long distance may be trying to burn a candle from both ends. You will have to find that fine line between gearing, power, tires, lift, COG, and relative comfort. I think that what has me wondering is, just how deep into the wilds, and how bad the trails will be?

Thanks for the replies so far.

In 197(6), I believe, Mark Smith led an expedition of several stock CJ7s from Punta Arenas, Chile, to Prudo Bay, Alaska. Yes, they broke an axle or two, but it was all fixed on the trail. I know what you mean about a lot to ask, but I believe that if five or six mostly stock CJ7s crossed the Darien Gap, most anything else can be done.

I'm not one for the deliberate traversing of uber-difficult, practically guaranteed to bust something trails like Sledgehammer for example. I don't need the Jeep to power through everything-I believe in finessing through obstacles, or going around them if possible (treading lightly of course). I also believe in the use of a winch, sand/mud ladders, etc. Back around 2000 I went on a Jeep "regatta" pretty deep in the "Everglades" of Florida. We found ourselves caught in a sooner than expected nightfall surrounded by very bad mud holes. I got my stock TJ with General 31x10.50 MTs and 3.07 gears through a hole that Jeeps with 35s were stuck in-the mud sloshed over my hood! Later I got stuck in a lesser hole-go figure. My point is that I was able to make it through one obstacle in a stock Jeep without red lining it or slamming through, and when I got stuck in another the winch came into play.

I believe that a vehicle can do all of those things, though I understand what you mean-it can't be a "Holy Grail" of one thing without sacrificing another.

I'd like to go very deep into the wilds, like Mark Smith did-using not just the Jeep, but other methods to get through. Lift will be OME. Wheels will be 16" and use a narrow tire of approximate equivalence of 33x9.50. Gearing will likely be 4:10. Will have ARB Locker at least in rear. I've thought of some kind of overdrive unit to allow for lower gearing.

I don''t like heavy modifications because it causes a chain reaction of related modifications, and I believe there will always remain a weak link somewhere that will bight me in the rump when I least expect it, and the heavier the modification the more specialized the parts get.

I have considered just doing this to my TJ, but the only thing that stops me is all the electronics. It scares the #$%@ out of me to imagine a malfunction in the middle of nowhere without any way to diagnose or fix it.

What do you think?

 

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Default Re: CJ, TJ, or Hybrid? 

Old 06-19-2009, 07:19 PM   #6
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I feel the same way about electronics. When I bought my "8" it was a $800.00 POS. I started from the ground up with fully military rebuilt Dana 60's with Detroit lockers & 4.56 gears. I rebuilt a Dana 300 Tcase with twin sticks & 32 spline output shafts. A rebuilt Borg Warner Gear T-19. A HD Hays clutch, New fly wheel. A fresh 401 V8 with a Holley Off Road Avenger 4V. I've used it as a daily driver for two years now. It's been reliable, it's climbed water falls, pulled boats, BBQ pit,4-weelers,feed, hay. I've haul tractor tires, feed, fire wood in the bed. you can drive on the highway with one hand on the wheel, or let go it will still track straight. I've owned a lot of Jeeps over the years & this is my favorite, because I built it from the ground up like I wanted it. I can put in two back seats & haul my family of five,or take out both back seats & load it up. It would not work for everyone, but it makes me happy.
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Default Re: CJ, TJ, or Hybrid? 

Old 06-19-2009, 10:47 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by CJ View Post
Did you look at LongHorns gallery? He has a nicely built 8! - Jeep-CJ Gallery

Great looking Jeep there! Thanks!

 

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Default Re: CJ, TJ, or Hybrid? 

Old 06-19-2009, 10:55 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by LongHorn View Post
I feel the same way about electronics. When I bought my "8" it was a $800.00 POS. I started from the ground up with fully military rebuilt Dana 60's with Detroit lockers & 4.56 gears. I rebuilt a Dana 300 Tcase with twin sticks & 32 spline output shafts. A rebuilt Borg Warner Gear T-19. A HD Hays clutch, New fly wheel. A fresh 401 V8 with a Holley Off Road Avenger 4V. I've used it as a daily driver for two years now. It's been reliable, it's climbed water falls, pulled boats, BBQ pit,4-weelers,feed, hay. I've haul tractor tires, feed, fire wood in the bed. you can drive on the highway with one hand on the wheel, or let go it will still track straight. I've owned a lot of Jeeps over the years & this is my favorite, because I built it from the ground up like I wanted it. I can put in two back seats & haul my family of five,or take out both back seats & load it up. It would not work for everyone, but it makes me happy.
Thanks for that viewpoint-it makes quite a bit of sense.

If it's not too personal, about how much did all that cost?

I'm torn between building an 8 as a pickup from the ground up, from an existing 7 using an 8 frame, or cannibalizing my TJ's suspension, body, etc.

I really do love my TJ, and the likeliest thing is that I'll keep it as is. But I wonder at what point all the technology starts making keeping it running unfeasible. I must say that my TJ has 204,000+ miles, has driven bak and forth between AZ, CO, NC, south FL, up 9000 ft mountains, swamps, deserts, etc. with nary a problem. I'm just afraid of having to diagnose why it won't start somewhere in the bush without a computer etc.

PS

This is a great site!!!

 

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Default Re: CJ, TJ, or Hybrid? 

Old 06-19-2009, 11:36 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Arizona Joe View Post
Thanks for that viewpoint-it makes quite a bit of sense.

If it's not too personal, about how much did all that cost?

I'm torn between building an 8 as a pickup from the ground up, from an existing 7 using an 8 frame, or cannibalizing my TJ's suspension, body, etc.

I really do love my TJ, and the likeliest thing is that I'll keep it as is. But I wonder at what point all the technology starts making keeping it running unfeasible. I must say that my TJ has 204,000+ miles, has driven bak and forth between AZ, CO, NC, south FL, up 9000 ft mountains, swamps, deserts, etc. with nary a problem. I'm just afraid of having to diagnose why it won't start somewhere in the bush without a computer etc.

PS

This is a great site!!!
I agree with you. That's why I built one I could still work on without 100k in computers. It's hard to say what it cost I'd have to go through my receipt sack (scary), but I saved parts for ten years. I pickup the axles at a truck salvage place in Houston one day for $400.00 cash. I could not believe it, but didn't stop to ask questions. I got them back to the barn & they had been totally rebuilt the gears still had set up paint on them all new bearings,king pins, discs, pads, drums, shoes, E-Brake cables,tie rod ends. All they needed were lockers & lockout hubs. I picked up the roll cage kit on CL for$95.00. I pick up the BTF shackle reversal kit with Shock hoops from CL $250.00. I new a guy that rolled his 71' AMX picked up his 10.5 cr 401 V8 for $400.00 then totally modified & rebuilt it. I went a little crazier on the motor than I should. Any way you get the idea. You could buy a Matkins frame that would fit a CJ8 body & use TJ suspention parts & stronger to boot. I guess I'm rambling.
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Default Re: CJ, TJ, or Hybrid? 

Old 06-19-2009, 11:45 PM   #10
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Oh & Aqua lu sells those half cab bodies in Aluminum.dscn4661b.jpg

jbucket48_lsv.jpg

dscn3307.jpg

dscn3306.jpg

dscn3305.jpg
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