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I'm interested in buying an older jeep and building it up for off-roading. I'll be doing some sand running on the beach and general trail use. What year jeeps are the best for this type of project. Are there specific items I should look for when checking out jeeps? Are there any pitfalls to be aware of? I've had my share of 4x4 trucks, but this is my first venture into the world of jeeps. Thanks.
 

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I had a 76 CJ-5 with a 304 and a 3-speed tranny. It was the best. The short wheelbase made it great for tight trails. Then I had a 81 CJ-8 Scrambler with a I6 and a 4-speed tranny. Both motors were very strong. The one problem I had with both was play in the steering. Check that out when you are looking because you'll have to replace the steering gear to fix it. The strongest tranny they put in Jeeps was the T-18 4-speed. That's been my experience, hope it helps.
 

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Your question is a lot like asking "What kind of underwear shouild I buy?" <IMG SRC="/board/images/smilies/icon_biggrin.gif"> On a more serious note, the best all around Jeep would be the Wrangler with the 4.0HO I-6. It comes stock with 190 hp and relatively good fuel economy. The only drawbacks to these are their rearends, but this is a common problem with just about any Jeep.
However, if you are looking to actually create your own Jeep, buy what you think is cool. Each model and year Jeep had about an equal amount of pro's and con's for an all around wheel-ability. As for size, it is , again, all in your preferences. I've owned, drivin, worked on, and wheeled just about every model Jeep made (except for a few cool ass fullsizes...M-715, FC's, etc.), and I've come to the conclusion that it's all about your ability to drive. Bottom line is for you to get what you like...if you plan to build it.

As for the steering problem on late model CJ's, try replacing the coupler first... It ussually solves or makes the biggest correction to the problem. Sometimes you can get away with turning around the little blocks in the coupler. If you have bumpsteer, correct your steering geometry, it ussually goes south once you lift it.
Good Luck!
[edit: fixed image, Jason]
 

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I have a rock ready CJ-5 (82') I've done extensive work to it, new T-18 (gota have it!) newly rebuilt 258 I6, fuel injection, welder, Summer Bro axles w/ARB in the rear, Powerlok up front, 4:10's full cage, 33 BFG's 2"body lift. She's a rok crawler now. My only complaint is it's a CJ-5. The 5 is small! If your a pack rat like me, taking everything including the kitchen sink, camping, you'll soon discover how small it is. If I were to "do it allover again" I'd start with a 6cyl YJ (wrangler)more room, more power. There are tons of aftermarket goodies for them now, coil spring suspensions, etc...
Don't take this posting wrong, I'd sooner sell my house than my jeep, I just wish it were a CJ-7. I was young and dumb when I bought it in 83' Oh well, to live and learn huh? As someone else posted, it's all about what YOU want. And how much money you really want to spend. Our idea of what's best is slightly biased from our own experiences.
Hope this helped a little.
 

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On 2001-07-09 12:30, jprtroy wrote:
I have a rock ready CJ-5 (82') I've done extensive work to it, new T-18 (gota have it!) newly rebuilt 258 I6, fuel injection, welder, Summer Bro axles w/ARB in the rear, Powerlok up front, 4:10's full cage, 33 BFG's 2"body lift. She's a rok crawler now. My only complaint is it's a CJ-5. The 5 is small! If your a pack rat like me, taking everything including the kitchen sink, camping, you'll soon discover how small it is. If I were to "do it allover again" I'd start with a 6cyl YJ (wrangler)more room, more power. There are tons of aftermarket goodies for them now, coil spring suspensions, etc...
Don't take this posting wrong, I'd sooner sell my house than my jeep, I just wish it were a CJ-7. I was young and dumb when I bought it in 83' Oh well, to live and learn huh? As someone else posted, it's all about what YOU want. And how much money you really want to spend. Our idea of what's best is slightly biased from our own experiences.
Hope this helped a little.

Troy,
Inside you are cramped. Outside we can throw some Waggy Springs front and rear and get you 6 inches more wheelbase. Then bust out the sawzall and trim for 35" Swampers
 

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I bought a 94 YJ and it is a great little rig, but the only problem I have with it is that parts are so expensive... I priced out what an AX-15 trans from jasper cost and it was about 2000 bucks... no way man... for 2700 bucks i am just switching everything over to GM... 350 + th-350 trans... I am still wondering about what I should do to my axils though, I can hear axil shafts snapping in my future... I wish I would have waited and looked around alot harder for like a cj-7 or somthin.
 

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With the 350 power I'd have to say at least D60's front and rear. A D44 front isn't much stronger than a D30. On the TJ's the 30 uses the same u-joints as a 44. So a 44 has SLIGHTLY bigger shatfs and a bigger ring gear(YAWN).
You can upgrade the shafts on your Dana30 for the bigger joints and or alloy shafts. Ditch the Dana35. It will not hold up. The Toy axels are attractive and every bit as strong as a Dana44. They are also easier to weld too(not cast).
If you upgrade your front shafts, put a Toy or D44(cheap alternative) in and carry spares you should not break ALL the time.
Cord
 
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