The happy day! Me and the boss with our new toy!
please be patient... lots of pics. :)
The CJ was sold March 15, 2004. Our ownership ends a short chapter in SWB Jeep life... but the love instilled for a Short Wheel Base Jeep will eventually evolve in another purchase. We hope to land a TJ in about 3 years or so. The CJ pages will continue to be posted as long as I can stand it. :-)
Behind every good Jeep, There's a good man, or in some cases, a good WOMAN!
In April(2000) We found a '73 CJ5 for sale a few miles away. I usually bug my wife about various 4x4's for sale around the area. I guess it was to let her know I still had the interest. Well, to make it funny, this JEEP was the first one that I did not even let her know I saw. I actually made the comment to my MOM about it. The next day, my wife saw it on the way to my MOM's house and stopped to look at it. The NEXT day, we drove it home.
I found various things to mess with in it already. I got the old included JOHNSON 23 chanel CB to work with minimal fuss. I made a new center box out of the old one. Got the 6" lights to work. Ordered a new U-joint, only to find that the slip joint on the front drive shaft was frozen up. That was the reason that the U-joint was destroyed.
I got the drive shaft separated. Seems that some blue RTV found it's way into the slip joint... I know noone put that stuff in there on purpose...
The jeep works wonderfully... for a jeep that has no lift, winch, lockers, or real tires. There are road-friendly P215/75/15's on it now. I haven't taken it off to the river yet due to the lack of those items and also lak of assistance. I did manage to get the Johnson Messenger CB working, but it just isn't comforting to go alone. Anyone nearby wanna go get stuck?
Well, the UPS guy came right on time on Wednesday delivering the new Ranchos and a WARN M8000. I jumped right on the winch which took about 4 hours. I had to cut notches in the grill guard to clear the Warn's mounting kit. I also had to elongated the two fron holes in the frame because the holes on the mounting plate were closer together. The torch got a workout. Whoever made the bumper and grill guard did an excellent job. It's made of thicker stuff than most comercially available setups.
I'll get around to the springs in the next week or two. The Ranchos are replacement springs that CAN provide a 1" lift. With the saggy springs on it now, I might get closer to 2". Got a Prothane bushing kit for the shackles, too. FOR ANYONE WHO HAS A CJ5 OR CJ6 UP TO 1975: THE BUSHINGS ARE THE SAME SIZE ALL THE WAY AROUND FOR THE SPRINGS... FRONT AND REAR! Just in case you didn't know already. The Ranchos came with poly-bushings in it, I only needed bushings for the shakles. One set from Prothane covers all the shackles and leaves two... just in case...
The first real good test took place. I got the springs on and decided to take it out to the river. My neighbor and his wife went with us. For those who are not familiar with the terrain down in South Georgia, the river bottoms where I live are white sand. No mud, no clay. There were about 20 vehicles out at the beach we call "Berrien Beach", partly because it is on the Lanier and Berrien County lines.
When we got down to the edge of the river, there was a white full size Blazer with the rear axle BURIED. The front drive shaft was taken out, I was told. There were two trucks that attempted to pull the Blazer out, but they both sunk in the sand. The trucks were both customs made for Bogging. An S-10 on 39.5 TSL Boggers and a Datsun on custom chassis running 38's if I remember correctly. The Datsun was pulled out by an early 90's Bronco. I winched the other two out. That required me to tie my Jeep off to another truck.
Later we were riding around and found the S-10 and Datsun playing around in a large mud hole. They talked me into giving it a run, eventhough I warned them that I had not tested out my water proofing on the ignition. Well, they got to return the favor by pulling me out. I didn't get stuck... The distributor got filled up. The WD 40 has earned a cup holder in the Jeep.
Since I couldn't keep the water out, I made a trip to the parts store and got a set of Accell 8mm plug wires, dielectric grease and a tube of blue silicone. I put the dielectric grese on the shaft of the plugs ad then before I put the wire on, I pushed the tip of the applicator for the RTV between the boot and the wire, forcing silicone into the space. It dried nicely. I also put a dome of silicone over the vacuum advance arm. This was a bit tacky, but I figured that for the cheap cost of the tube, what the heck... Well, to this point, I've done everything BUT completely submerge the engine. It has survived the water hose and several slow and high speed runns through bumper deep water/mud holes without so much as a sputter. But, just as I type this, I know that my time is comming... it will stall again...
Well, I was right! Me and Lori got together with Chris and his wife for a ride to the river. All that I can say is sand, sand, sand... We rode around playing a little here and there. I splashed around cautiously... until... WHOOSH!!!!!!!! Hit one too hard. The water got in the distibutor right through the stinkin' vacuum advance arm!!!!! AAAAAHHHH!!! What does Chris do? TAKES A PICTURE!!!!
All fun comes at a price. No problem. Had her running in about 2 minutes. You can check the pics out on my page and also on Chris' page. Happy Trails!!!
ALLRIGHT, MAN!!! I finally got some real tires! I put on some 33-12.50's on 15x10" wheels. I know, they rub, but they look AWESOME!!! I didn't get stuck with them like I did with my little dougnuts!
November 4, 2000...
Went playing with the boys. We rode down to the Alapaha River down past Jennings, Florida. That actually made the first time the CJ has been out of state! The whole trip, I never shut the engine off... just in case. After playing around in the DRY sand for a while, we found one sand pit full of water, in which we dove into. Coming out was tricky, but after spooling the cable out, I thought about it and did some backing and turning, eventually getting out under power. We later went to the Withlacoochee River back in Valdosta where we covered the CJ in a heathy covering of mud.
Well, Chrstmas came early for me. I had discussed it with Lori many times. After longing for a little more protection, Lori ordered my present... a roll cage kit! YEE HAA!! Well in order for this to work out, I immediately went to SEARS and got a 90 amp MIG welder. I got it after doing a bunch of shopping around and comparing. On this fateful day, I managed to get two good friends to come by (with much persuasion, bribes and offers of free PIZZA) and assist with the construction. After misplacing pieces, we eventually got it installed in about 4hrs. Not bad.
December 20, 2000...
Well, After finally finding the missing plate for the cage, I wiggled it into place, welded and bolted it in, finally making the cage a complete install. While I was at it, I figured I'd pull the battery and put the dual battery tray in. The tray was an experiment I had decided to try with the welder the day after I got it. It was welded with .030" Flux-Core wire, and came out ok. I took it before my Pa-In-Law, who is a Pro-Welder for approval. He gave a solid and truthful inspection... "more heat"... Anyway, I finally got the pieces together and installed the tray. I had to make a new upper suport for the tray, but re-used on of the lower supports. I only applied het to twist it a little to line up on the new tray. All supports were welded to the tray.
Lori woke me up a little early in the afternoon. Early for me since I'm working mids. Anyway, I was given the choice of staying home, or going for a swim at the river, so off we went. Since we had an extra youngin, we drove both Jeeps out to the river. After the kids had most of thier fun I had some of my own since we were alone out at the beach. I got a small jump on a sand bar and climbed a few hills. Great feeling since I hadn't really played since Tellico.
Well, we finally got a bunch of us together again. We met up at the Sand Dunes in Albany. I had initially thought it would be about 5 or 6 of us re-uniting after out Tellico trip. There were a few more. HEY! The more the merrier! Click HERE to see the pics.
Noting that I got rear-ended in Alabama and getting an insurance settlement.... I got the ZJ fixed and had enough money left over to buy a new SuperTop for the CJ! Best $650 I ever spent.... so far....
Well.... after that trip to the dunes, I had to tear down the front axle... again.... The inner axle bearings that the axle shaft stub runs in came apart and messed the stub up really bad. Enough that I felt it was time to get new shafts. I got some. Warn Heavy Duty axle shafts. I am soooooo happy. I explained it to Lori, and she was more comfortable with having something that will stand up to the run rather than having to replace shafts in the woods. They are installed and work as they should... you wouldn't know they were there if I didn't point it out.
It was bound to happen... and it did. The ride at Ellijay was pretty fun. I think there were like 12 of us together. We only went up one side and then came back down to avoid the mud holes. It was fun anyway. After getting down, we all proceeded back to town. 2 miles downt he road, I felt a tug on the steering wheel pulling right.... only for a second. Then again.... once more......
SHAKEY, SHAKEY, SHAKEY!!!!!
The front end began shaking so vilently that the entire cage in the CJ was shaking. I got ti off the side... only to find smoke from the left front wheel and the fact that it had slid off the spindle about 2 inches. The "lock-nut" and its associatied washer failed allowing the hub (with wheel attached) to wander, wobble and shake. The only thing aparently holding the hub on was the C-clip on the axle stub. My NEW Warn axle stub. The $114 stub "took one for the team" which was what enabled me to maintain control as long as I did. There was never a hint or clue as to what was going on. Now I know. Since, the JC has been repaired with a "new" spindle, stub and Superwinch manual hubs.
Well. Since I have spent a great deal of time and money on the ZJ getting it lifted, moded and ready to ride trails that would make the average ZJ owner cringe, we have down-sized the CJ a bit. The winch has a home on the ZJ, now on a ARB. They have to be removed to put a winch in, so we opted to put the M8000 on the ZJ. There is the strong possibility that a new M8000 will find its way to the CJ. We put the 33's in the trash. the wheels are still here, but will probably be gone at some point. Lori anjoys the 31's on the CJ better than the 33s. Looks good on the wheels we had originaly, also. Still offroaded. Still loved. I'm hoping to get the power steering done some day. The CJ is in bad need of new body mounts, so our use of the CJ has declined a bit. Low on funds to get the mounts done. Anyone having a set of body mounts wishing to donate to "charity", please advise. :-)
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