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An old man’s LJ build


Well-known member
Feb 9, 2021
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I would like to share my build to the best of my ability.
I’ve been wheeling for over 35 years from Tennessee to California from Texas to South Dakota
Debbie and I spent a lot of time at Clayton Oklahoma back in the day wheeling with the black sheep and is still one of my favorite places.
I have built and wheeled six different rigs from is fairly stock CJ-7 to a full blown tube buggy on 39 inch crawlers 60s and a 350 ram jet
but this time and at my age I thought I better settle down some So I thought I’d build something a little milder but for the most part that went right out the window.
I'm asking you bear with me because I’m really not good at all this forum stuff so I will do my best and I’m a big boy I can take the flame and at the same time get out from behind the keyboard and show you how to wheel.
So here you go I will try to give some description with the pictures as I go along
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Started out with a rust free Arizona 2004 Jeep LJ that wound up in Missouri where I found it before it’s seen salt.
So we started with the cage it was part of a deal with a friend that I sold my Four-door JK project to I wanted an LJ in the first place







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The plan was to keep the 4.0 put a supercharger on it Leave the automatic and put a four-speed atlas behind it
I am using front and rear Dana super 60s not to be confused with super duty 60s
they have a 10 inch ring gear and real nice beefy axle tubes Huge ball joints and are 7000 lb GVW and extremely good steering approximately 50°
I had a brand new center section that had never been tubed so we made a solid rear axle out of it set it up for 05 and newer unit bearings The rear disc brakes are the front of the Ford F-250
I want it all the wheel base I could get without comp cutting the rear end or losing the steering box but was able to get 4 1/2 inches Front and 7 1/2 inches to the rear went with 5.38 gears ARB’s and double splined 40 splined rear axles and drive flanges from my buddy Stan at Branik motorsports
I stayed with the steering box and hydraulic assist due to the fact that it will see a lot of on road driving mainly building this for a touring vehicle to see the ghost towns and that type of thing
I’m going to be run 40 inch tires wish that in itself says that this rig is not just going to be on the interstate
Will try to get some more pictures up later today
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That's a great start. Every time an LJ gets built, an angel get it's wings! Keep those pictures coming.
I would suggest not doing 40 spline shafts with the 60.

I know one guy with that same setup, and even low pinion, he can't keep r&p in it. He even tried going down to 4.56s.

There is a theory on matching r&p size to shaft size. To big of shafts will transfer more shock load to the r&p. While a smaller shaft will absorb shock load. 40 spline is more suited for a 14b, 10" or D80.
I would suggest not doing 40 spline shafts with the 60.

I know one guy with that same setup, and even low pinion, he can't keep r&p in it. He even tried going down to 4.56s.

There is a theory on matching r&p size to shaft size. To big of shafts will transfer more shock load to the r&p. While a smaller shaft will absorb shock load. 40 spline is more suited for a 14b, 10" or D80.

It was one of those things I had laying around and I have always ran reverse cut in my buggies with 35 spline chrome Molly‘s and have never lost a ring and pinion we always used shims in the set up instead of the crush sleave
The Dana super 60 is a 10 inch ring gear while super duty 60 is a 9 3/4 and besides I’ve got a dana 80 waiting in the wings if need be......😎
i’ll try to get some more pictures up today sometime I’m in the middle of wiring this monster right now and it is not my favorite part lol
and thank you guys for the compliments
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We sold this buggy before I started this LJ build it was one that we had purchased out of Hot Springs Arkansas it had been partially stripped and we’ve rebuilt it to suit our needs my wife wheeled it for several years






Then right in the middle of this LJ build I sold the my buggy but here’s where the whole project got turned upside down because The guy I sold to needed to trade some stuff from his project he had started so out the window with a 4.0 with the supercharger and in with a LS-3 ,6L90E transmission And thankfully I had not ordered the 4 speed atlas yet I ordered a 3.8 atlas instead
and yes there still lotta kid in me



Here are some pictures of when we had it mocked up checking articulation and clearance









I’ve seen so many rusted out and broken TJ frames that I decided to cut all that off at the pass and in one location or the other I completely plated the underneath or sides an added plate to the steering box sector area of the frame
A friend of mine had a 5.3 sitting around that we used as a mock up engine with the 6L 90 E transmission in my fake Atlas 😎










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After having this thing mocked up at least a half a dozen times to check everything it was time to sandblast and paint the frame, underside of the tub and the fire wall
The paint we used was Master series G-111 it is a self-leveling so you can actually even use a paintbrush if you choose and you cannot see the brush marks when you’re done it’s great for touching up missed area that we spray-painted
It is a commercial paint for things like steel structures bridges etc.









Here’s some pictures of where we cut the body armor and re-centered the wheel well 7 1/2 inches further back and out of the fenders not that they will do a lot of good LOL






I’ll be happy when I figure out how to get the pictures in the correct order LOL thank you guys for not flaming me over stupid stuff like that........
I also need to mention that I have had a lot of help from a lot of very good friends of mine and my crew that works for me in my excavation business i’ve always been good at fabrication but I do know my limitations I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel so that gives me a great deal of excitement
I had no intentions I’m going this far with the powerplant
but like a guy that I wheel with back in the day once said “lt’s a motor sport and I want one”(Dan Dibble)
so what the hell it’s good advice
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