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Canadian Made in Texas! CJ8 Build Thread

#1
Hi-

Firstly, I am somewhat new to this forum so HELLO ALL! I’ve lurked around for years but have finally got after this CJ8 build so thought I’d post it here as it assembles. I hail from Calgary Alberta Canada but have recently moved to Dallas, Texas with the family for a 3-5 year work assignment. I’ve owned several Jeeps over the past 16 years to include 2 x CJ7s, 6 x CJ8s, 3 x TJs, a diesel Willys (J53 Mitsubishi) and an LJ Rubicon. I’ve since carved that list down to a sole pair, the current CJ8 (frame) and the LJ Rubi.

Since I had moved nearer to all the vendors of quality parts I had no excuse but to start this CJ8 build that had been in my head for the past 3 years. Before the big move, my good friend Brent gave me a hand to strip away the rotten tub and just about everything else my ole’ barn Jeep had to offer. So when the moving truck arrived only a solid frame, VIN plates and a couple of crates of bits were loaded for the migration south.

Here is the Jeep today and a list of the current or soon to be acquired parts that will convert this frame to a killer family wheeler. Stay tuned and ENJOY!


  • Engine: 2007 all-aluminum Chevy V8 5.3L (315hp); AA motor mounts, headers, rad.
  • Transmission: NV4500 – 5.61 1st gear (Chevy input / Dodge tail housing w/ 23spline output shaft)
  • Transfercase: Atlas 4 w/ 2.0:1, 2.72:1, and 5.44:1
  • Axles: Dynatrac ProRock 60s, 58” wide, 35 spline, ARBs, 5.13, Hi-steer system, U-Bolt flip kit
  • Suspension: 5.5” Overall (Alcan springs with M.O.R.E. SRS)
  • Rims/tires: Undecided….Thinking 17” Walker Evans DOT beadlocks w/ 37” BF MT KM2
  • Body: Aqualu Aluminum full length CJ8 tub. CJ fenders w/ TJ flares (still like the ole CJ front end). MORE 1”body lift. Rock Hard Sport Cage w/ original rollbar. Gr8 Tops half hard top.
  • Fuel Tank: AeroTanks 33gal w/ in-tank factory fuel pump

Frame as of Today:



Engine:


ProRock 60s:
 
Last edited:

John N

Addicted....Ex-SOA VP
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
#2
Welcome....

That sounds like a great build with an impressive parts list. I look forward to seeing it built.
 
#3
Looks like it's going to be sweet, I a running walker evans beadlocks and bfg km2 in the 35" size and they are wonderfull. I have only wheeled them a little and so far so good, they are very quiet on the highway,:D for a big mud tire.
 

Truck

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
#4
Welcome, awesome plan. Can't wait to see it come together.

Did you use frame plates on the inside and outside of your frame?

Truck
 
#5
doslocos - Great Jeep! Thx for the info on those rims. I think the minimum offset offered in the 17x8.5 wheel is 3.75". I really like the stance on yours so if your axles are 58" wide then I`ve decided.

Truck - I stitch welded the MORE plates to the outer frame. I then extended the rear (MORE plates are for a CJ7) and plated the inner rear frame extensions with 3/16 plate. I've replaced the rear fuel tank x-member (rotted) and plan on installing the MORE rear cross member before galvanizing (?) or painting the whole works.

Update: I installed the springs today but now waiting on front shackles..the MORE SRS kit doesn't come with new ones! Oversight on my part but still pissed at MORE for not confirming when I was placing the order. I hope to have a frame on axles in the next week.

Ordered the Atlas 4 along with a few other bits on Black Friday (AA had 15% off plus no Texas tax that way). 4-6 weeks out.

I'll be talking w/ Aqualu on shipping a tub south next week. Are there any southern stock of these tubs out there?
 

bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
#6
WOW. So jealous of the sweet parts coming together in this rig! Can't wait to see the progress.

Welcome!
 
#7
Great start! you will love the Alcans and the SRS, I have that set up on mine on mine and it really rides nice and works great. I went over stock length on the springs with an extra 6" on the back side, not sure if it was worth the trouble or not but I really love the way the suspension works
 

CHIEFWAHO

SOA VP
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Board Member
#8
Great looking build! If you get after it you can have it ready fo the 09 National in Hot Springs, AR.

Shoot me a PM before doing anything on the rear crossmember. I just had a batch of laser cut, factory style reproductions made from 3/16" thick steel. Look indentical to the factory except the thickness.
 
#9
UPDATE: May-24, 2009:

Well it has been sometime since my last post BUT I have been busy
on this build! Here are a few new pics.

Alcan Springs and MORE SRS:



Pro-Rocks Mounted:



Mock-up with the tub bought from Craigslist for $300.
I had to repair the body mounts because the Jeep was used on a hunting lease and I guess the Sch40 tree stand was too much for them. My plan is to get the drivetrain built then swap in the Aqualu tub.

My helper...
 
#10
Installed tub, motor, NV4500, and Atlas4.
Engine crane bolted to the back of the heads gave a perfect balance point for setting the driveline.

1" clearance the the firewall and 3.5" to the hood.

The MORE 1" BL allowed the massive trans to be tucked up a lot. However, it still hangs below the frame by 2.5" and the clocked Atlas is 1.5" below the frame rail.

The Atlas 4 shifter housing is 3/8" from the tub but should gain more clearance with the alum tub.

Slight clearance issue with the AA motor mounts and headers.



Next is to mount the 33gal Aero Tank.
This tanks was built to accept an F-body in tank fuel pump. This set-up is great for longevity as the pump stays cooler than a frame rail set-up. Also, parts sourcing while on road trips gets a little easier! The filler neck was upsized to 2" to allow faster fills.
 
#15
Thanks Guys! :D

I need steering routing suggestions. The PS pump and headers now interfere with the steering shaft. Thoughts?

You know, I really want to make it up to the SOA meet in June to get a few new ideas. Think I'll be run out of town if I drive up in my Toyota FJ100?
 
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