My '81 Scrambler tried to kill me...

Belizeit

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
River Ridge
State
La
#21
If you want to ride sooner than later ( maybe years ) go with the find a good condition one. This time you know where the problems are at, and you should be able to find something more rust free in NM it Az.
 

ag4ever

Average Nut
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Richmond
State
TX
#22
Why is that? Because of better quality? You still question integrity of original frame?
I was in a sort-of similar situation, only my frame was stress cracked, not rust damage. This was due to the hard life it lived hauling boulders around the red rock desert canyons of Arizona.

A3B133AE-6F47-4561-BD97-2A9E33C778D2.jpeg

Previous owner had used angle iron to fix the frame. I had intended to fix it with the waho plates, but the crack were well past my comfort level considering I am installing an LS in the Jeep and using a postal hard top. So it will end up being a heavier Jeep with more power = more stress on the frame. So I lucked out and found a great condition frame for sale in San Antonio.

59ED6A47-852B-456D-94C6-6FA45A22FE13.jpeg

But even an original frame is not intended for the V8 power and the quality of the factory welds leaves a lot to be desired.

51CA0ADC-B70F-4A97-9B1C-37CF8F11250A.jpeg

So, in the end, I am reworking a factory frame, using the waho plates and rear crossmember. It will be a great frame when done, but I’d be money and time ahead if I had just bought a TDK. Also I could have gone with the hybrid frame and used a coil suspension.

Also, the frames made by TDK are stronger than the factory frame, so no beefing up is needed for added power.

:twocents:
 
Last edited:

bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
#23
Also, the frames made by TDK are stronger than the factory frame
This is all you need for this decision IMO. You could have the most perfect factory frame ever (forget the age, make it a hypothetical brand new one) and it’s guaranteed to be less beefy than a TDK. So even if you don’t take advantage of any of their options, you’re better off from the start.
 
City
Terlingua
State
TX
#24
Thanks for everyone's input. I really appreciate all the help and y'all are a wealth of knowledge.

I don't have an absolutely exact plan yet, but some things are starting to fall in place. Of course, best laid plans of mice and men...and all that.

Plan A, Remove the rear axle, of the Scrambler That Tried To Kill Me, cut the rotted frame back. If the frame is 'good enough', buy the Safe-T-Caps, weld in place and the STTTKM strictly becomes a ranch vehicle. 'Good enough' in this case means never leaving private property, strictly a ranch - deer lease vehicle. Remember this vehicle only has the Iron Duke in it. If the frame truely isn't good enough for that then probably strip it for good parts, not that it has many.

Plan B. I HAVE to have another Scrambler. The addiction is real. My '77 CJ5 is cool, but that '81 CJ8 is so much more comfortable and fun to drive. Some possibilities:
B1 - build from a TDK frame up, V8, etc. I would love to do this, but the reality of a doing a build like that probably requires more $ than I can spend.
B2 - find a good boned frame, tub etc and build from the frame up. This is probably the way I will go, if my neighbors 8 is solid. He has finally decided to sell his Scrambler and gave me a price. I'm gonna go over there in the next day or two and check everything from the ground up. I took some pictures of it last year when I was looking. I'll include some pictures and would like to know what y'all think and the value of the parts. He bought it in pieces and has a title. He believes it's an '85. It came with an '86 Inline 6. Not sure what trans other than he says it's a 5 spd. Rear springs/shackles look weird.
B3 - find a decent complete cj8 and buy outright.

Pictures of neighbors 8. Thoughts, value, etc? Factory ashtray on dash? JOOP tub. No doors, no top, no seats, I think everything else is there. Besides the frame what else should I look at, look for?

IMG_0856.JPG

IMG_0857.JPG

IMG_0860.JPG

IMG_0861.JPG

IMG_0863.JPG

IMG_0862.JPG
 

certifiablejeep

Definitley Certifiable
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Bedford
State
NH
#26
Those parts are good for buying and reselling if you want to make some extra money towards the purchase of a new frame as long as the price is right.

Those shackles are a bit tall too ;)
I am pretty sure I have their cousins here :




All kidding aside, don't throw good money at bad parts, as BW said above, it will take a while to understand what is there and to make it work.
As my grandfather said, do it the right way the first time and you never have to do it again... or in the case of Jeeps "re-do" it again.

cb
 

ag4ever

Average Nut
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Richmond
State
TX
#28
You have the parts needed for a ground up build in your original jeep, so no need to buy the neighbor's jeep unless you just want a second one to build. At least yours is currently complete and you don't need to find parts from a disassembled project. (There will be missing parts, guaranteed)

So, I would suggest rebuild yours with a new frame or buy a complete working one that has not spent time above the "mason-dixon" line.
 
City
Terlingua
State
TX
#29
Thanks for all the advice and help. I’m still trying to decide on what works best with my skills and money ( not a lot).

I was mainly thinking of buying neighbors Joop tub and frame and then selling off other parts. I thought rust free OEMs were hard to come buy and the aftermarket tubs don’t fit well for the price? I hate to see any parts waste away I. The desert let alone scrambler parts do I’d buy just to keep from going to the scrap metal yard. Also I literately almost live in Mexico, El Paso is 5 hrs away, Austin 8. Jeep parts are hard to find here. What would y’all think is a fair price for the tub only?

I’d like to restore the STTTKM but with that frame, the tub has rust, the front fenders have rust holes, and it’s stocked with the 4 cyl Iron Duke with POS transmission. Figured I’d I was gonna restore that I might as well start with a frame and build up?

Just tossing around ideas and kicking tires.
 

Belizeit

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
River Ridge
State
La
#30
I think this all depends on when you want to drive a scrambler again. Some people spend years rebuilding something they thought might take 6 months to 18 months and life gets in the way. Some end up just giving up and selling sometimes. Takes a very focused person to do this. Just saying
 

ag4ever

Average Nut
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Richmond
State
TX
#31
I think this all depends on when you want to drive a scrambler again. Some people spend years rebuilding something they thought might take 6 months to 18 months and life gets in the way. Some end up just giving up and selling sometimes. Takes a very focused person to do this. Just saying
And $$$

Kinda hard to do a rebuild on a shoe-string budget. You always have the "well, I'm doing this, so i might as well do that..."
 
Last edited:
City
Terlingua
State
TX
#32
All good advice. You guys have been there and done that and I can appreciate your experience and your input.

I'm surprised that so many of you would pass on the project 8. I understand where y'all are coming from, just surprised as I've read a few buckets to project threads.

My moniker is Quixote Kid. Given to me by a friend when I was much younger and rebuilding my first water pumping windmill. That was 1997 and I brought that windmill home in buckets and pieces. It took me about 4 years to get that windmill researched, refurbished, restored and stood up in the front pasture. 22 years later I can rebuild and install a windmill in about two working days. The difference is that I've now done it hundreds of times and have the equipment and tools to do the job right and safe.

I know that windmills aren't Scramblers. I do value y'alls opinions. I still haven't decided. Just typing out loud.

The wife and I talked about options again tonight. I've got a Honda 1100 and a Ural sidecar motorcycle I need to sell, that will free up some cash and who knows maybe that Scrambler of my dreams will show up for sale here and help make my decision easier.

IMG_0791.JPG
 

Belizeit

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
River Ridge
State
La
#33
One thing about West Texas, there are plenty of windmills, and there are plenty that probably need fixing. Seen a lot of them way out in the distance driving along the road
 

sdsupilot

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
OKC
State
OK
#34
Anything can be built with time and money. Many of the beautiful scramblers built on this page took years to finish. Most of those wouldn't like to show receipts for the total.

In all honesty, that is why I have no plans to paint my jeep. I want it to be a functional family adventure machine. I have done nut and bolt restorations before, they just take too long. Limiting scope of the project has never been my forte. My fear is that I will start a project for a purpose that would be gone before it was completed.
 

Scramblin Man

Beyond help
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Woodway
State
Tx
#35
If you could swing the cost, buy a running driving scrambler for day to day. Then try to get the neighbors project and combine that with your present one to make a second. There are plenty of us here that have more than one. I know its $$ to buy another but where there a will, there's a way.

BTW: I used to hunt Hudspeth county a few years back, really enjoy the rugged beauty of the Trans Pecos region.
 
Last edited:
City
Terlingua
State
TX
#36
One thing about West Texas, there are plenty of windmills, and there are plenty that probably need fixing. Seen a lot of them way out in the distance driving along the road
Yes, I'm mostly 'retired' from the windmill business but I have several collectible ones that I plan on restoring and standing up...after I get a Scrambler or two back on the road. 😆

This is an Eclipse Windmill I restored for the Pioneer Farms living history organization in Austin, TX. I have a couple of these and some other extremely interesting and rare windmills. This was my obsession for decades, I feel like the tide is turning and Scramblers are replacing windmills.

IMG_0865.jpg
 
City
Terlingua
State
TX
#37
Anything can be built with time and money. Many of the beautiful scramblers built on this page took years to finish. Most of those wouldn't like to show receipts for the total.

In all honesty, that is why I have no plans to paint my jeep. I want it to be a functional family adventure machine. I have done nut and bolt restorations before, they just take too long. Limiting scope of the project has never been my forte. My fear is that I will start a project for a purpose that would be gone before it was completed.
I completely understand. I was working on making the STTTKM mechanically safe and sound but not worried at all about the paint. Dirt roads and cacti made paint and appearance priority at the absolute bottom of the To Do list.
 
City
Terlingua
State
TX
#38
If you could swing the cost, buy a running driving scrambler for day to day. Then try to get the neighbors project and combine that with your present one to make a second. There are plenty of us here that have more than one. I know its $$ to buy another but where there a will, there's a way.

BTW: I used to hunt Hudspeth county a few years back, really enjoy the rugged beauty of the Trans Pecos region.
I like the way you think! It's only been 10 days but I already really miss driving the 8. We'll figure it out one way or another.

I see you live in Woodway, TX. One of the last central Texas windmills I restored was in McGregor, TX. Beautiful area.

Yes, people either tend to love or hate this area. Did you visit the Nat'l park while you were out here? If you make it down again, let me know. Open invitation to hit some trails that few ever see.
 
Last edited:

ag4ever

Average Nut
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Richmond
State
TX
#40
When you restore the windmills, do you restore the pump and make them operational again?

Old windmills are just so fascinating and a critical part of our past. Without them the west could not have been "tamed".

We have an Aermotor windmill on the ranch I hunt. I'd say it is probably a 1950's model, but could be older/younger. Unfortunately, the property owner stopped maintaining everything on the ranch after his father passed away about 10 years ago. So, now it is just a piece of art.

I would like to get a classic windmill, install on my property, but convert the pump into a motor generator. Just for kicks.
 
Top