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New CJ Kit

tower210

Scrambler Junkie
Lifetime Member
City
Olathe
State
KS
I had a dream last night that Jeep had introduced a "build it yourself" Jeep Kit!

I wish this wasn't just a dream!

Can you imagine a factory new stream of cj7 and cj8 and YJ tubs, a modem but simplified jeep drivetrain (factory produced Dana 44s with cj specific mounting and suspension, I envision a pentastar with ax-15 with the ECU built in). All of the benefits of large scale production, none of the liability and safety bs.
 

gr8dain

Hater of Electronics
BENEFACTOR
Gold Member
Lifetime Member
SOA Member
City
Ashburn
State
VA
Such a tease. I was excited when I saw the title of the thread. ;)
 

Pathkiller

Legacy Registered User
City
Lorton
State
VA
You could build any CJ model with aftermarket parts. It would cost you way more than buying a new JK, but you'd have a new CJ. So your dream is for someone to just compile all the readily-available parts into one kit? If you look at Icon's business model for how they do basically what you're talking about, assembling entirely new versions of classic vehicles, it costs way more than most people are wiling to pay.
 

tower210

Scrambler Junkie
Lifetime Member
City
Olathe
State
KS
You may be correct. I am aware that most of the parts are available. The low price repro parts are crap. The nice quality aftermarket parts are premium.

My thinking, is that no one is happy with the weight an bloat and cost of the current JK. At reasonable production levels (say 5 percent of JKs) I would think a production Kit with no airbags, no liability (a kit should have much lower) and no assembly costs. I would hope could sell for 20-24k. Modern quality gauges in the original sizes and holes.
 

MarknessMonster

Amiable Jeeper
City
Western
State
CO
I'm hoping Ford will do that with the '13 Kuga or Ranger models, and just offer them, set-up, but not including the engine or transmission, so I can import the drivetrain. That is, by far, an easier format to a manufacturer's kit, unless I don't know the limitations of a "kit car".
 

SHLTR2

Island Jeeper
Lifetime Member
SOA Member
City
Drummond Island
State
MI
They call them "Glider Kits" in the semi-truck world... Wouldnt that be great!:cheers:
 

MarknessMonster

Amiable Jeeper
City
Western
State
CO
They call them "Glider Kits" in the semi-truck world... Wouldnt that be great!:cheers:

That WOULD BE great! I wonder if my sales guy, who's been after me for years to buy another rig, would laugh or get pissed if I told him that I've finally made up my mind and that I'd like to buy the 2013 Ford Ranger with a "Glider Kit"? :)
 

Pathkiller

Legacy Registered User
City
Lorton
State
VA
My thinking, is that no one is happy with the weight an bloat and cost of the current JK.

And what leads you to think this?? Jeep has broken all kinds of sales records with the JK. So this "no one" that you're talking about is basically us, a bunch of old curmudgeons who tinker with antique Jeeps. What's the total number of active users on this forum? We represent less than 1 day's sales of JK vehicles world wide. Jeep made more Wranglers in a single month last year than they made Scramblers in its entire production run. What on earth would give Jeep any incentive at all to tinker with a side project that would have a tiny little profit margin and only appeal to an incredibly small number of enthusiasts? 5% of JK production last year would be roughly 16,800 vehicles. You really think there's that much demand for a kit car? Jeep is selling every JK it can make, and for a tidy profit, any side project that pulls away from that production line isn't going to happen, pure and simple.

http://www.toledoblade.com/Automotive/2013/01/15/Jeep-sets-sales-records-for-Wrangler.html
 

MarknessMonster

Amiable Jeeper
City
Western
State
CO
We represent less than 1 day's sales of...

I agree with "killer", and that is the same reason I can't buy my new diesel-powered, manual transmission, light-duty truck or SUV in the USA. Too many Americans are happy driving their inefficient, disposable vehicles for 50-70K miles and then getting rid of them to buy another round of inefficient, disposable newer vehicles. We're living in a disposable society.
 

SHLTR2

Island Jeeper
Lifetime Member
SOA Member
City
Drummond Island
State
MI
Too true... They cater to the market they create, based on best profitability.
 

certifiablejeep

Definitley Certifiable
Lifetime Member
City
Bedford
State
NH
I think the big issue with a kit car is the 50 states have 50 different laws for registering it and making it compliant.
I am not going to get into all the semantics, but you might be able to get away with no air bag, but registering it at a 2013, but having some modern parts and other not so modern ones all coming from a company that provided parts, there is a big area her for lawsuits when things go wrong and then who is to blame.

I know on some of the Cobra ones at factory 5 racing, etc. you can have a qualified builder build it for you and you get a warranty and it can be registered in all 50 states, depending on motor, etc. But when a neighbor of mine bought one as the "glider" model, and put in his own drive train, he ran into a lot of problems registering it in CT. He ran into weight issues cause the motor, a 460 I think it was was never offered in a car like that and because of that and it was being registered as a new-kit car, in 2008 they changed some rules that said engine swaps had to be done... again... I got into the semantics and didn't want to, but there is a ton of legal wrangling depending on which state you are at and if you truly do it all yourself...

So, my solution was to build a brand new 1978 CJ... cost about as much as a JK and I am very happy with it, but it took a very long time and as I said, cost a lot of money.

Your idea would be cool, but to spool up all that tooling to make tubs (correctly) and frames... I think investors would want some sort of guarantee return on their money, and as others have said, we are a small minority of owners... there might be others that WANT to be owners, but don't have the where with all to put it together, so yeah, now you having someone else do it for you with modern components, or even your "kit" and you are into it for $80K, like the ICON ones, and that is out of reach... you can have 2 JK's for that price.

cb
 

tower210

Scrambler Junkie
Lifetime Member
City
Olathe
State
KS
So this "no one" that you're talking about is basically us, a bunch of old curmudgeons who tinker with antique Jeeps.

I consider myself an"automotive purist" or "idealist". But over the last few days, I'm warming to the idea of "Curmudgeon who tinkers"!
 

SHLTR2

Island Jeeper
Lifetime Member
SOA Member
City
Drummond Island
State
MI
I'm guessing that when a trucker buys a glider kit he has a "qualified" shop (like a dealer) do the engine and drivetrain installation. When I priced one years ago the glider was about half the price of a new truck, and then to put your old drivetrain in was still somewhat cheaper than an all-new truck.

Sent from my BlackBerry 9700
 

Pathkiller

Legacy Registered User
City
Lorton
State
VA
I'm turning 40 in a few months, and sliding into the role of curmudgeon quite comfortably.
 
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