Scrambler on a JK Unlimited Frame Build?

tom82cj8

Scrambler Pro
City
Austin
State
TX
#1
Anyone thought of putting a Scrambler body on a JK Unlimited Frame? I have a JK Unlimited and a Scrambler. Lately I have been thinking about doing a coil conversion on the Scrambler. Looking at my JK parked next to my Scrambler made me start thinking about the body swap. At this point, I think JK frames would be fairly easy to get. A rollover wreck would be perfect for the swap. Currently, my Scrambler is SOA and really tall. My reasoning for the coil conversion was to get the Scrambler back down to earth with improved flexibility. My Scrambler build is now almost 15 years old and I have been thinking about a new drivetrain too. I could get everything I need from a 2007 or newer JK. Any thoughts on this build idea?

Thanks,
Tom
 

BRKLYNZ28

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
BROOKLYN
State
NY
#3
Might be easier in the long Run to use a hybrid frame and bolt on a long arm coil suspension. I thought about the same thing and after I crunched the number it way to much for a coil cj8 . unless u can find a real cheep jk that was on fire. Your looking at 15k just on drive train. good thing It would be all bolt in so it can be done if your wallet is heavy.. Search the forum I think there was someone that started thay same swap long ago.
 
Last edited:

Polarfire

Jeep Aficionado
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Columbia
State
MO
#4
Is the JK frame much wider and how do the JK axles line up with the Scrambler wheel wells?
 

barrys

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
East Norriton
State
PA
#6
Somebody here had a custom frame with TJ suspension and 60's. Then it was stolen. Very active member on here I just can not remember who.
 

tom82cj8

Scrambler Pro
City
Austin
State
TX
#7
The JK Unlimited frame would have to be shortened in the middle and lengthened in the rear. I think I can get a rollover wrecked JK at auction for around $5k. I'll take some measurements on my JK to see if the width works out. I don't think the length mods would be too difficult. I don't expect this to be a bolt in build. Lots of fab involved in getting the frame the right length and the body mounted. Other than that seems like a doable project if the parts aren't too expensive.
 

SHLTR2

Island Jeeper
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Drummond Island
State
MI
#8
Now, I know people have different opinions, and I haven't finished tuning the suspension on my LJ yet, but everybody much preferred the ride of the leaf-sprung Scrambler to the coil-sprung LJ on our recent Utah trip. In fact we all talked about making the conversion the other way, making the LJ leaf-sprung. Just saying there are many ways to have a good ride. The CJ8 was a fair amount faster on the rough two-track roads and washes. More firm and smoother.
 

tom82cj8

Scrambler Pro
City
Austin
State
TX
#9
That is an interesting perspective. I really just want to get my Scrambler back down to Earth and keep my flexibility. I can get an inch back from my body mounts, and probably another inch from my shackles. Might be able to get 1/2" by removing the overload spring on the leaf packs. I am wondering how shortening the shackles will affect the ride. I have Currie Shackles that say they are 3/4" longer than stock. They look longer than that to me. Anyone know what the stock shackle length is(Center to Center on mount holes)? Any other thoughts on this?
 

tower210

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Olathe
State
KS
#10
My new Alcans - Bilstein shackle reversal combo rides and drives better than any CJ I've ever ridden in. That is even with 3" lift, at 65 on the highway it is smooth and stable and strait.

If you are coming to nationals you an drive it!


 

don87401

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Farmington
State
NM
#11
Driving both a lifted LJ and a lifted CJ8, the LJ drives much smoother. You don't get the bone jarring "hit" when you hit a bump, the coils seem to absorb the shock much more. The LJ rocks side to side (body sway) much more than the CJ8. I am going to do some sway bar work on it to see if I can improve on that.

To be fair to the CJ8 it is sitting on '80s era Supper Lift Supper ride 4" lift springs. The technology in leaf springs has changed a lot over the years. I had a CJ5 that I put 4" lift Alcan springs on and it rode much softer than the CJ8. A custom set of modern leafs I am sure would help the CJ8's ride if they were custom made for the CJ8 like they were for the CJ5.

My experience with my working on the CJ6 under construction I would suggest the adaptation of the LJ frame vs a JK for under a CJ8.

The other option I would highly consider would be building a coil or coilover suspension on the CJ8 frame. I have seen many done that way. I have a friend that runs a hybrid suspension under his CJ8, reverse shackle leafs in the front and a custom home made 4 link with coils in the rear, works well for him and rides good.
 

SHLTR2

Island Jeeper
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Drummond Island
State
MI
#13
Driving both a lifted LJ and a lifted CJ8, the LJ drives much smoother. You don't get the bone jarring "hit" when you hit a bump, the coils seem to absorb the shock much more. The LJ rocks side to side (body sway) much more than the CJ8. I am going to do some sway bar work on it to see if I can improve on that.

To be fair to the CJ8 it is sitting on '80s era Supper Lift Supper ride 4" lift springs. The technology in leaf springs has changed a lot over the years. I had a CJ5 that I put 4" lift Alcan springs on and it rode much softer than the CJ8. A custom set of modern leafs I am sure would help the CJ8's ride if they were custom made for the CJ8 like they were for the CJ5.

My experience with my working on the CJ6 under construction I would suggest the adaptation of the LJ frame vs a JK for under a CJ8.

The other option I would highly consider would be building a coil or coilover suspension on the CJ8 frame. I have seen many done that way. I have a friend that runs a hybrid suspension under his CJ8, reverse shackle leafs in the front and a custom home made 4 link with coils in the rear, works well for him and rides good.
Yep, that rocking and dipping is what people objected to in the LJ. I use no-lift YJ springs in my CJ8 and don't get the jarring "hit" like I used to in '82 with a lift. Now, up to 55mph on the highway they are both comfortable, but after that the LJ is clearly superior. So, for modern highway speeds those coils work well. I do need to tune that suspension - adjustable shocks or different springs. It is the current way of doing things, at least on lightweight rigs. I'm sure it will be a fun project whichever way you take it.
 

don87401

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Farmington
State
NM
#14
I don't want to hijack you tread but sense it is your thread, I still have a long way to go. Next is prime the body (had it blasted to early), and start putting it all back together to build roll bars, seat mounts. To put them in have to have the steering wheel in, the hear/ac unit in, the dash in, the replacement windshield wiper motors in, the top back on, the list goes on and on. Once I past the seats it is time to figure out all the shifters mounting positions so they can be reached from the seats when driving. I have been kinda hung up on other stuff, the little off road trailer I have been working on as well, blasted it the same time and had to get it coated before putting it back out side and out of the booth to get the CJ6 in. Now is summer play time so I am out running around Jeeping, rafting and traveling. I hope to seriously get back to it in August.
 
Last edited:

MrBeep

CJ-8 Vendor Supporter
CJ-8.com Vendor
City
Dillsboro
State
IN
#15
Somebody here had a custom frame with TJ suspension and 60's. Then it was stolen. Very active member on here I just can not remember who.
That was me that had it stolen. We took 2 TJ chassis , $1100,to make 108 inch wheelbase. Purchased a 6 inch Rubicon Express long arm kit, $3100, DANA 60 front and rear with ARBs, $3500, TBI injected 350 Chevy, $800, Turbo 400 trans $500, Atlas 4 transfer case $3200. The scrambler rear floor will require some modification to clear elevated coil spring frame. I was using a one piece fiberglass front clip with no inner feeders so no interference there. It can be done.:wave:
 
Top