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4x4Wire Jeep Projects

4x4Wire Jeep Projects and Featured Rides

4x4Wire features different types of project vehicles ranging from extreme four wheeling/rock crawling projects to mild trail rigs.

Project BRYJ - Bryan Archambeault's Project YJ is the Jeep his parents never wanted him to have. It is impractical, but a load of fun. Built for Sierra rocks were it sees repeated abuse.

Project Invasion - Project Invasion is a 1975 Jeep J10 pickup that is being built to accomplish two goals. During the week, the truck will be a work truck to drive around town. During the weekends, the truck needs to be ready to hit the high mountain passes for camping and exploration. The major goal for this project is to get the truck ready for the Ouray 2002 Full Size Jeep Invasion, so the project is named after the event.

Project FleXJ - Don't get me wrong, the XJ is a great off road vehicle that can do amazing things with minor lift and tire upgrades, but when it comes to hard core wheeling they are passed over for a myriad of reasons. But despite all the pitfalls, for some reason I felt I had something to prove when I decided to go hard core with an XJ.

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Project Pieces and Parts

Project Pieces and Parts
by: Terry Howe

Project Pieces and Parts has been a long and changing project. When the project began, I wanted to make a nice streetable CJ-2A that would perform well on the trail, but near the end I wanted to build a hard core rock crawler. The change in direction created some changes in the project in the middle of the project.

The reason for the change in direction was the slow death my '81 CJ-7. I'd been wheeling my CJ-7 harder and harder over the past eight years and the damage was very hard to keep up with. I finally decided it would be easier to scrap the CJ-7 and focus on the CJ-2A. With my energy focused on the CJ-2A, I knew I could make it a great rock crawler.

Click here to read Project Pieces and Parts - Main Page

Introduction - Considering only the condition of the Jeep, parting it out is the most reasonable thing to do. The only thing that prevents me from doing just that is its heritage.
Damage Report - A complete disassembly of this flat fender revealed several problems that were not immediately apparent. The biggest problems are with the tub and the frame.
Frame and Bumper Fab - Fame and bumper fabrication for the Jeep Tech Editors CJ-2A Project Pieces and Parts. Ideas on building a stout flat fender frame and bumpers for a minimalist.
Frame Boxing and Gusseting - The frame work for Project Pieces and Parts wasn't done after simply chopping up and splicing together the '73 Commando frame to flat fender specifications. There was still a large frame crack to fix near the front spring mount, the splices to reinforce, body mounts to build, and some frame boxing to do.
Pieces and Parts Suspension - Since this project is called "Pieces and Parts", you can't expect anything to be normal and this is true for the suspension. The suspension is not radical, but it is practical and should perform well.
Ultimate Offset Pumpkin Dana 44 - Rebuilding a '71 CJ-5 Dana 44 for a Project Pieces and Parts. This axle is the best factory rear end for any '41-'71 short Jeep.
Dana 30 Disk Brake Conversion - Terry Howe does a disk brake conversion of a drum brake Dana 30 for Project Pieces and Parts. Everything you need to know to swap disks on your '72-'76 CJ with drum brakes. This article also explains why the Dana 30 is a good low buck axle upgrade for '45-'71 CJs
Buick 231 V6 Swap - Project Pieces and Parts finally gets the fired up with a Buick 231 V6 sitting on engine mounts from Advanced Adapters.
TH350 for Project Pieces and Parts - The Turbo 350, aka TH350, automatic transmission is a stout 3 speed automatic transmission. It has been used in various GM cars and trucks over the years. Because it is a reliable, common, and short transmission, it is probably the best automatic transmission to swap in a short Jeep such as a flat fender.
Pieces and Parts Transfer Case - Project Pieces and Parts gets a Scout 80 Dana 18 transfer case. The Scout 80 Dana 18 is a small hole Dana 18 with the big intermediate shaft.
Pieces and Parts Overdrive - A Warn Overdrive from a Scout 80 for Project Pieces and Parts. The Warn Overdrive does not shorten the rear driveshaft and it provides a 0.75:1 gear reduction in all forward and reverse gears.
Tunnel Cover - Fabricating the shift linkage bracket and tunnel cover was an entire weekend of careful cutting, bending, welding, and drilling. The work was worth it, I got the clean look I wanted and I maximized floor space.
Dual Batteries for Project Pieces and Parts - It is always a challenge fitting things into a flat fender; fitting a dual battery system into Project Pieces and Parts was no exception. A dual battery system insures that there will be plenty of cold cranking amps to start the Jeep up even after a fairly long dead pull with the winch.
Durabak Bed Liner - For Project Pieces and Parts, Durabak not only provides a tough, skid resistant finish, it hides body work. Applying the product is easy, and the finish is outstanding.
Work - Body work for Project Pieces and Parts is more of a matter of turning dents and swiss cheese into some sort of usable body. Hours and hours of MIG welding, Bondo, and sanding result in nice body panels.
Shooting Color - Anyone will tell you that the key to a good paint job is the prep work. Body work on a Jeep is something you need to strike a delicate balance between looking good and not wasting a lot of time.
Off-Your Rocker Corner Guards - Project Pieces and Parts gets rid of some ratty corners by installing Off-Your Rocker Corner Guards. These corners aren't poseur aluminum cover-ups, these corners are heavy duty steel diamond plate.
Pieces and Parts Electrical - Wiring up a Willys CJ-2A is no simple matter. I had two stock wiring harnesses and both were beyond recovery. The cloth insulation on the wires just doesn't last 50 years or more. I recently parted out a rolled '77 CJ-7, so I decided to use the wiring harness from the CJ-7 on the Willys. It worked pretty well and saved lots of time and money.
In Cab Winch Controller - An in cab winch controller, hard wired to your winch, will increase the reliability of your winch and make it more convenient to use. A hard wired winch controller will avoid winch failures caused by a damaged plug or a controller wire wrapped around a tire. It also means your winch will be ready to use without digging out the controller.
Pieces and Parts Brakes - The stock brakes on a CJ-2A are frightening by modern day standards. They use a single cylinder master cylinder that has no redundancy and small drums all around. I wanted to have a dual cylinder master cylinder and disk brakes up front. I also wanted power brakes because I was planning on running an automatic transmission.
Pieces and Parts Steering I - The Ross steering that is stock on a CJ-2A is basic manual steering. Because there are several moving parts in the linkage, it has a reputation for being loose. I wanted to convert my CJ-2A to Saginaw power steering.
Pieces and Parts Steering II - When I swapped a 4.3L Chevy V6 in to replace the 3.8L Buick V6, I had to rework the intermediate shaft. The Chevy engine mounts are in the middle where as the Buick mounts are in the front of the engine. The only way I could clear the engine mount was with a three u-joint intermediate shaft from Borgeson.
Tube It Out! - There are many ways that tubing out portions of your four wheeler can improve it's off road performance. It can improve departure and approach angles, allow more engine cooling, and allow larger tires with no lift. It also looks cool.
Quick Jeep Dana 44 Spindle Nut - If your Jeep has half ton internal hubs, chances are you have the three piece spindle nuts. The inner nut sets the tension on the bearing, the lock washer slides down the slot on the spindle and a pin on the inner nut goes in a hole in the lock washer, and the outer nut holds it all in place. Sometimes, you get lucky and that lock washer slides right down and the pin in the nut goes right in a hole in the lock washer, sometimes it doesn't. Some Ford Dana 44s use a self locking spindle nut that does not require aligning the pin and makes installation much easier.
Slamming Gears - An easy modification to the Art Carr cable shifter can make it a quick gear slamming shifter for any automatic transmission. Sometimes, the ability to get into reverse fast can save a roll over.
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John Stewart

Staun Internal Beadlock Install

One Piece Alloy WheelFirst, you need to determine if your rims are acceptable for the Staun internal beadlock.  Acceptable means one piece alloy or steel rims.  And, even if it is a one piece rim, there may be a structure issue that makes a particular style of rim a bad choice.  

The internal beadlock is a tire within a tire.  One hole is required to be drilled in the rim for the valve stem of the inner tire.  And, it requires a flat surface that is parallel on the inside and outside in a location that does not interfere with the brake assembly.

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John Stewart

Wire up an in cab winch remote... it's easy!

While 4-wheel'n a couple of months ago, a friend of mine had to winch a broken rig out of a predicament.  Maneuvering his rig in place, we un-spooled his winch, hooked up to the stranded rig and prepared to winch him up over some rocks.  Only problem was that he couldn't find his winch remote cable which was buried under mounds of camping gear in the back of his Jeep. The solution to this problem would have been to store the winch remote cable in an accessible location, making it easier to retrieve.  Another solution is to hard wire an in cab winch remote switch. This way you can control the winch from inside the cab and not have to worry about locating the winch remote cable.  Sure, there are times when having the cable available is handy, but for those those other times, an in cab remote switch is mighty useful.

Wiring up the remote switch is as easy as, well, wiring up a couple of wires.  I'm running a Warn XD9000i winch.  This winch uses a 3-pin connector for the cable remote.  I'm sure those winches with a 5-pin connector would be just as easy to wire up.

Read more of Wire up an in cab winch remote... it's easy! in the 4x4Wire Archives.

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John Stewart

IronBull Bumper for the Dodge

Ironbull Bumper Mounting Bracket

Well, Vendor B claimed their bumper would fit all models and years of Dodge trucks.  After a brief phone conversation with Jesse, I ordered an IronBull Bumper rear bumper for my Dodge 1500.  Their products are built to order and have about a 3 week lead time for delivery.  After the obligatory waiting period, I set out to do the bumper swap expecting a couple of hours effort to have the new bumper installed.  Well, it didn’t quite work that easy.

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