Tuesday, June 8, 2021

A WAAAAAAYYYYYYY long overdue update.

 On one of my previous posts, I went through my grandiose plans of rebuilding a Jeep CJ8 Scrambler into a dedicated camping rig.  Yeah, see where this is going?...

Upon much more thought, insight/ revelations on JUST how much energy, time and additional money I was going to have to expend on it, I decided to back out.  I still think it would be an awesome project.  Fortunately, my friend from whom I bought the project decided to buy it back to repair and sell.  He even bought some of the additional components I had gotten for this project.  The only thing I have yet to disposition is a full hardtop and doors.

Instead, I went the easy route and purchased this in March of 2020, the day before the world shut down.

It's a 2017 JKU Rubicon with an Ursa Minor aftermarket camper top.  This IS the concept that I was going for with the Scrambler rebuild.  But at the end of the day, the Scrambler would still be a 35 year old vehicle.

What I like about the Ursa Minor top over a typical roof top tent is access is primarily from the inside, through hatches above the rear seat area.  It can be accessed from outside as well.

Rather than me continuing to opine, watch Chris Shontz's well done video that describes the attributes of the top.  I'll wait....

Venture4WD,A Closer Look at the Ursa Minor J30

Of course, Maggie loves it too.

We are quite enjoying this vehicle and have only begun to explore the national forests for dispersed camping.

It SHOULD be needless to say, but unfortunately there are numerous people who do not adhere to the principles of Tread Lightly or leave no trace.  That is what ends up getting public lands shut off to the public.

One day we hope to be able to take enough time to stray farther out than the forests of VA and WV.  Until then, there is still a lot to explore!

Saturday, April 4, 2020

What if...

What if...  Excuse me for a moment, I need to adjust the tin foil on my hat...

OK.  I'm back.  Now where was I?..  Oh yes.  Consider if you will, the efforts and effects around the globe of the Wu Flu.

I don't have any set opinion on whether this virus started from some idiot eating something that should not have been eaten, or if it was unintentionally or deliberately released from some lab.  There appears to be no shortage of circumstances, here-say and factual data to support both claims.

Regardless, it's here now.  Now, imagine if you will, the situation being taken advantage of by certain political entities.

Most of our info, at least early on, came from the World Health Org.  Notwithstanding the misinformation from China, I'm personally a wee bit skeptical of the info from WHO.  WHO, as you likely already know, is part of the UN, of whom I completely distrust.
The UN, has had something for quite a few years called Agenda 21.  It's likely the source for AOC's (or more likely her handlers) inspiration for the New Green Deal.  Overall, it's bad news for U.S. sovereignty.

So, what if this situation is being taken advantage of by those wanting Agenda 21 to come to fruition?
Create a windstorm of panic and hysteria, beyond reasonable precautions, to bring down the world economy.  Of course, our own left-leaning elites have been more that happy to jump on that bandwagon.  Because orange man bad and nothing else has worked to boot him out of office.

What would be needed to bring the world back from global economic ruin?
I have my own beliefs based on biblical prophesy, that one day there will be a one world government (for 7 years) prior to Christ coming back to set things straight.  Whether or not this is the catalyst, I do not know.

Regardless of whether or not my ramblings have any credence, we are in for some interesting times.  One can only speculate where this will lead.

May you stay healthy, may you stay safe.  Yeah, I know, where's the adventure in that?

Monday, December 9, 2019

Overdue update

I haven't done anything to the Scrambler Project for a couple of weeks.

I did manage to get the bulk of it torn down and separated.

First step, after clearing out all the miscellaneous "stuff" that was inside, was to remove the hardtop.  
The hardtop in and of itself needs a lot of love.  It was a CJ7 top that someone cut and spliced for the extended length of the Scrambler.  It looked like it was pretty decently done, originally.  But time and neglect have taken their toll.


When working by oneself, one sometimes has to be creative.  I worked the top off in stages.
I first secured 2x4s to keep the sides from flaring out as it was being moved and to give a better bottom surface on which to support the top.  Then slid it down ramps onto the utility trailer.



Then it was the same process to get it from the trailer to sitting on blocks.


Then the Jeep was pulled up onto the driveway, turned around and positioned into it's next staging area.  That feat took a little bit of time, as there was no steering shaft connecting the steering wheel to the steering box and one of the tires is so dry rotted it doesn't hold air for very long.

It was another week or so before I was able to get anything more done.

Removing the body tub from the frame was the same process.

It didn't take me very long into the teardown to realize that very few, if any of the parts/ components were original to each other.  The whole "vehicle" was bolted together with minimal fasteners and many things are missing.  Things like the wiring harness, heater box assembly, radiator, etc.
The positive side of that is it didn't take much effort to get everything apart.  Replacing the missing items with new, aftermarket parts is most times a good thing.  I've run into a few issues on the blue Jeep with using the original 40 year old wiring harness.

Random Maggie pic.  She's in her natural habitat.  Laying on my pillow...

The body tub is going to need a lot of work.  I don't know that much about that type of work, so it's a bit intimidating to me.  I'm really on the fence about repairing what I have vs. buying an aftermarket replacement.  
There are three options for aftermarket: Fiberglass, steel and Aluminum, each with their own set of pros and cons.
I won't consider fiberglass.  Not that I'm intending on selling this, but a fiberglass body is a good way to drive down the value.  There can also be fitment issues as components are assembled.
Aluminum is an interesting option.  The company that makes them is in Canada.  These have good reviews but do not have any holes in them, requiring the end user to cut the holes for things like the steering column, fusebox, brake booster, etc.  It is also much lighter than the steel body.  Cost is slightly more than steel.
There is one manufacturer of aftermarket steel Jeep tubs.  It is a company in the Philippines.  From what I have read from numerous sources, these body tubs are very inconsistent, holes are missing or mis-located and some features are typically not there.  Some opinions I've read are that for the amount of work involved to make the new tub right, it frequently would be better to have repaired the original.

Replacement panels and structural members for most of it are readily available.  It comes down to how much work, time and effort one wants to put into it.

The frame needs a fair amount of repair as well.  I find this to be much more in my comfort zone.
Pre-cut sections are available for most of the common frame rot areas.  So in addition to repairing rust through areas, I plan on adding additional plating for strength in some key areas.

That's about where it sits.  I put the frame off to the side so I could get the blue Jeep in the garage.  I had to replace a non-working taillight for the annual inspection.  40 year old wiring harness + 20 year old taillight + 15 year old wire splices finally gave up the ghost.  Also did some overdue drivetrain oil changes over the weekend as well as put the hardtop on.  It's going to be outside for the winter as I work on the Scrambler.