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    Neil's Jeeps

    My first experience 4WDing was as a 12yo when my family hired a Landcruiser troopy and did a week camping at Fraser Island. That sense of freedom and adventure had me hooked and I used to love reading all the 4WD mags as a teen, but I never got into 4WDing again until I was 23. Nopics Dad was getting back into Jeeps and invited us down to the 2006 Camp Coffs, which was the first or second annual even run by his Jeep club and the Jeep Action magazine. It's still held yearly and we've attended most since. At the time he had a bright yellow CJ7 with a wild 351W engine and an XJ Cherokee. These days he has a Willy's MB/CJ3/v6 mix, a J10 (one of three commissioned for the Army Perentie trials), a TJ and JKU.

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    Over the years I've swayed between performance cars and 4WDing but never really been able to afford both. In 2007 I bought an XJ Cherokee junker off eBay as a daily but I was longing for something more capable so not long after changed to a Suzuki Sierra, twin locked with crawler gears on 31s. Man that little thing was so capable, I loved the open air feeling and knowing exactly where all 4 corners of the car where. I did mainly local tracks and a few 4WD comps. It was terrifying on the highway though, I only ever took it on one reasonably long drive down to Emu Creek 4WD park in northern NSW.

    I sold it to buy a Silvia as I wanted to get into more track driving and sprints, but maybe a year later ended up buying a Ford Maverick/Patrol wagon chopped to ute, 35s with auto locker front. It was more capable than the Zook due to it's size but it didn't have that same connection was never as much fun. Most of the areas we drove eventually became unavailable, as Lockyer State Forest became National Park and private land at Murphys Creek closed off, so I sold it to get back into performance cars again.

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    Attached Files
    6L FD3S RX7
    GR Supra
    Jeeps JK, CJ7, WK2

    #2
    Fast forward about 10 years, I had a Prado work vehicle and one of my sales team was driving my previous D22 Navara. Unfortunately the D22 got t-boned and I seized the opportunity to pass down my Prado and get a WK2 Grand Cherokee. It was a step up in every way and suits perfectly as daily driver and tow vehicle. I've done a little offroading in it but it's not something I want to get scratched up or dented.

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    Before this I did buy a J10 project vehicle but the RX7 build was always priority and I never got around to getting it on the road. I was really after more of a classic Jeep so sold it to buy a CJ7 with 350SBC, turbo 400 and Ford 9" rear diff. It was intended to be something I could just drive straight away, but after I had it shipped up from Vic I found that the wiring was a mess and the fuel system was shot. I stripped it completely of wiring and got it 95% rewired, then the RX7 came back from being painted and became the priority again. That was now 3 years ago and I haven't really touched it since except to add some MT Classic wheels to make it a prettier garage ornament. I have a FITech EFI conversion kit to go on it and I would like to get it on the road in the next year, but more as just a classic car with v8 rumble rather than something I'm likely to take offroad much.

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    After attending Camp Coffs earlier this year and borrowing my FIL's JKU to take on trips again, we decided that we really needed to get something suitable of our own. I wanted something very capable, that I wasn't afraid of scratching on lantana or adding a dent or 2, that had decent road manners so we could drive it longer distances, 2 door as we don't have kids and prefer something smaller, and already modded as I don't have a lot of spare time between business and other projects. A JK was what I wanted and when I saw Shep mention that he was upgrading, his was the perfect fit. You can find a bit of it's history below but basically it's a 3.6L manual, twin e-locker on 35s, small lift and all the supporting mods.
    https://performanceforums.com/forums...p%92s-jeep%92s

    A few months later he was ready so we struck a deal and he was kind enough to meet me half way between Emerald and Toowoomba to exchange. It required swapping to standard wheels to actually fit on the trailer, fuck those 35s are heavy. I don't really have plans for many changes except for tidying so it flies under the radar a little more. I've removed the stickers (as someone who makes their living off them and can make whatever I want, I prefer to have none ), removed the light bar (I'll see how it is for night driving and decide whether I need it) and fitted personalized plates, I'll get the bonnet and cowl resprayed in a few weeks as the clear coat is peeling and colour has faded, some wider rear flares when they're back in stock, and fit some drawers for camping and to keep recovery gear. Maybe a change of wheels but otherwise just enjoy it.

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    We took it for a few hours drive today to a state forest nearby and although it was pretty tame driving, it's comforting to know the car is capable of getting us out of difficult situations when driving alone. It was raining the past few days and did end up needing both lockers to get up a very slick clay climb.

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    Attached Files
    Last edited by neil_se; 24-07-21, 10:17 PM.
    6L FD3S RX7
    GR Supra
    Jeeps JK, CJ7, WK2

    Comment


      #3
      Subscribe

      Comment


        #4
        ditto nice writeup

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks for posting, that’s a good read

          Comment


            #6
            Nice, love the J10. Always wanted one of those.

            Comment


              #7
              They're a big beast of a thing. I initially wanted it for the V8 with Dana 44 & 60 diffs but it's really too big for most of the tracks I drive (and too hard to get parts). There's usually a few down at Coffs and the stylesides look especially good.
              6L FD3S RX7
              GR Supra
              Jeeps JK, CJ7, WK2

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Shep View Post
                Thanks for posting, that’s a good read
                Your new JLU must feel like a limo in comparison
                6L FD3S RX7
                GR Supra
                Jeeps JK, CJ7, WK2

                Comment


                  #9
                  Haha yeah it’s massive, the extra couple of gears make a big difference as well

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Always loved the J10, I would say pretty hard to find but I know where there's a couple near me. Problem is convincing the owners to part with them, and having the money to do so. Although I'd get a CJ8 before I'd buy a J10.

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                      #11
                      Awesome stuff!

                      I bought a TJ Wrangler earlier in the year and have proceeded to go down the JEEP rabbit hole.......
                      .
                      AutoMotif / VC Valiant / TJ Wrangler

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Oh yeah it's a rabbit hole alright. They'd have to be the most easily modified vehicle available.

                        It was an unseasonably warm winter's day yesterday, perfect for taking the top off and doing some exploring. I found a track that clearly hadn't been driven since the bushfires 2 years ago. I didn't think to take my chainsaw so the dozer got put to plenty of use pushing over 2m tall sapplings and fallen trees. I even got to test out the winch for one.

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                        6L FD3S RX7
                        GR Supra
                        Jeeps JK, CJ7, WK2

                        Comment

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