best for off road

best for off road

Iron Duck

Clarksburg, PA
CJ 7, 150 AMC 4 cylender, T5 tranny, Stock gears, transfer case, and Diffs.
Hi, I own a street leagle 1984 CJ 7 with an 4 cylender Iron Duke under the hood. My wife wounts me to buy a Jeep for off rooad use only. I am thinking about Buying an old 49 Willys but not real sure if I wount to go with another carberated motor. I hear there are better ways to go but not sure if I wount to do the new school thing. I like old. I know old. Old is cheep and easy But If I'm going to go off road only I wount to go at it hard. I am looking for Good advice I'm not going Pro. Just going a little deeper into the Jeep thing. What is the best way to go? :cool::eek:
Man, you are going to get answers from all over the place. With the older vehilcles, and wanting a fuel injected motor, you are going to have to do a swap (obviously). Another choice-what type of off-roading? Give us some background on your thoughts and needs, and we can go from there. I always look forward to spending other peoples money :D
Pretty wide open question but you could narrow it down with a $ range you can spend, how you want to use it, etc.
If I were to buy the 49 willys this is how I would build it. This is being realistic to my budget and needs building it out of my garage with a welder handy.
Vortec v6 motor,
TH350 auto tranny for short length,
Dana 300 case with tera low gears,
Scout 2 Dana 44 axles (not narrowed) with 4.56ish gears and OX Lockers
Flat leaves with an SOA and some sort of adjustable shock
Antirock sway bar because the SOA is pretty tippy and soft.
Retain metal body if possible
Full cage
Suspension seats.
Tire size? Not sure but I would base it off of total lift and clearance. I am not a HUGE tire guy anyway so 33 or 35's would suffice for me.

Actually, that combo would work for my in most any Jeep build and it is one of my ideas for my CJ8. The only change in the 8 would be the tranny because I would install a 4 speed auto or an NV4500 5 speed manual. I need some more body armor in the CJ8 also due to the big back end.
What kind of off roading we talking about, a mud runner is built alot different than a rock crawler for instance.
O.K. now that I have your attention... Here is the situation. and rainge.
$5000.00 to buy jeep and make mods
I am a welder/ fabracator with unlimites use of both mig. and stick welders. Even if I can't speel I can Fab and fix. I can get most steel plate, chanel, pipe, exc.
The forum is trail rides
Narrow paths
Tite turns
Up and down steep hills
some rock / shall and articulation
mud is thick red clay and black swamp mud We try to avoid this as much as posibal But well it happenes.
heavy ruts and plenty of driving skill needed
We dont ride the trails in Western Pa. We have to realy drive them
Most of the trails are 4 low First and second gear
most commen prob. broken axels,Tie rod ends, and drive shafts. Body damage is normal side swipe trees flaten finders Alot of little bumps and bruzes make the jeeps look worse than they realy are
Lift of some sourt is advisable tire size is 31x10.50 to 33x13.50
welded axels are commen.

Now you have a better idea of the ride I need Fell free to have yout way with it hourse power and or skill type of Jeep and motor fule injected or carb $5000.00 CALL IT...
Well hate to say it but Kane went through your budget like a hot hot knife through........
How much are you paying for the Willys? what does it's current drivetrain look like?
It sounds like the type of terrain we have here in southern ohio and northern Ky.
The people here have the best luck with super low crawl ratios and good low end tourque as we never go over 5mph, and the shale has to be crawled since it just spits out if you spin a wheel. Lockers are a must.
Fuel injection of some type works best although some run mc2100's with good luck.
After the cost of the Willys I will have $2500 left the Willys body is great and not much as far as mods have bin done to it. I forgot to mention my best friends are a bunch of junk yard dogs so thats how we scrounge up parts. infact they have manny old 4x4's laying around that are broke or parts cars trucks vans Jeeps exc.they break alot of stuff I dont wount to break I wount to go. I am not sold on the Willys yet Looking at all options.I have one friend that runs a sameri. He does well for the most part but is under powered real bad. I wount discrace the web site again by mentioning that 4x4.LOL...
"I wount discrace the web site again by mentioning that 4x4.LOL... "

Not knowing if the Willys is stock or not but if so be aware that they have prehistoric steering and braking systems and You would almost certainly be wanting to rework those areas. I also might point out that turn radius is not very good in one, the wheel to spring/frame clearance is 1" less than my narrow track CJ leaving the wheels not much room to articulate.
1 more thing on Old Dogs point of "Lockers a must", Not possitive but a locker is not available for that early Dana 44 without changing the axles whitch by the way are 2 piece axles like the AMC20.
As I said I am not possitive of this though.
Concidering the budget I would look for a good 5 but then if you looked at my profile you would see I might be a bit biased. ;)
The Willys with plenty of effort and $$ could be an awesome rig though.
Here is a sweet one but my guess is it's at 4-5 times budget.
The guys here arn't go'na like this, but my first choice would be a TJ, their getting pretty cheap now. My second choice would be a YJ, you can get them real cheap.
IMO either one would be better than a CJ5 or 7 and a lot better than a 2 or 3.
I have to agree with Old Dog on this. You can pick up a good YJ for under 5, and put a CJ front end on it later. The old ones look great, but for the price, you may want to look a little newer.
I will look around and see whats out there and let you know what I come up with. thanks for the good advise and comments. KEEP THE RUBBER SIDE DOWN!!! GOOD LUCK:)
Here is a contender? 93 XJ 4.5" lift ,frunt and rear recovery bumpers, rockcrusher Diff.covers, 8000 Ramsey Winch, 4.0 inline 6cylender 11200 miles new 36" TSL's frunt and rear off road lights,plated floors $3500.00.
thoughts ?
Iron Duck-

The first thing to do if you pick up a flattie is to make sure the fame is straight then box it or you may have problems as you go along.
Here is a contender? 93 XJ 4.5" lift ,frunt and rear recovery bumpers, rockcrusher Diff.covers, 8000 Ramsey Winch, 4.0 inline 6cylender 11200 miles new 36" TSL's frunt and rear off road lights,plated floors $3500.00.
thoughts ?

XJ's do well off road especally hill climbs. Doesn't sound to bad for the bucks.

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