Build Thread Project cheap UTV

Build Thread Project cheap UTV


aspen co
1981 CJ 7 bone stock for now
So my last rig was over built and super fun for MOAB and hard core rock crawling trails but it was to much for my local trails. I just don't have hard enough trails locally to have 35s lockers and lots of travel. So I sold the old rig and bought a bone stock 1981 Jeep CJ7 narrow track 4 cylinder 4 speed.

The plan for this rig is to make something capable of driving to the trails and rallying at the trails and driving home. To get to local trails I don't have to go over 45mph so the 4 cylinder is not an issue. With the Dimensions being so close and actually smaller is some ways from 4 seater rzr I thought I would try to make this more of a UTV than a crawler. Something that I can just zip around the mountain trails on and keep up with rigs on 33s but on a budget.

Get fresh and agressive 31s
twin stick transfer case(already have)
Full roll cage
Trail corners(already have)
New shocks
Winch with synthetic line(already have)
Engine tune up(new distributor cap,plugs wires, air filter, fluid change)
Clock the T case and make it flat belly
Locker in the rear eventually and maybe better gearing if I find some axles cheap.

I bought this jeep for $2000 and had some parts for it. The plan is to have a fairly capable fun to drive rig that will make the mountain passes locally fun to drive. This is going to be a very slow build. Currently this is my only vehicle but I do not have to drive daily and the lack of garage makes working pretty cold durring Colorado mountain winters. Pictures to come.
This is my last rig

This is it the day I brought it home. I have gotten rid of the bumpers.

Hopefully this thread will give me some motivation to get to work on this thing. I have a new rear bumper home brewed thats 90% done. Looks like warm weather in these parts so maybe I will get something done this week.
Last edited:
enlighten me. Trail corners?
What's the new rear bumper look like?
Trail corners are just a little bit thicker corner panels that bolt on over the existing tub. I wouldn't put them on except who ever did the body work last did a poor job and poking around with a screw driver I realized it would need some work. Since this will probably see some trail rash I though these would be easier than welding in new panels. They are a little heavier so I am going to cut the tub before installing the trail corners to shed as much rust and unneeded sheet metal as I can.

I will get some pics of the new bumper later this week. I am 90% done. It is a swing gate that will hold the spare with a 2 inch receiver at the bottom and a 2 inch receiver at the hub of the spare tire and. Its made out of 2x2 square stock and is lighter than the chrome tubes that were on there previously. The idea of the receiver in the hub of the spare is to be able to add a bike rack or cooler rack if need be.

Front bumper is just stock C channel that was under the ugly tube bumper.
Ah I understand now. The gobers around here have a tendency to remove corners completely. I like the idea of the reciever up on the spare tire mount. Dad's building a boxed reciever that will tie the bumper to the frame. I look forward to seeing the tire mount, mine is a body mount and a swing out would be nice to be able to open the read curtain. Glad you ditched the chrome tube, useless.
I highly recommend the teamrush upgrade.
So taking advantage of the unusually warm weather (40*) and the light pollution from the X games I decided to start working on getting my winch mounted.
First step was getting the winch on the plate. I did this in the living room.

Next was test fitting. At this point I am 90% done I just need to drill a few wholes and mount the control box. I am going to trim the lip off to the left side and put a tow hook also. This is the first I have worked on it in a month or so so not a bad start.

Jeep-CJ Donation Drive

Help support by making a donation.

Help support by making a donation.
This donation drive ends in
Top Bottom
AdBlock Detected

I get it, I'm a Jeep owner and ad-block detectors kinda stink but ads are needed on this site. This is a CJ site, all the ads are set for autos (some times others get through.) I cannot make them just for Jeeps but I try.

Please allow ads as they help keep this site running by offsetting the costs of software and server fees.
Clicking on No Thanks will temporarily disable this message.
I've Disabled AdBlock    No Thanks