The reality is that it was my goal to get this Jeep running and drive it to the 2014 Easter Jeep Safari. I didn’t make it. But, some of the work to clear the cobwebs and make the vehicle roadworthy was actually started two years ago. Here’s a look at what was done and what still needs to be done.
I retired the vintage 37-inch BFGoodrich Krawlers which were probably some of the first prototypes every produced. Needless to say, they were too old for me to safely drive at highway speeds. I also found 37-inch tall tires with a traditional-height suspension and 79-inch wheelbase made for a top-heavy rig that wasn’t as much fun to rock crawl. So I decided to go back down to 35-inch tall tires, and purchased a new set of BFGoodrich Krawlers and Eaton steel beadlock wheels. The other area that I had made progress in was to change from a long style water pump to a short one, and change all the accessory brackets and pulleys to match. This also gave me a chance to go to a wide, serpentine type belt instead of the old V-groove belt.
Fast-forward to January 2016, and I’m picking up where I left off two years ago. The todo list includes things like installing a new steering box, upgrading the radiator and electric fan, installing fuel injection, putting in new seats, replacing the Percy’s Speedglass windshield with a new one, plumbing the brand new 15-year old ARB Air Locker in the Dynatrac prototype ProRock 60 rear axle. This thing is a rolling museum of now legendary equipment.
I’m still not panicked, even though I really only have 3 weekends left that I can work on the Flattie to get it ready for this cross-country trip and week of four wheeling. I’m not sure if that’s ignorant bliss or just plain denial, but I’m running with it for now.
Some of my friends on Facebook posted stops they’d like me to make on my journey from Detroit to Moab, and I even learned about the Epic Willys Adventure, a group of semi-crazy guys driving era-correct 40’s Willys from the Upper Midwest to Moab. I hope to cross-paths with them at some point.
Follow along on my garage adventures, highway adventures and hopefully off-roading adventures in this Flat Out for Moab series.