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The LJ-8 hit a milestone today

jscherb

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 13, 2020
Messages
609
Location
Elmira, NY
LJ200K1.jpg


I bought it in 2009 with 22,500 miles on the clock.

In the almost 180,000 miles I've owned it it's been to 45 of the lower 48, including all 4 corners of the country; it's been to the Arctic Ocean at the north end of the Dalton Highway in Alaska and it's done thousands of trail miles in Colorado, Utah, California and other places. It's never let me down, and it's pretty much only needed basic maintenance and replacement of wear items - seals, brakes, clutch, cats, etc. Of all of the "this is a bad year" problems people write about, the only one I've had is the swelling check valve in the gas tank, and that was taken care of with a GM filler hose. The 6-speed still performs as new, no problems with OPDA, etc.

In 2010 I designed and built the Safari Cab hardtop for it and in 2014 I completed the CJ Grille Kit so it's looked just as it does today for many years. Took this photo shortly before posting this:

LJ200K2.jpg


Of the three Jeeps I have it's always been and still is the one I enjoy driving the most.

I fear the day when parts become unavailable and some unavailable stupid sensor or something makes it undriveable.

If all goes according to plan, it'll be doing another Colorado trail trip this July.

A few photos from various trail adventures over the years...

3D Trail at Easter Jeep Safari:

LedgeDescent_zpshphsbcdq-1.jpg


Crossing the Animas River north of Silverton, Colorado:

rivercrossing3_zpsfc3b2715-jpg.239043


At Tincup Pass in Colorado:

tincuppass_zps17d93374-jpg-jpg.239046


At the Arctic Circle on the Dalton Highway in Alaska:

daltonarcticcircle_zpsd511c541-jpg.304381


It's been a very fine daily driver and trail vehicle and I'm looking forward to many more years enjoying it.
 

Irun

Jeep Addict
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2019
Messages
5,930
Location
Virginia
View attachment 325473

I bought it in 2009 with 22,500 miles on the clock.

In the almost 180,000 miles I've owned it it's been to 45 of the lower 48, including all 4 corners of the country; it's been to the Arctic Ocean at the north end of the Dalton Highway in Alaska and it's done thousands of trail miles in Colorado, Utah, California and other places. It's never let me down, and it's pretty much only needed basic maintenance and replacement of wear items - seals, brakes, clutch, cats, etc. Of all of the "this is a bad year" problems people write about, the only one I've had is the swelling check valve in the gas tank, and that was taken care of with a GM filler hose. The 6-speed still performs as new, no problems with OPDA, etc.

In 2010 I designed and built the Safari Cab hardtop for it and in 2014 I completed the CJ Grille Kit so it's looked just as it does today for many years. Took this photo shortly before posting this:

View attachment 325474

Of the three Jeeps I have it's always been and still is the one I enjoy driving the most.

I fear the day when parts become unavailable and some unavailable stupid sensor or something makes it undriveable.

If all goes according to plan, it'll be doing another Colorado trail trip this July.

A few photos from various trail adventures over the years...

3D Trail at Easter Jeep Safari:

View attachment 325475

Crossing the Animas River north of Silverton, Colorado:

rivercrossing3_zpsfc3b2715-jpg.239043


At Tincup Pass in Colorado:

tincuppass_zps17d93374-jpg-jpg.239046


At the Arctic Circle on the Dalton Highway in Alaska:

daltonarcticcircle_zpsd511c541-jpg.304381


It's been a very fine daily driver and trail vehicle and I'm looking forward to many more years enjoying it.
It really is amazing to think where this vehicle has taken you! :love:
 
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JeepZilla380

TJ Addict
Ride of the Month Winner
Joined
May 30, 2017
Messages
1,587
Location
Atlanta, GA
I've enjoyed watching your projects for years Jeff! The Exegete was the first mod I added to my LJ. Hope for all of our TJ era Jeeps sakes we have plenty of sensor to out survive us.
 

bobthetj03

WRKJ779, KN6SRH
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
Joined
Feb 3, 2017
Messages
14,629
Location
Clearlake Ca.
Congrats on hitting the 200K club. I'm almost there myself at 194K. Keep the projects coming Jeff!
 
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jscherb

jscherb

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 13, 2020
Messages
609
Location
Elmira, NY
I've enjoyed watching your projects for years Jeff! The Exegete was the first mod I added to my LJ.

Thanks!

The Exogate on my LJ is a hybrid - it includes parts I fabricated as part of the design and prototyping process back in 2011, parts from a production v1 Gr8Tops Exogate, parts from a MORryde/Gr8Tops v2 Exogate, and parts that may or may not get into production some day, like the Exogate Cargo System receiver mounts. Most things on the LJ that I've designed and have ended up in production are like that - my Safari Cab hardtop has many features Gr8Tops decided not to include in the production version.

[/QUOTE]
Congrats on hitting the 200K club. I'm almost there myself at 194K. Keep the projects coming Jeff!

I've got a number of projects going on but I haven't been posting them here because the crowd here seems to be mainly interested in mechanical issues. I've been doing designs for overlanding/camping (a solar panel/kitchen battery charging system, for example, and I'm involved in a cargo drawer system project), and a lot of fabric designs for Overland Outfitters. I've convinced OO to add a bunch of TJ designs to their line, hopefully TJ people like them. I've also been doing a few things with the Exogate Cargo System. Anyway, lots of projects going on but maybe none worth posting here.


BTW, anyone planning to attend Jeep Beach this week? Overland Outfitters is borrowing my JKU for their booth at the Vendor Expo there so I'll be at the Vendor Expo.
 

AndyG

TJ Guru
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2018
Messages
11,547
Location
Alabama
Nothing will happen to that LJ that you can’t handle.

Not trying to schmooze- but you are a gifted, exceptional person-

I’ve actually sat and tried to think of how you approach things- to “get inside your head “ so to speak.

Part of the beauty of this thread is you have gotten out there and used it for what it is intended.

That shot of the Animas- I know the area - Heaven on earth around the western slope.
 
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JEEPCJTJ

TJ Expert
Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2018
Messages
4,728
Location
Half way between Pittsburgh and Cleveland
Well here I'm looking at another thread worth seeing but I'm not sure about a couple things:

I've got a number of projects going on but I haven't been posting them here because the crowd here seems to be mainly interested in mechanical issues. I've been doing designs for overlanding/camping (a solar panel/kitchen battery charging system, for example, and I'm involved in a cargo drawer system project), and a lot of fabric designs for Overland Outfitters. I've convinced OO to add a bunch of TJ designs to their line, hopefully TJ people like them. I've also been doing a few things with the Exogate Cargo System. Anyway, lots of projects going on but maybe none worth posting here.

In my opinion, FWIW (ha!) , you almost need your own sub forum section.
 
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TRevs

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2019
Messages
330
Location
TX & CO
@jscherb I’m not sure what’s more awesome, the LJ or the places it’s taken you.

I grew up 40 minutes from Ouray and although I’m a late-comer to the Jeep world, I get up there as often as I can. I’ll hopefully be hitting some trails in Colorado in July as well.
 
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jscherb

jscherb

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 13, 2020
Messages
609
Location
Elmira, NY
@jscherb I’m not sure what’s more awesome, the LJ or the places it’s taken you.

I grew up 40 minutes from Ouray and although I’m a late-comer to the Jeep world, I get up there as often as I can. I’ll hopefully be hitting some trails in Colorado in July as well.
The Ouray Hot Springs pool is a must do stop when we're in the area.

A few weeks ago I got out my Colorado trail books and maps to think about planning an off-road expedition for this summer. As I was going through the books I was reminded of how many of the trails I've done over the years (I've been doing Colorado expeditions for about 10 years), so I decided to make a list of the Colorado trails the LJ has done (this is not a complete list - I've done many forest service roads and un-named trails in addition to these). Alphabetically:

Alpine Tunnel Road
Argentine Pass, McClellan Mountain
Arrastra Gulch
Aspen Mountain
Balanced Rock Road
Black Sage Pass
Boreas Pass
California Gulch
Cinnamon Pass, Wager Gulch (Carson Ghost Town)
Coffee Pot Road
Corkscrew Gulch, Hurricane Pass
Cottonwood Pass
Cumberland Pass
Dakan Road, Long Hollow Road
Devil's Punchbowl
Dotsero Crater
Dry Mesa Jeep Road
Engineer Pass
Escalante Canyon Road
Georgia Pass
Grizzly Jeep Trail
Guanella Pass
Hagerman Pass
Hancock Pass, Alpine Tunnel
Imogene Pass
Kebler Pass
Kendall Mountain
Last Dollar Road
Marshall Pass Railway Grade Road
Marshall Pass to Sargents
Marshall Pass via Poncha Creek
Medano Pass
Montezuma Basin
Mosquito Pass
Mt. Herman Road, Rampart Range
Nevadaville Loop
North Fork Cutoff
Ohio Pass
Oh-My-God Road, Russell Gulch
Old Monarch Pass
Old Stage Road to Gold Camp Road
Ophir Pass, Alta Lakes
Paradise Divide
Pearl Pass
Picayune Gulch, Placer Gulch
Pikes Peak
Pomeroy Lakes and Mary Murphy Mine
Red Mountain Mining Area
Rollins Pass East
Rollins Pass West
Saxon Mountain
Shelf Road, Phantom Canyon
Shrine Pass
Silverton to Animas Forks
Silverton to Lake Como
Stony Pass, Kite Lake
Tincup Pass, St. Elmo
Transfer Trail
Waunita Pass
Weston Pass
Yankee Boy Basin

In addition, I've done almost all of the trails in the Moab area that my LJ is capable of (2" lift, 32" tires), and a few that it wasn't (I won't post photos of the LJ being strapped over a too-big obstacle unless someone insists). Also some off-road and off-pavement miles in Alaska and trails in the Mojave Desert (the Mojave Road and more), trails in Death Valley and a few other random places need to be added to the list above.

What I'm thinking of for this year's expedition is exploration in Colorado above I-70 - most of my trail expeditions are exploration, not "how big of an obstacle can I climb over" and this would be exploration too. I'm thinking of exploring the headwaters of the Colorado River this year and some of the old railroad lines through the area. The map below is pieced together from three different Colorado trail and guide books and shows approximately what I'm thinking - the red dashed line shows one possible route through the area.

PiecedMap.jpg


The approximate east to west distance pictured on the map is 125 miles; the actual route I would do would be much longer. A lot of the route is paved, but some of it is trails and some of it is unpaved or gravel roads. There are many side detours/trails that could be explored as well.

This is still in the early planning stages, I've got more research to do. And if anyone has any thoughts or recommendations about this part of Colorado, please post them.

Last year we did Rollins Pass from both sides; this is in the same area and was the original railroad route over the continental divide before the Moffat Tunnel was completed. It was a fascinating trip through history. From that expedition:

The route was obsoleted in 1928 when the Moffat Tunnel opened, which eliminated about 30 miles of treacherous trackage over 11,660' Rollins Pass and replaced it with a 6.2-mile long tunnel under the Continental Divide (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moffat_Tunnel) and since the 50's most of the old railroad right of way has been a trail. It's a fairly easy but uncomfortable trail covered with 6"+ embedded rocks and 9"+ deep holes for a large part of the way, but there are no technical challenges.

The route is divided into two separate parts, you can't go completely across - there is a short tunnel at the summit that's been closed for some years now, so you can approach the summit from the east and the west but you can't go all the way across through. Back when the right of way was first opened as a trail (and the tunnel was open), the Forest Service published this:

RollinsPassMoffatRoad.jpg


Approaching Needle's Eye Tunnel from the east. It's the black dot roughly in the center of the photo. The Jeep is at about 11,500 elevation.

NeedlesEyeApproach.jpg


The tunnel is barricaded at both ends but I'm tall enough to take a photo over the barricade. You can see the barricade at the other end in the photo.

NeedlesEyeTunnel.jpg


It started to rain just as we were beginning our descent from the tunnel. It rained the rest of the afternoon. The trail didn't get slick but all the potholes filled quickly with water. This photo was taken on the way down, about a mile from where the trail is closed before the tunnel.

LongCut.jpg


The west side of the trail isn't as rough and uncomfortable as the east side, but the last two miles to the Needles Eye tunnel is pretty rough. Lots of rain was forecast but luckily it held off until the last two miles on our way out. The west side is more interesting for railroad buffs since there are several relics left over from when the trail was a railroad line, like the Rifle Sight Notch trestle:

RifleSightNotch.jpg


Not having been used in 93 years, it's not in very good shape.

RifleSightNotch2.jpg


Clouds closed in at the summit, and at one point visibility was down to less than 50 feet.

RollinsClouds.jpg


The west side of the Needles Eye Tunnel, I visited the east side the day before:

NeedlesEyeTunnelWest.jpg


From the tunnel, it's about a mile hike to the Devil's Slide Trestles. These are a real engineering feat, I haven't figured out how they could build these hanging on the side of the mountain. Clouds prevented great photos:

DevilsSlide1.jpg


Anyway, enough of that trip, this illustrates the type of exploring I like to do. I've got similar photos of historic mining and railroad ruins from all of my Colorado exploration.
 
Last edited:

mvigo

just a humble beekeeper...
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
May 15, 2020
Messages
257
Location
SF Bay Area
love the milestone @jscherb. And, as far as I am concerned, any of your projects progress are worth posting, assuming, of course, you would like to post about them. You have helped me back in the day with the door/window repairs on my CJ so I appreciate your attention to detail. Yes, we all love the mechanics/technical side of the TJ, but I have found your work to be as interesting...so my vote would be to post away!
 

deadbeat son

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Dec 28, 2020
Messages
428
Location
Denver, CO
View attachment 325473

I bought it in 2009 with 22,500 miles on the clock.

In the almost 180,000 miles I've owned it it's been to 45 of the lower 48, including all 4 corners of the country; it's been to the Arctic Ocean at the north end of the Dalton Highway in Alaska and it's done thousands of trail miles in Colorado, Utah, California and other places. It's never let me down, and it's pretty much only needed basic maintenance and replacement of wear items - seals, brakes, clutch, cats, etc. Of all of the "this is a bad year" problems people write about, the only one I've had is the swelling check valve in the gas tank, and that was taken care of with a GM filler hose. The 6-speed still performs as new, no problems with OPDA, etc.

In 2010 I designed and built the Safari Cab hardtop for it and in 2014 I completed the CJ Grille Kit so it's looked just as it does today for many years. Took this photo shortly before posting this:

View attachment 325474

Of the three Jeeps I have it's always been and still is the one I enjoy driving the most.

I fear the day when parts become unavailable and some unavailable stupid sensor or something makes it undriveable.

If all goes according to plan, it'll be doing another Colorado trail trip this July.

A few photos from various trail adventures over the years...

3D Trail at Easter Jeep Safari:

View attachment 325475

Crossing the Animas River north of Silverton, Colorado:

rivercrossing3_zpsfc3b2715-jpg.239043


At Tincup Pass in Colorado:

tincuppass_zps17d93374-jpg-jpg.239046


At the Arctic Circle on the Dalton Highway in Alaska:

daltonarcticcircle_zpsd511c541-jpg.304381


It's been a very fine daily driver and trail vehicle and I'm looking forward to many more years enjoying it.

200k well traveled miles, Jeff! I've read your posts on many forums over the years. I've only recently added a Jeep to my stable, but have always enjoyed your projects regardless.
 
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jscherb

jscherb

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 13, 2020
Messages
609
Location
Elmira, NY
This is one of the coolest LJ's out there.

Thank you. Of the three Jeeps I have, the LJ is my favorite. If I could only keep one of them, the JKU would go in a heartbeat and the 2006 Wrangler pickup would go next but I would hang on to the LJ.

AllCleanMay21a.jpg


Love the milestone @jscherb. And, as far as I am concerned, any of your projects progress are worth posting, assuming, of course, you would like to post about them. You have helped me back in the day with the door/window repairs on my CJ so I appreciate your attention to detail. Yes, we all love the mechanics/technical side of the TJ, but I have found your work to be as interesting...so my vote would be to post away!

I'm working on a Jeep-tub trailer project with a camper top based on an LJ Safari Cab hardtop now and on the back it will have a TJ side-swing tailgate + barn door upper with MORryde's Tailgate Reinforcement and Savvy low-profile LED tail lights. The Savvy lights aren't exactly compatible with the reinforcement plate but there's a simple way to make them work together without modifying the reinforcement or the tail light, I'll post about that if people are interested. It'll be a few weeks before I can post about it though, won't have time to work on it until I get back from Overland West.

The LJ doesn't get to go on this Overland West trip, it'll be the JKU because it'll be in both the Overland Outfitters and MORryde booths (their booths are together and the JKU will be between them). There's lots of MORryde and OO gear on/in the JKU and they both want it for their displays. Outfitted and ready for the trip:

RTTInstalled3.jpg


Anyone here going to Overland West?

BTW another thing I haven't posted about here because I didn't think people in this forum would be interested is my DIY/budget solar charging system. The solar panel slides out from beneath my roof rack and keeps the fridge/kitchen battery charged when the Jeep isn't running. (When the Jeep is running the alternator keeps the kitchen battery charged).

SolarDeployed2.jpg


BTW the solar charging system it is a TJ/LJ thing too because I use the same rack on the LJ and the LJ is also wired for solar charging. If people are interested in Jeep camping/overlanding stuff like this I could post the details of the solar setup and more.
 

suicideking

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2019
Messages
1,311
Location
Riverside, CA
Congrats on a lot of fun miles in the best vehicle of our time.

Also really like that top with the roll up side windows. I'd like to get one of those someday.
 

Midnight LJR

In search of Rubicon flares.
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
Joined
May 30, 2019
Messages
1,574
Location
Southern Utah
Thank you. Of the three Jeeps I have, the LJ is my favorite. If I could only keep one of them, the JKU would go in a heartbeat and the 2006 Wrangler pickup would go next but I would hang on to the LJ.

View attachment 330591



I'm working on a Jeep-tub trailer project with a camper top based on an LJ Safari Cab hardtop now and on the back it will have a TJ side-swing tailgate + barn door upper with MORryde's Tailgate Reinforcement and Savvy low-profile LED tail lights. The Savvy lights aren't exactly compatible with the reinforcement plate but there's a simple way to make them work together without modifying the reinforcement or the tail light, I'll post about that if people are interested. It'll be a few weeks before I can post about it though, won't have time to work on it until I get back from Overland West.

The LJ doesn't get to go on this Overland West trip, it'll be the JKU because it'll be in both the Overland Outfitters and MORryde booths (their booths are together and the JKU will be between them). There's lots of MORryde and OO gear on/in the JKU and they both want it for their displays. Outfitted and ready for the trip:

View attachment 330592

Anyone here going to Overland West?

BTW another thing I haven't posted about here because I didn't think people in this forum would be interested is my DIY/budget solar charging system. The solar panel slides out from beneath my roof rack and keeps the fridge/kitchen battery charged when the Jeep isn't running. (When the Jeep is running the alternator keeps the kitchen battery charged).

View attachment 330593

BTW the solar charging system it is a TJ/LJ thing too because I use the same rack on the LJ and the LJ is also wired for solar charging. If people are interested in Jeep camping/overlanding stuff like this I could post the details of the solar setup and more.

I will be at Overland West. Would love to chat without you about the trailer based on the safari cab. Sounds cool!
 
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jscherb

jscherb

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 13, 2020
Messages
609
Location
Elmira, NY
Congrats on a lot of fun miles in the best vehicle of our time.

Also really like that top with the roll up side windows. I'd like to get one of those someday.

Thank you.

My top is homemade, and I designed it with the features I thought a proper Jeep top should have, such as the removable hard sides/roll up soft sides. The good news is after I completed the construction, Gr8Tops licensed the design and put it into production, so you can buy one: https://gr8tops.com/shop/jeepmodels/wrangler-lj-2/lj-safari-cab-full-hardtop.

The bad news is that Gr8Tops eliminated a number of the better features of the top, such as the roll-up sides. I had even arranged for a fabric products manufacturer to make the soft sides for Gr8Tops to sell and a number of pre-production sets were made, but Gr8Tops never put them into production.

Adding the soft sides feature back in can be a DIY job; mostly it's a sewing job. If anyone wants to tackle that job I can provide details of the sides and advice.

I will be at Overland West. Would love to chat without you about the trailer based on the safari cab. Sounds cool!

Look for my JKU there and I should be nearby, it'll look like this at the show (these photos taken at the recent Jeep Beach in Daytona, where Overland Outfitters was using it for their display:

Daytona22b.jpg


Daytona22a.jpg


About the Safari Cab based camper top... when I designed the Safari Cab and its modular parts, I planned that the parts could be assembled into a camper top for Jeep-tub trailers. This is the first set of parts made in my molds in my home garage, these parts are the ones on my LJ to this day:

AllKit1.jpg


I discussed the camper top idea with Gr8Tops and they provided some preproduction parts from their molds and I molded a few others for me to build a proof-of-concept camper top. The parts assembled very easily into a camper top and they even displayed it at a Jeep show in Pennsylvania as a possible future product. I never fully finished it, I just assembled the basic shell at the time. Didn't put windows in or do anything about the interior for the proof-of-concept build. These photos were taken in 2011:

CamperShow1.jpg


Rear barn door:

CamperShow2.jpg


Front hatch:

CamperShow5.jpg


Showing its parentage:

CamperTwins1.jpg


After Gr8Tops showed the trailer once I disassembled the shell and the parts have been sitting in my yard ever since. I'm now working on completing it - adding windows, painting it, etc.

The yellow Jeep-tub trailer underneath it in these photos I built out of the back half of the red LJ I cut in half to make my Wrangler pickup, plus the back half of a YJ I picked up. It was sooooo much work to make a nice trailer out of it that I was inspired to design an easy-to-build fiberglass Jeep-tub trailer kit:

Assembled1-3.jpg


That design was picked up by a company and kits can be found in two lengths at www.dinoot.com.

That project led to me designing a military replica trailer kit in fiberglass, which Dinoot also now manufactures:

WithRetro4_zpsa65303c0.jpg


One last trailer thing - I'll have the same yellow Jeep-tub trailer at Overland West, but with a different camper top on it. This was another design I did to make DIY camper tops easy and affordable - most of this shell it 1/4" plywood; the rounded corners are fiberglass parts designed to match the round corners of the Jeep tub and make it easy to assemble inexpensive plywood sides. This trailer is being used by Overland Outfitters to bring their products to the show to sell (which included a bunch of new TJ products), and it can be seen in the background of the Jeep Beach photos above.

tiltup2_zps8rjkiejo-jpg.159491


There's lots more trailer stuff I could show but this post it getting too long. I'll look forward to seeing you at Overland West.