Trail CJ build ?'s this is long but I like to get others ideas.
I have been collecting CJ's for three years and still have the same decisions to make that I started with. I bought a 77 body on a 84 frame with worn 70something 304/t150/dana20, with a new pro comp 4" lift, and superior axle shafts rear, with wide track axles (2.73) gears on 33's and alum rims. The tub needed new floor boards front to rear, so I took it off and cut out the floorboards, now it sits that way.
I then bought a 86 sitting on a pair of 81 (narrow) axles with a trashed front ring and pinon, trashed frame, no engine, and a tub that needs steel replaced under the rollcage, and under the "JEEP" on the front rockers. So I took that body off of it and got about half the steel work done. I also bolted this 86 t176/D300 combo to my 304 with a new clutch in my 84 frame that has the lift and put in-frame headers and a flowmaster exhaust on the frame (still no body on it).
The 304 I have runs but it is tired, so I bought a 81 Cherokee Chief with a "built" 360/t176/208. I listened to the engine, it sounds good, has good oil psi and obviously has cam in it. It is still all bolted up and the Chief is complete minius driveshafts.
Now I bought a bone stock 83 cj7 with a worn out iron duke and near perfect everything else. I have been driving it everywhere, but the carb needs to be rebuild and it fogs mosquitos very well.
I also have a new centec harness and set of 1" body lift body mount kit, I also ended up with two decent sets of hard doors and a odd pickup cab that will fit a 7 with the factory roll cage still bolted in. Also have a couple of T18 ford trannys and 350/SM465 combo (the 350 is junk) but I would not mind using one of the granny 4 speeds, and buying a tcase adapter (would put jeep engine in front of the t18, or gm in front of the sm465).
Oh yea, got a 88 cherokee 4.0/auto that I rolled sitting in the warehouse too.
I want to end up with great trail rig (no lockers necessary type trails) and sell my leftovers to fund it. I dont mind buying another engine if the v8's I have are too much for a trail rig, and I prefer EFI. I will not separate the 83 frame and body. But will do whatever with the others as long as I have the leftovers to sell. I only want to keep one CJ.
I know I am rambling, thanks for looking. What ever suggestions you have will be considered. Is the procomp lift worth keeping for a trail rig on 33's? What is a good engine for trail rigs?