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My Full Size Jeep: a tale of fire and demolition

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This is a cross post from a Jeep message board i found. It is the story about my latest demo derby. Enjoy...



How is everyone. I am new to your board, but have been lurking for quite some time. I figured some of you may enjoy a story about my Jeep, so here i am to share.


A little more than a year ago i found a 1972 j-4000 that was being given away on our local radio station. When i called on the jeep, there were already others in line for it, so i offered $50 to get in the front of the line, and came out with the truck. She didn't run very well, so i stored it for the winter and as soon as spring came, i jumped into making her run and drive. The fuel lines were shot, and there were some electrical issues that i took care of. I am into demolition derby, so to take care of the fuel issues, i just put in my demo derby gas tank and lines...did most of the electrical like I would for a demo derby car, and went out tromping through the woods. That little truck did great all spring and summer, keeping up with anything i could throw at it. Eventually with all the use i was giving her, the old carb came apart and ended up lighting the top of the motor on fire. With the help of some snow and dirt, i was able to save the truck from major damage. She sat for a month or so before i got motivated enough to get her running again....motivation came in the form of a truck demo derby.


Now before you start freaking out you have to understand that i had basically nothing invested in this truck, and i didn't want to deal with the hassle of getting a title for it. (previous owner lost the title and didn't want to help getting a new one...i would have had to file for a title like the junkyard does...too much headache)


So with a new carb, and all new rubber and wire under the hood, the little jeep was alive and running better than ever. I took her up to the spot where she had started on fire...and then 50 feet past that spot just to prove to the truck that it wasn't it's fault. After that little confidence booster, i started cutting and welding, setting the jeep up for the demo derby. It was a very easy build because there is basically nothing on those trucks to begin with. I was required to weld the bed to the cab, and i loved how the truck drove after doing such....it also took away 80% of the squeeks and rattles in the truck. We had to take out the front driveline to make the trucks rear wheel drive only. Also we had to put in a bar in the bed of the truck right against the cab for safety.


The jeep did great in the derby. I took 2nd out of 12 trucks. I ended up breaking my steering wheel off with my bare hands at the end of the derby. I had a motor mount break which allowed my whole drivetrain to move back and to the left (drivers side), pulling my homemade shifter through the floor, and pulling my ground battery cable off of the battery. The passenger side framerail looked more like a snake than frame at the end of the derby. Also, the front leaf mount on the passenger side ended up turned 90 degrees with the leaf still attached, and unbroken. The steering box took a few strong hits, but it held in place...the front frame crossmember (right behind the bumper) bent around the steering box. I was really worried about how far forward the steering box was to begin with, but she held up.


Well if you guys don't crusify me, feel free to ask questions and such. Here are some random pics of the jeep, and even a little video clip of a FSJ handing out some punishment.




















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Actually no...I have thought of that derby every single day since i drove in it. Now along with subie radar, i have a full size jeep radar going too. I have started learning everything there is to know about the big jeeps, and i think it has come to a point of obsession that is not healthy...but thats what boys do for fun right? I just can't wait to do it again. Change the things that didn't work well, use the strategies that presented themselves during the derby. I honestly don't know why demo derby isn't illegal yet...it is just that much fun.


Someday i want to derby a Yota...i wonder if they would let such a little truck in with the full size guys. I know that one would do well...very well.

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