The Jeep CJ8 or Scrambler hasn’t been made since 1986, but now thanks to Winslow Bent and his team at Legacy Scrambler Conversion, this classic Jeep is now available as a virtually new, trail-ready rig. Yep, we said all new. This isn’t a worn-out old barn find that’s been repaired and upgraded. It’s the best of the reproduction parts available today, along with some superior fabrication and integration skills by the team at Legacy. Legacy Scrambler Conversion calls the package seen here the “Dualsport Tdi.”
“The Legacy Scrambler CJ8 sits on a custom frame from ThrottleDown Customs. This frame is modeled off of an original Jeep frame.”
The Legacy Scrambler CJ8 sits on a custom frame from ThrottleDown Customs. This frame is modeled off of an original Jeep frame. This frame is made from 2x4x3/16 box tubing rather than the open-channel design of the original. The frame rails are mandrel bent. It’s much stronger and will last longer than any OE Scrambler frame. It’s designed to fit a PSC steering power box. The frame is set up to utilize a custom, long-travel suspension, developed and built by Legacy utilizing GenRight components and King coilover shocks and bump stops.
Since Scramblers are rare, and clean Scrambler bodies are even more rare, a new aluminum body from Aqualu was utilized. Aqualu makes two bodies for the Scramble—a standard-length unit and one with the tail bobbed behind the axle. Both bodies will fit the original or a Throttle Down Customs Scrambler frame. For this build, the full-length body was used, as this provides more space for gear when taking long trips down the unpaved road less traveled. The aluminum body was fitted with high-clearance aluminum tube fenders from GenRight Off Road. The rest of the body parts, hood, tailgate, etc., are top-quality steel reproductions from Omix-Ada. A few items, like the grille and headlights, are clean originals from a donor Jeep. The body was painted “Legacy DT Green” by Straightedge Auto Body, in St. Anthony, Idaho.
In the interior, the front seats are from Recaro and the single rear passenger seat is a Corbeau Safari Fold & Tumble Seat, designed specifically as a direct bolt-on. The gauges are from Faria. These are “digital gateway system” gauges that communicate with the J1939 ECM system, just like the newest trucks. Of course, this Jeep has A/C and gets it courtesy of a Vintage Air system. A Tuffy locking center console sits between the seats for secure storage, and the stock glove box is still in place for maps. An Ididit steering column replaced the original and the brake pedals connect to a Hydroboost unit under the hood. From there, the GM dual-circuit master cylinder sends the fluid out to the Wilwood disc brakes at each corner.
With a modernized truck, modern differentials were a must. A Dynatrac ProRock 44/60 is found up front and a ProRock 60 brings up the rear. Gearing in the axles is 5.13:1 and trail traction increased when the ARB Air Locker is engaged. To distribute the torque to both axles, a 3.0:1 ratio Atlas II transfer case is mounted behind the six-speed automatic transmission.
The best part of this Jeep is the 630T V-6 diesel engine from Banks Power. The 630T is a 3.0-liter V-6 mill that puts out 240 hp @ 3,500 rpm and 420 lb-ft @ 1,500 rpm. It is tri-fuel capable, meaning it can run on diesel #2, bio-diesel blends and JP8. JP8 is a fuel used by the military, and you’re not likely to find it here in the USA for commercial use. However, you could run it if needed come the zombie apocalypse.
Since every Legacy Scrambler is built from the ground up, you can order several options and upgrades. There are even two V-8 gas engines available for your non-oil burning friends. However, that would create drastically shortened trail range.
We brought you information on another of the great rigs from Legacy, their 4BT-powered, four-door 1948 Powerwagon in our March 2013 issue. Click here to read more about it. DW
SCRAMBLER HISTORY LESSON
The CJ8 was first introduced to the market in 1981 and the last year of production was 1986, the same year CJ7 productions stopped in favor of the new Jeep Wrangler YJ.
Widely know as a “Scrambler,” this was actually the name for one of the appearance packages available on the CJ8. Others were Renegade and Laredo, which were also use on the CJ7. The Scrambler name was only used on the CJ8. Perhaps this is why the name stuck.
The CJ8 is essentially a long-wheelbase version of the CJ7. The CJ7 has a 93.3-inch wheelbase, while the CJ8 is 148 inches overall. The CJ8 features a removable half-cab. A bulkhead was installed behind the seats to seal the cab, thus creating a small, integrated, pick-up style box. Full-length soft tops and hard tops were available for full-length coverage from the aftermarket. On a historical note, Former President Reagan was given a CJ8 as a gift by his wife, Nancy, during his presidency. He used it on his ranch in California.