Sometimes the best projects are leftovers from someone else's work, whether it be their old trail rig, failed attempt at building a 4x4, or collection of parts they never quite got assembled. Billy Sheperd purchased this Jeep a few years back after a friend of his built it as a competition rockcrawler. Buying a used race vehicle of any type is a gamble. It will likely have some good parts installed, but it may also have seen some aggressive driving in its time on course. Lucky for Billy this Jeep still had plenty of life left in it. It has become the perfect trail rig. It's made of tough simple parts, was built safe for surviving multiple rollovers, and it still has enough room for coolers and tools. In fact, Billy recently entered it in a local rockcrawl comp and cleaned house against some much bigger high-dollar machines, proving once again that there's more to wheeling than the price of your parts. Tech Specs1980 Jeep CJ5DrivetrainEngine: '98 Cherokee 4.0L I-6Transmission: AW4 automaticTransfer case: Dana 300Front Axle: Dana 44 with Dana 60 knuckles, Aussie Locker, 4.88 gearsRear Axle: Trussed Dana 44, welded spool, 4.88 gearsSuspensionFront: Spring-underRear: Three-link with Panhard and coil springsSteering: CrossoverOther Stuff: 1 3/4-inch rollcage, Lexan windshield The well-used Jeep is running 38-inch rubber from BFGoodrich on steel wheels. Billy was on hand when BFG announced that the Flat Nasty trails in Missouri were chosen as a 2008 Outstanding Trail, and was then lucky enough to win this set of tires. It pays to help keep trails open.The well-used Jeep is running 38-inch rubber from BFGoodrich on steel wheels. Billy was on Out back is the sleeper slinky setup, a coil spring and a three-link suspension with a Panhard bar. Bilstein shocks keep it under control, and a trussed Scout Dana 44 with 4.88 gears, a home welded spool, and disc brakes provide the stop and go. Some old seatbelts make the budget limiting strap.Out back is the sleeper slinky setup, a coil spring and a three-link suspension with a Pan The front suspension looks archaic in this age of coilover wizbang and air shock hooty-hoos, but the simple spring-under leaf springs, with shackles up front and Bilstein shocks, can flex and slide over rocks with the best of them. The front axle is a custom-built Jeep J20 Dana 44 with Dana 60 steering knuckles.The front suspension looks archaic in this age of coilover wizbang and air shock hooty-hoo The tub has been plated around the sides and back, while the cage of this little beater trail-eater is mostly 1 3/4-inch DOM tubing laid out for maximum safety for rollover situations (John Markovich jokingly estimates that there were 48 rollovers and flops in the Jeep's competition days). The tube doors are trouble-free and use seatbelt latches to stay closed.The tub has been plated around the sides and back, while the cage of this little beater tr John Markovich of Marko's Customs in Columbia, Missouri, built this CJ-5 after buying it from a college friend in 2001. It had caught on fire, and Markovich dragged it home for a song. By 2003 he had built it into a clean rockcrawler. In 2007 he decided to build a dedicated rock buggy, and Billy Sheperd bought this lightly abused ex-comp rig as his new trail machine.John Markovich of Marko's Customs in Columbia, Missouri, built this CJ-5 after buying it f Under the hood is a 4.0L straight-six out of a '98 Jeep Cherokee. The tried and true six-banger chugs along relentlessly through an AW4 automatic and a Dana 300 transfer case. The last thing you want when wheeling are heating issues, especially with an automatic transmission. The hood hinge spacers along with the hood mounted tranny cooler help evacuate high temperatures quickly.Under the hood is a 4.0L straight-six out of a '98 Jeep Cherokee. The tried and true six-b Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!