Last month we finished up our Ultimate Adventure 2010 coverage, but there are still a few loose ends left to the buildup of the Ultimate CJ-17, also known as the UACJ and Pewe's Pile, which we built for Editor Péwé to lead the trip with. The Jeep had sat neglected in his garage for years due to time constraints and the black hole that magazine projects can become. We decided it would be the perfect candidate for the new smog-legal Erod V-8 crate engine from GM Performance Parts. From there, the project snowballed, as projects will do. The frame was modified for the three-link with track bar front and a spring-under rear leaf suspension. The axles were built by Dynatrac (Prorock 44/60 hybrid front, Prorock 60 rear), and the aluminum body tub by Aqualu was covered in rivets and outfitted with military jump seats as the Jeep took on a B-17 bomber theme. So what's left? Just all the little stuff, like the exhaust, transmission, wiring, plumbing ... One of the most important parts to the Erod crate engine's being smog legal is the exhaust. There are certain rules about how far the supplied catalytic converters can be from the exhaust manifolds, where the O2 sensor bungs are welded, and which manifolds are used. We went with the supplied manifolds and gave all the other problems to Dave Chappelle of Chappelle's Exhaust and Kustom Shop.One of the most important parts to the Erod crate engine's being smog legal is the exhaust The small packaging of the Jeep along with the tricky suspension movement, tight driveline clearances, and general "10 pounds of poop in a 5-pound bag" dilemma didn't faze Chappelle one bit. In no time he had a finely routed exhaust that would never touch a rock.The small packaging of the Jeep along with the tricky suspension movement, tight driveline The entire 3-inch exhaust fit like a glove and wrapped around the drivetrain like it was made from spaghetti. The pipes were finished up with a Dynomax Ultraflow muffler that was throaty but not obnoxious.The entire 3-inch exhaust fit like a glove and wrapped around the drivetrain like it was m On our way back from Chappelle's shop we realized that the Jeep was going to need some supplies for the trip, so a quick stop at Lowes and we were outfitted with an armload of Cobalt tools just in case there was any wrenching during the trip.On our way back from Chappelle's shop we realized that the Jeep was going to need some sup Our transmission strategy got turned on its head when we found out that the 4L80E transmission we had planned on getting from General Motors would take a few months. We frantically wracked our brain looking for a solution, then a friend suggested Bowtie Overdrives in Hesperia, California. We headed there and in less than a day had a tough new transmission in our Jeep.Our transmission strategy got turned on its head when we found out that the 4L80E transmis The 4L80E is often considered one of the strongest four-speed automatics on the market. Similar to the ubiquitous TH400, the 4L80E was available in 3/4- and 1-ton trucks and 4x4s, usually behind gas V-8 engines. Bowtie offers rebuilt, and tested transmissions and can ship them straight to your door. Bowtie has just developed a new division known as Maximum Off Road Racing Transmissions that specializes in transmissions from rockcrawlers to Trophy Trucks.The 4L80E is often considered one of the strongest four-speed automatics on the market. Si Our 4L80E was built to Maximum's Level 2 spec, designed for applications up to 500 hp. The company added heavy-duty sprags, resurfaced pumps, and internal pressure upgrades, including a shift kit built in-house. Bowtie/Maximum also has custom torque converters built to spec, including heavy-duty stators and heavy-duty internal sprags.Our 4L80E was built to Maximum's Level 2 spec, designed for applications up to 500 hp. The The 4L80E is longer than the more common TH350, TH400, 700R4, and 4L60E to the point that we were initially worried about the rear driveshaft length. In fact, from the front of the Erod LS3 to the output of the Atlas transfer case, the combo stretched out to 651/2 inches long.The 4L80E is longer than the more common TH350, TH400, 700R4, and 4L60E to the point that With the transmission back in and the drivetrain buttoned up, we headed back to Western Fabricators for a belly skidplate and some rocker protection. The skidplate is a piece of 3/8-inch plate that runs from an engine crossmember to the transmission crossmember. We found that sometimes a simple smooth skid under just the delicate parts is lighter and just as helpful as full belly armor plating.With the transmission back in and the drivetrain buttoned up, we headed back to Western Fa The rock sliders were just as simple: a bent piece of 1/4-inch plate bolted to the aluminum tub. Western Fabricators has a large laser cutter and huge press to cut and form these parts.The rock sliders were just as simple: a bent piece of 1/4-inch plate bolted to the aluminu Tying all the drivetrain together is a pair of Tom Wood's driveshafts. The front is a rather narrow long-spline shaft, while the rear is a short CV driveshaft. Tom Wood's walked us through the measuring and design of the shafts and shipped them practically overnight. They arrived quickly and fit perfectly.Tying all the drivetrain together is a pair of Tom Wood's driveshafts. The front is a rath With most of the major fabrication finished, we headed to our home shop for the odds and ends. First order of business was the rear shocks. With the wide axles, we decided to mound the Fox bypass shocks outside the frame and actually mounted them to a plate on the underside of the inner rear fender. The plate is bolted through the tub to a gusset running to the rollcage. We wouldn't recommend this if your tub is old and rusty, but it worked great for our Jeep. Also note the Dynatrac spring under U-bolt kit and alignment plate on our rear springs.With most of the major fabrication finished, we headed to our home shop for the odds and e The rear springs are from BDS, and we took them to Atlas Leaf Spring to have a military wrap and torque wrap added. We didn't want to have any issues with spring wrap due to the 430 horses under the hood. We did eventually snag some of the spring clamps on the trail, but spring wrap wasn't an issue.The rear springs are from BDS, and we took them to Atlas Leaf Spring to have a military wr At this point we started to lose sleep. It was exactly one week before we were supposed to leave for the Ultimate Adventure. The Jeep hadn't driven at all, and we were about to forgo our beds for coffee. Plus we called in favors, such as convincing our friend Ben Lawley, the Australian Land Cruiser specialist, that a Jeep is similar to a Land Cruiser and he should come help install the Painless Wiring harness.At this point we started to lose sleep. It was exactly one week before we were supposed to Along with the wiring and Erod ECU, we stuffed a Shaffer's Off-Road battery box behind the passenger side fender.Along with the wiring and Erod ECU, we stuffed a Shaffer's Off-Road battery box behind the Under the dash we fit an Aqua-Hot heater and a GM Performance Parts Supermatic transmission controller. The controller is the brain for the 4L80E, but by miswiring just one wire (we were tired) we fried the Supermatic on the second day of our trip and were stuck with only Second gear. A replacement was shipped in overnight, and we fixed the wiring glitch and got back on the road. The transmission is shifted by a Lokar shifter, while the steering is through an Ididit steering column.Under the dash we fit an Aqua-Hot heater and a GM Performance Parts Supermatic transmissio The interior was kept simple: an early Jeep speedo, a semiflat black Aqualu aluminum dash (with more rivets added), and the basic Atlas shifter, brake pedal, and some switches for lights and the ARB Air Lockers and compressor. The throttle is drive-by-wire and was installed with Péwé in the driver seat in his specific location, then simply plugged in to the wiring harness. A Mico lever lock serves as parking brake. The CB radio is from the Off-Road Connection. The steering wheel is a reproduction B-17 steering yoke.The interior was kept simple: an early Jeep speedo, a semiflat black Aqualu aluminum dash As you get closer to departure and you're short on sleep, you need to make lists. The no-fuss finish of the aluminum tub allowed us to write on it and then wipe it off when the list was fulfilled. In this case every fluid in the Jeep was made by Amsoil, from coolant to gear lube. CaptAs you get closer to departure and you're short on sleep, you need to make lists. The no-f Since Péwé would be driving we let him do the brakes. The hard lines are from Classic Tube, while the brake booster and master cylinder are the Off-Again 4x4 Navajo brake system. The swinging pedal, the frame, and the grille are the only parts left over from the original Jeep. We mounted the ARB compressor and the smog canister for the Erod engine behind the driver-side fender.Since Péwé would be driving we let him do the brakes. The hard lines are from Classic Tube With just two days before we had to leave on our 48-hour cross-country road trip, this was the state of the Jeep. We had mounted the Chris Durham Motorsports front bumper and Warn 9.5 XP winch. Friends and neighbors were showing up to help finish the project, with wires, hoses, and general mayhem everywhere.With just two days before we had to leave on our 48-hour cross-country road trip, this was Next, we installed our new hood from Quadratec. Quadratec has just about every Jeep part imaginable, and it also supplied our windshield and frame and a bunch of hinges, headlight bezels, and odds and ends. The hood had to be trimmed a few inches to fit on the raised fenders, but this kept the Jeep low while still clearing the 37-inch Goodyears.Next, we installed our new hood from Quadratec. Quadratec has just about every Jeep part i The final few days were a blur as we buttoned up the Jeep for the Ultimate Adventure. Finally we were ready to hit the road, but not before one last stop at Impact Signs. The guys at Impact went beyond the call of duty to meet us at their shop in the dark of night to help install the sponsor logos. Impact can make everything from basic die-cuts to full vehicle wraps.The final few days were a blur as we buttoned up the Jeep for the Ultimate Adventure. Fina This Jeep has been given many names over its buildup, like Péwé's Pile when it was the festering project we started with. Then we called it the UACJ since it was the Ultimate Adventure CJ-7. When we devised the airplane theme it became the CJ-17, named after Péwé's favorite bomber, the Boeing B-17. But what we may not have mentioned is that this Jeep is actually registered in his wife's name, so in the end it'll be christened the Lovely Laura in dedication to the woman who puts up with all the Jeep piles he has stored around their house.This Jeep has been given many names over its buildup, like Péwé's Pile when it was the fes SOURCES CTM Racing N/A AK 760-450-0006 www.ctmracing.com Ididit 610 S. Maumee Street Tecumseh MI 49286 517-424-0577 www.ididit.com Hobart Welders N/A AK 800-626-9420 www.hobartwelders.com Mercenary Off Road Sun Valley CA 91352 www.mercenaryoffroad.com Lowes 800-445-6937 www.lowes.com Powdercoating USA 440 Sherwood Road Paso Robles CA 93446 805-237-8886 www.powdercoatingusa.net Bowtie Overdrives 17359 Darwin Ave Unit C Hesperia 92345 760-947-5240 www.bowtieoverdrives.com Off Again 4x4 508 Murray Dr Farmington NM 87401 505-325-5761 www.offagain4x4.com Maximum Off Road Racing Transmissions 909-528-8901 BDS Suspension Inc Coldwater MI 517-279-2135 www.bds-suspension.com Lokar 10924 Murdock Drive Knoxville TN 37932 877-469-7440 www.lokar.com Chappelle's Exhaust And Kustom N/A AK 619-588-1263 www.chappelleskustoms.com AMSOIL 925 Tower Ave. Superior WI 54880 800-777-8491 www.amsoil.com Poly Performance 245 Tank Farm Road Units L & M San Luis Obispo CA 93401 805-783-2060 www.polyperformance.com Optima Batteries 17500 E. 22nd Ave. Aurora CO 80011 303-340-7400 Aqua Hot 15549 East Highway 52 Fort Lupton CO 80621 800-685-4298 www.aquahotoffroad.com PSC Motorsports 11468 FM 730 South Azle TX 76020 817-270-0102 www.pscmotorsports.com Impact Signs 15370 Cholame Rd. Suite 3 Victorville CA 92392 N/A www.impactsignsonline.com Mico Inc. 1911 Lee Boulevard North Mankato MN 56003 800-477-6426 www.mico.com The Offroad Connection 1417 Decatur Hwy. Fultondale AL 35068 800-792-2280 www.offrdconnection.com GM Performance Parts P.O. Box 33170 Detroit MI 48232 800-577-6888 www.gmperformanceparts.com Bubba Rope 310 W Melody Lane Casselberry FL 32707 N/A www.bubbarope.com Poison Spyder Customs 47275 Twin Pines Rd. Banning CA 92220 951-849-5911 www.poisonspyder.com Quadratec 1028 Saunders Court West Chester PA 19380 800-745-2348 www.quadratec.com Daystar 841 S. 71st Avenue Phoenix AZ 85043 800-595-7659 www.daystarweb.com Painless Performance Products 2501 Ludelle Street Ft. Worth TX 76105 800-423-9696 www.painlessperformance.com Classic Tube 80 Rotech Drive Lancaster NY 14086 800-882-3711 www.classictube.com Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co 1144 East Market Street Akron OH 44316 330-796-2121 www.goodyeartires.com Overkill Engineering Nuevo CA 888-225-0243 www.overkilleng.com Walker Evans Racing P.O. Box 2469 Riverside CA 92516 888-933-7223 www.walkerevansracing.com Warn Ind. 12900 S.E. Capps Road Clackamas OR 97015 800-543-9276 www.warn.com Dynomax Monroe MI 734-384-7806 www.dynomax.com MasterCraft Safety 9335 Stevens Road Santee CA 92071 800-565-4042 www.mastercraftsafety.com Tom Wood's Custom Driveshafts 2147 N. Rulon White Boulevard Suite #103 Ogden UT 84404 801-737-0757 www.4xshaft.com ARB 4x4 Products 720 SW 34th Street Renton WA 98057 800-761-8192 http://www.arbusa.com Chris Durham Motorsports 864-420-1274 chrisdurham.wordpress.com Western Fabricators 9823 E Avenue Hesperia CA 92345 760-949-1441 www.westernfabricators.com Dynatrac 7392 Count Circle Huntington Beach CA 92647 714-596-4461 www.dynatrac.com Shaffer's Offroad 510-533-5202 www.shaffersofroad.com Hi-Lift Jack Company 46 W. Spring Street Bloomfield IN 47424 812-384-4441 http://www.hi-lift.com/index.html Aqualu 435 Neave Court Kelowna AK 888-765-6714 www.aqualu.com By Fred Williams Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!