Jeep AJ-8 Build Up - How Rick Russell Built His Sidekick Off-Road Rig:

Story & Photos by Rick Russell

 Tera center sections were shipped to Currie Enterprise, who completed the reverse-cut Dana 60 differentials with lockers, Precision Gear ring & pinions and Currie axles. The rear Tera 60R CRD differential supports an ARB Air Locker and the front Dana 60R runs a Detroit Locker. Both axles use a 5 on 5 1/2 wheel.
Equipping the bobbed Scrambler with a soft top, hard doors and a roof rack provide enough comfort and storage for weekend camping trips. On more extreme trails the soft-top and hard doors can be easily removed. On the highway, the hard doors reduce the wind noise and provide a tighter cab for air conditioning and heating. There is never enough storage, so I loaded up the AJ-8 with Tuffy storage boxes and on longer trips will pack tighter or tow a small trailer. Always keep in mind your vehicle"s end use when purchasing upgrades.
In Part II of our AJ-8 Build-up the Jeep is assembled, tested and fine-tuned


Author: Rick Russell has been 4 wheeling for over 30 years. He drives thousands of miles off road each year when he explores areas for his Sidekick Off

Currie Enterprises built a four-link system around the rear Tera 60R CRD using the Currie "J-Arm" control arms which provide strength and flexibility.
Road Maps and when he is taping areas for his Off Road Adventure Video Series on DVDs. His videos feature a variety of trails across the United States. Both the maps and DVDs can be purchased at 4 Wheel Performance Centers, including a DVD on this AJ-8 Jeep build-up. For more information visit

Project Difficulty Rating: It doesn"t get any harder than this!

BODY: Aluminum Body - Bobbed Scrambler
FRAME: AFW Quad Coil Frame & Tire Carrier
ENGINE: GM Performance Ram Jet 350
  Arizona Speed & Marine Closed Loop Computer
TIRES: Goodyear MT/Rs - 37" x 12.50 x 17

In order to make sure the differentials have the proper clearance with the motor, Currie Enterprises positioned the motor in the frame and built custom motor mounts. The suspension was cycled several times to find the best location for the motor.
WHEELS: Walker Evans 17"x9"
TRANSFER CASE: Advance Adapters Atlas II 3.5 ratio
TRANSMISSION: 700 R4 Automatic
DRIVELINE: Custom Drive Shafts" polished & clear-coated
  driveline with 1350 joints, Rear CV Joint
SHOCKS: Rancho 9000s
SUSPENSION: Currie Suspension with J-arms & Johnny Joints
DIFFERENTIALS: Tera CRD 60R (rear), 4:56 gears, Currie Axles
  Tera 60R (front) with Currie Axles
LOCKERS: ARB Air Lockers (rear), Tractech Detroit (front)
BRAKES: Wilwood Front & Rear Disc, Navajo Brake Booster
Currie Enterprises built our motor mounts - they looked great and have been strong enough to handle abuse on the toughest trails and in the sand dunes.
DASH: Custom with Auto Meter Gauges & K-Four switches
AIR CONDITIONING: Hot Rod Air & Heating Unit
WINCH: Warn Power Plant includes air compressor
STEERING: PSC Power Steering System & Flaming River Tilt Column
SOFT TOP: Bestop - CJ-7 top with extension modification
WIRING: Painless Wiring Kit
WELDER: Premier Power Welder 170 amp high frequency
SECURITY BOXES: Tuffy Boxes: console, speaker cabinets, rear storage
BODY PROTECTION: Sun Performance Rocker Panels
The reverse-cut differentials and longer wheelbase of the AJ-8 allowed us to install a flat belly pan for maximum ground clearance and still have an acceptable driveline angle.
PAINT: Corvette Yellow Custom Paint by RVMD,
  Graphics by Schartel Pinstriping
FABRICATION: Danny Grimes & Ryan"s Metal Fabrication
PARTS: Painless: Switches, Windshield Wiper, Ignition Switch



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