On November 21th as I made my way to get some coffee my Jeep was engulfed by smoke. I made a mad dash back to the house and opened the hood expecting to see a huge fire. To my amazement there were no flames, just a bunch of melted wires and fuel injectors. Something in the wiring harness shorted out and caused a small fire which totaled out the Jeep. The insurance company let me purchase the Jeep back from them for a small fee. The Jeep ended up being parted out and some of the parts were given to those that needed them.

I started looking for a new rig as soon as the paper work was finished with the insurance company. I was looking to find something that was pre built and had some solid parts. I was hoping that I would be able to find something on Dana 60’s with 40” tires and a bunch of tube work. That just wasn’t in the cards.

I found a Jeep over in California the had some great parts and needed a little work to get it trail ready. I work out a deal with the owner and made a turn around trip to Oceanside. Mike (Skatch) was nice enough to come along for the ride. I wanted to make sure that I had an extra set of eyes to look at the Jeep. In my mind it was my dream rig and there was nothing wrong with it. Mike made sure to keep me grounded as we looked over the rig and pointed out a few things that I missed. Over all it was still a good deal and the owner took some extra off the price so I loaded it on the trailer and made my way home. Once the Jeep was in my garage I started making a list of what I wanted to do and started looking for parts. A call went out to Joe at Absolute Offroad in Phoenix, to see when he could get me in to do the work. Joe said to bring it down and he would put it on the rack and take a look at to see what he thought it needed. Once on the rack Joe went to work making notes and looking over the Jeep from front to back. With notes in hand we sat down and talked about what it would take to make it a well performing trail rig that would make it down the trail and back to the trailer.

Special thanks to Mike who put up with all my complaining and talked me off the ledge a few times. Who also has been there every weekend and has offered to help in anyway he could. Thanks to the guys and girls of HigherGround4x4 for all the support and kind words as the build took place Thanks to Joe at Absolute Offroad for the use of his shop, answering my questions and working with me to get a well built Jeep on the trail! I also want to than Ryan and Jack who put in long hours on their weekends off to help me build my Jeep. Not to mention making sure to tell me "Don't worry its not as bad as it looks." THANKS!!

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