I suspect you didn't buy that for a song. It's really nice for being 43 years old. It isn't something to run the Baja with, at least not the race.
I'd be careful about adding stuff, like a turbo, larger wheels, tires, etc. Tossing a light weight camper or rigging for camping is fine and something that thing was built for.
Keep it looking like that and in a few years, you might pull a float in a parade.
My suggestion is to leave it in good original condition, keep maintenance records, use it and the value will likely increase.
That should do everything you need to do to go camping off road just as it sits. It's cool as is!
Might toss some carpet/sound deadener on the floor for the noise, hang your CB but nothing that screws it up.
If you have dreams of going mudding or rock crawling, don't put that vehicle in those dreams, go get an old POC that doesn't matter. Just IMO!
Howdy! And thanks for your input. I agree.
I like "overlanding", the adventure of getting somewhere. Not a fan of rock crawling and extreme trails.
Largest tires I'd probably go are 33s. Pizza Cutters. I will eventually do an OME suspension, add power steering, add a locker at least to the rear, add an auxiliary fuel tank, stuff like that. Nothing to chop it up. Even thinking of an extension to the cab, I would either buy one aftermarket, or use a junked one, and keep the original as is. But honestly, for that I would just look for an old beater, or build one from an aftermarket frame.
Will eventually paint it, pretty sure. Either the olive green or the desert tan. But not sure yet.
Ofcourse, a zebra scheme is tempting, as I had two Jeeps painted like that long ago. But maybe instead of white/black, something like desert tan/coyote brown.
My old 1980 CJ7 zebra Jeep.
My 1997 Jeep TJ zebra
Later on I did some more mods and painted it desert tan...
I don't like big giant tires and extreme lifts. I far prefer mods that change as little as possible and make the vehicle more capable while maintaining reliability.
The turbo is something I have thought about, but only if I can find out for sure that it won't mess up that engine. I would only want a turbo for some extra power going up inclines, etc. not for doing crazy stuff. But not sure how true it is that it needs one. People keep saying its "slow" and I don't doubt that, but I'm wondering based on what? Seems many see "slow" as anything under 70mph, but maybe I'm wrong. I don't mind taking back roads, as I prefer taking it easy and stopping to enjoy the scenery, have lunch, etc. Only real way to tell is to drive it, and that won't be until the summer.
I don't know anything yet about those engines, so I need to get informed. Actually would like to take a class, if one exists, on working on that diesel. The biggest buying point for me was the diesel engine in such a simple, mechanical form.
And thanks, to y'all! This is great stuff to know and learn!