Jeep J8 USA Buying Options?

#1
I had never heard of the Jeep J8 until this was posted on the main page recently:
https://expeditionportal.com/the-ultimate-overlander/
Is there any way to buy these in the US market (other than the partial built AEV offering)? The links in the article do not seem to be fresh.
With a 2566lb payload, 2.8L diesel, and pickup option doesn't this seem way better than the upcoming (expensive) wrangler JT pickup for a proper camper conversion to anyone else?
I am just genuinely curious and had never heard about these before.
 
#2
I had never heard of the Jeep J8 until this was posted on the main page recently:
https://expeditionportal.com/the-ultimate-overlander/
Is there any way to buy these in the US market (other than the partial built AEV offering)? The links in the article do not seem to be fresh.
With a 2566lb payload, 2.8L diesel, and pickup option doesn't this seem way better than the upcoming (expensive) wrangler JT pickup for a proper camper conversion to anyone else?
I am just genuinely curious and had never heard about these before.
They sell these to mining operations in the US, but they are not street legal and not available to the public. As far as I know there is no way to get these in the US for civilian use. Several years ago, AEV had a deal with Chrysler that they would receive the complete J8 sans engine and drivetrain, and then do the final assembling (which included the diesel) and sell them as a kit car to the general public. They had a couple examples in house, they had a preorder form published and had to get a number of people lined up before they could move forward. Then the era of the economy collapse happened that sent the automotive industry into a tailspin and Chrysler pulled the plug.

They are a completely different animal than the JK underneath (incuding the frame, suspension: coils in the front/leaf springs in the rear, drivetrain, Dana60 axles, etc) and do not meet US safety and/or emissions standards, so until they reach the 25 year old mark, they are not legal to import into the US.
 
#5
They sell these to mining operations in the US, but they are not street legal and not available to the public. As far as I know there is no way to get these in the US for civilian use. Several years ago, AEV had a deal with Chrysler that they would receive the complete J8 sans engine and drivetrain, and then do the final assembling (which included the diesel) and sell them as a kit car to the general public. They had a couple examples in house, they had a preorder form published and had to get a number of people lined up before they could move forward. Then the era of the economy collapse happened that sent the automotive industry into a tailspin and Chrysler pulled the plug.

They are a completely different animal than the JK underneath (incuding the frame, suspension: coils in the front/leaf springs in the rear, drivetrain, Dana60 axles, etc) and do not meet US safety and/or emissions standards, so until they reach the 25 year old mark, they are not legal to import into the US.
Wow, thanks for the full scoop! I knew there had to be a snag(s) or these would have been really popular for overland rig conversions.
 

Mundo4x4Casa

West slope, N. Ser. Nev.
#6
I'd never heard of the J8 either. CJ-8 and CJ-10, yes. This has a tinge of cultural appropriation. I owned and built street legal CJ-8, 30 years ago and counting, which had many of the J8's upgrade elements. Having built less than 26K units between 1981 and 1985 the Scrambler as it was known suffered a big fall off in buyership toward the end of production as Jeepers were slow to see the value in a 104 inch W.B., 5 foot long bed pickup style Jeep, with a full hardtop and cab version hardtop available, both of which I had. The era also suffered from weak transmissions; choking smog reducing engine add-ons; and puny axles; all of which were replaced by upgrades. It was a rock star rock crawler in its day that you could actually drive to the trailhead, which i did for many years. I loved that rig and continued to build it up between 1986 and 2016, when I finally got too old to enjoy it. I put about 200K miles on that rig. These are becoming so rare that the value has skyrocketed. As far as installing a diesel engine, I tried like crazy to install a diesel into the CJ-8 during the first couple years of ownership, but alas, living in CA and with the CARB it precluded any replacement oil burning power plant. Here is the list of upgrades to compare to the J8:
Jefe's Scrambler as of 01/15.
1982 Jeep CJ-8, desert sand and Nutmeg, by now all rattle can Sand. AGR power steering box and pump, MORE 1-1/2” forward steering box brackets, Chevy power discs front and Cadillac disc rear, removable 10 watt CB, Full Kayline Nutmeg soft top and full soft doors, (not made in nutmeg any more) windjammer, 1/2 doors and tired bikini top, custom soft cab top, beat up custom rear tonneau cover, removable, fold down rear seat. Room for one more seat behind the rear seat. Rear, swing away tire rack with MT. bike fork clamps. The front half of the frame has been 3 side plated and gusseted.

ENGINE: built for torque. Peak torque: 1400 rpm. Pulls down to 300 rpm with stepper motor disabled.
4.2L I-6 block and crank, with .060” overbore pistons and rings, making it a 4.4L displacement.
4.0L, High Output head with Mopar MPI fuel injection, Hesco adjustable fuel regulator with gage. H-264-14 cam (.470” lift) and Cloyes double roller timing gears and chains advanced 4 degrees, High Volume oil pump,
stock ‘95 XJ exhaust header, 2.5” aluminized tubing, cat and throaty 12” glass pack. Hand throttle, MORE engine mounts. 2-5/8” AutoMeter gauges (0-4K tach, oil, temp, Volt, Vacuum) a rather new yellow top battery.

DRIVETRAIN:
NP-435 (6.69.3.34/1.66/1.00/R8.26) Adapter by Advance clocked Dana 300 w/ 5 gear TeraLow 4:1 gears, and Currie twin sticks, (you can have low range, front wheel drive only if you want it.) Sacramento drivetrain drive shafts w/ extra long splines, 6 bolt SuperWinch hubs, (plus a new spare set) u-bolt style u-joints, 130:1 crawl, 65:1 in lo/2nd gear. 142:1 in lo/reverse. Dana 44, 30 spline front, w/ARB air locker, Warn 4330 ChroMoly shafts, custom made ChroMoly steering-over rods with 1 ton TRE’s, Parts Mike steering-over knuckles, CTM bushing outer U-joints, 4.88:1 Dana 60, 35 spline rear w/ARB air locker, Mosier H.D. shafts, 4XDoctor pig cages

SUSPENSION:
Springs-Over-Axle w/ 6 leaf RE SOA 2-1/2” lift springs with front reverse shackles.. Rancho 9000 adjustable shocks. H.D. shackles. Extra long S.S. brake hoses.

OFF-ROAD OUTFITTING:
Fenders trimmed to clear 37-13.50-16 TCL ProComp XTerrains on 8” wheels Extra wide front rubber fender lips. Tired rear fender lips to keep the CHP off your case. Currie steering brace and welded/over boxed front frame horns, Radiator saver. Stubby 'rockhugger' front bumper, Ford Mutt recovery “D” rings. roll cage, Wrecking Ball Proof custom rocker panels, "Off-Your-Rocker" steel rear diamond plate quarter panels, 24 gal. steel tank and steel skid plate with exterior fuel pump and filters. On board Premier Power welder (180 amp alternator) which has a battery charging feature and an aircraft style manual throttle for adjusting amps. Class III hidden 2” receiver hitch. Warn #8274 Winch (aka: fastest winch in the west) A big plastic box of spare parts, belts, hoses, u-joints, plus a couple spare driveshafts, 60 inch high lift jack, snatch block, tree saver, 20K pound recovery strap with D rings.
In it's dress as received in 1986:

In the Little Sluice, Rubicon 1998:

The final version of the venerable CJ-8 in 2016:

On it's way to the new owner 2016:
 

toylandcruiser

Expedition Leader
#7
I'd never heard of the J8 either. CJ-8 and CJ-10, yes. This has a tinge of cultural appropriation. I owned and built street legal CJ-8, 30 years ago and counting, which had many of the J8's upgrade elements. Having built less than 26K units between 1981 and 1985 the Scrambler as it was known suffered a big fall off in buyership toward the end of production as Jeepers were slow to see the value in a 104 inch W.B., 5 foot long bed pickup style Jeep, with a full hardtop and cab version hardtop available, both of which I had. The era also suffered from weak transmissions; choking smog reducing engine add-ons; and puny axles; all of which were replaced by upgrades. It was a rock star rock crawler in its day that you could actually drive to the trailhead, which i did for many years. I loved that rig and continued to build it up between 1986 and 2016, when I finally got too old to enjoy it. I put about 200K miles on that rig. These are becoming so rare that the value has skyrocketed. As far as installing a diesel engine, I tried like crazy to install a diesel into the CJ-8 during the first couple years of ownership, but alas, living in CA and with the CARB it precluded any replacement oil burning power plant. Here is the list of upgrades to compare to the J8:
Jefe's Scrambler as of 01/15.
1982 Jeep CJ-8, desert sand and Nutmeg, by now all rattle can Sand. AGR power steering box and pump, MORE 1-1/2” forward steering box brackets, Chevy power discs front and Cadillac disc rear, removable 10 watt CB, Full Kayline Nutmeg soft top and full soft doors, (not made in nutmeg any more) windjammer, 1/2 doors and tired bikini top, custom soft cab top, beat up custom rear tonneau cover, removable, fold down rear seat. Room for one more seat behind the rear seat. Rear, swing away tire rack with MT. bike fork clamps. The front half of the frame has been 3 side plated and gusseted.

ENGINE: built for torque. Peak torque: 1400 rpm. Pulls down to 300 rpm with stepper motor disabled.
4.2L I-6 block and crank, with .060” overbore pistons and rings, making it a 4.4L displacement.
4.0L, High Output head with Mopar MPI fuel injection, Hesco adjustable fuel regulator with gage. H-264-14 cam (.470” lift) and Cloyes double roller timing gears and chains advanced 4 degrees, High Volume oil pump,
stock ‘95 XJ exhaust header, 2.5” aluminized tubing, cat and throaty 12” glass pack. Hand throttle, MORE engine mounts. 2-5/8” AutoMeter gauges (0-4K tach, oil, temp, Volt, Vacuum) a rather new yellow top battery.

DRIVETRAIN:
NP-435 (6.69.3.34/1.66/1.00/R8.26) Adapter by Advance clocked Dana 300 w/ 5 gear TeraLow 4:1 gears, and Currie twin sticks, (you can have low range, front wheel drive only if you want it.) Sacramento drivetrain drive shafts w/ extra long splines, 6 bolt SuperWinch hubs, (plus a new spare set) u-bolt style u-joints, 130:1 crawl, 65:1 in lo/2nd gear. 142:1 in lo/reverse. Dana 44, 30 spline front, w/ARB air locker, Warn 4330 ChroMoly shafts, custom made ChroMoly steering-over rods with 1 ton TRE’s, Parts Mike steering-over knuckles, CTM bushing outer U-joints, 4.88:1 Dana 60, 35 spline rear w/ARB air locker, Mosier H.D. shafts, 4XDoctor pig cages

SUSPENSION:
Springs-Over-Axle w/ 6 leaf RE SOA 2-1/2” lift springs with front reverse shackles.. Rancho 9000 adjustable shocks. H.D. shackles. Extra long S.S. brake hoses.

OFF-ROAD OUTFITTING:
Fenders trimmed to clear 37-13.50-16 TCL ProComp XTerrains on 8” wheels Extra wide front rubber fender lips. Tired rear fender lips to keep the CHP off your case. Currie steering brace and welded/over boxed front frame horns, Radiator saver. Stubby 'rockhugger' front bumper, Ford Mutt recovery “D” rings. roll cage, Wrecking Ball Proof custom rocker panels, "Off-Your-Rocker" steel rear diamond plate quarter panels, 24 gal. steel tank and steel skid plate with exterior fuel pump and filters. On board Premier Power welder (180 amp alternator) which has a battery charging feature and an aircraft style manual throttle for adjusting amps. Class III hidden 2” receiver hitch. Warn #8274 Winch (aka: fastest winch in the west) A big plastic box of spare parts, belts, hoses, u-joints, plus a couple spare driveshafts, 60 inch high lift jack, snatch block, tree saver, 20K pound recovery strap with D rings.
In it's dress as received in 1986:

In the Little Sluice, Rubicon 1998:

The final version of the venerable CJ-8 in 2016:

On it's way to the new owner 2016:
The stock torque of a 258 isn’t 1400. It’s between 18-2000 depending on the year. I’ve had a 258 in an 81 Cherokee and they are not that impressive.
 

Mundo4x4Casa

West slope, N. Ser. Nev.
#9
ToyLC,
If you read more closely, the mill is bored out .060", the built for torque cam timing was advanced to lower the rpm's to achieve peak torque and MPI fuel injection and a higher compression, better breathing 4L head made this 4.4L engine a total winner of an engine. The upshot of that was to increase the torque all the way down the line to near idle. If it had one achilles heel it was that it had no high end. I can see with your stock 4.2 in an old school Chero with all that smog stuff and terrible BDB carburetor it would be a dog. On the other hand, I've owned and driven an FJ-40 and FJ-55 about 250K miles with the Toyota I-6 (at least at the beginning) with that tiny single barrel downdraft carb and it was no winner either. Once I started putting Chevy V-8's into the L.C.'s they started to come alive.

 
#11
I'd never heard of the J8 either. CJ-8 and CJ-10, yes. This has a tinge of cultural appropriation. I owned and built street legal CJ-8, 30 years ago and counting, which had many of the J8's upgrade elements. Having built less than 26K units between 1981 and 1985 the Scrambler as it was known suffered a big fall off in buyership toward the end of production as Jeepers were slow to see the value in a 104 inch W.B., 5 foot long bed pickup style Jeep, with a full hardtop and cab version hardtop available, both of which I had. The era also suffered from weak transmissions; choking smog reducing engine add-ons; and puny axles; all of which were replaced by upgrades. It was a rock star rock crawler in its day that you could actually drive to the trailhead, which i did for many years. I loved that rig and continued to build it up between 1986 and 2016, when I finally got too old to enjoy it. I put about 200K miles on that rig. These are becoming so rare that the value has skyrocketed. As far as installing a diesel engine, I tried like crazy to install a diesel into the CJ-8 during the first couple years of ownership, but alas, living in CA and with the CARB it precluded any replacement oil burning power plant. Here is the list of upgrades to compare to the J8:
Jefe's Scrambler as of 01/15.
1982 Jeep CJ-8, desert sand and Nutmeg, by now all rattle can Sand. AGR power steering box and pump, MORE 1-1/2” forward steering box brackets, Chevy power discs front and Cadillac disc rear, removable 10 watt CB, Full Kayline Nutmeg soft top and full soft doors, (not made in nutmeg any more) windjammer, 1/2 doors and tired bikini top, custom soft cab top, beat up custom rear tonneau cover, removable, fold down rear seat. Room for one more seat behind the rear seat. Rear, swing away tire rack with MT. bike fork clamps. The front half of the frame has been 3 side plated and gusseted.

ENGINE: built for torque. Peak torque: 1400 rpm. Pulls down to 300 rpm with stepper motor disabled.
4.2L I-6 block and crank, with .060” overbore pistons and rings, making it a 4.4L displacement.
4.0L, High Output head with Mopar MPI fuel injection, Hesco adjustable fuel regulator with gage. H-264-14 cam (.470” lift) and Cloyes double roller timing gears and chains advanced 4 degrees, High Volume oil pump,
stock ‘95 XJ exhaust header, 2.5” aluminized tubing, cat and throaty 12” glass pack. Hand throttle, MORE engine mounts. 2-5/8” AutoMeter gauges (0-4K tach, oil, temp, Volt, Vacuum) a rather new yellow top battery.

DRIVETRAIN:
NP-435 (6.69.3.34/1.66/1.00/R8.26) Adapter by Advance clocked Dana 300 w/ 5 gear TeraLow 4:1 gears, and Currie twin sticks, (you can have low range, front wheel drive only if you want it.) Sacramento drivetrain drive shafts w/ extra long splines, 6 bolt SuperWinch hubs, (plus a new spare set) u-bolt style u-joints, 130:1 crawl, 65:1 in lo/2nd gear. 142:1 in lo/reverse. Dana 44, 30 spline front, w/ARB air locker, Warn 4330 ChroMoly shafts, custom made ChroMoly steering-over rods with 1 ton TRE’s, Parts Mike steering-over knuckles, CTM bushing outer U-joints, 4.88:1 Dana 60, 35 spline rear w/ARB air locker, Mosier H.D. shafts, 4XDoctor pig cages

SUSPENSION:
Springs-Over-Axle w/ 6 leaf RE SOA 2-1/2” lift springs with front reverse shackles.. Rancho 9000 adjustable shocks. H.D. shackles. Extra long S.S. brake hoses.

OFF-ROAD OUTFITTING:
Fenders trimmed to clear 37-13.50-16 TCL ProComp XTerrains on 8” wheels Extra wide front rubber fender lips. Tired rear fender lips to keep the CHP off your case. Currie steering brace and welded/over boxed front frame horns, Radiator saver. Stubby 'rockhugger' front bumper, Ford Mutt recovery “D” rings. roll cage, Wrecking Ball Proof custom rocker panels, "Off-Your-Rocker" steel rear diamond plate quarter panels, 24 gal. steel tank and steel skid plate with exterior fuel pump and filters. On board Premier Power welder (180 amp alternator) which has a battery charging feature and an aircraft style manual throttle for adjusting amps. Class III hidden 2” receiver hitch. Warn #8274 Winch (aka: fastest winch in the west) A big plastic box of spare parts, belts, hoses, u-joints, plus a couple spare driveshafts, 60 inch high lift jack, snatch block, tree saver, 20K pound recovery strap with D rings.
In it's dress as received in 1986:

In the Little Sluice, Rubicon 1998:

The final version of the venerable CJ-8 in 2016:

On it's way to the new owner 2016:
The stock torque of a 258 isn’t 1400. It’s between 18-2000 depending on the year. I’ve had a 258 in an 81 Cherokee and they are not that impressive.
TLC - didn't you go to kindergarten?
That's where they teach the Golden Rule and the other building blocks of life. You only replied to be negative?

Sweet Scrambler and FJ's Mundo!
I'm pretty close to the rubicon and that's a sweet picture of old school talent!

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
 
#12
ToyLC,
If you read more closely, the mill is bored out .060", the built for torque cam timing was advanced to lower the rpm's to achieve peak torque and MPI fuel injection and a higher compression, better breathing 4L head made this 4.4L engine a total winner of an engine. The upshot of that was to increase the torque all the way down the line to near idle. If it had one achilles heel it was that it had no high end. I can see with your stock 4.2 in an old school Chero with all that smog stuff and terrible BDB carburetor it would be a dog. On the other hand, I've owned and driven an FJ-40 and FJ-55 about 250K miles with the Toyota I-6 (at least at the beginning) with that tiny single barrel downdraft carb and it was no winner either. Once I started putting Chevy V-8's into the L.C.'s they started to come alive.

My bad didn’t see that it was modified. Also I’m not trying to start a pissing contest.
 
#13
ToyLC,
If you read more closely, the mill is bored out .060", the built for torque cam timing was advanced to lower the rpm's to achieve peak torque and MPI fuel injection and a higher compression, better breathing 4L head made this 4.4L engine a total winner of an engine. The upshot of that was to increase the torque all the way down the line to near idle. If it had one achilles heel it was that it had no high end. I can see with your stock 4.2 in an old school Chero with all that smog stuff and terrible BDB carburetor it would be a dog. On the other hand, I've owned and driven an FJ-40 and FJ-55 about 250K miles with the Toyota I-6 (at least at the beginning) with that tiny single barrel downdraft carb and it was no winner either. Once I started putting Chevy V-8's into the L.C.'s they started to come alive.

My bad didn’t see that it was modified. Also I’m not trying to start a pissing contest.
Sorry TLC... we posted at the same time. I wasn't trying to start a pissing match either. Your comment just put a burr under my saddle and rubbed me the wrong way. Cheers to both of you

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
 

Mundo4x4Casa

West slope, N. Ser. Nev.
#14
No pissing here either. No harm; no foul. After 13, 4WD's driven over 1.5 million miles, and about at the end of my off-roading, I wish I could have found a way to have a Cummins 2.8L TD in one of my rigs. My only two diesel 4-bys were the Dodge RAM 5.9L HO Cummins you see in my sig and a total anomaly of a rig, namely the 1980 International Scout II Traveler which included a factory installed Nissan 3.3L I-6 Turbo Diesel engine with 101 neck snapping H.P. With a 118 inch W.B., a pair of Dana 44's with Trac Locs, 33x12.50's, 3.73 pigs, T-19 all synchro, close ratio 4 speed (4.1:1, 1st gear), Dana 300 T case, SOA lift. This giant banana (so called because of the yellow body and white hardtop) had 6 feet of floor BEHIND the 2nd seat and a removable hardtop. It wallowed over the Rubicon many times including the Little and True Sluice. But that was back in the day when 31 inch tires could get you over the rocks. This engine weighed 950 pounds and could hardly get out of its own way. The engine was used in Patrols, and thousands of marine applications (boats) around the world. 1980 was the only year they produced this lashup before IHC folded its assembly line. But it was a great idea. 23.5:1 compression ratio and 22 mpg on the highway fully loaded. In high altitudes the thing could put out a cloud of black. Once going over 11K foot Molas Pass in CO, the family was doing the best we could in the 'boat anchor' climbing steadily if not quickly when a fast muscle car appeared in my rear view mirror snuggling right up near my bumper anxious to get past. No shoulder; no where to pull over. I pushed down on the pedal a little and the guy kept at me. Finally I floored it, the loafing turbo spooled up all the way and it was as a smoke screen seen in one of those WWII Navy movies and the antsy car following us disappeared never to be seen again. As my FJ-55 had a stack for fording, so too did the IHC, but could ford a lot deeper with its closed system mechanical injection and air cleaner up very high. On the down side was the size of the starter motor. With that high a compression ratio the starter was about the same size as my 1958 Renault 4CV transmission.
States with lax or less stringent smog laws or with no inspection are the easiest states in which to do a diesel transplant. Other considerations are you can never move to a state with more stringent laws with the transplanted motor.
My '82 CJ-8 had a special CARB exemption permit to have an upgraded MPI fuel injection system, which was the main selling point when I sold it because it was one of the only ones still registerable in CA.
jefe
 
#15
Having built less than 26K units between 1981 and 1985 the Scrambler as it was known suffered a big fall off in buyership toward the end of production as Jeepers were slow to see the value in a 104 inch W.B., 5 foot long bed pickup style Jeep, with a full hardtop and cab version hardtop available, both of which I had.
From everything I've read, there were slightly less than 28,000 (27,792) CJ-8s produced. I bought mine brand new in 1982 and explored Moab's many trails for 14 years before selling it in 1996. It was completely stock except for an add-a-leaf lift and went everywhere I pointed it with no problem...for 103,000 miles. After owning a few other Jeeps and discovering they weren't as much fun as the Scrambler, I tracked my '82 down and convinced the fellow to whom I sold it that he should let me have it back. It returned home in February of 2016. In the 20 years he owned it, he put less than 9000 miles on it and stored it inside the entire time.

I've read about weak this or weak that on Jeeps of that era. The only thing that ever broke on mine was the spare tire carrier. I had the break welded and haven't had a problem since. The Scrambler is still completely stock...right down to the rare plastic end caps on the rear bumper. The only things that have been changed include the radiator, belts, shocks and fluids. I've attached an old photo and a recent photo below. There are more photos and a ton of info in a thread I started when I re-bought the vehicle: https://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/a-scramblers-homecoming.155223/ .

I hate to say this, but I have been considering selling the Scrambler again and picking up a new 2-door JL as soon as they start producing them with half doors. I like to go topless and I've discovered that the Scrambler's top just isn't as easy to remove as it used to be. That probably has something to do with my advancing age. I used to be able to easily remove the top by myself. While I can still do that, it's not "easily" removeable anymore. I've also found that I may be overly concerned with preservation of a classic vehicle so I don't drive it as much as I should.

In my opinion, the Scrambler was one of the best expedition vehicles of its time. I have mixed feelings about the new Jeep Wrangler pickup being called a Scrambler. It might also be a good expedition vehicle, but the length will make it unsuitable for many trails. It's apparently considerable longer then a 4-door JKU.

In The Maze, some time in the 80's:
In The Maze.jpg

At home:
Sign1.jpg
 
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