General Tech Honcho Build, "Desert Edition"

ChrisO

Jeepin' since 1975
Location
Rifle Colorado
Howdy fellow off-roaders! I've always enjoyed building and driving Jeeps. Over the years have built several CJ's, YJ's, TJ's, JK's, XJ's and MJ's. However, my love has always been J-10 Honcho's.
I love the desert, and off road racing, especially vintage (1980's). So, I have built a 83 Honcho that I thought I'd share.

It started out as a stock, rusted (really bad) J-10, that was a rare step-side. I purchased it from another J-truck enthusiast who wanted to see it get the restoration is so desperately needed. Here is what I started with:

CO-83J10-02.JPGCO-83J10-03.JPG

The first thing was to tear it down and get it to a bare frame. Have every single part sand-blasted and put into epoxy primer. Then start the ground-up re-build into my dream of a retro-1980's looking pre-runner.

CO-83J10-17.jpg

CO-83J10-21.jpg
CO-83J10-25.jpg
CO-83J10-24.jpg
As you can see, the fiberglass rear fenders were in poor shape. Good thing I have a buddy who is good with glass & paint!

Got it back from sand blasting and started on the frame:

CO-83J10-63.JPG

Also, started on the bed mounted roll bar which will also act as the upper rear shock mount point.

CO-83J10-37.jpg
CO-83J10-38.jpg
CO-83J10-46.jpg
More to come soon.
 

ChrisO

Jeepin' since 1975
Location
Rifle Colorado
I decided to keep it old school and keep the AMC 360, T-177 4-speed and NP208. These might change in the future, I just want to get the rebuild finished.
Here is the stock drivetrain in the freshly painted chassis:

CO-83J10-77.JPG

Now, before ya'll start flaming me bout' the shackles up front, here's my story. I want to get the big things out of the way first, then ether do a shackle reversal, or links & coil-overs!

The factory AMC 20 was not up to the task at hand, so I sourced a GM-14 bolt, 6-lug semi-float axle. Yes, I'm sticking with drum brakes. I want a really good parking brake with a manual trans.

CO-83J10-79.JPG

I installed 4.56 gears and kept it open for now... there again, I can go back and install an ARB later.

CO-83J10-94.JPG

I have had these wheels that are period-correct for years, just waiting for this build.

CO-83J10-82.JPG

However, no way was I gonna put up with old-style mag lug nuts (you younger guys don't know what you missed out on!). So, I solved the problem with help from MOROSO drag racing 5/8" studs!

CO-83J10-87.JPG

I'll keep posting.

Sorry for the extra thumbnail at the bottom, I'm still learning how to use this forum!
 

Attachments

  • CO-83J10-63.JPG
    CO-83J10-63.JPG
    608.1 KB · Views: 16
Last edited:

Bart

Registered User
Location
Arm Utah
Thanks for sharing this here. I saw some of your other pics and was very impressed. I can't believe how good of shape the bed was in. Very cool build.
 

ChrisO

Jeepin' since 1975
Location
Rifle Colorado
This project has taken over 3 years to complete, so if I get the order of pics messed-up, that's my story! Here is the test-fitting of misc parts:

CO-83J10-123.JPG

I'm really into cool in-cab cages, so that was going to be the focus of the project. Here is the start of the cage build:
The reinforcement for the base of the main hoop, floor to back of cab.




CO-83J10-138.JPG

The reinforcement on the floor for the "A" pillar.

CO-83J10-146.JPG

I decided to do the "L" shape for the A pillars. It required a notch in the cab corner to keep it tucked as tightly into the cab as possible.
Yes, I ground the nasty cut from the Plasma before proceeding!

CO-83J10-145.JPG

It is starting to take shape.

CO-83J10-147.JPG

CO-83J10-148.JPG

CO-83J10-160.JPG

The square tube is the bottom of the dash and steering column support.

CO-83J10-159.JPG

CO-83J10-163.JPG

Stay tuned, more to come...
 

Attachments

  • CO-83J10-140.JPG
    CO-83J10-140.JPG
    2.1 MB · Views: 19

ChrisO

Jeepin' since 1975
Location
Rifle Colorado
CO-83J10-164.JPG

I cut up the stock steel dash so I could retain the defroster ducts.

CO-83J10-166.JPG

CO-83J10-178.JPG

CO-83J10-186.JPG

CO-83J10-188.JPG

Next time, fitting the Vintage Air heater/defroster/AC unit into the dash...
 

Greg

Scope Creep
Admin
Damn, that's a lot of dimpling!

 

ChrisO

Jeepin' since 1975
Location
Rifle Colorado
I checked all measurements and found a Vintage Air in-dash unit that combined heat/defrost and A/C.

CO-83J10-231.JPG

After all the fab work was done, I towed it to my Buddy's for paint.

CO-83J10-238.JPG

CO-83J10-244.JPG

The color is a 2013 Jeep Wrangler named Dune. Looks much better in natural light.

CO-83J10-249.JPG

Starting on the dash, I used Masonite for templates, then made all panels out of .125" aluminum. It got a tilt steering column, and a Z-28 Camaro steering wheel.

CO-83J10-267.JPG

The seats are Smittybilt, and the bases are Grand Wagoneer 6-way power. The floor is sprayed with Hippo-Liner that is color-tinted to match.

CO-83J10-264.JPG
 
Top