Reader's Jeeps: Mark Booker's 1982 CJ-7
Mark and Margaret Booker's 1982 CJ-7 Short Cuts
Mark and Margaret Booker and their '82 CJ-7

Mark and Margaret Booker and their '82 CJ-7

Yer Basic Jeep, and it only took 12+ years! It's almost done... yea, right.

Owner: Mark & Margaret Booker
Vehicle: CJ-7
Year: 1982
Location: California
Club: San Luis Obispo 4-Wheelers
Favorite Trails: Swamp Lake, Coyote Lake, Pine Mtn, Lockwood Valley (now rerouted), Stone Canyon near Panamint Valley (closed)
Worst Stuck: Twisted front axle u-joint, so splayed I couldn't get it out. I drove off the trail in high range/2 wheel drive. I discovered my rear limited slip was not working at all! Oh, what a day that was. Once home, I ended up grinding out the ruined axle, while at the same time plotting my Ford 9" rear w/ Detroit replacement.

Loaning some air near Blue Canyon
Loaning some air near Blue Canyon
Clear Creek, 1995
Clear Creek, 1995
Rubicon Trail, 2000
Coyote Lake trail, Sierra
Coyote Lake trail, Sierra


  • 258 6 Cyl. Engine w/ all external components replaced
  • Dana 300 transfer case
  • NV4500 5 Speed manual transmission - 5.7 granny low & overdrive, doubled custom skid plate
  • Front Dana 30 w/ Power Lock, new Warn hub conversion, disk brakes
  • Rear Currie High Pinion axle, 31 spline w/ Detroit locker, drum brakes
  • 4.56 ring & pinion gears
  • 33x12.50 Goodrich Dualer M/Ts on chrome/black steel wheels
  • Tom Wood's drivelines, rear CV
  • 3 Core radiator w/ flex fan & electric fan (auto/manual switched), Hi Flo water pump, oil cooler, custom shroud
  • AGR steering pump & box, Ray built custom tie rod, Borgensen shaft
  • Dual Batteries - isolated 900 amp deep cycle battery dedicated to winch
  • Engine driven air compressor - auto. pressure controller w/frame mounted tank, moisture trap, hard plumbed to rear w/ Quick coupler & gauge
  • Engine driven air inflator - low pressure high volume to inflate air mattress/boats, etc., dash controlled with grill mounted coupler
  • Warn 9,000 pound winch


  • Pro Comp /Trail Master 4" suspension
  • Revolver shackles
  • Gusseted/welded front hangers, reinforced rear hangers
  • Rancho 9012 shocks, custom shock mounts/towers
  • braided steel brake lines


  • Chestnut Brown w/ vintage nutmeg Sport soft top
  • New fuel tank & sender - w/custom 3/16 steel skid plate, new filler hoses to relocated cap
  • Aluminum rear quarter panels-w/after market tail lights, (major body bracing & gussting)
  • Full roll cage-w/laced padding, mounted sun visors, overhead light, auxiliary CB speaker
  • Custom 3" rear dual tube bumper -new crossmember w/major gussting w/tractor backup lights, receiver tube, tow hook, wired to tow camp trailer (or be towed)
  • Custom front bumper- w/ integrated winch mount, tow hooks, tow bar mounts, square tube brush bar, hard-wired tow plug, tow bar, steel safety cables


  • Super seats
  • Reworked dash, rewired, aux. fuse block, dash mounted CB, Alpine stereo, PA speaker, Tilt wheel, padded passenger grab bar, controls for air compressor, air inflator & more
  • Rear flat storage box (no seat) - full of tools, etc.
  • Rear storage box for spare parts, etc.
  • Rear Luggage rack - holds 2 cans, 33" tire, ice chests, shovel/ax, bike, lots of hooks and tie downs, full expanded metal tray w/rail. Also has integrated shower curtain hoop and a Model B duo light
  • Side mounted Hi-Lift jack


  • On board stuff - gas cans, water can. mounted bottle jack, bikini top, 2 fire extingishers, console, shower tank, curtain & hoop (hangs off rack), chairs, tools, First Aid kit
  • We now have a trailer for camping but the jeep still carries enough supplies for those unexpected overnight stays, including blankets, food, water, stove etc., raingear, 1st aid kit

Future Plans:

  • Continue spending lots of time on the trail
  • Front axle, maybe a D44 but probably another 9" w/ selectable full locker
  • Keep dreaming of air conditioning for those long road trips
  • An Atlas II T/C would be nice. Of course, a new 4:1 gear set and rear shaft would do wonders for the 300 at half the cost.
  • Hmmmm... I'd like to build a welder, but have not seen any good plans.


This jeep has been "in progress" a few years and has gone through many revisions. Its primary function has been to get us someplace to camp, and its secondary function has been a source of learning how to make it work better. Funny thing about improvements... one thing leads to another. Though I built/installed all the mods, I have had many hands helping wrench over the years. Between the campfires and the garage floors, Id have to say the Jeep's real function has been to spend time with all the good people I've wheeled with (and wrenched with) and obviously the joy of the trails it's allowed us to travel.

Mark and Margaret at home and recently returned from Rubicon Like most folks, you probably noticed the blue Some of Mark's tricks are visible from the interior
Mark and Margaret at home and recently returned from Rubicon. A lot of work has gone into the engine compartment. Yes, it's blue. Some of Mark's tricks are visible from the interior.

Editor's Note: Mark and Margaret are some of the nicest people you'll meet on the trail. Mark is an avid four wheeler and was the 2000 President of the San Luis Obispo County 4WD Club, a.k.a. the SLO 4-Wheelers. He does not like having his picture taken.

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