Reader's Jeeps : Chris Perri's (alias EZ Rhino) 1981 Scrambler CJ-8, Leroy
EZ Rhino's 1981 CJ-8, Leroy Short Cuts

EZ playing in Providence Canyon, Logan Utah

Owner : Chris Perry (EZ Rhino) Equipment and Modifications:

Vehicle: 1981 Scrambler, CJ-8
Vehicle name: Leroy
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Most recent outings: Providence Canyon, Moab, Delta, Vernal, American Fork Canyon, Utah

Wipeout hill
Leroy on Wipeout hill
Moab, Utah.
Leroy in
<br />old paint
Playing on Bread Loaf
Killer Kane, Moab
Killer Kane
Moab, Utah
  • Motor--Chev TBI 350
  • Tranny--700r4
  • T-case--Novak adapted Dana 300
  • Front Axle--59.5" Chevy Dana 44, 4.56 gears, Detroit Trutrac
  • Rear Axle--Scout II Dana 44, 4.56 gears, Detroit locker
  • Axle Shafts--yes
  • Steering--Converted to power steering
  • Brakes--4 corner disc brakes courtesy of TSM, power brake converted
  • Drive Shafts--yep, two of em
  • Tires--35" muds
  • Wheels--Cragar CHROME stars (no sissy black rims)
  • Suspension--SOA with stock springs and Con-ferr shackles
  • Shocks--Rancho 9000s
  • Winch--Soon, very soon
  • Bumpers--Custom EZ built
  • Rocker Skids--Custom EZ built

  • Other Accessories

    23 gallon gas tank and EZ built skid plate
    Optima battery
    Comfy seats
    Tuffy console
    Kayline Fastrac top
    yadda yadda yadda

    Future plans

    rebuild transfer case
    full roll cage
    onboard air
    Rubicon trail next summer
    Cedar City this fall
    Delta, Utah trails next month

Notes from EZ

Chev 350 swap

I think a reoccurring theme in the metamorphosis of my jeep is that of doing everything myself, even if it's something I dont know much about. I recently (finally!!) completed the king of projects: a V8 and auto tranny swap. I am very pleased with the way this turned out. Finally I can maintain highway speeds while battling a headwind! The original Iron Duke 4 banger had had it. I am also very sold on automatics. They are wonderful!

EZ built spare tire carrier

I have always really liked exploring the mountains around my home in Northern Utah. About 7 years ago I started using my Isuzu Rodeo to get further into the hills. After seeing what jeeps were capable of, and no thanks to a subscription to a good 4x4 magazine, I was sold on getting a jeep. I decided on a Scrambler. Longer wheelbase vehicles have always been my favorite, and the added room of a Scrambler would help out with all the camping gear needed for those extended stays in the mountains.

EZ built custom skids

I feel like Ive got 'ol Leroy pretty much dialed in the way I want. The SOA configuration is plenty flexy, rides good, and provides the height I need to clear 35's and those big rocks. Its funny how times have changed....I remember when only a few years ago, a 4" lift and 33's was considered pretty big on a jeep and all that would ever be required for nearly any trail. Now that kind of configuration is barely adequate to do the "phun stuff". Another goal in the buildup of Leroy is making it a multipurpose vehicle. I want it to be as comfortable on the street getting to the trail as it is crawling over rocks. I think I have succeeded in this goal. However, now extreme trails are emerging and requiring even more out of the vehicle and driver. Part of the reason for my choosing an older jeep was to avoid the guilty feeling of getting body damage on a year old $20,000 Rodeo. The jeep is in good enough condition (totally rust free) to restore and pretty up with shiny coats of paint if I want. OR, I could wheel it to death and try to ignore the scraping sounds. (I've heard others say that only the first big dent hurts. The rest come easy). What do you think?

Wipe Out Hill
Moab, Utah
old paint
Providence Canyon
Logan, Utah
new paint

As for the paint job? Well......thats another benefit of an old vehicle. Anytime I get a wild hair I can repaint it. When I bought it it was desert tan. I added the brown and viola! a giraffe was born. Ever since then Ive been really stuck on the Serengeti/Africa bit, so giraffe it will stay! And for the nickname...well, you're going to have to hunt me down in person to get the answer to that question!

EZ Rhino


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