Home Vehicle Restoration Recap: 1982 Jeep CJ-8 Scrambler
Restoration Recap: 1982 Jeep CJ-8 Scrambler

Restoration Recap: 1982 Jeep CJ-8 Scrambler


Overland Bound Founding Members #0266 MSgt Chris Pepin, USMC, Ret. and Denni Griffith from Temecula, CA took their 1982 Jeep CJ-8 Scrambler ‘Lola’ from a “tub and a title” with hardly any working parts to a fully restored classic. They outline their story and process below:

Lola The Showgirl

From Denni:

Mrs. Lola is a 1982 Jeep CJ-8 Scrambler. There were 7759 scrambler made in 1982 and only about 24,000 made during the production run from 1981-84.

Lola entered our lives as a “tub and a title” vehicle. She was so badly neglected that we bought a pile of parts rather than a vehicle. The frame and body tub were intact. The VIN tag matched the title so we were in business!

Lola had been living in Arizona so she was completely rust free but she did have a few dents from 30+ years of use. We also didn’t have front fenders, windshield frame, windshield, engine, transmission, wiring, seats, top, doors, wheels, tires, drive shafts, and much, much more.

1983-CJ-8-Scrambler-9 1983-CJ-8-Scrambler-10

We got our 1983 CJ Scrambler home

And she…well… She simply sat as a pile of parts making garage art for a solid 5 years.


Eventually we found all the body parts from other jeeps, the junkyard, and even a neat old Cadillac.  We even installed a HO 4.0 from a Jeep Grand Cherokee. The fuel injection works great while off-road and so does the 4 speed automatic that came with the engine. We used the original (and very good) Dana 300 transfer case.


At this point our beat up 1983 Jeep CJ8…. She actually ran!

We immediately realized that she needed some things that she never had. Power steering and power brakes were added and a new steering column was sourced from a Grand Cherokee.We did a little body work and spray painted primer on her.

She took us to southern California deserts on her bald 35″ tires and 4″ lift springs. We wheeled her through Big Bear Lake California but she had a hard time on the Ducy Ershim trail. The original rear axle broke clean in half so we welded it back together (on the trail!) and towed her home for a new phase.

Mrs. Lola received some well needed upgrades

Our 1983 Jeep CJ-8 felt a little better with her Chevy 14 bolt rear axle, a Dana 44 front axle, and military H1 wheels and tires. The larger axles have larger brakes so a Chevy master cylinder was added and she stops on a dime!

Along with the new shoes and axles, it was clear Lola needed a better paint job

We rattle canned blue paint that lasted a couple years, then it was time for real paint. We ordered the paint and did all the body work right in the garage. Some plastic made a paint booth and we shot the paint on a warm spring day….Maybe too warm as it has a couple gnats stuck in it! 4 coats of clear coat ensure no branches will damage the paint.

1983-CJ-8-Scrambler-5 1983-CJ-8-Scrambler-6 1983-CJ-8-Scrambler-4 1983-CJ-8-Scrambler-7

Where is Lola now?

Now she lives up at our cabin. Gone are her arduous days on tough trails. She is more than happy to take us our for the occasional ice cream cone and leave the tough trails to on of her sister jeeps in the garage.

Still hot to trot, our little showgirl Lola, captured back to her prime, is timeless.
1983-CJ-8-Scrambler-2 1983-CJ-8-Scrambler-1


Restoring an Overland Rig? Tell us about your project by sending an email to info@overlandbound.com ! We’d love to share your story, process and final results. 
Corrie Co-Founder, Marketing and Editor @ Overland Bound. Often found behind the camera, keyboard or steering wheel. (But not all at once.)