Moab Was AWESOME! M715 CJ2A CJ5 Stories

Nope, the GPW didn’t make the cut to go to Moab so I pressed the always fun ’48 Willys CJ2A plow jeep named Frankie into service.  Now this particular flatfender has served as a  plow jeep for a long time prior to me getting it. That’s where the name frankie came in… it’s a typical Frankenstein mixture of early flattie parts with a F-head engine from a later CJ all held together by a patched and booger welded frame.  Hey, I couldn’t turn down a flattie project for $500!
The best part is it is the only flattie I have ever bought that actually drove itself onto the trailer. I justified this extravagant purchase by knowing how useful the included plow and Koenig hardtop would be and they certainly have been useful.  6 months after buying this poor little jeep it snowed and snowed and snowed FOR ABOUT  6 WEEKS. My neighbors do like that little jeep. After spring came around, I beat the larger dents out, patched the holes with 18 gauge sheet metal, used about a gallon of filler and then brush painted the whole works with Rust-Oleum red. Almost looks too nice to push snow with.
I also installed my homemade sidedraft F-head intake manifold and carb so I could lose the box on the hood that allowed clearance for the wrong motor.   Later, I added a T-19 with a 6.34 first gear after I chipped a tooth on the reverse idler gear on the ailing and noisy T-90. A Dana 44 with a Powr- loc and 4.27 gears got added along with a Dana 27 also with Powr-loc and 4.27 gears. A set of original 16 inch wheels was rounded up and painted Rust-Oleum tan and then shod with a set of 235-85-16 size tires that measure out to 32.5 inches. In the summer after the top and plow come off, I install a Warn 8000 winch- not one of the new ones…. the old Bellview style that kinda looks like the great grandaddy of the Warn 8274. That winch looks right at home on this vintage jeep. Actually, there isn’t much on this jeep that you could buy new in the last 30 years- it is THAT old-school! It takes a lot to turn heads in Moab and the old jeep did just that. I did the trail “Hell’s Revenge” and even one-shotted the Tip-over challenge right in front of a Toyota FJ cruiser that had been trying it for about 30 minutes without any success- and he then drove off in a huff….. I should have told him I made it up the escalator too…..( in my dreams)! I also decided to run the “Moab Rim” trail- one of  my favorite Moab area trails.
Marge and her jeep CJ5 Betty and myself in Frankie  followed a buddy of mine in his CJ3A rockbuggy- well…. at least the grille is a CJ3A. Now I cannot take the hard lines on this trail- but even the easy lines are not exactly easy- just the first 100 yards of this trail scares the heck outta most people as it follows the edge of a cliff along the Colorado river. Don’t worry though, you won’t fall into the river as there is a nice soft paved county road that will catch you if you drive off the 150′ drop. Betty needed a winch pull up the devils crack obstacle but drove the rest of the trail unaided ( I drove Betty up the Z turn obstacle) thanks to her powr-loc diffs and  Marge’s careful driving. 
The next day I wanted to do Dome Plateau, this trail can suck up almost a hundred miles so the ever thrifty (Averaged just over 20 MPG for the trip) M715 that pulled Betty to Moab was called into service as this trail is not overly challenging and this truck can definitely soak up the road miles. This truck has a pair of powr-loc diffs in it too…(see a trend here?) and 4.11 gears that allow it to drag itself through places something this size should probably not go. Dome Plateau though, is just a scenic and fun drive through some old mining and prospecting territory up by I-70. We finished the day by driving Yellowcat road to Thompson Springs- a forgotten town on a nearly abandoned and unused stretch of former US50. The 715 did well for the day as it always does and Bart slept the whole way back to Moab.


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