by Michael McDermott
(Crookston, MN. USA)
Raising Cattle in Northern Minnesota is not an easy task. Winter comes and cattle and horses must have feed brought to them. Not having a Tractor I needed something 4X4 and cheap.
What I found was an old rusty Jeep with a push plate welded to the frame. It didn't matter if it was swampy wet or deep snow, in most cases the Jeep CJ with a 4.0 six worked just fine. If I did get stuck, well the place was a mess unworthy of the expectation to get the job done.
My methods over the years changed, at first I would pull the 2000 lb. bales with the Jeep, wrapping a chain around the bale and off I'd go with cows following. With the push plate up front it was possible to just push the bales and roll them to the desired position. Well, it worked just fine for about 6 years.
In the end the body rusted out so bad the seat had nothing to rest on and the steering wheel assembly self destructed. It was time to put the beast to rest.
What I found was a '97 TJ frame for $100.00 and later found the tub of a brand new TJ. Still hunting for parts I scored a whole front assembly. We have moved off the family Farm and the parts went with us. I plan to swap out all the old engine and transfer cases putting it all together on the newer model frame, its going to be my Cheap Jeep.
I never planned on becoming a Jeep guy, we had been very happy with our Toyota 4X4's. We had a '85 Extracab and an '86 Forerunner with the 22R, and RE motor. These were great vehicles and easier on the gas mileage.
We now own an old Laredo, two AMC 4X4 cars and a '77 J-20 Pickup bought off the Reservation. My score for this season (2010) was a rebuilt transmission for $150.00. Yep another rebuild project awaiting restoration.
In Northern Minnesota a guy has to have a 4X4 and they don't have to cost $55,000. Hey we plan to put them to work, not look at them as yard objects. I'm going to enjoy the projects and the utility of my AMC Jeeps and hope you people do the same?
Best wishes for happy trails,
Blue Ox Farms
Larry's Comment: Keep us up-to-date on those project Jeeps Mike...and don't forget to send photos. Thanks
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