In 1989 after 18 years of add-ons and modifications to Rick
Russell's 1956 CJ-6 Willys Jeep, he reached the conclusion
it was time to build another vehicle from the ground up. Using another CJ-6, he
combined the body parts from both vehicles with an electric Jeep frame (already boxed and
outboard rear springs). It took eighteen months for the Jeep to be running again and
another year to "dial it in".
The Jeep has been featured at many off road shows, sports shows and car exhibits since its
debut in the 1990 SCORE Off Road Show. The Jeep has been seen in 4 Wheel Drive
& Sport Utility, Auto Week, Off-Road, Petersen's 4 Wheel, Four Wheeler, The Los
Angeles Times, Dirt Wheels, and several catalogs. Of course, it appears in Sidekick
Off Road Maps, Calendars, and the Off Highway Adventure Video Series. If you're
curious, the estimated cost of building this rugged vehicle exceeds $30,000.
|TBI 350 CHEVY MOTOR
700r4 (automatic w/overdrive)
|Advance Adapters (800) 350-2223
|Premier Power Welder/Pull Pal
(800) 541-1817 - (970) 963-8875
tell them Sidekick referred you and you'll receive free
Console, Speaker Cabinets
|Masterac Corp (out of
Tuffy Security Boxes (800) 34-Tuffy
|OFF HIGHWAY LIGHTS:
Pro 80s Series
|PIAA Corp (800) 525-7422
|CUSTOM FUEL TANK:
|Aero Tank (909) 737-7878
||K-Four Engineering (702) 751-1011
|HOT WATER SHOWER
||R&M Specialty Products (707) 838-3869
|Hi-Lift Jack Company (812) 384-4441
|AIR HORN SYSTEM
||Hadley Products (616) 530-1717
|CUSTOM SUSPENSION SPRINGS
||National Spring Co.
|SHOCKS: RS 9000
||Rancho Suspension (310) 630-0700
||Tri-County Gear (909) 623-3373
|ROLL BAR CAGE
||Hicks 4x4 (out of business)
Tri-County Gear (909) 623-3373
|MAX MULTI-PURPOSE TOOL
||Forrest Tool Company (707) 937-2141
|NAVAJO BRAKE BOOSTER
||Off Again Automotive (505) 325-5761
OTHER ACCESSORIES BUILT OR ASSEMBLED By Rick Russell
Ice Chest Rack
Tool Storage Box Under Rear Seat
Onboard air compressor with tank
The following pictures are thumbnail
pictures. Click on any picture and it will enlarge.
|Warn 9,000i# winch was selected because it was upgraded with
the 10,000# motor to increase its take-up speed when unloaded. You need a quick
cable wind-up after the winching completed. The PIAA Pro 80 was used because of the
metal housing and 130 watt output.
||Since 1976 the CJ-6 has had a Chevy 265, 327, 350 and now a
stock TBI injected 350 motor. I am unhappy with the stock performance compared to
the previous built motors--I will fix that. The DC air compressor, Premier
Welder and R&M Shower are essential. The air conditioning, cruise control and
power steering make the trips more comfortable.
|The dash was custom made in 1988 when I completely rebuilt
the CJ-6. I sat in the vehicle holding a piece of chalk, the gauge in my hand and
asked myself, "Where do I want this gauge?" The Autometer gauges and
K-Four sealed switches show signs of wear but all are working. The air
conditioning unit was installed upside down so that none of the components hung down.
||The custom overhead console is great for mounting an
altimeter, temperature gauge, lights, remote speakers or anything else.
|The Masterac Console serves as a secure place for my CB radio
and Kenwood dual band Ham Radio (TM-V7A). When I leave the vehicle parked, the am/fm
radio can be locked in the rear section of the console and the CB and Ham locked up in the
front section. I made a pad that attaches to the inside of the front door. The
pad also provides a place to rest your hand when the door is open.
||Originally I had intended to label all of the switches, but I
never got around to it. Now it's a game to see if I can remember which switch
does what. The Lecarra steering wheel didn't pass the test--it warped within 5
|Everyone likes my hide-a-way place for the Hi-Lift Jack--in
front of the rear tire. Most of the time I use a small hydraulic jack which I keep
under the passenger's seat. But when you need a Hi-Lift Jack nothing else works as
well. The handle is in the rear under-seat storage. The foot and slider are
under the passenger's seat.
||Everyone needs rocker panel protection. Originally I
bought a piece of stainless steel angle, polished it and bolted it to the body with
counter-sunk allen bolts. Angle iron did not provide enough body protection,
but Sun Performance's new rocker panel guards did--so I upgraded.
|Recently I upgraded to the new Warn Hub kits from a standard
Superwinch Hub. The Superwinch hubs were the only hubs I have found to take the
stress of a Detroit Locker. To keep the bolts from working loose I use a stud kit
(studs & locking nuts) from Tri-County Gear--the center of their stud is twice as long
as what you can buy at a hardware store, thus providing for better seating of the hub. The
new Warn Hub kits work well and don't have the problem of hub bolts working loose.
||I have been using the 35x12.50 Goodyear MT for about seven
years. The tread design works great in all types of off roading
conditions. My only complaint is that the sidewall was easily punctured. That
problem was solved with the new MT/R tire. This new tire is still flexible but
utilizes patented materials for maximum sidewall protection. The Weld Wheel with
Champion Bead locks, 10x15" can take the abuse.
|I take a lot of stuff on every trip. In order to store
all those goodies, I use two Masterac speaker cabinets and a custom built under-seat rear
storage. The under-seat storage is double hinged with two compartments. One
compartment is accessible from the rear without lifting the seat and the other by lifting
the rear seat. By the way, the rear seat is a stock "fold and tumble"
|Tom Wood's 4xShafts built both of the driveshafts. The
CV joint is on the top end. Recently I installed an Atlas transfer case with the 3.8
ratio. So far, I liked the Atlas. It is easy to shift, has low gears and
supports a large output shaft--which I really needed. I built my own skid plate
that allows good air flow.
|Off Your Rockers manufactures steel quarter panel
protection. The way I figure it, if you're going to bolt on protection, it needs to
work, and these steel panels work. I made custom brackets to hold the CB and Ham
radio antennas and welded them in place before painting them the same color as the
||If you install fuel injection, the pump should be in the gas
tank to keep it cool and thus avoid vapor locking. Aero Tank in Corona, CA has
standard tanks to fit most applications but I wanted something bigger. Also my frame
is different and the standard tanks would not give me the maximum gallons. So Aero
Tank custom built the tank.
|The Currie Enterprises Hybrid Dana 60
provided stronger axles, better breaks and allowed for the
spring-over. I left the Tubular Motorsports on this site for
When I did finally go with a spring over on my CJ I
began bending tie rods and had bump steer (the jerking of the wheel as the suspension
flexes). To fix this, Tubular Motor Sports (out of business) extended my
knuckles and raised the tie rods over the springs. It worked. National Spring
built the springs to handle the weight of the vehicle and the height.
||Tubular Motorsports (out of business) replaced all of the
standard ball joints with hyme joints. The trick is using the expensive
ones. I've never broken one (yet).
|I welded mounting brackets together and bolted them on the
floor to hold down the tool box. The tool box is just behind the passenger's seat.
||The model 300 transfer case served me well except for the
broken output shafts. But now Advance Adapters is sellling an output shaft upgrade
kit for the Model 300.
Hint for model 300 users: the rear transmission adapter plate can be re-drilled 5/8"
away from the original holes. This provided 1 3/4" more ground clearance at the
end of the model 300. My new Atlas transfer case has several holes to allow for
|I built a rack to carry an ice chest behind the rear seat and
in front of the spare tire. I also built a BBQ grill that exactly fits under the
cooler. This gives me a good place to carry a greasy grill.
||Navajo Brake Booster
Because of the limited space in my 1956 CJ engine compartment I selected the smallest
diameter booster which measured about 8" across and 4.25" deep. After the
installation, I couldn't believe the difference--my Jeep really stops.
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