Heap Of A Jeep

Jeeps are like the Chickenpox.  Its seems as if everyone has owned one (or a mid-90s Corolla) and everyone gets the chicken pox. unlike the ‘pox though you don’t just a get a Jeep once. Most people suffer from multiple Jeep infections sometime of various mutations (Cherokee, Wagoneer, Comanche) throughout their lifetime.

I used to think of Jeeps as rugged almost indestructible vehicle when i was a tot, but after befriending Jeepers and reading several of your submissions it seems otherwise. I’m sure most of them are great vehicles, but I’m not sure they would have the kinds of stories their beater brothers have.  You gotta love a Jeep!

This week’s Beater Feature comes all the way from Rockford IL. Tom works at a Jeep dealership, so naturally he has a Jeep. This one is a bit special. It’s pretty , not a rust bucket, but somehow keep breaking on him! If you’re anywhere near Rockford Illinois stop by Andersen Jeep and check out his heap of a Jeep:

pic 2


“My name is Tom Perrin and I come from Rockford Illinois. I drive a 1997 Jeep Wrangler TJ that was purchased about a year ago with more rust than paint. This isn’t my first Wrangler, not even my first TJ. Call it a midlife crisis, call it reliving my youth, call it whatever you want. This Jeep stuck out to me on my quest for a daily wrangler. It was ugly, cheap, and pumped full of miles. What’s under the hood will make just about any Jeep owner cry, but I love it. The AMC based 150 cubic inch 4-banger that kinda can. Reliable, simple as all get out, and makes the most annoying sounds, especially at idle.

pic 5

My first car, a YJ wrangler, was also equipped with this iron paperweight, but it still got me around. As of most Jeeps of this era, she is a project. Cooling system has been upgraded a bit, 4in Skyjacker lift, some random “heavy duty” AutoZone clutch, 31in Cooper mud tires (yeah, I know), 1-ton steering components from Spicer, and a few other stuff tucked under the triple bedliner coated frame. No mid-life crisis is complete with a nice audio system. Kenwood head unit, overhead speakers, compact subwoofer and amplifier in the “trunk”, along with a 301 piece mechanic’s tool set just in case.


Since I’ve had her, and after sitting for 3 years prior, she has had her fair share of breakdowns. One of which was the water pump which let go on the coldest day of the year. Nothing like being stranded at 11pm at a gas station waiting for my very understanding girlfriend. After a fun day with our son, we thought a little missing adventure was in order. Well, being instantly sunk up to the headlights literally 6 feet off of the road wasn’t a fun time. $200 tow bill and way too many embarrassing pictures later, we finally got her out. I love my Heep of a Jeep and our family will continue to love her forever. This one’s a keeper. Well worth every penny.”


pic 4

pic 1

pic 3


Desk To Glory

Keep Up With Desk To Glory

If you’ve liked us on Facebook, you know that we’re huge fans of Ash and Rich at Desk To Glory.  We’ve posted a bunch of their stuff over the last several months.  They drive a little red Toyota all over North, Central, and South America.

They’ve just finished their trek to the bottom of South America in Ushuaia and are now getting ready to make a journey across their home country of Canada. We’ve been talking to them for a while now, more out of fascination and encouragement than anything else. We would’ve asked them some questions but it seems Petrolicious beat us to it. Check out their full interview with Petrolicious and if there’s any popcorn left here’s a quick video of Ash Rich and Little Red doing their thing.

Also, be sure to keep up with their build thread on Expedition Portal.

While your at it check them out at Desk To Glory (go buy a shirt or a sticker!)

Desk to Glory from KOYO on Vimeo.

The $5K XJ


1KidsA couple weeks ago in our feature about the Sentra That Wouldn’t Die we mentioned that we were proud of some guy.  That guy was Jon.  Jon has had a collection of beaters, not unlike most of us, and seems to prefer the off-road 4X4 genre of beater the most. When we reached out to him we initially were looking for a story about his current workhorse, a Toyota Tacoma, but instead got a pleasant surprise with this lunk of a Jeep instead.  Here is Jon’s $5K XJ:

When did you get your beater?
-I purchased it in February 2010 for $5000 (dubbed the 5KXJ).

What do you like about your beater?
-Everything about it was cheap. It was cheap to fix, cheap to build, and cheap to run. It was simple and fun (when it ran). It was loud, tall, covered in mud most of the time, had tons of wheel travel, and had stickers all over it.

What do you dislike about your beater?
-Like I said, everything about it was cheap. It was an absolute lemon, everything broke at least once, and when you add up a bunch of cheap parts, it gets expensive, as I found out. In short it was a money pit that got single digit gas mileage. I had to staple the headliner to the roof to keep it out of my face when I was driving down the road.

332595_10150416130660939_206603881_oWhat is the funniest thing that has happened in it?
– While wheeling at Hollister Hills SVRA in California, my friends convinced me to drive over an obstacle that was too big for my Jeep. My idle air control sensor was already on the fritz so it wouldn’t idle and I had been power braking the thing all day. So anyways, when trying to get over this rock, my “spotters” said I was clear and I ripped my exhaust clean off. Had to drive home with essentially an open header.

63121_10151240513270939_1486499509_n 305997_10151318068270939_48176892_n 400784_10151191439610939_358451305_n

Have you been on any roadtrips?
-Well, I drove it from Philly to Florida pulling a uHaul trailer when I began my career in racing. Then I drove it from Connecticut to California with no A/C and cutoff exhaust in August.IMG_0081

What is the weirdest thing you’ve had to fix or take it to the mechanic for?
-Days before I was set to move from Connecticut to California, the Jeep broke. It was unloaded from a trailer after being transported from Florida to Connecticut and wouldn’t start. Unfortunately, I was on the road for work during all of this, so needless to say I was less than pleased to return from 3 months on the road to a broken Jeep. After several failed attempts to fix it, a smoked Optima battery and fried electronics, I had it fixed at a dealership due to time constraints. Picked it up, and drove it to California the following day without fault. It wound up being a faulty, shorted out coil pack.312657_10151331994805939_753669113_n

What is the weirdest thing you’ve had to fix or take it to the mechanic for?
-Worst thing that almost happened: The afternoon after I picked my Jeep up from the dealership, I returned to my motel to pack my bag for California. A severe thunderstorm rolled through, flooding the parking lot. Lightning struck the motel, arced through flooded parking lot, and fried all the electronics in the Dodge Magnum parked next to me, totaling the vehicle. My Jeep was spared, due only to the fact that I had larger tires on it, and the puddle never got deep enough to arc the lighting through my wheels, unlike the Dodge. So I got the hell out of there, thanked my lucky starts and continued on my merry way.


-When I first put a lift kit on it, I backed it out of the garage, grinning ear to ear. On my way to the tire shop where I worked at the time (to install my big bad-ass tires that were sure to win the ladies over), the rear driveshaft exploded no less than a mile from the garage, due to a horrendous driveshaft angle. I removed the mangled shaft, slammed it in 4Hi, and kept driving. I drove it like that everyday for over a month while I waited for a custom driveshaft to get shipped to me. I eventually sold it in March 2013 for $6K (Score!)


Remember: WE NEED YOUR STORIES!!! Send your stories and some pics about your everyday cars to: BeaterLifeBlog@gmail.com.   If we like it. We’ll feature it!