The Jeep Scrambler was produced for only a five-year period from 1981 to 1986. Even so in the short duration that it was on the market it won over many loyal supporters and sold 27,792 units. Seriously undervalued during its production years, the Scrambler gained popularity posthumously in the 1990s. This is when people realized that the longer CJ model allowed room for lots of trick alterations.
The CJ8 Scrambler was a full 2 feet or 24 inches longer than its predecessor – the CJ7. 10 inches has been added to the wheelbase alone resulting in a 103-inch wheelbase on the Scrambler! It had a nice short top and an extremely useful pickup bed with immense rear overhang.
The pickup measured 5 x 5 feet and had a 1/4 ton truck capacity. Honestly speaking though, only 3 x 5 feet was really of any use. The wheel wells and roll bar posts occupied the rest of the area.
In terms of appearance, the CJ8 Scrambler was pretty much like the CJ7 and CJ5. Jeep did make some new additions like fiberglass detachable hardtops, small soft tops, two aesthetically fantastic wooden bed rails, and a bed cover.
The previous minuscule CJ roll bar which came in for some criticism was taken away and instead, a huge roll bar was mounted on the bed on the Jeep Scrambler. It measured 3″ in diameter.
Even though the Scrambler was discontinued in just 5 years, maintenance and parts never became a problem. The mechanical parts of the Scrambler are all interchangeable with the mechanical parts CJ5 and CJ7 excepting a few.
The driveshaft and brake cables had to be considerably lengthened to accommodate the extra 24 inches in the Jeep Scrambler and hence could not be interchanged. The same was with the filler tubes to the gas tank.
In terms of the engine, the standard was the Pontiac made 82hp 4 cylinder, 151 cubic inch engine. Jeep did offer an option in the 110hp in-line 6 cylinders 258 engine. Most people went for the latter.
While many did not particularly appreciate the increased 2 feet on the Scrambler, in fact, the length served to give a much better ride. Since the weight was almost equally distributed at fifty-two percent in front and forty-eight percent behind the driver, the Jeep Scrambler was very well balanced. Add to it the fantastic pickup bed and Jeep’s anyplace reputation and it is no wonder that the Jeep Scrambler was the choice of machine for ranchers and farmers.
While Jeep may have discontinued the Scrambler, loyalists believe it is a marvelous machine. It does continue to exist outside of America as the longer version of the Wrangler. But a Jeep Scrambler is still a Jeep Scrambler and one of the most prized limited edition Jeeps around.