The J10 Build, A.K.A. “Project: Copperhead”

Posted: September 23, 2015 in Uncategorized
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Okay, I can already hear you crying to me, “Why did you call it Project: Copperhead when it is clearly not copper?!”

The answer to that question is simple; I wanted to paint it copper. I had all of these plans for this truck and all of that changed so quickly. Twice.

The first time plans changed for the J-truck was when I went camping with the ARIZONAK5.COM club. Before that, I still had plans to make this into a four door. I found that while camping with these die hard Chevy guys, I was getting a lot of compliments, even more than I had ever thought possible.

That got me thinking that I have myself a nice truck right here, and why not make it into a really nice truck? So, my plans went from making a family four wheeler to making a show truck. Well, not exactly a spit-shined-numbers-matching-trophy-winning show truck, but something that was nice; something that I would not be embarrassed to drive to a car show. Something that looked really good when my wife was driving it.

I started thinking of all new ideas to get my truck running well, and looking great. One of the early ideas I came up with was to convert it over to diesel. My idea was to transplant a 6bt Cummins 12 valve turbo diesel, but I found out rather quickly, that was not to be with this truck. As I was told, per Arizona emissions law, a half ton pickup cannot be the recipient of a diesel engine.

One might think this was the second plan change for the truck, but that will come up soon enough.

I continued on with my search to beautify the beast. I started out with a face lift and tried many different ways to work the front end.

I began with a simple KC HiLites addition.


Although it looked better, I still had to deal with square lights in a Jeep.

I then swapped out the lights for Chevy circles.


Ah, that’s right! I almost forgot that I got tagged while camping. The AZK5 guys got me good! But that is okay, I have never really been one for superiority complexes. After all, I am a Jeep guy. I don’t do it because it is the best, I do it because – really, how many of these things do you see on the road?

Anyhow, not happy with just the bare radiator look, I tried some other new styles.

The Rhino/Muscle Grille Hybrid:


Although it was interesting, it was not the finished look I was going for.

I had finally decided I would go with the simple, yet always effective Razor grille. I acquired a grille from Jerry, the man I got the truck from, and I started working different angles. I wanted to see what we could do here:


In my quest to change over to proper circle lights, I had found out that those KC HiLites fit perfectly in the pie pan holes on either side of the radiator. So, I stuck the lights in there and I hooked them up to the ignition so they would turn on with the key:


I had also found out that, although Chevy lights worked in a pinch, CJ7 headlights were almost direct bolt in for new circle lights on the Full Size Jeep. I was now pretty pleased with myself and my new look.

I had a hitch in February, and came back in March. I did some more work to the truck, little things here and there, mostly engine tune ups and whatnot; I also put on some 33” tires. I left for a hitch in April, and that first weekend away, I got a message from my wife.


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