The Jeep J20 is seriously misunderstood
Our newest show, “Dude, I love or hate my ride – home edition” allows us to see extremely cool vehicles, like this Jeep J20. This version of our long-running video series allows the host (Tommy) to rate the vehicle at the end. The vehicle featured in this video is a 1978 Jeep J20 that was reviewed by its owner, “Bert.” This is basically a one owner truck that’s been in his family since new.
He rescued it from the junker and did a frame-up restoration in 1994.
Bert became interested in overlanding and decided to turn his old, restored pickup truck into an epic overlander. The entire vehicle was beefed up and looks like it can tackle just about anything. Seriously, it might be one of the most complete and logical builds we’ve seen.
All the way back to 1962, Jeep built full size trucks for the American market. While these early editions were called the Gladiator, they were based on the J20 platform and were later known as such. These trucks featured the basics, solid axles, rear drums, six and eight cylinder engines and a single cab. While they were refined over time, the formula remained about the same.
The thing to understand about the long run of this truck is simple: it was fantastic off road and many were built. They built military versions, ambulances and the Jeep Grand Wagoneer was based on its platform as well. Sadly, when Chrysler bought AMC, they killed it off (they didn’t want to compete with their own products) and many rotted away.
Nowadays, it’s hard to find one in good condition.
This is one beefy truck
Mechanically, Bert updated the brakes (rear drum-to-disc conversion, but kept the powertrain mostly stock. It still has the AMC 360 V8 with a few mods, which would normally make about 195 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. One notable addition, he installed ARB front and rear lockers.
The interior is immaculate and he kept the instrument cluster stock. Bret us did add a bevy of electronic gizmos that are rather noteworthy. He has a massive KC lighting system, dual batteries along with GRMS, CB and HAM radio systems.
All the way back to 1962, Jeep built full size trucks for the American market. While these early editions were called the Gladiator, they were based on the J20 platform and were later known as such.
Check out this video and see what you think. Keep an eye on the end of the video because you will get instructions for submitting a “Dude, I love or hate my ride – home edition” video. Remember, we are looking for people who HATE their rides as well!