CHRIS’ 1983 JEEP J-10

Chris’ 1983 Jeep J-10

Chris Overacker has been a Full Size Jeep (FSJ) enthusiast ever since seeing Roger Mears off-road racing in the Budweiser Jeep Honcho in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Over the years, he has done several other Jeeps and even done body-off builds on several FSJ’s.

His latest creation started out as a 1983 Jeep J-10 (1/2 ton 4×4) Honcho. The body was rusted (like they all do), so it was obvious to him that it would need the body removed. He decided at that point in time that it was going to get turned into a retro 1980s looking pre-runner truck. Racers use pre-runners to drive the off-road racecourse before the race to learn it and typically do it in a vehicle that closely resembles the race truck. He wanted it to be very drivable and didn’t plan of taking it on any serious rock crawling trails, nor beat it up while going fast. He was simply looking for a cool old truck to enjoy. He added a few modern conveniences like fuel injection, air conditioning, 6-way power seats, and good tunes! And of course, he needed to monitor the engine with a slew of AutoMeter gauges.

The interior of this Honcho is the crown jewel. When removed from the frame it got 100% disassembled, sandblasted and all of the rust removed and body work completed. He then went to work custom building an interior cage that is welded into the cab and attached with sheet metal plates and dimpled holes for the retro look. After the fabrication was finished, it went back to the body shop for epoxy primer, then the underside and interior were sprayed with paintable bed liner and topped off with paint (which is a 2013 Jeep color, named Dune). Once the cab was back on the painted frame, he began assembling all the trickery. From start to finish, it took about four years to complete.

1983 Jeep J-10


  • AMC 360 (5.7L) V8, 9.6:1 compression, balanced, mild cam and tricked-out oiling system
  • The transmission is the AMC version of a Chrysler 727 with a 2000 rpm stall torque converter.
  • NP208 transfer case
  • Tom Woods driveshafts
  • Rear-axle is a GM 9.5” semi-float with 3.73 gears and an Eaton Posi
  • The Dana 44 up front is stock with Wilwood dual-piston calipers for stopping force
  • The wheels are period correct Superior Magnus, 15×8 held in place with 5/8” Moroso studs
  • The General Grabber red letter 35×12.50R tires finish it off


  • BDS 4” lift leaf springs and FOX 2.5” remote reservoir shocks dampen the bumps with 12” of wheel travel


  • AutoMeter Phantom Tachometer – Model #5897
  • AutoMeter Phantom Speedometer – Model #5888
  • AutoMeter Phantom Fuel Level Gauge – Model #5716
  • AutoMeter Phantom Oil Pressure Gauge – Model #5727
  • AutoMeter Phantom Water Temp Gauge – Model #5737
  • AutoMeter Phantom Trans Temp Gauge – Model #5757
  • AutoMeter Phantom Voltmeter – Model #5791
  • AutoMeter Phantom Vacuum Gauge – Model #5784
  • AutoMeter Phantom Air Pressure – Model #5720
  • A Camaro steering wheel sits atop the GM tilt column
  • Vintage Air provided the heat/defrost/AC in dash unit
  • A center console was fitted with a Winters sidewinder shifter and several switches
  • All wiring was performed using a Painless harness
  • The aluminum dash, door panels, and console were covered with a carbon fiber looking sticker-vinyl
  • The top of the dash and cage were upholstered in black vinyl with tan stitching
  • The front fenders and hood are AutoFab fiberglass units
  • The rear fenders are the original Honcho fiberglass but have had the same flares as the front fenders grafted in
  • The roll bar in the bed bolts to the frame and allow for upper shock attachment and supports a retractable light cage which houses five Light Force pencil beams
  • Rear bumper has a swing-out tire rack and built-in step to aid bed entry
  • A toolbox has all the goodies in it and a PowerTank for airing up tires and running air tools bolts to the side
  • The front bumper is 1980’s style and protects the three LED driving lights
  • Full skid plates protect the underside of the truck


  • Custom built 20-gallon aluminum fuel tank and mounted behind the rear axle tucked-up into the frame rails
  • Custom built inner fender wells and shock hoops
  • Mounted next to the brake master cylinder is an AutoMeter fuel pressure gauge
  • On the pass-side inner fender is a small toolbox holds spare belts, fuel filter, and pump

Check out some of Chris’ other FSJ builds: