XJs are not crap. They are simply another blank canvas on which the painter can paint. How artistic the finished product is has much more to do with the skill and creativity of the artist than the starting point for the piece. There are many XJs here in my area with formidable off-road capabilities. If you want a short wheelbase Jeep with 42" tires, that is certainly your prerogative. Lots of people like those, for whatever reason. EarlyCJ5.com might not be the most sympathetic group to that choice, though. Try Pirate4x4 or one of the other places that has a more "experimental" bent than the group here, and you might find more help for that vision (just bring a thick flame suit with you, they can be a bit cutthroat there, as the name indicates). I would recommend spending some significant time improving the scope of your design and fabrication skills before embarking on significant modifications to this Jeep. If you are looking at rebuilding an early CJ, and your first question is "how come I can't buy anything for Jeeps this old?", you probably didn't realize what you were really getting in to. There hasn't been significant aftermarket support for our Jeeps for MANY years. If you are not skilled at "makin' stuff", and you are not looking to develop those skills, a later Jeep might prove to be a less frustrating starting point for your efforts. I would recommend investing the time to develop the skills. It is well worth the effort. As you do so, your vision for the Jeep may evolve, and once it has become a fully-formed vision you will then have the skills to turn it into reality. It's a great feeling knowing you never have to be limited by what you can buy for your Jeep.