This week, Project: VANDAL is starting to look like a Jeep again! The body has been lowered back onto the frame, the Rock Krawler heavy duty steering has been installed, and we now have a skid plate in place, to protect the vulnerable evap canister. VANDAL is also getting a PSC hydro assist ram for the front end; in the top picture, the line for this assembly is visible, just to the left of the front differential.
Above, Rock Krawler's new heavy duty tie rod and drag link have been installed; we've also replaced the stock drag link end at the steering box with a more beefy one from Moog, and added an adjustable track bar from Rock Krawler to further complement this setup. The heavy duty steering and hydro assist are a must-have, and will help to turn the 40" mud terrain tires on the trail.
Below, the Borla exhaust and QTP electric exhaust cutout are shown. The Borlad exhaust, as seen from the top down in the previous installment of this series, is a Dakota Customs exclusive that has been modified to fit around the Rock Krawler long arm suspension. The evap canister skid plate is shown to the left of the muffler. This skid plate is manufactured by Rugged Ridge, and is designed to protect the vulnerable evap canister. Located under the hood on older model Jeeps, the JK/U generation features an evap setup on the underside of the vehicle. This causes the canister to be placed within the reach of rocks or other obstructions on the trail, necessitating the skid plate to ensure the longevity of this piece of equipment, especially for an offroad vehicle.