Go4x4It! A RubiTrux Blog

Unlimited Possibilities

  • Product of the Week - AMP Research Steps

    This week we’re taking a look at these side steps from AMP Research. If you need steps for your Jeep Wrangler JK or JK Unlimited, but you don’t want to sacrifice ground clearance, these are for you! AMP Research has been around for several years and provides top notch products for the modern four-wheel drive market. Traditional side rails or tube steps may hang low and catch on rocks or other obstacles on the trail. The AMP Research steps fold out when you need them, and fold up, out of the way, when you don't.





    This product is perfect for stock and lifted Jeeps alike. Even stock, a Jeep JK features a higher stance than a typical passenger car. This requires a step up, rather than a step down, to enter the vehicle. The same holds true in reverse. To exit a Jeep, you climb down. On a car, you would simply stand up upon exit. This product provides that extra step to make entry and exit more comfortable for all, especially those who are not accustomed to a truck or SUV. The AMP Research step is great for those needing that extra foothold to enter or exit the vehicle, such as young children.



    AMP Research Side Steps Are Fully Retractable

    This makes the AMP Research side steps great for the family-oriented Wrangler JKU, where lifting a vehicle could make it impractical with small children or pets. Many owners find that family members accustomed to passenger cars also dislike high entry and exit points. These steps will mitigate that problem: upon opening the door, the AMP Research step will fold out (pictured above). The wide step provides a sturdy foothold, everyone climbs in, and the doors shut. Once the door is shut, the AMP Research step retracts (pictured below).





    As you can see above, when the steps are fully retracted they fold neatly up to the pinch seam. These steps don't remain fixed, like a traditional tube step, becoming caught up on rocks or other obstacles on the trail. If you're looking for rocker protection, the AMP side steps can also hold up to moderate abuse off-road. This provides you with some protection for the pinch seam. However, we would not recommend this product for the dedicated off-road 'rig.' For example, the step simply won't hold up to repeated abuse while rock crawling.



    Added Protection: Pair with Poison Spyder Body Armor

    However, if you have a Jeep Wrangler JK that sees occasional off-road use, you could try the above setup. On this Jeep, we paired the AMP steps with Poison Spyder body armor, giving this JK Unlimited additional protection for the rocker panel! If you are interested in the AMP side steps for your Jeep build, check out this promotion. For a limited time, with a purchase of AMP side steps, receive a free set of Lund floor liners! Built from a strong aluminum-alloy and Teflon coated, AMP steps feature a 5-year/60,000 mile warranty. If you're looking for a durable and retractable side step, this product is for you. Order today, from RubiTrux.com!



  • Product of the Week - Rockhard 4x4 Sport Cage

    rockhard-4x4-sport-cage-jeep-wrangler-jk-jku-silver-blueThe first thing that a Wrangler owner may notice about the factory “roll-bar” is that while the rearmost portion is secured to the body, the front section is connected to the windshield by small “spreader bars”. The hinged windshield is an obvious weak point, and can fold inward in a rollover. Couple this with the higher center of gravity found on SUV’s like the Jeep Wrangler, where the vehicle is more likely to roll over when turning a corner or swerving at speed, and you can see where an upgrade to your OEM roll-bar would be beneficial.rockhard-4x4-sport-cage-jeep-wrangler-jk-jku-blackWhile the Jeep Wrangler JK features many modern amenities, it still inherits this weak point at the windshield from previous models. The Wrangler YJ and TJ also feature these small spreader bars, and while an improvement over the CJ-7, which did not feature spreader bars, are still found lacking in a vehicle rollover. During one of these rollover type accidents, the windshield can fold inwards, into the passenger compartment of the Jeep. While the extent of the rollover and the forces present dictate how far the windshield may crumple inwards, the OEM design still leaves much to be desired. If you’ve ever driven a Jeep, you’ll know just how much (or how little) room there is inside the cab, even in the much larger current production JK models. This leaves very little room for error when the windshield crumples inwards, especially when you factor the space taken up by the driver and passenger.rockhard-4x4-sport-cage-jeep-wrangler-jk-jku-silverSo how do you fix this? Some may advocate full weld-in cage kits, kits that completely replace the OEM hardware, or more. The possibilities are many, with several aftermarket companies producing sport or roll cages, but if your Jeep is a DD (Daily Driver) that sees moderate to light trail use on the weekends, you may not want to drop the coin or effort on installing a complete replacement ‘cage in your brand new Jeep. After all, the OEM cage was engineered by Jeep and did pass multiple crash tests before production, so the factory design is not wholly inadequate. If you’re looking for a product to reinforce the factory roll-bar system, Rockhard 4x4 makes an upgrade for you!rockhard-4x4-sport-cage-jeep-wrangler-jk-jku-componentsRockhard 4x4 has been around for several years, and has become a trusted name in the Jeep aftermarket. Rockhard offers a complete bolt-in sport cage for the 2007-present Jeep Wrangler JK and JK Unlimited that reinforces the weak point in the OEM roll-bar design. This Sport Cage features durable ½” thick CNC machined steel locking collars and Grade 8 hardware, so you know it’ll hold up to any abuse on the highway or on the trail. For those DIY-ers out there, this kit is fully bolt-in, so no welding is required. The cage can be paint matched to your vehicle to provide that perfect, finished look, and also incorporates grab handles, to help in entering or exiting the vehicle.rockhard-4x4-sport-cage-jeep-wrangler-jk-jku-locking-collarIn addition to the front kit, featuring the Overhead Cage Streamer, the top windshield bar, the dash bar, and the A-Pillar supports, Rockhard 4x4 also offers additional options for the rear portion of the factory roll-bar, if you’d like to reinforce this area also (seen below). To conclude, If you’ve got a trail ‘rig or that DD that you’re building up to take off-road for the first time, the Rockhard Sport Cage is for you. This product features a sturdy and dependable design, and we’ve added this ‘cage to many builds here at the shop. Call or order online today, at RubiTrux.com!rockhard-4x4-sport-cage-jeep-wrangler-jk-jku-rear-section

  • Vehicle of the Week - 2016 Granite JKUR

    custom-jeep-wrangler-rubicon-granite-aev-heat-reduction-hoodToday we’re looking at another one of our Jeep Wrangler JK Unlimited Rubicon conversions. This Jeep is sporting our standard 4500 build kit, making it one of the larger builds on the lot, but what really catches the eye is the color. Granite is a Jeep factory color that was discontinued after a production run of a couple years. However, the color was so popular that Jeep brought it back! Granite has not been confirmed for the JL production, nor the final JK units that will be produced alongside the JL for the first year. In other words, you better get ‘em while you can! Granite will probably go the way of Chili Pepper Red and make the list of short lived but popular color options.custom-jeep-wrangler-rubicon-granite-aev-4-5-inch-dualsport-sc-suspensionStarting with the OEM color, Granite goes well with silver, chrome, gray or black accents.  The Fuel wheels and AEV bumper combination give just the right amount of contrast, while also complimenting the hues of the factory paintjob. The Recon smoked turn signals, fender markers, and taillights look great, and along with the JW speaker smoked LED headlights, give this Jeep a sleek, modern look. Even the LED lights and brackets blend well with the Granite color. For comparison, these black brackets would be highly noticeable on a red or yellow JKU. Here, they may as well be part of the windshield frame!custom-jeep-wrangler-rubicon-granite-toyo-open-country-mt-37-13-50-18Moving on from the color, we've upgraded the suspension, tires, and armor. Starting with the AEV 4.5” lift kit. The AEV lift kit allows this Jeep to fit 37” tires while retaining the factory feel and comfort of the stock suspension. The 37” Toyo Open Country M/T tires give this ‘rig extra ground clearance and provide both excellent offroad traction and superb durability. The Fuel D534 Boost 18x9 Wheels give this Jeep a touch of the 2010’s, and go well with the other high end add-ons, such as the AMP side steps and Alea Custom F-1 Leather Interior.custom-jeep-wrangler-rubicon-granite-amp-research-power-stepscustom-jeep-wrangler-rubicon-granite-amp-research-power-steps-openFor off-road recovery, there’s a Warn Zeon 8s Synthetic Rope Winch up front, encased in the AEV bumper. As this is a Rubicon, factory electric lockers are standard front and rear, along with the heavy duty Dana-44 axles. The winch and locker combination ensure that this Jeep can climb up, over, and through any obstacles on the trail, and recover other ‘rigs to boot! The aforementioned AEV front and rear bumpers protect this Granite JKUR front and back, as well as carrying the large 37” spare tire (below). To see over the spare tire, a MyGig V5 Video Lockpick with Camera was added. This backup camera can help out around town or on the trail, especially in those tight spaces where the extra length of the JKUR may get you into a pinch.custom-jeep-wrangler-rubicon-granite-aev-premium-front-bumper_1custom-jeep-wrangler-rubicon-granite-aev-rear-bumper-tire-carrier_1Aftermarket lighting on any modified Jeep is a must. After all, what good is your 4x4 if you can’t see at night? As we mentioned above, all OEM lighting was replaced with top-of-the-line aftermarket products by JW Speaker and Recon. The auxiliary lighting, both in the form of a windshield mounted 50” bar and the dually LED lights at the windshield support pillar, are all Rigid Industries Midnight Edition lights. Rigid Industries produces some of the best LED lights on the market today, and the Midnight Edition line is no exception. Giving the LED lights a dark, smoky look, these lights are great for builds like this Granite Jeep, where subdued colors compliment the OEM paint. Giving the front bumper a bit of a throwback are a pair of IPF 900XS Series Driving Lights, great for on-road driving at night or during inclement weather.custom-jeep-wrangler-rubicon-granite-alpine-restyle-x009-wraOn the interior, we’ve completely replaced the OEM seat fabric and the OEM radio/navigation system. This Granite JKUR sports the previously mentioned Alea Custom F-1 Leather Interior. Coupled with the Alpine X009-WRA Restyle Head Unit, this Jeep JKUR has a luxurious, high-end feel that you won’t get from the factory equipment. If you’re looking to ride in comfort and style, the Alea Leather and Alpine head unit are a must for your Jeep!custom-jeep-wrangler-rubicon-granite-alea-custom-leather-headrestcustom-jeep-wrangler-rubicon-granite-alea-custom-f-1-leatherThis Jeep is currently for sale at our shop for $69,995.00, but hurry, it’s sure to go fast! If you’d like this Jeep, or you want to special order a Granite build of your very own, call Reggie Perry at (828)406-3031!custom-jeep-wrangler-rubicon-granite-on-37s

  • Product of the Week - AEV Heat Reduction Hood

    custom-2015-jeep-wrangler-unlimited-rubicon-baja-yellow-HEMI-6-4--pass-three-quarterIf you’ve swapped in a larger engine, have cooling issues offroad, or simply want a matching hood to go with your AEV build, this product is for you! The Heat Reduction Hood by AEV (American Expedition Vehicles) provides a stylish and functional replacement for the OEM hood on your Jeep Wrangler JK or JK Unlimited. An internal combustion engine generates large amounts of heat during operation, and the V-6 found in the modern day Jeep Wrangler is no exception. An internal combustion engine utilizes both coolant and air to keep the engine within operating temperatures. If the engine gets too hot for too long, catastrophic failure can occur.custom-jeep-wrangler-rubicon-mojave-sand-aev-premium-front-bumper-outside-As the cooling system on a stock JK stands, air is pulled through the radiator by the fan, lowering the temperature of the coolant inside. This coolant is then recycled back through the system (engine block, heater core, etc). Thus, the combination of air and coolant keeps the engine from overheating. This is a very basic description, but you get the point. What we’re going to focus on here is the direction of air flow. Once the air enters the engine compartment through the radiator, the only place left for it to go is downwards. Of course, this leads out of the engine compartment. With the stock hood in place, there is a solid ceiling preventing the air from escaping up top. While this may not be an issue off-road with the stock motor, with a bigger engine, or while idling for long periods of time, heat can build up. Remember, heat rises; with the solid OEM hood, there’s nowhere for the hot air to go!aev-40303001aj-heat-reduction-hoodThe AEV Heat Reduction Hood solves this problem. Namely, by providing multiple ports for hot air to exit the engine compartment. These openings have mesh guards in place to prevent debris from getting under the hood, but still allow plenty of room for the air to circulate. If you’ve ever driven a Wrangler equipped with a heat reduction hood, you’ll notice these vents in action, especially at a stop light. When at speed, the AEV Head Reduction Hood exploits the Jeep’s front end low-pressure area, allowing the outside air to be pulled through the radiator and up and over the engine, giving your motor the fresh air it needs!aev-heat-reduction-hood-40303001af-undersideThe Heat Reduction Hood goes well with other AEV accessories, and will give your Jeep JK or JKU an aggressive look, both around town and on the trail! The AEV Head Reduction Hood features OEM-style crumple zones and comes in an e-coated finish and ready for paint. Side mesh inserts are removable if you’d like to install an AEV snorkel kit. Hoods must be shipped to a commercial address, call for an exact shipping quote. Don't buy a sub-par aftermarket hood or rely on the OEM unit, order an AEV Heat Reduction Hood for your build, today!aev-heat-reduction-hood

  • Vehicle of the Week - Project: VANDAL

    IMG_0876This week, we’re looking at a highly unique Jeep. If you’ve kept up with our blog, you may remember the big gold beast; Project: VANDAL. VANDAL was built to go fast and go anywhere, using only the best parts and accessories. The previous owner worked with us over several months, as well as during the build process, to ensure VANDAL was built precisely to his specifications. From the Pueblo Gold paintjob to the custom 7.3L Stroker HEMI V-8 engine, VANDAL is ready for anything.IMG_0882Starting with the bumpers and armor, VANDAL is equipped with Metalcloak Overline fenders, Metalcloak armor, rock rails, and a Metalcloak front bumper, with custom hoop. A Genright rear bumper and tire carrier also allow this Jeep to haul around a 40" spare tire! With this protection, you don’t have to worry about hazards, either at the mall parking lot or on the toughest trails! VANDAL also features a RackWorks roof rack (pictured above), with multiple LED cube lights by Rigid Industries on each side, so you can light up the darkest trail while hauling your gear at the same time!IMG_0883Above, the Metalcloak rock rails are a solid step, a must have with the 5.5" lift and 40" tires! Underneath all the armor, VANDAL sports a pair of Dana-60 axles with 5.38 gears and ARB Air Lockers. These lockers provide the gearing to both run VANDAL on the street and trail, even with the 40x14.50x20 Interco SSM16 tires! A Rock Krawler 5.5” Rock Runner Stage 2 long arm lift with coilovers lets VANDAL tuck the 40’s with ease (below). The ARB air lockers allow this Jeep to crawl up, over, or around the trickiest off-road obstacles, and are actuated with an ARB air compressor (mounted under the hood), also great for airing up your tires after a lengthy off-road excursion.IMG_0877VANDAL was purpose built to handle any kind of terrain, at any time of day! LED lighting by Rigid and Oracle let VANDAL navigate the toughest trails or the desert sands in the dead of night (below). The Oracle LED side mirrors and the Rigid Industries light bars and rock lights allow VANDAL to light up the night on all sides! All of these lights are run from a dual S-POD switch panel and touch screen, and a Genesis dual battery kit ensures that you’ll have enough power to fire up this ‘rig, every time! Recon smoked headlights and turn signals, along with JW Speaker fog lights, also replaced the sub-par OEM units (below).IMG_0874Other add-ons include a GenRight fuel cell, PSC Hydro Assist Steering (to help turn the 40” tires offroad), and an Intraphex rearview mirror camera system, for use when throwing this 'rig in reverse. Taking an overland trip? Don’t worry, along with all the above goodies, the ARB 50 qt fridge/freezer is perfect for carrying your perishables, and the Rack Works Roof Rack is great for hauling extra luggage or the family tent!IMG_0904IMG_0902If the LED bars or roof rack look isn’t for you, don’t worry! We can change and modify VANDAL to suit your needs. If the large 40” tires aren’t your thing, lower the suspension height via the adjustable coilovers and throw on a set of 38’s! Want to add a soft top? We’ve got you covered! This Jeep is a great deal for $129,999.00, and is on sale at our shop. The previous owner decided to leave the Jeeping world, so let this Jeep be yours, you won’t find another one out there! For links to our complete build, and to see the for sale ad, click here! Don’t forget to check out our gallery below, and let us know what you think!2015-jeep-wrangler-unlimited-rubicon-custom-vandal-rock-krawler-40s-f-three-quarter-lights-on2015-jeep-wrangler-unlimited-rubicon-custom-vandal-rock-krawler-40s-lights-on2015-jeep-wrangler-unlimited-rubicon-custom-vandal-rock-krawler-40s-front-lights-off2015-jeep-wrangler-unlimited-rubicon-custom-vandal-rock-krawler-40s-metalcloak-overline-fenders2015-jeep-wrangler-unlimited-rubicon-custom-vandal-rock-krawler-40s-driver-three-quarter

  • Vehicle of the Week - Jeep JK-8 Conversion

    custom-jeep-wrangler-jk8-on-33s_1This week we’re taking a look at another one of our pre-owned vehicles, this 2013 JK-8 Conversion. Here at RubiTrux, we carefully select our used vehicles so that only the best and most unique Jeeps are brought to you, the buyer! We’ve seen everything from HEMI TJ Brute conversions to an immaculate 1979 CJ-7 come through our shop. Each one went home to a very happy and satisfied buyer. We think that the new owner of this unique Jeep will feel the same way!custom-jeep-wrangler-jk8-recon-smoked-led-tail-lights_1The MOPAR JK-8 conversion kit turns any run-of-the-mill Jeep Wrangler JK Unlimited into a pickup truck, complete with 44”x50” steel bed and removable fiberglass top! The JK-8 conversion was designed to mimic the classic CJ-8 Scrambler from the 1980s, which coupled the 4x4 capabilities of the Jeep with the utility of the pickup truck! The MOPAR JK-8 conversion kit is currently no longer available, due to Jeep producing an official pickup truck within the next few years. This makes the 2013 JK-8 conversion below very unique. Best of all, there’s no assembly required as this one is already complete!custom-jeep-wrangler-jk8-sota-novakane-wheels_1custom-jeep-wrangler-jk8-tail-gateThe JK-8 conversion deletes the two rear doors, rear seat, and interior accessories rearward of the cab found on the Wrangler Unlimited. If you’re looking for a family hauler, this vehicle may not be for you. However, for the owner looking for a unique Jeep pickup, we’ve got you covered! This JK-8 is ready for back roads, off-road excursions, hauling camping or fishing gear into the backwoods, and more. The spacious cab has room for personal items behind the front seats, which still recline and slide back, perfect for those used to a little more leg room.custom-jeep-wrangler-jk8-interior_1custom-jeep-wrangler-jk8-cloth-interior_1In addition to the JK-8 conversion, this Jeep Wrangler JK Unlimited comes equipped with a set of 285/70/17 Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac Tires, Sota 17” Novakane Wheels, and a 2.5” Rough Country Lift. Lighting upgrades include Recon Taillights, Turn Signals, and Fender Marker Lights, and JW Speaker Evolution J Series LED Headlights. Llumar front window tint and a Rampage 3D Grille Insert round out the accessories.custom-jeep-wrangler-jk8-rough-country-2-5-33s_1Even though this Jeep may look mild with a 2.5” suspension lift and 33” tires, it’s more than capable for that weekend on the trail or a road trip to your favorite camping site! Want to add a larger lift kit and tires? Just give us a shout, we’re more than happy to customize this ‘rig to your specifications! This JK-8 is for sale at $42,500.00. If you’d like to check it out in person, don’t be afraid to stop by. Let us know what you think about this JK-8, and check out the gallery below!custom-jeep-wrangler-jk8-jw-speaker-j-series-headlights_1custom-jeep-wrangler-jk8-rampage-grille-insert_1custom-jeep-wrangler-jk8-2-5-inch-lift_1custom-jeep-wrangler-jk8-wrangler-duratrac-tires_1

  • Great Smoky Mountain Jeep Invasion 2016

    Great-Smokey-Mountain-Jeep-Invasion-Image-1This year we had the opportunity to team up with Alpine Electronics for the Smoky Mountain Jeep Invasion in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Even though our normal route for an audio upgrade includes JL Audio speakers, we commonly feature the Alpine X009 9” restyle head unit as the source for a top-of-the-line audio upgrade. The Alpine unit completely redesigns the Jeep Wrangler JK dashboard. This upgrade goes well with our RubiTrux builds, which also feature accessories and upgrades by Alea Leather and AEV! This perfect blend of the Jeep aftermarket gives you not only a high-end and technologically advanced Jeep, but also one that performs well both on-road and off!custom-jeep-wrangler-rubicon-rhino-painted-interior-trim-alpine-restyle-x009-wraFor this show in particular, we opted to showcase two of our builds that had the Alpine 9 speaker upgrade and the Alpine X009 head unit. These two products replace the OEM speakers and head unit in the Jeep Wrangler JK platform. While the present-day OEM speakers for the JK are an upgrade from previous Wranglers, the Alpine upgrade takes sound quality a step further. If you want a large touch screen for navigation, monitoring vehicle functions, and more, the Apine head unit is for you!  We specifically chose our show Jeeps to demonstrate just how much quality and craftsmanship are found in these Alpine units, as well as our builds themselves. Great-Smokey-Mountain-Jeep-Invasion-alpine-restyle-rhi-wrangler-image2Pictured above is our main build, the 2016 Rhino Rubicon. Our staff chose this Wrangler JKU because of its unique color and incredible interior. The combination of Alpine products, AEV bumpers and wheels, and Alea Nappa Leather really set it off as an attention grabber. This Jeep JK Unlimited is also equipped with the brand-new KIS Products custom Jeep JK sound bar enclosure with Alpine speakers. The combination speaker and sound bar enclosure produces a high quality listening experience that makes any Wrangler sound incredible!Great-Smokey-Mountain-Jeep-Invasion-alpine-restyle-x009-headunit-image3The KIS soundbar enclosure is perfect for the owner looking to get the best in sound quality.  KIS Products designed this sound bar to look as good as it sounds. The plug-and-play system includes (4) 6.5" Alpine speakers and (4) 2" tweeters as well as pre-installed LED lights that change color via remote! The lights have a variety of standard colors, but can also flash, strobe, blend or randomly select colors at the press of a button.Great-Smokey-Mountain-Jeep-Invasion-alpine-restyle-sound-bar-image4The other build featured was this beautiful 6.4L HEMI! We couldn’t attend a show without a HEMI conversion! Since the mid-1980's, the largest engine offered in most Jeep CJ or Wrangler platforms was an Inline-6 (updated to a V-6 in 2007). Six cylinders is just two cylinders short for most people, and if you want to get some serious power for your Jeep Wrangler, a V-8 swap is for you! We commonly swap both the 5.7L and 6.4L HEMI V-8 engines at our shop in Boone, NC, with awesome results. If you didn't get a chance to see this HEMI JKU at the Jeep Invasion, we've got a few on our lot, so stop by for a visit!Great-Smokey-Mountain-Jeep-Invasion-hemi-wrangler-image5We arrived early for load-in on Friday, and after a long day of unpacking gear and setting up our booth, we headed to attend the Vendor Party at Harpoon Harry’s Crab House. The AWESOME staff of the Invasion had the entire second floor rented out for vendors only, which meant no long lines or wait times for food, which was delicious! There was also an impromptu Jeep show going on outside the restaurant! Along with about 100 other Jeepers, some of our own brought personal vehicles for the meet-and-greet. Here's Caleb's 2007 JK Rubicon Unlimited!Great-Smokey-Mountain-Jeep-Invasion-harpoon-harrys-jeep-show-image6Saturday morning came early, and so did the fast approaching public opening. We did a final check to make sure everything was in working order; as soon as the doors opened, the Leconte Center quickly filled up to capacity. Spectators and enthusiasts alike poured into to the center to see everything from a Sunset Orange AEV Built 6.4L HEMI Double Cab conversion to JKU’s on 40” tall tires! We set up right next to Maximus-3 and ARB, which brought a ton of attention to the Alpine booth as well. Here's just a few of the builds at the show, shown below!Great-Smokey-Mountain-Jeep-Invasion-maximus-3-white-image7


    Great-Smokey-Mountain-Jeep-Invasion-arb-red-jk-awningWe quickly realized just as many people were interested in the Alea Nappa Leather in the 2016 Rhino as the Alpine Restyle head unit itself! Spectators found the color and tone of the Alea Leather fascinating. We heard comments ranging from “Don’t touch that honey, its expensive!” to “This is by far the nicest build in the entire show!”. We got a laugh out of both!Great-Smokey-Mountain-Jeep-Invasion-Ben-customer-image10

    Great-Smokey-Mountain-Jeep-Invasion-spectator-image11Overall, The Great Smoky Mountain Jeep Invasion was a very successful show, and it allowed us to showcase our attention to detail, as well as get our foot in the door for next year! Rumor has it next year’s show will be a 2 day event, and we may just have to build another over-the-top Jeep to really show what we can do! Could it be a 7.0 Supercharged HEMI? Another 448 Stroker? Hellcat? We'll have to wait until next year, but stay tuned. Hopefully we will see you at the 2017 Great Smokey Mountain Jeep Invasion!

  • Double Cab HEMI Conversion - Part 1

    2014-custom-jeep-wrangler-aev-brute-double-cab-white-left-side-viewThis week we’re taking a look at another one of our builds. While you may remember reading about some of our first generation Brute conversions based on the TJ, this time, we’re taking a look at the modern predecessor, the Brute Double Cab. Designed and produced by AEV (American Expedition Vehicles), the Brute Double Cab turns any 4-door Jeep Wrangler JK Unlimited into a crew cab pickup truck. In short, the modification consists of chopping the vehicle in two, lengthening the frame, closing off the cab via a new hardtop and body panels, and adding the Brute pickup bed. Once this is done, you now have a vehicle that couples both the open air freedom of the Jeep Wrangler (as the hard-top is still removable), and the utility of the pickup truck. Great for carrying five passengers and cargo!custom-jeep-wrangler-brute-double-cab-aev-snorkelThe Brute vehicle is the ultimate conversion kit for any present-day four-door Wrangler. The downside is the longer frame and pickup bed, in addition to the AEV bumpers, does add some weight to the vehicle. This means more weight for the V6 engine to lug around. While some owners may choose to regear or supercharger, sometimes the V6 just doesn’t cut it. Our answer; swapping in a HEMI!custom-jeep-wrangler-brute-double-cab-black-jw-speaker-evo-2-headlightsWith the Jeep CJ, buyers usually had the choice of four, six, or even eight cylinder engines; the latter of which was a great factory option if you wanted something with a bit more power and punch around town, especially in the small bodied CJ’s. Since the early days of the Jeep Wrangler, there have usually been two engine choices, an inline four or six cylinder. Again, these engines were great for the small body Wranglers, and offered plenty of power around town or on the trail, depending on gear ratio and tire size. However, once the Jeep JK came about, it was much larger than previous Wranglers, and is only offered with a V-6, the early models of which (2007-2011) are sub-par. Couple that engine with a much larger Wrangler, and it isn’t surprising when some owners complain of sluggish throttle response or acceleration, especially when adding a lift kit, larger tires, or a Double Cab conversion.darr-hemi-brute-double-cab-jeep-wrangler-conversion-engine-swap-v-6-removalSo what do you do to a high-end Jeep Wrangler when a regear won’t cut it? Not a fan of superchargers or turbos? A V-8 conversion may be for you! While LS1’s or Chevy 350s are the go-to choice for TJ/YJ/CJ owners, and with good reason, you just can’t beat an AEV HEMI Kit with the present day Jeep Wrangler JK/U. This kit, supplied by AEV, simplifies the engine swap exponentially; coupled with the fact that the Jeep JK/U can retain the factory automatic transmission and heavy-duty Dana-44 axles found with the Rubicon package, and all you’ve gotta do is ditch the V-6!darr-hemi-brute-double-cab-jeep-wrangler-conversion-engine-swap-bay-motor-mounts-prepdarr-hemi-brute-double-cab-jeep-wrangler-conversion-engine-swap-motor-prepFor this build, we’re going to follow the HEMI conversion on a brand new 2016 Brute Double Cab, starting with the removal of the stock V-6. The motor mounts are cut off and ground down, as you can see in the image below. Directly above, the new HEMI is prepped on an engine stand prior to installation. As you can see, we’ve also removed the body from the frame of the Jeep to make this swap much easier. This gives us plenty of room to work and also makes lining up the engine and transmission a breeze!darr-hemi-brute-double-cab-jeep-wrangler-conversion-engine-swap-bay-motor-mountsOnce the new motor mounts for the HEMI are in place, the engine can be lined up with the transmission and bolted to the frame. Note the Brute Double Cab bed in the rear of the image below. While this Brute will resemble the ones pictured at the top of this article very soon, for now, we’ll leave it here. During the next update, we’ll cover the ins and outs of the AEV HEMI conversion kit, and why you may want one of these kits for your V-8 conversion, along with the next steps on this build, so stay tuned!darr-hemi-brute-double-cab-jeep-wrangler-conversion-engine-swapIn the meantime, if you have any thoughts on this build or any ideas on how to build your own Brute Double Cab, let us know! From mild to wild, we can build the Jeep of your dreams, from the daily driver to a dedicated trail 'rig, so give us a call today!

  • Vehicle of the Week - Scout II

    1972-scout-II-4x4-off-road-sand-green-badge-international-front-driver-quarterAlthough Jeeps are our mainstay, we occasionally see a classic 4x4 without the seven slot grille, and if you’ve been reading our blog, you may have come across the Toyota Land Cruiser FJ-40 or seen pictures of other “old-iron” 4x4s. This week we’ve got something special: an International Harvester Scout II from 1976!1972-scout-II-4x4-off-road-sand-green-badge-internationalThe 1970s was a great decade for classic cars; while the 1980’s saw many of the rounded body lines changed for squared off panels and headlights (the Jeep Wrangler YJ comes to mind), vehicles from the 1970s still largely retained some design influence from the 1960s, with rounded and curved body lines, round headlights, and rounded off fender-wells. The Scout II is no exception, and while boxy like the Jeep CJ models of the time, does have rounded corners and classic styling present, similar to the Chevrolet Blazer and Ford Bronco. The “squared off” 1980’s never influenced the Scout production run, as it was discontinued for the 1980 model year. There was a Scout III concept that made a debut in 1979, and it did feature more 1980’s-esq design influences, but International Harvester dropped the Scout before the III could reach production.1972-scout-II-4x4-off-road-sand-green-badgeWhat we have here in a 1976 International Harvester Scout II, complete with hard doors and roll up glass windows, and a new soft top by SoftTopper! This Scout features a 3-speed automatic transmission coupled to a 345 CID V8. Originally from Arizona, this Scout is on consignment here at the shop, and is listed for $10,500.00. As this is a 40-year old vehicle, there is a small amount of rust on the rocker panels, common to these 4x4s, but the vehicle itself is in overall good condition, and would make a great driver or weekend toy for the Scout enthusiast!1972-scout-II-4x4-off-road-sand-green-badge-internationa-interior-camo-seatslThe interior has been reworked and includes custom camouflage seat upholstery and door panels. The dash is in good condition and the floor-pans are solid. The wheels have plenty of tread and the paint job is nearly immaculate, besides the aforementioned rust spot on the rocker panel. Custom bumper and brush guard included. The 31x10.50r15lts are in great shape and mounted to a set of 15” Cragar D-window wheels. Of course this truck is 4x4, and being a 1970s model, does feature Warn front locking hubs, saving on gas mileage and wear-and-tear for the front end!1972-scout-II-4x4-off-road-sand-green-badge-international-rearIf you’re into Scouts and want one for your very own, or are looking for a great condition vehicle with which to start your build, let us know! We haven’t had this truck on the lot very long, and we don’t think it’ll last much longer; for the full ad, click here! With the Scout joining the club of early-Bronco’s and Blazers, which are fast becoming popular restoration projects (as everyone and their cousin has a CJ), someone is bound to scoop up this ride soon. Don’t miss out, give us a call today at (828) 266-9773!

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