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Monthly Archives: April 2015

  • Project: VANDAL, Part 6

    darren-build-doorless-fenders-bumpers-windshield-on-front-passenger-angleFor this update, Project: VANDAL is entering into the final stages. The 40" Interco SS-M16 Tires have been added, along with the MetalCloak Tube Fenders, windshield glass (from the last update, where the windshield and lights were simply fitted into place), and the Rock Hard Ultimate Bolt-In Sport Cage. The Rock Krawler coilovers can be adjusted to allow for 3" higher ride height, and the MetalCloak Tube Fenders ensure that there is enough wheel-well to flex out the 40's. The tops of the tube fenders have been painted to match the body, while the undersides and tubing itself has been left black.

    darren-build-doorless-fenders-bumpers-windshield-on-front-driver-side-angleThe Rock Hard Ultimate Bolt-In Sport Cage (seen above, through the windshield, and below), provides protection for the driver and front seat passenger in the event of a rollover, eliminating the structural weak-point in the factory roll bar system at the windshield and spreader bars. The area where the spreader bars and windshield bolt together is an inherent weak-point, and is present on all Wrangler models; while an improvement over the old CJ system (which utilized no spreader bars), the factory system still leaves much to be desired; enter the Rock Hard Ultimate Bolt-In Sport Cage.


    Above, the heavy duty tubing and strong bolt-in design of the Rock Hard sport cage, featuring proprietary locking collars, allows the driver and occupants peace of mind when wheeling over even the toughest terrain! This sport cage, coupled with the MetalCloak fenders and body armor (painted to match), means that VANDAL will be more than adequately protected from rocks, trees, or other obstacles, while on the trail.darren-vandal-build-40s-fenders-windshield-in-place-rear-passenger-side-angleAbove, the Rugged Ridge half doors are a great option for both on and off-road use. While off-road, the factory full doors may obstruct the field of view from inside the vehicle, or become damaged on the trail, proving an expensive fix. With these half doors, visibility is greatly increased, and the classic design allows for the open air experience of the Wrangler while retaining the lower doors, protecting and keeping children, pets, or cargo inside the vehicle!darren-build-doorless-fenders-bumpers-windshield-on-front-passenger-angle-highStill to come, the top, doors, minor interior work, and more! As Project: VANDAL nears completion, keep an eye out on the blog for future updates!




  • Project: VANDAL, Part 5


    Significant progress has been made with Project: VANDAL over the past week; the wiring under the hood has been routed for all of the sPods, LED light bars, and accessories.  Also, the hood, grill, windshield frame, and lights have been fitted to the vehicle, providing a look at what is to come when VANDAL is complete.








    In addition to the front end, the tailgate has also been reassembled and installed back onto the Jeep, below. The MetalCloak body armor panels (note to the left and right of the tailgate, where holes have already been drilled) will be added once they have been painted to match. From there, the flat fenders, also MetalCloak, will be installed, and then interior work can begin. The top side of the flat fenders will be painted to match the body, while the tube/underside will be left black.  We're nearing the finish line with Project: VANDAL, stay tuned for the final few updates, coming soon!


  • Project: VANDAL, Part 4

    vandal-body-on-frameThis 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.

    vandal-front-suspension-front-side-angleAbove, 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.vandal-front-suspension-setup-rock-krawler-55

    Below, the Borla exhaust and QTP electric exhaust cutout are shown. The Borla 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.

    vandal-electric-exhaust-cutout-closeupvandal-borla-exhaust-cutout-skidplateCheck back soon for the next update on Project: VANDAL here at RubiTrux, featuring skid plates, the PSC hydro assist ram, and more!


  • Project: VANDAL, Part 3

    darren-build-hemi-transmission-suspension-axles-on-frame-closeupProject: VANDAL is coming along great here at the shop, with the HEMI motor now installed and bolted up to the transmission! The GenRight Fuel Cell had to be slightly modified to fit, as seen below, and the Borla exhaust had to be customized to fit around the control arms of the Rock Krawler long arm kit.

    darren-build-gen-right-tank-closeup darren-build-hemi-transmission-suspension-axles-on-frame

    The exhaust system for VANDAL is a custom Borla setup, including the headers, and features a Quick Time Performance (QTP) electric exhaust cutout. This exhaust cutout allows the driver to control the volume and power of the setup from inside the cab, at the flick of a switch! The entire exhaust system, including the QTP cutout, is stainless steel, and the cutout itself features a CNC machined valve body and a 12v motor, providing 1.5 lbs of torque to operate the QTP cutout.

    project-vandal-electric-exhaust-cutout project-vandal-exhaustThe rear bumper has been fitted while the body is still off of the frame, along with the above exhaust system, HEMI, and GenRight fuel cell. The rear bumper is also GenRight, and features backup lights, with additional Rigid Industries 2-bulb LED lights mounted to either side of the stock lights, as seen below. This will ensure adequate visibility at the rear of the vehicle, either on the trail, or backing out around town at night. Check back soon for further updates on Project: VANDAL!



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