Project VANDAL is nearing completion, with rocker guards, skid plates, and a rear tire carrier being installed this week. For this update, a few of the smaller details of this build have been covered. Although HEMI engines and Dana-60 axles are eye-catching, the little details are important, and help to make Project: VANDAL just as much as the powertrain, because when you're on the trail, all the engine and axles in the world won't help if you run out of gas or have your differentials bashed in. Above, the Jeep differential cover on the Dana 60 axle provides heavy-duty protection for the 5.38 gears and lockers, while below, this GenRight skid plate protects the GenRight 20 gallon fuel cell at the rear of VANDAL.
Below, the rear bumper, also manufactured by GenRight, protects the tail end of the Jeep from trail hazards or careless drivers on the road. In addition to featuring a hitch and D-ring mounts, the GenRight bumper also has two Rigid Industries backup lights, in the second image below, which were added to provide additional illumination at the rear of the vehicle in low light situations.
Towards the front of the vehicle, Warn premium locking hubs allow for savings in gas mileage, in addition to slowing wear and tear on the front differential during everyday operation, with the locking hubs disengaged. Below, the PSC hydro assist ram will help with turning the large 40" mud tires, whether on the road or the trail.
Meanwhile, the MetalCloak bumper protects the front of the JKU; in addition to housing the Warn winch, the stubby design of this bumper allows for an increased approach angle offroad, especially with the 40" Interco SS-M16 Mud Terrain Tires, shown in the images below.
The Rock Krawler 5.5" Stage II Rock Runner long arm kit lets VANDAL fit the 40" tires with ease, while keeping the Jeep removed from rocks, stumps, or other obstructions on the trail. If VANDAL does come into contact with a foreign object, the MetalCloak fenders and rocker guards will protect the body from damage, in addition to acting as step bars and grab handles during cleaning, maintenance, or entering and exiting the vehicle, respectively.
Project:VANDAL is fast becoming a formidable machine, equipped to tackle and succeed in a wide variety of conditions, both off road and on. Stay tuned for the next update, where we'll cover the new aluminum skid plates, hard top, full doors, roof rack, LED lighting, and more!