If you keep up with any of our builds, you're bound to notice the high-end leather interiors. Last update we covered Alea Leather, but for those wanting another approach, we also carry Katzkin Leather. Katzkin has been around for over 30 years and produces high-quality aftermarket leather interiors for a variety of popular vehicles, from the Chevrolet Silverado to the Honda Accord! Katzkin is an official supplier of leather to the Ford motor company, and also exclusively supplies leather to Shelby American, Inc., of performance car fame.While for some, a Jeep Wrangler should be a bare bones, true-to-original utilitarian 4x4, others desire a more luxurious approach. Although some of the higher-end trim models, like the Sahara and Rubicon, can now be ordered with leather seats, factory leather leaves much to be desired. Enter Katzkin leather, featuring a variety of patterns, custom stitching, embroidered logos and more! Here at RubiTrux, we pride ourselves in using only the best in aftermarket add-ons and accessories, and Katzkin is no exception. Each leather set is a completely new, top quality leather upholstery set for your seats. This product does not replace the factory seats, and these are not seat covers, so your factory upholstery will need to be removed for the install.Available in a variety of color schemes, stitching and logos, these seats can match any build style and go well with the OEM colors. Front seat heaters are an optional upgrade on our builds, and you can have them in your Jeep too! Just be sure to let us know, and the heaters can be installed at the same time as your new Katzkin leather! The leather is also available in an Ostrich Skin (Aussie) pattern, shown below, for those that want an extra touch of unique on their Jeep JK or JK Unlimited build.So if you're looking to upgrade the interior of your Jeep Wrangler JK or JK Unlimited, Katzkin leather is for you! With other upgrades such as HotHead Headliners, and color matched interior trim pieces, we can trick out the interior on your Jeep JK to fit any build style; as our slogan states, there are "Unlimited Possibilities!". Give us a call, today!
Monthly Archives: April 2016
If you tuned in last week for the Mojave Sand JK Unlimited, you may have briefly read about our newest JK-EXT conversion, also in Mojave Sand! Mojave Sand is one of our favorite colors for the Jeep Wrangler JK and JK Unlimited, and we're excited to say that we're producing the first ever EXT in Mojave Sand at our shop, right now! The vehicle arrived as a completely stock 2016 Jeep Wrangler JK Unlimited Sport, and has been in the garage for the past week. Currently, we're preparing to send this JK-EXT out to the body shop – here's what we've got so far!Pictured above is the stock JK Sport, with non-matched hard-top, fender flares, and the OEM wheel and tire package. The hard top, rear seat, carpet, seatbelts, and everything rearward of the driver's seat was removed on Monday morning and placed aside, with work beginning around lunch that same day. As you can see below, the rollbar and J-rails (where the soft-top clips in) were also cut out and removed. There are quite a few spot welds that need to be drilled out during this step, most notably where the rollbar and J-rails are attached to the body. You can also see the contrast between the OD Green primer and Mojave Sand on the removed portion of the rollbar. Since the JK entered production, Jeep stopped painting the entire rollbar, leaving the innermost portion, usually covered with padding, with the green color you see here.
Rick Robey, lead on this EXT project, is shown below removing the factory rear corners. All areas where the frame and OEM body panels meet the EXT kit are also prepped, to ensure a clean and proper surface for welding. This prep work includes hammering certain areas of the sheetmetal flat, as well as sanding down the OEM Mojave Sand paint, to facilitate the welding process. It is very important during this step to remove the factory insulation, because it is flammable; welding around this area for the kit install is close enough to cause a fire. Said fire would be very hard to put out, as once the panels are in place, the flames would be inside the body! The frame extension is then welded to the OEM frame, with inner plates like the ones seen in our Brute conversion to strengthen the connection.
Once the frame is extended (above), the bed kit can be placed on the new rear crossmember and fit around the original body panels. The lower support on the new body extension fits inside the OEM quarter panel. Once everything is in place and lined up, the kit is welded to the body. Rick is shown below dropping in some welds; once these are in place, seam sealer is used to completely cover the area to protect against corrosion, as per OEM standards. Also don't forget to remove the adhesive square from the bed of the JKU, to allow installation of the floor pan!
Next, the outbound body panels are temporarily fitted and aligned. Once everything is lined up, Rick is shown here making adjustments to the fuel door cutout, OEM sheetmetal, and the EXT body panels themselves. While the foam in the rear quarter panels has been removed, there is still quite a substantial amount housed in the body cavity by the rear doors. We removed the rubber plug next to the door latch, and throughout the welding process, sprayed water into this area (hence the spray bottle on the frame) to prevent a potential fire. Once the entire area is prepped, the welding can begin.
Seam sealer is applied to the OE quarter panels to guard against rust, and to help hold the JK-EXT panels in place. Once the body panels are clamped into place and everything is double checked, Rick is shown below making the final welds for the new outer quarter panels. Once the welding is completed, the welds and any rough areas are ground smooth in preparation for the trip to the body shop. Once the bed sides are completed, the OEM subwoofer cavity is plated over before the sub-floor is fitted to the new truck bed.
Both surfaces are cleaned and the new sub-floor is added over the OEM subwoofer enclosure. This will become the base for the truck bed, so strength and corrosion protection is a must. Seam sealer is placed on the prepped areas and both areas are pressed and welded together. Once the sub-floor is in place, the main floor can be added on top of this (this piece features ridges, like the ones found on pickup trucks, while the sub-floor is smooth sheetmetal). Below, Rick welds these pieces into place; you may notice that we set a tire and a few brake rotors on the bed during this process. This is to ensure that all pieces set and dry correctly. Once the welds on the bed are done, the cab closeout, roll-bar, and hard-top can be fitted!
The JK-EXT roll-bar is set in place and test fitted to what remains of the OEM roll-bar. The edges of the aftermarket roll-bar extension may need the primer/e-coating removed to fit inside the OEM roll-bar. This will be a tight fit. Once the roll-bar is in place, the holes for the mounting plate are marked and drilled out. The completed roll-bar will bolt through the floor to a plate on the underside of the Jeep. The hard-top is then placed on the EXT and bolted down; with this in place, the cab closeout can be lined up. Afterwards, the cab closeout is bolted to the body and seam sealer is used to close any gaps.
Once everything is bolted down, the rear doors, door latches and tailgate are all put back on the JK-EXT, and the vehicle is pulled outside the garage, now ready for the paint and body shop. Stay tuned for more, we're planning a 3.5” AEV lift kit, 35” tires, and more!
This week we're taking a look at one of our recently completed builds, this time in Mojave Sand. Mojave Sand is a new color for 2016 and we're sure it'll be a classic. This color began arriving at dealerships a few weeks back, and with all the hype, it makes the perfect Vehicle of the Week!The first thing you'll notice is that this JKU (JK-Unlimited) has our standard 4500 build package. Featuring a 4.5" AEV Dual Sport SC Lift and AEV 17" Salta wheels wrapped in 37" Toyo Open Country M/T tires, this Jeep is ready for around town or the trails! We went with the black Salta wheels to match the undercarriage and bumper package, giving a nice contrast with the Mojave Sand. The bumpers are an AEV premium front bumper and an AEV rear bumper with tire carrier. The front bumper houses a Warn 8s Synthetic Winch while the rear bumper mounted tire carrier is perfect for carrying the 37" spare.For the interior seats we chose Alea leather; the Eleganza Bentley style goes great with the two toned seats, which in turn go well with the OEM colors. The interior dash and door trim panels are painted-matched, and these include the trim panels for the Alpine X009-WRA Restyle System. The X009 gives the dash a more modern look, while providing a larger screen and controls than the OEM unit.
For lighting, we chose to replace the factory headlights with JW Speaker Evolution J Series, while JW Speaker fog lights were mounted inside the AEV front bumper. Recon turn signals and tail lights also replaced matching OEM components, while both the front windshield and rear tire carrier received a pair of Rigid D2 LED pods. These lighting upgrades will increase the visibility of the driver and passengers above that of OEM quality, especially in offroad situations, where the D2 pods will help by providing light over the front hood and at the rear of the vehicle.Continuing with lighting, the side markers and taillights will make this JKU more visible to both pedestrians and traffic; again, invaluable on both the trail and around town. The front AEV bumper also has a pair of custom painted ARB Intensity LED driving lights. These LED lights are some of our favorite, with the size resembling that of the old KC Daylighters, but with modern LED technology! If the larger ARB Intensity lights seem out of proportion for your build, the new classic-sized ARB Intensity's are for you!If you liked this Jeep, wait until you see our Mojave Sand EXT! This EXT build is currently in progress, so check back next week for part one!