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Monthly Archives: June 2016

  • Vehicle of the Week - 2016 Rhino JKU

    custom-jeep-wrangler-rubicon-rhino-jw-speaker-8700-j-headlightsThis week we're taking a look at one of our lot builds, this time in the Rhino color! Rhino is a new factory color for the 2016 model Jeep Wrangler JK and JK Unlimited, and if Mojave Sand is to be any indicator, Rhino may feature a limited run. We've heard that dealers have stopped taking orders for Mojave Sand, and we suspect that Rhino may be headed that way as well. The Rhino color is unique in that it appears to shift colors more than other factory Jeep finishes. Depending on the lighting, Rhino can appear to be nearly black, anvil, or a dark gray. In reality, Rhino is more of a blue-gray color, and goes very well with black accents and accessories, such as AEV bumpers, wheels, and the like.custom-jeep-wrangler-rubicon-rhino-aev-premium-front-bumpercustom-jeep-wrangler-rubicon-rhino-amp-research-power-stepsFor this Jeep Wrangler JK Unlimited Rubicon, we chose the 4.5" AEV lift kit and 37x13.50x17 Toyo Open Country RT Tires. The 37's are mounted to 17" AEV Salta Wheels. This gives the Jeep JKU a nice stance and proportional tire size for the lift height. Along with the wheels, tires and lift kit, this Jeep also recieved lighting upgrades in the form of JW Speaker Evolution J Headlights, JW Speaker Fog Lights, Recon turn signals, and JW Speaker 279 J Series Tailights. A pair of ARB 21 Intensity LED lights are mounted to the AEV Premium front bumper. Housed within the bumper is a Warn 8s Synthetic Winch for recovery, if need be. An AFE Y-Pipe and Banks Ram-Air Intake System allow this Jeep to make the most of it's 3.6L engine, and the AEV Premium Rear bumper carries the 37" spare with ease.custom-jeep-wrangler-rubicon-rhino-aev-rear-tire-carrierAs this Rhino JKU is a Rubicon, it does feature the front and rear heavy-duty Dana-44 axles, 4:1 Rock Track transfer case, factory lockers, and electronic sway bar disconnects. The Rubicon entered production in 2003 for the Jeep Wrangler TJ, and is geared towards the off-road crowd. The Rubicon was the first true "turn-key" off-road vehicle offered from the factory, and continues to be offered through the Jeep JK platform today. The Rubicon is great for those looking for an off-road ready and trail capable Jeep straight from the factory, and with the AEV lift kit, 37's, Warn Winch and bumpers, is a formidable machine off road or about town.custom-jeep-wrangler-jk-rubicon-rhino-alea-platini-nappa-leathercustom-jeep-wrangler-jk-rubicon-rhino-alea-leather-headrest-nappaWe didn't just upgrade the exterior however; with modern day Jeeps, especially the Jeep Wrangler JK, luxury seating and interior accents are becoming more popular. For this Jeep, we chose Alea Custom Platini Nappa Leather in a two tone black and dark red color. The HVAC bezels, door trim panels and navigation trim pieces were also color matched in the red. The navigation system is an Alpine Restyle Kit featuring a 9" anti-glare touch screen.custom-jeep-wrangler-rubicon-rhino-painted-interior-trim-alpine-restyle-x009-wracustom-jeep-wrangler-rubicon-rhino-painted-interior-trim-ventcustom-jeep-wrangler-rubicon-rhino-painted-interior-door-trimOther features on this Jeep are a 5-speed automatic transmission, remote start, an engine block heater, heated front seats, the power convenience group, A/C with Automatic Temperature Control, and the Trailer Tow Group. Also included is the factory Bluetooth® package and supplemental front seat-mounted airbags.custom-jeep-wrangler-rubicon-rhino-4-5-inch-aev-and-37sAs you can see, the Rhino color changes quite a bit depending on the lighting, making this a truly unique color, especially for a lifted JKU. This Jeep is for sale for $69,995.00, but if you want to add a few more accessories, or even replace the stock V6 with a V8, we can do that too, just give us a call at 828-406-3031!

  • Jeep CJ/Wrangler Differences Over Time

    For the new Jeep owner or the car enthusiast who is just getting into the Jeep and 4x4 scene, there's a few important things to note. Stuff like the Jeep wave, how to tell certain Jeep models apart from one another, the pros and cons of each model, what Jeep you should buy, and more. With a Jeep, you've got a 4x4 convertible that's at home at the beach, around town or on the trail, and can be used as anything from a DD (Daily Driver) to a dedicated off-road 'rig. The CJ and Wrangler changed little over the years until the late 2000's, when the Wrangler JK and JK Unlimited were introduced. The first production Wrangler to feature four-doors, the JK market now expanded into the family-friendly segment, crossing into mini-van and SUV territory. As a result, the sales of this Wrangler hit a new high, making it the most popular Jeep model to date. From soccer moms to offroad enthusiasts, the JK has widened the Wrangler market further than it's predecessors, but in doing so has ditched what some see as the “classic” or “heritage” body styles of the CJ/YJ/TJ platform. What changed exactly, and how? Moreover, if you're out and about or on the trail, how do you tell the differences between these Jeep models? Scroll down for a brief overview of the Jeep, from the CJ-5 to the present day Wrangler!jeep-wrangler-jk-unlimited-lineupFirst thing's first, what kind of Jeep do you have, and what's this with the “Jeep Wave”? For this article, we'll cover the CJ-5 to the present day Wrangler, in chronological order. First, the Jeep Wave. The Jeep wave is a greeting that is exchanged between Jeeps while on the road or trail. While many Jeeps will wave to one another regardless of the year or model, this wave is more common among the CJ and Wrangler Jeeps than a Compass or Patriot. Technically the newer Jeep is supposed to initiate the wave, and if you really want to get involved there's a point system to account for mud, modifications, etc. We won't get into the numbers, but the hierarchy is as follows: Pre-CJ (Such as a Willys MB), Pre-AMC CJ, CJ's, the Jeep Commando, YJ, TJ, Cherokee, and All other Jeeps (JK, Liberty, Commander). However, the most important thing is - remember to wave!1979-cj7-inline-6-amc-front1979-cj7-inline-6-amc-side-interiorWe'll start with the CJ-5/7/8 Jeeps. The CJ-5 began production in 1954, featuring the shortest wheelbase out of the CJ-5/7/8 models, and was influenced by the M38 and M38A1 Jeeps used by the US Military during the Korean War. The CJ-7 was a longer wheelbase (~10” longer) version of the CJ-5, shown above, first appearing in 1976. The '5 was produced until 1983, and the '7 until 1986, when it was replaced by the Jeep Wrangler YJ. The classic CJ featured leaf springs, a flat metal dash, and was about the size of the YJ and TJ that replaced it. The version you see here is a restored 1979 Jeep CJ-7, and features the early style full doors, hardtop, and factory tire carrier. The turn signals are mounted underneath the headlights, and the fenders and hood are rounded while the grille retains an upright position.1979-cj7-inline-6-amc-three-quarterjeep-scrambler-front-driver-quarter-shotscrambler-half-cab-configuationjeep-scrambler-interior-cj-8-automatic-half-cabThe above Jeep is a CJ-8 Scrambler, factory original; this version has the longest wheelbase of the CJ series, and is considered by many to be an ancestor of the JK Unlimited. Here you'll see the later model doors with paddle handles as well as the Scrambler half-cab and cab-closeout, turning the CJ-8 into a Jeep pickup! The Scrambler was offered in the pickup configuration you see here, but could also be had with a full hardtop or traditional soft-top. This Scrambler has an Inline-6 and optional 3-speed automatic transmission (manual transmissions were first offered for the CJ-7 in the mid-1970s, but did not truly become widespread until the Jeep JK came out in 2007). The CJ-8 may be seen with or without the “Scrambler” decals, but the long wheelbase is a dead giveaway. The Scrambler was produced from 1981-1986. The CJ-5, CJ-7, and CJ-8 could be ordered with a variety of 4, 6, or 8 cylinder engines, depending on the year and trim package.cj-7-jeep-sport-bar-bikini-topcj-7-and-yj-wrangler-side-by-sideIn both the CJ-7 and CJ-8 that we see above, in addition to the early model YJ (shown directly above, more on the YJ below), the roll-bar is what's commonly known as the “sport bar” setup; the “family-bar” did not make an appearance until the early 1990's on the Wrangler YJ, when shoulder belts were added for the rear seat. This family-bar has continued in roughly the same shape and form through the late-model YJ, TJ, and two-door Jeep Wrangler JK, and is a tell for 1991 and older (sport bar), and 1992 and newer (family bar) Jeeps.1991-jeep-wrangler-yj-renegade-front1991-jeep-wrangler-yj-renegade-driver-side-angleThe Jeep Wrangler YJ (above) replaced the classic CJ line for the 1987 model year and featured several changes, but kept the overall size and shape of the previous models. The Jeep Wrangler YJ was equipped with both the AMC 2.5L Inline-4 and Inline-6 engines (The 4.2L was replaced by the 4.0L in 1990, when the Jeep switched over to electronic fuel injection), and could be equipped with an optional automatic transmission. The 4-cylinder models did not receive an automatic option until 1994. AMC (American Motors Corporation) was bought out by Chrysler in 1987, right after the new Wrangler hit the dealer lots. However, it would be almost 20 years before a Chrysler engine or design influenced the Wrangler, possibly due to the large amount of AMC employees absorbed during the Chrysler buyout in the late 1980s.1991-jeep-wrangler-yj-renegade-rearThe Jeep Wrangler YJ seen here is a 1991 Renegade. The Renegade was a package offered from 1991 to 1994 and featured the large fiberglass fenders and bumpers seen above. Standard YJ's can be easily distinguished by the square headlights and turn signals on the front grille; it is the only Wrangler to feature square lights instead of the classic round headlights. The Jeep Wrangler YJ features a more refined dashboard than the CJ, along with wider leaf springs and things like track-bars and sway-bars to help with on-road handling, an answer to the bad press Jeep received during the 1980s in regards to vehicle rollovers.1991-jeep-wrangler-yj-renegade-interiorThe YJ continued into 1995 and was replaced by the Jeep Wrangler TJ in 1997 (there are no 1996 model Jeep Wranglers). The TJ can be easily identified by the round headlights and fender mounted turn signals. The TJ is the only Wrangler to feature fender mounted turn signals. The fenders and hood return to the curvature resembling a CJ-7, as opposed to the squared off fenders and hood of the YJ, and the grille remains in an upright position. A big change for the TJ was the replacement of the leaf spring suspension by a modern coil spring setup, giving the TJ a better ride quality than previous open-top Jeeps. Designed during the early 1990s, the Jeep Wrangler TJ also retained the same basic shape and dimensions of the CJ-7 and YJ that came before, and most models until 2002 featured roughly the same drivetrain as the YJ, dating back as far as 1987 for the 4-cylinder and 1991 for the Inline-6!1998-jeep-wrangler-tj-green-sahara-tsl-super-swamper-front1998-jeep-wrangler-tj-green-sahara-tsl-super-swamperThe Jeep Wrangler TJ pictured above is a 1999 Jeep Wrangler Sahara, which was top-of-the-line before the Rubicon appeared in 2003. There are several carryovers from the YJ and CJ, but a few new features on these Jeeps as well. For example, the windshield hinges are still exposed on the TJ, allowing easy access to drop the windshield, a novelty still popular today. Also, removing the doors is a snap, as Jeep had yet to offer factory power windows or power locks. In addition to the new suspension setup mentioned above, the TJ received a more refined interior, with an instrument cluster centered over the steering wheel and the HVAC controls/radio placed above the shifter. Also note the airbags in the steering wheel and above the glove compartment, a first for the Wrangler in 1997. The AMC door handles, both interior and exterior, were also retained from the CJ/YJ until 2006, when this model was discontinued (2004 model shown below).2002-jeep-wrangler-blue-red-tow-hooks-full-doors-dash In the next image down, you can see the front clip changes from 1954-2006. In addition, all 1976 CJ-7 through 2006 TJ models shared roughly the same dimensions, which allow certain parts, like tops and doors, to be exchanged between Jeeps, albeit with some minor modifications. The vehicles picture below are a 1987-1995 Jeep Wrangler YJ (in 1991 Renegade trim package, left), a 1976-1986 Jeep CJ-7 (center), and a modified 1997-2006 Jeep Wrangler TJ (right). During the final years of the TJ, both the LJ and Rubicon models made an appearance. The LJ Unlimited is a long wheelbase TJ (sometimes called the TJ-L) that resembles a CJ-8 Scrambler, and the Rubicon model (available in both TJ and LJ Jeeps), features certain goodies like Dana-44 axles, a low range 4:1 transfer case, and factory lockers.jeep-yj-cj-tj-1-resize-for-webThe Jeep Wrangler JK and four-door JK Unlimited (below) appeared in 2007, replacing the Jeep TJ and LJ Unlimited. 2007 was the first time four-doors were offered in an open-top Jeep, and also marked the first time the Wrangler platform was completely redesigned by Chrysler. Changes included a 3.8L V6 engine, replacing the classic 4.0L, and a complete redesign of the frame and body. The Jeep Wrangler TJ was the last American Motors influenced design, and the last Jeep to use AMC parts or feature the traditional tub-on-frame layout. You can tell a Jeep Wrangler JK apart from older model Wranglers in that they are larger, may have four doors (a dead giveaway with the Unlimited), and generally feature a sloped and more aerodynamic layout, especially at the windshield and grille. The fenders are large plastic units mounted high to either side of the body, and the grille is in a sloped back position, rather than completely upright. Turn signals have once again been placed beneath the headlights, and if in stock form, this Jeep will feature large plastic bumpers with (optional) fog lamps mounted inside the bumper, rather than on top. The version you see here is a brand new 2016 Jeep Wrangler JK Unlimited Sport in the limited run Mojave Sand color.2016-jeep-wrangler-mojave-sand-frontFor the new model JK and JK Unlimited (2007-present), Chrysler designed a larger, more stable and family-friendly vehicle that handles better on-road, with a ride akin to that of a large SUV rather than a light-duty truck, while retaining the off-road abilities that make the Jeep a popular choice for outdoor enthusiasts and gear heads alike. The JK marks the first time that power windows and locks have been offered on a Wrangler, and also marks the addition of an on-board computer system that handles most of the vehicle functions (transmission shift points, electronic stability control, etc). This Wrangler is larger and more civilized than it's predecessors, with such optional addons as side airbags and factory navigation, but still retains the fold-down windshield (windshield hinge plate removal required, the JK does not feature exposed hinges), and removable doors (wiring harnesses may need to be disconnected if the model features power windows or locks). Major changes for the JK during production include the replacement of the underpowered 3.8L with the much improved 3.6L V6 in 2012, and the interior redesign in 2011.2016-jeep-wrangler-mojave-sand-front-driver-corner2016-jeep-wrangler-mojave-sand-rear-cornerThe Jeep Wrangler JK also received a much more refined interior than the Jeeps that preceded it, resembling that of a top-of-the-line SUV, with such add-ons and options as leather accents, leather seats, factory navigation, premium sound systems, and the like. As you can see below, the doors, dashboard, and interior are much larger and roomier than on older Wranglers and the CJ-7 shown above.Jeep-wrangler-rubicon-unlimited-anvil-for-sale-interior-frontseatsSo where do we go from here? Spy photos of the next generation Wrangler have surfaced on the web (courtesy of AutoGuide and KGP Photography), and indicate some body and styling changes for the next generation, although this redesign may not be as drastic as the change from the TJ to the JK in 2007. Changes rumored for the new model, dubbed the JL, include a modular hard-top (replacing the traditional softop), retirement of the fold-down windshield, more rake placed on the grille and windshield (ie, both have a greater slope towards the rear of the vehicle), and other changes that make this Wrangler more aerodynamic than it's predecessors. Time will tell if the new Wrangler is to enjoy the same popularity as the older models, or if some potential buyers will turn a cold shoulder due to the removal of the popular soft-top option.2018-jeep-wrangler-jl-spy-shot-passenger-side2018-jeep-wrangler-jl-spy-shot-quarter-rearSo what's your favorite model, and why? Are you looking forward to the new JL and Jeep pickup, will you be scrambling to buy one of the last new JK or JK Unlimited models off the lot, or are you just looking for that classic Wrangler or CJ for the perfect restoration project? Leave a comment and let us know, and stay tuned for more, only at RubiTrux!

  • RubiTrux Scenic Ride, Spring 2016

    rubitrux-parkway-ride-jeep-group-parking-church-after-group-picture-black-n-whiteSome of you may remember the trail ride we held a couple weeks back; we had a great time exploring the Pisgah National Forest with our friends and family and hope to see everyone out again come Fall. However, if you weren't able to make it, here's a quick glimpse of this past weekend, and be sure to check out the video, HERE!rubitrux-parkway-ride-jeep-group-lot-lineuprubitrux-parkway-ride-jeep-group-parking-meet-and-great-dealershiprubitrux-parkway-ride-lot-group-meet-n-greet-tire-stackWe started by organizing everyone at the old Toytoa Dealership in Boone, right down the street from our shop. This location provided a large lot for the meetup, and with the dealership having moved to a different location last year, we had the entire lot to ourselves. As we set up the RubiTrux tent, people started pulling in. We actually had quite a few people show up, more than anticipated. Moreover, some Jeeps had shown up in Boone the night before, making the drive from out of state! We had a quick meet-and-greet at the old dealer lot before hitting the road, leaving town and heading for the Blue Ridge Parkway.rubitrux-parkway-ride-jeep-group-built-tjrubitrux-parkway-ride-line-of-jeeps-vandal-tj-jkTaking 321 out of Boone we had a line of about 65 Jeeps, plus two pickup trucks that tagged along, as we made our way to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Everything from an early model CJ-5, YJ's, TJ's, and four-door JK-Unlimited's; stock Jeeps to rock crawling 'rigs, and even a YJ with a Chevy V-8 and 38's! About a quarter of these Jeeps had a CB radio, and spread throughout the convoy, these 'rigs helped keep everyone together through stop-sign and intersections.rubitrux-parkway-ride-overlook-parking-blue-ridgerubitrux-parkway-ride-jeep-group-wilson-creek-overlook-blue-ridge-parkwayFrom 321 we hit the Blue Ridge Parkway, going south. From there it was a scenic ride down the Blue Ridge Parway with a quick stop at the Wilson Creek Valley Overlook – even parked two wide, we couldn't fit all of the Jeeps in the parking lot! Next up was the Viaduct. The scenery was perfect, with ample cloud cover and a light breeze. The convoy of Jeeps was so long that the tail vehicles caught sight of the lead vehicle exiting the Viaduct before they'd even hit the first bridge!rubitrux-parkway-ride-viaduct-jeep-line-introrubitrux-parkway-ride-jeep-wrangler-group-drone-overhead-1rubitrux-parkway-ride-jeep-group-viaduct-introFrom the Viaduct we continued down the Parkway until we hit Roseboro Rd., where we took a left. This road will take you through present-day Mortimer – if you'd like to explore a little you can find the ruins of the original town nearby, abandoned since the 1940s! We continued on Roseboro Rd until we hit Betsey's Ole Country Store, where we would take a right onto Brown Mountain Beach Rd; but first, we pulled in and took a quick break. The owners of the store kindly allowed us to park all over the area, including around the small pond and campground out back. Betsey's Ole Country Store has been around since the original town of Mortimer, dating back to the 1920s. The store remained in the same location even after the original town was abandoned due to flooding in the '40s. There's ample room for camping and even cabin rentals as well – all in all, a great family oriented spot for both pit stops or overnight stay!rubitrux-parkway-ride-jeep-group-parking-country-storerubitrux-parkway-ride-jeep-group-parking-country-store-fieldAfter our break we continued on Brown Mountain Beach Rd until taking a left on Adako Rd. This road took us to Murphy Place, where we took a sharp left. A left on Maple Grove Church Rd led us to the largest part of our ride, about 25-30 miles of scenic dirt roads, switchbacks and sharp curves, leading us past Maple Grove Baptist Church itself and onto HWY 90!rubitrux-parkway-ride-pisgah-forest-vandalrubitrux-parkway-ride-jeep-group-trail-bike-crossing-tj-jkrubitrux-parkway-ride-jeep-group-pisgah-national-forest-tj-jk-offroadrubitrux-parkway-ride-jeep-group-pisgah-forest-black-n-whiteFrom a right on 90 we took a left on Anthony Creek Rd, stopping at Globe Baptist Church for a quick picture before taking Globe Rd to Blowing Rock. We hope you've enjoyed these pictures as much as we enjoyed the trip; stay tuned for details on the upcoming ride this Fall!rubitrux-parkway-ride-jeep-group-parking-church-after-group-picture-rearrubitrux-parkway-ride-jeep-group-overhead-shot-church-endrubitrux-parkway-ride-jeep-group-end-meeting-church-overhead-drone-shot

  • Unique Rides, Part 2

    If you enjoyed the last blog post, here's Part 2! This week, we're taking a look at a few more unique vehicles that stand apart from the usual rides you may see around town. As in the previous article, we'll be dividing these into classic (1999 and before) and modern (2000 and after). In order to qualify for this list, we're looking for unique or hard-to-find OEM trim packages, build styles that defy the common “cookie-cutter” approach, or something that takes the factory platform far beyond it's intended use.

    Classic – 1966-71 Jeepster Commando1966-71-jeepster-commando-wagon-blue-white-restoredIf you tuned in for the last update, you may have read about the red Jeepster Commando truck. The Jeepster Commando was offered as a larger alternative to the CJ-5 before the CJ-7 and Scrambler were produced. Although the CJ-6 was offered during this time period, it was never very popular stateside. The last Jeepster we looked at was shown in the pickup configuration. This vehicle was also offered in a wagon (hard top), and soft top version as well. This one came through the shop awhile back, and rolled off the factory floor as the Jeepster Commando wagon. Beautifully restored, this Jeepster sports a metallic blue paintjob, white hardtop, Jeepster badging, classic BFGoodrich All Terrain tires, fog lights, Warn locking hubs, and a roofrack. Also note the Kaiser/Jeep badge on the grille.

    Classic – 1977 Dodge D100 4x4 Pickup1977-dodge-d100-stepside-mud-tiresIf you're into old iron, this '77 is for you. From the era long before LED lighting, too many computer controlled systems and 20” wheels, this classic 4x4 truck made our unique rides list the second it rolled onto the lot. Here for some minor service work a few weeks back, this truck is in excellent shape for it's age. Sporting the factory paintjob and stepside bed, this D100 is ready for a day of work or recreation. Aftermarket modifications include a 3-4” suspension lift, period correct aftermarket wheels and double roll-bar, and 35” BFGoodrich Mud Terrain Tires. The D100 was produced from 1972-1980 and was rebadged as the Dodge Ram in 1981.

    1977-dodge-d100-pickup-stepside-mud-tires-tailgate1977-dodge-d100-pickup-stepside-mud-tiresClassic – 1978 Toyota Land Cruiser1978-toyota-land-cruiser-front-passenger-side-angleThe Toyota Land Cruiser is a descendant of the U.S. Army Jeep of World War II; built by Toyota, the original FJ prototype was produced according to US military specs. Fast Forward from 1950 to 1960, and the FJ40 was born. More refined than the BJ and J20/30 that preceded it, the FJ40 still resembled the Jeep CJ of the time and was one of it's chief competitors stateside, along with the Ford Bronco and Chevy Blazer. The FJ40 continued production until 1984, and came with many different engine and transmission options, hard tops, soft tops, troop seats, and more! This version is a 1978 model, sporting a 4.2L Inline-6 mated to a 4-speed manual transmission. With a 4.10 gear ratio in the axles, the engine turns the OEM-sized tires with ease. For the 1978 model year, the FJ featured front disk breaks, but A/C and power steering did not come until the 1979 model year. This FJ was recently restored, and currently has a new Bestop bikini top (not pictured), also worth noting are the jump seats in the rear, as well as the Warn locking hubs. This vehicle is still up for sale at our shop, so if you're interested, give us a call!1978-toyota-land-cruiser-dashboard1978-toyota-land-cruiser-rear-view-bench-troop-seat-fold-upModern – 2001 Jeep Cherokee XJ Line-X2001-custom-jeep-cherokee-xj-rack-lights-line-x-35sThe Jeep Cherokee XJ was offered first in the 1984 model year, and is considered by many to be the first true SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle). Featuring a unibody instead of the traditional body-on-frame construction with either two or four-door body styles, the XJ was offered with both the 2.5L and 4.0L AMC engines. The last model was produced in 2001, and features the most up-to-date OEM equipment, such as a distributor-less ignition system and redesigned intake manifolds, for example. This vehicle began life as a 2001 Jeep Cherokee Sport, with the 4.0L Inline-6 and 4-speed automatic transmission.2001-custom-jeep-cherokee-xj-rack-lights-offroad-richland-ncFor this build, the exterior was given a complete Line-X treatment, to give the body a bit more durability offroad. Lighting was upgraded to LED's, including Truck-Lite headlights and 185 watt CREE 9” lights (4 on the roof-rack, 2 on the ARB front bumper). A custom Rubicon Express/Rock Krawler 6.5” Long-Arm allows this Jeep to fit the 35” Toyo Open Country M/T's on 17” Hutchinson Rock Monster Beadlock Wheels. 4.88 gears help the 4.6L Golen Stroker turn the 35's, and ARB air lockers, front and rear, can get this XJ into and out of the woods with no trouble! A Warn Zeon 8s Synthetic Winch and a pair of D-rings aid in recovery, while an ARB front bumper and Hanson rear bumper/tire carrier and rock rails protect the front, rear and sides of the vehicle.custom-jeep-cherokee-grandfather - Copy A full JL Audio sound system, Tview Video System, and a pair of Dayton Audio 15” sub-woofers round out the entertainment package, while an ACC Mass Backed Carpet Set and Second Skin Sound Deadening kit keep road noise to a minimum. This is probably the most advanced Cherokee out there, and is certainly a one-of-a-kind head turner!

    Modern - 2003 Jeep Wrangler TJ RubiTrux2003-jeep-wrangler-rubicon-rubitrux-conversionWe chose the modern section for this TJ because it's the first ever RubiTrux conversion! Using a 2003-2006 Jeep Wrangler TJ Rubicon, we completed our first truck conversion years ago; this one is shown using the GR8TOPS half-cab, a 4-5” suspension lift, chrome bullet hole wheels, 35” BFGoodrich M/T tires, an ARB front bumper, and Bushwacker flares. As this is a TJ Rubicon, it features factory lockers inside the front and rear Dana-44 axles, along with the 4:1 transfer case and a few other accessories. The Rubicon coupled the already legendary capabilities of the Jeep CJ/YJ/TJ platform with further modifications straight from the factory, and the lockers and low range transfer case let this Jeep go further than ever before, right out of the box!

    Modern – 2005 Jeep Liberty Renegade 4x42005-custom-jeep-liberty-renegade-lifted-front-passWhen most people think of the Jeep Liberty, soccer moms, young teenage drivers or a fuel efficient commuter car come to mind. With IFS (Independent Front Suspension) the Liberty is more difficult to add, and arguably not designed for, an aftermarket lift kit, especially when compared to the Wrangler. As such, a Liberty is rarely seen with tires larger than a 31” or 32”. Due to this, the Liberty is rarely seen on any moderate or hard trails. It takes a true fan to upgrade something like the Jeep Liberty and build it into anything resembling a half-decent trail 'rig. We had this Liberty Renegade come through the shop as a consignment vehicle last year, and for a change it was built for the trail!2005-custom-jeep-liberty-renegade-lifted-rear-passThis Jeep has since sold, but the previous owner had about 40k invested. The entire front and rear suspension were reworked, allowing this KJ to fit 35” M/T tires! Total lift is about 5”, accomplished with a Jeepin' by Al K Member Cradle Drop, new front steel upper A Arms, and a Tri-Angulated 4 Link at the rear axle. The axles have been regeared to 4.88 and fitted with ARB air lockers. Skid plates, bumpers, and rock rails protect the Liberty from trail damage; built by 4xGuard (skid plates), Rock Lizard (rear bumper), and Monitor (front bumper), this Liberty is ready for anything!custom-jeep-liberty-lifted-front-head-onAftermarket lighting by PIAA and Rigid Industries, along with MOPAR brake upgrades and towing package, JBA steel brake lines, and an Alpine sound system round out the accessories. This Liberty quickly went to a new home, and made our list of unique vehicles to come through the shop without a second thought!

    Modern - 2005 Jeep Wrangler LJ RubiTrux Conversion2005-jeep-wrangler-lj-rubitrux-conversion-35sMost of our RubiTrux conversions have around a 32-33” tire, a minor suspension lift, and retain mostly a stock configuration with paint and drivetrain components. This RubiTrux however, takes the cake. This conversion not only features 35” tires and a matte black paint job, but also a Golen 4.6L Stroker! This Jeep came to us for a custom build, starting with a low-mileage 2005 Jeep Wrangler LJ. This RubiTrux received a 4” suspension lift, 35” tires, Fuel wheels, an ARB front bumper, Warn winch, IPF fog lights, N-Fab side bar/steps, and Bushwacker fender flares. A matte black paintjob and the AEV half-cab top, plus our cab closeout, Line-X bed treatment, and a Poison Spyder fold down tailgate completed the 'trux build. The Golen 4.6L Stroker added the perfect amount of power for this 'rig, turning a stock LJ into a more than capable pickup truck, perfect for cruising around town, offroad, or doing chores on the farm!2005-jeep-wrangler-lj-rubitrux-conversion-35s-side-viewClassic – 2006 Jeep Wrangler TJ Golden Eagle Edition2006-jeep-tj-golden-eagleOk, so we're going to break a rule here and name this late-model TJ a classic. The Golden Eagle package became famous on the Jeep CJ line in the late 1970s and early 1980s. As such for the 2006 model only, the last year of the Jeep TJ and the AMC-era parts and design, the Wrangler sported the Golden Eagle trim package. The Golden Eagle package featured the 4.0L Inline-6, a special wheel and tire group (not shown on this model), a Dana-44 rear axle, and special hood, fenders, and spare tire decals, resembling those of the old CJ. This Jeep TJ Golden Eagle is a low-mileage, pristine example that, minus the different wheels and tire group, could have just rolled off the factory floor in 2006. As this trim package is getting harder and harder to come by, much like the Willys and Apex editions, we chose it for our list of unique vehicles!2006-jeep-tj-golden-eagle-side-rear-quarter-viewModern – 2014 Jeep Wrangler JKU on 42's

    Much like any four-door family sized SUV or minivan, the JKU is everywhere. Chances are if you see a current model Jeep Wrangler on the road, it'll have four doors, stock tires, and an automatic transmission. Hard tops have become an increasingly popular option with the current consumer market as well. As much as some traditionalists hate it, the JKU is selling like hotcakes, ensuring that the four-door Wrangler will remain in the Jeep lineup for years to come. This Jeep JKU by contrast, is about as far removed from stock as they come, and even features a manual transmission!2014-custom-jeep-wrangler-mango-tango-smittybilt-stinger-273029This JKU features it all, from the unique Mango-Tango paintjob, fastback soft-top and TeraFlex High Pinion 60 Axles, it's ready to hit the toughest trails around. The lift kit is a BDS 6.5” long arm with a set of 1.5” spacers, making it just about the tallest Jeep JKU we've seen, outside of Moab or Jeep Beach! This suspension lift and the 5.13 gears housed inside the '60 axles give the 3.6L more than enough power to turn the huge 42x14.50x17 Goodyear Wrangler MTR Kevlar tires, especially with the factory 6-speed manual transmission! An ARB air compressor and air lockers help this beast navigate the tougher obstacles on the trail, while an AEV snorkel helps with any river crossings. A Rock Hard 4x4 cage helps protect the occupants, and PSC Hydro Steering, LED lighting, and a 10k winch round out most of the upgrades. To see a complete list, click here! This Jeep is still on consignment at our shop, so if you're interested in a Jeep JKU on 42's that was built right, give us a call!2014-custom-jeep-wrangler-mango-tango-42-inch-tall-tires-42s-273029Modern - 2014 Toyota Tacoma 4x4 Crew Cab

    Much like the modern Jeep Wranglers, the majority of Toyota Tacoma pickups are used for more mainstream purposes than the old 1980s vehicles, and most are not equipped with bumpers, snorkles, or lift kits. However, a select few do stand out from the crowd, and this truck is one of 'em!2014-toyota-tacoma-lifted-steelies-rack-bumpers-4x4This Tacoma features a small lift/leveling kit and some 32” tires on steel wheels, giving it a simple, old-school look. ARB bumpers, a custom bed-cage, and snorkel were also added to this truck, in addition to a Warn winch and a pair of driving lights. This unique Toyota is ready for work or play with these accessories, and certainly stands out from the typical pickup builds we see here in Boone!2014-toyota-tacoma-lifted-steelies-rack-bumpers-4x4-new-rear-bumperThis concludes our Unique Rides post, but stay tuned 'cause we've got more content on the way! If you weren't able to attend our RubiTrux trail ride last week, check back in a few days; we'll summarize the route and post plenty of pictures!

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