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Monthly Archives: August 2016

  • 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-maximus-3-ampd

    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!

  • Vehicle of the Week - 6.4L JKU

    custom-jeep-wrangler-rubicon-hemi-black-aev-3-5-and-35sThis week we’re taking a look at this pre-owned 2016 Jeep Wrangler JK Unlimited Rubicon HEMI. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for those of you looking to buy a HEMI equipped Jeep Wrangler JKU, but may be on a slight budget. This Jeep was recently converted right here at our shop in Boone, North Carolina, so you know everything from the mechanical work to the small details are done right! The prior owner had us build the Jeep to spec, complete with the 6.4L HEMI, Alpine dashboard restyle kit, and Alea F-1 leather interior, but then decided he wanted a sports car, just a few weeks into owning this beautiful Jeep! So now this 6.4L JKU is back on our lot waiting for the next owner!custom-jeep-wrangler-rubicon-hemi-black-aev-premium-front-bumper_1The price reflects the pre-owned status of the vehicle, but with less than 1,000 miles, this Jeep hasn’t even been broken in yet. This 6.4L JKU is ready for your choice of wheels, tires, bumpers, or lighting upgrades; or if you’re into the current all-in-one package, buy it the way it sits! This Jeep is certainly a head turner, and with the 6.4L HEMI, is a beast off-road or around town. The 6.4L HEMI puts out about 470-500 horsepower and up to 500 lb/ft torque!custom-jeep-wrangler-6-4-liter-hemi-conversionAs you can see, this 6.4L JKU Jeep comes already equipped, as it was built to spec for the previous owner. Current equipment for the exterior includes both front and rear AEV premium bumpers and the AEV tire carrier, along with a set of N-Fab Nerf Steps. Housed inside the front bumper is a Warn Zeon 8s Synthetic Rope Winch, if recovery ever becomes an issue. Lighting is provided by ARB Intensity lights (front bumper auxiliaries), JW Speaker Smoked LED Headlights and Fog Lamps, Rigid Industries 4 bulb rear mounted flood lamps, and Recon Smoked LED Taillights, turn signals, and fender lenses.custom-jeep-wrangler-rubicon-hemi-black-arb-intensity-led_1The suspension on this Jeep is an AEV 3.5” DualSport SC Suspension, providing this Jeep with a great balance between on-road handling and off-road ability. Wheels are Fuel Hostage 18x9 wrapped in 35x12.50x18 Toyo Open Country M/T Tires, giving this 6.4L JKU a touch of street style with off-road capability. Moving to the interior, we not only notice the Alea Leather F-1 upgrade, but also the Alpine Restyle Kit, giving the interior a more refined and comfortable feel. Ride in comfort with the Alea leather, and use the larger touch screen of the Alpine unit for navigation, music, monitoring vehicles codes, tire pressure, and more!custom-jeep-wrangler-alea-leather-headrestAs this is the Rubicon model, this Jeep also comes with the Heavy Duty Dana-44 axles, the 4.10 gear ratio, electronic lockers, electronic disconnect front sway bar, and the 4:1 Rock-Track Transfer Case. Also included are the body colored fender flares, A/C, an engine block heater, 5-speed automatic transmission, and more! To see the full vehicle page, click here; more pictures are coming soon. This vehicle is currently for sale at $89,999.00; call Reggie Perry direct if you’re interested in buying this HEMI JKU, today at (828)406-3031!custom-jeep-wrangler-alea-leather-f-1-gray-black

  • 4.6L Brute - Part 4

    The 4.6L Brute is back in the garage bay and we’ve made some progress towards the final product, with additions such as a toolbox and the bed ‘cage! This Brute is getting ready to leave the shop soon, and it’s sure to be a beast! With the Turbocharged 4.0L Inline-6 pushing around 400 horsepower, this Brute is going to be ripping up the desert sand, especially with the 37’s and 4.88 gears! First up, the bed:jeep-wrangler-brute-4.7-build-turbo-37-bed-cage-custom-off-roadAs you know, the American Expedition Vehicles Brute kit takes a standard 1997-2006 Jeep Wrangler TJ or LJ and converts it into a unique Jeep pickup truck! Anyone familiar with the 1976-2006 small body Jeep CJ/Wrangler platform knows how scarce interior space is. The Brute kit removes the back seat and provides a roomy cargo bed perfect for tents, bicycles, sleeping bags and more! Similar to the Utes found in Australia, the Brute merges the capabilities of two vehicles into one, for the best of both worlds! The Brute takes the 4x4 capabilities of the Jeep Wrangler and pairs it with the load carrying capacity of the pickup truck; the result, a stout off-road vehicle that’ll haul your camping gear and more for the perfect overland expedition!jeep-wrangler-brute-4.7-build-turbo-37-bed-cage-custom-off-road-air-toolboxAs you may be out for days at a time, a vehicle of this nature has to have a few recovery or repair systems (above). The locking UWS toolbox is perfect for storing your tools, while the PowerTank 10lbs air tank is great for airing up tires or using air tools in a pinch! If you need more air, there’s always the ARB Air Compressor that activates the lockers! Get stuck? While not likely in this ‘rig, there’s a Warn winch in both the front and rear of the Jeep, perfect for pulling another off-road vehicle to safety. The recently finished bed ‘cage tops off the Brute cargo bed, providing a nice place to strap cargo or place a rooftop tent!jeep-wrangler-brute-stroker-turbo-build-closeup.jpgjeep-wrangler-brute-4.7-build-turbo-inline-6-amc-strokerUnder the hood, we’ve got a built 4.6L Stroker with the Banks turbo kit, shown in the above images. The Banks kit improves low and mid-range torque, great for off-road use and even everyday driving! Around 60 hp and 80 lb-ft pounds of torque are added to the stock I-6 configuration, and about 3 seconds are shaved off the 0-60 MPH acceleration times, according to Banks. We hope to have this Jeep Dyno’d, so stay tuned for the numbers! With the built 4.6L and Turbo kit, there’s quite a few of us at the shop who think the AMC Inline-6 Brute will give the blue MOPAR V-8 Brute a run for its money!jeep-wrangler-brute-4.7-build-turbo-inline-6-amc-stroker-front-grille-arb-bullbarTaking a look at the front, we see the Warn winch, ARB intensity lights, the ARB front bumper, and tinted turn signal lenses, giving this Brute both functionality and a modern touch of style. The ARB bumper will protect the winch, grille and engine/turbo cooling systems from harm on the trail, while also providing a few additional recovery points in the form of two D-ring mounts.2005-jeep-wrangler-tj-black-inline-6-brute-conversion-front-passenger-sideThis Brute has come a long way from the mostly stock TJ that we had a few months ago; stay tuned for the finishing touches of this build. We’re looking forward to seeing this build side-by-side with our Blue V-8 HEMI Brute conversion! Let us know what you think, how you would build yours, and which one is your favorite!

  • 2016 Hypergreen JKUR - Part 2

    custom-jeep-wrangler-rubicon-hypergreen-metalcloak-overland-fender-flaresThis week we’re taking a look at Part 2 of our Hypergreen build! You may have seen this JKU if you’ve been by the shop or visited our website over the past several weeks; with this unique color, it’s hard to miss! First up, the suspension. As mentioned before, we kept the usual AEV suspension for this build, but for good reason! AEV provides great performance both on and off-road, and for most of our customers, the balanced on and off-road package is great for weekends on the trail or a daily driver around town.custom-jeep-wrangler-rubicon-hypergreen-rigid-industries-midnight-edition-led-lightsFor lighting we chose a 50" Rigid Industries Midnight Edition LED light bar, coupled with a pair of Rigid Midnight Dually Pods. These blacked out LED lights go well with all of the dark colors on this build, such as the wheels, tires and bumpers, and accent the Hypergreen very well! For headlights, we chose JW Speaker Evolution 2 Series LED Headlights and paired them up with a complete set of Recon Smoked LED Taillights and Turn Signals.custom-jeep-wrangler-rubicon-hypergreen-rockslide-engineering-stubby-front-bumperAs far as offroad armor goes, a Rock-Slide Engineering Stubby front bumper was chosen for improved approach angles. This bumper protects the front of the JKU and the Warn Zeon 8s winch mounted inside. In addition, there are two D-ring mounts if the new owner needs more recovery options, directly on the front of the bumper! There is also an RSE rear bumper and tire carrier, perfect for guarding the rear of the Jeep and toting around the large 37” spare!custom-jeep-wrangler-rubicon-hypergreen-rockslide-engineering-rear-bumper-tire-carrierTo go along with the stubby bumper, we chose to outfit this Jeep with Metalcloak Overland Fenders. This will give the Hypergreen JKU more room to run the 37" tires with the 3.5" AEV Lift Kit, making for a great LCOG (Low Center of Gravity) Jeep! This makes the Jeep not only more stable off-road, but also on-road as well, while sacrificing little in the way of ground clearance. Although this JKU features a LCOG build package, it is still significantly higher off the ground than a stock ‘rig. To help with entering and exiting the Jeep, and to protect the body, we chose the RSE Rock Step Sliders, which go well with the RSE bumpers and tire carrier. These sliders are handy in that a step folds out when the door opens, and tucks back inside the rock slider when the door closes, perfect for kids or owners more used to a low car or CUV than a Jeep.custom-jeep-wrangler-rubicon-hypergreen-recon-smoked-led-tail-lightscustom-jeep-wrangler-rubicon-hypergreen-rock-slide-engineering-power-stepsA lifted Jeep wouldn’t be complete without a nice set of wheels and tires, and on this build, we didn’t want to slap on just any standard or popular wheel that you’d see in a mall parking lot or off-road meet. The wheels and tires we chose for this build differ from most of our standard JKU's in that we used BFGoodrich KM2’s and MOPAR Beadlocks. Although we love the Toyo Open Country M/T, the BFGoodrich tires that are featured on this build go well with the off-road look, and will certainly add to the offroad prowess of this LCOG Jeep. In addition, these rugged tires go great with the paint-matched MOPAR beadlocks. These wheels are getting hard to come by, and with the OEM paint color, really make this ‘rig stand out from the crowd!custom-jeep-wrangler-rubicon-hypergreen-mopar-beadlock-wheels-color-matchcustom-jeep-wrangler-rubicon-hypergreen-alpine-x009-wra-restyle-headunitcustom-jeep-wrangler-rubicon-hypergreen-alea-factory-style-leather-interiorThe OEM dash, door panels and accents remain mostly the same, but if you’d like, we could accent this in Hypergreen too! We did however add an Alea Factory Style Leather upgrade for the seats, and an Alpine X009-WRA Restyle Headunit, which not only gives this Jeep a larger touch-screen for navigation, but also can show useful things like tire pressure and engine codes! This Jeep is up on our site for $72,500.00, to see the full listing, click here!custom-jeep-wrangler-rubicon-hypergreen-aev-3-5-inch-dualpsport-sc-suspensionHow well do you like this Hypergreen JKUR, and would you do anything different if it was yours? Let us know, and don't forget to check back next week for further updates of what we've got going on around the shop!

     

  • 2016 Jeep Wrangler JKL

    jeep-wrangler-jk-jkl-long-wheel-base-stretchIf you’ve been keeping an eye out over on Wranglerforum, we’ve been posting a few updates about our custom 2-door JK conversion, dubbed the “JKL”. This Jeep was a special request by one of our customers and is built entirely to his specifications. As anyone remotely involved in the Jeep world knows, when the Jeep Wrangler was completely redesigned for 2007, the newer large-body JK’s featured a four door model in place of the older Scrambler or Unlimited LJ models. This was the first time four doors were offered on the Jeep Wrangler, and while the two door model is still produced alongside the four door, there is no long-wheelbase (LWB) version of the two door, such as seen during the TJ/LJ production run.jeep-cj-8-scrambler-jeep-beach-20152006-blue-lj-5-7-hemi-sideWhile the four door version sells like hotcakes, and FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) is certainly raking in the profits due to the huge popularity of the four door JK Unlimited, some buyers are still interested in the classic two door configuration; for some 4x4ers out there, four doors just don’t belong on a Jeep. So what do you get when someone prefers the two door model, but needs extra cargo space? Our Wrangler JKL conversion, of course! Back in the mid-2000’s, if you wanted a Wrangler, but found the TJ too short, it was simple; just go to the dealership and order a TJ-L (more widely known as the LJ). You got the same vehicle, but with more leg room and cargo space! That all changed however, in 2007. The Wrangler Unlimited now had four doors, and arguably looked a bit odd with the top and doors off, especially to those used to seeing a CJ-8 or LJ. The new back seat also created a bit of a problem when folded down or removed; more complex than the simple metal cargo bed and rear bench seats of the TJ/LJ, the rear floor of the JKU was uneven due to the large recess for the folding seats. Even with the seats folded down, which afforded a relatively even cargo surface, heavy or rough cargo could damage the rear upholstery or headrests. So how do you take the most civilized Wrangler to date and uncivilized it? Just give us a call!soft-top-jk8This build started with a simple request. The new owner wanted a two door Jeep, but with more cargo room and a longer wheelbase. He also wanted a simple and durable cargo bed with the ability to carry a variety of loads. This Jeep was destined to be a beach ‘rig, and as such, the owner also wanted a durable and waterproof floor, something that wouldn’t rust or mildew. As this is 2016 and there is no brand new LWB 2-door Wrangler, we chose a JK Unlimited and started stripping parts from there!jk8-door-panel13501553_894162844063806_3242849747289161892_n13445288_894162840730473_5257601138185560222_nAs you can see with this Wrangler JKL, the back seat and all carpet was removed from the Jeep. The rear doors were also removed and the body was plated over, followed by a custom cargo bed. The cargo bed features drain holes so that water does not collect at the corners. This gives the Jeep a large, even deck for storage, much better and more durable than the factory sheetmetal. LED Lights by Rigid Industries were also added to the rollbar and directly under the J-rails, great for lighting up the new cargo bed with the top on or during low light conditions.13516293_894162847397139_8049129946472433026_nj8-bedlinerrigid-industries-jk-cargo-lightSpeaking of the top; the OEM soft top is shown on the finished build below. As this Jeep is bound for the beach, the owner will have a custom soft-top made at one of the many boating/canvas suppliers in his area, and we’re looking forward to seeing the finished product! For now, the OEM top keeps the water off the dash, radio and instrument cluster. Now onto the completed build. As you can see, along with the Wrangler JKL conversion, we also installed a lift kit, tires, and more, to make this beach cruiser offroad ready!jeep-wrangler-jk-jkl-long-wheel-basejeep-wrangler-jk-mopar-beadlock-wheelsFor this build, the owner chose an AEV 3.5” lift kit and 35” BFGoodrich KM2 M/T tires mounted on MOPAR beadlocks, giving this JKL a truly unique look. With the lift kit, tires, and Line-X’d interior, this Jeep is ready to cruise the beach or take on some tough trails! Did we also mention it’s a 6-speed stick-shift? With many Jeep Wrangler JK’s featuring an automatic transmission, a stick shift is a sight for sore eyes, and gives this Jeep Wrangler JKL an additional touch of ruggedness that many modern vehicles lack.  Once the custom soft top is completed, this JKL is sure to get second and third looks and plenty of attention around town or on the trail, as it’s one unique ride! Like this build, or have any ideas on how to build your own Jeep Wrangler JKL? Be sure to let us know!jeep-wrangler-jk-jkl-long-wheel-base-2-door

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