Some people have a special knack for building tough trail rigs. Engineer and entrepreneur Eric Koote, owner of Skid Row Automotive, built this '03 Jeep Rubicon to showcase his tough and dependable Jeep body armor and skidplates. Obviously, along the way, he needed to throw in a functional suspension and all kinds of other cool trail gizmos.
The Jeep Rubicon is perhaps one of the most trail-capable production vehicles to roll off a production line, with its low-ratio T-case, Dana 44s front and rear, and air lockers. Its only downfall is the lack of ground clearance. With a few modifications, though, the vehicle becomes a quite capable trail machine. Eric corrected this problem with Fabtech's 6-inch lift suspension system. The Fabtech kit allowed him to mount 37-inch tires under the Rubicon, giving the Jeep the additional ground clearance to overcome trail hazards.
Built for Thrashing
Although this Rubicon may look a little too shiny and clean, it was undoubtedly created to take some punishment. We suspect that somewhere down the road, this rig will see some trail action and abuse. We shot this Jeep right after it received its finishing touches, hence the show-like finish and lack of trail-character marks. Skid Row Automotive manufactures tough skidplates to protect just about every component of a Jeep that potentially sits in harm's way. Mounted to Eric's Ruby is the company's exclusive steering-box skidplate, bolt-on lower-control-arm skidplates, radiator guard, engine and transmission skidplate for long-arm suspensions, gas-tank skidplates, and Mountainscape rocker guards, in addition to front and rear modular Nightcrawler bumpers and flat transfer-case skidplate.
With such a mouthful of protective plating, the Rubicon is able to endure a serious beating. If you'd like to see more of Skid Row's products, check out the company's Web site at www.skidplates.com.