Jeremy Purick, owner of Rock Krawler Suspension, Inc., not only had a pending build plan in mind for his latest 4x4 project, he also had a pending purpose; the vehicle was to be used as a potential contender in the 2011 King of the Hammers event in Johnson Valley, California. A 2007 Jeep Wrangler JK was selected as the "victim" for the build and sacrificed most of its factory parts for bigger and better components. As the torch came out to remove excess factory sheet metal from the two-door JK, the "victim" moniker became official.
Of the factory drivetrain only the 3.8L V-6 and the auto trans were retained. The V-6 received a RIPP GEN II Supercharger and the trans got a Rock Krawler heavy-duty deep sump pan. An Atlas 4SP transfer case sits aft of the transmission. Currie Rock Jock 60 axles were situated at the front and rear and equipped with 5.13 gears and 35-spline axle shafts. The front Rock Jock 60 uses RCV Performance 35-spline CV axles shafts and an Eaton E-Locker. The rear Rock Jock 60 uses a Detroit Locker.
The Currie Rock Jocks were placed under the JK using custom, stretched versions of Rock Krawler's 3.5-inch PRO Aluminum suspension kits. A three-link kit was used up front and a four-link arrangement in the rear. Along with the front and rear link suspension setups Jeremy installed Rock Krawler's new RRD emulsion coilover shocks. The shocks feature a 2 5/8-inch aluminum body and are some of the lightest weight coilover shocks available. The front shocks offer 12 inches of travel while the rears offer 16 inches. With the 3.5 inches of lift and raised fenders the JK was able to clear a set of 38x14.50R17 Goodyear Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar tires mounted on 17x10 Raceline Monster competition beadlocks with 4.5 inches of backspacing. The hefty meats are controlled using a hydro-assist steering system from West Texas Off-Road along with a heavy-duty Rock Krawler tie rod and drag link. A Rock Krawler adjustable track bar is also in place at the front of the JK.
With the suspension and drivetrain in place Jeremy and the Rock Krawler crew began fabricating the custom roll cage from 1 3/4-inch x 0.120-inch-wall DOM carbon steel. The roll cage offers ample protection to driver and passenger and also integrates a bed cage to support the rear upper shock mounts and to hold a full-size spare tire. The roll cage is secured to the frame in multiple locations and earned Jeremy's pick for his favorite addition to the JK.
Inside the Jeep, Jeremy installed a set of Twisted Stitch seats and DJ Safety five-point harnesses. A custom 16-gallon fuel cell from Carolina Truggies was built to fit behind the seats. Moving outward a Rock Krawler PRO Aluminum front bumper was bolted to the front of the JK and fit with a T-Max winch and Lightforce lights. To maintain departure angle the rear received a Rock Krawler JK rear frame cap. Last but not least, aluminum body armor from River Raider Offroad was bolted to the JK. The armor includes River Raider's narrowed flat front fenders and Crusher rear corners with integrated tube fenders.
Lessons learned in the build? Standalone electronics would have made modifications much easier. As a result, Jeremy is working on designing a standalone electronics system for use in custom Wrangler JKs. This will be a great addition to Rock Krawler's already impressive selection of JK parts.
After more than a year of applying finishing touches to his Victim Jeremy is still making changes as he spends more time behind the wheel and on the trail. We caught up with him in Moab during the Easter Jeep Safari to see this "finished" version of the build, but as qualifying events for the King of Hammers approach the Victim is sure to get leaner and meaner as it transitions into an all-out race rig.
Vehicle: 2007 Jeep Wrangler JK
Owner: Jeremy Purick
Hometown: East Greenbush, NY
Engine: 3.8L V-6, RIPP GEN II Supercharger
Transmission: Four-speed automatic
Transfer Case: Atlas 4SP
Low Range Ratio: 10.3:1
Front End: Currie Rock Jock 60, RCV 35-spline axles shafts
Rear End: Currie Rock Jock 60, RCV 35-spline axles shafts
Ring and Pinion: 5.13
Front Differential: Eaton E-Locker
Rear Differential: Detroit Locker
Suspension: Rock Krawler PRO Aluminum 3-link front, 4-link rear, RRD Racing coilovers
Tires: 38x14.50R17 Goodyear Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar
Wheels: 17x10 Raceline Monster competition beadlocks
Backspacing: 4.5 inches