"Have any other magazine guys harassed you yet?"
Even from a distance, Friar Engineering’s ’08 JK Unlimited is a standout. The BFG Krawlers and Walker Evans beadlock wheels are the first clue that there’s a lot going on with this Jeep. The Poison Spyder Rocker Knockers and Crusher flares are the next hint. The punch line comes when you see it surmount an obstacle. It’s as capable as it looks. We spotted the Friar JK at the 2010 Tierra Del Sol (TDS) Desert Safari and knew it belonged in our pages.
Friar Engineering’s JK is part of a trend that we like. More and more, off-road racing parts and fabrication techniques are showing up on trail rigs. Off-road racing parts include coilover shocks, hydraulic bumpstops, and full-floating 9-inch rearends. Fabrication techniques include double-sheared steering components, body styles or mods that allow a low center of gravity, and high-quality TIG or MIG welding.
The racing technology that’s on the Jeep didn’t show up by coincidence. Friar Engineering’s Bob Friar and Scott Martinez have a combined 44-plus years of experience racing motorcycles, buggies, and trucks through the U.S. Southwest and in Baja. Bob knew that his firm’s racing experience could be used to create trail rigs that work well and hold up in the rough.
This JK took shape in a short five weeks. Bob grabbed some off-the-shelf parts to get the build rolling and then fabricated the rest in-house. The result is a Jeep that can tackle a twisty trail one day and then pre-run in Baja the next. We think you’re looking at a blueprint for the future of trail riding. At Friar Engineering, the future is now.
|Vehicle:||2008 Jeep JK Unlimited|
|Owner/Hometown:||Bob Friar/Lakeside, CA|
|Engine:||Stock 3.8L V-6|
|Induction:||Stock EFI with Donaldson air filter|
|Transfer case/low range ratio:||Advance Adapters Atlas II/ 3.8:1|
|Front suspension/wheel travel:||Friar Engineering four-link with Fox coilovers, Fox bumpstops, Beard limit straps/ 15 inches|
|Rear suspension/wheel travel:||Friar Engineering three-link with Fox coilovers mounted to lower control arms, Fox bumpstops, Beard limit straps/21 inches|
|Ring and Pinion:||5.83:1|
|Front Differential:||Detroit Locker|
|Tires:||37-inch BFG Krawlers for the trail, 39-inch BFG Project T/As for Baja pre-running|
|Wheel/Backspacing:||17x8.5 inch Walker Evans beadlocks/4.5 inches|
|Build time:||5-week initial build, ongoing refinements|