JK Wranglers are so popular that they're getting to be ho-hum. We even catch ourselves commenting, "Hmmm, just another lifted JK." James Fonnesbeck, owner of Expedition One, wanted to build a JK two-door that would attract attention at shows and on the trail. He did this by building his 2011 JK Wrangler as a modern "Rat Patrol" Jeep, complete with minigun. You might remember the 1960s TV series The Rat Patrol starring Christopher George about WWII Long Range Desert Group allied soldiers driving two 50 Browning AN/M2-equipped Jeeps and raising havoc behind the lines of Rommel's Afrika Korps.
The JK started as a 2011 Sport model with a 3.8L V-6 and 42RE automatic transmission. A TeraFlex Pro LCG long-arm suspension with Fox 2.0 reservoir shocks allows the Jeep to clear the 37-inch Goodyear Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar tires and to work well on the trail. The weak OE Dana 30 frontend was replaced with TeraFlex's stellar new Tera44 front housing with RCV CV axles, 5.13 gears, and Eaton ELocker.
A full complement of Expedition One products protects the Rat Patrol JK. The full-width front bumper easily carries a Superwinch Talon 12.5i winch. The Rubi Skid protects a Rubicon SmartBar sway-bar disconnect that isn't on the Rat Patrol JK. Expedition One Rocker Guard steps protect the rocker panels. The Expedition One rear bumper with swingaway tire carrier was the original one-touch carrier. By opening the tailgate latch, the tire swings away with the gate. Expedition One Geri cans mount securely in their can carrier.
The P3 Airsoft Minigun is based on the GE Vulcan Minigun, fires 50 rounds per second, and is lethal within 50 feet when it's loaded with BBs. We saw it easily destroy a junkyard television set. Magpul Masada ACR Airsoft rifles are carried in Kydex holsters and complete the modern-day Rat Patrol image. Of course, if the Zombie Apocalypse happens, all the airsoft weapons can be exchanged for ones that are more powerful.
James' Expedition One Rat Patrol JK is a real eye catcher. Just driving it to shoot the photos showed us that everybody does a double take and stares as the Jeep passes by. We're sure its show performance is the same. This isn't your normal, ho-hum JK Wrangler.
|Vehicle:||2011 Jeep Wrangler|
|Owner/Hometown:||James Fonnesbeck/Ogden, Utah|
|Engine:||Jeep 3.8L V-6|
|Transmission:||Jeep 42RE four-speed automatic|
|Transfer case/low range ratio:||NVG241J/2.72:1|
|Rearend:||Jeep Dana 44|
|Ring and Pinion:||5.13:1|
|Front Differential:||Eaton ELocker|
|Rear Differential:||Eaton ELocker|
|Suspension:||4-inch TeraFlex Pro LCG long arm|
|Tires:||37x12.50R17LT Goodyear Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar|
|Wheels/Backspacing:||Hutchinson Rock Monster bead locks/4.75 inches|