Jeeps and Jeep gear were everywhere! This year’s Specialty Equipment Marketing Association (SEMA) Show should have been called the Jeep Specialty Equipment Marketing Association (JEMA) Show. You couldn’t swing a dead cat (not that I didn’t try) without hitting something Jeep-related at the 2015 event in Las Vegas, Nevada. I put more than 72,000 clicks on my step-counter during an attempt to poke my head into every nook and cranny of the LV Convention Center during the four-day extravaganza of automotive parts, accessories, upgrades, services, and vehicles (new and classic), and I am sure there are things I missed. It’s that big.
However, we’re here to talk about Jeep JK Wranglers. Elsewhere you’ll find a roundup of our choice of the top vintage Jeeps of the show, and a collection of our favorite new parts and accessories for a wide range of Jeep models, but these are our favorite JK builds spotted on the show floor. They range from mild to wild in their appearance and modification, but none-the-less, these are the JKs we would take home if we had a fleet of tractor-trailers to haul them back. Which is your favorite? Let us know by shooting a note to firstname.lastname@example.org, by leaving a comment at the end of the story, or sounding out on the Jp Magazine Facebook page.
The LJ Is Back
Well, not exactly, but this is as close as you’ll ever get to finding a brand-new LJ unless there’s more of those mysterious “Jeep in a crate” stories floating around. Trail Concepts (trailconcepts.com) displayed its Adventure Dual Sport 106 in the Omix-ADA (omix-ada.com) Off-Road Success Center this year. It’s a two-door JK stretched to a 106-inch wheelbase, with a 10-inch frame and body graft. It gets much longer custom rear side windows, and Trail Concepts can also outfit the rig with all sorts of off-road gear, ranging from suspension and axle upgrade packages to body armor, and custom wheels and tires.
Trail Concepts has brought back the LJ. Well, sort of. The company stretches the frame and body 10 inches to turn a two-door JK into its Dual Sport 106 (for the rig’s new 106-inch wheelbase).
As part of the body stretch, you get extra long rear-side windows on the Trail Concepts Dual Sport 106.
A wide range of upgrades can be ordered on the Trail Concepts Dual Sport 106, such as the Rugged Ridge front bumper, Warn winch, and Factor 55 fairlead and ProLink.
Chris Kyle “The Legend” JK
This special edition Jeep JKU was built by Complete Customs (completecustoms.net) as a tribute to the memory of veteran and hero Chris Kyle. We found it in the Addictive Desert Designs (addictivedesertdesigns.com) booth, where it scored a big hit by winning the Transamerican Auto Parts (transamericanautoparts.com) Life is Better Off-Road Award that was judged by a diverse team of off-road industry experts. The rig features a host of ADD body armor parts, a 5.5-inch Rock Krawler Trail Gunner suspension, 40-inch Super Swampers, a Magnuson supercharger, and a custom reptilian-motif Kryptec Kevlar exterior coating done by Camoliner (camoliner.com).
The Chris Kyle “The Legend” build was created by Complete Customs for use in the Addictive Desert Designs booth during the 2015 SEMA Show. It not only turned a lot of heads, but was an award winner too.
An Addictive Desert Designs front bumper, Warn M8000-S winch, and the new LED/Go Pro camera fixture from Rigid Industries graced the nose of the Chris Kyle “The Legend” Jeep JK Wrangler.
A Rock Crawler 5.5 Trail Gunner suspension and a Dana 44 rear axle with G2 gears and differential cover lurk underneath the Chris Kyle “The Legend” Jeep.
The rig we found in the TeraFlex (teraflex.com) booth that caught our eye is nicknamed “Raw.” Not sure why, but we don’t care, it’s cool. The 2012 JKU stands on 39-inch BFG KR2s and 17x9 Raceline Monster Bedlocks with a complete 1.5-inch TeraFlex suspension system damped by Fox 2.5 reservoir shocks. The upgrade list could fill two pages, but the heart of it consists of a TeraFlex HD Tera 60 front axle and HD CRD60 full floater rear axle, 5.38 gears, an Atlas 3:1 transfer case, 4L70E trans, and a GM 6.0L L76 V-8. Four Beard Racing seats secure passengers inside a Sweatt Tech Fabrication custom cage.
The two-door 2012 Jeep JK Wrangler “Raw” with its Golden Eagle brother in the TeraFlex booth were a big draw during the 2015 SEMA Show.
A race-inspired interior was one of our favorite parts of the “Raw” Wrangler build. Check out that center console!
Power for “Raw” comes from a GM 6.0-liter L76 V-8 stuffed into the engine compartment of the 2012 Jeep JK.
The Hydro Blue Pearl JKU on display at SEMA this year by ICON Vehicle Dynamics (iconvehicledynamics.com) was, as you can guess, an example of what it can do in the way of suspension upgrades for the ’07 and up JK. The 2015 Jeep Wrangler featured all the bells and whistles that make up the company’s 4.5- to 6-inch Stage 2 Coilover Conversion System, including bumpstops, high-clearance steering stabilizer, and front and rear driveshafts. Body armor came from Poison Spyder, the lights are all Rigid Industries equipment, and 17x8.5 ICON Shield alloys are wrapped with 37-inch BFG Mud-Terrain KM2s.
A complete round of Poison Spyder body armor ranging from front and rear bumpers to rock sliders and fender flares were featured on the 2015 JK in the ICON Vehicle Dynamics booth at the SEMA Show.
From the back end, you can see the ICON Stage 2 Coilover Conversion System on this JK Wrangler going from full compression to nearly complete extension.
The Poison Spyder inner fenders skirt perfectly around the ICON Vehicle Dynamics front coilover shock and hydraulic bumpstop.
Down Dixie Way
No, we’re not talking about the deep South, but rather a section of southwestern Utah referred to as Dixie because of its history of cotton production. The 2014 JKU you see pictured carries a Bruiser Conversions 480hp LS3 adapted to a Factory Nag 1 auto trans, with a Factory 4:1 transfer case and 1350 front and rear driveshafts. TeraFlex high-pinion CRD 60s with 4.56 ARB air lockers are combined with a Dixie 4 Wheel Drive (dixie4wheeldrive.com) double-triangulated rear suspension system with Fox 14-inch travel 2.5 remote reservoir coilover and 2.5 triple-bypass remote reservoir shocks in back, and Fox 12-inch travel 2.5 remote reservoir coilover and 2.5 triple-bypass remote reservoir shocks up front. The Dixie 4 Wheel Drive-built rig rolls on Raceline Monster Beadlocks and Kanati Mud Hog tires.
The well-dressed-out Jeep JK Wrangler built by Dixie 4 Wheel Drive was one of the highlights of the Kanati Tire booth at the 2014 SEMA Show.
A custom Dixie 4 Wheel Drive suspension system on the 2014 JK included dual remote reservoir Fox shocks up front (pictured) and in the rear.
Another of our favorites sported a V-8 swap. This one from Dixie 4 Wheel Drive featured a 480hp LS3 Corvette powerplant.
The Lights Are On
Okay, okay, this makes it six, but we just could not pass up the amazing JK build stationed in the Rigid Industries (rigidindustries.com) booth during the 2015 SEMA Show, and is our idea of the perfect overlanding rig–it’s a Jeep, and it has all the right equipment. Custom Motor Concepts (custommotorconcepts.com) took a 2011 JKU and gave it a JK8 body transformation kit from Mopar, Currie RockJock 60s with 5.38 ARB air lockers front and rear, and a custom-tuned Rock Krawler 3-link front and rear suspension system with Rock Krawler 2.65 reservoir coilovers. The ATX Beadlocks are wrapped with 40-inch Nitto Trail Grapplers. Oh, and the 3.8L V-6 was topped with a Ripp supercharger kit.
We loved this overlander-style rig found in the Rigid Industries booth at the 2015 SEMA Show. It has everything we need for a week in the middle of nowhere, and that’s exactly where we wanted to be after a week at the SEMA Show.
More of the good stuff was found on the nose of the highly modified Jeep JK Wrangler, including an Addictive Desert Designs front bumper, Warn 9.5 XP-S winch, and a bank of Rigid Industries LED lights.
All that cargo carrying capability! Check out the Smittybilt Tent Topper up above, and a Warn 3,000-pound capacity winch helps lower the massive spare tire and its carrier, allowing access to the storage bed in the back of this highly modified Jeep JK.