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This Red 2008 JK Rubicon is Not Too Hot, and Not Too Cold, but Just Right - Jp Dirt 'N Drive

Posted in Features on May 28, 2016
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While there were some participants in the 2016 Jp Dirt ‘N Drive presented by Jeep that drove thousands of miles to get in on the fun and adventure, only a few came from as far as Dana Jones and Jean Mitchell. The couple piloted their red ’08 Jeep JK Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon all the way from Asheville, North Carolina, to Las Vegas to connect with other Jeepers in our two-day off-road adventure that led to Moab—one of the top Jeep destinations in the world.

We were sure glad they did too. Their Jeep JK featured a nicely done build. It was neither gaudy or overbuilt and was capable of handling long stretches of highway to get to any off-road location they chose to visit. The 3.8L V-6 had been left basically stock for long-term durability. To keep the engine running in the sweet spot after adding the 37x12.50R17LT Dick Cepek Fun Country tires wrapped around 17-inch ATX Chamber Pro beadlock wheels, a set of 5.13 Yukon gears were installed in the Rubicon’s locker-filled axles. Custom Tom Wood’s driveshafts running to both axles add a little more security during on- and off-road travel.

Making room for those todious meats was an AEV 4 1/2-inch Dual Sport Suspension system. The suspension boost included 4.5 AEV progressive-rate springs and Bilstein remote-reservoir shock absorbers. Further beefing for trail durability was accomplished through the installation of a Synergy sector shaft brace for the steering box and a Synergy track bar brace.

Inside the rig, we found a Dirty Dog 4x4 cargo net behind the front seats and a Bartact waterproof rear seat cover. Both of these items really come in handy (especially that waterproof seat cover), as the couple travels with two blue healer Australian cattle dogs (D.O.G. and Rao) everywhere they go. Exterior upgrades include an LoD front (with stubby brushguard) and EVO Manufacturing rear bumper, and an ACE Engineering Gatekeeper on the rear end supports a HiLift jack and two Roto Paks. ACE fender deletes and Crawler Concept vented fender wells provide great looks and high functionality. Additional nighttime lighting comes from a Rugged Ridge LED bar racked atop the hood using APOC Industries brackets, and a pair of Vision-X amber lights mounted on the cowl sides.

As it turned out Dana and Jean were driving one of the participating Jeep JKs that was picked in a random drawing to have its Freedom Panels replaced with the new Bestop Sunrider For Hardtop at no cost by the Bestop crew during the Jp Dirt ‘N Drive registration day. The flip-back softop covered the front seating area, and easily allowed the couple to open it up and enjoy fresh air and sunshine during the 2016 Jp Dirt ‘N Drive presented by Jeep.

Vehicle: ’08 Jeep JK Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon
Engine: 3.8L V-6
Transmission: NSG 370 six-speed manual
Transfer Case: NV241OR Rock-Trac
Suspension: AEV 4-1/2-inch lift, AEV progressive-rate springs, Bilstein reservoir shocks
Axles: Dana 44s, Yukon 5.13 gears, Tru-Locks
Steering: Synergy sector shaft brace and track bar brace
Wheels: 17-inch ATX Chamber Pro beadlocks
Tires: 37x12.50R17LT Dick Cepek Fun Country
Built For: Trail and street

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