The 2016 Jp Dirt ’N Drive presented by Jeep adventure was a whole lot of fun, and few had more fun than Brian and Susan Wright of Surprise, Arizona. The couple is not new to the off-road lifestyle, having owned their ’13 Jeep JK Wrangler Unlimited for about three years before joining us on our inaugural Jp event. Brian also had a Ford Bronco before the Jeep but told us that he wanted to do so much more off-road, and it just couldn’t do what a Jeep could. You won’t hear us arguing that point.
While not built to the hilt, the Wright’s Wrangler has been modified with just enough of the right equipment to allow it to hit Jeep trails ranging from mild to nearly wild. It’s not a full-on rockcrawling beast, but it’s no mall-crawler either. Suspension upgrades came first in the way of a Rough Country 6-inch lift kit, Bilstein shocks, and a dual Rough Country steering stabilizer. That gave the Jeep the ride height and handling quality to go just about anywhere, while maintaining a street ride the Wright’s could live with.
For now, the transfer case, trans, and 3.6L V-6 engine remain stock, but Wright has added an Optima YellowTop battery, K&N filter element, air compressor, and sPOD relay box underhood. The sPOD relay and switch system allows control of the various (10 of them, to be exact) LED bars scattered about the Jeep, as well as the front and rear lockers and the air compressor. He did add some beefy driveshafts, though, and the Tom Wood’s front and rear ’shafts feed power down to the Dana 35 front and Dana 44 rear axles. The axles carry 5.13 Eaton ELockers, are capped with Rough Country diff covers, and are tipped with 37-inch Nitto Terra Grapplers wrapped around 17x10-inch Method wheels.
Exterior adornments include some trail-ready gear such as Smittybilt XRC fenders on all four corners, an OR-Fab front bumper (which carries a Smittybilt XRC8 winch) and brush guard, and an OR-Fab rear bumper and swing-out tire carrier. The OR-Fab swing-out tire carrier also provides a perch for twin RotopaX fuel cans and a Hi-Lift jack. Wright bolted up a Surco roof rack, in which he can carry trail rescue tools (shovel and axe), the occasional ice chest, and any other assorted items he decides to strap to the rack. Go Rhino Dominator II step bars provide sure footing for entry and egress, as well as rocker panel protection. Inside, the ’13 Jeep JK Wrangler hosts leather Katzkin seat covers, the Spod switch panel (with compressor air pressure gauge), and a Superchips Traildash tuner/controller.
It was great to have the Wright’s along for the 2016 Jp Dirt ’N Drive presented by Jeep. They are fun people (not a surprise) and love taking their Jeep on new adventures. We hope to see them again next year. If you’re interested in joining us for the 2017 Jp Dirt ’N Drive, stay tuned for upcoming registration announcements and all the latest and greatest in Jeep news, events, tech, and features on fourwheeler.com.
Vehicle: ’13 Jeep JK Wrangler Moab
Engine: 3.6L V-6 Pentastar
Transmission: NSG 370 six-speed manual
Transfer Case: NV241
Suspension: Rough Country 6-inch suspension with Bilstein shocks
Axles: Front: Dana 35, 5.13 Eaton ELocker; Rear: Dana 44, 5.13 Eaton ELocker
Wheels: 17x10 Method
Tires: 37x12.50R17LT Nitto Terra Grapplers
Built For: Trail and street