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2008 Jeep Wrangler X— Boyd Christensen’s Two-Door JK

Posted in Features on September 27, 2017
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When the four-door JK Unlimited hit the market, the Jeep world exploded. Jeep enthusiasts no longer had to decide between a super-capable Wrangler or one of Jeep’s capable-but-not-as-capable sport utility vehicles, such as the IFS Cherokee of the same year. JKUs have almost taken over the Jeep world, but there are still those who want the shorter wheelbase and/or don’t want to have the expense and size of the longer Jeep.

When Boyd Christensen was deciding what Jeep to use for getting into the Jeep culture, he chose a two-door because it made sense for him. Being a secondary vehicle, Boyd’s 2008 Jeep Wrangler X didn’t need to deal with the soccer-mom duty of daily life. The smaller rig also meant lower entry cost, leaving more room for upgrades.

Boyd’s Jeep caught our eye because it’s clean and simple. No fancy stuff, just a great example of a good, capable Jeep done without breaking the bank.

The two-door JK Wrangler is a bit bigger than its TJ predecessor, but still has great maneuverability and classic Jeep looks. Boyd didn’t want to build a full-tilt, high-budget, uber-capable Jeep. He just wanted something that he and his family could comfortably enjoy the great outdoors in while still being able to tackle some challenging obstacles.

Suspension
To elevate the Jeep, 2-inch Old Man Emu Heavy Duty Springs were installed front and rear along with a set of Rock Krawler lower control arms. To smooth out the ride and give the suspension some extra down travel, a set of Fox 2.0 Adjustable Reservoir shocks were bolted into the stock locations. TeraFlex front sway bar disconnects help free up even more travel for maximum flex situations.

The suspension on this little Jeep is made up of Old Man Emu springs and Fox 2.0 Performance Series reservoir adjustable shocks designed for Jeeps with 1 1/2- to 3 1/2-inches of lift, and a set of Rock Krawler arms. A Bilstein 5100 steering stabilizer is in the mix as well. Boyd says it made a good combination to allow the Jeep better-than-stock trail performance without sitting in the clouds.

Exterior and Underbelly
So that the 35-inch Toyo Open Country Mud-Terrains on Mickey Thompson Series 8 17-inch wheels had plenty of clearance to move around, Boyd added Poison Spyder Crusher Flares front and back, and had them color-matched with red and black DuPont Kevlar coating. ACE Engineering inner fender inserts also help create a little more room in the front end.

Poison Spyder Crusher Flares were added to give extra clearance, and happened to give the Jeep a meaner look, too. They were coated in DuPont Kevlar coating for a durable and long-lasting finish.

ACE Engineering front and rear bumpers were installed to bolster front and rear end protection while adding tow points and a heavy-duty spare tire carrier. ACE Engineering rock sliders are also in place to protect the body between the wheels. Under the Jeep, the stock differentials were re-geared with Yukon 4.11 ring and pinions. A Mountain Off-Road Enterprises skidplate provides ample protection for the oil pan and 6-speed manual transmission.

ACE Engineering’s front and rear bumpers offer bolt-on wrap-around protection, good looks, and significant tow points.
Rock rail duty is served well by a pair of ACE Engineering rock rails. They double as steps to aid entry and exit.

Interior
Boyd also added a few goodies to the interior. A Cobra 75 WX ST 40-Channel all-in-one unit handles the requisite CB radio duties, and a Garmin Nuvi 350 GPS provides easy directions with the help of a Funtreks data card. He also added a Rugged Ridge Dash Organizer Tray that doubles as a GoPro mounting point. Mastercraft grab handles give occupants a place to hang on to, and the Tuffy Security console locks up valuables while the Jeep is in open-top mode.

The little Jeep’s interior features a Tuffy Security console, Cobra 75 WX ST 40-Channel CB radio that broadcasts through a 3-foot Firestik antenna, Garmin Nuvi 350 GPS with a Funtreks data card for maps, and a Rugged Ridge Dash Organizer Tray.

Under The Hood
The stock 3.8L breathes a little easier through a K&N drop-in filter, and gets a little extra boost from a Superchips programmer. To provide air support, an ARB CKMA12 High Output Compressor was installed over the brake booster. Control of the compressor and the 50-inch LED lightbar is accomplished through an sPOD circuit control system.

The nearly bone-stock 3.8L V-6 lives happily under the hood, benefiting from a K&N drop-in filter and a Superchips programmer.
Boyd chose to go with an ARB air compressor for tire fill-ups, and can control it and the other electronics on the Jeep with an sPOD circuit control system.

Why This Jeep
This rig may not be a showstopper or a can-climb-literally-anything beast, but it serves Boyd’s purpose—and looks great doing it. Key modifications were methodically chosen to improve the abilities of an already capable Jeep, and added style while doing it. Lockers are next, but he hasn’t needed them yet, and Boyd didn’t want to sit at home waiting while he could be wheeling already.

35-inch Toyo Open Country M/Ts fit nicely in the wheelwells and allow the Jeep to have good articulation while getting the differentials farther from the ground.

Hard Facts
Vehicle: 2008 Jeep Wrangler X
Engine: 3.8L V-6
Transmission: MSG-370 Manual Transmission
Transfer Case: NV-241
Suspension: Old Man Emu Heavy Duty springs front and rear with Rock Krawler front control arms
Axles: Stock Dana 30 with 4.11 Yukon gears (front); Stock Dana 44 with 4.11 Yukon gears (rear)
Wheels: 17-inch Mickey Thompson Series 8
Tires: 35-inch Toyo Open Country M/Ts

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