What’s old is new. What the heck does that mean? If you look back on the history of Jeep, you’ll find that even though we tout all the latest and greatest advancements in Jeepdom, what’s new is actually old. It’s all just variations on the original theme that started it back in 1940. (Sorry, it’s not 1941 unless you are Willys or Ford.) Once the American Bantam Car Company developed the first pilot model for what became known as the jeep, people have been modifying the base design ever since. That brings us to the new JL Wrangler that we showcase here in this issue in all its modern glory. The new Wrangler still holds the basic Jeep styling, form, and function we all love. But the fact that a new Jeep has been born doesn’t negate all the earlier variations, and to that end we have a new event to showcase other Jeeps.
We’re introducing Week to Wheelin’, where the Jp staff takes a Jeep and totally rehashes it with help from sponsors and friends. The idea is to completely renovate a Jeep in one week at our tech center, which fortunately is equipped with lifts, tools, supplies, and parts to make life easier. A film crew documents it all and produces a show at the end of the week, and of course we do daily updates and Facebook Live shoots as well. Once we are done, the idea is to go wheel somewhere to showcase what we have done, as well as showcase the sponsor’s products. This rig will also be the Jp official staff trail vehicle that we will use for years as a testbed for other new products and upgrades, as we hit as many events and trails as we can. Our goal on the initial build is to upgrade a 2007 two-door JK that was ridden hard and put away wet, and then neglected for a number of years. Tired, torn, and fitted with 10-year-old technology, the poor beast needed our help as much as we needed a vehicle to hit the trails in.
While we had never attempted such a project, we dove in with help from our sister mags in the Four Wheeler Network and the Truck Trend Network. Over the course of a week we installed new Dynatrac axles, EBC brakes, Rusty’s suspension, Shelby wheels on Falken tires, and more. We upgraded to Rusty’s side armor, rear bumper, and a front bumper fitted with a Come Up winch. J.W. Speaker supplied the front and rear lights, and Drake automotive rounded out the exterior with hood hooks, door handles, a picatinny rail and numerous other items. Rampage sent a soft top, seats came from ProCar by Scat, and Holley supplied the Hooker headers, TrailDash II, and Earl’s hoses. Energy Suspension handled the body mounts and other polyurethane components, and Painless Wiring supplied the Trail Rocker switch kit. Add in a new hood from AEV and half doors from Mopar, and we have one styling Jeep! Check back with us next month for the whole story!