Part II: The JK Gets A Few Changes Before Its Metamorphosis
In the last installment, we introduced our new Project DualSport, an '08 two-door JK Wrangler Rubicon. This Jeep is a street-legal JK that works well on the street or the trail. Last time, we detailed Poly Performance's Stage 3 Synergy suspension system that installed easily and works very well. We especially like the fact that we can adjust every arm, track bar, and drag link with them still bolted to the vehicle. The suspension's fine-tuned coil-spring rate and shock valving allow us to go much faster than usual off-road on once-graded roads that have big cuts, washouts, and rocks poking up. The suspension also makes the Jeep very predictable in the rocks. The Sierra 5.13 gears in the stock Dana 44s work well with our 37-inch tires. To be able to put a bit more oil in the diffs and to protect them better, we installed a pair of heavy-duty Dynatrac diff covers.
We also installed a Warn winch on the front Hanson Off Road bumper and an Expedition One rear tire-carrier bumper. We really like Expedition One's products, and its JK tire-carrier bumper is no exception. Lots of people aren't using a tire-carrier bumper on the JK, so we thought we'd try one of those, so we could report on whether it works or not. To this end, we installed a Hanson Off Road rear bumper and tire carrier. The folks at Hanson told us they won't be offering the tire carrier for sale after all, but the bumper is good-looking and affords plenty of clearance.
We like the looks and performance of our two-door JK. Unfortunately, the one drawback is rear access. The JK is a step backward from the TJ when it comes to front seats folding and tumbling forward. Because of my accident and resulting muscle atrophy that goes with RSD/CRPS, it's impossible for me to get to my camera equipment behind the seat and lift it out of there quickly. Because of this, Project DualSport is metamorphosing into a silver four-door Unlimited that will allow much easier access to equipment in the back. We're transferring many of the parts (such as the suspension) to the new Jeep. There will also be some changes, as we want to run 40-inch tires on the Unlimited for better breakover ground clearance. With Xenon flat-panel flares, we think this is possible with the Poly 4-inch coils. There is also a pair of Currie RockJock 60s waiting to be installed. Could there be a Hemi in DualSport's future? We'll be detailing these changes in upcoming issues.
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