Part 1: Disassembling A Perfectly Good Wrangler
Have you thrown all of the modifications in the book at your Wrangler, but aren’t satisfied that it stands enough apart from the crowd? Perhaps you have dreams of carrying sod and lumber home from Lowe’s, but don’t like to dirty up the interior of your JK. Have you always felt like that rear bench seat was a waste because no one will ever go wheeling with you anyway? If these statements ring true, what you are missing friend, is a bed. That’s right, a pickup bed for your Jeep—a novel idea, right?
Well, for those of you that lament the fact that you can’t go out and buy a new Jeep pickup these days, Mopar might just have the product for you. Known as the JK-8 Pickup Conversion, this kit debuted at last year’s Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah. Think of the JK-8 as more of a modern-day CJ-8 Scrambler than a pickup (the bed is not separate from the cab). The JK-8 conversion kit is available from your dealer or parts houses, such as Quadratec, for $5,499, and includes all of the pieces you need to convert an ’07 or newer Wrangler Unlimited into a JK-8.
We were recently contacted by our friends at Don-A-Vee Chrysler Jeep in Placentia, California, asking if we would be interested in shooting one of the very first dealership-commissioned JK-8 conversions in the country. The alteration would take place on a brand new ’12 Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon and would be performed at Hi-Tech Collision and Glass Centers in Anaheim Hills, California. Having never witnessed the process of a Wrangler being transformed into a JK-8, we immediately took them up on the opportunity to document the build.
In this installment, we will cover the first phase of the build—disassembly. Keep reading to see just what you have to take off before you can even start rebuilding your JK into a cargo box-sporting JK-8. Remember, this is an irreversible conversion that should be completed by a professional installer, and not one for those who fear the Sawzall.
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