Hayden Wood of Hopedale, Massachusetts, built his ’00 TJ to be a daily driver, yet maintain enough flex so that he’s not afraid to drive it on rocky trails or into a mud pit. The confidence-inspiring Jeep has a 4-inch Rough Country long-arm suspension and quick-disconnect swaybar links in the front. Everything runs on top of 15-inch wheels with 33x12.50R15 Eldorado MTZ tires. For now, the TJ is running with the stock 4.0L engine, AX15 five-speed transmission, NP231 T-case, and Dana 30 front and Dana 35 rear axles. However, Hayden is in school learning about automotive technology and already has plenty of fabrication experience, so we guess this project is far from done.
Jeremy Jesberg lives near Paola, Kansas, and he’s turned a stock ’98 TJ into the hill climber you see here in a short 31⁄2 years. The engine is a 4.0L HO with a COMP Cams camshaft upgrade that motivates the 33x13.50-15 Interco TSL bias-ply tires at each corner. Making room for the tires is a 4-inch Rough Country lift with X-Flex lower arms. The Jeep runs 4.88 gears -- the front axle is a high-pinion Dana 30 with an OX locker, and the rear axle is a Ford 8.8 with an OX locker, an Artec truss, stitch-welded tubes, and Alloy USA shafts. A Centerforce clutch provides extra grip, and the NP231 transfer case uses a six-pinion planetary gear set, a heavy-duty chain and sprocket set, and a slip-yoke eliminator. The steering has been improved with a Rugged Ridge crossover-steering linkage and heavy-duty steering gear by AGR. The TJ also has a Viper 8,000-pound winch, Smittybilt tube fenders, sliders, corner armor, and bumpers, Jerry can holders, and a spare-tire carrier.
Chris Cronan and his wife, Kalah, of Chandler, Arizona, loved their trusty YJ. But when they priced out how much it was going to cost to get it ready for their next trip to the Rubicon, they decided to buy this ’10 Rubicon Unlimited instead. Talk about a Jeep family decision! The new rig came with Dana 44 axles front and rear, 4:1 low-range T-case, and has been upgraded with a TeraFlex 4-inch long-arm suspension and 1-inch TeraFlex spacers. The wheels are matte-black 17-inch Fuel Boost that wear 35x12.50R17 BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain KM2s. Chris says the longer wheelbase of the JK has improved the family’s skills with the Hi-Lift jack, and they have plenty of recovery equipment including a TeraFlex Epic front bumper with a Ramsey winch. The JK is also equipped with KC lights, an OR-Fab rear bumper with a swing-out spare tire carrier, and Hella lamps on the A-pillars.
Timothy Fruitman of Chandler, Arizona, says his ’11 JK Rubicon got the nickname “Alex” at the Barlow Jeep School in Sedona, Arizona. We’re not sure why it got that moniker, but every project needs a good name. “Alex” travels on a 3.5-inch AEV suspension above 37-inch BFGoodrich Krawler T/A KX tires. Drivetrain upgrades include Yukon Gear 5.38 gears in the front and rear Dana 44 axles along with hardware by Synergy Manufacturing. Up front, there is a GenRight front bumper with a Superwinch Rock 98 winch and two forward-facing LED light bars mounted on the bumper, along with two quad LED lights aimed from the corners for a wide view. The Rubicon has armor by TNT Customs and Asfir, and the occupants are protected by safety gear from MasterCraft. Timothy’s friend, Michael “Red Eye” McMillen, took this photo as the Jeep was coming off the end of Hell’s Revenge trail in Moab.
Nick Smajda and Cathy-Lee Carne of Iron Mountain, Michigan, have put together a mean-looking Jeep with a glowing purple scowl. Along with the halo headlamp accents, the ‘13 JK Unlimited achieves its look thanks to a Wild Boar grille, Smittybilt XRC Armor Corner Guards, SRC Side Armor Steps, an XRC rear bumper, and a front bumper with a stinger and an XRC8 winch. The Jeep rides on a 3-inch lift with Fox Racing shocks over 35x12.50R17 Nitto Trail Grappler tires on 17-inch Fuel Trophy wheels. Other upgrades include an AEV ProCal module, a Mopar cold-air intake, and a cat-back exhaust by MBRP.
Jean-Denis Gosselin of Beaumont, Quebec, Canada, isn’t afraid to take his ’89 YJ Laredo deep into the rocks or snow. The engine is a high output 4.0L with headers and exhaust by Banks Power. The front suspension is a Fabtech coilover setup, and the rear is a 4.5-inch-lift leaf-spring suspension by Rubicon Express. The NP231 has a TeraLow 4:1 with a heavy-duty chain and a fixed yoke, and it sends power to a Dana 30 front axle with an ARB Air Locker and 30-spline chromoly shafts and to a Ford 8.8 rear axle with an electronic locker and 4.56 gears. Up front, there’s a bobbed bumper with a Warn winch, the sides are protected by armor with built-in steps, and under the Jeep you’ll find 33x13.50R15 Nitto Mud Grappler tires. Corbeau seats keep occupants secure inside the ‘cage by GenRight, and the YJ is painted with a special mix named Warning Red.
Ken Kirby of St. Augustine, Florida, named his ’77 AMC CJ-7 project “Jolly Green” and it sure looks like a lot of fun. The engine is a 258ci inline six cylinder that’s been bored .030 over and runs a Motorcraft 2100 carburetor, late-model CJ intake and exhaust manifolds, an MSD 6A Off-Road ignition, a three-core radiator, and a remote oil filter. The transmission is a four-speed T-18 from an International Scout II with a Borg & Beck clutch, and it’s hooked to a Dana 20 transfer case filled with a TeraLow gear-reduction kit. Oversized driveshafts send power to the original Dana 30 front and AMC 20 rear axles with 3.54 gears, Powertrax Lock-Right lockers, Four X Doctor differential guards, and Alloy USA shafts. The CJ-7 has a 4-inch BDS lift with military-wrap springs, an AGS power steering conversion, and 35x12.50R15 BFGoodrich KM2 Mud Terrain tires on 10-inch-wide Pro Comp Rock Crawler wheels. The original body tub is intact above a 1-inch body lift and has been coated with Herculiner. The exterior features undercarriage lighting, M38 style headlamp guards, recessed tail lamps, and the body was coated in a military theme with rattle cans. Inside the military-themed Jeep, you’ll find Steel Horse seats, a Tuffy Security lockbox, and ammo cans used for the center console and as utility boxes. Other helpful items include onboard compressed air, a fire extinguisher, Cobra Classic CB, a Hi-Lift Jack, a swing-out axe/shovel/storage carrier, and a hand throttle.
Zac McGinnis of Connellsville, Pennsylvania, has kept his ’94 YJ in such good condition that it still has the original Hunter Green paint job from the factory. The Jeep was built for trail riding along with comfort on the highways and is powered by a 4.0L engine. The AX15 manual is hooked to an NP231 T-case with a slip-yoke eliminator leading to 4.10 gears in the factory axles. The tires are 33x12.50R15 BFGoodrich KM2s mounted on 15x8-inch Ultra 50/51 polished wheels. They fit in the fenders thanks to a lift with 4-inch Rough Country springs along with a ½-inch shackle lift.
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