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The Incredible 426 Hemi-Powered Jeep Wrangler JK

Wrangler Front Three Quarter
Ken Brubaker
| Senior Editor, Four Wheeler
Posted September 1, 2011

Blue Crush

If your name is Mopar and you’re going to trot out a JK-based mega-rig and give it the aggressive name of “Blue Crush,” it had better be good. Well, they are, they did, and it is.

This incredible 2010 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited was unveiled at the Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah. The official press release included this about the rig: “Inspired by the King of the Hammers race in California, the Jeep Wrangler Blue Crush combines high-speed off-road racing and rockcrawling capability.”

To create a multifaceted rig like this, the mad scientists at Mopar stuffed it with a ground-pounding Mopar 426ci Hemi Gen III powerplant, they lightened it up with a variety of aluminum components, and they fitted it with a top-drawer suspension system. But that’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

We had a chance to see the rig in high-speed action at a press event in the sand dunes south of Moab and then we had the opportunity to see it in action on one of the many prime rock areas at Area BFE recreational park outside of Moab. We can say this rig seems to live up to the hype. And it’s an example of what can be done with some ingenuity, some readily available aftermarket parts, and the Mopar Performance Catalog.

Yep, that’s a lightweight all-aluminum 426ci Mopar Hemi Gen III crate engine, and this beast spits out a whopping 540 horsepower and 540 lb-ft of torque. If you were to unzip it, you’d find a variety of forged components, including the crankshaft, connecting rods, and pistons; 8620 HR billet steel main caps with six-bolt and four-bolt caps (to beef up the bottom end for severe performance applications); a Mopar camshaft; and Mopar valves, springs and roller rockers in the aluminum heads. It also features Mopar EFI as well as an ECU and wiring harness. For this application, the engine was fitted with a rear-sump oil pan from a 5.7L Hemi engine; an oil pump from a 6.1L Hemi engine; Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 exhaust manifolds; and a custom 2¾-inch-diameter exhaust with Flowmaster muffler. Whether the JK is asked to crawl rocks or run at full throttle through the desert, the ’plant is kept cool by a Griffin radiator with the stock JK electric fan. All that horsepower and torque is routed through a Mopar Performance 545RFE transmission that's up to the task, thanks to reinforced internals with increased clutch material and a custom billet torque converter. Last but not least there's a well protected Atlas II 4.3:1 transfer case routing the power to the axles.

The front axle is a Dynatrac ProRock 60, and it’s festooned with goodies like an ARB Air Locker, 5.13:1 gears, Mopar diff cover, Dynatrac Pro 60 Competition Series Alloy Axleshaft Package, CTM U-joints, Dynatrac Pro 60 eight-lug hubs, Dynatrac drive flanges, and a PSC hydraulic steering system with double-ended ram. The disc brakes utilize 14½-inch rotors with dual-piston calipers from a Ram 2500 truck. The ProRock is spun by a custom Tom Wood’s driveshaft with 1350 U-joints. The flexy suspension consists of a three-link setup with track bar and Fox Racing remote-reservoir coilovers and external bypass shocks. All of the link bars are made from 2-inch-diameter material. The upper link is made from 0.120-inch-wall material, and the lower links are made from 0.250-inch-wall material. All of the links are fitted with Ballistic Fabrication forged spherical rod ends.

The Details
General
Owner/Hometown: Mopar Division of Chrysler /Auburn Hills, Michigan
Vehicle/Model: 2010 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
Estimated value: N/A
Engine
Type: Mopar 426ci Gen III Hemi
Aspiration: Mopar fuel injection, custom 2¾-inch-diameter exhaust, Flowmaster muffler
Output, hp/torque (estimated): 540/540 Drivetrain
Transmission: Mopar Performance 545RFE, CBR Performance coolers w/12-in electric fans
Transfer Case(s): Atlas II 4.3:1
Suspension
Front: Three-link, track bar, Fox Racing 2.5 remote-reservoir coilovers and external bypass shocks
Rear: Double triangulated four-link, Currie AntiRock sway bar, Fox Racing 2.5 remote-reservoir coilovers and external bypass shocks
Axles/Differentials
Front: Dynatrac ProRock 60, Dynatrac Competition Series axleshafts, Dynatrac drive flanges, CTM U-joints, PSC hydraulic steering with double-ended ram/ARB Air Locker
Rear: Dynatrac Pro 80, Dynatrac Competition Series axleshafts/ARB Air Locker
Ring and pinion: 5.13:1
Wheels/Tires
Wheels: 17x9 Hutchinson Rock Monster
Tires: 39x13.50-17 BFGoodrich Krawler

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