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The Rescued Jeep Wrangler - Part 3

Posted in Project Vehicles on July 1, 2013
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Exterior mods have come a long way. Unlike the days of triple-double chrome “rollbars” and neon shock boots, most modern exterior upgrades are a blend of form and function. For some, heavy-duty bumpers and sheetmetal armor serve as a way to break apart from the herd, while others are simply seeking out a way to make their rigs more durable wheeling machines. No matter what category you fall into, there are plenty of exterior options that will up the look and performance potential of your 4x4.

When we first purchased our 2½-ton Rockwell-equipped ’95 Jeep Wrangler, dubbed the Rescued Wrangler, the body was in rough shape. Along with a bare-metal floor and a few rust holes, was an unfinished rear comp cut. Fortunately, covering up and upgrading the Jeep’s factory sheetmetal isn’t a difficult job given the tremendous aftermarket support available for the Wrangler platform. Maybe the most difficult decision is determining which armor fits your needs and wants best.

To power the 4.0L engine, we dropped in a 34/78 series Optima RedTop battery. The Optima RedTop is a high-performance AGM dry-cell battery which, in this application, offers a stout 800 cold-cranking amps. While the company’s YellowTop line is best suited for running large-draw accessories, the RedTop starting-series battery is well suited for our Jeeps electrical needs. The spill-proof dry-cell battery can also be mounted in any position, though we chose to place ours in the stock battery location.

To revamp our YJ’s body, and give it some much needed protection, we decided on an armor set from Poison Spyder Customs (PSC). With a range of styles and material types offered for most Jeep Wranglers and CJs, we were able to mix and match the parts and panels that matched our build plan. Using the expertise and tooling of the crew at Low Range 4x4 in Wilmington, North Carolina, we spent a few days installing the armor, along with a few other critical upgrades. For our next build installment, we aim to set up our new steering system and begin putting the massive 2½-ton Rockwell axles back under the Jeep.

PhotosView Slideshow

Area 51 Powder
Since the Poison Spyder armor shipped bare, we opted to have it professionally powdercoated by our friends at Area 51 Powder Coating in Holy Ridge, North Carolina. We went with a durable semi-gloss finish, which will be easy to match if we do manage to gouge the coating. The thick powdercoat is also a great defense against the humid and salty air of the coastal Southeast.


GenRight Off-Road
Simi Valley, CA 93063
Poison Spyder Customs
Banning, CA 92220
Low Range 4x4
Wilimington, NC 28412
Area 51 Powder Coating INC.
Ouverson Engineering and Machine
Optima Batteries
Milwaukee, WI 53209

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