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1997 Jeep Wrangler TJ: Building An "Everyman" TJ - Part 2

1997 Jeep Wrangler
Christian Lee | Writer
Posted October 8, 2013

On The Road To Completion

In last month's issue, we began documenting the construction of Off Road Evolution's "Everyman" EVO TJ Wrangler—a crossover trail rig/race rig that would compete in the 2013 Ultra4 King of the Hammers Everyman Challenge. The Off Road Evolution team was working around the clock to complete not only the EVO TJ but also to ready its EVO 1 JK Unlimited, which was taking part in the King of the Hammers' main event. Campaigning one race rig is a lot of work in itself. Campaigning two … well, that's just crazy talk.

Enjoy the following pics and captions of the latest work completed on EVO TJ. We'll feature the finished product in the October 2013 issue.

Step By Step

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  • 1. With the deadline looming ever closer, the Off Road Evolution racing team continued its forward push to complete its EVO TJ project, which would compete in the 2013 Ultra4 King of the Hammers Everyman Challenge.

  • 2. A Dynatrac ProRock 60 rear axle was hung from the frame using EVO Mfg.’s new long-arm TJ system. The control arms and track bar are made from 2-inch by 0.500-inch-wall DOM tubing and use 1 1/4-inch Genuine Johnny Joints.

  • 3. The EVO TJ suspension uses heavy-duty bracketry throughout the system that was further fortified with gussets wherever deemed necessary. Additionally, frame-strengthening plates were welded in place in known weak spots along the frame.

  • 4. A JK-width Dynatrac ProRock 44 was situated up front 3 inches forward from stock and located with 2-inch by 0.500-inch-wall DOM tube control arms fit with 1 1/4-inch Johnny Joints.

  • 5. The ProRock 44 uses Dynatrac ProRock 60 outers, 5.38 gears, and an ARB Air Locker. The track bar, tie rod, and PSC Motorsports hydraulic steering ram will all be protected behind the massive skidplate.

  • 6. The control arm brackets are boxed and plated for extra strength.

  • 7. To best protect the PSC steering box from rock damage, it was cycled to above the frame and secured with a custom boxed mount that will eventually be further protected by an EVO Mfg. TJ bumper.

  • 8. An adjustable steering column mount from Poly Performance fit with a Sparco steering wheel was tacked to the rollcage dash bar to determine the best location for driver comfort and accessibility.

  • 9. After a few mockups, the steering column was placed below the dash bar with support tubes leading down to it. Borgeson steering linkage was used all the way to the steering box. An Art Carr transmission shifter was mounted to down tubes that lead from the dash bar to a crossbar for the seat mounts. The Painless Performance ignition box was installed next to the shifter in easy reach of the driver.

  • 10. The 14-inch-travel King 2.5-inch adjustable compression reservoir shocks were mounted high up on the rollcage C-pillar down tube that leads to the frame and didn’t require any frame notching for clearance. An eight-lug wheel bolt pattern is used for greater strength but also because the EVO team campaigns its eight-lug–equipped EVO1 JK in the King of the Hammers’ main event, so being consistent means the team can swap spares as needed as the wheel bolt pattern, offset, and diameter are the same.

  • 11. The EVO Mfg. shock towers are welded to the frame and supported by a 2-inch by 0.120-inch-wall DOM hoop.

  • 12.The Energy Suspension 1-inch body lift grille bushing is also in view.

  • 13. The passenger-side framerail was prepped for the weld-on shock tower, and a modified EVO Mfg. 1/4 Pounder JK winch bumper was also installed.

  • 14. The 12-inch-travel King 2.5-inch adjustable compression reservoir shock in coil arrangement was mocked up in the shock towers before final welding. This is not a coilover shock but rather an adjustable shock in a mono-coil setup. The coil doesn’t attach to the shock and both the coil and shock are attached to the frame and axle. A similar setup was used in Dodge trucks in the 1990s and therefore met the Everyman Challenge spec class requirement of utilizing a suspension used in a production vehicle. Also check out how the EVO front bumper protects the PSC Motorsports steering box, which was cycled above the framerail and factory front crossmember.

  • 15. RCV Performance axleshafts were installed in the Dynatrac ProRock 44 front axle.

  • 16. With the 505 Performance stroker mill, 32RH transmission, and Atlas transfer case in place, front and rear driveshafts with 1350 U-joints were ordered from Reel Drivelines. The EVO team also began routing the Aeromotive fuel line and mounted the Aeromotive Tsunami fuel pumps.

  • 17. Aeromotive fuel line was routed to the JAZ Products 32-gallon fuel cell.

  • 18. The Aeromotive Tsunami fuel pumps were installed inline along the framerail to ensure the vehicle could continue should one pump fail.

  • 19. An Aeromotive fuel regulator was mounted underhood to the firewall.

  • 20. The JAZ Products fuel cell was secured to the cab floor using custom brackets.

  • 21. A fuel filler was mounted to the driver-side rear down bar and fit with clear fuel hose that routes to the JAZ fuel cell. A rear-facing Truck-Lite LED lamp was also installed.

  • 22. The Atlas twin-stick transfer case shifters were installed atop the tranny tunnel in easy reach from the driver’s seat.

  • 23. A Borgeson steering shaft routes to the floorboard and all the way to the PSC steering box.

  • 24. With the PSC steering box cycled to above the framerail for extra approach clearance, an Off Road Evolution 1/4 Pounder front bumper was installed over it.

  • 25. Aluminum sheet was secured to the rollcage not only for added protection in the event of a rollover but also for sun protection during the long day of racing.

  • 26. An AEM intake tube was routed through an existing hole in the firewall so the filter could pick up cooler, cleaner air from under the dash. The transmission dipstick is also in view.

  • 27. The AEM filter sits just below the dash on the passenger side. Note the use of Painless Performance’s Power Braid wire loom. This stuff is easy to install and looks and works great.

  • 28. An ARB air compressor was mounted underhood to power the front and rear ARB Air Lockers.

  • 29. An sPod switch and relay system was installed underhood.


Auto Meter
Sycamore, IL 60178
Energy Suspension
San Clemente, 92673
Nitto Tire
Cypress, CA 90630
Fife, WA 98424
Summit Racing
Akron, OH
Royal Purple
Porter, TX 77365
Huntington Beach, CA 92647
Borgeson Universal
Torrington, CT 06790
Poly Performance
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
505 Performance
Albuquerque, NM
Painless Performance Products
Ft. Worth, TX 76105
Lenexa, KS 66214
Advance Adapters
Paso Robles, CA 93446
King Shocks
Garden Grove, CA 92840
Discount Tire
Industrial Metal Supply
Irvine, CA 92606
JBA Headers
San Diego, CA 92120
PSC Motorsports
Azle, TX 76020
MasterCraft Safety
Santee, CA 92071
Off Road Evolution
Fullerton, CA 92833
ATX Series Wheels
Ballistic Fabrication
Tucson, AZ
Jaz Products
Brown Dog Offroad