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Jeep Wrangler JK Four-Way

Posted in Project Vehicles on May 1, 2010 Comment (0)
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We caught wind of the first annual North American JK Experience only weeks before it began in December. It ran from Texas to California and hit some cool trails and sights along the way. We sped out to meet the JK train in Yuma, Arizona, and followed it back into California through the Glamis dunes, Brawley, Palm Springs, Yucca Valley, and ultimately Johnson Valley, where the event ended. You have to man-up and drive your Jeep the whole way on this event; there are no trailers or tow rigs allowed and some of the trails require serious dedication, meaning body damage was very likely. Here are the four Jeeps that made the entire trip. For more info on this year's North American JK Experience, go to jk-experince.com.

Mel's Mangled Unlimited
Hard Facts
Owner: Mel Wade
Hometown: Long Beach, California
Wheeling Experience: 25 years
Favorite Wheeling Spots: Moab and Rubicon Trail
Vehicle: '07 Wrangler Unlimited
Engine: Stock 3.8L V-6
Transmission: Stock automatic
Transfer Case: Stak three-speed Monster Box
Front Suspension: Evo Double Throwdown
Rear Suspension: Evo Lever Double Throwdown

Axles: Dynatrac ProRock 60 (front and rear)
Ring and Pinion: 5.38:1
Differentials: ARB Air Locker (front and rear)
Wheels: Walker Evans 17x8 beadlocks
Tires: 40x13.50R17 Nitto Mud Grappler
Estimated Value: $50,000
Typical Fuel Economy: 10 mpg
Other Stuff: Wild Boar Fastback top, Off Road Evolution EVO bumpers, rockers, armor, and spare tire carrier, Warn Endurance winch, Lightforce HID lights, and Mastercraft seats
Favorite Mod: Coilovers
Least Favorite Mod: Delta headlights
If I Built It Again: "I would swap a V-8 in right away."

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Randy's Orvit
Hard Facts
Owner: Andy Brown
Hometown: San Diego, California
Vehicle: '09 Wrangler
Engine: RIPP-supercharged 3.8L V-6
Transmission: Stock automatic
Transfer Case: Stock NV241
Front Suspension: Teraflex long-arm with Off Road Evolution/King coilovers and air bumps
Rear Suspension: Teraflex long-arm with Off Road Evolution Evo Lever
Axles: Solid Dana 60 (front and rear)
Ring and Pinion: 5.13
Differentials: Detroit Locker (front and rear)
Wheels: KMC 17x8 beadlocks
Tires: 37x12.50R17 Goodyear MT/R
Typical Fuel Economy: 13-14 mpg
Other Stuff: PSC ram assist, Off Road Evolution tube fenders and rockers and Rock Hard sport cage
Estimated Value: $55,000
Favorite Mod: Front coilovers and Evo Lever rear suspension
Least Favorite Mod: Full-time lockers
If I Built It Again: "I'd start with a wrecked one and throw a Hemi at it."

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Randy's Screamin' Lizard Special
Hard Facts
Owner: Randy Byers
Hometown: Euless, Texas
Wheeling Experience: 20-plus
Favorite Wheeling Spots: Moab, Utah
Vehicle: '07 Wrangler Unlimited
Engine: 6.1L Hemi
Transmission: 545RFE five-speed automatic
Transfer Case: NV241
Front Suspension: Full-Traction long-arm, 16-inch Off Road Evolution/King coilovers and air bumps
Rear Suspension: Full-Traction long-arm, Off Road Evolution Evo Lever Double Throwdown

Axles: Currie Rock Jock III (front and rear)
Ring and Pinion: 5.13
Differentials: ARB Air Locker (front and rear)
Wheels: Rock Crawler 17x9 with Staun internal beadlocks
Tires: 42x14.50x17 Goodyear MT/R Kevlar
Typical Fuel Economy: 12 mpg
Other Stuff: PSC ram assist, Screamin' Lizard customs tire carrier, Rock Hard sport cage, Mastercraft belts, Shrockworks stubby front bumper and rockers, Warn Powerplant winch, AEV hood, Bestop Trek top, Tuffy center console
Estimated Value: N/A
Favorite Mod: 6.1L Hemi and Off Road Evolution Evo suspension
Least Favorite Mod: Bestop Trektop (old version)
If I Built It Again: "I would determine what I ultimately wanted and build it one time rather than constantly upgrading."

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Joe's Daily Driver
Hard Facts
Owner: Joe Daro
Hometown: Phoenix, Arizona
Wheeling Experience: 14 years
Favorite Wheeling Spots: Arizona, Utah and Johnson Valley
Vehicle: '07 Wrangler Rubicon
Engine: Stock 3.8L V-6
Transmission: Stock automatic
Transfer Case: Stock NV241OR
Suspension: Rock Krawler 5.5-inch X-Factor Plus long-arm
Axles: Stock Rubicon Dana 44 with Superior shafts (front and rear)
Ring and Pinion: 5.38
Differentials: Stock Rubicon Locker (front and rear)
Wheels: 17x8 Walker Evans beadlocks
Tires: 40x13.50x17 Goodyear MT/R Kevlar
Estimated Value: $65,000
Typical Fuel Economy: 17.3 mpg
Other Stuff: Gen-Right bumpers and rockers, HID headlights and KC lights
Favorite Mod: 40-inch tires and long arm suspension
Least Favorite Mod: RIPP supercharger (removed)
If I Built It Again: "I'd install Dana 60s and 42-inch tires."

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