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2007 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited - Discount Tire RESQ1

The Ultimate Field Service Wrangler

Christian HazelPhotographer, Writer

One thing we’ll never do here at Jp is lie to you. So, even though you’re drooling over photos of what is arguably the coolest, most unique Wrangler build to date, it wasn’t quite finished the day Editor Hazel and Publisher VonSeggern dragged it to the desert north of Los Angeles for this photoshoot. Publishing deadlines are merciless, uncaring things that have no regard for how much we wanted to put the Discount Tire RESQ1 project on the cover. But a “Trail Tools & Recovery Gear” issue? How could we not use the ultimate field service, repair, and recovery vehicle as the cover? So sure, the front and rear Warn winches had no fairleads, and the smog-legal 5.3L GM engine and 6L80E transmission still had to be calibrated for the 5.38 gears and 40-inch Nitto Trail Grappler tires at Turn Key Powertrain. Additionally, Mel Wade and his insane gang of welding maniacs at Off Road Evolution, who executed the vision of Discount Tire and Jp in creating this sucker, still had to hook up the Vision X lighting, fashion a rear bumper, some additional armor, and plumb the air and electrical connections to the monstrous Miller Trailblazer 302 welder/generator/air compressor before its debut in our sister publication 4-Wheel & Off-Road magazine’s Ultimate Adventure. But we don’t feel bad about pulling RESQ1 from the work bay to the trail before completion for our cameras. Why, you ask? Because by the time you read this, every step of the buildup, including a longer, more complete story on the finished RESQ1, can be found at dtresq1.com.

If you’ve been following from the beginning, it will be the culmination of over eight months of buildup coverage. And if you’re just seeing RESQ1 for the first time, you’ll be able to follow the transformation from start to finish as we take a well used ’07 Wrangler Unlimited, stick a smog-legal 345hp GM Gen IV engine between the fenders, and then burn rubber to Off Road Evolution in Fullerton, California, where the real gnarly stuff happened. From stretching the factory JK frame 30 inches to cutting the Jeep tub in half to creating the crew cab closeout to modifying a factory hardtop to fit the shortened body, it’s all at dtresq1.com. The installation of the EVO Double Throwdown suspension with King bypass shocks and coilovers, the Dynatrac ProRock 60 front and ProRock 80 rear axles, and the four-speed Atlas T-case are all covered in online stories and videos. You’ll see not one, but two service beds that we commissioned to house oodles of Miller welding supplies, Warn recovery gear, Eastwood hand and power tools, and of course, any tire service and repair tool Discount Tire uses in its stores. Because that’s what this vehicle is all about for Discount Tire—service, support, and helping people, whether it’s somebody’s grandma with a flat tire in the parking lot of the bingo hall or an on-trail rollover recovery requiring cutting, welding, and repair of four punctured tires. With a fully functional Coats tire machine hanging off the back of RESQ1, just like the ones in any Discount Tire facility, tire repair just ain’t an issue.

So be sure to visit dtresq1.com, not only to see the Off Road Evolution crew make this monster a reality, but to read the full finished feature and watch video highlighting all the cool gadgets we packed into RESQ1. These days, it’s almost impossible to build a JK Wrangler in a way that hasn’t been done before. We think Discount Tire, Jp, and Off Road Evolution have done just that.