Jeep Shots - Readers' Home Grown Builds
Chris Kelly of Irvine, California, wasn’t messing around when it came to building his ’14 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon. The JK’s 3.6L Pentastar V-6 is backed by the stock automatic transmission and retains the NVG241OR transfer case. Up front, the original Dana 44 front axle was replaced with a high-pinion Dynatrac ProRock 60. Out back, a full-float Dynatrac ProRock 80 can be found. Both axles are stuffed with 5.38 gears and ARB Air Lockers. Helping to clear the 40-inch-tall Toyo Open Country mud terrains is a Double Throw Down long-arm suspension from EVO Manufacturing. Other worthwhile upgrades from his long list of modifications include EVO MFG bumpers, sliders, and trail table, along with fenders from Poison Spyder Customs and beadlock wheels from ATX.
Dave (Gonzo) Peterson is building a truly one-off vehicle that happens to be registered as a ’57 Willys CJ-6. A GM 350ci V-8 crate engine is powering the six-wheeled machine and is backed by a NV4500 transmission. A highly modified Spicer 18 transfer case is in charge of splitting the power between the axles. Speaking of axles, there are a total of three. The two 9-inch Currie Enterprises differentials and one True Hi9 third member all have ARB Air Lockers. Up front, you’ll find a custom four-link suspension, while YJ leaf springs set atop the rear axles handle the lift out back. Currently, the rig sits on 35x12.50 BFG Mud-Terrain tires mounted on 15-inch Cragar wheels. While the vehicle is still under progress, Peterson hopes to have it out and on the trail soon. In fact, he wants to try some serious long-range traveling and off-road expeditions once it’s complete. Hopefully, we’ll get a chance to see it when it’s all wrapped up.
Kris Benitez of Alamogordo, New Mexico, sent us this shot of his ’09 Wrangler X. The custom vinyl-wrapped JK is fit with a 3 1/2-inch suspension lift, which easily clears the 35-inch Pit Bull Rocker tires. Inside the stock differentials are 5.13 Yukon gears and Yukon Zip Lockers. The Iraq war vet and founder of the New Mexico Chapter of the Punisher Rock Krawlers also upgraded the front of his JK with a Smittybilt winch and Derby City LED lightbar.
Wheeling & Collecting
Rusty Jebbia of Wheeling, West Virginia, submitted his Korean War–era ’53 Willys M38A1. He writes “I did the restoration myself using NOS (new old stock) parts and tracking down a .50-cal M2 HB with an oxygen/propane simulator in it. It was originally issued to Camp Robinson in north Little Rock, Arkansas, as an anti-aircraft training vehicle. I found a repair tag from 1956 that identified where it was repaired when I was restoring it.” We love seeing classics preserved is such a cool way. Jebbia also states that this is just one of 18 Jeeps he’s owned since 1980.
There is not much left untouched on CJ Maurer’s ’09 Wrangler Rubicon. The stock 3.8L was given a boost thanks to a Ripp supercharger. In place of the original T-case sits an Atlas II with a 5.0:1 low range ratio. Up front, a Torq Motorsports/JRat Offroad Sixty9 front axle was put in place, while out back a GM 14-bolt was swapped in. ARB Air Lockers and 5.38 gears were stuffed in both differentials. The Rock Krawler long-arm suspension and coilovers give the JK its trail legs, while a set of 40-inch Goodyear MT/Rs fight for traction. Other upgrades include Corbeau seats, Truck-Lite LED headlights, Crawler Conceptz bumpers, and a PSC Motorsports hydraulic-assist steering kit.