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A New Jeep Chick - Catching Up (with Katie)

The Newest Jeep Girl

KatieWriterLevi JansmaPhotographer

Hey there! I think a little introduction is needed: my name is Katie. I was in the January ‘14 issue with my ’07 red Unlimited Wrangler in a photo taken during a trip to Fruita, Colorado (“21 Road”). This is where I first met some of the Jp staff and realized how cool working at a magazine might be. I like to work on my Jeeps, including changing my own oil. I’m kind of just getting started wrenching, but I strive to learn anything new I can about Jeeps. I’m still a bit of girly girl and love to get all dolled up, but don’t think for a second that I won’t crawl under a Jeep if something is broken.

I’m a member of my local Jeep club and try to do as much as possible with them because in the end, being a part of any organization helps to keep our land and wheeling areas open. In addition to my awesome Jeep life, I’m a mother of two little girls. I have both a five- and a three-year-old. My Jeep is always loaded with infant car seats, snacks, and baby wipes. My two girls have been Jeepers from day one and don’t know anything different.

Since those photos in the January issue, I sold the red ’07 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited because, well, I kind of broke it. I waited a year before getting a second one. Meanwhile, I was wheeling the ’86 CJ-7 that I also own. I replaced the old JK with a ’12 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. I learned about the differences between the old 3.8L and the new 3.6L engine and decided I wanted the new one, so it had to be a ’12 or newer Jeep for this girl. It was a simple decision, and between the better gas mileage and more horsepower, I had to have the 3.6L. My new ’12 has the five-speed auto, which is better than the four-speed ever was. It is a Call of Duty MW3 special-edition with the Rubicon package, so it’s well equipped with Dana 44s and lockers front and rear. Other than that, nothing has been done to it—yet. As for now, my new baby Jeep is stock. Hopefully that won’t last long.

I’m hoping to install around a 2.5- to 3.5-inch lift, as well as 35s, and I’d like to sleeve my front axle at least for a little more strength. This JK is my daily driver, so I don’t want to go any bigger than that. For now that is what the CJ is for—going big and wheeling hard! In my free time, I love to spend time with good friends, hit the gym, watch the UFC, and be at home so I can save money to buy more Jeep parts. I used do a lot of modeling but slowed down on that because I would rather play with my Jeeps than walk the runway. That said, I was in the Jeep-Chix edition of “Sideways” (June ’13) with my red JK, and I guess many of you liked that because the Jp boys asked me back. The good news is now you get to see a little more of me in my new column. See you again soon!