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2006 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited LJ - Universal Mudder: Part 2

Front And Rear Protection

Kevin McNultyWriterChris HamiltonWriterDoug HalePhotographer

We really don’t need to go into the history the 4x4 since everyone knows what they represent—adventure. The utilitarian 4x4s are a very capable vehicle in stock form and can blast through mud, sand, and snow and climb and crawl in all sorts of conditions. Throw some performance modifications at Jeep and they can go just about anywhere!

Jeeps are everywhere, and what we notice most is that they are not only used as a family’s daily driver, but also weekend entertainment transporting them to the mud park, ’wheeling down the beach, and hunting. Our stock ’06 Jeep Unlimited was a great find and in perfect condition, after we were handed the pink slip we were ecstatic with it on the way home.

The bottom line is that even though the Jeep is great in stock form it is also the perfect platform to build our low-key mud Jeep and weekend adventure machine. We didn’t want to go to wild with it since it would be driven to the grocery store, mall (really), and everywhere there isn’t pavement. The first performance modification we made was installing a Rancho short-arm suspension system for more ground clearance and better articulation, Nitto Trail Grappler tires, and some tough Teflon coated ATX 17x8 Mojave wheels.

Now that we are rolling through the fields and hitting the parks at events with the Jeep, it’s time to give it some front and rear protection. We contacted Poison Spyder Customs and ordered up a front and rear bumpers. Poison Spyder has been around for years and manufactures some really cool and high-quality custom Jeep components. The guys don’t just make and sell parts; everyone in the company is a hardcore Jeep enthusiast and racer. We met Larry McRae, owner of Poison Spyder, about 12 years ago on the trail in the middle of nowhere and were impressed with his four-wheel skills way back then. Today, all his experience goes right into his product.

After little debate we ordered the front Brawler Bar and the rear Rock Brawler rear bumper with spare tire carrier. Both bumpers are constructed of CNC laser-cut, brake-formed 3⁄16-inch plate steel and are exceptionally well engineered. After we got the bumpers and test-fitted them, powdercoated at Ace Powder Coating, and finally installed at Serious Autosport in Palm Beach, Florida.

Keep your eyes peeled for more on this project because in Part 3 we’re going to install more performance parts on our Universal Jeep and take it on adventure in the swamps of Florida.