1998 Jeep TJ- Rocky Road Redux
See How We Resurrect this Barn-Find Wrangler
You may have read about the “barn find” 1998 TJ Wrangler. It was languishing in my friend’s Kevin Hawkins garage. The TJ was none other than what was left of Rocky Road, Currie Enterprises’ rock crawl stock class competition Jeep that Kevin had campaigned at early rock crawling events. Kevin had acquired what was left of the Rocky Road, as well as another body and frame, and planned to resurrect the TJ as a trail Jeep. Over the years, he’s used some of the parts for other projects and the Jeep gathered dust in his garage. Until now...
The Rocky Road is alive and almost well. Some parts are still on the way, but it’s sitting on its new 37” Falken WildPeak MT tires, mounted on 17x8” TrailReady beadlock wheels that are in turn mounted on a Currie hybrid one-ton/high pinion Ford 9” frontend and a trussed and reinforced Currie high pinion 9” rearend. The coils are Currie, but the long arm triangulated rear suspension was designed and built by Kevin. Other than a freshening of the Rocky Road’s front suspension, we’re going to wait to upgrade it.
A complete complement of lightweight, strong, Savvy Off-Road components protect the Rocky Road. Their aluminum front bumper holds a Warn 9.5xp winch that will soon be joined by a pair of old school Baja Designs HID lights that I had sitting in my shop. The Savvy rocker guards are good looking and very strong, as are Savvy’s aluminum rear bumper and gas tank skid. As Rocky Road’s halo roll cage was destroyed at its last competition, OR Fab’s Sport Cage was added to the replacement body’s OE roll bar for added safety.
Rocky Road’s original Atlas transfer case awaits another Kevin project, so we procured a new Advance Adapters 2-speed Atlas 3.0 transfer case. Kevin fabricated a flat crossmember and moved body mounts up one inch for better clearance in the rocks. A new Bestop Trek Top NX was added, as the Rocky Road had lost its top years ago.
Check out Kevin’s cell phone photos he snapped to show what was going on. You’ll soon see more (serious) photos here and in the pages of 4Wheel Drive & Sport Utility Magazine.