OR­ANGE BRUISER

JEEP JK WRAN­GLER RU­BI­CON

4 x 4 Australia - - Custom 4x4 Of The Year 2017 -

AS BILL, the owner of this trick, tough bright or­ange Ru­bi­con will af­firm, Jeep Wran­glers are pop­u­lar with off-road­ers for one rea­son: you can pretty much fit any­thing to these tough pieces of Yank iron – and set them up as any­thing from a hard­core rock-crawler, to an out­back tourer, to an off-road all­rounder. This is, fun­nily enough, just what Bill has done with his four-door Ru­bi­con. Even if you’re not a huge Jeep fan, ev­ery four-wheel en­thu­si­ast knows just how ca­pa­ble off-road a Ru­bi­con is straight out of the box: front/ rear lock­ers, dis­con­nect­ing front sway bar, super-low gear­ing, over-built Dana axles... the list goes on. That doesn’t mean you can’t go fur­ther, as Bill’s or­ange bruiser shows.

He did the sen­si­ble thing and headed straight to Aussie Jeep gu­rus Dou­ble Black Of­froad (DBOR) who are well-versed in mod­ding Wran­glers.

The sus­pen­sion un­der­neath the Wran­gler is DBOR’S Wild Kit, of­fer­ing a mighty 4.5-inch lift. This kit also re­places all the sus­pen­sion links with beefed-up ad­justable parts from Syn­ergy Man­u­fac­tur­ing, en­sur­ing that when that big lift asks the ques­tion, noth­ing is go­ing to break. Add in taller coils from Ru­bi­con Ex­press, some awe­some Fox re­mote reser­voir 2.0 dampers, and all the ad­di­tional pe­riph­eral mods (length­ened brake lines, ex­tended bump stops and more) and you’ve got a high-rid­ing but still nice-han­dling off-roader. It also meant Bill could fit in huge 37-inch BFG KM2 tyres, sen­si­bly wrap­ping them around Walker Evans bead­lock wheels, thus al­low­ing Bill to run the tyres at very low pres­sures if need be.

Up front a DBOR bull­bar sports a wa­ter­proof Smit­ty­bilt X20 12,000lb winch and Light­force HID/LED combo HTX230 spot­ties. Bill also fit­ted a Daystar hood cowl (with bon­net vents) and an Amer­i­can Ex­pe­di­tion Ve­hi­cles (AEV) snorkel, all pushing air into an AIRAID air box. (Daystar claims this setup can

IN THE END BILL FIN­ISHED UP WITH EX­ACTLY WHAT HE WAS AF­TER

re­duce en­gine-bay temps by up to 12 per cent.) There’s also a Smit­ty­bilt mesh roof and cargo net for when the Ru­bi­con’s hard roof comes off. At the rear it’s the same built-tough song: An At­las rear bar re­lieves the tail­gate of that hefty 37-inch spare, helps pro­tect the rear quar­ter pan­els, is fit­ted with two re­cov­ery points, and can carry twin 40-litre jerry cans.

The Wran­gler’s in­te­rior is pretty much stock Jeep, with Bill adding a few tweaks, such as cloth Ru­bi­con seats, up­graded stereo, wash-off rub­ber mats, and a GME UHF.

With his raft of sen­si­ble, wellthought-out mod­i­fi­ca­tions, Bill has fin­ished up with ex­actly what he was af­ter: the ul­ti­mate all-rounder.

With a host of off-road mods avail­able, there’s lit­tle won­der the Jeep Wran­gler is so pop­u­lar.

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