The boys over at That 4×4 Show have partnered with The 4WD Truckin’ Company to create the ultimate Jeep Wrangler Rubicon trail vehicle. We met up with them to take a look at this (very) hardcore 4×4.
The three-door Jeep Wrangler Rubicon is a very impressive trail 4×4. With its short wheelbase, great ground clearance, multiple diff locks and low-range gearing, the Wrangler, even in standard guise, can tackle just about any trail. If we were forced to use a standard 4×4 to take on a grade-five trail, we’d pick the three-door Rubicon.
That said, the vehicle does have limitations. Yes, it’s great at scaling obstacles but it isn’t the most practical 4×4 around. Packing space is a bit of an issue, to say the least.
That is why the guys at That 4×4 Show decided to try to turn the Rubicon into a vehicle that would still be able to tackle a tough trail – even more so, in fact – but also be practical and versatile enough to act as an overlander.
There are obvious limitations to what can be done with a three-door Wrangler. Short of rewriting the laws of physics, you won’t be able to turn it into something that could accommodate a family of four, or offer the sort of loading space needed for a lengthy overland trip.
“Our aim was to create a 4×4 that would work well as a weekend-away vehicle that allowed two people to camp in relative comfort and still boasted impressive trail ability,” says That 4×4 Show’s Danie Botha.
With this in mind, the Jeep was sent to The 4WD Truckin’ Company in Pretoria, and work started in earnest.
The rear bench was removed. Since the aim was to create a vehicle for two people, the rear seats were wasting valuable space, so they were swapped out for an Alu-Cab drawer system and fridge. A Front Runner roof rack was fitted to increase loading space. Ammo crates in a dust cover were fitted to the front of the rack and jerry cans were installed at the rear. A clever tent has been fitted to the side of the roof rack. It doesn’t take up a lot of space and is easy to set up.
As you can see from the pictures, quite a lot of other modifications have been made to the Wrangler. Obviously, there are those massive 36-inch tyres, as well as modified wheel arches created to accommodate the tyres’ increased girth.
Gary Swemmer and his team at The 4WD Truckin’ Company also created bumpers – a rear one with a swing arm for the 36-inch spare wheel and one of those funky stinger front bumpers that are so popular in the US.
A whole array of X-Ray spotlights has been fitted to the front, and a set of Speaker LED driving lights replaced the original headlights.
Custom-built gull-wing flaps have been installed at the rear of the Jeep to make it easier to get to items in the storage area.
Lastly, and not noticeable from the pictures, is the work done under the bonnet. Rob Green Motorsport complete a stage one conversion on the Wrangler, which consists of a free-low exhaust, high-performance filter and chip. Overall power has been upped to 240 kW.
“We are really happy with the conversion,” says Danie. “The Wrangler is still capable, but it’s more practical now. It would make a great vehicle for a couple who regularly sneak away on the weekends to camp and enjoy their 4×4.”