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2015 Jeep JK Wrangler Rubicon: 2017 Custom 4x4OTY contender

By Justin Walker, 16 Nov 2017 4x4OTY

Custom Jeep JK Wrangler Rubicon main

Sensible build results in a wild JK.

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 all-rounder.

Vote for the Jeep JK Wrangler Rubicon to win 2017 Custom 4x4 of the Year

This is, funnily enough, just what Bill has done with his four-door Rubicon.

Custom-Jeep-JK-Wrangler-Rubicon-steering.jpgEven 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.

2018 Jeep Wrangler official photos

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.

Fox remote reservoir 2.0 dampersAdd 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 reduce engine-bay temps by up to 12 per cent.)

Custom-Jeep-JK-Wrangler-Rubicon-offroading.jpgThere’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, well-thought-out modifications, Bill has finished up with exactly what he was after: the ultimate all-rounder.