The Legendary Jeep Wrangler

Known for its distinctive body style, rugged appearance, and ability to handle nearly any trail this world can throw at it, the legendary Jeep Wrangler has become an icon since it was first released in 1987. The original model was designed after the body structure of the jeeps used in World War II. Since 1987, the Jeep Wrangler has undergone various facelifts and both internal and external revisions, but has still managed to remain one of the most popular off-road vehicles of all time.

The Original

There is some debate over which Jeep was truly the original. The Jeep YJ hit the market in 1987 and featured the body design that we know and recognize even today, twenty-four years later. A less distinctive Jeep was however being produced ever since 1944 that was known as the Willy’s CJ, or civilian jeep. It also came to be known as the Jeep CJ. Production on this line stopped in 1986 due to slow sales, although the Jeep line had a fairly large following. The YJ had a wider track, ran a bit lower to the ground, and provided more comfort.

The Rubicon

The Jeep Rubicon came into being in 2003, bringing a 5 speed manual transmission, sturdy Dana 44 axles, 16 inch wheels, and a 4:1 NV241OR low range transfer case to impress the already stalwart jeep fans. In 2005 the transmission was changed from the 5 speed manual to a 6 speed, the NSG370, with Mercedes origins. The Jeep Rubicon was so named in honor of the famous Rubicon Trail, a 4×4 trail high in the rugged Sierra Nevada Mountain range.

Lara Croft Takes a Ride

In 2003 the Wrangler Rubicon made a star appearance in the summer blockbuster Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, the sequel to Tomb Raider. Only 1,001 of these special edition Jeep Rubicon “Tomb Raider” variations were manufactured. This special edition Jeep came with everything the normal Rubicon offered as well as extra accessories like the signature red seat belts, tubular grille guard, light bar, diamond bumper guard, and rivet fender flares. The Bright Silver coloring and Tomb Raider badge completed the package.

The Jeep Wrangler JK

The JK model in 2007 fully redesigned the look of the older Wrangler models. Coming with a wheelbase that was a full 2 inches longer and 3.4 inches wider, the JK was much larger than the previous model. There are two standard variations the the Jeep Wrangler JK, one being the 2 door model with a shorter wheelbase, the other being the Unlimited 4 door model with a long wheelbase. Both of these models are offered in Rubicon, Sahara, and X trim levels.

The Rubicon JK

Fitted with the full Rubicon package, the Jeep Wrangler JK becomes the ultimate off-road machine. Features include rock rails, 4:1 transfer case from Rock-Trac, removable doors, folding windshield, electronic rockers for both the front and rear axles, Dana 44 axles, and any other option available.

The Legendary Jeep Wrangler has a history full of changes, makeovers, and overhauls, but it still remains one of the most used off-road vehicles to this stay, and it’s still the Jeep that we have come to know and love.

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Jeep Rubicon Modifications

There’s no doubt that the Jeep Wrangler JK Rubicon is a sleek machine right out of the factory. Fully capable of handling tough trails the second it’s taken from the showroom, the Jeep Rubicon has surpassed the expectations of nearly all diehard Jeep fans. That doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t have some fun with it and add some Jeep Rubicon modifications to truly make the vehicle as impressive and personalized as possible. There are dozens of mods out there, but some of the most popular ones include cold air kits, lift kits, and onboard air compressors.

Cold air intake

Cold air intakes are used to reduce the temperature in the engine, which in turn makes the engine more efficient and powerful. Aftermarket cold air intakes are one of the most popular Jeep Rubicon modifications, because users really see a benefit with each extra ounce of power they can get. Cold air intake systems work by providing the engine with air that has more oxygen, and thus the fuel is more easily combusted. Some of the advantages of a cold air intake system in the Jeep Rubicon include more torque and horsepower, as well as higher fuel efficiency.

Snorkel Kit

A snorkel kit allows the Jeep Rubicon to do two things: traverse deep water that would normally get into the air intake valve and clog the engine, and operate more efficiently by reducing the amount of surface dust and debris that makes it into the air filter. The snorkel kit attaches to the air intake and runs up the A- pillar of the chassis. This is also one of the more popular Jeep Rubicon modifications because it allows for greater fuel efficiency and allows the air filter to last much longer. It’s popular among people who go “mudding” as well.

Suspension Lift Kit

A lift kit raises the suspension of the Jeep Rubicon, giving it more ground clearance. It also opens up the option of getting a larger set of tires, such as a set of 37.50”x12.50” tires without the possibility that they will rub on the underside of the chassis when they flex. Suspension lift kits generally raise the chassis about 2” to 5” and come with the entire set of shocks and coil springs to mount the new suspension. These kits make the Rubicon look great but they’re also great on rocky trails or rock crawling trips because they allow much more clearance, allowing you to get farther.

Onboard Air Compressor

Not so much a structural modification as a useful addition, an onboard air compressor can be used for a multitude of different purposes. Obviously the main use is to fill up a flat tire, which is extremely helpful out on a back trail when a flat would normally leave you stranded. An electric air compressor can also run air powered tools for any quick fixes that need to be done. It is an all-around useful item to have on board.

There are many more mods out there, but these are some of the most common Jeep Rubicon modifications. Other mods could be new brake systems, exhaust systems, tires, doors, or audio systems.

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