Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Independence Day: Mopar readies the Jeep Wrangler JK8 Independence Kit

So you want a Wrangler Pick-up truck, well as last Mopar are going to launch the JK-8 conversion kit, read more below.

The JK-8 gets a launch date. For those of you that have been patiently awaiting more details concerning Mopar’s Jeep Wrangler JK-8 Independence Kit, since it debuted in April at the Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, you can look forward to more than just fireworks July 4th weekend. The JK-8 Kits will be available at select dealerships beginning July 4th weekend.

jk_8_2Jeep and Mopar are pushing hard on suppliers to have 100 of the kits available by July 4th, a source within Mopar’s development team revealed. In all Jeep has 1000 of the kits in production, and is working hard to coincide the JK8 Independence’s launch with our country’s own Independence Day.

No word yet, on product mix of how many kits will be bolt on versus weld on. We assume that all 100 kits available on July 4th will be the less expensive and easier to install bolt on version. The bolt on kit will have a retail of just under $5,000. No word yet on the Mopar part number or which dealership will receive the initial kits. -But we can tell you the kits will come with a Mopar certificate of authenticity and die cast aluminium fender emblems bearing the “JK-8″ ensignia, similar to those used on the 1981-1986 Jeep CJ8 Scrambler.

The name of the pickup truck conversion kit and the July 4th Independence Day launch were apparently planned late last year. The move to name the JK8 Kit “Independence” is a nod to Jeep’s historical significance during World War II and coincides with Jeep’s own 70th Anniversary.



Watch a time lapsed build of the JK8 performed by the Mopar team at the recent Easter Jeep Safari in Moab:

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Sunday, 12 June 2011

May not contain all you need!

Recently I was asked if I could check over a Cherokee that had a 3” lift kit fitted, to make sure bolts were torqued correctly, and such like. Once I had the Jeep on the ramp I gave it a good look over and a couple of items came to light very quickly one was serious. As you can see from the photo the suspension is almost on full drop with hardly any steering lock, and the brake line is ready tight and pulling. As you can imagine in an off-road situation with the Jeep articulated up and full lock being put on I doubt very much that the brake line would hold. Resulting in no front brakes not an ideal position to be in. So when fitting a lift kit it is always a good idea to cycle the suspension through its full travel and check. That way the next problem I found would have come to light as well.
The second problem I found was, there were no front bumpstop extensions fitted, now this is not as serious a problem as with the brake lines, but can still end up costing money. The gap between the the axle pad and the bumpstop on the front suspension with the vehicle sitting at rest was 4.75” the length of the shock rod left showing was 4”. So before the bumpstop can do it work at full compression the shock would bottom out and would act as the bumpstop. This would eventually end up damaging the piston rod and valve, resulting in new shocks being needed.
Not all suspension kits have all the parts you require in the box so to say when fitting the lift. Just because the parts are not in the box does not mean that you do not need them. When buying a lift kit if you are not sure ask, if they recommend any other components that may be required, it could end up saving you a lot of money in the long run and giving you a reliable rig as well.
If you have questions regarding your Jeep suspension, then give me a ring at FTE 4x4 Specialists Ltd. We can always advise and point you in the right direction.