Waxahachie Builds Jeep Wrangler JK-8 Independence Truck
Mopar has released the JK-8 Wrangler pickup conversion kit announced earlier this year at the Moab Jeep® Safari. The kit, which generated considerable buzz among Jeep enthusiasts, enables a Wrangler Unlimited to be converted into a 2-door model with a pickup bed.
The design incorporates cues from the popular 1980’s Jeep Scrambler CJ-8. Major components include a spacious 44-inch by 50-inch steel bed, inner and outer bedsides constructed from stamped sheet metal, Freedom Panel assemblies, a removable fiberglass hardtop with a sliding rear window, two fixed side windows, and a fiberglass bulkhead. A special JK-8 badge is also provided for the left rear quarter panel.
Two processes are involved in the conversion from a four-door Jeep Wrangler Unlimited to a two-door pickup truck: disassembly and reassembly.
In disassembly, each rear door is removed. Next, the rear-bumper assembly, hardtop and Freedom Panels are removed, followed by the rear portion of the interior, which includes seats and carpeting. Exterior trim parts are removed and preserved; inner and outer body panels are removed by drilling out the spot welds, which allows the panels to fall away and avoids having to cut into the sheet metal. The rear sport bar is cut away and removed along with B-pillars.
Reassembly into a two-door pickup truck begins with the installation of the B-pillars, cross member, floor-pan assembly (truck bed), and the inner and outer quarter panels (welding is involved in assembly). Next to be installed is the bulkhead reinforcement assembly and sport bar extensions, and finally the installation of the fiberglass bulkhead itself. The kit, with components delivered e-coated, is then prepped for paint. Windows are installed to the hard top, which is then installed on the vehicle. Exterior trim parts are then reinstalled.
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