Jeep Wrangler TJ Build is Far Beyond ‘Trail-rated’
Powered by a 2006 Volkswagen Jetta 1.9-liter turbodiesel, this 2002 Jeep Wrangler TJ may be the most aluminum-ridden off-roader in existence.
Ever wanted to take your Jeep Wrangler toward the hardest, rockiest, most challenging trails, but wondered what it would take to get there? This YouTuber’s ride could give you a few ideas.
BleepinJeep host Nate shows us his 2002 Wrangler TJ, which he says he bought when he was 20 back in 2006, and “had it wheelin’ the first weekend” he owned it in the mountains of his Washington state home, paper license plate and all. Since then, he’s invested a lot of time and money on transforming the Wrangler into the ultimate rock crawler.
For starters, he custom-built a number of pieces, such as the front hoop/stinger/bumper combo upon which his Superwinch sits, and the rear spare tire mount. The Jeep itself sits on thick Pro Comp Xtreme MT2 tires mounted on cheap steelies over front Ford F-150 disc and rear stock drum brakes. A Dana 44 with coil shocks and chromoly shafts up front and a custom rear axle inspired by the Ford 9-inch rear with custom 35-spline shafts and coil springs in back complete the package.
The body has lost a lot of weight through extensive use of aluminum pieces, from the rear and side doors, to the fenders and front fender liners, and he’s not done riding the aluminum wave yet; his original goal was to drop 600 to 800 pounds from the body.
Powering this beast is a 2006 Volkswagen Jetta 1.9-liter turbodiesel with “the biggest injectors” he could find, a turbo he says could be bigger, and a hot chip tune. Inside, the radio has been replaced with switches for current and future functions. A virtual gauge set-up from Edge helps Nate keep an eye on things while a modified roll cage protects his head.
Future plans for this insane Wrangler include a 100-inch wheelbase, a new four-speed transfer case, a Dana 60 hi-pinion front axle, all to better tackle Moab and King of the Hammers.