Xtreme 4x4 Builds

Parts Used In This Episode

Dupli-Color
Paint, General Purpose, Enamel, Semi-Gloss, Black, 12 oz., Aerosol, Each
G-2 Axle & Gear
TJ D44 Front Axle Assembly 4.88 ratio; With Air Locker
G-2 Axle & Gear
TJ D44 Rear Axle Assembly 4.88 ratio; With ARB Locker, 33 Spline Axles and Disc Brakes
Pro Comp
Tire, Xterrain, 35.00 in. x 12.50 in.-17, Radial, 119D Load Range, Q Speed Rating, Blackwall, Each
Pro Comp
Wheel, Series 7089, Aluminum, Black, 17 in. x 8 in., 5 x 4.50 in. Bolt Circle, 4.50 in. Backspace, Each
Rubicon Express
4.5" Extreme-Duty Long Arm Suspension System with Rear Tri-Link - No Shocks
Skid Row Off Road
Fuel Tank Skid Plate
Skid Row Off Road
Steering Box Skid Plate
Smittybilt
Bumper- Front; XRC Front Bumper; Black Texture
Smittybilt
Roll Cage Kit, SRC, Steel, Black, No Drill, Jeep, Set of 6
Smittybilt
Seat; XRC Performance Seating; Black On Black; Front
Smittybilt
XRC Rear Seat Cover, Black on Black
Warn Industries
Winch, VR 8000, 12 V, Hawse Fairlead, Power In/Out, 3/8 in. x 100 ft. Cable, 12 ft. Hand-Held Remote, Each

Episode Transcript

(ANNOUNCER)>> WE'VE TRANSFORMED OUR '97 TJ INTO A HIGH PERFORMANCE DUAL PURPOSE TRAIL JEEP. FROM THE LIFTED HIGH FLEX SUSPENSION KIT TO HARDCORE BODY PROTECTION, THIS RIG IS READY TO ROLL IN ANY DIRECTION. TODAY ON XTREME 4X4 A TRUCK THAT CONQUERS THE ROCKS AND TAKES YOU HOME AT THE END OF THE DAY.

(IAN)>> NOT TOO LONG AGO WE BROUGHT A JEEP CHEROKEE INTO THE SHOP, PUT TOGETHER A PROJECT WE CALLED THE LOW DOLLAR WHEELER. BASICALLY BUILDING IT SLOWLY, OVER TIME, THE SAME WAY YOU GUYS WOULD AT HOME. WE ENDED UP WITH A PRETTY GOOD RIG. IT HAD A LIFT KIT, WHEELS, TIRES, LOCKER IN THE BACK, AND A PRETTY COOL CAMOUFLAGE PAINT JOB. NOW A LOT OF YOU GUYS LOVED THAT PROJECT, ASKED US TO DO IT AGAIN. WE DECIDED THAT THIS TIME WE'RE GONNA TACKLE SOMETHING JUST A LITTLE BIT MORE MODERN. SO AFTER SOME RESEARCH WE FOUND THAT THE BEST VEHICLE FOR US TO TURN INTO A DUAL PURPOSE RIG WAS GOING TO BE THIS, 1997 JEEP TJ. WE PICKED THIS ONE UP FOR $5,000. BROUGHT IT INTO THE SHOP, STARTED TAKING IT APART TO BUILD WHAT WE'RE CALLING THE DOUBLE DUTY TJ. IT STARTED WITH BODY ARMOR ALL THE WAY AROUND. THE THREESIXTEENTHS INCH STEEL PLATE OFFERS GOOD PROTECTION FOR OUR JEEP TUB WHEN WE'RE GONNA BE OUT ON THE TRAIL.

UP FRONT A NARROW ROCK CRAWLER SERIES BUMPER AND A WARN VR 8,000 POUND WINCH BECAUSE AT THE END OF THE DAY WE'VE GOT TO DRIVE THIS RIG HOME. AFTER JUST A FEW HOURS WORK NOT ONLY HAVE WE COMPLETELY CHANGED THE LOOK OF OUR TJ, BUT WE'VE MADE THIS JEEP TRULY TRAIL READY. SO WITH THE BODY TAKEN CARE OF, IT'S TIME TO MAKE SURE THE PASSENGERS RIDING INSIDE THE JEEP ARE SAFE AS WELL. NOW NORMALLY HERE AT XTREME WHEN IT COMES TIME TO BUILD A ROLL CAGE WE BREAK OUT THE TUBE BENDER AND THE WELDER. WE'VE BEEN LISTENING TO WHAT YOU GUYS ARE SAYING. YOU WANT TO KNOW HOW CAN YOU BUILD A TRUCK LIKE THIS WITHOUT ALL THE FANCY TOOLS IN YOUR GARAGE AT HOME. WELL THIS IS A GREAT OPTION. THIS IS A 100 PERCENT BOLT IN ROLL CAGE FROM SMITTY BUILT. IT KEYS OFF THE FACTORY CAGE IN THE TJ AND JUST TIGHTENS IT ALL UP WITH EXTRA TUBES IN STRATEGIC PLACES. NOW NO, IT'S NOT GOING TO BE AS STRONG AS A FULL CUSTOM CAGE, BUT THERE'S A COUPLE OF BENEFITS. THE VEHICLE REMAINS 100 PERCENT STREET LEGAL BECAUSE ALL THE FACTORY SEAT BELTS ARE THERE, AND YOU CAN INSTALL IT IN YOUR DRIVEWAY IN LESS THAN A WEEK. THE ENTIRE PACKAGE SIMPLY CLAMPS AROUND OUR FACTORY BARS USING OD TUBE CLAMPS AND ALLEN HEAD BOLTS. NOW OUR JEEP IS ONE STEP CLOSER TO HITTING THE TRAIL. THE BODY'S PROTECTED, AND SO IS EVERYBODY INSIDE. THEN IT WAS TIME TO TURN OUR ATTENTION TO THE PERFORMANCE OF OUR TJ, AND THAT MEANS AXLES, TIRES, WHEELS, AND SUSPENSION. NOW OUR STOCK JEEP WORKS GREAT ON THE ROAD, BUT A GOOD SUSPENSION SYSTEM WILL CERTAINLY MAKE IT WORK BETTER WHEN WE'RE ON THE TRAIL. A COMPANY THAT HELPED PIONEER THE USE OF RADIUS ARMS ON LONG TRAVEL JEEP SUSPENSION SYSTEMS HAS ALWAYS BEEN RUBICON EXPRESS. RECENTLY THEY'VE COME OUT WITH SOME NEW XTREME DUTY VERSIONS FOR MODELS OF JEEPS LIKE OUR TJ. NOW WE OPTED FOR THE FOUR AND A HALF INCH KIT THAT USES THEIR RADIUS ARMS UP FRONT AND AN ADJUSTABLE TRACK BAR. IT MOUNTS TO THE FACTORY LOCATIONS DOWN ON THE AXLE BUT UP ON THE NEW FRAME MOUNT IT USES A HEIM JOINT WITH A HIGH MISALIGNMENT SPACER TO HELP THAT FRONT AXLE FLEX. OUT BACK IT CONVERTS THE SUSPENSION TO A DOUBLE TRIANGULATED FOUR LINK USING A CENTER UNIBALL MOUNT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE REAR AXLE TO HELP LET THE REAR AXLE MOVE WHEN YOU'RE TRAVELING THROUGH THE TRAIL. NOW THE REALLY UNIQUE FEATURE OF THIS KIT IS THE SKID PLATE. IT'S A THREE PIECE DESIGN WITH A REMOVABLE CENTER, AND ALLOWS YOU TO SERVICE THE DRIVETRAIN WITHOUT HAVING TO TAKE THE SUSPENSION OUT OF THE TRUCK. THE NICE THING IS THAT ONCE IT'S INSTALLED INTO THE JEEP, ALL THE SUSPENSION MOUNTS ARE UP ABOVE THE SKID PLATE, LEAVING NOTHING HANGING DOWN BELOW THE FRAME THAT CAN GET HUNG UP WHEN YOU'RE OUT ON THE ROCKS. THE NEW OUTER SKID PLATE PIECES ARE BOLTED UP TO THE FRAME IN THE STOCK LOCATION AND THE UPPER LINK MOUNT ASSEMBLY IS INSTALLED. NOW OUR TJ LEFT THE FACTORY WITH A DANA 30/35 COMBINATION, AND WE CERTAINLY DON'T WANT TO LEAVE THOSE AXLES UNDER THERE FOR A GOOD DUAL PURPOSE RIG. YEAH SURE, WE COULD HAVE GRABBED SOME 44'S FROM A JUNKYARD, THROWN A BUNCH OF PARTS AT THEM AND REBUILT THEM, BUT JUST FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE WE WERE ABLE TO GET TWO COMPLETE CRATE AXLE ASSEMBLIES FROM GTWO AXLE AND GEAR. NOW THEY CAME WITH ARB'S INSTALLED AS WELL AS 4.88 GEARS AND 33 SPLINE AXLES. THE REAR HAS BEEN TREATED TO A DISC BRAKE CONVERSION, WHICH WILL DEFINITELY IMPROVE OUR BRAKING, AND ALL THE BRACKETS ARE WELDED ONTO THE TUBES BOTH REAR AND FRONT TO ALLOW THEM TO BE BOLTED INTO A TJ USING ANY TYPE OF AFTERMARKET SUSPENSION. NOW WE DO HAVE TO REUSE THE OUTER KNUCKLE AND BEARING AND BRAKE ASSEMBLY OFF OUR OLD AXLE. BUT ONCE THAT'S BOLTED ON, THESE PUPPIES WILL BE READY TO SLIDE UNDERNEATH THE TRUCK. WITH THE TIRE AND WHEEL REMOVED FROM THE OLD AXLE AND THE BRAKE AND UNIT BEARING UNBOLTED, THE ORIGINAL KNUCKLE CAN BE REMOVED. AFTER SOME CLEANING AND A QUICK COAT OF DUPLICOLOR GLOSS BLACK PAINT, THE KNUCKLE IS BOLTED UP TO OUR NEW AXLE. THE SHAFT'S SLID BACK IN. THEN WE'LL FINISH IT OFF WITH A NEW UNIT BEARING, BRAKE ROTOR, AND CALIPER AND PADS THAT WE PICKED UP FROM OUR LOCAL PARTS STORE.

OUR TIRE OF CHOICE, THE PRO COMP XTERRAIN, 35 INCHES TALL, 12.5 INCHES WIDE, AND WE MOUNTED THEM UP ON A SET OF HEAVY DUTY PRO COMP ALUMINUM WHEELS IN A FLAT BLACK FINISH. WITH EVERYTHING ON OUR FRAME, WE HAVE ONE HECK OF A ROLLING CHASSIS READY FOR OUR JEEP'S BODY TO GO BACK ON.

(ANNOUNCER)>> UP NEXT WE'LL SEE HOW OUR TJ HANDLES AT HIGHWAY SPEED!

(IAN)>> WE'RE BACK ON XTREME, AND OUR TJ IS ALMOST READY TO HIT THE ROCKS. OUT BACK WE'VE GOT TO PROTECT OUR FUEL TANK FOR WHEN WE'RE DRIVING OVER LARGE OBSTACLES. TO GIVE US A LITTLE EXTRA GROUND CLEARANCE WE INSTALLED A FLAT BELLY SKID PLATE THAT CAME WITH OUR SUSPENSION SYSTEM. UP FRONT THERE'S ONE ITEM ON A JEEP THAT'S GOING TO BE THE FIRST THING TO GET HIT WHEN YOU'RE CLIMBING OVER A BIG LEDGE. THE PROBLEM HAPPENS WHEN THAT LEDGE GOES UNDERNEATH THE BUMPER AND ENGAGES THE JEEP'S FRAME RAIL BEFORE THE TIRES HIT IT. THE FIRST THING THAT'S UNDER HERE IS THE STEERING BOX OR STEERING GEAR. NOW IF YOU HIT THAT HARD ENOUGH, NOT ONLY WILL YOU LOSE ALL THE FLUID IN THE STEERING SYSTEM, BUT YOU CAN ALSO LOSE THE ABILITY TO EVEN STEER THE JEEP, MEANING YOU ARE 100 PERCENT DEAD ON THE TRAIL. NOW THE EASY WAY TO KEEP THAT FROM HAPPENING IS TO SIMPLY INSTALL A STEERING BOX SKID PLATE. THE SKID PLATE THAT WE PICKED UP FROM FOUR WHEEL PARTS INDEXES OFF ONE OF THE STEERING GEAR BOLTS AND USES ONE OF THE BUMPER BOLTS. SO FAR OUR TJ LOOKS GREAT, BUT THE INTERIOR, AH, IT'S JUST NOT CUTTING IT. SO WE'RE GONNA DITCH THE STOCK SEATS FOR A SET OF SUSPENSION SEATS. NOT ONLY WILL THEY LOOK A LOT BETTER, BUT THE FULLY WELDED STEEL TUBE FRAME AND PARACHUTE CORD CONSTRUCTION WILL HELP ABSORB SHOCKS WHEN WE'RE OUT ON THE TRAIL. THE FRONT SEATS WILL BOLT ONTO THE FACTORY SEAT RISERS USING THE ADAPTER BRACKET INCLUDED WITH THE KIT. [ air wrench spinning ]

(IAN)>> THE REAR IS A COVER THAT WILL SLIDE OVER THE FACTORY SEAT AND MAKE IT MATCH OUR TWO FRONTS. THE SEATS ALSO RECLINE TO MAKE IT COMFORTABLE FOR ANY DRIVER AND THEY FLIP FORWARD TO GIVE US EASY ACCESS INTO THE BACK SEAT. WITH A NAME LIKE THE DOUBLE DUTY TJ, OUR RIG HAS TO PERFORM WELL IN TWO KEY AREAS. THE FIRST, WELL IT'S GONNA BE ON THE ROAD. SOMETIMES WHEN YOU LIFT THE JEEP, YOU GET A LITTLE CONCERNED ABOUT HOW IT'S GONNA HANDLE A LOT OF HIGHWAY DRIVING, BUT THE GUYS AT RUBICON EXPRESS HAVE OVER A DECADE OF DESIGNING SUSPENSION LIFTS SPECIFICALLY FOR THE TJ. SO WE KNEW THAT WHEN WE BOLTED THIS ONE ON, IT WAS GOING TO TRACK STRAIGHT AND TRUE ALL THE WAY DOWN THE ROAD. THERE'S NOTHING QUITE LIKE DRIVING A JEEP WITH THE DOORS AND THE TOP OFF. ROLLING DOWN A BACK ROAD, IT GIVES YOU A GOOD SENSE OF FREEDOM OUT CONQUERING THE OPEN ROAD. EVEN TO A RELATIVELY SMALL SIZE TIRE LIKE OUR 35 INCH PRO COMP XTERRAINS MEANS THAT WE WON'T BE UNDERPOWERED WHEN WE HIT THE HIGHWAY. OUR FOUR LITER ENGINE WILL BE ABLE TO GIVE US ENOUGH GET UP AND GO WHEN WE WANT TO ROLL OUT ON THE INTERSTATE.

(ANNOUNCER)>> COMING UP, HOW TO TEAR UP THE TRAIL WITHOUT TEARING UP YOUR RIG.

(IAN)>> NOW IT'S TIME TO TEST THIS JEEP IN ITS NATURAL ENVIRONMENT, ON THE TRAIL, IN THE ROCKS, AND IN THE WOODS.

GIVE IT A LITTLE BUMP. THERE WE GO! WE OPTED FOR ARB AIR LOCKERS IN THIS RIG BOTH FRONT AND REAR. THAT MEANS WHEN WE'RE DRIVING IT ON THE STREET WE HAVE TRUE DIFFERENTIAL ACTION BOTH OPEN ALL THE TIME. BUT WHEN WE'RE IN THE DIRT AND NEED THAT EXTRA TRACTION, A FLICK OF A SWITCH AND WE'VE GOT FULL TIME FOUR WHEEL DRIVE ALL THE TIME. SLIPPERY TODAY! THERE WE GO, WHOO! OUR FOUR AND A HALF INCH RUBICON EXPRESS SUSPENSION SYSTEM HANDLED OUR TRAILS WITH EASE. THE FRONT AXLE WAS ABLE TO ARTICULATE OVER ALL THE ROCKS AND THE NEWLY DESIGNED YLINK REAR FOLLOWED IT ALL THE WAY UP THE TRAIL. A 35 INCH TALL TIRE IS THE PERFECT SIZE FOR A DUAL PURPOSE RIG LIKE OURS. WHOO, YEAH! IT'S NOT SO BIG THAT IT MAKES DRIVING ON THE STREET DIFFICULT, BUT IT'S BIG ENOUGH TO GIVE YOU GOOD GROUND CLEARANCE WHEN YOU'RE CRAWLING THROUGH THE ROCKS. THAT'S PRETTY IMPRESSIVE FOR 35'S, NOT GETTING THE BELLY HUNG UP LIKE THAT. VERY FLEXY, FLEXY, IT'S ALSO VERY MUDDY! WHEN YOU ROLL INTO THE WOODS IN THE SOUTH AFTER A BUNCH OF RAIN, THE TRAIL MAY NOT LOOK THAT DIFFERENT BUT ONCE YOUR TIRES START ROLLING INTO THAT DIRT, YOU REALIZE IT'S NOT DIRT. ALL THAT STUFF THERE, THAT'S MUD! THE MUD IS HILARIOUS TODAY BECAUSE IT LOOKS DRY, AND THEN YOU PUNCH THROUGH IT AND IT'S ALL YUCKY! OH, I SHOULD HAVE STAYED IN IT. WITH A DUAL PURPOSE RIG YOU DEFINITELY DON'T WANT TO RISK BREAKING IT APART ON THE TRAIL. WHEN YOU FEEL THOSE FRONT TIRES GETTING BOUND UP IN A DEEP NOTCH, JUST BACK OFF A LITTLE BIT, TAKE A DIFFERENT LINE, YOU'LL GET OVER THE OBSTACLE. IF YOU START TO LOSE A LITTLE BIT OF TRACTION ON THE TRAIL, THE KEY IS SIMPLE. JUST HEAT UP THE TIRES A LITTLE BIT BY SPINNING THEM ON THE LEDGE. BACK IT UP AND GIVE IT A LITTLE BUMP AND YOU'LL BE ABLE TO POP RIGHT OVER. WHEN YOU'VE GOT A RIG LIKE THIS AND YOU'RE GONNA DRIVE IT FROM YOUR HOUSE TO THE TRAIL AND WHEEL IT, YOU'VE GOT TO KEEP YOUR HEAD ON STRAIGHT. WHEN YOU'RE IN THOSE TIGHT SPOTS WHERE IT'S A LITTLE BIT SLICK, A LITTLE BIT MUDDY, AND THE WHEELS ARE SPINNING. IT'S NOT THE MUD AND THE WHEEL SPIN THAT'S GOING TO BREAK MANY PARTS. WHAT'S GONNA BREAK THE PARTS IS WHEN THOSE WHEELS GET TRACTION AND THE WHOLE DRIVELINE GETS LOADED AND SHOCKED. AND SO YOU'VE JUST KINDA KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE FRONT WHEEL, TRY NOT TO BUMP UP OVER ANYTHING WITH THE WHEELS TURNED ALL THE WAY TO THE LEFT OR THE RIGHT. IT SHOULD HOLD TOGETHER, THEN YOU CAN DRIVE IT HOME. WELL I GUESS IT'S BIGGER THAN I THOUGHT. IT'S LIKE A BUCKING BRONCO! OH, I KNEW THAT WAS GONNA HIT THAT FRONT DIFF. OH, THAT HURT, THAT HURT, THAT HURT INSIDE, THAT HURT ME! SO WITH SOME MILD TRAILS UNDERNEATH OUR BELT, WE'RE PRETTY IMPRESSED WITH HOW OUR DOUBLE DUTY TJ IS WORKING. NOW IT'S TIME TO THROW THIS RIG EVEN DEEPER INTO THE WOODS.

UH OH, DON'T FALL!

(ANNOUNCER)>> UP NEXT, LOOKS LIKE IT'S TIME TO PULL SOME CABLE!

[ dog barking ]

(IAN)>> I'M JUST GONNA FOLLOW THE DOG UP THE TRAIL. HEY, YO, HERE, HEY, WHICH WAY? THAT WAY, ALRIGHT! I DON'T THINK THIS TRAIL'S BEEN RIDDEN IN A WHILE. IT'S A LITTLE OVERGROWN.

ONE OF THE KEY FEATURES TO KEEPING YOUR JEEP TUB LOOKING GOOD WHEN YOU'RE DOING SOME HARDCORE WHEELING IS A GOOD SET OF BODY ARMOR AND WRAP IT ALL THE WAY AROUND THE JEEP. OUR TUBE FENDERS UP FRONT AND ROCKER GUARDS ON THE SIDE FOLLOWED BY OUR CORNER GUARDS IN THE BACK MADE SURE THAT WHEN OUR JEEP RUBBED UP AGAINST AN OBSTACLE, IT WASN'T GOING TO CAUSE ANY BODY DAMAGE. OH, LEFT SOME BLUE PAINT THERE. INSTEAD OF BUILDING A 100 PERCENT CUSTOM CAGE IN THIS JEEP, WE UTILIZED THE SMITTY BUILT DO IT YOURSELF BOLT IN ROLL CAGE. BY INDEXING OFF THE FACTORY ROLL CAGE, IT JUST STIFFENS UP THE ENTIRE PACKAGE AND WILL KEEP US SAFE WHEN WE'RE ON THE TRAIL. THERE'S A LOT OF REASONS THAT YOU SEE A LOT OF JEEP TJ'S OUT ON THE TRAIL. WITH JUST A LITTLE BIT OF WORK THANKS TO THEIR SHORT WHEEL BASE YOU END UP WITH A LOT OF GROUND CLEARANCE. NARROWING THE BUMPERS UP FRONT, LETTING THE TIRES INTERACT WITH OBSTACLE SOONER. AND THANKS TO OUR BELLY UP SKID PLATE, BY THE TIME YOU'RE READY TO BOTTOM OUT, WELL THE BACK TIRE'S CLIMBING OVER THE SAME ROCK. THERE REALLY ISN'T ANYTHING WRONG WITH A SET OF FACTORY SEATS FOR SOME HIGHWAY DRIVING. BUT WHEN YOU GET INTO THE TRAIL AND YOU WANT THAT EXTRA SECURITY, NOTHING'S GONNA BEAT A GOOD SET OF SUSPENSION SEATS. THEY'LL SUPPORT YOU WHEN YOU'RE DRIVING OVER THE ROCKS AND KEEP YOU PLANTED IN THE SEAT WHEN YOU'RE DRIVING AROUND WITH THE DOORS OFF YOUR RIG. UH OH, THAT'S NOT GOOD! WHOA, DON'T FALL, DON'T FALL! ONE OF THE KEYS TO BEING ABLE TO DRIVE A VEHICLE TO THE TRAIL AND THEN DRIVING IT HOME AFTERWARD IS KNOWING WHEN IT'S TIME TO JUST STOP, REACCESS, AND PULL SOME CABLE. THE NICE THING ABOUT OUR DAYSTAR WINCH ISOLATOR IS IT AUTOMATICALLY ADDS A SAFETY WEIGHT TO THE CABLE WHEN YOU'RE PULLING THE RIG OUT OF A BIND, BUT IT ALSO HELPS STOW THE HOOK NEATLY TIGHT UP AGAINST THE FAIR LEAD WHEN YOU'RE DONE PULLING CABLE IN THE WOODS. NOW WE DIDN'T MAKE ANY CHANGES TO OUR JEEP'S STRAIGHT SIX ENGINE. THAT'S BECAUSE THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH IT. COUPLE IT TO OUR AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION AND OUR FACTORY JEEP TRANSFER CASE WITH A NEW SLIP YOKE ELIMINATOR INSTALLED AND WE HAD ALL THE POWER WE NEEDED TO CRAWL THROUGH THE TRAILS ALL DAY LONG. WE EVEN HAD ENOUGH WHEN WE HAD TO GIVE THIS RIG THAT LITTLE SOUTHERN BUMP. FOR DETAILS ON ANY OF THE PRODUCTS SEEN IN TODAY'S EPISODE, HEAD ON OVER TO POWERBLOCK TV DOT COM.
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