When it comes to Jeep builds, the sky's the limit. There is no vehicle on the planet with more options for customization than the Jeep Wrangler. Since I already built a Jeep before I have some ideas for the direction I want to go with my next build. Here are some Jeep builds that are along the lines of what I'm aiming for.

Rubitrux 2016 rubicon hard rock black


Top of the list is this 2016 Rubicon Hard Rock from Rubitrux. I love the look of this Jeep, all the luster of the black clear coat on the painted hard top and fenders along with the black wheels.This jeep has a 4-1/2" AEV DualSport SC lift, 37" Toyo tires, and 18" Fuel wheels. I like that they stuck with the stock fenders and bumper, and just added the Maximus-3 bumper hoop. It's a very clean look. The build sheet can be seen here. I also like that they didn't go overboard trying to bolt something to every panel. I'm not a big fan of Jeeps that look like the owner ordered one of every accessory he or she could find. For the enitre duration of time up the very day I ordered my Jeep I was sure I was going to get black. It was black, black, black just like this one. However the day I ordered it I switched to red. Why? Black shows every imperfection and speck of dust, plus I really like the look of red Jeeps with black accessories.

Not to rain on Rubitrux's parade but for all it's good looks this build is more maller than mauler. The AEV lifts are not directed toward serious off-roaders because the supplied brackets are not the most robust and they re-use factory control arms. They are not in the same category as the lifts from Rock Krawler, MetalCloak, Teraflex, EVO mfg, etc. However I have never heard anybody put down the ride and handling of the AEV lift and the price is reasonable, so unless you plan to take on the gnarly stuff, it's a great choice. Along those same lines the Maximus bumper hoop (and the entire stock bumper) is not something I would describe as "stout", but when you look at how most modern bumpers are constructed the Rubicon bumper is better than most. And lastly, that Amp powered running board is not made for serious off-roading either. Enough compaining, I love how this Jeep looks.

jeep wrangler apache

jeep wrangler apache back

This is called the Apache. It was made by Mopar, not so much as a concept vehicle but to show off the short-lived "Mopar V8 conversion kit" announced at the 2012 SEMA show that I don't think ever made it into a customer Jeep. aev hemi kitIt started at a 2012 Sahara but now features a 6.4 liter 470 hp Hemi and Dana 60 axles. I'm fairly sure the fenders are Bushwackers, but the rest I haven't tried to figure out. I'm not a fan of the forward leaning "stinger" style of bumper, but I do like the looks of that tire carrier, which appears to be a EVO Manufacturing product, however it's too Mad Max for me to put it on my own Jeep. I also like the half-doors, however since I live in Wisconsin those are practical only about 9 days a year.

A Hemi conversion would be awesome, especially when playing in the mud, but that is out of my price range. AEV sells a kit for $6,350 and Rubitrux sells it for $5,549. Add in a crate Hemi 5.7L starting around $5,000 (without accessories) and it get expensive quick.



This is a 2014 Rubicon that belongs to Jennifer Hammons of Texas. You can visit the build thread at the Lone Star Jeep Club website. This Jeep not only looks good, it has the build quality to back up those good looks on the trail. It's got Dynatrac axles, the ProRock 44 front and ProRock 60 rear, along with PSC hydro-assist steering, a Metalcloak 3-1/2" lift, 37" Nitto's on 17" ATX 195 wheels, and a bunch of Poison Spider goodies. There is nothing to complain about with this Jeep, it's fantastic.

A couple of things I really like on this jeep are the ATX 195 wheels and the Poison Spider Crusher fenders flares. Because of all the salt we put on the roads during the winter here in Wisconsin, I think the most practical material for a fender flare is a plastic, but I really prefer the gloss look of painted metal fenders over the matte finish of plastic.


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© Mike Riley 2016.