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Now you've probably seen the JK8 conversion over the years, the kit was offered by Mopar back in the JK era and ultimately was Jeep's way of testing the waters on what eventually rolled out as the production JT Gladiator based on the JL Wranglers. A pricey conversion, the JK8 kit offered 4-door JK owners the ability to transform their Jeeps into 2-door Jeep trucks with OE quality fit and finish. The kit consisted of a cab enclosure to work with your factory freedom panels, a lower bulkhead, replacement rear inner/outer body panels roll bar, and a few other odds and ends. Hundreds of these conversions were sold over the years prior to Mopar discontinuing the kit. Eastern just happened to have one of the last remaining kits sitting around and took the opportunity earlier this year to build up one of their shop Jeeps into something super cool, ultra-capable, and a blast to drive on the daily.
For this build, a 2016 Wrangler JKU Rubicon went under the knife for the upgrades. With the JK8 bodywork installed, the team moved over to the rest of the accessories adding a slew of DV8 upgrades to include the cowl hood, fender flares, inner fenders, steps as well as front and rear bumpers. Body panels were finished in an OE Toyota electric lime green color with gloss black accents. In addition, Baja Designs lights were installed for better night visibility and a Warn VR8 winch was added to help with recovery duties.
Under the hood of this Jeep, it has been kept fairly stock, the 3.6L Pentastar is backed by the 6-speed manual transmission, 4.0:1 transfer case, sending power to the re-geared Dana 44s. A set of 37" BFG KM3 tires were added along with 17x9 Weld Ledge beadlocks. To allow clearance for those 37s a JKS J-Konnect kit was installed along with FOX 2.0 Adventure Series shocks. This setup offers great on-road handling and performance with impressive capability out on the trail.
The J-Konnect kit consists of dual-rate springs at each corner, front sway bar quick disconnects, an HD adjustable track bar, a drag link flip kit to improve steering angles, bump stop extensions, and J-Link lower control arms, brake line correction, and choice of FOX gas shocks.