Nate's Jeep - JK Build Walkaround

So here at JKS we pride ourselves in employing a bunch of Jeep enthusiasts. From the sales room to engineering to admin team, shipping and marketing JKS has several Jeepers on its payroll. The idea popped up the other day to ask our video guy Nate about everything he's done to his JK 2Dr Rubicon and well, here's what we get for asking...

In Nate's words...

It’s pretty hard to ignore the affordable prices of a first gen JK Rubicon.  We set out to buy the cheapest listed JK Rubicon in the US and see what it would take to build it into a complete unit of a trail machine for less than the cost of a new JL wrangler.  The wrangler we bought was a $10,000 JK that had been sitting in a field in the U.P. of Michigan for the last 5 years of its life.  After inspecting the frame for major rust issues and a new battery we managed to fire the jeep up and take it back to the shop where some serious restoration work was put into saving this Rubicon.  The powertrain was combed through with all new fluids throughout, brakes, and a bunch of the non-exciting stuff in order to get the Jeep to a comfortable driving point.  From there we worked on the frame by sanding it down and refinishing it.  To our surprise everything was just surface rust for the frame which we can celebrate not having to weld in new portions of steel like several TJ wranglers.   From there the factory suspension found itself in the dumpster and we upfitted the Jeep with the JKS J-Krawl suspension system which replaces all 8 control arms with the J-Flex arms, dual rate coil springs, and FOX 2.0 resi shocks amongst the rest of the components that go into a JKS suspension system.  We armored up the Jeep with Crawltek and the underside with Barnes 4WD.  The Jeep was able to clear 37” Mickey Thompson Baja Boss M/T tires on 17” wheels.  The spare tire was held on by the excessive industries tire carrier which took up the bed of the Jeep giving it that cool pre-runner styling.  The tailgate was left pretty empty so that was filled in with the excessive industries Rotopax carrier hold 2 3 gallon Rotopax gas cans.  To finish off the styling we went with the bestop core doors which make offroad visibility easier and overall driving more comfortable.  The overall cost of this restoration build was $32K which in comparison to a new stock JL wrangler base starting price at $45K is a pretty sweet deal to think about. You can watch the complete video build series with links to the different parts on the YouTube channel PART OUT.

Vehicle: 2008 Jeep Wrangler JK Rubicon

Powertrain: 3.8L V6, Auto, 241OR, Dana 44s


Crawltek Front Inferno Frame Chop Bumper

Crawltek Rear Inferno Frame Chop Bumper

Crawltek Rock Sliders

Crawltek Body Cladding

Crawltek Front/Rear Inner Fender Liners

Warn Zeon 10s Winch

Factor 55 Prolink

JKS 3.5" J-Krawl System

FOX 2.0 Performance Series R/R Shocks

17” AEV Pintler Wheels

37x12.5R17  Mickey Thompson Baja Boss Tires

KC Gravity Series Headlights

Recon Turn Signals

LED Tail lights

Bestop Core Doors (Silver vinyl wrapped removable center panel)

Performance Heat extraction hood

Barnes 4WD Complete Skid Plate Package (Engine Skid, Crossmember upgrades, Belly Pan, Gas Tank skid, Evap Skid)

Steer Smarts Yeti HD Drag link and Tie Rods

Gloss Black Grill

Gorilla Glass Windshield

KBD Body Kits Fender flares

Excessive industries Rotopax/license plate mount

(x2) 3 Gallon rRotopax gas cans

Body mounted bottle opener

Grab Bar USA grab bars on the A-pillars

Axis windshield visors

Vector Offroad Dash Bar mount

Neoprene Seat Covers

Onboard Air compressor under passenger seat

Excessive Industries Tire Carrier 

Removed - Spare Tire, Sway Bar, Carpet, Rear Seat