Jeep’s lineup at the annual Moab Easter Jeep Safari – which runs April 16th through April 24th– will include the Jeep Wrangler JK-8 Independence. The JK-8 – based on a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited – takes its cues from the popular 1980’s Jeep Scrambler CJ-8 and uses a Mopar kit to convert a Jeep into a pickup truck. The JK-8 kit includes bed floor, inner/outer body panels, half hard top (works with Freedom Top panels), and a new bulkhead. Examiner got a preview of a similar Jeep Wrangler conversion – undertaken by American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) – at the 2011 Overland Expo which was held in Amado, Arizona at the beginning of April (see slideshow for both truck configurations).
“The annual Moab Easter Jeep Safari provides us a perfect opportunity to interact with our most loyal fans in a true Jeep setting,” said Mike Manley, President and CEO – Jeep Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. “We are able to demonstrate and test new potential Jeep production and customization ideas at our away-from-home proving ground, while getting instant feedback from our customers.”
The bed length of the Moparized JK-8 Independence is 50 inches and the width between wheel wells is 44 inches. The Jeep-Mopar team created body panels to cover the second-row entrance and removed all of the interior parts behind the front seats—transforming the vehicle into a two-seater with just enough room for gear inside, and a pickup style bed to be used for outside cargo.
The JK-8 drivetrain is fitted with a Mopar/Dynatrac ProRock 44 front axle and stock Dana 44 rear axle, both spun with 4.88 gears. Linking the axles to the frame is a 4.5-inch long-arm suspension kit and 37-inch BF Goodrich Mud Terrain KM2 tires make the connection to the ground. A fresh coat of yellow paint and Mopar’s off-road bumpers for the front and rear were utilized along with a new fuel door and slush mats.
You can check out the JK-8 Independence at the 45th Annual Moab Easter Jeep Safari. Jeep and Mopar will have a large display in the center of downtown Moab during the event. The display will include a number of customized vehicles including the Jeep Grand Cherokee Off-road Edition, Jeep Wrangler Mayhem, Jeep Wrangler Immortal, Mopar Camper Trailer, Jeep Wrangler Tan Man, Jeep Wrangler “The General” and a fully dressed military version of the Jeep Wrangler J-8 with turret and passenger mounted-machine guns.
Easter Jeep Safari: Registration Information Additional Information: Moab Tourism Website Source: Chrysler Group LLC