You know that feeling,when you see something somewhere and it just doesn’t fit? Like not at all. Well this is what I felt the first time I saw this Jeep. But I am glad it does not because this is literally an all-terrain muscle car, that screams Americana, right here in Larnaca.
This behemoth begun as a humble 2000 Jeep Wrangler TJ. It was the beginning of a new millennium and the new Jeep got blessed with this iconic front end, a throwback to the original willys Jeep.
Unlike the re-badged fiat’s that are called Jeeps these days, the TJ is still one of the most robust, capable off-roader you can get your hands on.
Get comfy cause this machine has every nut and bold turned on it.
Starting with the imposing front end. It features a smittybuilt front bar mated with a 4.5-ton winch. You know for when s*t hits the fan. The angry look is courtesy to an angry bird front grill. I kid you not, that is the actual name. The Mopar stone chip protector is also a nice addition. Futhermore, Led headlights give the retro front end a modern look while adding light. In case the 5 lightbars were not enough.
A notable addition to the Jeep is the armour coating that contrast against the bright red body work. The coating is directly related to the ownwer’s firm, Jwt paintings that are specialized in the provision of such kind of coatings.
Adding girth to the boxy Jeep are some 17 cm wide fenders, which do their best to cover some big boy wheels. During the summer months (half of the year down here) steinjager tubes doors and a smittybuilt carbonet replaced the doors along with the rear soft top.
The wrangler finishes off with a smittybuilt classic series rear end along with a sbc tyre carrier.
SUSPENSION AND DRIVETRAIN
When talking off-road capable rigs, this is where you need to be brave and open your wallet. The TJ rides on a custom 4-inch pro comp springs and Old man emu nitro charger shocks. Stage 2 arms correct the wheel alignment due to the height increase.
Unlike a sport car, one you can buy a set of coil covers and be done, lifting a truck this much brings some length issues, which leads to the need for an extended gear lever, brake lines, stabilizer ends and steering rack ends.
The driveline is considerably beefed up. The utilization of G2 axles and gear ratios in both diffs with fresh G2 bearings along with ARB diff covers provide extra protection and some piece of mind when attacking some rough trails.
Around Mickey Thompson classic 15×10 bead locks feature the 35-inch-tall by 12.5-inch-wide Cooper STT Pro tyres that aim in finding traction for this all terrain muscle car. Kudos to the owner for going the extra step and sourcing actual bead lock wheels.
If you want to do things the right way you must also consider the gearbox to diff angle, so the driveshaft doesn’t become a liability. Therefore, Kendeas went through the pain-staking procedure of working out the said angle by relocating the engine and gearbox. Speaking of which…
You saw what makes this rig all terrain, now its time for the muscle. The TJ begun as a 2.5 turbo 4 cylinder, but this wasn’t enough for the owner. Therefore, the owner moved to a high output 4.0 L inline six from a Cherokee XJ. The AMC built 4.0 L is one of the most reliable engines out there. Although reliable it lacks power for the owner’s taste. Consequently, after a fresh rebuilt Forced induction came to the rescue in the form of a, A/R 76 mm turbine.
The car was built entirely by Nikiforos garage , from wiring to the custom exhaust manifold and intercooler plumbing.
The only addition made is the steel head gasket for the added boost. A 44mm tial external gate regulates the boost although a bov is no where to be found. Apparently, the owner is addicted to turbo flutter sounds. So, as we! In case the loud turbo noises were not enough. Exhaust gasses escape through a 3-inch pipe directly under the driver’s door. A kakimoto muffler (borrowed from a Nissan skyline of all the things) finishes the practically straight piped exhaust system.
The intercooler core is an apexi unit, along with a wizard cooling aluminium radiator, are responsible for the cooling of this almost daily driven, all terrain muscle car.
A 340cc AEM in tank pump provides fuel, although the car is yet to be properly tuned, the owner wants to see around 350 hp at the crank! With 4.0 L of displacement even with an OHV engine layout this is a viable target.
When you ride around doorless you need your interior game to be somewhere on point. Fair to say this part of the vehicle is not overlooked. The party piece being the intellitronix display totally bringing this rig to the current decade. A defi advanced zn display monitors engine vitals along with an innovate afr gauge.
Rest of the interior remains stock but in excellent condition given its age and use.
Although being a very thorough build, the owner still has plans for his Jeep. The main being a long arm conversion along with fox suspension. Plus being the power addict, he is. In case the current turbo built does not satisfy him, it is getting dumped for probably the most American engine… You guessed correct a LS.
Owning a Jeep has been a lifelong dream for the owner, and it took him four years to piece this all terrain muscle car together. Seeing the results in person those were 4 years well spent!
To sum things up, this build shows what can be achieved with patience and resourcefulness.