Photos by Jim McCraw for PickupTrucks.com
Can't wait to get your hands on a future factory-built Jeep pickup? Then Mopar has the truck for you: the Jeep Wrangler JK-8 Independence.
Chrysler's parts division is previewing the JK-8 at at the annual Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah. Mopar's kit turns a current Jeep Wrangler JK Unlimited into a rock crawler hauler.
The JK-8 is similar to the well-received Jeep J8 Sarge project truck and American Expedition Vehicles' Brute pickup conversion kit for the TJ Wrangler. Unlike the Brute, which has a separate box and cab, the JK-8's cargo box is integrated with the vehicle's greenhouse. The bed is 50 inches long with 44 inches wide between the wheel wells.
Mopar created body panel inserts that mask the Wrangler Unlimited's rear doors. All the interior parts behind the front seats have been removed to create a single cab with bonus space to securely store a small amount of gear. Of course, the short pickup box can also 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 with 4.88 gears. Linking the axles to the frame is a 4.5-inch long-arm suspension kit. To maneuver off-road, the JK-8 uses 37-inch BFGoodrich Mud Terrain KM2 tires.
The show truck sports a bright-yellow exterior with Mopar’s off-road bumpers for the front and rear, along with a new fuel door and slush mats. The JK-8 kit also includes bed floor, inner/outer body panels, half hard top (works with Freedom Top panels) and a new bulkhead, according to Mopar.
Mopar hasn't announced pricing for the Jeep JK-8 Independence conversion kit, but there will be two versions: a bolt-on kit can be installed without any welding in your driveway and a full kit that Mopar dealers will sell, like the JK-8 pictured.
Stay tuned. We'll be driving the Jeep JK-8 Independence at Easter Jeep Safari.