More or less. Kinda. Okay, read on.
Tired of waiting for Jeep to build the Gladiator pickup? Well, if you own a Wrangler Unlimited, you can convert your own rig to a pickup with the new Mopar JK-8 conversion kit. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) for the Mopar JK-8 kit is $5,499. The kit, which comes with a three-year/36,000-mile warranty, is now available for ordering through Mopar at Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram dealerships. The warranty covers kit materials and workmanship.
Mopar first revealed its JK-8 kit at this year’s Moab Jeep Safari. The kit takes cues from the popular Jeep Scrambler CJ-8 from the 1980’s. Major components include a spacious 44-inch by 50-inch steel bed, inner and outer bedsides constructed from stamped sheet metal, sport bar extensions, Freedom Panel assemblies, a removable fiberglass hardtop with a sliding rear window, two fixed side windows and a fiberglass bulkhead.
Staying true to the Jeep brand, the JK-8 kit offers Jeep Wrangler Unlimited capability in the form of a mini pickup. In addition, the top may be completely removed for an open-air experience.
For ease of purchase, the kit is available as a single part number (77070049) with all hardware and body panels included. The kit may be purchased and installed at a Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge or Ram dealership.
Two processes are involved in the conversion from a four-door Jeep Wrangler Unlimited to a two-door pickup truck: disassembly and reassembly.
In disassembly, each rear door is removed. Next, the rear-bumper assembly, hard top and Freedom Panels are removed, followed by the rear portion of the interior, which includes seats and carpeting. Exterior trim parts are removed and preserved; inner and outer body panels are removed by drilling out the spot welds, which allows the panels to fall away and avoids having to cut into the sheet metal. The rear sport bar is cut away and removed along with B-pillars.
Reassembly into a two-door pickup truck begins with installation of the B-pillars, cross member, floor-pan assembly (truck bed), and the inner and outer quarter panels (welding is involved in assembly). Next to be installed is the bulkhead reinforcement assembly and sport bar extensions, and finally the installation of the fiberglass bulkhead itself. The kit, with components delivered e-coated, is then prepped for paint. Windows are installed to the hard top, which is then installed on the vehicle. Exterior trim parts are then reinstalled.