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“Under the Pentastar” is a quick video recap of significant events at Chrysler Group LLC over the past week. This week Betty Carrier Newman recaps the introduction of a pickup truck package for the Jeep® Wrangler, celebration of the Jeep brand‘s 70th anniversary, and special honors for FIAT’s Brand Gallery.

Mopar Jeep® Wrangler JK-8 Conversion Kit

Mopar Jeep® Wrangler JK-8 Conversion Kit

Brand Announces Pricing for New JK-8 Kit

  • Priced at $5,499, the Mopar® JK-8 Kit enables owners to transform their Jeep® Wrangler Unlimited into a pickup
  • Kit now available for ordering through Mopar at Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram dealerships
  • Dealership or skilled do-it-yourselfers may do the installation
  • Major components of the Mopar JK-8 kit include steel bed, inner and outer bedsides, sport bar extensions, Freedom panel assemblies, fiberglass hardtop and bulkhead
  • Kit shipped in JK-8 and Mopar-stamped wooden crate (85.25-inch by 62.25-inch by 30-inch), instructions included

July 14, 2011 , Auburn Hills, Mich. – Jeep® enthusiasts now have the opportunity to transform their four-door Jeep Wrangler Unlimited into a two-door pickup truck.

Jeep Wrangler JK-8 Conversion Kit

Jeep Wrangler 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 performed at a Chrysler Group dealership.

Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited are some of our most accessorized vehicles. New Jeep Wrangler owners typically spend more than $500 on Mopar accessories. For Jeep Wrangler Unlimited owners, our new Mopar JK-8 kit answers the call for even more radical customization. And it’s yet another example of how Mopar will continue to support our brands with innovative features.”

-Pietro Gorlier
President and CEO, Mopar
Chrysler Group LLC’s service, parts and customer-care brand

Jeep Wrangler JK-8 Independence

Jeep Wrangler JK-8 Independence

Prior to the introduction of the JK-8 kit, Mopar introduced numerous industry-first features including in-vehicle Wi-Fi, off-road camper trailers, vehicle-information apps and an Electronic Vehicle Tracking System (EVTS). Most recently, the brand introduced its Ram Runner off-road desert-racer kit.

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.

Jeep Wrangler JK-8 Independence

Jeep Wrangler JK-8 Independence

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.

A special badge is featured on the left rear quarter panel of each kit, celebrating the heritage of the Jeep Scrambler CJ-8, along with design implementations that were adopted from original J-8 military Jeep pickups.

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.

Conversion Process

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.

Following is information regarding some of the main components included in the Mopar JK-8 kit.

Jeep Wrangler JK-8 Conversion Kit

Jeep Wrangler JK-8 Conversion Kit

Mopar JK8 Body Weld Kit Complete (All parts are sold together in one complete kit)

  • Freedom Panels: Fiberglass panels over front seats.
  • Hardtop: Made from fiberglass, the hard top may be removed and features a sliding rear window.
  • Bulkhead: The bulkhead for the kit is made of fiberglass and separates the cab from the bed of the truck, and permanently attaches to the vehicle.
  • Bed: The spacious 44-inch by 50-inch bed features strong steel construction.
  • Inner/Outer Bed Panels: Bed panels are stamped sheet metal and provide durability and functionality.
  • Sport Bar Extensions: New sport bar extensions replace the rear portion of the sport bar that is removed for the conversion. These bars complement the structure of the vehicle.

Mopar-First Features

Mopar has introduced numerous industry-first features including:

  • Camper trailers: first to introduce off-road camper trailers
  • Vehicle-information apps: first to introduce smartphone vehicle-information applications, a new channel of communication with consumers
  • Electronic owner manuals: first to introduce traditional owner manuals in a DVD and brief user-guide format
  • Electronic Vehicle Tracking System (EVTS): first to market with a new interactive vehicle tracking device that sends owner a text when vehicle is driven too fast or too far based on pre-set parameters
  • 2011 Mopar Challenger Drag Pak: first to introduce a 500-plus cubic-inch V-10 drag-race package car
  • Wi-Fi: first to offer customers the ability to make their vehicle a wireless hot spot
  • WiTECH: first to support vehicle diagnosis and software updates leveraging off-the-shelf personal computers and a dedicated wireless tool network

About the Mopar Brand

Mopar is Chrysler Group LLC’s service, parts and customer-care brand.

Mopar distributes approximately 280,000 parts and accessories in more than 90 countries and is the source for all original-equipment parts for Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram vehicles. Mopar parts are unique in that they are engineered with the same teams that create factory-authorized vehicle specifications for Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram vehicles — a direct connection that no other aftermarket parts company can provide. A complete list of Mopar accessories and performance parts is available at http://www.mopar.com.

More than 70 Years of Mopar

When Chrysler bought Dodge in 1928, the need for a dedicated parts manufacturer, supplier and distribution system to support the growing enterprise led to the formation of the Chrysler Motor Parts Corporation (CMPC) in 1929.

Mopar (a simple contraction of the words MOtor and PARts) was trademarked for a line of antifreeze products in 1937. It also was widely used as a moniker for the CMPC. The Mopar brand made its mark in the 1960s — the muscle-car era. The Chrysler Corporation built race-ready Dodge and Plymouth “package cars” equipped with special high-performance parts. Mopar carried a line of “special parts” for super-stock drag racers and developed its racing parts division called Mopar Performance Parts to enhance speed and handling for both road and racing use.

As always, click on any of the photos in this post to see more photos of Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Vehicles.  Thanks again for checking out Chrysler Catchall!

The blog post I did on the Pickup Truck Conversion Kit a while back has been getting a ton of views recently, so when I saw this come through the airwaves, I knew you guys out there would love to see it!

In the video above, you’ll see the Mopar Performance Off Road Team go nuts and convert this Jeep Wrangler from a 4 door convertible into a 2 door hardtop pickup in less than an hour!  (Relax, in the video it only takes a minute and ten seconds) Pretty impressive, and the results aren’t bad either!

Also, Chrysler has given us the run down on one of their new 300’s coming in next year, The 2012 Chrysler 300s. Check out the video below!

And last but not least, we also bring you this week’s edition of  “Under The Pentastar!” For those of you not in the know, “Under the Pentastar” is a quick video recap of significant events at Chrysler Group LLC over the past week.

This week Chrysler Group LLC reports first profit, April 2011 sales, TAWA honors the Fiat 500 and Dodge Journey and Ram Long-Hauler concept revealed. Check out the video below!

Thanks again for checking out Chrysler Catchall!

Jeep Wrangler JK-8 Independence

Jeep Wrangler JK-8 Independence

At the 2011 Moab Easter Jeep Safari preview Thursday morning, Mopar® brand unveiled a new JK-8 kit that will allow four-door Jeep® Wrangler owners to transform their ride into a Wrangler pickup.

With “excitement” in the marketpalce for pickup trucks, and more than 500,000 Jeep Wrangler vehicles on the road, Mopar CEO Pietro Gorlier said the kit will meet a this growing demand.

Wrangler JK8 Independence

Wrangler JK8 Independence

Head of Mopar Sales & Marketing Jim Sassorossi  said the JK-8 kit also was “inspired” from Jeep enthusiasts’ reaction to past pickup trucks, like the Jeep Scrambler CJ-8 from the mid 1980s, the Jeep Nukizer unveiled last year, and the J-8 military Jeep currently in operation.

Sassorossi said DIYers can transfrom their four-door Wrangler using the JK-8 kit in as little as a weekend. (Though, Sassorossi said they’d have to hurry to do so.) Or, Wrangler owners can have a dealer do it. During the Easter Jeep Safari preview, the JK-8 kit was showcased with a Wranger JK-8 Independence.

Wrangler JK8 Independence Bed

Wrangler JK8 Independence Bed

Sassorossi said Mopar is still getting feedback from its dealer network on pricing, and looking for more feedback from the 2011 Moab Easter Jeep Safari before finalizing all details — with planned release during late summer.

The bed length (right) is 50 inches and the width between wheel wells is 44 inches. The 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.

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.

JK-8 kit includes bed floor, inner/outer body panels, half hard top (works with Freedom Top panels), and a new bulkhead.

I’ve also included some photos below from the 2011 Moab Easter Jeep Safari Preview. Mopar kitted out a handful of Jeeps as well as setup one of the new Ram 1500’s with the Mopar Ram Runner Package. Check out Chrysler Media’s Blog Post for more info about the Special Moparized Jeeps and Ram. As always, click any of the photos to see more photos of Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Vehicles.

Mopar Ram Runner

Mopar Ram Runner

Jeep Compass Canyon

Jeep Compass Canyon

Jeep Grand Cherokee

Jeep Grand Cherokee

Jeep Wrangler "Pork Chop"

Jeep Wrangler "Pork Chop"

Jeep Wrangler Renegade

Jeep Wrangler Renegade

Built For Export 2011 Jeep Cherokee

Built For Export 2011 Jeep Cherokee

Jeep Wrangler Blue Crush

Jeep Wrangler Blue Crush

Ram Truck / Mopar® sponsored TORC Series Truck

Ram Truck / Mopar® sponsored TORC Series Truck

April 5, 2011 , Auburn Hills, Mich. – Ram Truck and Mopar® today announced joint sponsorship plans for The Off-Road Championship (TORC) series in 2011.

The sponsorship will see five PRO-class drivers behind the wheel of a Ram truck during the 14-race series that gets underway Memorial Day weekend at Red Bud MX in Buchanan, Mich.

Ram Truck and Mopar will share sponsorship of the Traxxas Racing team fielded by Mike and Mark Jenkins along with the Menzies Motorsports team owned by Steve Menzies.

“I couldn’t be more proud to have Ram partnering with these great off-road drivers, championship-caliber teams and the TORC series itself. Off-road racers and fans are extremely passionate about their trucks just like we are. This partnership is a perfect fit for us to connect and share the passion in a fun and exciting way.”

Fred Diaz, President and CEO, Ram Truck Brand
Head of U.S. Sales, Chrysler Group LLC

 

Mopar Ram Runner

Mopar Ram Runner

The new sponsorship has several other elements, as well:

  • Ram will become the official vehicle of the TORC Series
  • A Mopar Ram Runner will serve as the official pace truck of the TORC Series; Mopar now offers a Ram Runner conversion kit for the aftermarket
  • Ram and Mopar will bring a significant trackside presence to each stop of the TORC series. That presence will include off-road Ram Truck test-drive opportunities for fans

“From the drag strip to the circle track, the Mopar brand has a proud heritage in racing. We are excited to extend our presence into off-road racing, where many of our Mopar fanatics reside. In fact, off-road accessories and performance parts make up more than 30 percent of our portfolio, so this is a critical market that we want to reach.”

Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar
Chrysler Group’s service, parts and customer-care brand

 

Mopar Ram Runner

Mopar Ram Runner

The 2011 driver lineup includes:

Traxxas Racing

  • Rob MacCachren, No.21 PRO 2 class (two-wheel drive) Ram, sponsored by Ram Truck
  • MacCachren brings 20 championships and more than 180 off-road event wins from various series throughout his outstanding career that began in the early 1980s. In 2010, MacCachren won the Lucas Oil Pro 2 Unlimited championship and finished second in TORC after capturing the 2009 TORC championship
  • Samuel Hubinette, No. 77 PRO Light class Ram, sponsored by Mopar and Ram Truck
  • The two-time Formula DRIFT champion is adding off-road racing to his ongoing drifting and stunt-driving duties

Menzies Motorsports

  • Ricky Johnson, No. 48 PRO 4 class (four-wheel drive) Ram, sponsored by Red Bull with associate sponsorship from Ram Truck and Mopar
  • The 2010 TORC PRO 2 champion makes the move to PRO 4 in 2011. The seven-time AMA Supercross champion founded the TORC series in 2009
  • Bryce Menzies, No. 7 PRO 2 Ram, sponsored by Red Bull with associate sponsorship from Ram Truck and Mopar
  • New TORC driver brings three years of racing experience in the CORR (Championship Off Road Racing) Series and the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series
  • Luke Johnson, PRO Light Ram, sponsored by Red Bull with associate sponsorship from Ram Truck and Mopar
  • The son of Ricky Johnson is one of the youngest drivers in the sport with a bright future ahead

If you didn’t have plans for spring, you do now. Clear your schedule, kiss your loved ones goodbye, and head directly to your garage. This will be your new home for a little while, that is, if you think spending some quality time creating your own Baja-style desert race truck is a challenge you’re up for.

We believe you are, and since we’re convicted by this belief we are putting Mopar® 4×4 Ram Runner accessories into production this March. Very soon you’ll be able to add a Stage 2 Ram Runner suspension kit to your desert toy. The Mopar® Ram Runner package is designed to accommodate some serious off-roading. The cold-air intake and cat-back exhaust systems will provide you with the power needed to get up and over that sand dune…and maybe a little air as well.

Mopar Ram Runner Stage 1 Kit

Mopar Ram Runner Stage 1 Kit

Parts may be purchased as a complete kit or individually, if you prefer. The full package provides tough and durable suspension, wider fender flares and increased ground clearance capable of sustaining higher speeds and tractions through rough terrain. Front and rear fenders can be replaced with fiberglass components, reducing weight and allowing for suspension travel and chassis clearance, which of course translates into… air? Yeah air. Have fun, and uh… keep it safe.

Mopar’s offered a more in depth look at their Ram Runner package in the video below. Thanks again for checking out Chrysler Catchall!

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