One-of-a-Kind Jeep Wrangler Truck Conversion
Many of us know why Jeep builds jeeps and has done so for over 70 years; their utility and nimbleness is often copied because it just works. Still, there are ways to make any Jeep more useful, more capable, more appealing, more ... well ... better. Truth is, we've been following the build up of this particular 1999 Jeep Wrangler truck conversion via social media, because it's a unique take on a build idea that many in the off-road world would like to follow themselves: add a bed for space, and some wheelbase for a couple of reasons.
When we got to see this truck firsthand at the 2022 King Of The Hammers event in Johnson Valley, California, we knew we had to take a ton of pictures and tell you the tale of this particular build. The Jeep is owned by Nicholas Sturm of Vista, California, who had the idea for the stretch and bed addition--fairly major changes that took place at Wood's Off Road in San Marcos, California. Wood's Off Road is run by Johnny Wood, fabricator extraordinaire and former invited reader for Ultimate Adventure 2018.
Johnny is also a friend in the industry who is a former U.S. Marine and a hell of a nice guy.
The Jeep is powered by the original AMC-based 4.0-liter I-6 engine, a platform known for great torque and long-lasting reliability.
A Trail Head Offroad Intake and a Flowmaster competition muffler help the 4.0-liter breathe a bit better. The Jeep started life with a manual transmission that was dropped in favor of an 32RH three-speed automatic transmission. The slushbox sits ahead of a four-speed Atlas transfer case from Advance Adapters, with a cable shifter installed at Wood's Off Road and tucked up high with a custom floor to achieve a flat belly.
That gives low-ranges of 2:1, 2.72:1, and 5.44:1. The axles in the Jeep are 2021 Fusion 60 one-ton axles also installed by Wood's Off Road. The front is a 65-inch-width axle with an ARB, 5.38 gears, big brakes, and Yukon Hardcore Hubs.
The rear is a matching-width axle with like gears, 40-spline axleshafts, and an ARB Air Locker. Crawl ratio is 83.1:1. Driveshafts, including a spare rear shaft, are from Tom Wood's Custom Drive Shafts.See all 33 photos
Suspension, Wheels, and Tires
The Jeep's suspension is fully custom and estimated at about 5.5 inches of lift over stock.
That's thanks to 14-inch adjustable King coil-overs, King air bumps, and Currie front and rear Antirock anti-roll bars. The anti-roll bar links, 2-inch control arms, and 1.5-inch steering are all from Summit Machine, and made from aluminum for light weight and outstanding strength. The front suspension is a three-link with a track bar, and the rear is a four-link with triangulated upper links.
Tires are Cooper SST Pro 40R13.50x17s mounted on Dirty Life Road Kill 17x9 with the 8-on-6.5 bolt pattern. Steering is from Howe.See all 33 photos
Custom Military Bed and Rollcage
What really makes this Jeep Wrangler truck conversion unique is the bed, and the associated fab work to bring it all together. The bed started life as a Canadian military bed from an M101, and was shortened 22.5 inches at Wood's Off Road.
The Jeep's frame was then stretched 18 inches to allow for the desired 118-inch wheelbase and to make room for the unique bed. The tub of the TJ was also chopped for space and to create the truck cab of the Jeep, reusing factory side-rails for the back wall of the tub, and factory corners for the cab closure. The rollcage was also fabricated at Wood's Off Road and is tied into the frame as well as the military bed.
1.5 inches were chopped from the bottom of the rockers, and 2-by-6-inch rectangular tube was added to make stout rock sliders. The top of the bed was modified with a tire rack that could hold a 40-inch spare tire and wheel. This rack is easily tilted up for access to the bed, thanks to some gas struts that Johnny engineered.
The interior is made more comfortable, safe, and usable with an Art Carr shifter, GenRight center console, and Mastercraft suspension seats and five-point harnesses.
A GenRight fuel pump access door was added to the floor of the bed in case the fuel pump needs to be replaced in the Genright crawler tank.See all 33 photos
1999 Jeep Wrangler Truck Conversion
- Owner: Nicholas Sturm of Vista, California
- Stomping grounds: Deserts of Southern California and Sand Hollow, Utah
- Build time: a few years in the mix
- Engine: AMC 4.0-liter I-6
- Transmission: Jeep three-speed auto, 32RH
- Transfer case: Atlas four-speed
- Low-range ratio: 2.0:1, 2.72:1, 5.44:1
- Crawl ratio: 83.1:1
- Front axle/differential: 65-inch-wide 2021 Fusion 60 custom axles, ARB Air Locker with 5.38 gears and big brakes, Yukon Hardcore Hubs
- Rear axle/differential: 65-inch-wide 2021 Fusion 60 Custom Axles, full-float 40-spline axles, ARB Air Locker, 5.38 gears, and big brakes
- Front: Three-link with a track bar, Summit Machine aluminum links, 14-inch King coilovers and air bumps; Currie Antirock anti-roll bars with Summit Machine links
- Rear: Four-link with triangulated uppers, Summit Machine aluminum links, 14-inch King coilovers, and air bumps; Currie Antirock anti-roll bars with Summit Machine links
- Tires: Cooper SST Pro 40R13.50x17s
- Wheels: Dirty Life Road Kill 17x9 with the 8-on-6.5 bolt pattern
- Steering: Howe with Summit Machine aluminum tie rods and drag link
- Armor: tons of custom work from Wood's Off Road, Metal Cloak front fenders and front bumper with a Warn 10-S Platinum winch for pulling duties, custom rear bumper
- Cool stuff: M101 trailer modified for the bed, Custom rollcage, Premier Power Welder, Custom Aluminum True Flat belly skid, Custom rock sliders, Custom corner armor, Rigid rock lights, Rigid chase light, Rigid DSS Pro floodlights, Genright lighted license plate bracket, Baja Design dome light, military taillights, Truck Light headlights, Genright crawler tank