Here at BDS, we build, test, and wheel our rigs to make so we can be confident they’ll survive the abuse our customers put them through and back them with the only no fine print warranty in the business. We’ve built a number of company vehicles and are constantly developing new and innovative kits for popular truck and Jeep vehicles.
We are proud to be a part of the 2013 Ultimate Adventure, the week-long on/off-road excursion hosted by the guys over at 4Wheel & Off-Road Magazine. After attending years ago in our company Jeep TJ, we’ve learned a bit more about building a rig that will not only perform well, but stand out from the numerous TJs, JKs, and XJs that attend each year. We discussed a number of different vehicle options, from the ever popular JK, to the J10 Gladiator, Chevy Colorado. All had potential, but ultimately had flaws for various reasons. In wanting to challenge ourselves, we thought let’s build something different, an oddball of sorts, something that isn’t typically celebrated as a capable trail rig but has the potential to be. After months of discussion and pondering ideas, the decision was made to build a Jeep Liberty KJ.
A Jeep Liberty to say, that’s a choice out of left field. Not what you expected to hear us building for a trail rig? The Jeep Liberty KJ, commonly seen as a pansy Jeep, on-road only, a pitiful replacement to the largely popular and ultra capable Jeep Cherokee XJ. When it comes to a vehicle universally disliked in the 4×4 community, the Liberty is typically right up there with the best of them.
For 2 years however (2005-2006) the KJ was offered with an optional 2.8L CRD (common rail diesel), putting out 160hp/295tq that was mated up to a 45RFE Automatic Transmission, the same tranny they run in the Dodge Ram and Power Wagon trucks. The ’05 Liberty we’re using as the base for this build has the 2.8L CRD and we’ll be making a number of mods to eliminate viewed issues with the KJ. We’ll be swapping out IFS and rear axle to stronger solid axles, replacing the stock suspension with a multi-link long arm arm design using Fox coilovers, tuning the motor, modding the body, fabricating a roll cage, stretching the wheelbase from 104’’ to around 110-112’’, and running a set of 37-40” tires. The goal is to build a cool, low slung, diesel powered KJ that will be capable a trail rig while being comfortable cruiser on the highway. We’ll be teaming up with a handful of distributors, manufacturers, and body shops to help out with this build up in preparation for the 2013 Ultimate Adventure.
So can we do it; can we turn the lame soccer mom Jeep Liberty into a cool off-roader!?! You’ll have to stay tuned to find out. We’ll be posting updates from the build on the the BDS Blog, Facebook, forums, and YouTube. Follow along and let us know what you think.