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Thread: Dynatrac CODE1 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL Build

  1. #1
    Advertiser Dynatrac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Huntington Beach

    Dynatrac CODE1 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL Build


    We are all pretty excited about the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL starting to hit showroom floors. We actually spent a week hanging out in the Detroit area waiting for ours to arrive to a local dealer, but we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves in this build thread.

    Tony Carvallo, who now works for us at Dynatrac, was the Jeep Product Planner for the JL. That means he was part of the team the defined what the new Wrangler would be, and he fought hard to make sure it was the best Jeep possible. He also wanted to make sure that it was an ideal canvas for all of us who like to build Jeeps to start with.

    A couple of years ago, he and Fred Williams at Dirt Every Day, hatched the idea of being the first to build a JL on 42s. The vision for the Jeep evolved as they talked and brainstormed, and with Tony’s move to work for Dynatrac in the fall of 2017, the idea turned into a plan.

    CODE1 is the name of the Dynatrac 2018 Jeep Wrangler. It was one of the first JLs to be produced and sold to a customer – us! It will be the first on 42-inch tall tires. And our vision for the vehicle is an overlander that is also competent at rock crawling. The tall and narrow Maxxis Trepedor tires will make it stand out, but we will also be converting it into a long-wheel base two-door, deleting and filling in the rear door openings. We hope to create a vehicle that is capable and cool looking.

    The CODE1 build will be features in an episode of Dirt Every Day. And to make it extra exciting, we started the build on Friday, January 12, and we need to be done with it to do final photos and video on January 20! So 8 days to do custom body work and convert the vehicle into a great off-roader with parts that, for the most part, don’t exist. Go!

    We originally ordered a red JL, which explains our first photo. But it got slowed down in the congestion of JLs leaving the assembly plant. So we started week-long hunt in SE Michigan and Ohio for a 4-door JL that wasn’t already promised to a customer. We ended up buying a silver Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport at Dave Dennis Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram in Dayton, Ohio. They were extremely helpful, and even stayed open a little late on a Saturday so we could purchase the Jeep and drive it off the lot in the same day.


    Next up – drive it across the country to Dynatrac in Huntington Beach, CA, where we’ll tear the Jeep apart. We had delusions of a cool roadtrip, meeting up with fellow Jeep fans and doing some off-roading. The reality of a winter drive through the Heartland and the pressure of a tight build timeline urged us into making the 2,800 mile trip in 3 ½ days instead.


    We spent the night in Glenwood Springs, CO. Hard to beat the beauty of this part of the country!


    And our road trip ended at our building in Huntington Beach. Now it’s time to get to work transforming this JL into the Dynatrac CODE1 Jeep!


    The first step in a successful build is making a plan. Especially when you only have 8 days to make everything happen.


    The first modification to a Jeep is usually removing parts that you want to upgrade. The front and rear bumpers were the first to come out of CODE1, followed by the hard top, rear doors and, of course, the axles.


    Fred believes he is the first one to take a reciprocating saw to a JL.


    It’s hard to believe that just a few weeks before, some workers in an assembly plant were putting together the doors, door panels and windows. And here we are blowing them back apart! The rear doors had to be completely disassembled so our body man could create correctly-shaped fill panels for the rear door openings. We’ll be using a Bestop softop to complete the long-wheelbase two-door look.

    We will update the build thread as the vehicle progresses this week!

    UPDATE 01-19-18

    Our updates on this thread are a day or two behind, but we are right now in the last planned day, and we’re hoping to go wheeling tomorrow. We’ll see if we make that deadline or if we have to push it back a day. Either way, we are definitely in the final stretch!

    With the EVO Manufacturing 4-inch Extreme Overlanding suspension system installed, we cycled the suspension and checked for clearance issues with the massive 42x14.50-17 Maxxis Trepedor tires.

    We’re using MOPAR High Top fenders which give us a couple of additional inches of clearance around the wheel openings but still retain a factory look. No, that’s not a masking tape drive flange on the ProRock XD60. At this point, we had not assembled the front axle, so we just taped over the empty hub to keep debris out. One of our guys thought it would be clever to put a Dynatrac decal on it.

    With the suspension sorted out, we could take the axles out and get them over to welding and assembly to finish them up. We’re using an Eaton ELocker in the XD60 front, along with 5.38 gears.

    With most of the mechanical work done, it was time to change the color. CODE1 is supposed to have an overlanding, rock crawler, military look to it when complete. So we are doing a Matte Military Green vinyl wrap on it.

    Now CODE1 is starting to look the part.

    Bestop customized a softop for us. This black canvas top has zip-out side panels that go the full length of the rear section – combining where the back door was and the factory rear-window section. We’ll be able to roll these up or remove them.

    Here’s the full side view so you can get a better idea of the overall look with the wheels, tires, MOPAR flares, long-wheelbase two-door and the canvas top.

    And the view from the front with the EVO bumper in place with the Warn ZEON Platinum winch and Baja Design LP9 LED off-road lights.

    And now we’re done! The Dynatrac CODE1 Jeep Wrangler JL is complete! We will be heading out to the desert soon to do some off roading with it. Let us know what you think of the way it turned out!

    As promised, some pics of the Dynatrac CODE1 JL going on its maiden off-road voyage!


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    Last edited by Dynatrac; 01-23-2018 at 08:24 PM.
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  2. #2
    Old Timer TrainWreck618's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    East of St. Louis
    Nice! Can't wait to see how it turns out Seen some clips of it stripped on IG

    Sent from my iPhone using WAYALIFE mobile app

  3. #3

  4. #4
    That dude from Mississippi notnalc68's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Madison, MS
    Very cool. I knew you guys were racing away at the build. Keep us posted.

    Sent from my iPhone using WAYALIFE mobile app
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  5. #5
    Meme King WJCO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Wow. Super badass. Nice to see you tearing right into this. Anxious to see it done.
    Jeep parts and accessories purchased through the following link will help support this forum and at no cost to you.

    Support the JL forum: JLWRANGLER.COM


  6. #6
    Old Timer JeepFan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Palmenthal, CA
    Subscribed! Excited to see where you go with this build!

  7. #7
    Word Ninja Sharkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Very cool! Subscribed! I love the fact you are jumping in full steam ahead.
    Jeep parts and accessories purchased through the following link will help support this forum and at no cost to you.

  8. #8
    Nothing but a Thing boardsurfer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Hell yes. Subscribed!

  9. #9
    Been Around the Block jkbarnett's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Bishop Ca
    This is going to be super awesome !!

    Sent from my iPhone using WAYALIFE mobile app

  10. #10
    Addict hinrichs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Wyomissing, PA
    So awesome and thank you for sharing this on here! I have been keeping tabs on Freds IG and never knew it was turning into a long 2 door. I was wondering why only the rear doors were coming off.

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